Reading the "Apocryphon of John" as Genesis fan fiction

  • Kristine Toft Rosland University of Oslo
Keywords: Christian apocrypha, Coptic, Nag Hammadi


This reading of the late antique Coptic apocryphal work the Apocryphon of John (Ap. John) as Bible fan fiction finds that Ap. John uses the same transformative techniques as fan fiction, but that the manner in which these transformations are legitimized depends on the Christian tradition Ap. John is part of. Several strategies for transforming canon are operative in Ap. John. Even when Genesis is subverted in Ap. John, the rewriting of canonical material is legitimized through strategies already established in other biblical texts. In this manner, Ap. John uses canon to subvert canon.