“Others” or “Other Apostles”: Steve Johnston’s objections to Rordorf

April 5, 2012

In his 2003 master’s thesis at Laval University, under the direction of Paul-Hubert Poirier, Steve Johnston discusses the text of 3 Cor provided by Willy Rordorf, at the end of his article, “Héresie et orthodoxie selon la Correspondance apocryphe entre les Corinthiens et l’apôtre Paul”, in Orthodoxie et hérésie dans l’Eglise ancienne, Cahiers de la Revue de Théologie et de Philosophie 17:60-63.

Johnston writes as follows (p. 161, n. 45):

The explanation, if I’m not mistaken, is that the text that Rordorf provides in his 1993 article is a preview of his forthcoming  edition of the Acts of Paul which will appear in the CChrSA (Brepols).  Thus, Rordorf will provide an edition of the 3 Cor only as it was integrated into the Acts of Paul.  Bodmer X provides what is believed to be the independent Greek text of the 3 Cor which evidently predated the Acts of Paul.  Every text which stems from the Acts of Paul, starting with the Heidelberg Coptic Papyrus, has the words “other apostles”.

By the way, if Steve Johnston himself happens upon this blog post, it would be great for him to contact me.


Thematic parallels between Acts of Paul IX, 13 and 1 Corinthians 8.1-6

March 14, 2012

One of the strongest affirmations of the divinity of Christ occurs in Greek Hamburg Papyrus (IX, 13): εἷς Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἄλλος οὐκ ὑπάρχει· This sentence resembles 1 Cor 8.6: ἀλλ’ ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατὴρ ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν, καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστὸς δι’ οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι’ αὐτοῦ. AP IX, 13 shares three common themes with 1 Cor 8.1-6: These are: (1) A polemic against idolatry: both argue that idols represent false gods: The Acts of Paul says they are empty; 1 Cor argues that they have no real existence. (2) Both raise the language of the Shema, in order to affirm what R. Bauckham calls Christological monotheism. The Lord Jesus Christ is the one Lord of the Shema and affirmed thus as the one eternal Creator. (3) Both texts affirm creation theology–that God created the heavens and the earth and humanity.

1 Cor 8.1-6 (RSV); Acts of Paul IX, 13, my translation (italics are restored from Coptic Bodmer XLI.

A verbal comparison of Galatians 1.11-17, Philippians 1.27, and Acts of Paul IX, 5-6 (Paul’s conversion)

March 6, 2012

The Acts of Paul seems to base the story of Paul’s conversion upon Galatians 1.11-17. A verbal comparison of the English helps us to see clearly possible influence.

The translation of the AP from Coptic is mine. Biblical passages are from the RSV.

The best way to cite the Acts of Paul

November 11, 2011

Some have experienced the situation when reading the Bible that someone asks where to find a particular passage, and someone else will volunteer, “That’s on page 1123.”  This is an absurdity, and often just a little joke, because most experienced Bible readers know that many versions, editions, and prints of the same editions differ in their pagination, and that it is proper when citing the Bible to use the primary sources reference, i.e., a convention of chapter and verse which is mostly the same in every modern edition and translation.

Violations of this principle of properly citing primary sources can cause confusion and consternation.   If for example a scholar cites an English edition by page number instead of the primary source reference. It implies two unfortunate failures: (1) that the writer does not know the correct manner to cite primary sources; (2) that the scholar is unacquainted with the original text but depends wholly on a translation.

The question remains as to how to go about citing the Acts of Paul, since so many MS discoveries have increased our knowledge of the whole, adding new chapters as our knowledge increases.  The answer, for now, is to consult Willy Rordorf (Greek), Pierre Cherix (Coptic) and Rudolphe Kasser (Coptic of Bodmer XLIX)“Actes de Paul”, in François Bovon and Pierre Geoltrain, eds., Écrits apocryphes chrétiens (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade,  Saint Herblain: Gallimard, 1997).  Rordorf divides the Acts of Paul into 14 acts.  These are indicated by Roman numeral followed by a comma, and then the paragraph (e.g., III, 3 = Acts of Paul and Thecla 3; Acts of Paul IX, 10 = Ephesian episode, 10 paragraph).  Now this may seem arbitrary.  Why not use the numeration in Schneemelcher or Elliot?  The answer is that Rordorf et al. are preparing a text of the Acts of Paul for CChrSA (Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum, Brepols) and it will be the most complete and up-to-date text of all the available evidence.  This edition has been long in coming but should imminently see the light of day.  It is thus better to use this system, to which translations will eventually conform, than to use older translations like Schneemelcher, which are already out of date the moment “Actes de Paul” (in E.A.C. vol 1) was published in 1997.

