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An Exciting Discovery: The Nag Hammadi Library



An Exciting Discovery: The Nag Hammadi Library
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.16

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    codex, conspiracy, kindle, nail-biting, confiscate, baffle, earthenware, heresy, leather-bound, doctrine, papyrus, valid, writing, originally, banned, market
     content words:    Indiana Jones, Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, Two Egyptian, Coptic Museum, Gnostic Gospels, Da Vinci Code, New Testament


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An Exciting Discovery: The Nag Hammadi Library
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Like a nail-biting Indiana Jones movie, the story of the Nag Hammadi library is full of mystery and intrigue. Some say these texts contain writings that date back to around 140 A.D. Two men discovered them in December 1945. The texts had been hidden for many centuries!
 
2     The story of the discovery of these texts is almost as exciting as an adventure film--without cobwebs and skeletons. The library was discovered by accident at Nag Hammadi, a village in Upper Egypt. Two Egyptian brothers were digging for a soft soil to use as fertilizer for their crops. They dug around a large boulder. There, they found a tall red earthenware jar. They had no idea that the jar contained an entire ancient "library."
 
3     The brothers were not sure what to do. At first, they didn't want to break the vessel open in case a spirit might be inside. Then one brother had a happy thought: what if the jar contained gold instead of a spirit? In true Indiana Jones fashion, he smashed the jar with a gleam in his eye. No gold fell out, so he may have been disappointed at first. However, he didn't realize that he had found a different kind of treasure.

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