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The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth Hardcover – February 15, 2005

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The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth + The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume + The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle
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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.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (February 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006076208X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060762087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

251 of 269 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Lewis on February 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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136 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on February 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Laura Ann on 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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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Lance Owens on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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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