Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1907-1908

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Progress of Egyptology.

New Testament ostraca (v. last Eeport 67), which D. holds to be merely copies
made by poor persons, unable to command better writing material; the
3d century Amherst Papyrus from Kome; the letter of Psenosiris and
other Christian letters ; various Coptic ostraca relating to church affairs
(note the discussion here of fiav\l&, p. 155), and Pap. Oxyrh. ccix,
regarded as an amulet. Eeviewed by Schurer,*11 who scarcely admits the
high value put by D. upon his materials.

H. Muller contributes a number of notes and bibliographical additions
to Bludau's list of 1ST. Test, papyrus fragments.5

The provenance of the famous uncial MSS., recently acquired by Mr.
Freer, was at first uncertain. C. Schmidt declares6 that he has good
grounds for tracing them to the White Monastery. Presumably then they
belonged to an earlier deposit of books than the Coptic MSS. which have
hitherto come in such numbers from that library. They should be due
to the same source as the ' Elias Apocalypse,' the new Clement, and a few
other early papyrus codices.

2. Apocryphal, Gnostic.—The interesting fragment of an uncanonical
Gospel lately found by Grenfell and Hunt 7 has already been much
discussed {e.g. by Buciiler, Jew. Quart. '08, 330, Harnack, Preuss. Jahrb.
'08, 201, Swete in Lietzmann's Kleine Texte). The editors themselves
take it to belong to a lost Gospel—not that of the Hebrews or Egyptians
■—composed in Egypt, probably before a.d. 200, while they date the MS.
about the year 400. Heretical features are absent; its interest centres
rather in the curious references to the temple and its ritual, very divergent
in many points from that described in Jewish sources.

Taking as his text a passage in Irenaeus {Adv. Haer. i, 29) descriptive
of the ' Barbelo' sect of gnostics, C. Schmidt gives8 a good deal of
welcome information as to the important pre-Irenaean Coptic text at Berlin,
whereof we hope that he will, in time, give us an edition (v. Report 1895-6,
51). The proper title of the text should be ' The Apocryphon of John.'
Its contents well illustrate the way in which gnostic thought in Egypt
was influenced by pagan philosophy. A comparison of Irenaeus' brief
abstracts from it show in general a conscientious adherence to the original.
Its chief value lies in the power we hence, for the first time, gain of
controlling the (hostile) description of a gnostic sect by an original

Crum enumerates9 the works represented among the fragments—some
of very early date-—from Dair Balaizah. They include, besides biblical
texts, a leaf from a lost gospel or apocalypse, and one apparently from the
above mentioned ' Apocryphon of John.'
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