|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
1. (v. t.) To disunite; to divide; to disconnect; to sever; to part in any manner.
2. (v. t.) To come between; to keep apart by occupying the space between; to lie between; as, the Mediterranean Sea separates Europe and Africa.
3. (v. t.) To set apart; to select from among others, as for a special use or service.
4. (v. i.) To part; to become disunited; to be disconnected; to withdraw from one another; as, the family separated.
5. (p. a.) Divided from another or others; disjoined; disconnected; separated; -- said of things once connected.
6. (p. a.) Unconnected; not united or associated; distinct; -- said of things that have not been connected.
7. (p. a.) Disunited from the body; disembodied; as, a separate spirit; the separate state of souls.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
APOCRYPHAL ACTS, THE SEPARATE ACTS
B. THE SEPARATE ACTS
The Apocryphal Acts dealt with in this article are the Leucian Acts mentioned by Photius in his Bibliotheca. As we now have them they have undergone revision in the interest of ecclesiastical orthodoxy, but in their original form they belonged to the 2nd century. It is impossible to say how much the Acts in their present form differ from that in which they originally appeared, but it is evident at many points that the orthodox revision which was meant to eliminate heretical elements was not by any means thorough. Passages which are distinctly Gnostic were preserved probably because the reviser did not understand their true meaning.
I. Acts of Paul.
1. Ecclesiastical Testimony:
Origen in two passages of his extant writings quotes the Acts of Paul with approval, and it was possibly due to his influence that these Acts were held in high regard in the East. In the Codex Claromontanus (3rd century), which is of eastern origin, the Acts of Paul are treated as a catholic writing and take rank with the Shepherd of Hermas and the Apocalypse of Peter. Eusebius, who utterly rejects "The Acts of Andrew, John and the rest of the apostles," puts the Acts of Paul in the lower class of debated writings alongside Hermas, Epistle of Barnabas, Didache, the Apocalypse of John, etc. (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 25.4). In the West, where Origen was viewed with suspicion, the Acts of Paul were apparently discredited, the only use of them as a reliable source being found in Hippolytus, the friend of Origen, who however does not mention them by name. (The reference by Hippolytus is found in his commentary on Daniel. He argues from Paul's conflict with the wild beasts to the credibility of the story of Daniel in the lions' den.)
Of the Acts of Paul only fragments remain. Little was known of them until in 1904 a translation from a badly preserved Coptic version was published by C. Schmidt, and the discovery was made that the well-known Acts of Paul and Thecla were in reality a part of the Acts of Paul. From the notes regarding the extent of the Acts given in the Cod. Claromontanus and in the Stichometry of Nicephorus we gather that the fragments amount to about one-fourth of the whole.
(1) Of these fragments the longest and the most important is the section which came to have a separate existence under the name The Acts of Paul and Thecla. When these were separated from the Acts of Paul we cannot tell, but this had happened before the time of the Gelasian Decree (496 A.D.), which without making mention of the Acts of Paul condemns as apocryphal the Acts of Paul and Thecla.
(a) An outline of the narrative is as follows: At Iconium, Thecla, a betrothed maiden, listened to the preaching of Paul on virginity and was so fascinated that she refused to have anything further to do with her lover. On account of his influence over her, Paul was brought before the proconsul and was cast into prison. There Thecla visited him with the result that both were brought to judgment. Paul was banished from the city and Thecla was condemned to be burned.
Having been miraculously delivered at the pile, Thecla went in search of Paul and when she had found him she accompanied him to Antioch. (There is confusion in the narrative of Antioch of Pisidia and Syrian Antioch.) In Antioch an influential citizen, Alexander by name, became enamored of her and openly embraced her on the street. Thecla, resenting the familiarity, pulled off the crown which Alexander wore and in consequence was condemned to fight with the wild beasts at the games. Until the day of the games Thecla was placed under the care of Queen Tryphaena, then living in Antioch. When Thecla was exposed in the amphitheater a lioness died in defending her against attack. In her peril Thecla cast herself into a tank containing seals and declared: "In the name of Jesus Christ I baptize myself on my last day." (It was with reference partly to this act of self-baptism that Tertullian gave the information about the authorship of these Acts: below 3.) When it was proposed to have Thecla torn asunder by maddened bulls Queen Tryphaena fainted, and through fear of what might happen the authorities released Thecla and handed her over to Tryphaena. Thecla once again sought Paul and having found him was commissioned by him to preach the Word of God.
This she did first at Iconium and then in Seleucia where she died. Various later additions described Thecla's end, and in one of them it is narrated that she went underground from Seleucia to Rome that she might be near Paul. Finding that Paul was dead she remained in Rome until her death.
