Acts of John

Acts of John

From “The Apocryphal New Testament”M.R. James-Translation and NotesOxford: Clarendon Press, 1924  


THE LENGTH OF THIS BOOK is given in the Stichometry of Nicephorus as 2,500 lines: the same number as for St. Matthew’s Gospel. We have large portions of it in the original, and a Latin version (purged, it is important to note, of all traces of unorthodoxy) of some lost episodes, besides a few scattered fragments. These will be fitted together in what seems the most probable order.

The best edition of the Greek remains is in Bonnet, Acta Apost. Apocr. 11.1, 1898: the Latin is in Book V of the Historia Apostolica of Abdias (Fabricius, Cod. Apoer. N. T.: there is no modern edition).

The beginning of the book is lost. It probably related in some form a trial, and banishment of John to Patmos. A distinctly late Greek text printed by Bonnet (in two forms) as cc. 1-17 of his work tells how Domitian, on his accession, persecuted the Jews. They accused the Christians in a letter to him: he accordingly persecuted the Christians. He heard of John’s teaching in Ephesus and sent for him: his ascetic habits on the voyage impressed his captors.