Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – Disputation between Simon a Jew and Theophilus a Christian

The text translated here is from the Latin text published by Adolf Harnack ‘Altercatio Simonis Iudaei et Theophili Christiani’ in Texte und Untersuchungen vol. I, 3 (1883) pp. 1-136. A copy of the text was also published by J.P. Migne Patrologia Latina 20 (1845) col. 1165-1180, where the author is given as Evagrius.

Read the introduction and translation HERE.

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Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Miracle of Chonae

The translation has been made from the continuous Greek text published by François Nau ‘Le miracle de S. Michel à Colosses’ Patrologia Orientalis 4 (1908) pp. 542-562. There is also a later Latin version, but the differences between the two are so numerous and sometimes so considerable that I have decided against referring to them, except where the Latin helps to elucidate the Greek. The notes that follow are based on those provided by Nau in his introduction to the text.

Colossae, the city to which the apostle Paul addressed one of his letters, lay between Laodicea and Apamea in Phrygia. According to an early account the apostle Philip and John the Evangelist opened up a spring in honour of Michael the Archangel. Its waters were healing waters. The sick daughter of a local pagan was healed by them, and her father built a small church in honour of Michael. As more people were healed, they converted to Christianity. Attempts were made to destroy the church but without success. It was then decided to divert two rivers that ran near Colossae in such a way that the church would be submerged by their combined waters. The custodian of the church, Archippus, refused to move in the face of the increasing waters. St Michael came to his rescue and created a deep chasm into which the waters could be channelled. The pagans were all turned into statues. The writer claims that these statues were still visible in his day. The waters flowed under the earth for some time before it re-appeared later on.

Read the rest of the introduction and the translation HERE.

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Conference “The Physiologus between East and West” at Sorbonne

On June 15-17, I will participate in a conference dedicated to the Physiologus, which will be held at the Sorbonne University in Paris. The conference schedule can be downloaded HERE. My paper is titled “The Coptic Physiologus: Evidence of an Early Translation.”

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Ariel Sabar in Göttingen

On May 23, 2017, we will host in Göttingen a discussion with Ariel Sabar, the author of a splendid article which unveiled the forger of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus.

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Guest Post: Lance Jenott – The Investiture of the Archangel Gabriel

Lance Jenott has prepared an English translation of the Investiture of the Archangel Gabriel, an apocryphal text which belongs to a peculiar genre of Coptic literature, which I call “apostolic memoirs.” I am grateful to him for making his translation freely available.

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Hot off the press: The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon. A Coptic Apostolic Memoir

Alin Suciu, The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon: A Coptic Apostolic Memoir (WUNT, 370; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017).

10958_00_detailI am pleased to announce that my book on the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon has just been published with Mohr Siebeck. The book is available HERE.

Abstract: “The present volume offers a new edition, English translation, and interpretation of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon, previously known as the Gospel of the Savior. An apocryphal story about Jesus probably transpiring shortly before the Crucifixion, the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon claims to recount the narrative as told by the apostles themselves. The text also includes a long hymn sung by Christ to the cross on which he will soon be crucified. The Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is exclusively preserved in Coptic by two fragmentary manuscripts, Papyrus Berolinensis 22220 and Strasbourg Copte 5–7. Additionally, a Coptic manuscript discovered at Qasr el-Wizz in Christian Nubia contains a short version of the Hymn of the Cross. Until now, it has been almost unanimously accepted that the Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is an ancient Christian gospel – probably datable to the second century CE – which was bypassed in the formation of the Christian canon. Approaching the text from the angle of Coptic literature, Alin Suciu rejects this early dating, showing instead that its composition must be located following the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), whose theological deliberations gradually alienated Egypt from the Byzantine world. The author argues that the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon is one of numerous “apostolic memoirs,” a peculiar genre of Coptic literature, which consists of writings allegedly written by the apostles, often embedded in sermons attributed to famous church fathers.”

I owe a special debt of gratitude to the Mohr Siebeck editors and staff for their professionalism. I finalized the manuscript in October and today I already got my free copies.

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Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Sahidic Version of the Acts of Pilate

Anthony Alcock has prepared an English translation of the Sahidic version of the Acts of Pilate. This text constitutes the source of many apocryphal Passion narratives composed in Coptic. You can download his translation HERE.

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