Heretical Greek text of 'Jesus' secret teachings to his brother James' discovered by biblical scholars in Oxford

17:46 • 01.12.17



A rare original Greek copy of 'Jesus' secret teachings to his brother James' has been discovered by biblical scholars.


Fragments of a 1,600-year-old heretical document describe how Jesus passes on knowledge of heaven and future events, including James' inevitable death.


The text, from the story the 'First Apocalypse of James', refers to James as Jesus' brother, though “not materially”, the Daily Mail reports.

The story was deemed “forbidden” because writings that added to or changed the existing New Testament in any way were not permitted.


It forms part of the Nag Hammadi library, a series of 52 religious manuscripts written sometime between the 2nd and 6th Century AD.


Spread across 13 leather-bound vellum codices found buried in Egypt, they are of a heretical tradition known as Gnosticism – an early, mysterious form of Christianity.


"This new discovery is significant in part because it demonstrates that Christians were still reading and studying extra-canonical writings long after Christian leaders deemed them heretical," Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the two scholars who made the discovery, told Newsweek.  

Like most Gnostic records, many of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts are written in Coptic, a traditional Egyptian language.

The library was found buried in a large jar in what is now the small town of Nag Hammadi, Egypt, and is currently kept at Oxford University.


Earlier this year, researchers discovered that one of the library's texts stood out because it was a copy of an existing piece written in Greek.


They found several fifth- or sixth-century Greek fragments of the Gnostic story of the First Apocalypse of James, which was thought to have been preserved only in its Coptic translationsuntil now.

The researchers, from the University of Texas at Austin, say the text was likely used as a teaching piece to help young Egyptians learn Greek centuries ago.


“To say that we were excited once we realised what we'd found is an understatement,' study coauthor Dr Geoffrey Smith, a scholar of Biblical Greek and Christian origins, said.


“We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.”


The ancient manuscript is famous for describing Jesus' secret teachings to James, who he frequently refers to as 'my brother'.


Jesus notes that James is not a real sibling, however, describing his friend as “not my brother materially”.


“The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus' life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James - secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus' death,” Dr Smith said.


The text is technically heretical as it would have fallen outside the canonical boundaries set by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria in the Third Century AD.


In his “Easter letter of 367”, Athanasius defined the 27-book New Testament: “No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them.”


The original manuscript was probably a teacher's modelling tool used to help students learn to read and write Greek, the researchers said.


The text is said to be neat, uniform handwriting, as well as its words being separated into syllables, suggest it was penned by an academic.


"The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots,' study coauthor Professor Brent Landau said.


"Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts."

 

The text forms part of the Nag Hammadi library, a series of 52 religious manuscripts written as far as 1,900 years ago. Spread across 13 leather-bound vellum codices found buried in Egypt, they are of a heretical tradition known as Gnosticism. Pictured is a fragment from the library

Gnosticism is a modern name for a variety of ancient religious ideas and systems, originating in Jewish culture in the first and second century AD. Pictured is a fragment from the Nag Hammadi library

 

 





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

19:38 • 19/05

“Renaissance” Foundation organized an event dedicated to well-known Armenian-American writer William Saroyan

15:41 • 19/05

German twins who were the first ever babies treated for a genetic disease in womb thriving two years after doctors gave potentially lethal diagnosis

15:05 • 19/05

Top national security official denies arrival of FBI experts in Armenia

14:30 • 19/05

Nagorno-Karabakh reports 250 Azerbaijani ceasefire violations  

14:07 • 19/05

Turkey, UK to intensify talks for post-Brexit free trade deal

13:38 • 19/05

Armenian, Artsakh foreign ministers discuss progress in peace talks

13:08 • 19/05

Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle to be named Duke and Duchess of Sussex  

12:33 • 19/05

Zhoghovurd: Marriages and divorces 'on the rise' in Armenia  

12:10 • 19/05

Italian Open: Sharapova to play Simon Halep in semi-finals

11:49 • 19/05

Zhamanak: Pashinyan invited to attend EU partner countries' forum

11:26 • 19/05

Shia cleric bloc wins Iraq elections

10:55 • 19/05

Artsakh will remain key priority on Armenia's foreign policy agenda – Zohrab Mnatsakanyan

