This ancient Gnostic text can be a companion for your own spiritual quest.
The Gospel of Philip is one of the most exciting and accessible of the Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945. The source of Dan Brown’s intriguing speculations about Mary Magdalene in his best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code, the Gospel of Philip draws on ancient imagery—the natural world, the relationships between women, men and family, the ancient distinctions between lord and servants, free people and slaves, and pagans, Jews and Christians—to offer us insight into the spiritual interpretation of scripture that is at the foundation of Christianity.
The Gospel of Philip: Annotated and Explained unravels the discourses, parables and sayings of this second-century text to explore a spiritual, non-literal interpretation of the Bible. Along with his elegant and accurate new translation from the original Coptic, Andrew Phillip Smith probes the symbolism and metaphors at the heart of the Gospel of Philip to reveal otherwise unrecorded sayings of Jesus, fragments of Gnostic mythology and parallels to the teachings of Jesus and Paul. He also examines the joyful imagery of rebirth, salvation and mystical union in the bridal chamber that was the pursuit of Christian Gnosticism.
Now you can experience this ancient Gospel even if you have no previous knowledge of early Christianity or Gnostic thought. This SkyLight Illuminations edition provides important insights into the historical context and major themes of the Gospel of Philip, and gives you a deeper understanding of the Gospel’s overarching message: deciphering our own meaning behind the symbols of this world increases and enriches our understanding of God.
About the Author
Andrew Phillip Smith has been investigating early Christianity and Gnosticism for over a decade, sharing the results in presentations and writings. He is the author of The Lost Sayings of Jesus: Teachings from Ancient Christian, Jewish, Gnostic and Islamic Sources—Annotated and Explained, The Gospel of Philip: Annotated and Explained (all SkyLight Paths) and The Gospel of Thomas: A New Version Based on Its Inner Meaning.
Stevan Davies is professor of religious studies at Misericordia University and has studied the non-canonical gospels and acts for over thirty years. Among his books are The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and Explained, The Secret Book of John: The Gnostic Gospel—Annotated and Explained (both SkyLight Paths) and The Revolt of the Widows: The Social World of the Apocryphal Acts. He has also published books about the canonical Christian scriptures including New Testament Fundamentals and Jesus the Healer: Possession, Trance and the Origins of Christianity. His website (www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/thomas.htm) is a leading Internet resource on the Gospel of Thomas.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Stevan Davies ix
A Note on the Translation xxxv
The Gospel of Philip 3
Suggestions for Further Reading 115
What People are Saying About This
"How refreshing to move from our contemporary culture of Christian literalism to a spiritual world alive with symbol, metaphor and the poetry of the Divine"
Religion Department chair, Lake Forest College, author of The Gospel of Thomas: A Guidebook for Spiritual Practice
"Provides us with a wealth of insightful annotations, and the translation is the most accessible to date. All of those with an interest in Gnostic tradition and its sacraments will be happy to receive this splendid work!"
author of Gnosticism, Jung and the Lost Gospels and The Gnostic Jung