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What Scriptures are in the Nag Hammadi Codex-Part 1

Updated on April 25, 2010

Nag Hammadi Scriptures Part 1

A transformation is happening with Christianity at least with serious Christian scholars. For over 1500 years we have had a limited view of the story of Jesus. Now with a discovery of ancient texts we are able have a more broad view of the different teachings that occured for three hundred years before they actually put the present day Bible together. It is logical for an intelligent modern person to know that their were twelve disciples but only four were chosen to tell their story. Why? So all they questions are now able to be answered. The weak argument that these are some kind of hoax, will not work with scientific dating and patterns of writing that have been studied. Scholars in any area can study one author's work and determine whether or not their were added stories or different writers that claim to be the original author. All these kinds of research methods are able to give a good indication of who wrote these newly discovered texts.

The scriptures that I will discuss are considered like this

"The Nag Hammadi Scriptures includes nearly fifty texts that were read as sacred literature and gathered in collections found near Nag Hammadi and elsewhere in Egypt- hence the title of this volume. ....The texts included here were translated into Coptic, a form of the Egyptian language used from the Roman period until more recent times, though they were likely composed in Greek." Marvin Meyer editor of Nag Hammadi Scriptures- International Edition.

Now the good part- What are the texts found in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures??

Authors that are involved in the Introduction and analysis of Scriptures are as follows:

Elaine Pagels

Karen L. King

Jean-Pierre Mahe

Books by Elain Pagels

The Secret Book of James

This is the form of a letter and is untitled but refered to as (apokruphon) or "secret book"- thus this is why the modern title is so called. (Meyer, pg 19)

The form of the letter follows an ancient epistolary style, name of sender, name of addressee, salutions, and greeting of peace. It contains the experience of the savior only witnessed by James and Peter. It is proclaimed that all were not meant to hear this teaching, only two disciples, thus this is why it is called the Secret Book. (Meyer, Pg 19)

First lines of letter from the Secret Book of James:

"You have asked me to send you a secret book revealed to me and Peter by the master, and I could not turn you down, nor could I speak to you, so I have written it in Hebrew and have sent it to you, and to you alone. But since you are a minister of the salvation of the saints, do your best to be careful not to communicate to many people this book that the Savior did not want to communicate even to all of us, his twelve disciples." (Meyer, pg 23)

The Gospel of Truth

"In Against Heresies, Irenaeus mentions that the Valentinians possess a work called "The Gospel of the Truth." The third tractate of the Codex I happens to begin with precisely those words, and most scholars are therefore inclined to identify the tractate with the work mentioned by Irenaeus." (Meyer, pg 31)

Irenaeus = Irenaeus' best-known book, Adversus Haereses or Against Heresies (c. 180) is a detailed attack on gnosticism, which was then a serious threat to the Church, and especially on the system of the Gnostic Valentinus.Wikipedia (2nd century AD - c. 202) was a Christian Bishop in Gaul , then a part of the Roman Empire (now Lyons, France ). Wikipedia

This is not a gospel like Mark and Luke, and never pretended to be. It is more of a analysis of the transformation of humanity because of the savior and the ability of humans to receive salvation.

First lines of the Gospel of the Truth:

"The gospel of truth is joy for people who have received grace from the Father of truth, that they might know him through the power of the Word."(Meyer, pg 36)

Sources

 Meyer, Marvin, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures- International Edition, Harper Collins, New  York,   NY., 2007

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