APOSTLES Feasts

APOSTLES. Feasts in the Greek church 30 June and 4 January. I. Apocrypha on the Apostles II. Lists of the Apostles III. Legal-liturgical and dogmatic texts of the Apostles IV. Homilies on the Apostles V. The cult of the Apostles VI. Apostolic Fathers. There is a wide literature on the apostles in Greek, Latin and the Eastern languages. This regards the apostles, often called the Twelve with Matthias, Paul and often also Barnabas; Judas was excluded, the Evangelists, and the disciples of the Lord or of the apostles the 70 or the 72. This literature can be divided into the following categories. I. Apocrypha on the Apostles. The most important group of writings on the apostles are the apocrypha, which can be subdivided into 1 apocryphal Acts of the individual apostles, 2 collections of Acts of the Apostles and 3 other apocrypha regarding the apostles. 1. Acts of the Apostles Periodoi, Praxeis, Virtutes. 5 great Acts of the apostles were written in the 2nd-3rd c.: of Peter, Paul, John, Andrew and Thomas; the first four are preserved partially, the Acts of Thomas in their entirety in two versions: Greek and Syriac. These texts were ascribed to the gnostics Leucius and Charinus, or to LeuciusCharinus a thesis now abandoned. Each work is subdivided into acts actus, praxeis, whereas the whole is composed of a description of their activities travels, miracles, preaching and martyrdom this latter was often incorporated into the liturgy. There are important poetic passages in the Acts of Thomas and the Acts of John. These Acts include some gnostic elements; some Acts of Andrew are preserved in a version censured by Gregory of Tours. From the 4th c. until the Byzantine period an ample production of apocryphal Acts developed, in which motifs from the above-mentioned Acts were developed, along with the lives and martyrdom accounts of the other Acts. Normally the Acts deal with one apostle, but there are some that treat of two, e.g., Peter and Paul or Andrew and Matthias. There is an ample body of work on some apostles Peter, Andrew, very sparse on others James, Judas. This later literature is increasingly characterized by fantastic elements exotic countries, strange miracles, etc.. Some Acts open with a description of the apostle’s field of activity. These works are preserved in various versions and paraphrases, some orthodox, some composed of gnostic or heretical elements. Apocryphal Acts of the apostles were used by gnostics, Manichees and heretics e.g., Priscillianists, but the texts cannot be generally classified as heretical. The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles were written in Greek, Latin and the Eastern languages, but the Eastern texts are generally translations or paraphrases of the Greek. These apocryphal texts were a source of legends on the apostles for the medieval collections of hagiographical legends and are an important source for the iconography of the apostles. Besides these Acts, there are gnostic texts of Nag Hammadi regarding the apostles, such as the Acts of Peter and of the Twelve Apostles codex VI. CANT 190-299. Principal editions of the texts: Greek and Latin: R.A. Lipsius, M. Bonnet, Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha, 1-2,2, Leipzig 1891, 1898, 1903 Darmstadt 1959, 1976. Arabic: A. Smith Lewis, Acta mythologica apostolorum Horae Semiticae 3, The Mythological Acts of Apostles Horae Semiticae 4, London 1903; see I. Guidi, below. Armenian: K. Èerakian, Venice 1904 Armenian text only; Fr. tr. L. Leloir: CCA 3-4, 1988. See L. Leloir, Rapporte entre les version armnienne et syriaque des Actes apocryphes des apôtres, in Symposium Syriacum: OCA 205 1978 137-148; V. Calzolari, La Bible et les textes apocryphes dans l’Armnie: Connaissance des Pères de l’Église 81 2001 38-48. Coptic: O. von Lemm, Koptische apokryphe Apostelakten: M- langes Asiatiques 10 1890 and Bulletin de l’Accadmie des Sciences des St. Pterburg 33 1890, 37 1894, 10 1892; E.A.W. Budge, Coptic Apocrypha in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, London 1913 with Eng. tr.; W.H.P. Hatch, Three Hitherto Unpublished Lives from Manuscript of the Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha in Bohairic, in Coptic Studies in Honour of E.W. Crum, Boston 1950; I. Guidi, Gli apocrifi degli apostoli nei testi copti, arabi ed etiopici, Rendiconti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, notes I-VII, vol. III, 1887, 1, part 2; II, parts 2, 4, 8, 10, 11, vol. IV, 1888, 1, part 2; Id., Gli Atti apocrifi degli Apostoli nei testi copti, arabi et etiopici: Giornale della Società Asiatica Italiana 2 1888 1-66 translation. Ethiopian: S.C. Malan, The Contendings of the Holy Apostles, London 1871; E.A.W. Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, 1-2, London 1899-1901 repr. Amsterdam 1976. Georgian: C. Kurcikidze, Tbilisi 1959 only in Georgian. Palaeoslavonic: in the large collections of Tichonravov, Franko and others. Syriac: W. Wright, Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, 1-2, London 1971 Amsterdam 1968. See L. Leloir, Rapport entre les version armnienne et syriaque des Actes apocryphes des apôtres, in Symposium Syriacum: OCA 205 1978 137-148. Translations: Eng. – Schneemelcher; Eng. 2 – Elliott; It. – Erbetta 2, Moraldi 2; Ger. in Schneemelcher 2; Fr., in EAC 1. R.A. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und Apostellegenden, 1-2,2, and Ergänzungsband; Braunschweig 1883-1890 Amsterdam 1976; E. Plümacher, Apokryphe Apostelakten, PWK 15, 11-70; R. Söder, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten und die romanhafte Literatur der Antike, Stuttgart 1932 1969; M. Blumenthal, Formen und Motive in den apokryphen Apostelgeschichten: TU 481 1933; A. Hamman, Sitz im Leben des actes apocryphes de NT: SP 8 1966 62-69; P. Nagel, Die apokryphen Apostelakten in der manichäischen Literatur, in Gnosis und NT, ed. W. Tröger, Berlin 1973, 149-182; F. Morard, Coptic Encyclopaedia 1, 58-61; D.M. Parrot, ibid. 61-63; var. aus., Les Actes apocryphes des Apôtres, Geneva 1981; E. Junod – J.D. Kaëstli, L’histoire des Actes apocryphes du IIIe au IXe s., Lausanne 1982; F. Bovon et al. eds., The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, Cambridge, MA 1999. 2. Collections of the Acts of the Apostles. A collection of the Acts of the Apostles was composed in the 6th- 7th c. in Gaul: attributed to Abdias, bishop of Babylon, written in Hebrew, translated into Greek by Eutropius and into Latin by Julius Africanus Introd.; see 6,20. The work is in 10 books and contains lives of the Twelve, except Matthias and Judas the traitor, and that of Paul. A collection of the apocrypha probably existed in Coptic. In the 12th c. an Ethiopian collection was composed of the Acts of the Apostles, of the Evangelists and of the disciples of the Lord, also containing some lists of the apostles. This collection contains elements not contained in the Western texts Latin and Greek. Ps.-Abdias: CANT 256; J.A. Fabricius, Codex apocryphorum NT, Hamburg 2 1719. It. tr.: Erbetta 2 in chapters on the individual apostles; Moraldi 2, 511-682; Polish: E. Nowak, M. Starowieyski, Kraków 1995. Lipsius 1, 117-178; Ergänzungsband 5-11; G. Besson, La collection du Ps. Abdias. Un essai de dfinition à partir de l’tude des manuscrits: Apocrypha 11 2000 181- 194; M. Brossard-Dandr, La collection du Ps. Abdias. Approche narrative et cohrence interne: Apocrypha 11 2000 195-205; D. Alibert, Vision du monde et immaginaire dans quelques textes de la collection dite du Pseudo-Abdias: Apocrypha 11 2000 207-226; Ethiopian collection: E.A.W. Budge, The Contendings of Apostles, 1-2, London 2 1935 Amsterdam 1976. 3. Other apocrypha on the apostles. There are other apocryphal writings on the apostles, i.e., the letters of some of the apostles e.g., the famous letters of Paul and Seneca, the apocryphal letters of St. Paul, the letter of ps.-Titus, Epistula Apostolorum, and the Lives of the apostles, such as that of Epiphanius the Monk Life of Andrew and anonymous stories of John the Evangelist. Many writings are published under the name of an apostle or all of the apostles, such as the Protevangelium of James, the Apocalypses of Peter, the Epistula Apostolorum and a few Gospels of the Twelve or Gospels of the Apostles, either preserved in fragments or of which we know only the titles one of these texts is a modern falsification, see Starowieyski 11, 120; all of theses writings are more or less linked to an apostle. There are, moreover, the Sortes Apostolorum and Lusa Apostolorum condemned by the Ps.-Gelasian Decree 5, 6, 8f., but of them we know nothing more. II. Lists of the Apostles. Another group of writings on the apostles consists of various types of lists of the apostles. The most numerous are lists containing a brief biography of each apostle. The most important are those of ps.-Epiphanius, ps.- Hippolytus, ps.-Dorotheus Greek and the Breviarium Apostolorum Latin. The oldest work is that of ps.-Epiphanius 700750. In some lists, Paul comes after Peter and, to keep the number to Twelve, Matthias is excluded. The work of ps.