The Nag Hammadi Library (Nag Hammadi Scriptures and the Gnostic Gospels). The site includes the Gnostic Society Library with the complete Nag Hammadi. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, completed in the 's, has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and. 1 H. Lundhaug – L. Jenott, The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Antiche liste, cit., «sia ad una biblioteca ecclesiastica, sia alla biblioteca di un.
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The Nag Hammadi Library. B I B L I O T H È Q U E D E N A G H A M M A D I. Introduction from «The Gnostic Gospels» by Elaine Pagels. In December an. With this paperwe try to compare the Greck textof Platos Po//reja IX b-~8Nag l-lammadi lihrarv (NHC VI . Several of the major texts in the Nag Hammadi collection have more than one translation listed; where multiple translations are provided, we have listed the.
Lundhaug and Jenott, stating that the text features Christian names, conclude: Stevan Davies, and the late Dr. It includes extensive historical introductions to individual gnostic groups, notes on translation, annotations to the text, and the organization of tracts into clearly defined movements. Willis Barnstone, Dr. Alberto Camplani e-mail: MP3 format, 75 min.
Perfect Mind. The Thought of Norea. The Sophia of Jesus Christ. The Exegesis on the Soul. Writings pertaining to the lives and experiences of some of the apostles: The Apocalypse of Peter. The Letter of Peter to Philip. The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles. The First Apocalypse of James. The Second Apocalypse of James. The Apocalypse of Paul. Scriptures which contain sayings of Jesus as well as descriptions of incidents in His life: The Dialogue of the Saviour. The Book of Thomas the Contender.
The Apocryphon of James. The Gospel of Philip. The Gospel of Thomas. This leaves a small number of scriptures of the Nag Hammadi Library which may be called "unclassifiable. It also must be kept in mind that the passage of time and translation into languages very different from the original have rendered many of these scriptures abstruse in style. Some of them are difficult reading, especially for those readers not familiar with Gnostic imagery, nomenclature and the like. Lacunae are also present in most of these scriptures -- in a few of the texts extensive sections have been lost due to age and deterioration of the manuscripts.
The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, initially completed in the 's, has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism. For an introduction to the Nag Hammadi discovery and the texts in this ancient library, we offer several resources. Then, for an overview of the Gnostic scriptures and a discussion of ancient Gnosis, read this excerpt from Dr.
Marvin Meyer's introduction to The Gnostic Bible. For further reading, The Gnostic Society Library Bookstore provides a selection of the foremost books on the Nag Hammadi library and Gnostic tradition. All the texts discovered at Nag Hammadi are available in the Gnostic Society Library; the collection is indexed in alphabetical order , and by location in the original codices.
A subject categorized list of the writings is also given below. You may search the entire collection of texts for keywords or phrases using our custom Nag Hammadi Search function. We have special collections of resources dealing with two particularly important texts, the Gospel of Thomas , and The Secret Book Apocryphon of John. Several introductory lectures on the Nag Hammadi materials are provided, below. For many of the major writings in the Nag Hammadi collection more than one translation is provided in our library; where multiple translations are made available, we have listed the translators' names in parenthesis below the name of the scripture.
Many of these translations are based on the work originally sponsored by the Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, California. Several prominent scholars have granted us permission to present their original translations of Nag Hammadi texts here in the Gnostic Society Library.
We are particular indebted to the assistance and contributions of Dr. Willis Barnstone, Dr.
John Turner, Dr. Stevan Davies, and the late Dr. Marvin Meyer. CSCO 31 , 67, l. CSCO 31 , 70, ll. London Hay , W. Crum, Magical Texts in Coptic: Choat — I. Gardner The Macquarie Papyri 1 , Turnhout , and some others. Schmidt ed.
MacDermot transl. Jackson, Missoula, MT , 16,28 text , 17,29 transl. Many examples taken by the authors from the Pachomian dossier to exempli- fy this assumption prove only the presence of personal conflicts and universal human weaknesses, but not doctrinal disputes Recently, Emiliano Fiori proposed possible links between the imagery of Pachomian texts and the Apocalypse of Paul different from Nag Hammadi text of the same title 81, but no such link to Nag Hammadi texts has been yet convincingly demonstrated.
