The Nag Hammadi Library in English

The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. They consist of thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices found buried in a sealed jar by a local farmer. The contents of the codices were written in the Coptic language and these copies date from the 3rd and 4th centuries. There is no way of knowing the date of the original works but contextually some of them appear to be from the 1st century with writers who either were or knew the apostles.

The writings in these codices comprise 52 treatises, as well as three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation 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 Saint Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 A.D. The discovery of these texts significantly influenced modern scholarship’s pursuit and knowledge of early Christianity and Gnosticism.

As noted above, not everything contained in the Nag Hammadi Library is scriptural. What we have included here are some, but not all, of the documents which give light to a greater understanding of God and His Word.

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