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The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient codices containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945.

This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary Gnostic scriptures - texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define "orthodoxy" - scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth.

The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, completed in the 1970's, has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism.

Several of the major texts in the Nag Hammadi collection have more than one English translation; where more than one translation is available, we have listed the translators' names in parenthesis below the name of the text.

Texts marked with the {*} had more than one version extant within the Nag Hammadi codices; often these several versions were used conjointly by the translators to provide the single translation presented here.


An Overview of the Nag Hammadi Texts

When analyzed according to subject matter, there are six separate major categories of writings collected in the Nag Hammadi codices:

This leaves a small number of scriptures of the Nag Hammadi Library which may be called "unclassifiable."

It also must be kept in mind that the passage of time and translation into languages very different from the original have rendered many of these scriptures abstruse in style.

Some of them are difficult reading, especially for those readers not familiar with Gnostic imagery, nomenclature and the like.

Lacunae are also present in most of these scriptures - in a few of the texts extensive sections have been lost due to age and deterioration of the manuscripts.

The most readily comprehensible of the Nag Hammadi scriptures is undoubtedly The Gospel of Thomas, with The Gospel of Philip and the The Gospel of Truth as close seconds in order of easy comprehension. (These texts were all also thankfully very well preserved and have few lacunae.)

There are various translations of most of these scriptures available; the most complete being the one volume collection The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James Robinson, from which the translations presented here are principally quoted.

Read "The Dead Sea Scrolls".



Alphabetical Index





Codex Index


Codex I (The Jung Codex)

  1. The Prayer of the Apostle Paul

  2. The Apocryphon of James:

  3. The Gospel of Truth:*

  4. The Treatise on the Resurrection

  5. The Tripartite Tractate


Codex II

  1. The Apocryphon of John* (long version)

  2. The Gospel of Thomas:

  3. The Gospel of Philip

  4. The Hypostasis of the Archons

  5. On the Origin of the World*

  6. The Exegesis on the Soul

  7. The Book of Thomas the Contender


Codex III

  1. The Apocryphon of John* (short version, used in long version translation above)

  2. The Gospel of the Egyptians*

  3. Eugnostos the Blessed*

  4. The Sophia of Jesus Christ

  5. The Dialogue of the Savior


Codex IV

  1. The Apocryphon of John* (long version)

  2. The Gospel of the Egyptians*


Codex V

  1. Eugnostos the Blessed*

  2. The Apocalypse of Paul

  3. The (First) Apocalypse of James

  4. The (Second) Apocalypse of James

  5. The Apocalypse of Adam


Codex VI

  1. The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

  2. The Thunder, Perfect Mind

  3. Authoritative Teaching

  4. The Concept of Our Great Power

  5. Plato, Republic 588A-589B

  6. The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

  7. The Prayer of Thanksgiving

  8. Asclepius 21-29

Codex VII

  1. The Paraphrase of Shem (fragmentary, translation not provided here)

  2. The Second Treatise of the Great Seth

  3. The Apocalypse of Peter

  4. The Teachings of Silvanus

  5. The Three Steles of Seth


Codex VIII

  1. Zostrianos

  2. The Letter of Peter to Philip


Codex IX

  1. Melchizedek

  2. The Thought of Norea

  3. The Testimony of Truth


Codex X

  1. Marsanes


Codex XI

  1. The Interpretation of Knowledge

  2. A Valentinian Exposition
    2a. On the Anointing
    2b. On the Baptism A
    2c. On the Baptism B
    2d. On the Eucharist A
    2e. On the Eucharist B

  3. Allogenes

  4. Hypsiphrone


Codex XII

  1. The Sentences of Sextus

  2. The Gospel of Truth:*

  3. Fragments (translation not provided here)


Codex XIII

  1. Trimorphic Protennoia

  2. On the Origin of the World*















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