(b) Although the Thecla story is a romance designed to secure apostolic authority for the ideal of virginity, it is probable that it had at least a slight foundation in actual fact. The existence of an influential Thecla-cult at Seleucia favors the view that Thecla was a historical person. Traditions regarding her association with Paul which clustered round the temple in Seleucia built in her honor may have provided the materials for the romance. In the story there are clear historical reminiscences. Tryphaena is a historical character whose existence is established by coins. She was the mother of King Polemon II of Pontus and a relative of the emperor Claudius. There are no grounds for doubting the information given us in the Acts that she was living at Antioch at the time of Paul's first visit. The Acts further reveal striking geographical accuracy in the mention of "the royal road" by which Paul is stated to have traveled from Lystra on his way to Iconium-a statement which is all the more remarkable because, while the road was in use in Paul's time for military reasons, it was given up as a regular route in the last quarter of the 1st century. In the Acts Paul is described as "a man small in stature, bald-headed, bow-legged, of noble demeanor, with meeting eyebrows and a somewhat prominent nose, full of grace. He appeared sometimes like a man, and at other times he had the face of an angel."
This description may quite well rest on reliable tradition. On the ground of the historical features in the story, Ramsay (The Church in the Roman Empire, 375) argued for the existence of a shorter version going back to the 1st century, but this view has not been generally accepted.
(c) The Acts of Paul and Thecla were very widely read and had a remarkable influence owing to the widespread reverence for Thecla, who had a high place among the saints as "the first female martyr." References to the Acts in the Church Fathers are comparatively few, but the romance had an extraordinary vogue among Christians both of the East and of the West. In particular, veneration for Thecla reached its highest point in Gaul, and in a poem entitled "The Banquet" (Caena) written by Cyprian, a poet of South-Gaul in the 5th century, Thecla stands on the same level as the great characters of Biblical history. The later Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena are entirely derived from the Acts of Paul and Thecla.
(2) Another important fragment of the Acts of Paul is that containing the so-called Third Epistle to the Corinthians. Paul is represented as being in prison at Philippi (not at the time of Acts 16:23, but at some later time). His incarceration was due to his influence over Stratonice, the wife of Apollophanes. The Corinthians who had been disturbed by two teachers of heresy sent a letter to Paul describing their pernicious doctrines, which were to the effect that the prophets had no authority, that God was not almighty, that there was no resurrection of the body, that man had not been made by God, that Christ had not come in the flesh or been born of Mary, and that the world was not the work of God but of angels. Paul was sorely distressed on receipt of this epistle and, "under much affliction," wrote an answer in which the popular Gnostic views of the false teachers are vehemently opposed. This letter which abounds in allusions to several of the Pauline epistles is chiefly remarkable from the fact that it found a place, along with the letter which called it forth, among canonical writings in the Syrian and Armenian churches after the second century. The correspondence was strangely enough believed to be genuine by Rinck who edited it in 1823. The original Greek version has not been preserved, but it exists in Coptic (not quite complete), in Armenian and in two Latin translations (both mutilated), besides being incorporated in Ephraem's commentary (in Armenian translation). The Syriac version has been lost.
(3) Besides the two portions of the Acts of Paul mentioned above there are others of less value, the Healing of a Dropsical Man at Myra by the apostle (a continuation of the Thecla-narrative), Paul's conflict with wild beasts at Ephesus (based on the misunderstanding of 1 Corinthians 15:32), two short citations by Origen, and a concluding section describing the apostle's martyrdom under Nero, to whom Paul appeared after his death. Clement of Alexandria quotes a passage (Strom., VI, 5, 42)-a fragment from the mission-preaching of Paul-which may have belonged to the Acts of Paul; and the same origin is possible for the account of Paul's speech in Athens given by John of Salisbury (circa 1156) in the Policraticus, IV, 3.
3. Authorship and Date:
From a passage in Tertullian (De Baptismo, chapter 17) we learn that the author of the Acts of Paul was "a presbyter of Asia, who wrote the book with the intention of increasing the dignity of Paul by additions of his own," and that "he was removed from office when, having been convicted, he confessed that he had done it out of love to Paul." This testimony of Tertullian is supported by the evidence of the writing itself which, as we have seen, shows in several details exact knowledge of the topography and local history of Asia Minor. A large number of the names occurring in these Acts are found in inscriptions of Smyrna, although it would be precarious on that ground to infer that the author belonged to that city. It is possible that he was a native of a town where Thecla enjoyed peculiar reverence and that the tradition of her association with Paul, the preacher of virginity, was the chief motive for his writing the book. Along with this was linked the motive to oppose the views of some Gnostics (the Bardesanites). The date of the Acts of Paul is the latter half of the second century, probably between 160 and 180 A.D.
