Leucius Charinus

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The Acts of the Apostles
a collection of
apocryphal stories of the Apostles

The name Leucius Charinus (Greek spelling Λευκιος Χαρινος) appears several times in various ancient scripts. He is mentioned primarily as the author of the Acts of John , but is also considered by some of the ancient authors to be the author of the other four apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, which are collectively known as the Manichaean Acts of the Apostles .

According to Photius (bibl. Cod. 114), the Acts of the Apostles are a text corpus of five apocryphal writings ascribed to Leucius, consisting of the Acts of St. Andrew , Acts of John , Acts of Paul , Acts of Peter and Acts of Thomas . Also writes Augustine and Euodius of uzalis about this collection of Leucius. However, these five writings do not go back to a single author, but each have different authors and were subsequently attributed this.

Epiphanios of Salamis writes in Haereses 47: 1 that Charinus was a man from the environment of the apostle John, who, together with John, had taken action against heresy before the Gospel of John was written. However, Theodor Zahn shows that this information comes from the Acts of John, which Epiphanius viewed as a historical source and used uncritically. Unfortunately, the original introduction to the Acts of John and thus the declaration of the discipleship and authorship of Leucius has not been preserved, but several sources report independently on this attribution. Zahn remarks that the alleged pupil of John is nowhere mentioned before the Constantinian turning point .

Pseudo- Melito von Sardis reports that Leucius was a pupil of the apostles, especially of John , who is said to have had contact with the apostles, but who went astray. Leucius reported a lot about the apostles, but attributed false teachings to them. The name was later discredited because it is considered a source of information for the Manicheans.

The Descent into Hell tells of the aged Simeon , Jesus as a boy in his arms took. According to this script, Simeon had two sons named Karinus and Leucius in the Latin versions, which is probably due to Leucius Charinus.

In the prologue of text version A, the pseudo-Matthew Gospel names a Manichaean Leucius, whose pupil "presented the Acts of the Apostles in a falsified manner".

According to the Real Encyclopedia for Protestant Theology and Church (published 1896–1909), Leucius belonged to the school of Valentin , so would have been a Gnostic . As far as we know today, this corpus of writings is clearly a collection from Manichaean circles. The earliest evidence gives no reliable historical information about the person other than the alleged student relationship with John, the possible authorship of the acts of John and the connection to Manichaeism. Thus, today Leucius Charinus is considered to be the pseudonym of the anonymous writer who wrote the Acts of John, whose name was later carried over to the entire collection of the Manichaean Acts of the Apostles.


Individual evidence

  1. Schneemelcher II, p. 81.
  2. Augustinus contra Felicem Manichaeum 2, 6. Schneemelcher II, p. 94.
  3. ^ Zahn, Acta Joannis, preface p. LXIVf.
  4. "If he had been an ecclesiastical celebrity independent of this writing, hardly any trace of his name could be missing in the pre-Constantine church literature." Zahn, S. LXVI.
  5. Schneemelcher II, p. 92.
  6. Schneemelcher I, p. 414 and 419, Markschies 1,1 p. 257.
  7. Markschies 1,2 p. 988.
  8. RE 9, 275.25.