Even if we assume that the fourth-century koinonia was characterised by openness to various theological ideas, such as apocalypticism, we cannot consider the problem solved. This is because still active Valentinians and probably also other groups and Manichaeans constitute equally good candidates for readers of the texts like those found in Nag Ham- madi. The argument that the Pachomians discussed the Scripture and thus were liable to its heterodox interpretations, p.
Shenoute identifies directly some among the doctrinal op- ponents he condemns. He invokes the authority of Athanasius Ep. He also mentions the names of Origen84, Nestorius85, and Arius However, it would be hard to believe that a single person could hold theological views of all these theologians at the same time.
Clearly, even Shenoute does not argue that all of those authors used apocryphal books. G1 38, ed. G1 42 SHG 19 , ; greed and luxury: G1 55 SHG 19 , ; disobedience toward superiors: G1 SHG 19 , 67; negligence: G1 SHG 19 , 75; desire for unnecessary goods: G1 SHG 19 , The only reason for the split in the community in the time of Horsiesi given in the Life is personal conflict the Life does not explain the exact cause of the split: C 8 , Paris , text ; English transl.
Veilleux, It of course does not rule out deeper reasons, of which, however, we are ignorant. Only one episode offers a glimpse of some theological controversies within the koinonia, namely the views of a monk who denied the resurrection of the body Epistula Ammonis The problem is presented as a single episode and finds a quick and efficient resolution. Fiori highlighted and explained interest of Pachomians in the apocalyptic material.
His hypothesis about a Pacho- mian provenance of the Apocalypse of Paul not the text from Nag Hammadi is still based on rather weak premises: The Apocalypse of Paul, in Wissen in Bewegung. Institution — Iteration — Transfer, eds. Cancik-Kirschbaum — A. Traninger, Wiesbaden , ; E. Fiori, Death and Judgment in the Apocalypse of Paul: C 7 , text ; English transl. Veilleux, ; G1 SHG 19 , Editio princeps is Shenute, Contra Origensitas, a cura di T. Orlandi, Roma Orlandi gives Italian and Cristea German translation of the text.
For the English translation, see: Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great. Brakke — A. Crislip, Cambridge , Cristea, text ; Selected Discourses, cit. Cristea, ; Selected Discourses, cit. Cristea, text , transl,. Brakke and Crislip do not translate this passage. If we treat this title as a summary of the content of this otherwise unknown text, we can conclude that the theological view it hints at, does not agree with anything we know from Nag Hammadi, but suggests an early Judeo-Christian tradition similar concepts appear in the Gospel of the Ebionites, fr.
They give, however, no direct parallel. Even if we assume that Shenoute has in mind texts like those of Nag Hammadi what is yet to be proven , he may see their readers not among his own monks or monks is general , but among the laypeople from the area surrounding Panopolis, or even from more distant regions of Egypt Shenoute, who had numerous visitors, could easily get to know about such persons. We actually have a direct hint to the contrary.
Discussing the problem of the lack of faith in transubstantiation of bread and wine, Shenoute writes: Did you not find bread to eat and wine to drink, as we have written these things elsewhere? His monks, therefore, could not form his whole audience. Indeed, Shenoute speaks in this place about some monks and monks, among others, formed a part of his audience, but in fact in this part of his speech he does not bring up the problem of apocryphal books.
The widely discussed question of certain similarities between the theology of Origen and the The Tripartite Tractate is far from being resolved Although in the case of relation between title and the content of the Coptic works a due caution is always necessary cf. Buzi, Titles in the Coptic Manuscript Tradition: Immerzeel — J. Kersten — C. VIII, Lundhaug and Jenott discuss broadly the problem of the Origenist controversy once again in the final part of their work. The idea that the Gospel of Philip could have been created in the course of Origenist disputes p.
