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Artefact ID79
TM IDTM 108481
Findspot (DEChriM ID)35   (Qarāra)
Writing mediumCodex
Text contentLiterary

Papyrus codex containing the Letter of Peter to Phillip (pp. 1-9), the Apocalypse of James (pp. 10-32), the Gospel of Judas (pp. 33-58), and the Book of Allogenes (pp. 59-66), all written in Coptic (Sahidic dialect).

Selection criteriaLiterary genre (Non-canonical), Coptic language
Date from220
Date to340
Dating criteria

Radiocarbon dating; palaeography

Absolute/relative dateRelative date
Archaeological context

Circumstance of discovery apparently funerary: "According to Herb Krosney, the Codex was discovered in a tomb dug in the side of the Jebel Qarara (right bank) of the Nile River, dominating the village of Ambar close to Maghagha, sixty kilometers north of Al Minya" (Kasser et alii 2007, 6). However, the stories of its discovery vary considerably (Nongbri 2018, 95-96).

Accession number

Geneva, Fondation Bodmer [on temporary loan before return to Cairo Coptic Museum], Codex Tchacos.


Editio Princeps

• Kasser, Rodolphe, and Gregor Wurst. 2007. The Gospel of Judas: together with the Letter of Peter to Philip, James, and a Book of Allogenes from Codex Tchacos.  Washington, D.C.: National Geographic. 

Additional Bibliography

• Brankaer, Johanna, and Hans Gebhard Bethge. 2007. Codex Tchacos : Texte und Analysen. Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur. Berlin: W. de Gruyter.

• Head, Peter M. 2007. "The Gospel of Judas and the Qarara Codices: Some Preliminary Observations." Tyndale Bulletin 58, no. 1: 1-23.

• Krosney, Herbert. 2007. The Lost Gospel: The Quest for the Gospel of Judas. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.

• Nongbri, Brent. 2018. God's Library: The Archaeology of the Earliest Christian Manuscripts. New Haven: Yale University Press, 95-96.

Mary Jane Cuyler, Victor Ghica, 2020
Suggested citation
Mary Jane Cuyler, Victor Ghica, 2020, "Artefact ID 79", 4CARE database - Fourth-Century Christian Archaeological Record of Egypt,