The Acts of Peter, Gospel Literature, and the Ancient Novel: Rewriting the Past

The Acts of Peter, Gospel Literature, and the Ancient Novel: Rewriting the Past

Christine M. Thomas


The Acts of Peter, one of many Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles that aspect the exploits of the most important figures of early Christianity, offers a distinct window into the formation of early Christian narrative. just like the Gospels, the Acts of Peter constructed from disparate oral and written narrative from the 1st century. The apocryphal textual content, notwithstanding, endured to become a few re-castings, translations, abridgements, and expansions. The Acts of Peter current Christian narrative in another universe, within which canonization didn't halt the method of inventive re-composition.

Now, during this groundbreaking publication, Thomas examines the resources and next types of the Acts, from the earliest traditions during the sixth-century Passions of the Apostles, arguing the significance of its "narrative fluidity": the lifestyles of the paintings in different models or multiforms. this option, shared with the Jewish novels of Esther and Daniel, the Greek romance approximately Alexander the good, and the Christian Gospels, permits those narratives to evolve to deal with the altering old conditions in their audiences. In every one new edition, the audiences' defining conflicts have been mirrored within the textual content, echoing a historic attention extra frequently pointed out with fundamental oral societies, during which the account of the previous is a malleable script explaining the current. even though the style so much heavily resembling those works is the traditional novel, their severe historic motive separates them from the later, extra self-consciously fictive novels, and keeps them in the realm of the sooner ancient novels produced through ethnic subcultures in the Roman empire.

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