Such dating does not mean, however, that this work should not be included into the core of the Valentinian corpus If we accept the fourth-century date of the Gospel, as proposed by Lundhaug and Jenott, this text might actually witness to the vitality of Valentinian groups in the fourth-century Egypt, able to reshape their own tradition in the face of the new theological dilemmas, than to the Origenist origin of this text If Pachomian monks read works of Origen in the fourth century AD for which we have no solid evi- dence , they would do that most probably not because they thought that the advantages of such readings prevailed over doctrinal doubts, but rather because they did not consider Origenist texts as heretical at that time.
In a more recent study F. Berno proves that theological ideas of The Tripartite Tractate are of a later date, and may fit the best the debates of the fourth century: Rethinking Valentinianism: Michael in Hamuli are perceived by D.
Brakke The Egyptian Afterlife of Origenism: Isenberg, The Gospel according to Philip. Lundhaug, Images of Rebirth. An Illusion of Textual Stability: Lied — H. Lundhaug TU , Berlin , Thomassen, The Spiritual Seed. Edwards, The Epistle to Rheginus: Valentinianism in the Fourth Century, NT 37 Krutzch — G. Therefore, it deserves our closer attention.
The sign of ownership is located on the front cover at the bottom right. The cover was made in the fifth century AD at the earliest it has characteristic dimensions , but the quality of the decoration fits better the codices of the sixth century AD and later.
Later, how- ever, the cover was recut and fitted to a fifth—century codex with contents similar and partially parallel to the texts from Nag Hammadi. The precise date of the reuse and resizing of the cover is unknown Krutzsch and G.
Poethke, cited by Lundhaug and Jenott, do not comment on the date of the inscription on the cover. Lundhaug and Jenott write, however: Lundhaug and Jenott do not cite any new scholarship, nor do they present the reasoning that led them to the conclusion that the abbot Zacharias could not be the owner of the first codex which was put inside this cover.
Myriam Krutzsch, who worked on the conservation of the codex, observed that it displays many traces of an intensive use and that some cards have been ripped and repaired in antiquity This points at a fairly intensive reading and great value attached to the texts in the codex, and makes less likely the idea of only one user.
Even if further studies would prove that the person mentioned on the cover was actually the owner of the Gnostic texts, it would only mean that an otherwise unknown abbot Zacharias read the Apocryphon of John, not that the Egyptian, or especially Pachomian monks, read and copied such materials. There is, however, no indisputable link between the generally true premise that monks read apocrypha and the conclusion that they read and created the texts from Nag Hammadi.
Moreover, Lundhaug and Jenott entirely ignore the fact that even though monks did read apocrypha, they were not their only readers. That apocrypha were studied also by laypeople, is directly proved by P. LXIII , a letter concern- ing a book exchange between two persons at least one of them was a woman , dated to the beginning of the fourth century AD Oxy I 1; P.
Krutzsch — G. Poethke, Der Einband, cit. Akten zur Tagung der Patristischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft vom Markschies — J. See discussion in T. Otranto supports the interpretation of the first publisher who claimed that the letter mentions the first book of the Old Testament: Otranto, Alia tempora, cit.
Oxy IV , none of which is dated by the scholars later than to the end of the 3rd century As the shroud comes from illegal excavations, we know nothing about the person who was buried in it. L , P. VIII 4th century ; considering their date, at least P.
L and P. III could not originate in the monastic milieu. Although all these texts are Greek, they are chronologically closer to the Nag Hammadi dossier than to monastic libraries from the 9th — 12th centuries, to which Lundhaug and Jenott links them we discuss this subject further.
It also cannot be said that they belonged to some marginal Christian literature. While nu- merous fragments from the Gospels of John and Matthew were found in Oxyrhynchus, only one fragment from Mark and three from Luke have emerged; therefore, the Gospel of Thomas or Gospel of Mary seem to have enjoyed comparable popularity.
