Gospel of the Twelve Apostles [Syr. Orth.]

This short apocalyptic work, known only in Syriac, probably dates from the early 8th cent. (probably before ʿAbd al-Malik’s death in 705), and is not preserved quite complete. It misleadingly claims to have been translated from Hebrew into Greek and thence into Syriac. A narrative introduction outlines the life of Christ, from the Annunciation to the Ascension; after the Ascension the Apostles gather in the Upper Room and pray for a revelation ‘concerning the End’. Simon Peter, James, and John ‘the Little’, brother of James, then each describes the revelation he has received. Simon Peter’s revelation is anti-dyophysite in character, James’s is concerned with the destruction and rebuilding of Jerusalem, while John’s is more strictly apocalyptic in character, describing the succession of kingdoms, a ‘king from the north’, the coming of a ‘wind from the south’ (i.e., Arab rule), and a succession of twelve kings; after a ‘week and a half’ the angel of wrath will descend, and ‘the Lord will return the south wind to its place’.


  • H. J. W.  Drijvers, ‘The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles. A Syriac apocalypse from the early Islamic period’, in The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, ed. A. Cameron and L. I. Conrad (1992), 189–213.
  • H. J. W.  Drijvers, ‘Christians, Jews and Muslims in northern Mesopotamia in early Islamic times. The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles and related texts’, in La Syrie, de Byzance à l’Islam, ed. P. Canivet and J.-P. Rey-Coquais (1992), 67–74.
  • J. R. Harris, The Gospel of the Twelve Apostles (1900). (ed. with ET)
  • Hoyland, Seeing Islam, 267–70.

| Gospel of the Twelve Apostles |


Front Matter A (73) B (53) C (26) D (36) E (27) F (5) G (30) H (22) I (31) J (15) K (11) L (12) M (56) N (19) O (3) P (28) Q (11) R (8) S (71) T (39) U (1) V (5) W (3) X (1) Y (41) Z (4) Back Matter
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