Gospel of Peter
Additional Information


Additional Online Resources



Since no complete copy of the Gospel of Peter is presently known to have been preserved from antiquity, it is not possible to say conclusively what the entire writing contained. It is clear from what is preserved that the gospel was a narrative gospel similar to the canonical gospels. It certainly contained a passion narrative since the Akhmîm fragment describes events from the wahing of Pilate's hands to the empty tomb. Two other fragments (which unfortunately cannot be demonstrated conclusively to be from the Gospel of Peter) may suggest that the text was more than just a passion narrative: P.Oxy 4009 and P.Oxy. 1224. These small fragments both seem to give first person accounts of discussions between Jesus and Peter in situations outside the final week of Jesus' life (this type of narration is similar to that found at the end of the identified fragment of the Gospel of Peter - "But I, Simon Peter, and my brother Andrew...").

When the Gospel of Peter was first published, many scholars quickly regarded it as a rearrangement and loose paraphrase of the canonical gospels. They believed that the gospel was written in the late second century. They asserted that the gospel was obviously dependent on the canonical texts for its material. Other scholars, however, have argued that the Gospel of Peter was written independently of the canonical gospels by Jewish Christians in the first quarter of the second century. They claim that there is no evidence that the text borrowed from the New Testament gospels and that the manner in which the Hebrew Bible is quoted suggests an early stage in Christian interpretation of it. Arguing for even greater antiquity of parts of the Gospel of Peter, John Dominic Crossan has asserted that the text contains a Cross Gospel - a primitive death and resurrection story - used by all four canonical gospels. Ultimately, the only certain fact about the date of the origin of the Gospel of Peter is that it was written before 190 C.E. (at that time, Serapion, the bishop of Antioch, condemned it by name). How long before cannot be determined with any degree of certainty.


Manuscript Information

  • Akhmim Fragment
    (Greek, Eighth-Ninth Century, 1:1-14:60)
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2949
    (Greek, Late Second-Early Third Century, very fragmentary 2:3-5a)
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 4009
    (Greek, Second Century, no overlap with fragmentary text that is the basis of the chapter and verse divisions)


English Translations: Akhmîm Fragment

  • Cameron, Ron, ed. The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Texts. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1982.
  • Ehrman, Bart D., ed. The New Testament and Other Early Christian Writings: A Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Elliott, J.K., ed. The Apocryphal New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993.
  • Miller, Robert J., ed. The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version. Rev and enl. ed. Sonoma: Polebridge, 1994.
  • Schneemelcher, Wilhem, ed. Gospels and Related Writings. Translated by R. McL. Wilson. Vol. 1 of New Testament Apocrypha. Rev. ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1991.


Ancient Language Editions: Akhmîm Fragment

  • Bouriant, U. "Fragments du texte grec du livre d'Énoch et de quelques écrits attribués à saint Pierre." Pages 137-42 in Mémoires publiés par les membres de la mission archéologique française au Caire, 9.1. Paris, 1892.
    • Greek Text
    • Manuscript Photos

  • Mara, M.G., ed. Évangile De Pierre. Paris: Les Editions Du Cerf, 1973.
    • Greek Text
    • Latin Translation


Ancient Language Editions: Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2949

  • Coles, R.A., M.W. Haslam, and P.J. Parsons, eds. "4009. Gospel of Peter?" Pages 1-5 in vol. 60 of The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1994.
    • Greek Text
    • Manuscript Photos

  • Crossan, John Dominic. The Cross That Spoke: The Origins of the Passion Narrative. San Fransisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
    • Greek Text


Ancient Language Editions: Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 4009

  • Coles, R.A., M.W. Haslam, and P.J. Parsons, eds. "4009. Gospel of Peter?" Pages 1-5 in vol. 60 of The Oxyrhynchus Papyri. London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1994.
    • Greek Text
    • Manuscript Photos