4. Character and Tendency:
The Acts of Paul, though written to enhance the dignity of the apostle, clearly show that both in respect of intellectual equipment and in breadth of moral vision the author, with all his love for Paul, was no kindred spirit. The intellectual level of the Acts is low. There is throughout great poverty in conception; the same motif occurs without variation; and the defects of the author's imagination have their counterpart in a bare and inartistic diction. New Testament passages are frequently and freely quoted. The view which the author presents of Christianity is narrow and one-sided. Within its limits it is orthodox in sentiment; there is nothing to support the opinion of Lipsius that the work is a revision of a Gnostic writing. The frequent occurrence of supernatural events and the strict asceticism which characterize the Acts are no proof of Gnostic influence. The dogmatic is indeed anti-Gnostic, as we see in the correspondence with the Corinthians. "The Lord Jesus Christ was born of Mary, of the Seed of David, the Father having sent the Spirit from heaven into her."
The resurrection of the body is assured by Christ's resurrection from the dead. Resurrection, however, is only for those who believe in it-in this we have the one thought which betrays any originality on the part of the author: "they who say that there is no resurrection shall have no resurrection." With faith in the resurrection is associated the demand for strict sexual abstinence. Only they who are pure (i.e. who live in chastity) shall see God. "Ye have no part in the resurrection unless ye remain chaste and defile not the flesh." The gospel which the apostle preached was "the word regarding self-control and the resurrection." In the author's desire to secure authority for a prevalent form of Christianity, which demanded sexual abstinence as a condition of eternal life, we recognize the chief aim of the book. Paul is represented as the apostle of this popular conception, and his teaching is rendered attractive by the miraculous and supernatural elements which satisfied the crude taste of the time.
Books mentioned under "Literature" (p. 188); C. Schmidt, "Die Paulusakten" (Neue Jahrbucher, 217, 1897), Acta Pauli (1904); dealing with Acts of Paul and Thecla Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire (4th edition, 1895); Conybeare, The Apology and Acts of Apollonius. (1894); Cabrol, La legende de sainte Thecle (1895), Orr, The New Testament Apocrypha Writings (introd. translation, and notes, 1903). For further literature see Hennecke, Handbuch, etc., 358, Pick, Apocrypha Acts, 1, 8.
II. Acts of Peter.
A large portion (almost two-thirds) of the Acts of Peter is preserved in a Latin translation-the Actus Vercellenses, so named from the town of Vercelli in Piedmont, where the manuscript containing them lies in the chapter-library. A Coptic fragment discovered and published (1903) by C. Schmidt contains a narrative with the subscription Praxis Petrou (Act of Peter). Schmidt is of opinion that this fragment formed part of the work to which the Actus Vercellenses also belonged, but this is somewhat doubtful. The fragment deals with an incident in Peter's ministry at Jerusalem, while the Act. Vercell., which probably were meant to be a continuation of the canonical Acts, give an account of Peter's conflict with Simon Magus and of his martyrdom at Rome. References in ecclesiastical writers (Philastrius of Brescia, Isidore of Pelusium and Photius) make it practically certain that the Actus Vercellensus belong to the writing known as the Acts of Peter, which was condemned in the rescript of Innocent I (405 A.D.) and in the Gelasian Decree (496 A.D.).
(1) The Coptic Fragment contains the story of Peter's paralytic daughter. One Sunday while Peter was engaged in healing the sick a bystander asked him why he did not make his own daughter whole. To show that God was able to effect the cure through him, Peter made his daughter sound for a short time and then bade her return to her place and become as before. He explained that the affliction had been laid upon her to save her from defilement, as a rich man Ptolemy had been enamored of her and had desired to make her his wife. Ptolemy's grief at not receiving her had been such that he became blind. As the result of a vision he had come to Peter, had received his sight and had been converted, and when he died he had left a piece of land to Peter's daughter. This land Peter had sold and had given the proceeds to the poor. Augustine (Contra Adimantum, 17.5) makes a reference to this story but does not mention Acts of Peter. There are also two references to the incident in the Acts of Philip. In the later Acts of Nereus and Achilleus the story is given with considerable changes, the name of Peter's daughter, which is not mentioned in the fragment, being given as Petronilla.
(2) The contents of the Actus Vercellenses fall into three parts:
(a) The first three chapters which clearly are a continuation of some other narrative and would fitly join on to the canonical Acts tell of Paul's departure to Spain.
(b) The longest section of the Acts (4-32) gives an account of the conflict between Peter and Simon Magus at Rome. Paul had not been gone many days when Simon, who "claimed to be the great power of God," came to Rome and perverted many of the Christians. Christ appeared in a vision to Peter at Jerusalem and bade him sail at once for Italy. Arrived at Rome Peter confirmed the congregation, declaring that he came to establish faith in Christ not by words merely but by miraculous deeds and powers (allusion to 1 Corinthians 4:20 1 Thessalonians 1:5). On the entreaty of the brethren Peter went to seek out Simon in the house of one named Marcellus, whom the magician had seduced, and when Simon refused to see him, Peter unloosed a dog and bade it go and deliver his challenge. The result of this marvel was the repentance of Marcellus. A section follows describing the mending of a broken statue by sprinkling the pieces with water in the name of Jesus. Meantime the dog had given Simon a lecture and had pronounced on him the doom of unquenchable fire.
