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Nag Hammadi

From Academic Kids

Nag Hammdi is a village in the middle of Egypt, called Chenoboskion in classical antiquity, about 225 kilometres north-west of Aswan with some 30,000 citizens. It is mostly a peasant area where goods such as sugar and aluminium are produced.

Contents

The Nag Hammadi Library

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Nag Hammadi Texts

Nag Hammadi is best known for being the site where in December, 1945 thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by local peasants. The writings in these codices comprised 52 mostly Gnostic tractates (treatises), but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation of Plato's Republic. The codices are believed to be a library, hidden by monks from the nearby monastery of St Pachomius when the possession of such banned writings denounced as heresy was made an offense. The zeal of Athanasius in extirpating non-canonical writings and the Theodosian decrees of the 390s may have motivated the hiding of such dangerous literature.

The contents of the codices were written in Coptic, though the works were probably all translations from Greek. Most famous of these works must be the Gospel of Thomas, of which the Nag Hammadi codices contain the only complete copy. After the discovery it was recognized that fragments of these sayings of Jesus appeared in manuscripts that had been discovered at Oxyrhynchus in 1898, and quotations were recognized in other early Christian sources. The 1st or 2nd century date of the lost Greek originals behind the Coptic translations is controverted, but the manuscripts themselves are from the 3rd and 4th centuries.

The Nag Hammadi codices are housed in the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt.

Complete list of codices found in Nag Hammadi

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Nag Hammadi Texts - Codex IV

References

  • Layton, Bentley, ed. The Gnostic Scriptures ISBN 0385478437
  • Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Gospels
  • Robinson, James M., ed. The Nag Hammadi Library in English ISBN 0060669357
  • Robinson, James M., 1979 "The discovery of the Nag Hammadi codices," in Biblical Archaeology vol. 42, pp206–224. The definitive account of the discovery of the Nag Hammadi cache.

External links

eo:Nag-Hamado nl:Nag Hammadi-geschriften ja:ナグ・ハマディ写本 pt:Nag Hammadi fi:Nag Hammadi sv:Nag Hammadi

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