Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Nag Hammadi Book

  Nag Hammadi is a city in Upper Egypt, about 80 kilometres north-west of Luxor. ...And Luxor was known in antiquity as Thebes...the "city of the dead" and one of the most spiritual and splendid cities in history. The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of 13 books which were written sometime around 350AD and hidden in a clay jar near Nag Hammadi until they were found by an Egyptian farmer in 1945. They are the oldest western-style books in existence; and to the followers of the Gnostic religion they are the True Word of God. There are many sources to read more about the Nag Hammadi Library, but two online sources are and

Hearing of the Nag Hammadi library for the first time, I was fascinated by the sound of the name... and when I read more of it's history I was truly impressed. I looked it up online and studied a picture of  several of the simply bound leather-covered codices which now reside in the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt. I read some of the texts, which are referred to as the Apocryophon, The Gnostic Gospels, and The Nag Hammadi Scriptures.

The web page gave me exact measurements of the leather and papyrus books (30 by 15 centimeters, closed) and the binding style (tacket).  For week 25 of the Book-A-Week challenge I have made A Nag Hammadi Book of Lists.

...this will be a wedding gift for dear friends
The cover is painted canvas with blue leather thong ties on the fore-edge flap and also at the head and tail. Inside are 10 folios gathered into a single quire and sewn with two tacket bindings through the spine... much as the sacred papyrus folios were bound in 350 AD. Unlike the Coptic scribes who hand- lettered the script, I used a letterpress and lead type.

This book is meant to be filled in by the owner. I've created the lists categories, and the user needs to fill in all the items.. like List of Wishes, List of Dreams, List of People I Love, List of Favorite Foods, List of Celebrations..
List of Greatest Books Ever...
So, it's similar to another Book of Lists I printed, but this time in a Nag Hammadi format. I like that. I even put it into a clay jar.. just to see how it looked in there. Really small! and lonely.
I guess I need to make more books to fill the jar. Perhaps that can be Next Year's challenge!