After reporting on its errand and speaking words of encouragement to Peter, the dog expired at the apostle's feet. A smoked fish is next made to swim. The faith of Marcellus waxed strong at the sight of the wonders which Peter wrought, and Simon was driven out of him house with every mark of contempt. Simon, enraged at this treatment, came to challenge Peter. An infant of seven months speaking in a manly voice denounced Simon and made him speechless until the next Sabbath day. Christ appeared in a vision of the night encouraging Peter, who when morning was come narrated to the congregation his triumph over Simon, "the angel of Satan," in Judea. Shortly afterward, in the house of Marcellus which had been "cleansed from every vestige of Simon," Peter unfolded the true understanding of the gospel. The adequacy of Christ to meet every kind of need is shown in a characteristic passage which reveals docetic traits: "He will comfort you that you may love Him, this Great and Small One, this Beautiful and Ugly One, this Youth and Old Man, appearing in time yet utterly invisible in eternity, whom a human hand has not grasped, who yet is now grasped by His servants, whom flesh had not seen and now sees," etc. Next in a wonderful blaze of heavenly light blind widows received their sight and declared the different forms in which Christ had appeared to them.
A vision of Marcellus is described in which the Lord appearing in the likeness of Peter struck down with a sword "the whole power of Simon," which had come in the form of an ugly Ethiopian woman, very black and clad in filthy rags. Then follows the conflict with Simon in the forum in presence of the senators and prefects. Words were first exchanged between the combatants; then from words it came to deeds, in which the power of Peter was signally exhibited as greater than Simon's in the raising of the dead. Simon was now discredited in Rome, and in a last attempt to recover his influence he declared that he would ascend to God Before the assembled crowd he flew up over the city, but in answer to Peter's prayer to Christ he fell down and broke his leg in three places. He was removed from Rome and after having his limb amputated died.
(c) The Actus Vercellenses close with an account of Peter's martyrdom (33-41) Peter had recurred the enmity of several influential citizens by persuading their wives to separate from them. Then follows the well-known "Quo vadis?" story. Peter being warned of the danger he was in fled from Rome; but meeting Christ and leaning that He was going to the city to be crucified again, Peter returned and was condemned to death. At the place of execution Peter expounded the mystery of the cross. He asked to be crucified head downward, and when this was done he explained in words betraying Gnostic influence why he had so desired it. After a prayer of a mystical nature Peter gave up the ghost. Nero was enraged that Peter should have been put to death without his knowledge, because he had meant to heap punishments upon him. Owing to a vision he was deterred from a rigorous persecution of the Christians. (The account of Peter's martyrdom is also found in the Greek original.)
It is plain from the account given of these Acts that they are entirely legendary in character. They have not the slightest value as records of the activity of Peter.
2. Historical Value:
They are in reality the creation of the ancient spirit which delighted in the marvelous and which conceived that the authority of Christianity rested on the ability of its representatives to surpass all others in their possession of supernatural power. The tradition that Simon Magus exercised a great influence in Rome and that a statue was erected to him (10) may have had some basis in fact. Justin Martyr (Apol, I, 26, 56) states that Simon on account of the wonderful deeds which he wrought in Rome was regarded as a god and had a statue set up in his honor. But grave doubts are thrown on the whole story by the inscription SEMONI SANCO DEO FIDIO SACRUM which was found on a stone pedestal at Rome in 1574. This refers to a Sabine deity Semo Sancus, and the misunderstanding of it may have led to Justin's statement and possibly was the origin of the whole legend of Simon's activity at Rome. The tradition that Peter died a martyr's death at Rome is early, but no reliance can be placed on the account of it given in the Acts of Peter.
3. Authorship and Date:
Nothing can be said with any certainty as to the authorship of the Acts of Peter. James (Apocrypha Anecdota, II) believes them to be from the same hand as the Acts of John, and in this he is supported by Zahn (Gesch. des New Testament Kanons, II, 861). But all that can definitely be said is that both these Acts had their origin in the same religious atmosphere. Both are at home on the soil of Asia Minor. Opinion is not unanimous on the question where the Acts of Peter were written, but a number of small details as well as the general character of the book point to an origin in Asia Minor rather than at Rome. There is no knowledge of Roman conditions, while on the other hand there are probable reminiscences of historical persons who lived in Asia Minor. The date is about the close of the 2nd century.
