The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts: A Firsthand Account of the Expedition That Shook the Foundations of Christianity

Excerpts & Samples

By Jean Doresse

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Jean Doresse

Jean Doresse
Jean Doresse is a renowned historian and a scholar of Egyptology and Greek papyrology. He was head of the research department at the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique and for five years undertook expeditions on behalf of the French government, establishing the first archaeological  More...



Details the momentous discovery and significance of the ancient gnostic texts hidden for sixteen centuries in Chenoboskion, Egypt

• Author was a member of the party that discovered these ancient Coptic documents

• Sheds new light on the vanished world in which Christianity was born

• 40,000 copies sold of earlier editions

• Includes the first translation of the Gospel of Thomas, with full commentary

Hidden for sixteen centuries, the Nag Hammadi library, the most prodigious collection of sacred gnostic texts, were discovered in the late 1940s in Chenoboskion, a remote hamlet in upper Egypt. Among them was the Gospel according to Thomas, which aroused international publicity and alerted the world to the significance of this archeological find, believed by many scholars to surpass the Dead Sea Scrolls in importance.

The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts is the original survey of the contents of these documents and their significance to the world at large. Doresse's narrative allows readers direct contact with an ancient form of Christianity through the philosophical wealth of the texts-ranging from gnostic revelations and Christian apocrypha to Hermetic literature-Included in the book is the original English translation of the Gospel of Thomas first published in 1960.
"For those who are interested in the origins of Gnosticism and the conflict between those who preferred to call themselves "Christian" this work is simply indispensible."
Sven Davisson, Ashe! Journal of Experimental Spirituality, 2005

"The Discovery of the Nag Hammadi Texts is a MUST have text for students of early Christianity, the Gnostic gospels, and comparative religion. I highly recommend this most interesting and enjoyable work."
A. Canales, The Critical Review Service, Oct 2006