- Paperback: 252 pages
- Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers (January 1, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0800637410
- ISBN-13: 978-0800637415
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,240,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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GNOSTICISM, JUDAISM, AND EGYPTIAN CHRISTIANITY Paperback – January 1, 1990
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About the Author
Birger A. Pearson is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Emergence of the Christian Religion: Essays on Early Christianity and a co-editor of Nag Hammadi Codex VII.
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He is doing a scholarly type of book which is going down a list of subjects in the Gnostic writings and looking at everything currently known about a particular name or whatever, and trying to see how these ideas are borrowed and modified between one source and another.
The impression I am getting from his book, Gnosticism, Judaism, and Egyptian Christianity, is that the pre-Christian Gnostics of Egypt were not really distinguishable from what would have been main-stream Judaism for that area. The reason it caught notice was that a lot of the adherents crossed over into Christianity when that ability to do so presented itself, and came under the ire of those who had decided they were the appointed arbiters of orthodoxy in the newly established "official" Church.
As a historian, I do not dish christianity, yet to the reader it forces them to ask, why did christianity borrow from other religions? the author has never addressed the question. As an ungraded primer, it will force one to ask questions of where does the truth lie, or is all truth universal.
the author failed to address the invaluable contributions of Mythras and Zoroastrianism. He also failed to address the contributions and some say the kernel of Christianity, (The Essene). Still as a technical primer, it is a start and produces a slid foundation for early christianity.
For those who are serious about early Christianity, I would also consider Zoroastrianism, Essene, and the Mythra.
I also recommend for a grasp of modern Pentecostalism, or the charismatic movement, Magic in the New Testament, Ancient Christian magic Jesus the magician, Jesus the Sorcerer
It makes clear that Gnosticism was NO mysticism, it was not Buddhism in Hellenistic guise, it was a religious theology that came out of circumstantial historical events.
If you study Gnosticism...this book is a must have for your personal library...