Abstract

Abstract:

Peter and Paul were foundational figures in the early church in their roles as authoritative teachers. However, authors recognised a disparity between the apostles in terms of their theological gravitas based upon their epistolary contributions. The authors of the apocryphal acts of the apostles, particularly the texts focused on Peter, were also cognisant of this problematic dynamic. This article focuses on their attempts to remedy the situation through the practice of transposition, that is, placing teaching from Paul's letters in Peter's mouth. The article analyses examples of this practice beginning with the Martyrdom of Peter (Acts of Peter) through the later antique accounts of Pseudo-Linus, Pseudo-Abdias, and Pseudo-Marcellus. The Petrine borrowing from Paul's epistles is all the more striking given that seemingly relevant passages from 1 and 2 Peter could have been used by the apocryphal authors but were not. Only one citation from a Petrine epistle appears in any apocryphal text, but it is placed in the mouths of misguided Jewish Christians and prompts apostolic rebuke. The article closes by suggesting implications of transposition for early Christian reception of scriptural texts, namely the possibility that concepts we consider Pauline may have been widely considered Petrine on account of the apocryphal acts.

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