Saturday, 11 April 2015

Michel-Yves Perrin: Early Christian apocrypha between epigraphy and paleography: The example of The Sunday Letter

Habent libelli fata sua! This is particularly true for early Christian apocrypha. If they were most commonly written and transmitted on papyrus, parchment, or paper, we know that they can also be found, although much more infrequently, on other materials, such as stone. It suffices to mention the famous case of Abgar's correspondence with Jesus in its several surviving examples.
Another apocryphal writing, the famous "Letter descended from Heaven on Sunday," along with an all too little known epigraphical mention of it, will be the matter of my reflection. I would propose to introduce into the extremely rich file of testimonies to this Letter, a document which, to my knowledge, up to now, has never been mentioned in the literature specifically concerned with The Letter on Sunday. I will also discuss an equally little known manuscript testimony to this apocryphal text. These two documents are the most ancient testimonies that have been conserved up to this day.

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