Acts of Timothy
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The Acts of Timothy (''Acta Timothei'') are a work of New Testament apocrypha, most likely from the 5th century, which are primarily concerned with portraying the apostle Timothy as the first bishop of Ephesus and describing his death during a violent pagan festival in the same town.
== History ==
For many years these Acts were known only through a Latin translation (BHL 8294) included in the second volume of the Acta Sanctorum in 1643.〔January 22, Vol. 2, p. 566; reprinted in Migne 1891, 5:1363-66. The listing for BHL 8294 appears in Bollandists 1901, 2:1200.〕 Photius, the learned patriarch of Constantinople, had read the Greek original and had given an account in his Bibliotheca (Codex 254).〔Henry 1959-1991.〕 Then in 1877 Hermann Usener edited the Greek original (BHG 1847), which had been located in Paris Codex Gr. 1219 (from the 11th or 12th century).〔Usener 1877, 7-13. As Crehan 1959, 37 n. 2. notes, "The Acta Timothei were published at Bonn ... in a Festive Programme for the birthday of the Kaiser (1877), a circumstance which meant that very little notice was taken of the publication. There are copies of the brochure in Oxford and Cambridge but there is none in London."〕
The Latin version attributes the Acts to Polycrates of Ephesus (c. 130-196); however, the Greek original has no such attestation, thus indicating that such an ascription of authorship was a later addition. Usener dated the Acts before 356, probably between 320 and 340, and thought they were based on a veritable history of the Ephesian church.〔Usener 1877, 36; Crehan 1959, 37-38.〕 Shortly after its publication Theodor Zahn raised several issues concerning Usener's dating. One problem was the statement in the Acts that Lystra was in the province (eparchy) of Lycaonia.〔Usener 1877, 8.11-12.〕 Zahn pointed out that Lycaonia was not a separate province until after c. 370.〔Zahn 1878, 98; Delehaye 1939, 79; Barnes 2010, 302.〕 Accordingly, most scholars put the time of composition no earlier than the fifth century.〔Barnes 2010, 302; Zahn 1909, 41; Lipsius 1884, 385; Klauck 2008, 248, has "late fourth or fifth century."〕 Another more recently observed problem is the two named proconsuls of Asia, Maximus and Peregrinus.〔Usener 1877, 8.17 and 13.69.〕 Barnes has demonstrated that both these individuals are fictitious.〔Barnes 2010, 300-303.〕 Thus, the trustworthiness of the Acts as a source for historical information is somewhat impaired.〔Zahn 1909, 41, goes so far as to describe it as "worthless."〕 Nevertheless, the author does display local knowledge of the topography and culture of Ephesus.〔Lipsius 1884, 384; Keil 1935; Crehan 1959, 38; Klauck 2008, 249.〕
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