Customer Review

138 of 144 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult book for beginners, March 22, 2003
This review is from: The Nag Hammadi Library (Paperback)
I'll admit that I'm a beginner in the study of Gnosis, and over estimated myself when I ordered this book. After reading snippets of it, like I would the bible, I realized that I was nearly in over my head. This book is confusing. Many others who I've spoken to have advised that one reads many books about the Nag Hammadi findings before they read the actual findings. They couldn't be closer to the truth. Besides the fact that it's confusing, it's a common Gnostic belief that you must learn from a teacher before learning on your own.
On that note, despite how useful this book is. I'd advise anyone, at all interested in the subject matter, to first look for books by Elaine Pagels and Stephan Hoeller, first to get an idea of what you can expect to actually be reading.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 2, 2007 11:37:50 AM PDT
Mark Straka says:
Although I appreciate the concern expressed by this warning, it goes against general principles. Always read the primary source for yourself. Chuang Tzu said that we all have a teacher of our own there between our ears, and this is certainly true. Innumerable times as proponent in discussion / debate on evolution I have asked my opponent whether or not they had read any of Darwin's writings and have been told that they had not. The most vehement of antagonists are those who have never read the primary documents, but who carry into intellectual battle the emblem of one or another secondary interpreter. This has led to centuries of conflict. Please, in the case of these writings which underpin the belief system of millions, don't make the same mistake. You will surprise yourself with the understanding that comes to you through your own perseverance.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2010 2:24:55 PM PDT
Lane Powell says:
"Innumerable times as proponent in discussion / debate on evolution I have asked my opponent whether or not they had read any of Darwin's writings and have been told that they had not."
You misunderstand the nature of the science. The modern understanding of evolution is not Darwinism. It is called the Modern Synthesis, and is the product of the work of thousands of scientists, of which Darwin is only one. Scientists who have built on the foundations of Darwin's work are not mere "secondary interpreters." You don't need to read Darwin to understand evolution, quotes from fashionable Eastern philosophers notwithstanding.

Posted on May 4, 2013 3:03:58 PM PDT
msj says:
This book is a good reference for understanding foundation of gnosis. Yes, I agree with M.Williams to first read books by Elaine Pagels. I read her book the Gnostic Gospels along with the 6 disk CDs. I have an idea of what to expect once I began reading The Nag Hammadi. I also explored YouTube for the Gospels of Truth, Gospels of Thomas, and the Gospels of Phillip.
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