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Origins of the Nag Hammadi codexes

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  • pmcvflag
    Hey Mike.... ... when you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put them away for possible future use. They were rolled up carefully and put
    Message 1 of 27 , Sep 19 9:40 PM
      Hey Mike....

      >>>"Actually I have to disagree a bit here, I think you were closer
      when you said the monks had seen doctrine change so much, they put
      them away for possible future use. They were rolled up carefully and
      put into jars to preserve them, so it was not just casting them
      away."<<<

      Very true, and of the multiple theories I presented, I also prefer
      the one in which the monks were simply unsure what would stick
      doctrinally (my point to Annie was not to be sure that these books
      were created and hidden by Gnostics).

      However, I do think that the fact they were disposed of in such a way
      doesn't necessarily mean they were being preserved for future use.
      Books and scrolls, in and of themselves held a sort of sacred place
      for many groups. Books were disposed of this way sometimes, almost as
      if it was a human burial. This may even have been true for a
      substantial portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which is part of the
      theory that they were actually the works of more than one sect and
      that this had been a traditional site for book burial).

      Also, there is one thing that works against the theory that I prefer.
      Even though it is true that there was a certain amount of changing of
      official doctrin... one day Eusebius is in exile, and the next day it
      is his enemy..... the basic doctrins of the Pachomonian monks was
      pretty well established, and these books don't fit those doctrins.
      While there were many changes happening, the Nag Hammadi texts were
      heretical to this particular group already (from what we know of them)

      Here is a theory that I made up all by myself ;) (perhaps there are
      others who have offered as well, I don't know) Monks were often in
      need of a trade to support thier community, and it is possible that
      these particular monks may have found a lucrative trade in the
      manufacture of books. Since the evidence does seem to help make the
      case for this community, perhaps the monks did not get paid by thier
      patron, or perhaps they even rethought thier consciences concerning
      whether it was ok to reproduce these kinds of liturature (perhaps
      helped along by the letter sent out to the churches outlining the
      importance of not doing so). It is generally accepted that many of
      the translations were done by people who probably did not fully
      understand what they were translating.

      So, the monks fail to get thier money, they don't want the books
      hanging around thier library, they bury them unsure if they could
      find another buyer, or while they think about which is more
      important... the financial needs of the community or the souls of the
      people who would be reading these books.

      OR... what if the monks simply had a business manufacturing blank
      books, and it was an entirely different group that actually put the
      words on the pages.... or another group altogether that did the whole
      thing. We just don't know.

      Of course, that is part of my point. This is entirely conjecture.

      PMCV
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