09:59 • 19/05

Royal wedding 2018: Millions set to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan Merkle

09:29 • 19/05

10 die in Texas school shooting

09:12 • 19/05

More than 100 reported killed in Cuba plane crash

18:20 • 18/05

Nikol Pashinyan, Richard Mills discuss agenda of US-Armenia relations

17:45 • 18/05

Political changes in Armenia marked ‘cultural revolution’ – opinions

16:55 • 18/05

Fitch: Armenia transition smooth; new PM faces political tests

16:22 • 18/05

Armenian authorities must ‘demonstrate political will’ to complete promised reforms – economist

15:22 • 18/05

Ucom hires Polytechnic University students on competitive basis

15:08 • 18/05

GQ pokes fun at Vanity Fair with extra arms and legs on 'comedy' cover

14:56 • 18/05

Royal wedding: Prince Charles to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle to Prince Harry

14:29 • 18/05

Turkey’s move to recall ambassador not to diminish relations - State Department spokesperson

14:08 • 18/05

Nikol Pashinyan introduces new chief of National Security Council

13:25 • 18/05

EU looks to avoid Trump's anti-Iran sanctions

13:16 • 18/05

PayPal acquires Swedish payments firm iZettle for $2.2bn

12:33 • 18/05

Why didn’t Putin interfere in Armenia’s Velvet Revolution? – Foreign Affairs

12:16 • 18/05

US seeks to build global coalition against Iran

11:57 • 18/05

Corruption ‘heavily undermined’ Armenia’s economy – Daron Acemoglu

10:54 • 18/05

Republican Party of Armenia 'not considering snap elections' – spokesperson

10:15 • 18/05

Russia's new hypersonic weapon will likely be ready for war by 2020

09:50 • 18/05

Turkish court orders release of suspect in Dink case

09:30 • 18/05

Hawaii volcano erupts explosively

09:12 • 18/05

First female director of CIA confirmed

14:10 • 17/05

YouTube launching new music streaming service

14:04 • 17/05

Juventus goalkeeper to leave club ‘at the end of season’

13:57 • 17/05

EEU and China sign trade cooperation agreement

13:30 • 17/05

AI-powered camera ‘captures’ sleepy students in Chinese High-Tech school

13:16 • 17/05

Tourist lets a leopard get a little too close in safari park as it playfully paws his shoe before scratching his leg

12:59 • 17/05

Head of National Statistical Service re-appointed

12:48 • 17/05

NATO office in Chisunau ‘likely to close’ after election

12:44 • 17/05

Trump orders new anti-Russia sanctions

12:32 • 17/05

Armenian premier appoints new head of State Revenue Committee

12:05 • 17/05

Iran, EEU agree on free trade cooperation

11:46 • 17/05

Turkey condemns US court’s sentence on former Halkbank manager Hakan Atilla

11:32 • 17/05

Zhoghovurd: Revolutionary developments ‘inspire hope for judiciary reforms’ in Armenia, says senior judge

10:54 • 17/05

Political developments in Armenia ‘create new dynamics’ in Karabakh peace talks – Dennis Sammut

09:59 • 17/05

Armenian Foreign Ministry ‘concerned’ over Gaza Strip tensions

09:32 • 17/05

ANCA Welcomes House Appropriations Subcommittee testimony by Congressional Armenian Caucus leaders

09:13 • 17/05

European Parliament backs EU-Armeni agreement  

17:56 • 16/05

Saudi Arabia hosts its first women's exhibition of cars

17:43 • 16/05

Israeli lawmakers move to recognize Genocide amid Turkey raw

15:53 • 16/05

Turkish scholars studying Genocide archives ‘outnumber Armenians’ – German historian

14:41 • 16/05

Following US lead, Guatemala moves embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem  

14:15 • 16/05

Change in economic model ‘not enough’ to fight corruption in Armenia – Transparency International director

