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Showing 1-10 of 322 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 359 reviews
on June 8, 2015
First, in the interest of full disclosure, let me state my views on translation.

A translator's job is to translate. Not to improve. Not to bring in accordance with current ideas, values, or prejudices. Not to make choppy style clean. Not to make complex ideas (apparently) simple. A translator's job is to present a text as accurately as possible in the target language. I realize that there are other approaches to translation - but this is the one that I feel best serves both the original author and the reader.

This is not an approach taken by the Late Dr. Meyer in this translation.

It is clear from the introduction - and on every following page - that Dr. Meyer's primary commitment was to making the Nag Hammadi library palatable to modern readers - rather than presenting the text accurately.

This is demonstrated throughout - and, to give credit, and least Dr. Meyer and the other translators make no excuses for their choices. They make it clear that they have consistently changed the meaning of the text to make the language fit current ideas.

He says, very directly, "We have given special attention to issues of gender in our translations, and we employ inclusive language where the spirit of the Coptic text recommends it and where it does not compromise the accuracy of the translations."

The spirit of the Coptic text? I'm not clear that Dr. Meyer - or anyone else, for that matter - was qualified to make that determination. His job - and that of the other translators - is to communicate what the text says. Not what they may believe the spirit recommends. And I can only disagree with Dr. Meyer that his changes do not compromise the accuracy of the translations. Putting in something that isn't there, based on a sense of the "spirit" of a text is, by definition compromising accuracy.

When the text says "Son of Man" that should not - in my view - be mistranslated as "Child of Humanity." When the text says "Father," that should not become "Parent." When the text says, "He," that should not be transformed into "It."

The text says what it says. It's the job of the translators to present that. Modern values may - or may not - be more advanced. But those ideas are not what's in the text. And - as a reader - I want to see what is there. Not what the Late Dr. Meyer and his colleagues felt should be there.

In addition, the annotation adds very little value. To give credit - again - where deserved - many notes to mention that the translators have changed the clear meaning of the text. But, too often, the notes are simply Dr. Meyer's digressions on other similar mythologies which may or may not have any relevance to the text.

