Apocryphal Acts Homepage

Introduction and Resources

István Czachesz

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies


The Apocryphal Acts are anonymous works that report the deeds and teachings of individual apostles. The so-called five "major" acts are the Acts of Paul, the Acts of Peter, the Acts of John, the Acts of Andrew, and the Acts of Thomas. Most of them were written in the second century.

The later Acts date from the third to fifth centuries, when the genre gradually merged with hagiography.

Although biblical scholars and church historians have paid attention to the Apocryphal Acts since the nineteenth century, many important issues are still open to discussion. They include the reconstruction of the texts, the dating of many Acts, their relation to the canonical Acts, the ancient novels, and the philosophers' biographies.

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