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Gnosticism's Christian form grew to prominence in the 2nd century A.D. Ultimately denounced as heretical by the early church, Gnosticism proposed a revealed knowledge of God ("gnosis" meaning "knowledge" in Greek), held as a secret tradition of the apostles. In The Gnostic Gospels, author Elaine Pagels suggests that Christianity could have developed quite differently if Gnostic texts had become part of the Christian canon. Without a doubt: Gnosticism celebrates God as both Mother and Father, shows a very human Jesus's relationship to Mary Magdalene, suggests the Resurrection is better understood symbolically, and speaks to self-knowledge as the route to union with God. Pagels argues that Christian orthodoxy grew out of the political considerations of the day, serving to legitimize and consolidate early church leadership. Her contrast of that developing orthodoxy with Gnostic teachings presents an intriguing trajectory on a world faith as it "might have become." The Gnostic Gospels provides engaging reading for those seeking a broader perspective on the early development of Christianity. --F. Hall
"The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt." --The New York Times Book ReviewSee all Product Description
Written back in 1979 it is one of the ground breaking works that paved the way for many following books on the subject. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Big Bill
I should have read this decades ago. Elaine Pagels is a true scholar. Made me want to read more by her.Published on Oct. 31 2013 by Carolyn Snipes-Hoyt
This is a brief but informative introduction to the belief systems known as Gnosticism and their differences with Ecclesiastical Christianity. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2009 by Peter Uys
This brief but informative study of the cluster of beliefs known as Gnosticism and its differences with Ecclesiastical Christianity is recommended. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2009 by Peter Uys
This is a sad diversion from the true Gospel. I tried to get in to what was being writen but she lacked evidence and text to back up her wild theories. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Chris Schroader
This is not exactly a fun page-turner but it is a good resource for anyone interested in early Christianity. Read morePublished on June 21 2004 by Garry L. Morey
Often the first book read by the aspiring student of gnosticism, Pagel's "The Gnostic Gospels" is a classic for a reason. Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by Nicq MacDonald
Chapter 5 and 6 make this book priceless to me. I love all of Professor Pagels works and own them all. Read morePublished on May 23 2004 by Elizabeth