Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Determining the intended readers of apocryphal writings is difficult, largely because of limitations of the surviving evidence. The positing of a ‘community’ behind each writing (via the application of so-called ‘mirror reading’) is dubious. It is more likely that the main apocryphal writings circulated among interested readers, and did not function as ‘scriptures’ of distinct groups of Christian believers. By surveying references to these texts in other early Christian writers as well as the extant physical evidence, which has been typically ignored (the manuscripts), the most likely conclusion is that various early Christians read these texts and for various reasons.

Keywords: Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Ebionites, Gospel of Mary, Acts of John, opisthograph, Acts of Peter, mirror reading, manuscripts

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.