The Apocalypse of Paul (also Visio Pauli or Ammonitio Pauli) was first written in Greek, probably in the environs of Egyptian monasticism, late in the fourth century. It stands as one of the earliest and most influential tours of Hell, and predates the development of ideas of ‘purgation of sin’ as understood later in the Middle Ages. The text was quickly recognised as apocryphal, drew criticism from Augustine of Hippo as early as 418, and was condemned in the Decretum Gelasianum. For all its influence, it is poorly attested in Latin before the fourteenth century bar a handful of important Carolingian manuscripts.
Long Version (the earliest versions)
Translation: Vision of Paul, trans. A. Rutherford, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 9 (New York, 1896), pp. 151-66.
Key manuscripts and editions: Paris, BnF, nouv. acq. lat. 1631 (s. viii), text published by M. R. James, Apocrypha Anecdota (Cambridge, 1893). St Gall, Kantonsbibliothek, Vadianische Sammlung, VadSlg 317 (early s. ix, possibly St Gall), text published by T. Silverstein, Visio sancti Pauli (London, 1935). (The two texts are similar but also show significant divergence at several points).
Redaction VI (the only redaction with early manuscript witnesses)