Slavonic Apocrypha


Despite its “Slavonic Apocrypha” name, this research unit is intentionally broad in scope and provides a forum in which both biblical scholars and Slavists can discuss current issues in their fields and exchange ideas. It includes the traditionally understood Slavonic Apocrypha, i.e. translations of Hellenistic pseudepigrapha, as well as a variety of sacred literature in Slavonic and, such as theological discourses, historiographies, hagiographies, liturgical texts, and folk tales that are intertwined with biblical texts in both manuscripts and religious practices. Historical philology, lexicographical works, and linguistic analysis of Slavonic manuscripts are central research fields in this forum. We also welcome contributions from scholars of other academic fields that discuss these topics.

Slavonic Apocrypha are studied as biblical reception history. Their application in liturgical and catechetical context questions the application of the definition of biblical canon and apocrypha on them. Because the mechanism of intertextuality in Slavic religious literature was more powerful and longstanding than the assessment of marginality and the differentiation of the texts according to canonical/noncanonical, our forum aims to contribute to the ongoing search for a comprehensive term for apocalyptic, pseudepigraphical, and apocryphal literature. This unit addresses the pressing need for a platform where European scholars of “Slavonic Apocrypha” and medieval Slavic literature and their international colleagues can express their concerns, discuss solutions, and set mutual goals. It promotes the publication of critical editions of “Slavonic Apocrypha” and discusses the concerns over the digitization project of Slavonic manuscripts. While the name “Slavonic Apocrypha” is inadequate for this corpus of literature, we will wait and allow the scholarly consensus in the field to lead us to a better one.


Slavonic, Manuscript, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Canon, Bible

Current Term:



Ljubica Jovanovic
American Public University System

Basil Lourié
Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Member Area

Sofia 2024 Call for Papers

We accept papers on all topics related to Slavonic Apocrypha as defined in our program. Please, check the program above.

This year our host is the charming Bulgarian capital Sofia, which emerged in, and is surrounded by important monasteries and churches that collected many Slavonic manuscripts, which we study under the umbrella of “Slavonic Apocrypha.” Sofia is an internationally known intellectual hub and center of research on medieval Bulgarian scriptures in Slavic languages, canonical and non-canonical narrative included.

Accordingly, we hold a special session dedicated to “Monastic libraries of Balkan: The Treasure of Apocrypha Narrative” that includes (a) theological interpretation of a chosen theme or topic, (b) liturgical material used in church services, (c) catechetical and instructional material, (d) critical hagiography or the lives of saints, and (d) their expressions in music, visual art, and architecture.

Secondly, we open the session entitled “Script and Scripture", with a focus on the writing systems used to record the Biblical literary material, and their subsequent translations in Slavic languages evoking the Cyrilo-Methodian historical translation of Christian literature in a new alphabet.

Thirdly, we invite speakers interested in the research on popular use of ecclesiastic texts such as Damaskini (15th-18th century), as well as the inquiry on modern Slavic translations of Biblical literature and their liaison to the contemporary liturgical settings.

Finally, it is a reminder that all people who present their paper at the conference in Sofia, after the peer reviewed assessment of their completed work, will have the opportunity to publish their paper in Scrinium or Scripta & e-Scripta.

Past History and Goals

Slavonic Apocrypha has convened to meet the necessity for interdisciplinary studies conducted by the scholars of the Religion and the Slavic studies. We intend to overcome the existing gap in the modern research of religious texts produced in Slavonic language and their embodiment within Slavic cultures. Our goal is to make the Slavic Bible accessible to wider audience through examination of neglected sources by using the sound methods of interpretation. Through the joint efforts of Biblical and Slavic scholars worldwide we illuminate the development of Biblical narrative and emphasize its national and international cultural significance through the close analyses of texts and reexamination of the historical controversies. Moreover, at each EABS meeting we adapt the themes so that we recognize the past and present academic contribution to the field by our hosts. Finally, we trace our academic progress through the publications and additional meetings.