13:36 • 16/05

$240m baseball star banned for 80 games for failed drugs test

12:51 • 16/05

Mysterious 'two-headed deer' found in a forest

12:31 • 16/05

Europe to ditch US dollar in payments for Iranian oil

12:26 • 16/05

Europe vows to keep Iran deal alive ‘without offering guarantees’

12:02 • 16/05

PACE issues anti-corruption sanctions involving Azerbaijani delegate

10:56 • 16/05

Amal Clooney 'angers' fashion designer Tom Ford's team after changing to 'backup' outfit at Met Gala

10:32 • 16/05

Armenia must ‘shake off stigma’ of political prisoners - Nikol Pashinyan

10:05 • 16/05

North Korea suspends talks with South

09:55 • 16/05

Palestine recalls ambassador from US

09:42 • 16/05

Israeli minister calls for recognizing Armenian Genocide

09:30 • 16/05

Trump issues congratulations to Pashinyan

09:12 • 16/05

Anthony Hopkins 'taken for homeless man' while filming BBC film King Lear

18:19 • 15/05

Azerbaijan deports St Petersburg resident 'due to Armenian surname'

17:55 • 15/05

Pentagon: Turkey remains an ‘indispensable partner’ for US

17:38 • 15/05

New Zealand hit by fifteen quakes in quick succession sparking fears of ‘big one’

17:18 • 15/05

Nikol Pashinyan introduces new foreign minister

16:33 • 15/05

World Cup 2018: Gotze misses out on Germany's provisional squad

16:04 • 15/05

Pashinyan introduces vice and deputy prime ministers to cabinet

15:15 • 15/05

Problems on Russian-Armenian agenda ‘inherited from past’ –debate

14:34 • 15/05

North Korea’s release of US prisoners ‘doesn’t mean peace’

14:04 • 15/05

Chief of Justice Ministry’s Compulsory Enforcement Service sacked  

13:33 • 15/05

Yerevan protesters demand mayor's resignation

13:02 • 15/05

Tesla Autopilot engaged during Utah crash

12:51 • 15/05

Modigliani nude fetches $157.2m at Sotheby's 

12:38 • 15/05

Cannes 2018: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan looks glorious in an ivory couture gown at red carpet

12:19 • 15/05

Putin knew in advance that Pashinyan was  ‘admissible leader’ for Moscow – analyst

11:20 • 15/05

Hraparak: Psychiatric clinic to turn into bookmaker office in Yerevan?

10:47 • 15/05

Melania Trump undergoes kidney surgery

10:21 • 15/05

Amazon adopts new policy to promote board diversity

10:05 • 15/05

Turkey recalls ambassadors from Tel Aviv and Washington

09:52 • 15/05

Jerusalem embassy and Gaza protests: 59 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire at border

09:35 • 15/05

World leaders react US Embassy opening in Jerusalem

09:16 • 15/05

Gaza protests: Fresh violence expected after deadly clashes

18:51 • 14/05

Apple and Samsung face groundhog day fight

18:33 • 14/05

Iran-Armenia agenda ‘not subject to changes’ – expert

17:36 • 14/05

Prime Minister Pashinyan joins Eurasian Economic Summit in Sochi

16:48 • 14/05

Serena Williams ‘can win French Open’, says coach

16:38 • 14/05

Pashinyan has not campaigned for snap elections ‘promising his success’ – presidential advisor

16:04 • 14/05

Artak Ananyan appointed Interim Chairman of Ardshinbank's Management Board

15:48 • 14/05

Israeli forces kill 16 in Palestinian as anger mounts over US Embassy

15:20 • 14/05

Armenia has serious potential to boost dialogue with Russia – Putin

14:48 • 14/05

ADB loan, equity to Ameriabank to help promote financial inclusion in Armenia

14:21 • 14/05

This revolution marked 'serious demythication processes', says minister

13:27 • 14/05

Turkey’s Erdogan says East Jerusalem is Palestine’s capital  

12:46 • 14/05

Pashinyan meets with Tigran Sargsyan in Sochi