- Isidore of Seville, De ortu et obitu Patrum, includes the lives of the apostles, and of the disciples of the Lord 6886. Some lists contain the etymologies of the apostle’s names, information on their places of birth, the names of their relatives, explanations of who was baptized and by whom, and definitions of faith proclaimed by them, e.g., some articles of the creed. Some are written in verse. Their large number in every language of the ancient world show their popularity. They are generally the products of the Late Antique and Byzantine eras, and their historical value is rather negligible. Poetic lists of the apostles can be found in the poets, e.g., Paulinus of Nola Carm. 19, PL 61, 513-515. BHG 150-160 1957 completed by the Auctarium 1969 and Novum Auctarium 1984; BHL 648-654 1898 completed by the Novum Supplementum 1986; T. Schermann, Prophetarum vitae fabulosae, indices Apostolorum, Leipzig 1907; F. Dolbeau: AB 104 1986 299-314; Id.: Revue d’histoire des textes 16 1986 83-139; Id.: AB 108 1990 51-70; Id.: Apocrypha 3 1992 259- 279 Lat.; Id.: Augustinianum 34 1994 91-107; M. van Esbroeck, Neuf listes d’Apôtres orientales: Augustinianum 34 1994 199-109; T. Schermann, Propheten und Apostellegenden, Leipzig 1907. III. Legal-liturgical and dogmatic texts of the Apostles. Another group of writings attributed to the name of the apostles are legal-liturgical and dogmatic texts, such as the Didache, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Didascalia Apostolorum, the Apostolic Canons and other texts, often very ancient, extremely important for the history of canon law and the liturgy. To this category can be added the Apostles’ Creed; in some versions the individual articles of faith are ascribed to the individual apostle. CPG 1, 1983, 1730-1743 bibl.. Creed: J. de Ghellinck, Histoire de symbole des Apôtres, in Id., Patristique et Moyen-Age, 1, Gembloux 1946; J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Creeds, Oxford 1950, 2 1972. A. Di Berardino, Letteratura canonica, penitenziale e liturgica, in Res christiana, temi interdisciplinari di paristica, ed. A. Quacquarelli, Rome 1999, 279ff. IV. Homilies on the Apostles. Although there is a significant number of homilies of the Fathers on the individual apostles, homilies on the apostles in general are rather rare in the patristic era: a text of Ephrem, some of ps.-John Chrysostom; others are from the Byzantine period, such as those of Gennadius II Georgios Scholarios d. after 1472 and in particular those of Nicetas of Paphlagonia d. after 910, who left a collection of homilies on all of the apostles. Of particular value are the lives of the apostles of Symeon Metaphrastes d. 982987 and the first chapters of book II of the Ecclesiastical History of Nicephorus Callistus d. 1335 ca.. A theological synthesis of the number Twelve is in Rabanus Maurus PL 107, 891. BHL, BHG, BHO, see above. V. The cult of the Apostles. In the early church the cult of the apostles was collective in character, because of the dignity of the mandate given them. The first church built in honor of the apostles, the Apostoleion at Constantinople, was the work of Constantine, later rebuilt by Justinian. The commemoration of the apostles was constituted at Rome under Byzantine influence. Churches in honor of the apostles were built in the 4th-5th c. at Milan, Lodi, Como, Aquileia, Concordia, Verona. Sts. Peter and Paul enjoyed special honor, and later Andrew. Feasts were later created in the Latin liturgy for Sts. James and Philip, St. John in Porta Latina and the other individual apostles. A.P. Frutaz, L’origine del culto liturgico degli Apostoli, Scuola Cattolica 1936, 213ff.; E. Vida, Il culto agli Apostoli nell’Italia settentrionale alla fine del IV sec., Ambrosius 1957, 245ff.; M. Righetti, Storia liturgica, 2, Milan 1969, 448-466. VI. Apostolic Fathers. Finally, from 1672, with the publication by J.B. Cotelier of Sanctorum Patrum, qui temporibus apostolicis floruerunt, the term Apostolic Fathers was used, indicating a group of the first Christian writers who lived in the first half of the 2nd c., or some anonymous writings of that period. All of this clearly shows the importance of the apostles in ancient and Byzantine Christianity. BS 2, 278-317; LCIK 1, 150-176; 5, 236-239; F.X. Pötzl, Die Mitarbeiter des Weltapostels Paulus, Regensburg 1911; F. Haase, Apostel und Evangelisten in den orientalischen Ãœbeliefrungen, Münster 1922; V.L. Kennedy, The Saints of the Canon of the Mass, Vatican City 1938; P.L. Spatling, De apostolicis, pseudoapostolicis, apostolinis. Dissertatio ad diversos vitae apostolicae conceptus saeculorum decursu elucidandos, Munich 1947; O. Hopham, Die Apostel, Luzern 1946; J. Blinzler, Die Brüder und Schwestern Jesu, Stuttgart 1967; W. Wiemer, Der Apostel und seine Mitarbeiter, Wuppertal 1987; P. Jounel, Le culte des Apôtres à Rome, in Saints et saintet dans la liturgie, ed. A. Triacca et al., Rome 1987, 167-187; Lgendier apostolique anglo-normand, ed. D.W. Russel, Montral-Paris 1989; J. Texidor, L’apôtre d’après la littrature syriaque: Apocrypha 1 1990 269-277; W. Schneemelcher, Apostolische Pseudepigraphen, in Schneemelcher 28-34; Id., Apostelgeschichten des 2. und 3. Jahrhunderts, in ibid. 2,71-81. Are There Apostles Today? – travelquaz


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