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The main purpose of this volume is to present in English translation a representative selection of 135 Coptic texts of ritual power.
For all those readers curious to read the actual texts of the Gnostic Gospels, here is the definitive collection of all the Gnostic Gospels and Gospel-like texts. o Marvin Meyer, premier scholar of Gnostic and other Christian literature outside the New Testament, presents every Gnostic Gospel and Jesus text with a brilliant overall introduction, introductions to each text, and notes that explain everything the reader needs to know to understand the text. He includes his latest translations of not only the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, but other texts such as the Secret Book of John, which some scholars regard as the second part of the New Testament Gospel of John. The material is largely from the discovery at Nag Hammadi, freshly translated and introduced, but also includes texts found elsewhere. The texts, especially taken together, present an image of Jesus as the ultimate wisdom teacher, a kind of mysterious Jewish Zen master, who scandalized listeners by his radical egalitarianism (regarding women, slaves, the poor, the marginalized as of equal status, or more, with establishment male believers) and his insistence on living the message, spiritual experience, vs. outer observance only. o For those wanting to learn more after reading The Da Vinci Code. This book provides the definitive next book for those looking for expert presentation of the alternative Gnostic stream of Christianity, in which there is no talk of crucifixion and Mary Magdalene is presented as the disciple that Jesus loved best. "Marv is one of the original secret gospels scholars who has done an enormous amount of work to bring these texts to light. All of his research on the Nag Hammadi texts is having an incredible impact on our knowledge of early Christian history--it is virtually redefining it." --Dr. Elaine Pagels, Princeton University
Scholars of Coptic, the Bible and Christian studies, ecclesiastical history and patristics, Egyptology, and related disciplines present the short text and massive commentary and speculation around the manuscript discovered in Egypt during the 1970s, part of a papyrus codex, and published for the first time in 2006. The essays discuss the story of Codex Tchacos and the Gospel of Judas, the gospel's alternative vision, its relation to other gospels, the gnostic connection, whether Judas was a hero or villain, and Irenaeus of Lyon. Since the 2006 edition, some of the loose fragments have been placed, and some changes were adopted by the translation team. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
For 1,600 years its message lay hidden. When the bound papyrus pages of this lost gospel finally reached scholars who could unlock its meaning, they were astounded. Here was a gospel that had not been seen since the early days of Christianity, and which few experts had even thought existed-a gospel told from the perspective of Judas Iscariot, history's ultimate traitor. And far from being a villain, the Judas that emerges in its pages is a hero.In this radical reinterpretation, Jesus asks Judas to betray him. In contrast to the New Testament Gospels, Judas Iscariot is presented as a role model for all those who wish to be disciples of Jesus and is the one apostle who truly understands Jesus.Discovered by farmers in the 1970s in Middle Egypt, the codex containing the gospel was bought and sold by antiquities traders, secreted away, and carried across three continents, all the while suffering damage that reduced much of it to fragments. In 2001, it finally found its way into the hands of a team of experts who would painstakingly reassemble and restore it. The Gospel of Judas has been translated from its original Coptic to clear prose, and is accompanied by commentary that explains its fascinating history in the context of the early Church, offering a whole new way of understanding the message of Jesus Christ.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A fresh, authoritative English translation, with an informative introduction, fascinating explanatory notes, and the Coptic text, with interpretation by Harold Bloom, our pre-eminent literary critic.
Mary Magdalene, Jesus's Closest Disciple Marvin Meyer, one of the foremost scholars of the Gnostic Gospels: translates and introduces the Gnostic and New Testament texts that together reveal the story and importance of Mary Magdalene includes new translations of the Gospels of Mary, Thomas, Philip, and related texts about Mary Magdalene discloses, with Esther A. De Boer, the long-suppressed story of Mary's vital role in the life of Jesus and in the formative period after his crucifixion presents as authentically as possible the real Mary Magdalene
Judas Iscariot has been demonized as the quintessential traitor, the disciple who betrayed his master for the infamous thirty pieces of silver. But the recent sensational discovery and publication of the long lost Gospel of Judas, with its remarkable portrayal of Judas Iscariot as the disciple closest to Jesus, raises serious new questions. Was Judas the only member of the Twelve who truly understood Jesus? Did Jesus secretly collaborate with Judas to set in motion the series of events that would redeem all of humankind? In search of answers, Marvin Meyer, one of the world's leading experts on the Gospel of Judas presents a collection of the earliest accounts of Judas, which together paint a fuller portrait of this most enigmatic disciple. This book presents the essential texts that deal with the figure of Judas, including New Testament writings, Gnostic documents, and other early and later Christian literature. These are the earliest known testimonies about Judas and include selections from the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and relevant passages from Paul. The centerpiece of the book is the Gospel of Judas, followed by excerpts from three other Gnostic texts--the Dialogue of the Savior, the Concept of Our Great Power, and the "Round Dance of the Cross"--which may shed new light on the figure of Judas. A series of additional writings on Judas produced over the centuries provide glimpses of the vilification of Judas and the emergence of anti-Semitic themes. Meyer offers evidence of traitors before Judas--the Genesis story of Joseph's brothers who sold him into slavery, the duplicitous friend of the poet in Psalm 41, and Melanthius the goatherd in Homer's Odyssey--all of which raise the question of whether the story of Judas Iscariot could be simply a piece of religious fiction derived from earlier stories. Judas provides a rich collection of original sources that tell the story of Christianity's most infamous figure, offering the fullest understanding of Judas Iscariot's undeniable importance in the climax of Jesus's life.
In December 1945, two Egyptian fellahin, digging for natural fertilizer in the Nile River valley unearthed a sealed storage jar. The jar proved to hold treasure of an unexpected sort: a collection of some fifty-two ancient manuscripts, most of which reflect the teachings of a mystical religious movement we call Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnosis, "knowledge"). The texts are also, with few exceptions, Christian documents, and thus they provide us with valuable new information about the character of the early church, and about the Gnostic Christians within the church.In this volume, Marvin W. Meyer has produced a new English translation for general readers of four of the most important and revealing of these early Christian texts -- the Secret Book of James, the Gospel of Thomas, the Book of Thomas, and the Secret Book of John.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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