Nag Hammadi Library

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The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of sacred texts that were discovered by Mohammed Ali Samman in 1945 in the small village of Nag Hammâdi (Chenoboskion in classical antiquity) in central Egypt. The thirteen codices, with fifty-two texts, were found buried in a sealed jar. The writings in these codices are mostly Gnostic 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 St. Pachomius monastery when these writings were banned by the Orthodox Church in an effort to eliminate all heterodoxy and heresy.

The contents of the codices were written in Coptic, though the works were mostly (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.

List of Codices Found in Nag Hammadi

File:Naghammadi thomas.jpg
The Gospel of Thomas from the Nag Hammadi Library
  • Codex I (also known as The Jung Codex):
    • The Prayer of the Apostle Paul
    • The Apocryphon of James
    • The Gospel of Truth
    • The Treatise on the Resurrection
    • The Tripartite Tractate
  • Codex II:
    • The Apocryphon of John
    • The Gospel of Thomas
    • The Gospel of Philip
    • The Hypostasis of the Archons
    • On the Origin of the World
    • The Exegesis on the Soul
    • The Book of Thomas the Contender
  • Codex III:
  • Codex IV:
    • The Apocryphon of John
    • The Gospel of the Egyptians
  • Codex V:
    • Eugnostos the Blessed
    • The Apocalypse of Paul
    • The (first) Apocalypse of James
    • The (second) Apocalypse of James
    • The Apocalypse of Adam
  • Codex VI:
    • The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
    • The Thunder, Perfect Mind
    • Authorative Teaching
    • The Concept of Our Great Power
    • The Republic by Plato - The original is not gnostic, but the Nag Hammadi library version is heavily modified and therefore gnostic.
    • The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth - a Hermetic treatise
    • The Prayer of Thanksgiving (with a hand-written note) - a Hermetic prayer
    • Asclepius 21-29 - another Hermetic treatise
  • Codex VII:
    • The Paraphrase of Shem
    • The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
    • Apocalypse of Peter
    • The Teachings of Silvanus
    • The Three Steles of Seth
  • Codex VIII:
    • Zostrianos
    • The Letter of Peter to Philip
  • Codex IX:
    • Melchizedek
    • The Thought of Norea
    • The Testimony of Truth
  • Codex X:
    • Marsanes
  • Codex XI:
    • The Interpretation of Knowledge
    • A Valentinian Exposition, On the Anointing, On Baptism (A and B) and On the Eucharist (A and B)
    • Allogenes
    • Hypsiphrone
  • Codex XII:
    • The Sentences of Sextus
    • The Gospel of Truth
    • Fragments
  • Codex XIII:
    • Trimorphic Protennoia
    • On the Origin of the World


  • Layton, Bentley, ed. The Gnostic Scriptures ISBN 0385478437.
  • Robinson, James M., ed. The Nag Hammadi Library in English ISBN 0060669357.
  • Wikipedia (2004). Nag Hammadi. Retrieved Oct. 22, 2004.

External links

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.