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The Nag Hammadi Scriptures

The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
HarperCollins
 | 
May, 2009
ISBN:
9780061626005
In stock now: 
1
$41.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

The year is 1945. At the foot of a cliff along the
NileRiver, near the city of
Nag Hammadi
, an Egyptian peasant unearths a large storage jar containing ancient manuscripts. The discovery turns out to be a treasury of fourth-century texts, including the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Truth, and many other writings—the scriptures of the mystical tradition commonly called Gnosticism, from the Greek gnosis, that is, esoteric or secret knowledge.

 Since this discovery, our picture of the world of the historical Jesus, Judaism, Greco-Roman religions, and the early varieties of Christianity has begun to look remarkably different. These books describe doctrines the orthodox church found heretical, such as salvation through knowledge (gnosis) rather than faith.

Some of the more important texts include the Gospel of Thomas, which contains the sayings of a Jesus who is more like a witty Zen master than a saviour; the Apocryphon (Secret Book) of John, which describes the classic Gnostic myth of the expansion of the divine realm and the imprisonment of the soul in matter; the Thunder, Perfect Mind, in which a female divine figure describes herself in striking contradictory imagery; the recently discovered Gospel of Judas; and the Gospel of Truth, a breathtaking and profound treatise on the precise nature of the spiritual knowledge which the Gnostics sought.

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures also contains translations of two Gnostic texts discovered a century earlier, notably the Gospel of Mary, in which Mary Magdalene is portrayed as Jesus’ favourite disciple, privy to secret knowledge which had been denied the men.

The Gnostic writings describe a deeply mystical spirituality, similar in many ways to Buddhism and Hinduism and yet distinctly Western, which can still provide answers to the spiritual questions which nag at us today much as they did when the Egyptian monks were forced to bury these scriptures 17 centuries  ago.

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is the most complete and up-to-date English-language edition of these sacred texts from
Egypt
.  Newly translated with clarity and grace by a team of prominent scholars, this volume also features introductory essays and extensive notes. The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is essential to any reader who wishes to understand the history of Gnostic thought and mystical spirituality and the impact of such thought upon the Christian church from its formative period to the present day.

Publisher’s Description: 

The Definitive Collection of Gnostic Writings

The year is 1945. At the foot of a cliff along the Nile River, near the city of Nag Hammadi, an Egyptian peasant unearths a large storage jar containing ancient manuscripts. The discovery turns out to be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the past century. A treasure of fourth-century texts, the manuscripts are the scriptures of the ancient mystical tradition commonly called Gnosticism, from the Greek gnosis, that is, secret knowledge. It is a discovery that challenges everything we thought we knew about the early Christian church, ancient Judaism, and Greco-Roman religions.

The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is the most complete and up-to-date English-language edition of these sacred texts from Egypt. It is full of treatises, testimonies, and secret books that had been lost for centuries. In addition to gospels purportedly by the apostles Thomas and Philip, and the revelations of James, Peter, and Paul, this collection also includes the Gospel of Mary and the controversial Gospel of Judas. The documents have been newly translated by a team of prominent international scholars. This volume also features introductory essays and extensive notes to help readers understand the context and significance of these texts that have revolutionized the study of early Christianity and ancient religious thought.

In 1945, near the city of Nag Hammadi, an Egyptian peasant unearthed a large storage jar containing a treasury of fourth-century texts, including the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of Truth, and many other scriptures of the mystical tradition called Gnosticism. Since this discovery, our picture of the ancient world has changed markedly. This book contains the most complete and up-to-date English editions of these texts, plus the more recently discovered Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Judas, and Book of the Stranger. Now in paper. 864 pp.

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