Telling Nag Hammadi's Egyptian Stories


  • Dylan M. Burns Free University of Berlin



Nag Hammadi, James M. Robinson, Orientalism


Recent publications by Mark Goodacre and Nicola Denzey Lewis and Ariel Blount, raise the question of how we should tell the story of the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices, and to what extent the work of James M. Robinson remains useful for us in telling this story. This article addresses the issue of the wilder elements of the story as related by Robinson as well as the problem of its orientalist implications, concluding with meditations on how to read the Codices within their late ancient Egyptian context.

Author Biography

Dylan M. Burns, Free University of Berlin

Dylan M. Burns is a Research Associate and Project Coordinator of the project Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic at the Free University of Berlin. Co-chair of the steering committee for the Society of Biblical Literature’s program unit “Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism," he is author of Apocalypse of the Alien God (Philadelphia: UPenn, 2014) and collaborative editor of Gnosticism, Platonism, and the Late Ancient World: Essays in Honour of John D. Turner (Leiden: Brill, 2013).


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How to Cite

Burns, D. (2016). Telling Nag Hammadi’s Egyptian Stories. Bulletin for the Study of Religion, 45(2), 5–11.