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THE GOSPEL OF PETER

The Gospel of Peter dates from the Second Century (page 17, The Newly Recovered Gospel of St Peter). The Bishop of Antioch wrote a bit about it in 180 AD (page 390, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail). The Gospel betrays a fragmented knowledge of the New Testament Gospels which shows that even when the Church began to issue the historical parts of the gospels she still did a lot of censoring.

The author made the mistake of saying that Joseph asked for Jesus’ body to bury him even before Jesus was crowned with thorns contradicting Mark. The author has the absurdity of Joseph asking Pilate and Pilate asking Herod for permission to release the body. The gospel says that Jesus was totally silent on the cross and seemed to be in no pain. And Jesus yelled that his power had deserted him and then died. And the Jews were said to have allowed Joseph to take his dead body and he washed him (proving that the shroud of Turin was not known). The gospel says that Jesus was buried in Joseph’s Garden and that the Jews repented their sin in killing Jesus. The elders of the Jews allegedly went to Pilate for guards at the tomb and they rolled a huge stone across the door of the tomb and on Sunday morning they saw the tomb open by itself after two glowing men came down from Heaven and they saw three men leaving the tomb and the middle man was taller than the other two flanking him and a talking cross followed behind.
They went off to Pilate who told them to say nothing. The rest is about Magdalene finding the empty tomb but no visions of Jesus are mentioned and the rest of the text is lost.

The Peter gospel contradicts the four in several matters. The four deny that Jesus was silent on the cross or that he said he lost his power or that he was seen rising.
 
The Peter gospel incorporates ancient traditions and some contemporary ones. The primitive Church would have believed that Jesus lost his power for it was confused about the unexpected death. The silence on the cross does not mean that Jesus felt no pain but matches the earliest tradition reflected in Mark that Jesus said nothing on the cross. Later writers would have preferred Jesus to say something.
 
Jesus being seen rising according to the Peter account was a new idea for after the resurrection story would be well-known people would want to know if it was seen happening and would not be content if there were no witnesses. It arose after the four gospels were written for even they did not go that far. Fables get more bizarre in the telling. There was no reason for the author to contradict any New Testament gospel. He wanted it to match them in popularity and so he would have expanded one of them with his own vision.
 
It is interesting that the closeness of Pilate and Joseph and Joseph owning the crucifixion site mentioned in the gospel would if true, mean that a hoax was likely.
 
It is interesting that the Peter gospel says that the soldiers said nothing about what happened at the tomb and became sincere believers which would be an earlier tradition than Matthew’s that they said that the disciples stole the body because they were bribed to say it. The bribe is not mentioned in Peter. Peter's tradition is earlier than the Matthew one because it is simpler and more believable for saying nothing does no harm where lies or truth would.