Gospel of Peter & Early Christian Apologetics: Rewriting the Story of Jesus’ Death, Burial & Resurrection

Timothy P. Henderson examines the apologetic and polemical characteristics of the Gospel of Peter and demonstrates that this early Christian text was composed by reworking material from the New Testament gospels. He suggests that the category of Second Temple Jewish writings known as “Rewritten Bible” provides the best analogy for understanding the literary relationship between the Gospel of Peter and the canonical texts.

An important feature of this study is its investigation of the ways in which certain criticisms and claims from those outside the Christian movement, including both Jews and Gentiles, played a formative role in the composition of the Gospel of Peter and led its author to alter details from previous accounts in an attempt to provide a more compelling demonstration of Christian claims. Henderson also surveys many parallels from other early Christian literature in order to establish more clearly the apologetic traits of this fascinating gospel.

Review & Commentary