The Acts of Peter and
the Twelve Apostles
Written sometime in the 2nd or 3rd Century CE, the Acts
of Peter and the Twelve Apostles is a composit work. It has been
argued that, although found with the other text of the Nag Hammadi
Library, the work is not gnostic.
The Act of Peter
The Act of Peter was written at the end of the 2nd
Century CE. The text deals with how the virginity of the daughter of
Peter was protected and how Ptolemy's soul was saved. The text is
not considered Gnostic.
The Prayer of the
The text of The Prayer of the Apostle Paul was originally written in
Greek. It is the front flyleaf of Codex 1, the Jung Codex.
Considered to possibly have Valentinian connections, it is dated to
between the 2nd half of the 2nd Century AD and the end of the 3rd
Century AD. The content of the prayer relies heavily on the Psalms
and the Pauline letters.
The Prayer of Thanksgiving and Scribal Note
This text is a short Hermetic prayer expressing thanks for receiving
godly knowledge. It is thought to have been written in the 2nd or
3rd Century CE with some scholars dating it even earlier.
The Valentinian Texts
The Treatise on the Resurrection
page didactic letter gives an unorthodox interpretation about
survival after death. The probable time of its composition is the
late 2nd Century CE. Its author is unknown, althought it is clear
that he is a Christian Gnostic of the Valentinian school. The text
often relies on the New Testament as the author's proof for his
conclusions. There are no clues as to where the manuscript could
have been written.
The Tripartite Tractate (Codex I)
Thought to have been written in
the early to mid-third Century CE by an unknown author, The
Tripartite Tractate is a Valentianian work on the seperation from
and the reintergration into the godhed. The manuscript was
originally written in Greek and then translated into Coptic. It
consist of three segments, the first being and explanation ofthe
emenation of supernatural entities from their source. The second
section is a brief interpretation of Genesis 1-3 and the third part
focuses on the Savior and salvation.
A Valentinian Exposition (On The Anointing,
On Baptism A, On Baptism B, On the Eucharist A, On the Eucharist B)
The Valentinian Exposition is a remarkable set of text
due to the fact that it reveals theological disagreements among many
of the various groups of Valentinian theologians. The texts deal
with creation, redemption, the Sophia, and other thoughts and
rituals of the Valentinians.
Dialogue and Revelatory Texts
The Hypostasis of the Archeons (Codex II)
Written by an
anonymous author, the Hypostasis of the Archons is an interpretation
of Genesis Chapers 1-6. The work of a Gnostic teacher, the
manuscript is a revelation discussion between an angel and a
questioner. It is dated possibly to the 3rd Century CE and the text
was translated from Greek.
The Book of Thomas the Contender
The Book of Thomas the Contender is a dialogue of
revelation between the resurrected Jesus and Judas Thomas as told by
Mathaias. It was probably written in the 1st half of the 3rd Century
CE. The text likely originated in Eastern Syria and was originally
written in the Greek.
Eugnostos the Blessed
Eugnostos is a letter that was written by a teacher to
his disciples. The letter addresses religious and philosophical
questions. The focus of the letter is to describe the existance of
the invisible world. Eugnostos was probably written in Egypt during
the last half of the 1st Century CE.
Dialogue of the Savior
Composed in Greek possibly during the 2nd Century CE by
an unknown author, The Dialogue of the Savior is thought to be a
compilation of several generations of Christian thought. Although
the text is fragmented, one can discern the content and style of the
discourse. The manuscript consist of a monologue by the Savior and
conversations he had with his disciples, Matthew, Mary, and Judas.
Thunder: Perfect Mind
Like The Acts of Peter and the 12 Apostles, Thunder:
Perfect Mind has been in question as to its gnosticism. It is one of
the most unusual works in the Nag Hammadi Library. The manuscript is
a revelatory dialogue presented by a female who is never identified.
The Discourse on the Eighth and Nineth
This Hermetic discourse discusses the 8th and 9th
spheres that surround the Earth. It is thought to have been written
in Egypt in the 2nd Century CE.
Originally written in Greek, the only exatant form of
Aclepius is a Latin translation. The text consist of a dialogue
between Asclepius, a Hermetic initiate, and Trismesgistus. The
discussion deals with the mystery, the pious and impious, creation
of gods, the apocalypse, and the fate of humans. The text is
considered not to be Gnostic in nature.
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
This text is a revelatory dialogue of Jesus to Gnostic
believers. It tells the story of Christ from his descent to Earth,
his work there, his crucifixion, and his return to Heaven. The work
is considered to be a combination of Christianity and Gnosticism.
The Three Steles of Seth
Considered a revelation text, The Three Steles of Seth
reveals a Gnostic Sethian worship sect. The revelation was given to
Dositheos, who is thought to be the founder of Gnosticism. Journeys
to heaven and a Triad are subjects covered in the manuscript. The
writing has no Christian influence present.
The Letter of Peter to Philip
Presented as an epistle from Peter to Philip, the text
is a Christian Gnostic work. It consists of questions and answers
between Jesus and the Apostles; Jesus answering from a "great light"
which appeared to the men. The text is thought to have been written
around the last part of the 2nd Century CE or early 3rd Century CE.
This manuscript deals with the visions of Allogenes. It
is supposed to have been written in Alexandria shortly after 300 CE.
The original language of its composition was Greek.
"The Nag Hammadi Library In English"
On-line Study Resources on the
Nag Hammadi Library
Gnostic Society Library
Nag Hammadi and Berlin Gnostic Library
Nag Hammadi Library
Books for the
Study of the Nag Hammadi
The Gnostic Gospels,
Elaine Pagels, Vintage, 1989
The Coptic Gnostic Library: A Complete Edition of the Nag Hammadi
Codices, James M. Robinson,Brill Academic Publishers, 2000
The Secret Teachings of Jesus, Marvin Meyer, Vintage, 1986
Beyond Belief : The Secret Gospel of Thomas, Elaine Pagels,
Random House, 2003