The Dead Sea Scrolls uncovered most of the information of the Feminine aspect of The Divine in the upper portions of the Nile River. While other tidbits of information have been random lines of text in the Apocrypha and the Pseudopigrapha. Some of the most revealing books regarding a Goddess, Great Mother, or female aspect of the Divine Creator are pointed out in the various writings found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
We can attribute the discovery of the first manuscripts in 1945 to two Egyptian farmers. They discovered these long lost writings in a cave at Khirbat Qumran on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea in Jordan. They were searching for natural fertilizer when these farmers found the sealed jars. By the farmers’ own admission, at first they were afraid to open the jars because of the local superstitions that within an entity might be dwelling. Later were overcome with greed after realizing their proximity to the gold treasures located not far from them in the Valley of the Kings, and they proceeded to open the sealed jars.
Ironically, while it was not gold that these farmers found within the clay pots, a treasure surprised, shocked, and overwhelmed the Christian world of the twentieth century. These clay pots contained additional Gospels, Apocalypses, and additional Books of Acts. Some of these texts are collectively part of the Gnostic Gospels, while others are ancient writings obviously spiritual in nature but have not necessarily found a category of Judeo-Christian sects. The majority of these anonymous writings are the result of natural decay and fragmentation. Many of the codices and their corresponding information may have been stolen, lost, or inadvertently destroyed. Other aspects of confusion are the blending of times, writing styles and indigenous regional characteristics often found within the same collective writing. More errors could have been made due to the conditions under which these renegade monks worked: secretly and urgently in poorly lit cells.
Some of the manuscripts discovered exhibit the writing characteristics of the ancient Jewish sects, the Essenes, and the Ebionites. The books having the most impact on Modern day Christianity come from the Gnostic Christians, who flourished about 2,000 years ago. The writings date from 100 BC to AD 68. The languages of these books include ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. By 1947, approximately 400 manuscripts had been discovered.
The Alexandrian Library was the largest and most famous of all the ancient collections of written knowledge. The Egyptian Ruler, Ptolemy I, began this library in 200 B.C.; other rulers contributed to the Library until it contained over 500,000 books. Believed burned, part of the Library was lost during the siege of Julius Caesar in 47 B.C. and the many sieges that followed; one of the hardest attacks came from the Muslims. Most of these texts were thought to be destroyed within the auxiliary Library of Alexandria in Egypt in AD 391 by the Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Christians were determined to wipe out what they considered “pagan learning.” Arabs completed the destruction in 640 ADE eras.
The original manuscripts were written in the colloquial dialects of Aramaic, Hebrew, and Greek. Attacks on early Christian worship sites appear to be the places in which the manuscripts were obliterated. The urgent closure of the canonization of the scriptures was called for of demands made by the newly converted Roman Emperor Constantine. Constantine was calling for religious uniformity throughout the empire.
This uniformity was for the good of Constantine and his Empire and definitely not necessarily for the common good of overall Christianity. This assault on the contents of the canonized Bible put stress on the translators and the councils responsible for the chosen books. Even the way manuscripts were copied, which was by monks in poorly lit cells, caves and backrooms of secret monasteries added to the chance of error while editorializing the texts.
Through out the seizes, Nero, Constantine and the other emperors continued to destroy any texts that did not work to the benefit of the newly forming Orthodox Church in Roman. Unfortunately in their haste to destroy documents that did not support the decisions of the Roman councils, many scrolls were destroyed that were not only Biblical in nature; many of the works of Aristotle and Plato were destroyed. Marc Anthony alone took 200,000 scrolls from Pergamum in 41 B.C. and gave them to Cleopatra at Alexandria.
The goal of the library staff was to collect the best of Greek literature, as well as non-Greek works. All persons visiting Egypt at this time possessing literary and artistic works, inventions, and blueprints would have their works temporarily obtained by the workers of the Alexandrian Library, and have their work copied with utmost care and accuracy, then returned before leaving the country. In modern terms, the Library of Alexandria worked much like the United States patent office.
The Nag Hammadi scrolls are actually copies of the original books from the library, transcribed and moved to places of safekeeping by the Coptic Christian (or the Egyptian Christians) monks. In the case of Nag Hammadi, the contents were either buried on purpose, or buried by a massive sandstorm. These Christian Monks realized the unfathomable importance of the Library of Alexandria because of its contents. Under constant religious seizes, the duplication of the scrolls was a precautionary task.
Additional copies of these scrolls or codices have also been scattered through out the world for safekeeping. They have been found in hidden auxiliary rooms in places such as the St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai, in the 500’s AD and at St. Gall in the 600’s AD in Switzerland, and in the 800’s AD at the Holy Mount Atos in Atos, Greece.