The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume

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This is the most complete, up-to-date, one-volume, English-language edition of the renowned library of fourth-century Gnostic manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945, which rivaled the Dead Sea Scrolls find in significance. It includes the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the recently discovered Gospel of Judas, as well as other Gnostic gospels and sacred texts. This volume also includes introductory essays, notes, tables, glossary, index, etc. to help the reader understand the context and contemporary significance of these texts which have shed new light on early Christianity and ancient thought.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061626005
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/26/2009
  • Edition description: Internatio
  • Pages: 864
  • Sales rank: 80,482
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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  • Posted April 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    NAG HAMMADI SCRIPTURES... The scriptures you were never supposed to read.

    The Christian cannon was not formalized until the 5th century. Before that date there were many forms of Christianity and each group had their own sacred texts, all claiming to be written by the apostles. As the various groups fell 'victim' to the group that later became 'orthodox' their texts were burned or not copied, and were lost to the world.

    Gnosticism was an early Christian movement that emphasized the saving power of dualistic knowledge about our origins over the saving power of Christ's death and resurrection.

    The Gnostics developed an elaborate mythology about the supreme and unknowable God and his pleroma or 'heavenly kingdom' of light and how the divine spark within us fell from that kingdom. Our task, as divine entities, is to find the gnosis (knowledge) to make our way back to that pleroma and home. These texts are supposed to guide us into that knowledge.

    Several of these books are beautifully written and complete and have very inspiring descriptions of the unknowable God who is the One and the All. One, The Gospel of Thomas, is supposed to have early saying of Christ. Some have text missing and are difficult, if not impossible, to read. The texts make for very interesting reading that certainly informs, and perhaps inspires.

    Perhaps it is a modern miracle that these 3rd and 4th century texts were preserved, and finally discovered in 1945, buried in a sealed clay jar near Nag Hammadi, in upper Egypt, by a bedouin peasant digging for fertilizer on the side of a hill.

    These texts are a MUST for anyone who is interested in the early history of the Christian church...

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014


    These are wonderful writings which were discovered in 1945. The gospel of Thomas is the oldest. All of them are worthy of deep study.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Highly recommended. Well worth the read.

    This book is one that cannot be read with any type of distraction near. It calls for a lot of concentration. Also, some of the pages are missing a few words, because the original document was torn off at that point. Marvin Meyer did a great job of translating this information for us; he should be commended for an outstanding job on this project. I will always treasure this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 17, 2012

    Highly Recommended - check it out!!

    This collection of extra-canonical books is an important read. As an accompaniment to the books of the canon these Nag Hammadi Scriptures can help us better understand the times during which the Gospels and other canonical scriptures were written. They offer insights into characters we have come to know, such as Mary Magdalene and Peter. Some of the texts may be challenging, but it is a worthwhile endeavor to read them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2014

    This book cost millions to make, But it had to be made.

    Over 30 translatos from various languages voted on what words should be used to give the most accurate translation of these lost gospels...word by word.

    In the introduction I mentions that Bishop Iraneus Decided there should only be four gospels because the world has four corners and the wind blows from four directions. Then when these gospels were outlawed and gnostic burried all the Gospels INCLUDING THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS under a bouldr in a jar which was unearthed nearly 2000 years later at Nag Hammid. The people who found these leatherbound papyrus books used some as firewood, the sold it to a merchant in the market. As word got out a millionair bought it and kept it in a vault where they further deterioated. After awhile it was released to the translators then the public.

    Many many people were invested into making this book. There are brackets and stars next to words and in the brackts it may say lines missting, meaning the cccotex as hyccalttttttte scriptures were too destroyed to translate.

    So what did they find in this jar. Some of these gospels are strange, about the comsoms and astrology, others l are similiar to the four gospels we have and even explain and reinforce some of the passages that puzzle us. like "If you do Not hate you mother and father you are not worthy of me, in one of the nag hammid gospels they say "our parents have disowned us for fallowing you and we have disowned them for you. Which wich may clarrify hate could have been disown.'

    Some of these gospels are rambles, some the translators admit were written saying the authors were apostles but really it was a gnostic prophet valentinus who wrote them. Part of the fun is picking out the forgeries from what may be legitamate gospels.

    The book is a masterpiece. For these gospels to be outlawed by the church and unearthed when people have freedom to think for themselves, it may not be a stretch to call it divine fate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2011


    Christmas gift for son. Unable to give accurate rating or review.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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