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.
This book for the first time collects the various ancient accounts of the martydoms of Peter and Paul, which number more than a dozen, along with more than forty references to the martyrdoms from early Christian literature. At last a more complete picture of the traditions about the deaths of Peter and Paul is able to emerge.
Features: Greek, Latin, and Syriac accounts from antiquity translated into English Introductions and notes for each text Original texts are produced on facing pages for specialists
Evagrius exerted a striking impact on the development of spirituality, of Origenism, and of the spiritual interpretation of the Bible in Greek, Syriac, and Latin Christianity. This English translation of the most complete Syriac version of Kephalaia Gnostika makes Evagrius Ponticus's thoughts concerning reality, God, protology, eschatology, anthropology, and allegorical exegesis of Scripture widely available.
Features: English translation of the longer Syriac version discovered by Antoine Guillaumont Commentary provides an integrated analysis of Evagrius's ascetic and philosophical writings Extensive introduction on the importance of Evagrius and the context of his writings
The Refutation of All Heresies (ca. 225 CE) is a treasure-trove of ancient philosophy, astrology, medicine, magic, Gnostic thought, numerology, heresiography, ecclesial politics, and early Christian studies in general. Offered here for the first time in almost a century is a full English translation, along with a newly-edited Greek text, extensive notes, and a thorough introduction.
Features:A full English translation with extensive notes Newly edited Greek text that avoids the pitfalls of the most recent edition A thorough-going introduction that addresses the questions of authorship, date, and audience, as well as the purpose of the book, its organization, method, and importance for Gnostic studies
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
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).