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The Gnostic Gospels Hardcover – November 12, 1979
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Pagels does a good job of presenting the context in which the early Christians lived and eventually argued against one another. The debate was seemingly one over spiritual authority, and social and political issues played a part alongside purely religious disagreements between different factions.Read more ›
What is most interesting to consider is just how different Christianity might be today if additional writings had been included in the Bible. One theory as to why they weren't was that early bishops wanted only gospels written by Jesus's apostles included in the Bible, although subsequent scholarship has proven that none of the Gospels' authorship is certain. Among the rejected, the Gospel of Thomas is probably the best known, and it is fascinating in its non-literal approach to Christ. Jesus is described as telling his followers that the Kingdom of God is not a realm (Pagels concludes that it is closer to an altered state of consciousness) and makes comments that place him closer in philosophy to the Buddha than to St. Paul.
A lot is covered in just 180 pages -- Pagels gets credit for being among the least self-indulgent writers around. She lays down the facts and then lets the reader mull over them. No matter what your beliefs, you will benefit from reading this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Nag Hammadi, the discovery of the lost and rejected gospels two thousand years after Jesus. What a great book. Thanks Elaine Pagels.Published 1 month ago by Steve Slonecker
This is the second time I have purchased this book! I have read it many times and would highly recommend it! Elaine Pagels is a knowledgeable author.Published 1 month ago by Linda H.
very informative, stuff you can't get out of church. good readingPublished 2 months ago by Sherri F. Nester
Whether you have read, going to, or, are just inquisitive about the Nag Hammadi texts: this is a must read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by MSC
Brilliant insights into what Christianity could have been if the Gnostics had not been suppressed.Published 2 months ago by William Frank White