Life of Adam and Eve

Current State of the OCP Text

The entire Greek text of the Life of Adam and Eve is presented here as it appears in C. von Tischendorf, Apocalypses Apocryphae (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1866; repr. Hildesheim: Olms, 1966), 1-23. In addition, two editions of the Latin text are presented here. The first is W. Meyer’s edition, reprinted in Denis, Concordance latine, 545-548. The second is Mozley’s edition, published in J.H. Mozley, “The ‘Vita Adae’,” Journal of Theological Studies 30 (1928-1929): 121-149.

While von Tischendorf’s Greek text provides a fair impression of the document's contents and wording, it is seriously flawed as a reconstruction of the earliest possible text. It has been superceded, first by Nagel's provisional edition and now by the excellent edition of Tromp (see below). The latter should be consulted in the course of detailed work on the Greek tradition.

W. Meyer’s 1878 critical edition of the Latin Life of Adam and Eve was based primarily on manuscripts found in Munich, the oldest of which is dated to the ninth century; it remains the edition most commonly cited by scholars and formed the primary basis for M. D. Johnson's translation in the OTP. In 1928-1929 J. H. Mozley published an edition of the Latin Life of Adam and Eve based primarily on one 14th century manuscript (Arundel 326). Although Mozley’s apparatus notes variant readings found in other Latin manuscripts located in Britain, his printed text departs from readings found in the Arundel manuscript only about 14 times.

The two Latin texts published here have been thoroughly proofread, but Tischendorf’s Greek text has not. It should be used with caution until further notice. Work on a full critical apparatus for the Greek and Latin texts has not yet begun. Note, too, that the verse numbers (which are lacking in Tischendorf’s text) have not yet been inserted into the Greek text. As of version 1.1, however, the Greek and Latin evidence may now be viewed in parallel for easy comparison. The evidence in other languages (Coptic, Slavonic, Armenian, Georgian) still waits to be encoded.

For more information on the complex textual history of this literature, see Michael E. Stone, A History of the Literature of Adam and Eve (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1992).


Greek Text

Latin Text

For further bibliography, see DiTommaso, Bibliography, 163-96.

Sigla Used in the Text

+ + Plus signs: In Meyer's Latin text these surround word which are judged to be dubious.

All three texts of the Life of Adam and Eve presented here (Tischendorf, Meyer, and Mozley) are in the public domain. Before using this or any other OCP text for another purpose, please click on the "copyright and permissions" link in the "help and information" menu at top to read the policy on re-use and re-publication.