Keiko Mitani, our colleague from the University of Tokyo passed away. She was an active participant from the first meeting of “Slavonic Apocrypha” at EABS. One of the greatest Japanese Slavists, Dr. Mitani  applied historical philology to biblical topics in Slavonic texts. Her interest were in Slavonic philology, comparative and historical Slavic linguistics, Old Church Slavonic and South Slavonic recensions of Church Slavonic. Her recent articles include: “The Dream of King Jehoash: A Textual Analysis,” Scrinium 4 (2018), 298–317; “Intertextuality in Medieval Slavonic Literature: Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius and the Legend of the Twelve Fridays,” Scripta & e-Scripta 19 (2019), 145–164; “Slavonic Tradition of the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas in India and the MS 1789/700 of the Dragomira Monastery (Moldavia, Romania),” Scripta & e-Scripta 20 (2020), 199-225; “Linguistic Analysis of the Slavonic Translation of the Testament of Job,” Biblical Apocrypha in South-Eastern Europe and Related Areas, Proceedings of the Session held at the 12th International Congress of South-East European Studies (Bucharest, 2-6 September 2019)  89-108. We will miss her dedication, discipline, and humor.


Presentations from the hybrid meeting in Toulouse are called for submission for Scrinium, Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography. Sections of the journal in 2023 and 2024 will be dedicated to the papers in Honor of the late Prof. Dr. Keiko Mitani. If you knew Prof. Keiko Mitani and would like to contribute, please send a message to the chairs of Slavonic Apocrypha, Basil Lourié and Ljubica Jovanovic in the anticipation of a Festschrift in her honor.  


The presentations from the 2021 virtual meeting in Wuppertal have been invited for submission for Scripta & e-Scripta 22 (2022).


Several papers from 2019 conference in Warsaw appeared in Scrinium, Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography 16 (2020) and 17 (2021).


A number of papers from the joint meeting with ISBL in Helsinki 2018 were published in Scripta & e-Scripta 19 (2019).


The selected papers of the conferences in Leuven (2016) and Berlin (2017) were published as “Religion, Philology, and Slavic Cultures: Slavonic Apocrypha” in Scrinium, Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography 14 (2018) 195-368.

Past Meetings 

Toulouse 2022 (hybrid)

The majority of the participants presented their papers virtually. Our gratitude goes especially to the presenters, who traveled to Toulouse and made sure that both onsite and virtual presentations were running smoothly.


The new research and current issues with Slavonic Apocrypha were the focal point at the 2022 meeting. The sessions on individual texts and manuscripts, their use in religious, social, and cultural context ended with the role of Slavonic Apocrypha in popular culture and dualistic controversies. The Polish team from the Department of Polish and Classic Philology of Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan updated us with their new research and progress in digitization of Old Polish Apocrypha. A session was dedicated to professor Keiko Mitani with a paper devoted to dr. Mitani’s intellectual biography and presentations inspired thematically and methodologically by her work.


Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Again about the Apocryphal, Bogomil and Pseudo-Bogomil Literature in Palaeoslavistic


Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: About the Apocryphal Prayer with a Beginning “Поиде 7 ангель, 7 архангель, 7 свещеносеще, 7 ножь остреще...” in the South Slavonic Written Tradition (13th‒19th Centuries)


Ivan Iliev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski:” On Two Interpretations of the Book of Daniel


Andrej Bojadžiev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski:” Acta Thomae in India: Greek and Slavonic Texts


Aleksandra F. Michalska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Apocryphal Prayers and Traditional Magic Practices in a Contemporary Bulgarian Context


Zofia Brylka, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Hygiene and Cleanliness of Old-Polish Biblical-Apocryphal Narrations Characters as an Indicator of Their Holiness


Via Zoom

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: The Pentateuch in the Old Polish New Testament Apocrypha


Andrzej Jedrzejczak, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Jews in the Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament


Wojciech Stelmach, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Thomas Aquinas’ 'Catena Aurea' as a Source of “The Przemyśl Meditation”


Vadim Vitkovskiy, Humboldt University Berlin: Unique Ending of 3 Baruch in ms. 760 (National Library of Serbia)


Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: About Obscure Places in 2 Enoch


Tetiana Vilkul, Institute of Ukrainian History: On the First Apocryphal Unit of the "Philosopher's Speech"


Liudmila Borisovna Karpenko, Samara National Research University: The Apocryphal Gospel of Childhood as a Source for Studying Middle Bulgarian Culture and Language


Gennady Jurjevich Karpenko, Sr., Samara National Research University: The "DOVE BOOK" as the People’s Orthodox Cathecism


