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

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.
source: Nag Hammadi library (Wikipedia)

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)
For further insight on Christian Gnosticism visit The Gnostic Society Bookstore.
A Glossary of Gnostic Terms
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