4. General Character:
The Acts of Peter were used by heretical sects and were subjected to ecclesiastical censure. That however does not necessarily imply a heretical origin. There are traces in them of a spirit which in later times was regarded as heretical, but they probably originated within the church in an environment strongly tinged by Gnostic ideas. We find the principle of Gnosticism in the stress that is laid on understanding the Lord (22). The Gnostic view that the Scripture required to be supplemented by a secret tradition committed to the apostles is reflected in several passages (20 in particular). At the time of their earthly fellowship with Christ the apostles were not able to understand the full revelation of God. Each saw only so far as he was able to see. Peter professes to communicate what he had received from the Lord "in a mystery." There are slight traces of the docetic heresy. The mystical words of Peter as he hung on the cross are suggestive of Gnostic influence (33). In these Acts we find the same negative attitude to creation and the same pronounced ascetic sprat as in the others. "The virgins of the Lord" are held in special honor (22). Water is used instead of wine at the Eucharist. Very characteristic of the Acts of Peter is the emphasis laid on the boundless mercy of God in Christ toward the backsliding (especially 7). This note frequently recurring is a welcome revelation of the presence of the true gospel-message in communities whose faith was allied with the grossest superstition.
Books mentioned under "Literature" (p. 188). In addition, Ficker, Die Petrusakten, Beitrage zu ihrem Verstandnis (1903); Harnack, "Patristische Miscellen" (TU, V, 3, 1900).
III. Acts of John.
According to the Stichometry of Nicephorus the Acts of John in their complete state formed a book about the same length as the Gospel of Matthew. A number of sections which show links of connection with one another are extant-about two-thirds of the whole. The beginning of the Acts is wanting, the existing narrative commencing at 18. What the contents of the earlier chapters were we cannot surmise. In Bonnet's reconstruction the first fourteen chapters deal with John's journey from Ephesus to Rome and his banishment to Patmos, while 15-17 describe John's return to Ephesus from Patmos. The sections given by Bonnet may contain material which belonged to the original Acts, but it is improbable that they stood at the beginning of the work, as it seems clear that the narrative commencing at 18 describes John's first visit to Ephesus. The first extant portion of the Acts (18-25) narrates that Lycomedes "the commander-in-chief of the Ephesians" met John as he drew near the city and besought him on behalf of his beautiful wife Cleopatra, who had become paralyzed.
When they came to the house the grief of Lycomedes was so great that he fell down lifeless. After prayer to Christ John made Cleopatra whole and afterward raised Lycomedes to life again. Prevailed upon by their entreaties John took up his abode with them. In 26-29 we have the incident of the picture of John which played so prominent a part in the discussion at the Second Council of Nicea. Lycomedes commissioned a friend to paint a picture of John and when it was completed he put it in bedroom with an altar before it and candlesticks beside it. John discovering why Lycomedes repaired so frequently to his room, taxed him with worshipping a heathen god and learned that the picture was one of himself. This he believed only when a mirror was brought that he might see himself. John charged Lycomedes to paint a picture of his soul and to use as colors faith in God, meekness, love, chastity, etc. As for the picture of his body it was the dead picture of a dead man.
Chapters 30-36 narrate the healing of infirm old women, and in theater where the miracles were wrought John gave an address on the vanity of all earthly things and on the destroying nature of fleshly passion. In 37-45 we read that in answer to the prayer of John the temple of Artemis fell to the ground, with the result that many people were won to the worship of Christ. The priest of Artemis who had been killed through the fall of the temple was raised to life again and became a Christian (46). After the narration of further wonders (one of them the driving of bugs out of a house) follows the longest incident of the Acts, the inexpressibly repulsive story of Drusiana (62-86), which was used as theme of a poem by the nun Hroswitha of Gandersheim (10th century). The following section gives a discourse of John on the life, death and ascension of Jesus (87-105) which is characterized by distinct docetic traits, a long passage dealing with Christ's appearance in many forms and with the peculiar nature of His body. In this section occurs the strange hymn used by the Priscillianists, which purports to be that which Jesus sang after supper in the upper room (Matthew 26:30), the disciples dancing round Him in a ring and responding with "Amen." Here too we find the mystic doctrine of the Cross revealed to John by Christ. Chapters 106-15 narrate the end of John. After addressing the brethren and dispensing the sacrament of the Lord's Supper with bread alone, John ordered a grave to be dug; and when this was done, he prayed, giving thanks that he had been delivered from "the filthy madness of the flesh" and asking a safe passage through the darkness and dangers of death. Whereupon he lay down quietly in the grave and gave up the ghost.
2. Historical Value:
The Acts of John, it need hardly be said, have not the slightest historical value. They are a tissue of legendary incidents which by their miraculous character served to insinuate into the popular mind the dogmatic conceptions and the ideal of life which the author entertained. The Acts however are in harmony with the well-founded tradition that Ephesus was the scene of John's later activity. Very remarkable is the account of the destruction of the Artemis-temple by John-a clear proof that the Acts were not written in Ephesus. The Ephesian temple of Artemis was destroyed by the Goths in 262 A.D.
