The Syriac Pseudo-Clementines. An Early Version of the First Christian Novel Translated into English by F. Stanley JONES

Couverture - Collection de poche - volume 14

La collection de poche de l’AELAC s’est enrichie d’un nouveau volume, le premier en anglais. 

Of imperial family and eventually Peter’s heir as bishop of Rome, Clement relates here how he happened to become a Christian and how Peter instructed his companions as he refutes the arch-heretic Simon Magus in a series of debates. Clement also recounts the astonishing recovery of his long-lost family. All these events occur in the year of Christ’s death.
The Pseudo-Clementines were popular reading throughout the Middle Ages in a Latin translation and reemerged in early modern times via vernacular versions and especially the Faust-legend. Often considered the first and only ancient Christian novel, the Pseudo-Clementines originated in Syrian Jewish-Christianity in the early third century. Two ancient Syriac translations from the fourth century reflect Greek texts no longer preserved; they contain the essence of Clement’s biographical account and of Peter’s teachings and debates with Simon. Of particular interest is Peter’s detailed review of the origins of Christianity, which apparently seeks to rebut the canonical Acts of the Apostles and lays the blame for the unbelief of the Jews squarely at the feet of Paul.
This volume presents the first complete translation of the Syriac into any modern language and thereby opens the door for a new stage of historical research and literary appreciation.