"Scriptural" Quotations from Pseudo-Titus

collected by Debra Bucher (RelSt 735, October 2002)

I. Possible quotations from Apocalypse of Elijah (there are others that I haven't listed)

Pollicitatio, quam ore suo dominus promisit sanctis et inmaculatis daturum se,
eis quod non viderunt oculis, nec aures audierunt, nec in cor hominis ascendit,
et erit in aeternis aeternorum genus inconparabilis et [in]conspicibilis. (line 3ff)

"Great and honourable is the divine promise which the Lord has made with his own mouth to them that are holy and pure: He will bestow upon them what eyes have not seen nor ears heard, nor has it entered into any human heart. And from eternity to eternity there will be a race incomparable and incomprehensible."


1. 1 Cor 2:9


Latin: sed sicut scriptum est
quod oculus non vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascendit quae praeparavit Deus his qui diligunt illum (Vulgate, from UnBound Bible, http://unbound.biola.edu/)

[are there Old Latin versions?]

English: "But, as it is written:
'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him'"... (NRSV)

Origen, Comm.in Mt. XXVII 3-10 traces this quotation to the Apocalypse of Elijah. However, Jerome (Epistle 101 and Commentary on Isaiah, vol. 17) "did not deny that the quotation was to be found in the Apocalypse of Elijah, but he denies that Paul was dependent on an apocryphal work. The relevant point, however, is that the ancients were familiar with an Apocalypse of Elijah that spoke of things 'which the eye has not seen nor the ear heard.' No such phrase is to found in our apocalypse." (OTP, vol. 1, "Apocalypse of Elijah," p.728).

2. Resch, Agrapha, 1st ed., pp.102, 154-167, 281; Agrapha, 2nd ed., pp.25-29; 110-11

3. Martyrium Petri (c.10; cf. Aa I,98; NTA II.316)


English: [Peter speaking] "...you shall obtain those things of which he [Jesus Christ] says to you,
'What eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered the heart of man.'"

4. Gospel of Thomas, logion 17: Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind."

5. Manichaean Turfan fragment M 789 (see NTA II, p.403)

6. Clement of Alexandria (Protr. 10.94)

English: What glory, tell me, O blessed One, which "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man;" and "they shall be glad in the kingdom of their Lord for ever and ever! Amen."

Evidence for Apocalypse of Elijah:
From Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05381b.htm) "The old stichometrical lists and ancient ecclesiastical writings (Const.Apost., VI, 16; Origen, Comm. in Matth., xxvii, 9; Euthalius; Epiphan.,
Haer., xliii) mention an apocryphal "Apocalypse of Elijah", citations from which are said to be found in I Cor. ii, 9, and Eph., v, 14. Lost to view since the early Christian centuries, this work was partly recovered in a Coptic translation found (1893) by Maspero in a monastery of Upper Egypt. Other scraps, likewise in Coptic, have since been also discovered. What we possess now of this Apocalypse -- and it seems that we have by far the greater part of it -- was published in 1899 by G. Steindorff; the passages cited in I Cor., ii, 9, and Eph., v, 14, do not appear there; the Apocalypse on the other hand, has a striking analogy with the Jewish "Sepher Elia"."

II. Acts of Peter

From Pseudo-Titus:
Praesentis scripturae intueri [=intuere] et proba[t] tibi gesta:
Cum hortulanus quidam habuerit filiam virginem, quae cum una esset patri, petit orari pro illa a[d] Petro; qui cum petierit, apostulus rursus ei dicit praestiturum [praestura Ms.] dominum quod aptum essit animae eius. Statim puella iacuit mortuased ille sense diffidus et nesciens quantum sit caelestis [et] gratia, ignorat scilicet beneficia divina, rogavit Petrum suscitari sibi unicam filiam. Ut autem suscitaretur, non post multos denique dies, sicut hodie, inditque puellam, et ambo nusquam conparuerent.

Consider and take note of the happening about which the following account informs us:
A peasant had a girl who was a virgin. She was also his only daughter, and therefore he besought Peter to offer a prayer for her. After he had prayed, the apostle said to the father that the Lord would bestow upon her what was expedient for her soul. Immediately the girl fell down deadBut this distrustful old man, failing to recognize the worth of the heavenly grace, i.e. the divine blessing, besought Peter again that his only daughter be raised from the dead. And some days later, after she had been raised, a man who passed himself off as a believer came into the house of the old man to stay with him, and seduced the girl, and the two of them never appeared again.


A. The story is not found in the Actus Petri Vercellenses

B. Augustine (c. Adimantum 17.5): "They show great blindness in condemning this since, among the apocrypha, they read and treat as a important work the one which I have mentioned about the apostle Thomas
and about the daughter of Peter himself who became paralysed through the prayers of her father,
and about the gardener's daughter who died at the prayer of the said Peter;
and they reply that this was expedient for them, that the one should be crippled with paralysis and the other die; nevertheless they do not deny that this was done at the prayers of the apostle."

The scholarly discussion hinges on whether or not this story in Pseudo-Titus is part of the "surviving contents" of the "Acts of Peter." Schneemelcher and C. Schmidt believe that Augustine was quoting from the same work, and therefore, Pseudo-Titus also knows about the "Acts" of Peter (and not just an individual story, or even another group of stories).

//to be continued//