3. General Character:
The Acts of John are the most clearly heretical of all the Acts. The docetic traits have already been referred to. The unreality of Christ's bodily existence is shown by the changing forms in which He appeared (88-90), by His ability to do without food (93) and without sleep ("I never at any time saw His eyes closing but only open," 89), by His leaving no footprint when He walked (93), by the varying character of His body when touched, now hard, now soft, now completely immaterial (89, 93) The crucifixion of Jesus, too, was entirely phantasmal (97, 99). The ascension followed immediately on the apparent crucifixion; there was no place for the resurrection of One who had never actually died. Gnostic features are further discernible in the disparagement of the Jewish Law (94), in the view which lays emphasis on a secret tradition committed by Christ to the apostles (96) and in the contempt for those who were not enlightened ("Care not for the many, and them that are outside the mystery despise," 100). The historical incidents of Christ's sufferings are sublimated into something altogether mystical (101); they are simply a symbol of human suffering, and the object of Christ's coming is represented as being to enable men to understand the true meaning of suffering and thus to be delivered from it (96). The real sufferings of Christ are those caused by His grief at the sins of His followers (106).
He is also a partaker in the sufferings of His faithful people, and indeed is present with them to be their support in every trial (103). The Acts of John also reveal a strong encratite tendency, although that is not so pronounced as in the Acts of Andrew and of Thomas. Nowhere however do we get a more horrifying glimpse into the depths of corrupt sexualism than in these Acts. The writing and circulation of the story of Drusiana cast a lurid light on the gross sensual elements which survived in early Hellenic Christianity. Apart from this there are passages which reveal a warm and true religious feeling and some of the prayers are marked by glow and unction (112). The Acts show that the author was a man of considerable literary ability; in this respect they form a striking contrast to the Acts of Paul.
4. Authorship and Date:
The author of the Acts of John represents himself as a companion of the apostle. He has participated in the events which he describes, and in consequence the narrative possesses a certain lively quality which gives it the appearance of actual history. The author according to testimony which goes back to the 4th century was Leucius, but nothing can with any certainty be said of him (see above A, VI). It is possible that in some part of the Acts which is lost the author mentioned his name The early date of the Acts is proved by a reference in Clement of Alexandria (circa 200) to the immaterial nature of Christ's body, the passage plainly indicating that Clement was acquainted with the Acts or had heard another speak of them (Hypotyposeis on 1 John 1:1). The probable date is between 150 and 180 and Asia Minor is the place of origin.
The Acts of John exerted a wide influence. They are in all probability the earliest of the Apocryphal Acts and those written later owe much to them. The Acts of Peter and of Andrew show so close affinities with the Acts of John that some have regarded them as being from the same hand; but if that be not so, there is much to be said for the literary dependence of the former on the latter. We are probably right in stating that the author of the Acts of John was the pioneer in this sphere of apostolic romance and that others eagerly followed in the way which he had opened up.
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sep'-a-rat: The translation of a number of Hebrew and Greek words, badhal (Leviticus 20:24, etc.), and aphorizo (Matthew 25:32, etc.), being the most common. "To separate" and "to consecrate" were originally not distinguished (e.g. Numbers 6:2 margin), and probably the majority of the uses of "separate" in English Versions of the Bible connote "to set apart for God." But precisely the same term that is used in this sense may also denote the exact opposite (e.g. the use of nazar in Ezekiel 14:7 and Zechariah 7:3).
See HOLINESS; NAZIRITE; SAINTS.
