Biblical scholars at the University of Texas, Austin have discovered an oldest known copy of a heretical Christian writing that describes Jesus’ secret teachings to his brother James. The biblical texts, which relate to the First Apocalypse of James, contain information about the heavenly realm and future events, including James’ inevitable death, according to news release. The manuscript is written in Greek, and it’s being labelled as part of the Nag Hammadi library – a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books excavated in 1945 in Upper Egypt.
According to Brent Landau and Geoffrey Smith, religious studies scholars at UT Austin, the newly studied heretical writings were likely written in the fifth or sixth century and there still exists a Greek-language edition of Gnostic texts. They say the texts in The First Apocalypse of James were likely banned because of their “different understanding” of what Jesus’ importance was, LiveScience notes; and “Jesus taught people that the material world was a prison created by an evil god, and is being watched by demonic figures called archons, who are blocking the path between the material world and the afterlife.”
Did Jesus really have a brother? Although this newly discovered ancient manuscript suggests so, it’s still debated among religious scholars. What do you think?