Marvin Meyer is one of the foremost scholars on early Christianity and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament. He is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University in Orange, California. Among his recent books are The Gospel of Judas, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, The Gospels of Mary, The Gospel of Thomas, and The Nag Hammadi Scriptures.
James M. Robinson, consultant for this collection, is widely known for his groundbreaking contribution as the permanent secretary of UNESCO's International Committee for the Nag Hammadi codices, and his many published works on Gnostic texts and the Sayings Gospel Q.
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
Jesus's original gospel has been lost from sight, hidden behind the version preferred by the church. We have put him on a pedestal, rather than walked in his footsteps. In The Gospel of Jesus, James M. Robinson, the preeminent expert on the earliest sources of information about Jesus, provides the primary texts in all their unvarnished honesty to get to the true historical message of Jesus -- what Robinson calls "a brittle, upsetting, comforting, challenging gospel." The Gospel of Jesusdraws on a combination of the most ancient and authentic texts to reveal what Jesus really said and to illuminate what he may still have to say to us today.
Robinson addresses such provocative questions as:What can we know about Jesus's childhood and youth? What was his family like? What sort of education did he receive? How observant a Jew was he? What do we know about his sex life? What do we know about his relation to Mary Magdalene? What was John the Baptist's impact on him? What message did Jesus really preach? What do we know about his crucifixion? Why did his followers believe so fervently in his resurrection?
Drawing on the earliest Gospel, Mark, plus the source for Matthew and Luke, known as "Q," as well as from Jewish sources such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the ancient extra-biblical Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi, Robinson not only reconstructs the good news Jesus preached and practiced two thousand years ago, but shows how relevant his message still is -- and how we can apply it to our lives today. The Gospel of Jesus offers one of the most authentic and stirring accounts ever written of the message preached by the figure whose followers today number more than two billion.
This volume is excerpted from The Annotated Luther series, Volume 2. Each volume in the series contains extensive annotations, illustrations, and notes to help shed light on Luther’s context and to interpret his writings for today.