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The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus [Kindle Edition]

Marvin W. Meyer
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $22.99
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

For all those readers curious to read the actual texts of the Gnostic Gospels, here is the definitive collection of all the Gnostic Gospels and Gospel–like texts.

o Marvin Meyer, premier scholar of Gnostic and other Christian literature outside the New Testament, presents every Gnostic Gospel and Jesus text with a brilliant overall introduction, introductions to each text, and notes that explain everything the reader needs to know to understand the text. He includes his latest translations of not only the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, but other texts such as the Secret Book of John, which some scholars regard as the second part of the New Testament Gospel of John. The material is largely from the discovery at Nag Hammadi, freshly translated and introduced, but also includes texts found elsewhere. The texts, especially taken together, present an image of Jesus as the ultimate wisdom teacher, a kind of mysterious Jewish Zen master, who scandalized listeners by his radical egalitarianism (regarding women, slaves, the poor, the marginalized as of equal status, or more, with establishment male believers) and his insistence on living the message, spiritual experience, vs. outer observance only.

o For those wanting to learn more after reading The Da Vinci Code. This book provides the definitive next book for those looking for expert presentation of the alternative Gnostic stream of Christianity, in which there is no talk of crucifixion and Mary Magdalene is presented as the disciple that Jesus loved best. "Marv is one of the original secret gospels scholars who has done an enormous amount of work to bring these texts to light. All of his research on the Nag Hammadi texts is having an incredible impact on our knowledge of early Christian history––it is virtually redefining it." ––Dr. Elaine Pagels, Princeton University

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marvin Meyer is one of the foremost scholars on early Christianity and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament. He is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University in Orange, California. Among his recent books are The Gospel of Judas, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, The Gospels of Mary, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Nag Hammadi Scriptures.

Product Details

  • File Size: 468 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 006076208X
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (September 15, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
241 of 258 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Reading February 4, 2006
Sometimes all we want is to read a book, not as a scholar or student, halting at footnotes and bracketed text, but sitting on a sofa, or lying in bed, absorbing the essence of the word. What I love about this book is how simply arranged are the chapters. I don't need my reading glasses to read minute fonts, and the chapter subheadings are simple and helpful. Furthermore, unlike the often obscure tractates of the Nag Hammadi Library, by James M. Robinson, "The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus" are Jesus-centered, and if you have been away from The Man for a while, as I have been, out of disappointment with the inadequacy of your local church, or oppression by politicized agenda, then this is the book that will allow you to love Him once again on your own terms. Just you and Him, by the glow of your reading lamp. Marvin Meyer has a knack for translating in a way that is not dumbed-down, but simple and easy to read. There is a difference.

Reading the Secret Book of John from this very edition has changed my life, and the way I think about Jesus. I can honestly say that a perception of humanity's place in the universe has opened itself up to me. For example, William Blake's rhyme:

"Tyger! Tyger! burning bright,
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?"

...immediately took on new meaning (Yaldabaoth as the talented, not necessarily evil, but nonetheless ignorant and soul-less creator of the material world--seek Heaven, not Earth, as eternal Paradise).
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129 of 138 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource February 1, 2006
Marvin Meyer appears to be making a career by publishing collections of gnostic texts, and then revised and expanded versions of those same texts. Nonetheless, his latest addition is certainly one his best, if for no other reason than it includes some relatively obscure (though important) texts that are difficult to find elsewhere (e.g., 2nd Discourse of Great Seth, Book of Baruch). Don't worry, Mary, Philip, and Thomas are there too.

I have a few criticisms of the book. His discussion of gnosticism is merely adequate as are his notes on the texts themselves. Somone of Meyer's stature has more to offer than he does here, but for a non scholar it is probably sufficient. I also have a problem with his updating of the translations. Personally I think a lot is lost when (for example) the "Son of Man" becomes a "Child of Humankind". It is not only historically offensive, it separates the current texts from their historical contexts, leaving the current addition adrift without the benefit of the threads which tie together so much of Christian research and scholarship.

Leaving aside these criticisms, if your budget permits you to buy only one book of gnostic texts, this is probably the book you'll want.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Nice Overview of The Gnostic Gospels August 30, 2005
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I thought this book provided readers with a nice clear reading of the Gnostic Gospels and it is a good starting point for people who are not familiar with these books. I would have liked to see more literary analysis of the books inside this collection and did not think the author provided a deep enough study of what the books were and what they represented inside this text. A reader should probably read the Elaine Pagels book on the Gnostic Gospels before reading this one. However, for those who have never read the Gnostic Gospels this book is a nice place to find them along with the rest of The Mystical Gospels.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
This is our current top recommendation for readers beginning their exploration of the Gnostic scriptures. Over the last three decades Prof. Marvin Meyer has distinguished himself as a singularly talented translator and commentator. In this new collection -- the best of several that he has now published -- Meyer presents twelve key Gnostic "gospels" in succinct, accurate and highly readable new translations. The book's subtitle claims it to be: "The definitive collection of mystical gospels and secret books about Jesus of Nazareth". Though perhaps not definitive in the sense of comprehensive, we agree this is the single best introductory collection available.

There has been significant refinement during the last four decades in "the scholarly ear" for both the forgotten ancient tongue and the spiritual tradition preserved in the Gnostic Coptic texts discovered over the last century. Meyer states his goal in these translations is to be "as accurate as possible" while still presenting the texts in "felilcitious English." At this he succeeds beautifully. Readers who have labored with the sometimes tortured translations and editorial conventions presented in the original editions of the Nag Hammadi Library (first published thirty years ago) will be amazed at the graceful intelligibility of Meyer's translations. Meyer adds to the collection an overview of our evolving understanding of Christian Gnosticism, and prefaces each of the selected text with an excellent introductory essay.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but have read basically the same thing years ago still enjoyed it. Its...
Very interesting,, but have read basically the same thing years ago still enjoyed it. Its true you can develop a personal relationship w/o the need of an organized religion. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A Must read when learning about the Lost Gospels!!!
Published 21 days ago by Ed Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 stars If you Love Jesus, you will appreciate this book.
This is a wonderfully written book depicting the love letters from Jesus.
Published 1 month ago by Roger Sessom
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great read, I don't agree with all the findings ...
It's a great read, I don't agree with all the findings about the missing gospels. But it's interesting for another point of view.
Published 1 month ago by goondaddy
5.0 out of 5 stars one of my favorites book about Jesus
Ok this has been one of my favorites book about Jesus teachings with A Course In Miracles and the Second Coming of Christ by Yogananda; when things get a bit dark it's the one that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Licia Hanshaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It led me to other books , informative and inspiration
Published 3 months ago by andrew thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must have if you truly are interested in seeking more than just what's in the HB.
Published 3 months ago by MSC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very Informative
Published 5 months ago by Tim
5.0 out of 5 stars Read the texts of The Nag Hamaadi library for yourself.
Excellent translations of various Gnostic texts with introductions and extensive note sections for each text at the end of the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Shakespeare
5.0 out of 5 stars I do enjoy reading this but am struggling to understand much of ...
I do enjoy reading this but am struggling to understand much of it. Honestly, I'm just a puppy in this research. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Steve M
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More About the Author

Marvin Meyer is one of the foremost scholars on gnosticism, the Nag Hammadi library, and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament.

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