Here is a complete list of episodes and their chief witnesses:

  • I. Damascus: John Rylands Vellum
  • II.Antioch (of Syria?) – Coptic Heidelberg Papyrus (PHeid)
  • III. Iconium – PHeid, Greek miniscules
  • IV. Antioch (of Pisidia?) – PHeid, Greek miniscules
  • V. Myra – PHeid
  • VI. Sidon – PHeid
  • VII. Tyre – PHeid
  • VIII. Jerusalem (?) – PHeid (Smyrna is also probable, cf. Life of Polycarp, in Lightfoot part 2, vol. 3
  • IX. Ephesus – Hamburg Papyrus bil. 1 (PHamb); Coptic Bodmer Papyrus XLI
  • X. Philippi (3 Corinthians) PHeid
  • XI. Philippi – PHeid
  • XII. Corinth – PHamb, PHeid
  • XIII. Voyage to Italy – PHamb, other papyri, PHeid
  • XIV. Martyrdom of Paul – PHamb, PHeid, miniscules, Coptic

Artemilla and the New Roman Woman

September 9, 2011

In AP IX, 17, Artemilla, the wife of Jerome, the Roman ἀνθύπατος in Ephesus, goes to see the prisoner Paul, who is condemned to die in the beast fight on the following morning.  She has put on somber clothing in preparation to see him.  Then, when Paul sees her he says (my trans.):

Woman, ruler of this world, mistress of much gold, citizen of much luxury, woman who brags of her apparel, sit upon the floor and forget your riches and your beauty and your boasts in your earthly status.  For these things profit you nothing, except you beg God, who considers crap what is formidable here but who freely gives what is marvelous there.  Gold perishes, riches are consumed, clothes become tattered, beauty becomes old, great cities are replaced and the world will be destroyed in fire because of the lawlessness of humanity.  Only God remains, as well as the adoption given through him, in whom it is necessary to be saved.  And now Artemilla, hope in God and he will rescue you.  Hope in Christ and he will grant forgiveness of sins and place upon you a crown suitable for freedom, so that you serve no longer idols with the smoke of fat offerings, but the living God and Father of Christ, whose is the glory forever and ever. Amen.

I have written in previous posts about the manner in which liberal interpreters are no more careful than evangelical apologists in their treatment of Christian apocryphal literature, and the interpretation of Artemilla’s conversion is no exception.  By many liberal interpreters, most notably Stevan L. Davies, Virginia Burrus and Dennis R. MacDonald, Artemilla is an example of a married woman who embrace chastity as means to autonomy and freedom from the patriarchal system.  Thus, they apply the sentiments and world view of modern feminism to the text, and they see Artemilla as a woman who seeks woman’s liberation.

Yet Paul, in his discourse to Artemilla, does not see her as a woman who is oppressed by patriarchy and marriage, but rather, as a member of the ruling class whose wealth bestows upon her a status of privilege.  But all the wealth upon which her status rests  is temporary and will burn in the eschatological fire, according to the beast fighter.  She must repent and embrace instead freedom in God and adoption into his family.  Only then, will she be able to experience salvation.

The preaching of an encratite gospel, a decision for sexual continence, and a refusal by Artemilla to sleep with her husband are all completely lacking in this text.  It is a complete misreading to see it as a chastity story (Burrus) or as written by women who have renounced sexual relations (Davies).  Rather, the text becomes more coherent in the light of studies like The New Roman Women by Bruce W. Winter, which demonstrates how women like Artemilla already experienced a large measure of freedom and autonomy, for their privileged status made it possible to dominate their domus, their slaves, their lovers, and at times, even their own husbands, while showing too little respect for the Roman laws and the customs that dictated propriety.

An example of the liberal use of Christian apocryphal literature

September 6, 2011

As mentioned in the last post, Tony Chartrand-Burke, Prof. at York University, has panned the treatment of Christian Apocryphal literature by the evangelical scholars, who have written with apologetic motives. While agreeing with him in part, I mentioned in passing that evangelicals who have been stung by such criticism should take heart.  I wrote: “It is not as if liberal scholars, who are not specialists, are any more accurate in their treatment of Christian apocryphal literature.”