We know that before the emergence of the monastic movement, peo- ple already read non—canonical texts, like the fragments of Gospels of an unknown origin P. Egerton 2, 2nd century or the recently published P. The assumption that all readers of such texts collectively joined the monastic movement is unreasonable. We would also draw the attention to the so-called miniature codices. The interpretation that they were destined for private reading, especially during a journey, seems correct.
This means that not only monks should be taken into account as their pri- mary users. They might be as well pious people from the world or ecclesiastics.
One such codex contains the so-called Gospel of the Saviour P. V and is dated to the early fourth century We know with certainty that at least the Gospel of Thomas was read and used by Manicheans Mean- while, there is no trace of this gospel in monastic literature.
Layton et al. NHS 20 , Leiden , ; S. Gathercole, The Gospel of Thomas. Introduction and Commentary, Leiden , Gathercole, The Gospel of Thomas, cit. For an exhaustive presentation of it see A. Luijendijk, Jesus says: Tuckett, Oxford , Parrott et al. NHS 27 , Leiden , Frey — J. Kraus, Ad fontes, cit. Kruger, The Gospel of the Savior: An Analysis of P. In Manichaean literature there are also direct links to the text of the Gospel, see: Giversen, Louvain , ; W. Bethge et al.
NHMS 54 , Leiden , Full bibli- ography in S. The skeptical revision of the above mentioned links between the Gospel of Thomas and the Manichaeans, in J. Coyle, The Gospel of Thomas in Manichaeism?
Lundhaug and Jenott completely lost from sight the private production and circulation of books which is attested in the dossier of the Manichaean community of Kellis. The work is unknown and is most probably of apocryphal nature in relation to the New Testament We should add here that at least some of the Manicheans of Kellis were fully bilin- gual, which is evident not only from the fact that the Kellis dossier was written in two languages, but is also revealed in an expression from one of the letters: There was still another milieu in Late Ancient Egypt interested in exegesis of the Creation myth.
In the writings of the alchemist Zosimus there are clear traces of an interest in the Genesis and the broader Enochic tradition, going far beyond widely shared topoi To some extent, there is some evidence of his knowledge of writings like the Apocryphon of John and the Hermetica The authors start with an examination of the colophon of codex VII: They write: While it is true that requests for blessing are quite frequent in colophons collected by A.
Part II, ed. The range of apocrypha used by Manichaeans is well outlined in J.
Richter, Ch. Horton, K. I, On the linguistic aspects of this archive, see S. Clackson — A. Papaconstantinou, Coptic or Greek? Papacon- stantinou, Farnham , Mosshammer, 14, ll.
About the use of Enochic tradition and even possession and reworking of the texts see. Fraser, Zosimos of Panopolis and the Book of Enoch. Alchemy as Forbidden Knowledge, Aries 4 ; D. Zosimos of Panopolis and Codex Panopolitanus, Henoch 35 Camplani, Procedimenti magico-alchemici e discorso filosofico ermetico, in Il tardoantico alle soglie del duemi- la.
Lanata, Pisa , Camplani notes also some links between ideas of Zosimos and some Nag Hammadi texts, cf. MacCoull, P. II Verso The Gnostica of Dioscorus of Aphrodito, Tyche 2 We know nothing about Coptic speaking alchemists of the 4th-5th centuries, but the possibility of the existence of urban inventors and users of Coptic has been raised by many scholars.
Text in J. Robinson — J. Goehring, The Three Steles of Seth: Pearson NHS 30 , Leiden , For the authors this term is, however, essential for the association of the entire colophon with the monastic milieu: Apart from the logical error — if we assume that the books from Nag Hammadi were reserved for the abbots [p. Even on the same page p.
In the documents mainly letters mentioned by Lundhaug and Jenott, this term generally appears with a more detailed identification of a person: Jews Also, all the examples taken from monastic literature given at p.
