Essential Gnostic Scriptures

Shambhala Publications

The people we’ve come to call gnostics were passionate advocates of the view that salvation comes through knowledge and personal experience, and their passion shines through in the remarkable body of writings they produced over a period of more than a millennium and a half. Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer have created a translation that brings the gnostic voices to us from across the centuries with remarkable power and beauty—beginning with texts from the earliest years of Christianity—including material from the Nag Hammadi library—and continuing all the way up to expressions of gnostic wisdom found within Islam and in the Cathar movement of the Middle Ages. The twenty-one texts included here serve as a compact introduction to Gnosticism and its principal ideas—and they also provide an entrée to the pleasures of gnostic literature in general, representing, as they do, the greatest masterpieces of that tradition.
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About the author

Born in Lewiston, Maine, Willis Barnstone was educated at Bowdoin, Columbia, the Sorbonne, and Yale. He taught in Greece at the end of the civil war (1949–51), and in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War. During the Cultural Revolution he went to China where he was later a Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1984–85). Former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, he is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish at Indiana University.

His publications include Modern European Poetry (Bantam, 1967), The Other Bible (HarperCollins, 1984), Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice (Yale, 1993), Funny Ways of Staying Alive (University Press of New England, 1993), The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets (University Press of New England, 1996), the memoir With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (University of Illinois, 1993), Algebra of Night: Selected Poems—1949–1998 (Sheep Meadow, 1999), The Apocalypse (New Directions, 2000), Life Watch (BOA Editions, 2003), Border of a Dream: Poems of Antonio Machado (Copper Canyon, 2003), and The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala Publications, 2003).

A Guggenheim Fellow, his awards include a National Endowment for the Arts award, a National Endowment for the Humanities award, an Emily Dickinson Award of the Poetry Society of America, a W. H. Auden Award of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Midland Authors Award, three Book of the Month Selections and four Pulitzer Prize nominations for poetry. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Doubletake, Harper's, New York Review of Books, Poetry, Paris Review Poetry, Partisan Review, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Shambhala Publications
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Published on
Dec 28, 2010
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780834822153
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Church / History
Religion / Christian Theology / History
Religion / Gnosticism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Marvin Meyer
Marvin Meyer is one of the leading experts on the secret gospels-Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospel of Mark, and others-who has changed forever how we read the canonical gospels and understand early Christianity. In this new collection of his work, Meyer looks at these revolutionary texts in original and illuminating ways.

He writes, for example, about the naked youths in the villa of the Mysteries. On the walls of a villa in Pompeii, a famous mural depicts a naked male reading from a scroll, a look of wonder on his face. A naked youth again appears in the Gospel of Mark, abandoning his garment and fleeing naked when apprehended during Jesus' arrest. A similar youth appears in the Secret Gospel of Mark. These youths, Meyer proposes, serve as an image of religious initiation, candidates for the mysteries of Dionysus or of Christ.

This is one of the many aspects of the secret gospels that Meyer examines with expert insight and creativity. Topics range from gender and infancy stories to discipleship and the relationship of the Gospel of Thomas to Islamic literature. Meyer's spellbinding readings of these materials offer fresh understandings of the canonical gospels.

Marvin Meyer is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies, and Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Chapman University, Orange, California. He is author of The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels and The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, and co-editor of Jesus Then and Now (Trinity Press International).
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