I return now to the thread I had been working on before devoting the last few posts to the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke.  If you recall, some time ago I indicated that I had become a bit obsessed with a rather interesting if largely unasked question, of why the Apocalypse of Peter did not make it into the New Testament but the book of 2 Peter did.

When I started on that thread, I thought it would take three or four posts, but as I got into it I realized that more and more background information was needed – and it turned into a rather longish thread, not only about what the Apocalypse of Peter is about (the first Christian account we have of a guided tour of heaven and hell, given to the apostle Peter himself, where he sees the glories of heaven for the saints and, in far more graphic detail, the torments of hell for the sinners) – but also about how we got the New Testament at all, that is, how, when, and why certain books were chosen to be included and others not.   There is a lot more to be said about the process of canon, but I’ve said enough for now for this thread.

Throughout the thread I’ve been dancing around the central question it started with because even to begin answering it requires all sorts of background information.   Now I want to start addressing it head on.   Here’s the issue at heart:

  1. There are a lot of books from early Christianity that claim to be written by Jesus’ closest disciple, Simon Peter: 1 Peter, 2 Peter, the Gospel of Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Preaching of Peter, the Letter of Peter to James, and so on.The rest of this post is for blog members only.  If you don’t belong yet, there are still eight shopping days before Christmas.  Treat yourself!  Your entire membership fee goes to charity, so why not?