Sometimes when local farmers look for fertilizer, it can lead to a great discovery – documents in a jar, buried 1,400 years or so ago.
In 1945, near the Egyptian town of Nag Hammandi , the local farmers found 13 leather – bound vellum codices, that consist 52 texts, which were buried 1,400 years or so ago in a jar.
Now, researches at The University of Texas at Austin revealed that, fragments of one of those manuscripts are different from the others in the this hidden library, mainly the different ones are written in Greek rather than Coptic – a traditional language written and spoken in Egypt for many centuries.
“We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of Jamessurvived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.”
The document is technically heretical and it’s not being included in the Christian canon as a bonafide gospel. It stands as a manuscript , famous for describing conversations between Jesus and James, who he refers to as frequently ‘my brother’.
Nevertheless, the language is not the only thing that makes this manuscript stand out. These versions of the text were a teaching tool, probably modeling Greek for students. Small sections of known texts are presented as example texts.
This library is traced back to anywhere between the 2nd and 6th century CE, they are probably ones of heretical tradition described as Gnosticism (an early, rather mystical form of Christianity).
According to this, The Nag Hammadi library holds an immense importance for the understanding of this period and its culture.