An ancient heretical manuscript which details Jesus’s “secret teachings” to his brother James has recently been discovered by American researchers and biblical scholars from the University of Texas.
Religious studies scholars Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau, recently stumbled upon the rare text in the Oxford University archives earlier this year, Fox News reports.
The two biblical scholars unearthed several fifth or sixth-century A.D. Greek texts of the First Apocalypse of James, which is one of the books from an ancient collection known as the Nag Hammadi.
Written within the texts, Jesus reveals information regarding the heavenly realm and prophesies future events, including his brother James’ inevitable death.
According to Metro, many Christians believe that James was not Jesus’s maternal brother but rather his step-brother or cousin.
The website notes the ancient manuscript is considered heretical in nature and not part of the “true” Bible.
The discovery of the manuscript belongs to a collection of more than 200,000 documents at Oxford University in England, Live Science reports.
Fox News reports that a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi, a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books that were discovered in Egypt in 1945, have been found in their original language of Greek.
“To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,” said Smith in a statement. “We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.”
“The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry,” Smith added.
The document itself appears to have been more of a teaching guide used to help students learn how to read and write.
Words contained within the text are written very neat and separated into syllables.
“The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts,” said Landau in the statement.
(Written & Edited by Bart Charles Begley)