In December 1945, a set of 52 religious and
philosophical texts, hidden in an earthenware jar
for 1,600 years, was accidentally unearthed.
A example of the codices discovered
in 1945 at the foot of Gebel el Tarif mountain:
most of these codices were protected in a leather
case, such as the one shown here.
far from the village of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, a
group of farmers came across an entire collection of
books written in Coptic, the very language spoken
by Egyptian Christians, which came as a bombshell
to the historical and theological communities.
corpus of 1,200 pages is currently conserved
at the Coptic Museum in Cairo and contains one text
in particular that made the headlines - the Gospel
according to Thomas, which was originally called
'the secret words of Jesus written by Thomas'.
years after the miraculous discovery, the controversy
still rages on, and the analysis of the texts continues
to represent a source of contention. The collection
has spawned several books and essays: from interpretations
with a Rosicrucian bias to accusations of the religious
community being sworn to silence. Scientists
continue to raise questions about the exact repercussions
of such a discovery.