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.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 192 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 06/04/2006
- Category: Bible readings, selections & meditations
- ISBN: 9780753821145
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Review by riverwillow
Interesting and scholarly analysis of the Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi. Pagels tries to keep her analysis of these texts as objective as possible as she explores the conflict between the orthodox christians, who eventually triumphed, and the followers of Gnosticism. This is an insightful read which puts the development of the early Christian church into context. This is a 'must' read for anyone interested in Christianity.