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The Coptic Gnostic Library: A Complete Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices ( 5 vol set) Paperback – April, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-9004117020 ISBN-10: 9004117024 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 5148 pages
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Pub; Reprint edition (April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004117024
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004117020
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,894,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Tom reads too much on March 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
The E.J. Brill Academic Press graciously reprinted the full Nag Hammadi library, which had previously only been available in 13 hardcover volumes at a price of $2000 (or was it only $1995? I forget...). Even at $500 the books are pricey, but given the fact that not everyone reads or cares to learn to read Coptic, I can understand the reasons behind the pricing. Each text from the Nag Hammadi Codices is presented in its original Coptic form along with an English translation mirroring the Coptic (i.e., the page on the left is Coptic and the page on the right is the English translation) along with an extensive and insightful critical apparatus linking the texts to the Greek New Testament, the Vulgate, writings of the early Church fathers, and other Nag Hammadi and Coptic works. Obviously, if you just want to read a translation you can buy one of any number of translations in one book for $30 and be satisfied. However, if you are a serious student of Early Christianity, the Coptic language, Egyptology or the like, this work has been extremely well researched, put together by specialists in the field with the utmost care, and presented in an accessible format. I highly recommend!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
This collection of texts gives a fascinating view of early Christian texts and views, particularly in light of the fact that these were not the writings that made it into the mainstream of church and biblical canonical development, but rather were influential in an underground, almost subversive way, in much of ancient and oriental Christianity -- were it not for the existence of texts such as these, indeed, we would not have the canon of the Bible which we have today (the political motivations behind deciding which books belonged in the Bible and which books didn't owe largely to texts such as those in the Nag Hammadi Library).

This book represents an advance in both translation and analysis; this is part of the canon of the Gnostic sect, which saw more orthodox Christianity (from which Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies derive) as the ones who were heretical. 'The Nag Hammadi library also documents the fact that the rejection was mutual, in that Christians described there as "heretical" seem to be more like what is usually thought of as "orthodox".'

Gnosticism was ultimately eliminated from mainstream Christianity, save the occasional resurgence of underground and spiritual movements. Of course, Gnosticism was not an exclusively Christian-oriented phenomenon: many of the texts refer to Hebrew Scriptures only, and the question of Jewish Gnosticism is discussed by Robinson.
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