In 1945 fifty-two papyrus texts, including gospels and other secret documents, were found concealed in an earthenware jar buried in the Egyptian desert. These so-called Gnostic writings were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament. The material they embodied - poems, quasi-philosophical descriptions of ...Read MoreIn 1945 fifty-two papyrus texts, including gospels and other secret documents, were found concealed in an earthenware jar buried in the Egyptian desert. These so-called Gnostic writings were Coptic translations from the original Greek dating from the time of the New Testament. The material they embodied - poems, quasi-philosophical descriptions of the origins of the universe, myths, magic and instructions for mystic practice - were later declared heretical, as they offered a powerful alternative to the Orthodox Christian tradition. In a book that is as exciting as it is scholarly, Elaine Pagels examines these texts and the questions they pose and shows why Gnosticism was eventually stamped out by the increasingly organised and institutionalised Orthodox Church.Read Less
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This book came in just as I needed it for research. It fulfills what I had expected and it was a perfect match to other research books I had received earlier.
Aug 21, 2014
I was disappointed in this book. I thought it would tell more of what was contained in the papyrus that was found. It was mostly the authors thoughts on the content. Disappointing.
Feb 13, 2014
Great historical research by Elaine Pagels. This book open my mind on things that may have been.
Aug 6, 2010
Very interesting read
Prof. Pagels has set down a very interesting take on the early church and the conflict between the orthodoxy and gnosticism. There was a real struggle for the future direction of the church. Her thesis was that if orthodoxy had not won the battle, the early Christian church might have disappeared within a few centuries.
Jun 24, 2010
This is an interesting book has a lot of good history in it. Anyway I like this kind of book. If anyone is interested in the study of religion this is a good book to add to your library.
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