The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon
A Coptic Apostolic Memoir
[Das Berlin-Straßburg Apokryphon. Ein koptisch-apostolisches Memoir.]
2017. XI, 241 pages.
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Published in English.The present volume offers a new edition, English translation, and interpretation of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon, previously known as the Gospel of the Savior. An apocryphal story about Jesus probably transpiring shortly before the Crucifixion, the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon claims to recount the narrative as told by the apostles themselves. The text also includes a long hymn sung by Christ to the cross on which he will soon be crucified.
The Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is exclusively preserved in Coptic by two fragmentary manuscripts, Papyrus Berolinensis 22220 and Strasbourg Copte 5–7. Additionally, a Coptic manuscript discovered at Qasr el-Wizz in Christian Nubia contains a short version of the Hymn of the Cross.
Until now, it has been almost unanimously accepted that the Berlin Strasbourg-Apocryphon is an ancient Christian gospel – probably datable to the second century CE – which was bypassed in the formation of the Christian canon. Approaching the text from the angle of Coptic literature, Alin Suciu rejects this early dating, showing instead that its composition must be located following the Council of Chalcedon (451 CE), whose theological deliberations gradually alienated Egypt from the Byzantine world. The author argues that the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon is one of numerous “apostolic memoirs,” a peculiar genre of Coptic literature, which consists of writings allegedly written by the apostles, often embedded in sermons attributed to famous church fathers.
Survey of contentsIntroduction
Chapter 1: History of Research on the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon
A New Ancient Gospel? – Other Documents Emerge: The Strasbourg Fragments and the Qasr el-Wizz Codex – Reframing the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon
Chapter 2: The Manuscripts
P. Berol. 22220
Location and Acquisition – Origin of P. Berol. 22220 – Paleography and Dating – Scribal Note – Codicology – Orthography
Strasbourg Copte 5–7
Location and Acquisition – Papyrological Reconstruction – Language – Paleography and Dating
The Qasr el-Wizz Codex
Discovery and Location – Content of the Codex – Description and Dating of the Manuscript
Chapter 3: The Content of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon and the Relationship between the Manuscripts
Outline of the Text – The Relationship between the Manuscripts – The Relationship between P. Berol. 22220 and Strasbourg Copte 5–7 – The Relationship between the Strasbourg Fragments and the Qasr el-Wizz Manuscript – The Relationship between P. Berol. 22220 and the Qasr el-Wizz Manuscript – The Qasr el-Wizz Version of the Hymn of the Cross – Placing P. Berol. 22220 Frag. 9 – Placing Strasbourg Copte 6
Chapter 4: The Place of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon in Coptic Literature
“We, the Apostles.” The Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon and Other Similar Coptic Stories Attributed to the Apostles – The Apostolic Memoirs Framed by a Patristic Sermon – The Apostolic Memoirs without a Homiletic Framework – “O My Holy Members,” “O My Honored Members”: Apostles, Martyrs, and Monks – The Literary and Liturgical Function of the Coptic Memoirs of the Apostles – The Local Egyptian Character of the Apostolic Memoirs – Dating the Apostolic Memoirs – The Christology of the Berlin-Strasbourg Apocryphon : Christ as King and Son of the King. The Dating of the Work
Text and Translation
Edition of P. Berol. 22220 – Edition of Strasbourg Copte 5–7 – Edition of the Hymn of the Cross according to the Qasr el-Wizz Codex – Translation of P. Berol. 22220 – Translation of Strasbourg Copte 5–7 – Translation of the Hymn of the Cross according to the Qasr el-Wizz Codex