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Apocalypse Of Paul

Apocalypse of Paul

Summary:

The name of 2 different apocryphal, apocalyptic works reporting heavenly journeys of the Apostle Paul.

The Latin Apocalypse of Paul offers promise and warning, utilizing extensive tours of paradise and hell. Heaven is a wonderful place with rivers of honey, milk, wine, and oil for the saved, especially ascetics.Paul meets various heroes of OT and NT stories. He also tours the land of the future millennium. In hell, he witnesses the vividly described torments awaiting sinners--boiling fire, worms, torturing angels, and wild animals dismember the fallen--punishments appropriate to their particular sins. Paul successfully intercedes to allow the damned one day's exemption from their torments on Sundays. This was one of the most popular apocryphal books among early Christians.

The Coptic Apocalypse of Paul is a Christian Gnostic work recounting Paul's ascent (with the other apostles) into the tenth heaven, guided by the Holy Spirit in the form of a child. Reincarnation is the punishment of those who failed to obtain the true gnosis. The god of the OT resides in seventh heaven, whereas the true God of Spirit resides in the tenth.

Canonical Status:

Latin Apocalypse part of the New Testament Apocrypha

Coptic Apocalypse known only from a single codex found at Nag Hammadi

Author:

Anonymous

Written under the pseudonym of Paul

Date:

Latin Apocalypse: 3rd - 5th century

Tarsus introduction (chs. 1 & 2) claims the book was discovered in 388

Coptic Apocalypse: 2nd / 3rd century

Sources:

2 Cor 12:2-4

Testament of Abraham 10

Latin Apocalypse:

Apocalypse of Peter

Coptic Apocalypse

Coptic Apocalypse:

Biograpical notices from the canonical Pauline epistles

Gnostic speculation (e.g., identifying the God of the OT as the Demiurge)

Original Languages:

The Latin Apocalypse translates a lost original Greek apocalypse.

Translations exist in Greek (abridged), Armenian, Old Russian, Syriac, and Coptic

The Coptic (Achmimic) Apocalypse is not a translation of the Latin (or its original Greek) Apocalypse.

Notes prepared by Kelly Herron (Senior Communications Major)

for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University

Copyright 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology

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