Gospel of the Twelve Apostles

APOSTLES, GOSPEL OF THE TWELVE (see Apocryphal New Testament). First mentioned by Origen (In Luc. hom. 1), immediately after the Gospel of the Egyptians and before those of Basilides, Thomas and Matthias. Commenting on Luke 1:1 he remarks that the Church has four gospels only, heresy several. This with the context in which it appears, sufficiently indicates the heterodox character of the book. Origen’s testimony is echoed by several later writers, including Ambrose, Jerome and Bede. The document is commonly identified with the Gospel of the Ebionites, of which fragments are preserved by Epiphanius. If this identification is incorrect, we know nothing about the work.

The name is given also in various sources to a number of other works: (a) the Kukean Gospel of the Twelve, which may possibly be the Ebionite Gospel; (b) a Manichean document, otherwise unknown; (c) a late Syr. document published by J. Rendel Harris. The alleged Gospel of the Twelve published by Revillout is simply a collection of Coptic fragments. For details and lit., see NTAp. I. 263ff.

See also

  • [[Apocryphal Gospels

  • Apocryphal New Testament