Greek Fragments of the First Apocalypse of James discovered

The (First) Apocalypse of James is an early Christian Gnostic apocalypse extant in two different Coptic versions, Nag Hammadi Codex V and the Tchacos Codex. These Coptic works are generally thought to have been translations from earlier Greek versions. Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau of the University of Texas at Austin have identified fragments of this apocalypse amongst the Oxyrhynchus Papyri. This is a big deal; Greek fragments of Coptic Gnostic texts do not pop up often. While work on these fragments has only begun, Smith and Landau tentatively date them to the fifth-sixth centuries CE.

Unfortunately I could not be at the SBL session where the find was announced, but there is a nice writeup of it (some of which I summarize here) by Brice Jones; read the rest here. EDIT: a recent and very clear update has been written by Candida Moss over at The Daily Beast.

Advertisements