Recensiones y presentaciÃ³n de libros 149
sodes, namely APTh and MP, transmitted separately? Last but not least, if one
accepts the alleged use of our text by Manicheans (pp. 687-88), it is necessary
to explain what was so attractive to their views in such an â€œorthodoxâ€ text.
The second text included in this splendid edition is the Acts of Thomas (AT).
According to the general consensus, AT has been transmitted â€œcompletelyâ€,
but such an assertion in the case of the apocryphal Acts of the Apostles is at
the very least confusing. Here we thus face the same problems as before: with
the exception of a couple of sections, and some isolated references against
marriage (see the references in the General introduction to the first vol. pp.
34-36), there is nothing in the text, as it exists today, that could explain the
uneasiness of orthodox commentators (see, however, A. Orbeâ€™s view, [Cris-
tologÃa gnÃ³stica I, 398ff]). In point of fact, the latter describe it as encratite
(Epiphanius, Pan. 2.47.1), as Manichean (Augustine, c.Faust. 17.2.5), or as
Priscillianist (Turribius, Epist.Id.Cep. 5). These opinions, together with the
textâ€™s general â€œBiblical tintâ€ (pp. 864-65), seem to be evidence for its early
revision (see, contra, A.F.J. Klijn, â€œEarly Syriac Christianity-Gnostic?â€, in U.
Bianchi [ed.], Le origini dello Gnosticismo [Leiden 1970] 577). As PiÃ±ero and
Del Cerro rightly point out (p. 863), the view that the text has been transmit-
ted in â€œits entiretyâ€ should be therefore taken cum grano salis.
As a matter of fact, as the authors â€“following Orbe (see pp. 875ff) rather
than Klijn (above)â€“ affirm, ATh probably had a clear Gnostic undercurrent.
In addition to the numerous Gnostic echoes in the text, there is the fact that
the Syriac revises the text with clear doctrinal intentions. Last but not least
we have two sections presenting doctrinal peculiarities such as â€œThe Song of
the Maiden of the Lightâ€ (cc. 6-7) and the so-called â€œHymn of the Pearlâ€ (cc.
108-113). With regard to the former, it describes how the Maiden of the Light
(= Sophia and/or the Gnostic soul) returns to the Pleroma after its earthly
sojourn. The Gnostic framework seems obvious, and was interpreted as such
both by Ephraem (Adv. haer. Hymn 55.5.7) and by Manicheans (see Manich.
Psalter). In spite of the authorsâ€™ consistent Gnostic interpretation of the Hymn
in several places (see p. 875-76; 881-82 and notes 31-52 to the text), the Gen-
eral Introduction (vol. I, 31) strikingly describes it, following the Syriac rather
than the Greek text, as an allegory of the wedding of Christ with the Church.
As far as the Hymn of the Pearl is concerned, the text is preserved in
two mss only, namely a Syriac ms and a Greek ms (Rom. Vallicel. B 35). The
translation follows the Greek text but is completed, according to the scholarly
consensus on the superiority of the Syriac (p. 1093, note 562), with additions
proceeding from the Syriac text and placed between square brackets.
There is no consensus concerning the interpretation of this portion of
Acta Thomae, however. Of the three proposed interpretations of the story
as â€œhomiletical appeal for conversionâ€, as a redeemer myth or as a Gnostic
myth (for these views, see J.K. Elliott, The Apocryphal New Testament, 441),
the authors retain only the last two in order to endorse (rightly, in my view)
the view that interprets it in Gnostic way (see, contra, G. Luttikhuizen, â€œThe
Hymn of Jude Thomas the Apostleâ€, in J.N. Bremmer [ed.], The Apocryphal
Acts of Thomas [Leuven 2001] 103-09). In the authorsâ€™ view, the Hymn should