The Gnostic Gospels

Front Cover
Orion, Jul 25, 2013 - History - 192 pages

As discussed in The Da Vinci Code... Long buried and suppressed, the Gnostic Gospels contain the secret writings attributed to the followers of Jesus.

In 1945 fifty-two papyrus texts, including gospels and other secret documents, were found concealed in an earthenware jar buried in the Egyptian desert. These so-called Gnostic writings were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament. The material they embodied - poems, quasi-philosophical descriptions of the origins of the universe, myths, magic and instructions for mystic practice - were later declared heretical, as they offered a powerful alternative to the Orthodox Christian tradition.

In a book that is as exciting as it is scholarly, Elaine Pagels examines these texts and the questions they pose and shows why Gnosticism was eventually stamped out by the increasingly organised and institutionalised Orthodox Church.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - prismcat - LibraryThing

This classic book provides an overview of the gnostic gospels and the historical evolution of the early church. It reveals how the early "organized" church dealt with the differing views of Christ and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mldavis2 - LibraryThing

The author uses the 1945 Nag Hammadi library find to examine the historical significance of the orthodox Catholic church's success as compared to the gnostics whose view of God failed to survive. Read full review

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About the author (2013)

After receiving her doctorate from Harvard University in 1970, Elaine Pagels taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she chaired the department of religion. She is now the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Professor Pagels is the author of several books on religious subjects and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981. She lives and teaches in Princeton, New Jersey.

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