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Essential Gnostic Scriptures

By: ,
Contributor Role: 
By (author)
Contributor Sequence Number: 
2
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Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Shambhala
 | 
November, 2011
ISBN:
9781590309254
In stock now: 
1
$26.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Gnosticism was a diverse religious movement of the first millennium C.E. whose followers sought salvation above all through personal religious experience. Gnostic writings, produced over a period of more than a millennium and a half, offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. In Essential Gnostic Scriptures, Barnstone and Meyer have created a translation that brings the Gnostic voices to us with striking power and beauty, beginning with texts from the earliest years of Christianity—including material from the Nag Hammadi library—and continuing all the way up to expressions of gnostic wisdom found within Islam and in the Cathar movement of the Middle Ages.

Here is a sealed letter

leaving the world,

a letter written with truth

and marked with the seal

of mighty life.

Perfect ones wrote it,

and believers insured it.

They looped it around

the soul’s neck

and sent it to the gate

of life. The soul wisely

used her finger

to mark the open letter.

Songs from the Mandean Liturgy

This collection provides fresh translations of some of the most popular and beautiful Gnostic texts, with an eye to presenting them as literature, with full appreciation of the aesthetic sense of the original languages of Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Arabic.

I have thrown fire upon the world,

And look, I am watching till it blazes.

Jesus, in the Gospel of Thomas

The twenty-one texts included serve as a compact introduction to Gnosticism and its principal ideas, as well as representing the greatest masterpieces of that tradition. Among them are new translations of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Judas—along with many lesser-known texts of profound wisdom and striking beauty.

 Willis Barnstone brings his unerring poetic ear to the translations. Marvin Meyer is one of the foremost scholars of Coptic and Gnostic studies at work today.

 

 

 

 

Publisher’s Description: 

The people weve come to call gnostics were passionate advocates of the view that salvation comes through knowledge and personal experience, and their passion shines through in the remarkable body of writings they produced over a period of more than a millennium and a half. Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer have created a translation that brings the gnostic voices to us from across the centuries with remarkable power and beautybeginning with texts from the earliest years of Christianityincluding material from the Nag Hammadi libraryand continuing all the way up to expressions of gnostic wisdom found within Islam and in the Cathar movement of the Middle Ages. The twenty-one texts included here serve as a compact introduction to Gnosticism and its principal ideasand they also provide an entre to the pleasures of gnostic literature in general, representing, as they do, the greatest masterpieces of that tradition.

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