Introduction, Texts and Translations
Many stories and legends about John the son of Zebedee have survived from antiquity. He was known as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, as the “Beloved Disciple” and author of the Gospel of John, and even as the recipient of the divine revelation in the Apocalypse. Later traditions, such as the Greek Acts of John, told of how John traveled to Ephesus and converted people to Christianity. John was an important figure to Catholic Christians, to Gnostic Christians, and to Manichaeans. He also found a distinct place among Syriac Christians who preserved their own story about John’s acts in Ephesus. William Wright first introduced the History of John in 1871 using two manuscript witnesses. Since then, more witnesses have been discovered, but little work has been done on this native Syriac apocryphon. The present volume brings together all of the known Syriac witnesses to the History of John with a new translation and includes, for the first time, a critical discussion of the history, provenance, and importance of this text for the study of Syriac Christianity and Christian Apocrypha more generally.