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.
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Gospel of the Twelve Apostles,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Gospel-of-the-Twelve-Apostles.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Gospel of the Twelve Apostles.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Gospel-of-the-Twelve-Apostles.
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