The Apocalypse of Peter was a reasonably popular book in some Christian churches of the first three or four Christian centuries. It was not as massively influential as the four Gospels or the writings of Paul, but even so, a number of Christian individuals and churches saw it as a Scriptural text, written by Peter.
The book is first mentioned in the Muratorian Fragment, a late second century text written from Rome, which discusses the books that, in the anonymous author’s opinion, made up the Christian New Testament. The list, oddly, does not include James, 1 and 2 Peter, or 3 John, but it does include two apocalypses, the apocalypse of John (i.e., the book of Revelation) and the apocalypse of Peter. About the latter it says that some Christians do not think it should be read in church – i.e., that it was not to be accepted as part of the canon. But since he says that was the opinion of “some,” it appears that “most” did indeed accept it, as the author himself does. This is our earliest “canon list” of the New Testament, and it comes from the largest and most influential church in Christendom.
A few years later the Apocalypse of Peter is explicitly cited by the important and influential….
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