Peter in the Apocryphal Tradition
Biblical Studies, Bible, New Testament
Students who take New Testament classes studying Acts through Revelation are often perplexed when they realize fully how much Paul’s writings dominate class discussions. They study fourteen of Paul’s letters (if one counts the Epistle to the Hebrews as part of the Pauline corpus) and only two of Peter’s letters. They wonder why Peter, such an integral figure in the Gospels and the head of the church following Jesus’ death, could have left such a minute accounting of his post-Ascension activity, especially compared to Paul, a latecomer to the church. At this point, I attempt to assuage some of their frustration by pointing out that Peter, while he may be somewhat underrepresented or marginalized in the New Testament epistles, is actually a popular figure in the noncanonical literature that arises during the second and third centuries of Christianity. Whereas 1 and 2 Peter represent the sum total of Peter’s canonical work (with the possible addition of the Gospel of Mark), there are at least fourteen different noncanonical, or apocryphal, works that either claim Petrine authorship or attribute a major role to Peter.
Original Publication Citation
“Peter in the Apocryphal Tradition,” in The Ministry of Peter the Chief Apostle, eds. Frank F. Judd, Jr., Eric D. Huntsman, and Shon D. Hopkin (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2014), 337-360. (Peer Reviewed)
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Frederick, Nicholas J., "Peter in the Apocryphal Tradition" (2014). Faculty Publications. 3621.
Religious Studies Center