7 Fascinating Archaeological Finds Pointing to Jesus, Biblical Truths in 2017

3. First Apocalypse of James

Christ crucifixion
A silhouette of the image of the crucified Christ against a sunset in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. |

Biblical scholars from the University of Texas at Austin revealed in November that they discovered an "original copy" of the First Apocalypse of James, an ancient Christian text deemed heretical by the Church.

The scholars uncovered the fragments of the manuscript, written somewhere in the fifth or sixth century, while exploring archives at Oxford University.

The text, which is considered heretical because it falls outside the canon of the New Testament books, includes revelations made by Jesus to James about the heavenly realm.

"The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus' life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James — secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus' death," explained Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies at UT-Austin.

The ancient text is part of 52 manuscripts put together between the second and sixth century as part of the Nag Hammadi library, most of which are written in Coptic.

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