Like another reviewer, I look forward to a digitized version of the original, 1977 translation. That translation is not without challenges - it's harder to read, and significantly less clear in many places. But, since it was published before Gnosticism became hip - and profitable - the original translation demonstrates a clear and consistent commitment to the text. I wish that were also the case with this important - but deeply flawed - work.
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on October 9, 2014
Invaluable information that guides humans along their spiritual journey of faith and Jesus is the beloved Savior. This book exposes Christian thought prior to the takeover of the Catholic church. It's eye opening and opens doors to research other areas of early Christianity that are readily available to learn about.
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on February 22, 2017
Incredible! This book is all you need for study into Gnostic scriptures. The incredible amount of research put into the creation of this book and the footnotes clearly stating the situation of the translations and conditions of the texts is remarkable. This is not a light read. Be prepared to jot notes while reading. This book has caused me to think and contemplate very often and to this day after completing the book I find myself thinking about the texts.
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on September 25, 2014
Since 1945, the public has longed to read the treasures found at the Nag Hammadi dig. The understanding of Christian Gnosticism was, for centuries, hidden by the second and third century Catholics. The reading of these manuscripts reveals the fact that the various forms of Christianity of the first and second centuries were numerous and vastly outnumbered Catholicism centered in Rome. This was the basis of motivation causing Catholic writers and compilers, like Polycarp of Smyrna, to collect, fictionalize, and rewrite manuscripts and assemble them into an early canonized version of what was later adopted as our 'New Testament'! For over two centuries biblical scholars have followed clues leading to this fact and now we have the privilege to discover for ourselves the true origins of the Christian religion and need no longer be ruled by the fictitious claims of the New Testament. A copy of "NAG HAMMADI SCRIPTURES" should be in every Christian's home!
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on May 27, 2017
If one has a varied and broad view of religious texts-this is a great and tremendous resource. Fundamentalist, and other rigid groups, will find this text to be offensive-others will view it, as I, as most enlightening and provides explanation not found/omitted from the Bible. Those of Buddhist, Hindu, Native American religions, ancient Egyptian, Baha'i Faith, etc...should find this to be a welcomed supplement to their own religious texts-I see no conflict here with any of these teachings. I would also include Christianity as written but not as taught as there is a huge disconnect there.
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on January 20, 2015
The introduction is as fascinating as the book is - just one story of how the bible was corrupted is well worth the price of the book! A must-have for all serious students and those who want the truth. For those who believe the bible is the be-all, end-all of Christianity and is perfect, infallible, and "the Word of God" had best stay away, lest they get their illusions shattered by a strong dose of the truth.
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on May 11, 2013
This isn't a book! It's actually a magic portal through which the reader tumbles from one dimension to another. Sometimes the results are unsettling, but one is always left believing that, however much new got found in the next dimension, a lot is still there waiting to be discovered.
The blah cover of Nag Hammadi Scriptures makes it look like just another dry, boring now-let's-study-the-Bible type book. Instead it's a ticket for fascinating time travel out of the present and back to a murky, confusing past; from one civilization to another; from one rigid belief system to another; from one religion to another. You get bounced from reality to myth, and then all the way back again -- provided you still want to return.
This ancient anthology is an impressive job of scholarship and clear translation, and it oozes with bunches of helpful footnotes, introductions and leads for further study. If it has a flaw, I think it is that, found here and there throughout the volume, are faint hints of traditional Christian ideas. Sometimes one senses the editors may be trying a little too hard to reconcile some orthodox Christian belief or other with what they assume the ancient authors were saying or thinking. And the book certainly wants to make you believe that everyone with a point of view needs to have earned a degree from some obscure school of theology or religion. But ignore all that. If you buy the book, you've got the right to make up your own mind about what it says. And if there ever was a topic about which everyone's entitled to their own slant, this must be it.
As all readers will, I have a bias. I am a very devout Buddhist, steeped primarily in the religious traditions of Sri Lanka. The revelations I derived from the Nag Hammadi Scriptures were that passage, after passage, after passage is at least compatible with (and sometimes nearly identical to) Theravadan Buddhist teaching, and that both Gnostic ideas and Buddhism seem closer to one another than either one does to today's Christian practices.
All of which suggests to me that, though the world doggedly perpetuates and exalts countless images of, names for and ideas about "gods", you don't have to be a great scholar or professional theologian to recognize that, in the end, there is after all only one. To me this book argues most eloquently that, whoever or whatever that god may be, a wise search for him/her starts by a dive deep within the human psyche.
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on January 14, 2014
I don't normally write reviews, but I figure I'll give this one a go. This book explains a lot of the questions we have about the original bible. The bible, I believe is the very basics of what we should believe, the path every person who wants to follow Christ should be taking in life, but the Gnostic Scriptures are for people who are seeking more of a fuller understanding, who are always wanting to expand their knowledge in all things Divine. These scriptures basically talk about the secrete teachings of Jesus and the apostles, that was handed down to them from Christ while he was still on earth even after his crucifixion. There are basically 2 sets of Churches, the main exoteric branch is the patriarchal Church of St. Peter, known as the Catholic Church and many of the other eastern traditions (Orthodox, Anglican ect) that are part of the exoteric branch, while the Gnostic Church is part of the esoteric branch which contain many different schools of Gnostic traditions. There are many Gnostic schools that teach that all religions are connected, all religions teach peace and are a path to God, many Gnostic traditions not only have many familiar elements of many eastern exoteric Christian traditions, but also many traditions from other religions as well. I could go on and on about what I've learned from my own research and study, but I do suggest you get this book and read it for yourself and start your journey into a whole new realm. Let your mind become open and obtain Gnosis.
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on October 7, 2015
The editorial commentary on this showed admirable restraint, and seemed to actually be more about the text than about the authors' personal qualities. They were frequently honest about differences of opinion in translation, and they used the word "lacunae" a lot, which was really cool. Well done.
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on September 20, 2015
Excellent book, Somewhat challenging to read some documents but worth the effort. Provides an intersting insight to the dynamics of early Christianity and their understanding of the Christ event. Recommend using with Lost Christianties. Both books help provide a broad understanding of Gnostic Christian thought. An excellent complimentary tool to use when studing the canonical scriptures. Helpful to be in a study group when using these books.
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