Hugo Lundhaug / Lance Jenott

The Monastic Origins of the Nag Hammadi Codices

[Die klösterlichen Ursprünge der Nag Hammadi-Handschriften.]

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ISBN 978-3-16-154172-8
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Published in English.
Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott examine the provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices and defend the view that they were produced and read by Christian monks in fourth- and fifth-century monasteries of Upper Egypt. This is the first book-length treatment of this question in the English language.
Hugo Lundhaug and Lance Jenott offer a sustained argument for the monastic provenance of the Nag Hammadi Codices. They examine the arguments for and against a monastic Sitz im Leben and defend the view that the Codices were produced and read by Christian monks, most likely Pachomians, in the fourth- and fifth-century monasteries of Upper Egypt. Eschewing the modern classification of the Nag Hammadi texts as »Gnostic,« the authors approach the codices and their ancient owners from the perspective of the diverse monastic culture of late antique Egypt and situate them in the context of the ongoing controversies over extra-canonical literature and the theological legacy of Origen. Through a combination of sources, including idealized hagiographies, travelogues, monastic rules and exhortations, and the more quotidian details revealed in documentary papyri, manuscript collections, and archaeology, monasticism in the Thebaid is brought to life, and the Nag Hammadi codices situated within it. The cartonnage papyri from the leather covers of the codices, which bear witness to the monastic culture of the region, are closely examined, while scribal and codicological features of the codices are analyzed and compared with contemporary manuscripts from Egypt. Special attention is given to the codices' scribal notes and colophons which offer direct evidence of their producers and users. The study ultimately reveals the Nag Hammadi Codices as a collection of books completely at home in the monastic manuscript culture of late antique Egypt.

Hugo Lundhaug Born 1970; 2000 Cand. philol. in the History of Religions from the University of Oslo; 2007 Dr. art. in the History of Religions from the University of Bergen; currently Professor of Theology (Biblical Reception and Early Christian Literature) at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Theology.

Lance Jenott Born 1980; studied History, Classics, and Religion at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Princeton University; PhD in the Religions of Late Antiquity from Princeton University; currently Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Program in Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.


The following reviews are known:

In: Vigiliae Christianae — 71 (2017), S. 348–349 (Johannes van Oort)
In: Irenikon — 2018, Heft 1, S. 107 (U.Z.)
In: Journal of Ecclesiastical History — 68 (2017), S. 597–598 (Andrew Crislip)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (12/2016) (Timothy Pettipiece)
In: Laval théologique et philosophique — 74 (2018), S. 288–290 (Julio Cesar Dias Chaves)
In: Apocrypha — 29 (2018), S. 228–230 (Anna van den Kerchove)
In: Patristica Nordica Annuaria — 31 (2016), S. 143–147 (Paul Linjamaa)
In: Journal of Theological Studies — 67 (2016) (Michael A. Williams)
In: Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies Bulletin — 2 (2016), S. 95–100 (Paola Buzi)
In: Revue des Sciences philosophiques et theologique — 2016, Heft 3, S. 510–513 (Matthieu Cassin)
In: Journal of Coptic Studies — 20 (2018), S. 217–219 (Kerstin Sänger-Böhm)
In: Apocrypha — 29 (2018), pp. 228–230 (Anna van den Kerchove)
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 39.5 (2017), S. 110 (Andrew Gregory)
In: Folia Petropolitana — 5 (2016), S. 263–265 (A.A. Comloy)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 143 (2018), S. 777–779 (Nicola Denzey Lewis)
In: Zeitschr.f.Antikes Christentum — 22 (2018), S. 160–165 (Ursula Ulrike Kaiser)
In: Vestnik der St-Tichon-Universität — 76 (2018), S. 155–157 (Golovnina Natalia)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 61 (2017), S. 529–530