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A more accessible study is provided by Helmut Koester in Ancient Christian Gospels, pp. In his introduction in The Complete Gospels, Donald Rappe notes the following on the unity of Secret James: "There are abrupt changes and inconsistencies between major sections of Secret James.

Handwriting experts examined the text's distinctive script and compared it to those found in other ancient works—such as the Nag 'Hammadi codices.

Tests of the ancient ink revealed its components, which emerged as valuable clues to the time and place of the document's origin.

Dated papyrus scraps used to strengthen the bindings of the books helped date the volumes to the mid-fourth century A. Until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi codices in 1945, the Gnostic view of early Christianity had largely been forgotten.

The teachings of Gnostic Christianity—vilified especially since they were declared heretic by orthodox Christianity in the fourth century—had been virtually erased from history by the early church fathers, their gospels banned and even burned to make room for the view of Christian theology outlined in the canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The first regards the letter (1:1-7) and the secret book as originally separate.