Prayer of the Apostle Paul

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The Prayer of the Apostle Paul is a New Testament apocryphal work, the first manuscript from the Jung Codex (Codex I) of the Nag Hammadi Library. It seems to have been added to the codex after the longer tractates had been copied. Although the text, like the rest of the codices, is written in Coptic, the title is written in Greek, which was the original language of the text. The manuscript is missing approximately two lines at the beginning.[1]

This text is clearly pseudonymous and was not written by the historic Apostle Paul. It shows a distinctive Gnostic appeal unlike prayers in letters known to have come from Paul. Many scholars have dubbed it as a Valentinian work due to characteristic phrases such as the "psychic God"—this would indicate that it was composed between 150 and 300 AD; if it is not of Valentinian origin it could date from as early as 75.[2] Scholars have found parallels to many other works which may be partial sources, including Corpus Hermeticum, the Three Steles of Seth, the Gospel of Philip, and the authentic Pauline letters.


  1. ^ Mueller, Dieter, "The Prayer of the Apostle Paul (Introduction)", from The Nag Hammadi Library, James M. Robinson (ed.), p. 27
  2. ^ Hal Taussig, ed., A New New Testament, ISBN 978-0-547-79210-1, page 241.

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