Nirmal Fernando, Ashram Community UK / Urban Theology Union Sheffield: The Relationship between the Infancy Narrative of Thomas and the Illustrations in the losterneuburger Evangelienwerk


Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: When the National Treasure Becomes Internationalized: The Case of Serbian Manuscripts


Basil Lourié, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk): The Dream of King Jehoash: One More Syriac Maronite Pseudepigraphon Preserved in Slavonic


Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: "Vita Constantini" Revisited by a Biblical Scholar


Wuppertal 2021 (virtual)

Unfortunately, we did not meet in person Wuppertal, Germany because of thе Covid 19 pandemic. Nevertheless and thanks to a new technology, we hеld an annual conference through the Zoom directed by the wonderful EABS team from Wuppertal University. In this virtual conference, the members of the unit shared their polished studies through the PowerPoints and pointed out to new directions that their research took them during the lock-down.

The textual/philological methodology was used by the scholars from the Department of Polish and Classic Philology of Adam Mickiewicz University at Poznan, Poland, who presented their results from the project Old Polish Apocrypha; we heard important news from monastic sources, an invitation to reconsider the sources on the anti-Christ, some prayers against the toothache, and the way to bridge the gap between different genres such as romance and apocrypha; we had an opportunity to get familiar with the work of Moses Gaster, as well as, with the embodiment of biblical figures in the orthodox sacred places.

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Writings of the Church Fathers as a Source of Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament

Wojciech Stelmach, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Linguistic Image of Biblical Eve in Old-Polish Historyja barzo cudna o stworzeniu nieba i ziemie (in Comparison to Slavic Apocrypha)

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Apocrypha in the Monastic Miscellanies: Accident or Premeditation?

Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Apocryphal Prayers ‘Against Nezhit’ in South Slavonic Literature

Fedor Veselov, Saint Petersburg State University: The Sea Called ‘Fire of the Sun’: towards Connections between the Alexander Romance and the Revelations of Pseudo-Methodius

Ivan Iliev, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”: Hippolytus Romanus’ De Christo et Antichristo Reconsidered: New witnesses of the Slavonic Tradition

Basil Lourie, Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences: The Acta fabulosa of Peter (CANT 198): a Syrian “Colonial Discourse” about Rome

Maria Cioata, University of Manchester: Moses Gaster (1856-1939) as a collector and translator of Romanian Bird and Beast Stories

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: Patriarch Joseph (Gen 37-52) as Їѡсифь Прѣкрасни, the Beauteous Joseph, in Orthodox Iconography

Warsaw 2019 

At the meeting in Warsaw we discussed the current issues on Slavonic Apocrypha and their relationship with the Bible in the contemporary context and opened the conversation about Old Church Slavonic texts in the interpretation of Polish scholars. Because the National Library in Warsaw houses one of the oldest South Slavonic manuscript, the Codex Suprasliensis, we created a special session, “In Poland: Apocrypha and Codex Suprasliensis.” The latest academic attempts in studying the importance of the concept of light in Slavic Christian tradition were addressed in the session, “Calendars, Apocalypses, and Astronomy.”

Dorota Rojszczak Robinska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań: Book of Psalms as the source of the Old Polish Apocrypha of the New Testament

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: About the Sun's Faces in the Short Recension of 2 Enoch

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Could the Biblical Studies Save the Slavonic Apocrypha?

Vadim Vitkovskiy, Humboldt University Berlin” 711 and 760 of National Library of Serbia in the Textual History of Third Baruch

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Interpolations in the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius

Ivan Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The ‘Kingdom of the Antichrist’ in a Compilation of Bible Quotes 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System. The Figure of Joseph in the South Slavonic “Homily about Fasting, and Joseph, and the Priest, and the Prophet David.”

Alexander Grishchenko, Moscow State Pedagogical University: The Apocryphal Table of Contents in the Edited Slavonic-Russian Pentateuch from the 15th Century

Ekaterina Dimitrova Todorova, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky: Between Apocrypha and The Holy Bible: Saint Pantaleon' Martyr from 17th Century

Lilly Emilova Stammler, The Institute for Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: The Erotapokriseis from The Life of Andrew the Fool in the Byzantine and Medieval Bulgarian Literary Tradition

Helsinki 2018

The joint meeting of European Association of Biblical Studies (EABS) and International Society of Biblical Literature (ISBL) allowed  our EABS session “Slavonic Apocrypha” to hold a session together with the ISBL program units “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations, ”  “Apocalyptic literature,” and “Hellenistic Judaism.”  We chose the theme “Research on Apocalyptic, Apocryphal, and Second Temple Literature in Nordic, Baltic, and North Slavic Lands” because we wanted to recognize the importance of the scholars of Finland in the field on the on Dead Sea Scrolls. 