There is only one important exception: In the discussed scribal note, there is a non-personalized form which seems unrelated to any specific person or group of persons. If we understand the colophon in this way, it would mean that the scribe did not have any personal relationship with the person for whom he worked and possibly even did not know his identity—except for the fact that he was a respected person which, of course, does not imply that we are dealing with a monk, let alone an abbot.
It is hardly imaginable that the monk Frange, well known from an extensive epistolary dossier, was a superior of a monastic community. However, in O. Especially interesting is P. An intriguing example is found also in P. Crum, modified. We must also remember about numerous examples in which the very content of the letter and the absence of vocabulary of self-humiliation suggest that we are dealing with people of equal status Clear proof is given in the Life of Moses of Abydos.
But all of us, we are brethren. Budge, London , text , transl. Frange 74; O. Frange Macarius the Spiritbearer.
The Coptic colo- phons collected by van Lantschoot are centuries later than those from the Nag Hammadi codices. Ownership is expresses simply by the name of the particular church or monastery The terms which occur in this subscription are present in the corpus of van Lantschoot, but in totally different contexts than in the Nag Hammadi codex Lundhaug and Jenott ignore this difference. The authors do not give any source-rooted example of a change of the name or of adoption of a spiritual name; they cannot do it, because such a practice did not exist in Egyptian monasticism Depuydt, Catalogue of Coptic Manu- scripts, cit.
XIV, l. XCII, l. LXX, l. He came to the whole place and did not burden anyone. XVI, l. LV, ll. Histories of the monks, cit. Indeed, encoding names is a common practice in colophons of medieval Coptic codices.
It is worthy of note, however, that in Codex VIII it is the title that is encoded, while in Codex VII the encoded part conveyed perhaps some theological message but we cannot say anything certain here. But we can hardly think about fear of monastic censorship, because the texts already copied by the scribe were enough suspicious in terms of Pachomian orthodoxy.
Nag Hammadi Codices and the Dishna Papers Here we shall offer only a brief discussion of the issues important to Lundhaug and Jenott, who try to ex- plain the Nag Hammadi dossier through an analogy with a collection of heterogenous documents known collectively as the Dishna Papers the name is derived from the village near which, according to R.
Robinson, the papers were found, and has not gained general acceptance , or less accurately as Bodmer Papyri from the name of Martin Bodmer, who bought most, but not all of them.
The spatial proximity — still only hypothetical — of the finding spots of the Nag Hammadi and Dishna collections could encourage comparisons.
However, when we look more closely at the context of production of the two dossiers, the question of their ownership and the reason of their hiding, we have to admit the lack of firm evidence for their similarity, and the reasoning of Lundhaug and Jenott is revealed as a kind of ignotum per ignotum. Even the number of the Dishna Papers is a matter of discussion from ca.
Certain codicological features of some of the Dishna codices actually resemble those known from Nag Hammadi. Although some scholars — like J.
Robinson — connect with the Dishna Papers also nine texts with Pachomian content, such an association is very dubious. Moreover, the subsection on the Dishna Papers contains a clear over-interpretation. Kasser and Ph. Luisier, on whose edition Lundhaug and Jenott rely, write the following: Furthermore, as Lundhaug and Jenott admit, the connection translation. The change of name occurs during the baptism ceremony, and the names that are abandoned are related to Egyptian gods. It is, however, an absolute exception, which is anyway unrelated to monastic life.
The text is currently dated to the sixth century. Kasser, Bodmer papyri, in Coptic Encyclopedia, vol.
Atiya, New York , Fournet, Anatomie, cit. Camplani, Per un profilo storico-religioso degli ambienti di produzione e fruizione dei Papyri Bodmer: Kasser — Ph. Luisier, P. The authors do not investigate thoroughly enough neither the context of production and transmission of the Nag Hammadi texts nor the question of their intended and actual readers.
For instance, we do not find a firm proof to support the suggestion that the more experienced and per- fect monks could read different texts than other brothers p. It is also true that monks had to possess a knowledge of demons p. Forty years is quite long in such an intensively researched area like monasticism and culture of late An- tique Egypt.