Separate (115 Occurrences)
Matthew 13:49 So will it be in the end of the world. The angels will come forth, and separate the wicked from among the righteous, (WEB WEY YLT RSV NIV)
Matthew 19:6 Thus they are no longer two, but 'one'! What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." (WEY DBY NAS NIV)
Matthew 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (WEB WEY DBY WBS NAS NIV)
Luke 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
John 20:7 and the cloth that had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself. (See NIV)
Acts 13:2 As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them." (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Corinthians 3:8 Now the planter and the waterer are working for the same end: but they will have their separate rewards in the measure of their work. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 7:10 But to the married I enjoin, not I, but the Lord, Let not wife be separated from husband; (Root in DBY YLT RSV NIV)
1 Corinthians 7:11 (but if also she shall have been separated, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband;) and let not husband leave wife. (Root in DBY YLT)
1 Corinthians 7:13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband--if he consents to live with her, let her not separate from him. (WEY)
1 Corinthians 7:15 And, if the unbelieving doth separate himself -- let him separate himself: the brother or the sister is not under servitude in such 'cases', and in peace hath God called us; (YLT RSV)
1 Corinthians 11:11 But the woman is not separate from the man, and the man is not separate from the woman in the Lord. (BBE)
1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and every one of you the separate parts of it. (BBE)
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore, "'Come out from among them, and be separate,' says the Lord.'Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Galatians 2:12 For before some people came from James, he ate with the Gentiles. But when they came, he drew back and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. (Root in WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS RSV NIV)
Ephesians 2:12 that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. (WEB ASV NAS RSV NIV)
Hebrews 7:26 For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Root in WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Jude 1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (KJV WBS)
Genesis 1:6 And God saith, 'Let an expanse be in the midst of the waters, and let it be separating between waters and waters.' (See NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 1:14 And God saith, 'Let luminaries be in the expanse of the heavens, to make a separation between the day and the night, then they have been for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years, (See NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 1:18 and to rule over day and over night, and to make a separation between the light and the darkness; and God seeth that 'it is' good; (See NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 10:25 And Eber had two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, because in his time the peoples of the earth became separate; and his brother's name was Joktan. (BBE)
Genesis 13:9 Isn't the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If you go to the left hand, then I will go to the right. Or if you go to the right hand, then I will go to the left." (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV)
Genesis 30:40 Jacob separated the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the streaked and all the black in the flock of Laban: and he put his own droves apart, and didn't put them into Laban's flock. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 49:26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Exodus 26:24 They shall be double beneath, and in like manner they shall be entire to its top to one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. (See RSV)
Exodus 26:33 You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil: and the veil shall separate the holy place from the most holy for you. (WEB ASV RSV NIV)
Exodus 33:16 For how would people know that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Isn't it in that you go with us, so that we are separated, I and your people, from all the people who are on the surface of the earth?" (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS)
Exodus 36:29 They were double beneath, and in like manner they were all the way to its top to one ring. He did thus to both of them in the two corners. (See RSV)
Leviticus 1:17 and he hath cleaved it with its wings (he doth not separate 'it'), and the priest hath made it a perfume on the altar, on the wood, which 'is' on the fire; it 'is' a burnt-offering, a fire-offering of sweet fragrance to Jehovah. (YLT)
Leviticus 5:8 and he hath brought them in unto the priest, and hath brought near that which 'is' for a sin-offering first, and hath wrung off its head from its neck, and doth not separate 'it', (YLT)
Leviticus 15:19 And if a woman has a flow of blood from her body, she will have to be kept separate for seven days, and anyone touching her will be unclean till evening. (BBE)
Leviticus 15:20 And everything on which she has been resting, while she is kept separate, will be unclean, and everything on which she has been seated will be unclean. (BBE)
Leviticus 15:31 "'Thus you shall separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness, so they will not die in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is in their midst.'" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 20:24 But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Leviticus 20:25 "'You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and you shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Leviticus 20:26 And you are to be holy to me; for I the Lord am holy and have made you separate from the nations, so that you may be my people. (BBE DBY YLT RSV)
Leviticus 22:2 "Tell Aaron and his sons to separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they make holy to me, and that they not profane my holy name. I am Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
Numbers 6:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them:'When either man or woman shall make a special vow, the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to Yahweh, (WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS YLT RSV)
Numbers 6:3 he shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of fermented drink, neither shall he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or dried. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Numbers 6:4 All the time he is separate he may take nothing made from the grape-vine, from its seeds to its skin. (BBE)
Numbers 6:5 "'All the days of his vow of separation there shall no razor come on his head, until the days are fulfilled, in which he separates himself to Yahweh. He shall be holy. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Numbers 6:6 "'All the days that he separates himself to Yahweh he shall not go near a dead body. (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE WBS YLT RSV)
Numbers 6:7 He may not make himself unclean for his father or his mother, his sister or his brother, if death comes to them; because he is under an oath to keep himself separate for God. (BBE)
Numbers 6:8 All the time he is separate he is holy to the Lord. (BBE)
Numbers 6:12 He shall separate to Yahweh the days of his separation, and shall bring a male lamb a year old for a trespass offering; but the former days shall be void, because his separation was defiled. (WEB ASV BBE YLT RSV)
Numbers 6:13 And this is the law for him who is separate, when the necessary days are ended: he is to come to the door of the Tent of meeting, (BBE)
Numbers 6:19 And the priest will take the cooked leg of the sheep and one unleavened cake and one thin cake out of the basket, and put them on the hands of the separate one after his hair has been cut, (BBE)