The goal of our unit for this meeting was to reevaluate the Slavonic Apocrypha in a contemporary light through the exploration of the history of North Slavonic, Nordic and Baltic interpretative traditions in regard of the biblical and related manuscripts. 

Ivan Biliarsky, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences/Institute of History: The Testament of Abraham in a Juridical manuscript of XVI Century

Ivan I. Iliev, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski: The Old Church Slavonic Translations of the Book of the Prophet Daniel: How Many are they and how they functioned?

Milan Kostresevic, Universität Bern - Université de Berne: TheLinguistic Analysis of the Names and Toponyms in the Slavic Apocalypse of Abraham 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Review of the Patrology, Critical: A Jewish-Christian Exegesis in the Slavonic Text on the Perdition of the Higher Intellect 

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: South Slavonic Apocryphal Collections

Maria Vitkovskaya, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Humboldt University of Berlin: Rewriting Methods in the Palaea Historica and in the Slavic Cycle of Abraham

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: Slavic Studies and Wissenschaftliche Approach to the Bible

Vadim Wittkowsky, Humboldt University Berlin: Literary Criticism and Conservative Orthodoxy: Critics of the Q-Hypothesis in 21st century Denmark and Russia

Berlin 2017

“Slavonic Apocrypha” held a joint session with ISBL units, “Apocalyptic Literature,” “Rethinking Biblical Written Tradition through Slavonic Interpretations,” and “Hellenistic Judaism” on the topic “Slavonic Translations of the Second Temple Texts.” Our presenters discussed both literary and visual motifs of the medieval Slavic interpretations. A special session was dedicated to the legacy of Cyril and Methodius. 

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Inscription on Solomon’s Chalice in Vita Constantini: An Old Question Revisited 

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: The Septuagint Event in the Ninth Century Slavic Lands: Which Bible did Cyril and Methodius and their Followers Translate?

Amber Ivanova, Universiteit Gent: The Apocryphal Origin of the Martyr Act of Saint Thekla in the Medieval Slavonic Tradition 

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Some Pseudepigraphic Prophecies in Slavonic  

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: Symbiosis between Apocryphon and Nomocanon: Apocalypsis Johannis Quarta  

Enrique Santos Marina, Universidad Complutense de Madrid: Prophet Elijah as a Weather God in Church Slavonic Apocryphal Works 

Lyubov Osinkina, University of Oxford: The Representation of Literary Motifs in the Visual Arts (in Connection with the Image of Job)

Leuven 2016

The topics of the presentations were on the current status of the research and the setting of the goals for the future scholarship on Slavonic Apocrypha.  We discussed the scope of our panel and the terminology and decided that we will keep the inadequate but easily recognizable name, “Slavonic Apocrypha,” for the historical Slavic religious literature until we agree on a competent replacement. 

Sladana Mirkovic, University of South Florida: How to Study Slavonic Apocrypha in the 21st Century?

Ljubica Jovanovic, American Public University System: Reception of Biblical Literary Models in the Slavonic Traditions

Anissava Miltenova, Bulgarian Academy of Sceinces: Slavonic Apocrypha: New Discoveries, New Perusals

Basil Lourié, Scrinium. Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography, State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, St. Petersburg: Rewritten Bible in the “Museum” Slavonic Translation of the Song of Songs 

Liudmila Navtanovich, Universitat Autónoma De Barcelona: Slavonic Apocrypha: the Main Problems with their Textual History (a Philological Perspective)

Keiko Mitani, The University of Tokyo: The Dream of King Jehoash: Textual Structure and Intertextuality

Martina Chroma, Institute of Slavonic Studies, Czech Academy of Sciences: Slavonic translation of the Apocryphal Questions of Bartholomew

Cornelia Horn, Freie Universitaet Berlin: The Infancy Gospel of James and Its Reception in the Caucasus: Status Quaestionis