Nag hammadi carbon dating

The cache contained twelve leather-bound volumes, with pages of a thirteenth volume removed from its own, now lost, binding and tucked inside the cover of one of the others. The pages are made of papyrus. And the books are anthologies — collections of texts compiled and then bound together. Altogether there are fifty-two treatises preserved among these volumes; but six of the treatises are duplicates, making a total of forty-six documents in the collection. The documents are written in Coptic. But there are solid reasons for thinking that they were each originally composed in Greek.

For some of the books there is no question about it: For other works, including the Gospel of Thomas, we have Greek fragments that date from a much earlier period. The leather-bound books themselves were manufactured in the second half of the fourth century. We know this because the spines of the leather bindings were strengthened with scrap paper, and some of the scrap paper came from receipts that are dated , , and CE. The books thus must have been manufactured sometime after CE. The date of the books, of course, is not the same as the date of the documents found within the books — just as the Bible another anthology lying on my desk was manufactured in , but the documents it contains were written some years earlier.

So too with the Nag Hammadi texts: When, then, were the texts of these books written? Scholars have engaged in hard fought debates over the dates of some of these books, especially over whether they were composed as early as the first century, before the books of the New Testament. Among these particular debates, those over the Gospel of Thomas are probably the most heated.

We do not know exactly who wrote these books, or why they came to be hidden under the cliff of Jabal al-Tarif, just above the bend of the Nile, north of Luxor. It is probably significant that a Christian monastery, founded by the famous Christian monk Saint Pachomius in the fourth century, is located just three miles away. Scholars have been inclined to think that these books may have come from the library of the monastery, a view supported by the contents of the scrap paper in their bindings.


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But why would monks have disposed of the books? As we will see more fully in a later chapter, a significant moment occurred in the history of the formation of the New Testament canon in the late fourth century.

It was in the year CE that the powerful bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, wrote a letter to the churches throughout Egypt under his jurisdiction, in which he laid out in strict terms the contours of the canon of Scripture. This was the first time anyone of record had indicated that the twenty-seven books that we now have in our New Testament canon, and only those twenty-seven books, should be considered as Scripture.

Is it possible that monks of the Pachomian monastery near Nag Hammadi felt the pressure from on high, and cleaned out their library to conform with the dictates of the powerful bishop of Alexandria? If so, why did they choose to hide the books instead of burn them?

The Discovery of the Nag hammadi Library - The Gospel of Thomas - Gnosticism

Is it possible that they — the ones who hid the books in an earthenware jar off in the wilderness — were actually fond of these books, and decided to hide them away for safekeeping until the tides of scriptural preference shifted, and they could be retrieved for their library of sacred texts? We will never know.

Radiocarbon Dating the Gnostic Gospels of Thomas and Judas after Nicaea

It is a forgery of the teachings of Jesus written in the name of one who should know them better than anyone, his twin brother, Didymus Judas Thomas. A " cobbler of fables " [Augustine]; " Leucius is the disciple of the devil " [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books " should be utterly swept away and burned " [Pope Leo I]; they are the " source and mother of all heresy " [Photius].

Yes, I did not imagine that the error was intentional. I appreciate that you will take the time to correct the webpages. It does seem that the dating of the Nag Hammadi text is more problematic than we thought. The error of saying that it was carbon dated or found to be from after by the cartonnage in the cover doesn't seem that significant.

The use of the cartonnage dates to date the codices seems problematic to me. How do we know that the cover was produced at the time of he codices. I know that because of the expense of books, it was standard practice up to the 20th century to have books rebound when the covers were damaged or worn out over time.

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I assume this practice would have existed much earlier, even in the earliest days of codex. Could not the cover be a replacement binding and therefore the text would be hundreds of years older? For example most of my books date from the 's and 's, but I have some from the 's and 's and even a few from before They are generally in poor condition and they are the ones I would want rebound if I could afford it. If I used receipts that I did not need for new covers, I would most likely use ones just a couple of years old.

Thus receipt dates of could be found in the bindings of books from or even I guess the question is if there is anyway to know if we are dealing with a rebinding or original cover? It's completely legit as a criticism, I think. It is also one of several examples of the differences that result from knowing what kind of dating technique was used "dated papyri in cartonnage" or "C".

The so-called "Codex XIII" is not a codex, but rather the text of Trimorphic Protennoia , written on "eight leaves removed from a thirteenth book in late antiquity and tucked inside the front cover of the sixth. Although the manuscripts discovered at Nag Hammadi are generally dated to the 4th century, there is some debate regarding the original composition of the texts. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on Gnosticism. Robinson , The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: An Introduction , HarperCollins, San Francisco, Archived December 27, , at the Wayback Machine.

In Robinson, James MacConkey. Leiden, New York, Cologne: The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origins, Developments and Significance.

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Indeed their audacity has gone so far that they entitle their recent composition the Gospel of Truth Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses 3. Archived from the original on Retrieved from " https: Webarchive template wayback links CS1 maint: Archived copy as title Articles incorporating a citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from April CS1 maint: Views Read Edit View history.

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