One such example is the funny little book by Stevan L. Davies, The Revolt of the Widows: The Social World of the Apocryphal Acts (1980), Professor of Religious Studies at Misericordia University.    As a doctoral student I borrowed the book from one of my professors.  I spilt coffee on it one day, and upon returning the book I confessed my misdeed and offered to pay for a new copy; my prof responded with a wink, “Don’t worry about it.   After all, it is not a very good book, is it?”

Chief among  Davies’ faults is his assumption of a single coherent community behind the five major Apocryphal Acts (Peter, Paul, John, Andrew and Thomas).  It is widely acknowledge that this is a methodological faux pas.*

*See in this regard, Jean-Daniel Kaestli,  “Les principales orientations de la recherche sur les Actes apocryphes des Apôtres.” In Les Actes apocryphes des Apôtres.  Christianisme et monde païen, ed. François Bovon, 49-61. Publication de la faculté de théologie de l’Université de Genève. Geneva: Labor et Fides.  (56-57, “La nécessité d’étudier chaque texte pour lui-même”).

An 18 foot lion

August 25, 2011

Tony Chartrand-Burke, a professor at York University, castigates evangelicals who have an apologetic motive for their treatment and understanding of Christian apocryphal literature.  For example, he writes:

The modern apologists’ inadequate knowledge of the CA [Christian Apocrypha] is due to the fact that they are not experts on the CA nor on Gnosticism. The apologists show their shortcomings in CA studies also in their reliance on collections of apocryphal texts or commentaries rather than recent and comprehensive scholarship on the texts.

Being evangelical myself, I am sympathetic with the aims of the apologists and have myself been accused of being one.  Yet as a specialist of the Acts of Paul, I would desire that those on my side who wish to say things about Christian apocrypha do so with accuracy and sophistication.  Thus, I am in part (and only in part) in agreement with Prof. Burke’s sentiments.

So consider the following lines from Timothy Paul Jones’, Misquoting Jesus:

According to this document [Acta Pauli], being a Christian includes not only faith in Jesus Christ but also complete abstinence from sexual relations, even within marriage.  Plus, about halfway through Acts of Paul, the apostle Paul baptizes a lion that’s eighteen feet tall.  So, if Acts of Paul had ended up in the New Testament, you might get to dunk wild felines in your church’s baptistery, but you’d also have to stop having sex.

First, the Acts of Paul nowhere gives such a measure of the lion, though we found that Goodspeed’s translation of the Epistle of Pelagia, an Ethiopic text which shows evidence of dependence on the Acts of Paul.

And they set a lion in ambush for Paul in the theater, and the one whose height is 12 cubits, and his size as that of a horse …

Now a cubit is said to be usually equal to 18 inches (Webster’s) and so 12 cubits comes to 18 feet.  Hence, it is our theory that Jones mistakenly applies something that he read in the Epistle of Pelagius to the Acts of Paul.  This is a pretty amateur mistake.

While it is true that most scholars have concluded, as Jones, that the Acts of Paul is encratite, I have written a lengthy refutation of this view in chapter 4 of my doctoral dissertation.  Even the scholar I quoted yesterday, as saying that the lion himself had given up marital sex, concludes (H.-J. Klauck, The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, 75):

Despite all the exhortations, and despite Thecla’s radiant example as image of an ideal virgin, there is no clear prohibition of marriage anywhere in the text, nor is the renunciation of marriage made a precondition for the reception of baptism.  It is possible that Onesiphorus, with his wife and two sons, is intended to function as a model of Christian family life.  It seems that the author stops just short of an important boundary line, which he does not cross into a programmatic encratism.

This is a much more subtle and sophisticated reading of the Acts of Paul, and Klauck has evidently come to this position quite independently of me, since he betrays no knowledge of my unpublished or published work on the Acts of Paul.   For evangelical Protestants, it is perhaps strange to see a text extol the virtues of sexual continence, yet even the New Testament promotes Christian chastity.  The Acts of Paul likewise allows the Christian either the path of marriage and family or the path of total devotion to God through sexual continence.

