Fragments of the First Apocalypse of James discovered at Oxford.
Scholars have discovered fragments of a banned gospel of Christ in a collection of ancient manuscripts at Oxford University. The fragments are Greek copies of the heretical ‘First Apocalypse of James,’ and date to the fourth century.
Fragments of the Gospel written in Greek provide a new translation for scholars to evaluate.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) – Scholars at Oxford have discovered fragments of the heretical ‘First Apocalypse of James’ in the Nag Hammadi collection of ancient manuscripts.
The fragments do not add anything to our knowledge of the gospel, which is largely intact, but missing some fragments. However, the pieces appear to date back to the fourth century and may have been copies drawn from the original text. What makes these fragments remarkable is they are the first ones ever discovered written in Greek.
In addition to being written in Greek, the words are broken up into syllables. It is written neatly suggesting a scholar copied the text. The gospel was commonly copied by Egyptian students to help them learn Greek. Teachers often composed models for the students to follow. The fragments are probably from one such model.
The gospel isn’t a proper gospel, but rather a heretical work that was popular with the Gnostics. The Gnostic heresy was a belief that was popular for about two centuries. Followers believed that the material world was inherently evil. The heresy was condemned because it contradicts Biblical teaching that God is our creator, that all creation is good, and Jesus was a man as well as God.
In the gospel, Jesus speaks to James, whom he refers to as His ‘brother,’ although in the non-maternal sense (meaning they were close companions, and not related). Jesus tells James of what is to come in the future and not to worry. The book also suggests Jesus had seven female disciples.
The book is a work of fiction and was rejected by the Church. The Gnostic heresy died around the 4th century as the canon of the Bible was established and the Church became the dominant institution across the Mediterranean world as the Roman empire declined.
Copyright 2017 – Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed. That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.
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