Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, CA

Nearby, at a desolate site at the foot of the cliff (shown here, compare with previous photo and next photo), two farmers looking for fertilizer made an astounding discovery in 1945. They found a large, sealed earthen jar containing 13 leather-bound books that would come to be known as the Nag Hammadi Codices (see photo of the Nag Hammadi Codices). Buried by some monks shortly before 400 C.E., this monastic library consists of Coptic translations of Greek versions of more than 50 Christian, Jewish and pagan tractates, some dating as far back as the fourth century B.C.E. One of the tractates is the Gospel of Thomas.