How could evangelical scholars overcome this lack of sophistication and accuracy with regard to Christian apocryphal literature? My suggestion is that they and their publishers consider seeking the help of consultants, like myself and others (members of AELAC), before publishing.  No one can be an expert in every area and so there is absolutely no shame in consulting the opinion of others who have become specialists in a subject.  And finally, I would offer courage to such evangelicals who have made mistakes like Jones’s.  It is not as if liberal scholars, who are not specialists, are any more accurate in their treatment of Christian apocryphal literature.

The Married Lion

August 24, 2011

Paul baptised the lion in the wilderness according to the Ephesian episode of the Acts of Paul, as attested by the Bodmer Coptic.  And then:  “When the lion ran off to the field rejoicing … a lionness met him, and he did not direct his face towards her, but turned away and ran off towards the woods” (cited from Klauck, The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, 64).

Hans Josef Klauck comments (ibid.): “After this exquisite exemplification of the interconnection between baptism and the renunciation of marital intercourse, the narrative switches back to the house of Aquila and Prisca in Ephesus.”  So according to Klauck, this lion, who could speak with a human voice and who received baptism at the hand of Paul, was also married.

Who is Barsabas Justus Platypus and how did he not die?

June 30, 2011

According to Luke, Joseph Barsabbas called Justus was a candidate to take Judas’ place in the ranks of the twelve (Acts 1.23).  According to the Acts of Paul, Barsabas Justus Platypus is a servant in Nero’s household.  The daughters of Philip told Papias that Barsabas Justus had once taken poison and survived (apud Eusebius, h.e. 3.39).  In my Cambridge doctoral dissertation (1996), p. 52, I criticized Dennis MacDonald’s book Legend and the Apostle (1983); MacDonald wrote:

Poison was reserved for Roman officials or soldiers accused of treason.  I suggest that the story told by the daughters of Philip was not about the Barsabas Justus in Acts [Eusebius’ opinion] but about another man with the same name who according to the Acts of Paul, was in fact a Roman soldier who was saved from execution.

MacDonald offered no evidence that soldiers accused of treason would die by poisoning, or even that poison was reserved for such purposes in Antiquity.  Indeed, I’ve found that there are many texts supporting poison as a means of murdering people–the common story of putting poison secretly in a person’s food or drink.  The standard means of executing a Roman soldier was  fustuarium, death by beating or stoning by fellow soldiers.  One interesting means of Roman soldier execution was death by elephant; Alison Futrell (The Roman Games, 8) cites Valerius Maximus 2.7.13-14:

For the Younger Africanus … threw foreign deserters to wild beasts as part of spectacle [sic] he offered to the people.  And Lucius Paul [snip] … for the same fault (desertion) threw men under elephants to be trampled.

Now this is indeed interesting and perhaps you, dear reader, would permit me to suggest a solution.  Barsabas Justus was as MacDonald suggests a Roman soldier, but since poisoning was not a means a executing soliders–I’ve yet to find a single text to support such a notion–perhaps Barsabas Justus Platypus was sentenced to die by elephant trampling and yet like Thecla in Iconium, or Paul in Ephesus, he managed to escape this martyrdom. My suggestion has the advantage over MacDonald’s in that there is support from at least one text that says that Romans actually used elephants, unlike poisoning, to execute Roman soldiers!

The translation of ΑΥϪΠΑΥ ΝΕΥ in Acts of Paul IX, 13

June 21, 2011

In the 1997 French edition of the Écrits apocryphes chrétiens (ed. Bovon and Geoltran), Rodolphe Kasser translated a phrase from the Coptic Bodmer XLI of Acts of Paul IX, 13 (p. 1155), “les hommes ont contracté ces pestes” (“the humans acquired these plagues”).  It would be another seven years before Kasser would publish the editio princeps of Bodmer XLI, and he now translates this phrase (R. Kasser and P. Luisier, Le Muséon 117 [2004]):  “les (hommes) se les ont acquis” (“the (humans) acquired them for themselves”);  ΑΥϪΠΑΥ ΝΕΥ (literally: “they acquired them for themselves”).

It would appear that Kasser’s “pestes” (plagues) represents “all the things that were mentioned above” through which the humans have died.  What are these things?  Gold, silver, precious stones, fornications, adulteries and drunkeness.  Yet the neither the Coptic nor the Greek texts name these things “plagues”, as Kasser has interpreted.  It would be inaccurate since the created world for the Acts of Paul is good and so even though the lust and acquisition of the first three, gold, silver and precious stones, leads to death, it is not caused by the created things themselves but by the sin of humanity against the Creator.  The Acts of Paul is an anti-gnostic text, and it should not be translated in a manner which leads the reader to think that the text would denigrate created matter.

