"Nag Hammadi: The First Fifty Years." In The Nag Hammadi Library after Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration, ...
Author: Willis Barnstone
Publisher: Shambhala Publications
THE GNOSTIC BIBLE is by far the most comprehensive compilation of gnostic texts ever published - and the first aimed at rendering the texts in poetic, readable prose. The gnostics were religious thinkers engaged in the quest for wisdom and knowledge, and they proclaimed a salvation to be found through mystical knoweldge and intuition. As the Gospel of Thomas puts it, "Know whatis in front of your face and what is hidden from you will be disclosed. There is nothing hidden from you that will not be revealed." Dating from the first to the thirteen centuries, these gnostic texts represent Jewish, Chritian, Hemetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic and Cathar forms of gnostic spirituality, and they derive from Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, France and elsewhere. These texts show that gnosticism was a world religion that sought truths in a wide variety of religious traditions and expressed those truths in powerful and provocative mystical poetry and prose. The impact of gnosticism upon other religions of the world was considerable, and the influence of gnosticism continues to the present day. This volume represents the first time that such a diverse collection of gnostic texts is published in a single volume and some of the texts are translated into English for the first time here. The texts are accompanied bu introductions and notes and additional study aids describe gnosticism, elucidate gnostic terms and suggest further readings.