Manuscript, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt

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The origins and development of the Church in Egypt remain one of the vexed problems of early Christian history. In his Schweich Lectures, delivered in 1977, Dr C. H. Roberts examines the evidence of the Christian papyri discovered in Egypt to see what light they cast on the problems and how far they support statements in our ancient authorities or the theories of modern scholars. Among matters discussed are the influence of Judaism and whether Gnosticism was really as powerful in the first three centuries in Egypt as is sometimes thought; particular attention is paid to the historical significance in these early manuscripts of the nomina sacra, the abbreviations of the divine names.