Does ΜΝΤΡΜΝϨΗΤ translate προαίρεσις in Acts of Paul IX, 13?

June 11, 2011

Now that the Bodmer Coptic of the Acts of Paul has finally appeared in print (R. Kasser and P. Luisier, Le Muséon 117 [2004] 281-384), we can attempt to verify the multitude of ingenious readings that the German scholar Carl Schmidt made in his 1936 edition of the Greek Hamburg Papyrus.  The Bodmer MS beautifully preserves an elegant handwriting.  The Hamburg Papyrus, by contrast, is fragmentary and was copied by a non-professional scribe, making it impossible to be certain how many letters are missing from the numerous lacunae.  Today, one has to marvel at Schmidt’s incredible ability to ferret out a text from faded letters and in many cases to restore the text where there are only holes in the papyrus.  Yet with the advent of the Coptic text, it is necessary to review each of Schmidt’s suggestions, because with the Bodmer MS, we stand before a more certain and complete text.

As I work on my translation of the text into English, I’ve decided to use the following princple:

The Greek text is very lacunose, but constitutes the original language of the text. The Bodmer Coptic is, however, beautifully preserved, but it is a translation of the original. Therefore, it seems best to prefer the Greek text when the reading clear and to reconstitute the Greek text from the Coptic where it is deficient. However, when there is a conflict between Schmidt’s reconstitution of  the Greek, and the Bodmer Coptic, it seems best to prefer the latter–even when the text that Schmidt reconstitutes includes letters with under-dots, indicating that he was unable to be certain of the reading, for it seems better to prefer the Coptic which is perfectly readable over a guess based upon barely decipherable letters.

Now to our case in point, in IX, 13, Paul says to the governor and the crowd, “Make a good judgement” — λ[ά]βετε [προαίρ]εσιν ἀγαθὴν.  The Coptic has .  ϪΙ ϬΕ ΝΗΤΝ ΜΝ[ΤΡ]ΜΝϨΗΤ ΕΝΟΥΝC (“take therefore for yourselves good understanding”).  ΜΝΤΡΜΝϨΗΤ normally is translated wisdom or understanding, and is not necessarily a bad translation for προαίρεσις.   ΜΝΤΡΜΝϨΗΤ is a common translation for σύνεσις (“understanding”) in the Sahidic New Testament.  There is however the case of the post-positive οὖν, which is the equivalent for ϬΕ.  So we could leave the text as suggested by Schmidt or restore it λ[ά]βετε [οὖν σύν]εσιν, and that gives us the same number of letters as Schmidt’s suggestion.  The particular combination of λαμβάνω and σύνεσις occurs in the Shepherd of Hermas, Sim. 9.2.6:  ἀλλʼ ἐρώτα τὸν κύριον, ἵνα λαβὼν σύνεσιν νοήσῃς αὐτά (Holmes).   It should be born in mind that προαίρεσις is probably still within the realm of possibility, though it seems better in this case to turn to the more common synonym in Greek, σύνεσις,  for ΜΝΤΡΜΝϨΗΤ.

Εις Χριστος Ιησους: One is Christ Jesus

June 9, 2011

Papyrus Hamburg 1.18 (Schmidt-Schubart)

It is interesting to note that the nomina sacra in the formula, “One is Christ Jesus” (cf. 1 Cor 8.6) includes the word “one” (εις), as is made clear by the superlineal stroke above the (unabbreviated) word.  There is a tendency for words associated with name of Jesus to be made into nomina sacra, but this is the only instance that I can find of the word “one” and I would happily receive information about other cases like this.

The Acts of Paul and the Acts of Peter: Christine Thomas vs. Christine Thomas

October 24, 2009

In Apocrypha 3 (1992) 155, Christine Thomas wrote regarding the Quo Vadis scene in the Acts of Peter and the Acts of Paul (:

The points of contact between the two acts, however, betray in only one detail the exactness one would assume from the use of a written source. … Despite possible redactional alterations, however, nothing suggests literary dependence.  To assume literary dependence upon this basis betrays a literate bias.

