The Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles

The Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles

The "Lost Chapter of the Acts of the Apostles", also known as the "Sonnini Manuscript", is a short text purporting to be the translation of a manuscript containing the 29th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, detailing St Paul's journey to Britain, where he preached to a tribe of Israelites on Ludgate Hill, the site of St Paul's Cathedral. (The canonical book of "Acts" ends rather abruptly with Paul kept under house arrest in chapter 28, which has led to various theories about the history of the text.)


The text made its first appearance in London in 1871. According to the editor, it was translated in the late 18th century by the French naturalist Sonnini de Manoncourt from a "Greek manuscript discovered in the archives at Constantinople and presented to him by the Sultan Abdoul Achmet". It was found hidden in an English translation of Sonnini's "Voyage en Grèce et en Turquie" in the library of Sir John Newport, MP (1756-1843) after the MP's death. However, no trace of any such manuscript has been found, and from internal evidence, mainstream philology considers it to most likely be a fraud, thus it is classed among the modern apocrypha.

As of 2005, it is available in a 1982 edition by E. Raymond Capt (ISBN 0-934666-09-1) from Artisan Publishers, Muskogee, which is a publisher specializing in evangelical fringe subjects.


The purpose of the book is to support Anglo-Israelism. Today, the book has not found attention in recent mainstream publications and is not mentioned on the [ website] of the British-Israel-World Federation. The influence of that movement parallels the influence of the British Empire and the group that was once supported by distinguished figures is now a minor fringe group.

Possible origins

It is possible that the book was first created by the British writer and general hack, William Combe, who was known to generate such forgeries and was also known to have translated Sonnini de Manoncourt's Travels in Upper Egypt. This would provide clues to the reason behind the claims of Sonnini having found the manuscript.

External links

* [ "Strange New Gospels"] by Edgar Godspeed

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