The Gnostic Gospels

by Pagels, Elaine

The Gnostic Gospels is a landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity, a work of luminous scholarship and wide popular appeal. First published in 1979 to critical acclaim, winning the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Gnostic Gospels has continued to grow in reputation and influence over the past two decades. It is now widely recognized as one of the most brilliant and accessible histories of early Christian spirituality published in our time.In 1945 an Egyptian peasant unearthed what proved to be the Gnostic Gospels, thirteen papyrus volumes that expounded a radically different view of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ from that of the New Testament. In this spellbinding book, renowned religious scholar Elaine Pagels elucidates the mysteries and meanings of these sacred texts both in the world of the first Christians and in the context of Christianity today.With insight and passion, Pagels explores a remarkable range of recently discovered gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, to show how a variety of "Christianities" emerged at a time of extraordinary spiritual upheaval. Some Christians questioned the need for clergy and church doctrine, and taught that the divine could be discovered through spiritual search. Many others, like Buddhists and Hindus, sought enlightenment--and access to God--within. Such explorations raised questions: Was the resurrection to be understood symbolically and not literally? Was God to be envisioned only in masculine form, or feminine as well? Was martyrdom a necessary--or worthy--expression of faith? These early Christians dared to ask questions that orthodox Christians later suppressed--and their explorations led to profoundly different visions of Jesus and his message. Brilliant, provocative, and stunning in its implications, The Gnostic Gospels is a radical, eloquent reconsideration of the origins of the Christian faith.

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On Sep 20, 2014, Anonymous said:
Pagels has a rare combination of writing talent and understanding of the Gnostic literary heritage. She is able to bring together traditional Biblical literature and the recent finds such as the manuscripts of Nag Hammadi. To do this and to stimulate reader imagination and interest is a great accomplishment.

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New York: Random House, 1979. The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt" (The New York Times Book Review).
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Pages are yellowed with age; binding is ok. "The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt." --The New York Times Book Review. [Pagels] writes with the instincts of a novelist, the skill of a scholar, and the ability to sort out significances that… Read more
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Written two thousand years ago, these secret texts throw a dramatic new light on the beliefs of the Early Christians.
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Toronto, ON: Random House, 1979. Hardcover. Near Fine/Near Fine. Clean, tight, unmarked; absolute minimal wear; Pagels explores a remarkable range of recently discovered gospels, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, to show how a variety of "Christianities" emerged at a time of extraordinary spiritual upheaval. Brillian, provocative, and stunning in its implications. The… Read more
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New York: Vintage, 1989. Paperback. Very Good/No Dustjacket. 8vo. pp.xii 182.""In this highly original work, Elaine Pagels demonstrates how evidence from gnostic sources may challenge the assumption that Paul writes his letters to combat ""gnostic opponents"" and to repudiate their claims to secret wisdom. Drawing upon evidence from the gnostic exegesis of Paul, including several Nag Hammadi texts,… Read more
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GNOSTIC GOSPELS

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MY BED IS MY CASTLE an Erotic Novel

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