The Nag Hammadi Scrolls aka The Gnostic Gospels: The Lost Gospels of the Desert Fathers

  • An Introduction to the Lost Gospels...Also known as The Gnostic Elaine Pagels
  • Bart D. Ehrman...Lost Christianities
    "No form of lost Christianity has so intrigued modern readers and befuddled modern scholars as early Christian Gnosticism. The intrigue is easy to understand, especially in view of the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library.... When that group of field hands headed by Mohammed Ali uncovered this cache of books in Upper Egypt, the world was suddenly presented with hard evidence of other Christian groups in the ancient world that stood in sharp contrast with any kind of Christianity familiar to us today. There was no Jesus of the stained glass window here, nor a Jesus of the creeds--not even a Jesus of the New Testament. These books were fundamentally different from anything in our experience, and almost nothing could have prepared us for them"
  • The Nag Hammadi library (Wikipedia)
    The site of discovery, Nag Hammadi in map of Egypt
    The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945.... That year, twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar  were found by a local peasant named Mohammed Ali Samman.... The writings in these codices comprised fifty-two mostly Gnostic treatises, but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation/alteration of Plato's Republic. In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria condemned the uncritical use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.

    The contents of the codices were written in Coptic language, though the works were probably all translations from Greek. The best-known of these works is probably the Gospel of Thomas, of which the Nag Hammadi codices contain the only complete text. After the discovery it was recognized that fragments of these sayings attributed to Jesus appeared in manuscripts discovered at Oxyrhynchus in 1898, and matching quotations were recognized in other early Christian sources. Subsequently, a 1st or 2nd century date of composition circa 80 AD for the lost Greek originals of the Gospel of Thomas has been proposed, though this is disputed by many if not the majority of biblical matter researchers. The once buried manuscripts themselves date from the 3rd and 4th centuries.>

    The Nag Hammadi codices are housed in the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt. To read about their significance to modern scholarship into early Christianity, see the Gnosticism article.
Complete List of Codices Found in Nag Hammadi Texts
  • Acts: The activities of the disciples after Jesus's death.
  • Epistles: Letters written by Christian leaders to other Christians.
  • Apocalypse: A revelation concerning the end of the world in a cataclysmic act of God.
  • Apocryphon: Greek term for a genre of Jewish and Early Christian writings that were meant to impart "secret teachings" or gnosis (knowledge) that could not be publicly taught.
source: Nag Hammadi library (Wikipedia)
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