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The Apocalypse Of Peter

Alternate title: The Revelation To Peter

c. 100-125 C.E.

The Apocalypse of Peter is the earliest Christian reference to the afterlife, describing in vivid detail the paradise of Heaven and the torments of Hell. The work is quite early, for it was referenced by Clement and likely used by the author of the Apocalypse of Paul; It may even predate the canonical Apocalypse (Revelation) of John. The book was included in the Muratorian Canon (c.200 C.E.) as well as the Codex Claramontanus. It is difficult to speculate why it fell out of favor in the orthodox church, except perhaps that it was often associated with the heretical Gospel of Peter.

The work survives in an extant Ethiopic text as well as a fragmentary Greek text discovered at Akhmîm with the Gospel of Peter. The two versions have striking dissimilarities, and it would appear that, although the work was originally composed in Greek, the Akhmîm text represents a later development. The work borrows heavily from Jewish apocalyptic tradition (1 Enoch), and the account of the transfiguration parallels the description in 2 Peter.