An Analysis of the Capacity of the Influence of Nagaa Hammadi Discoveries on Christian History and Theology

Muhammad Reza Asadi / Ph.D. Scholar of Religions and Mysticism, the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute                                                                                   

Seyed Ali Husseini / Associate Professor, the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute

Received: 2018/08/14 - Accepted: 2019/01/02



In 1945, ancient documents were discovered in the Nagaa Hammadi area of Egypt, dating back to or even older than the Gospel age of the New Testament. Comparison of these documents with the Christian Bible and today's Christian beliefs reveals fundamental discrepancies between their contents; Incompatibility in issues such as the identity and deity of Jesus, the cross and the salvation, the authority and authenticity of the church, and the denial of the religious law. The question is whether these documents can influence Christian history and theology. The purpose of this article is to analyze the religious and historical validity of the Nagaa Hammadi discoveries for influencing Christian history and theology. This descriptive-analytical study shows that the discovery of these documents can provide more familiarity with various Gospels and beliefs in Christianity by making it possible to gain more direct and broader information access to the Gnosis and their affected Christians; But obstacles such as the question of the historical validity of these documents, official church proclamations, and acceptance of the heresy of the Gnosis, make it unlikely that the divergent attitude of the Nagaa Hammadi discoveries would have a direct and pervasive influence on Christian theology; However, their long-term and indirect impact on Christianity is not unexpected.


Keywords: Nagaa Hammadi, Sammans, the Gospels of Apocrypha, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Egypt.