Gnostic Bible (Book and Audio-CD Set)

Gnostic Bible (Book and Audio-CD Set)

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Overview

Gnostic Bible (Book and Audio-CD Set) by Willis Barnstone

Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium C.E. whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and mystical experience. Sample the gnostics in their own words with this unique book-and-audio set. The book, The Gnostics and Their Scriptures, provides a brief yet thorough introduction to gnostic philosophy, while the audio program allows you to encounter the gnostic scriptures as the living oral tradition they were intended to be. The selections are taken from among the most important—and most poetically beautiful—of all gnostic texts, including the Gospels of Thomas, Judas, and Mary Magdalene. Includes 3 CDs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590306420
Publisher: Shambhala
Publication date: 11/25/2008
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.68(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.86(d)

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.

Marvin Meyer, PhD, (1948–2012) was Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Chapman University in Orange, California. His books include The Gospel of Thomas and, with James Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Scriptures.

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Gnostic Bible 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book presents in one comprehensive volume a fascinating mixture of spiritual literatures that once rivalled what we now know and accept as orthodox Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Though I have not had time to read the whole volume yet, I have read the two main introductions and the epilogue closely, and plan on reading them again. They are models of detailed, accessible and articulate scholarship and have opened my eyes to the complexity, breadth and relevance of this ancient river of mystical and metaphysical wisdom that was driven underground so many centuries ago. I had heard of the Gnostic texts over the years, but had never approached them before. I am not Christian, Jewish or Muslim, but I am a practicing poet and translator with a deep interest in the mystical and sacred literatures of the world and in the Bible for its beautiful language, its millenia-long influence on our culture and civilization, and its equally long and fascinating history as a compedium of both sacred wisdom and literary styles. What this volume has borne home to me is how open to interpretation the Christian teachings were during the first three or four centuries of their existence. What I have come to accept as the main Christian tenets and beliefs were by no means the only approaches to this then radical spiritual teaching. In fact, there was a time when the Gnostic teachings were more widespread than the now orthodox version. Amazing!! What has become established as nearly irrefutable doctrine for true believers was created by repression and book-burning out of a much more fluid and diverse set of myths, legends, narratives and mystical teachings. I look forward to delving deeply into these readings, which will no doubt send me back to the Bible in its various translations to compare and contrast. I am an ardent admirer of Willis Barnstone. He is one of our master poets and translators and has rendered so many diverse poetries from world literature into lucid, poetic English that our debt to him will continue for generations. I am not familiar with Mr. Meyer¿s work, but look forward with eagerness to reading his translations as well. My impression of this book is that it is a perfect blend of art and scholarship. As Mr. Barnstone persuasively argues in his essay, 'Letting in the Light: Translating Holy Texts,' these texts need to sing as well as communicate their wisdom. That astute aphorist and commentator on the art of translation, Pierre Grange, says it all in the epigraph to this essay: 'Spiritual and mystical literatures survive on the fire of art. Without the fire the new word is dead.' I don¿t know if the word is ever entirely dead without the fire of art, but it is certainly dampened and obscured without it. Mr. Barnstone and Mr. Meyer, following Grange¿s dictum, have definitely rekindled the fires of art for these ancient literatures, presenting them in cogent and lyrical form for one of the uninitiated like me. I can¿t think of a better introduction to this material. This is definitely a volume to study, re-read and cherish.
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