Then in 2003, Christine Thomas wrote in her monograph, The Acts of Peter, Gospel Literaure, and the Acient Novel, 39:

The quo vadis story appearing the Acts of Paul is not a citation.  Rather the Acts of Paul borrowed the narrative unit from the Acts of Peter and recast it in a different manner.  The relationship between the Acts of Peter and the Acts of Paul thus form an analogy to that between the Acts of Peter and the Acts of the Apostles.  The relationship between the two documents is not close enough to indicate an explicit allusion.  The early point of contact is a substantive one; the Acts of Paul borrow the quo vadis story in filling out its own narrative.

Thomas thus vacillates between insisting on the importance of orality and falling into a trap which she calls a “literate bias”.  As I had mentioned before, Dennis R. MacDonald contradicts himself similarly in regard to the Patroclus/Eutychus story.  Like Thomas, he says bias leads to the suggestion of literary dependence (“Only our Western prejudice for written dependence would make us think the author [of the Acts of Paul] picked this story out of a book and not out of the tale-rich air.”), and then changed his mind.

The parallels between the Acts of Paul and other apocryphal acts and the Acts of the Apostles is, in my view, evidence of oral tradition units that the author used to create his narrative, not from thin air or from the pillaging other acts, but from “the tale-rich air”.

Paul’s nighttime departure from Damascus

September 15, 2009

Commenting on Paul’s discourse in Ephesus (Acts of Paul IX, 7), Schneemelcher writes in NTA (rev. ed.) 2.218:

Paul further relates in Ephesus that he departed from Damascus – the reasons are not stated, but his departure took place by night, cf. Acts 9:25 – and marched in the direction of Jericho.

This reference to Acts 9.25, however, is not the best explanation of this late departure.  It says (RSV, starting at 9.23):

When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul. They were watching the gates day and night, to kill him; but his disciples took him by night and let him down over the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Paul leaves Damascus under threat of persecution; while second-century Christians did things at night to avoid persecution, that was not the only reason.  Certain events took place at night or at early dawn as a matter of tradition.  One such important Christian ritual that took place at the break of day was baptism.  Everett Ferguson writes in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (s.v., baptism, 132):

Second-century sources indicate a period of moral instruction, prayer, and fasting prior to the baptism (Did. 7; Justin, 1 Apol. 61).  The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, supplemented by references in Tertullian, provides an account of a developed ceremonial by A. D. 200.  After a period of instruction that could last three years, the candidate was examined and prepared for the baptism to occur on the night be Easter Sunday. … Standing in the water, the candidate confessed faith in each person of the Trinity and was immersed three times, once after each confession.

Paul’s departure at night sets up the narrative for the baptism of the lion whom Paul will immerse in water three times (cf. IX, 9) at the dawn following his departure from Damascus (see IX, 7).  Later, the Acts of Paul will recount the baptism of Artemilla at dawn (IX, 21).  It is unnecessary to assume that the events in Acts 9 have anything to do with Paul’s nighttime departure in the Acts of Paul as the suggestion of Schneemelcher.  Indeed, Paul leaves the agape in peace (IX, 7).  It is rather the desire to have the lion receive his baptism at the right time of day.

Damascus vellum

September 15, 2009

Schneemelcher in NTA (rev. ed.; so also the 1st English edition, 2.327) 2.218 wrote:

The beginning of the APl has not survived, but C. Schmidt has made the first episode available from some fragments.  A small Coptic fragment (Ry) contains some lines of a narrative from the life of Paul.

Schneemelcher leaves us to search for ourselves where Schmidt made the Coptic fragment available.  The John Rylands fragmant at Manchester was first announced by W. E. Crum, and there is, to my knowledge, no editio princeps, except what Pierre Cherix has prepared for his forthcoming volume of the Coptic Acta Pauli for the Corpus Christianorum Series Apocryphorum.  In his PRAXEIS PAULOU, Schmidt says that Crum sent to him an photograph of the leaf which he collated anew but could add no new readings; he did not make the Coptic text available but did provide the following German translation of the decipherable bit of this fragment  (117) :

“Gehe nun hinauf nach …. in der .. [Feier] des Fastens.”  Darauf flogen die Worte:  “Als nun Paulus dieses gehoert hatte, ging er in grosser Freude nach Damaskus.  Als er aber hineingegangen war, fand er sie …. in der …. [Feier] des Fastens.”

For the sake of convenience, I append a jpg of W. E. Crum, BJRL 20: 501:

W. E. Crum, BJRL 20 (1920) 501

W. E. Crum, BJRL 20 (1920) 501