The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
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Secret Alias
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The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Secret Alias » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:13 pm

http://www.tf.uio.no/english/research/n ... dices.html
Lundhaug and Jenott make their case for a monastic origin by surveying a wide breadth of material and discussing the question from a multitude of angles. They set the stage with a discussion of the nature of monasticism in late antique Upper Egypt. Using a variety of sources, including biographies of saints, monastic rules, documentary papyri and archaeological evidence, they demonstrate that monasticism at this period was more diverse than has often been often recognised, both in terms of organization and theology.

... Two important chapters in the book deal with the production techniques used in the making and writing of the codices and the relationship of the Nag Hammadi Codices to other Christian books produced at around the same period. “The Nag Hammadi Codices are not unique in their make-up and scribal practices,” Lundhaug tells us. “In fact they closely resemble other books, including biblical manuscripts, which are likely to have come from a monastic milieu. One example is a manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew held in the Schøyen collection close to Oslo.”

Lundhaug and Jenott pay particular attention to the “cartonnage” material used to stiffen the leather covers of the Nag Hammadi Codices. Cartonnage was traditionally made up of scraps of discarded papyrus from personal letters, account books, and so on. It therefore provides invaluable evidence for everyday life and the social context in which the codices were produced.

... One highly significant letter is in fact addressed to a certain ‘Father Pachomius,’ whom Lundhaug and Jenott maintain is the famous abbot Pachomius himself. If so, then this letter demonstrates a close connection between the makers of the codices and the nearby Pachomian monks.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

StephenGoranson
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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by StephenGoranson » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:53 am

Interesting. Thanks.

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Peter Kirby » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:56 am

It feels a bit like the authors have created a 'controversy' in order to make the conclusion seem new or significant. Lots of people have said this and noted the same things.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Roger Pearse » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:25 pm

That was my take ... a "jazzed up" article.

What I'd like access to is the works of Shenouda which discuss the holding of apocrypha in monasteries. Sadly offline :-(

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:28 am

Roger Pearse wrote:That was my take ... a "jazzed up" article.

What I'd like access to is the works of Shenouda which discuss the holding of apocrypha in monasteries. Sadly offline :-(
This may be relevant
https://www.academia.edu/1167504/Shenou ... Context_s_
(you need to sign up to Academia but that should be straightforward)

Andrew Criddle
Last edited by andrewcriddle on Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:33 am

Peter Kirby wrote:It feels a bit like the authors have created a 'controversy' in order to make the conclusion seem new or significant. Lots of people have said this and noted the same things.
What does seem new and controversial is the late dating of some of the Nag Hammadi texts. e.g.
While the Gospel of Philip has traditionally be considered a Christian writing from before the Council of Nicaea, Lundhaug argues that it reflects post-Nicene theology and discusses its context in later Christian theological controversies over baptism, Eucharist and resurrection.
Andrew Criddle

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Peter Kirby » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:34 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Peter Kirby wrote:It feels a bit like the authors have created a 'controversy' in order to make the conclusion seem new or significant. Lots of people have said this and noted the same things.
What does seem new and controversial is the late dating of some of the Nag Hammadi texts. e.g.
While the Gospel of Philip has traditionally be considered a Christian writing from before the Council of Nicaea, Lundhaug argues that it reflects post-Nicene theology and discusses its context in later Christian theological controversies over baptism, Eucharist and resurrection.
Interesting. That is something.
"... almost every critical biblical position was earlier advanced by skeptics." - Raymond Brown

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Roger Pearse » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:21 am

andrewcriddle wrote: What does seem new and controversial is the late dating of some of the Nag Hammadi texts. e.g.
While the Gospel of Philip has traditionally be considered a Christian writing from before the Council of Nicaea, Lundhaug argues that it reflects post-Nicene theology and discusses its context in later Christian theological controversies over baptism, Eucharist and resurrection.
That's interesting. But we know that these texts could be altered in transmission, because the Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas (2nd c.) do not contain some of the more overtly gnostic statements in the Nag Hammadi Coptic versions (4th c.). So is it possible that these elements are a later revision?

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by Roger Pearse » Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:22 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
Roger Pearse wrote: What I'd like access to is the works of Shenouda which discuss the holding of apocrypha in monasteries. Sadly offline :-(
This may be relevant
https://www.academia.edu/1167504/Shenou ... Context_s_
(you need to sign up to Academia but that should be straightforward)
Thank you - will look.

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Re: The Nag Hammadi Library Belonged to Monks

Post by andrewcriddle » Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:49 am

Roger Pearse wrote:
andrewcriddle wrote: What does seem new and controversial is the late dating of some of the Nag Hammadi texts. e.g.
While the Gospel of Philip has traditionally be considered a Christian writing from before the Council of Nicaea, Lundhaug argues that it reflects post-Nicene theology and discusses its context in later Christian theological controversies over baptism, Eucharist and resurrection.
That's interesting. But we know that these texts could be altered in transmission, because the Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas (2nd c.) do not contain some of the more overtly gnostic statements in the Nag Hammadi Coptic versions (4th c.). So is it possible that these elements are a later revision?
I haven't read Lundhaug's argument in detail, but IIUC I'm a bit dubious.

The Gospel of Philip seems to refer to post-baptismal chrismation (anointing) which is rare in mainstream Christian texts before the 4th century. However some scholars e.g. Lampe Seal of the Spirit have argued that these additions to the rite of baptism are found among gnostic groups before they become widespread among main stream Christians. So the allusions to post-baptismal chrismation in a gnostic (or at least gnostic-influenced) text like Gospel of Philip need not imply a late date.

Andrew Criddle

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