Numbers 6:21 This is the law for him who takes an oath to keep himself separate, and for his offering to the Lord on that account, in addition to what he may be able to get; this is the law of his oath, which he will have to keep. (BBE)
Numbers 8:14 Thus you shall separate the Levites from among the children of Israel, and the Levites shall be mine. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Numbers 16:9 Is it a small thing to you, that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do the service of the tabernacle of Yahweh, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them; (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 16:21 "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment!" (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 23:9 From the top of the rocks I see him, looking down on him from the hills: it is a people made separate, not to be numbered among the nations. (BBE)
Numbers 28:13 And a separate tenth part of the best meal mixed with oil for a meal offering for every lamb; for a burned offering of a sweet smell, an offering made by fire to the Lord. (BBE)
Numbers 28:21 And a separate tenth part for every one of the seven lambs; (BBE)
Numbers 28:29 And a separate tenth part for every one of the seven lambs; (BBE)
Numbers 29:4 And a separate tenth part for every one of the seven lambs; (BBE)
Numbers 29:10 A separate tenth part for every one of the seven lambs; (BBE)
Numbers 29:15 And a separate tenth part for every one of the fourteen lambs; (BBE)
Numbers 31:42 And from the half given to the children of Israel, which Moses had kept separate from that given to the fighting-men, (BBE NAS RSV)
Deuteronomy 19:2 Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it. (KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
Deuteronomy 19:7 Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee. (KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
Deuteronomy 29:21 And the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law: (KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
Deuteronomy 33:9 Who said of his father, Who is he? and of his mother, I have not seen her; he kept himself separate from his brothers and had no knowledge of his children: for they have given ear to your word and kept your agreement. (BBE)
Deuteronomy 33:16 for the precious things of the earth and its fullness, the good will of him who lived in the bush. Let the blessing come on the head of Joseph, On the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT)
Joshua 16:9 And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. (KJV JPS WBS YLT)
Judges 7:5 The number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was three hundred men; but all the rest of the people bowed down on their knees to drink water. (See NAS NIV)
Judges 13:5 For you are with child and will give birth to a son; his hair is never to be cut, for the child is to be separate to God from his birth; and he will take up the work of freeing Israel from the hands of the Philistines. (BBE)
Judges 13:7 But he said to me, You are with child and will give birth to a son; and now do not take any wine or strong drink or let anything unclean be your food; for the child will be separate to God from his birth to the day of his death. (BBE)
Judges 16:17 And opening all his heart to her, he said to her, My head has never been touched by a blade, for I have been separate to God from the day of my birth: if my hair is cut off, then my strength will go from me and I will become feeble, and will be like any other man. (BBE)
2 Samuel 14:6 Your handmaid had two sons, and they both fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him. (See NAS NIV)
1 Kings 5:9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you shall appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and you shall receive them. You shall accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household." (See NIV)
1 Kings 8:53 For you separated them from among all the peoples of the earth, to be your inheritance, as you spoke by Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, Lord Yahweh." (Root in WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
2 Kings 2:11 It happened, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. (Root in WEB YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Kings 15:5 Yahweh struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house. Jotham the king's son was over the household, judging the people of the land. (WEB ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Chronicles 23:13 The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses; and Aaron was separated, that he should sanctify the most holy things, he and his sons, forever, to burn incense before Yahweh, to minister to him, and to bless in his name, forever. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT)
1 Chronicles 25:1 Moreover David and the captains of the host separated to the service of the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: and the number of the workmen according to their service was: (Root in KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
2 Chronicles 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land. (WEB ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 8:24 Then I separated twelve of the chief of the priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and ten of their brethren with them, (Root in KJV JPS DBY WBS YLT)
Ezra 9:1 Now when these things were done, the princes drew near to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezra 10:11 Now therefore make confession to Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and do his pleasure; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the foreign women. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 9:2 The seed of Israel separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 10:28 The rest of the people, the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge, and understanding; (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Nehemiah 13:3 It came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Job 4:11 An old lion is perishing without prey, And the whelps of the lioness do separate. (YLT)
Psalms 17:7 Separate wonderfully Thy kindness, O Saviour of the confiding, By Thy right hand, from withstanders. (YLT)
Psalms 22:7 All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips. They shake their heads, saying, (See NAS)
Psalms 92:9 For, lo, Thine enemies, O Jehovah, For, lo, Thine enemies, do perish, Separate themselves do all workers of iniquity. (YLT)
Proverbs 18:1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom. (Root in KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Isaiah 56:3 Neither let the foreigner, who has joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, "Yahweh will surely separate me from his people;" neither let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 66:17 As for those who keep themselves separate, and make themselves clean in the gardens, going after one in the middle, taking pig's flesh for food, and other disgusting things, such as the mouse: their works and their thoughts will come to an end together, says the Lord. (BBE)
Jeremiah 12:3 And Thou, O Jehovah, Thou hast known me, Thou seest me, and hast tried my heart with Thee, Draw them away as sheep to slaughter, And separate them for a day of slaughter. (YLT)
Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore thus saith the LORD, If thou shalt return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou shalt separate the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth: let them return to thee; but return not thou to them. (WBS)
Jeremiah 37:12 Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people. (KJV WBS)
Ezekiel 1:11 Their faces and their wings were separate above; two wings of each one were joined one to another, and two covered their bodies. (WEB ASV BBE YLT)
Ezekiel 36:17 Son of man, when the children of Israel were living in their land, they made it unclean by their way and their acts: their way before me was as when a woman is unclean at the time when she is kept separate. (BBE YLT)