A group of Egyptian peasants discovered a jar containing the codices in December 1945 at the base of the Jabal al-Tar, broke the jar and found within it thirteen leather-bound codices, which he brought home.There his mother used some of the leaves as fuel for an oven.For the most part, however, these sources have not resulted in settled opinions or certain knowledge, but in sharpened debate and new avenues of investigation.Many questions about the codices and their contents remain unanswered.A Web-Based Bibliography on the emergence of early Christian cosmology "In the fourth century a.d.the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, Arabia and Persia were peopled by a race of men....The codices then passed into the hands of different antiquities dealers.Most famously, Codex I ended up at the Jung Institute in Zurich; also known as the Jung Codex, it was one of the first codices whose tractates were published.
The forty-six different tractates that the codices contain have provided scholars with a wealth of new data for understanding the development of early Christian traditions about Jesus; Gnostic, Valentinian, and other streams of Christian thought later considered to be heretical; and Coptic grammar, orthography, and codicology.
They sought a way to God that was uncharted and freely chosen, not inherited from others who had mapped it out beforehand.
They sought a God whom they alone could find, not one who was 'given' in a set stereotyped form by somebody else." ...
Eventually all the codices (except for a fragment) were deposited in the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo, where they are now preserved.
Although reports that he found thirteen codices in the jar, the present "Codex XIII" consists actually of leaves that had been removed from a codex in antiquity and placed into the cover of Codex VI.