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The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The Revised and Updated Translation of Sacred Gnostic Texts Complete in One Volume (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Mai 2009

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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.


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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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen 313 Rezensionen
319 von 328 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Whoever seeks life, this is their wealth. For the world's rest is false, and its gold and silver are deceptive. 14. Juni 2010
Von John E. Hart - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
For the title of this review I chose an excerpt from "The Dialogue of the Savior" which belonged to NHC III,5. On my quest to better understanding 'gnosticism' I first read Andrew Phillip Smith's book titled, "The Gnostics". His brief treatise on the overall scope of what gnosticism is really all about provided me with a more concise understanding of this exhaustive, scholarly translation of the Nag Hammadi text.

This book is by far the most complete and in-depth translation to date and will probably never be equaled. Scholars such as Marvin Meyer, Elaine Pagels, Madeleine Scopello, Einar Thomassen and John D. Turner are just a few of the names involved with the translation of the Nag Hammadi scriptures. There is an array of backgrounds involved which ultimately provide very different interpretations of the text, but this diversity only helps the reader to draw his/her own conclusions as to interpretation.

One positive aspect to this book is decision NOT to guess what the translation might have been. Quite frankly, much of the text within certain tractates were severely damaged and/or missing. Instead of guessing or including what the text may have said, Meyer and others, merely let the reader know that much of the text itself is missing. This is, of course refreshing, as many modern translations of either other Gnostic or Essene texts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, authors will simply insert modern lexicons assuming that it follows suit to what we have today. Meyer and company don't do this, instead they provide a well documented, heavily footnoted, scholarly work. On many occasions, they provide un-biased opinions of certain words and supply the several meanings to what the word could have meant, allowing for the reader themselves to feel as if they are partaking in the translation.

Many of the text can be deciphered as being either Sethian or Valentinian (the names of the two 'truly' gnostic Christian sects). In the beginning of each tractate, an in-depth analysis of the text is provided, supplying interpretation and the dating of the text as well as to the importance of each.

One such text that doesn't perceive to have an origin is the Gospel of Thomas. It has no markers of being either Sethian or Valentinian and as some scholars have suggested, could very well be the 'Q' source that the Synoptic Gospels themselves are based off of. This is by far a minority viewpoint, but nevertheless, an intriguing claim.

This is a must have treatise to any library and it is clear that the Gnostics were well ahead of their time concerning "gnosis," or knowledge, they had achieved with interpretation of the scriptures, something they felt no one else had.
115 von 118 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Being in the gnosis... 29. Mai 2007
Von FrKurt Messick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This book finds an honoured place on my shelves, next to the older edition of the Nag Hammadi scriptures assembled under the direction of James M. Robinson, who provides the preface (and much underlying research). According to Robinson, `The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is a collection of thirteen papyrus codices - bound books, not scrolls - that were buried near the city of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt most likely in the second half of the fourth century CE.' The texts contained here are a fascinating collection, bringing to light literally dozens of texts that had previously been unknown for over a millennium, although about ten of them are in such fragmentary form that it still cannot be said that these have been recovered. It is supposed by many scholars that this is a collection that was buried by Gnostics, but this is not without controversy.

This text has as a leader over the title the phrase `The International Edition', for good reason. There have been three different projects, one in English, one in French, and one in German, over the past generation, the fruits of which have been brought together here in one volume. The representatives from each team are James M. Robinson, Wolf-Peter Funk, and Paul-Hubert Poirier, for the English, German, and French research projects respectively. The introduction is provided by Marvin Meyer and Elaine Pagels, both names known to people who study Gnostic and early biblical texts.

In the introduction, Meyers and Pagels offer the caution that the title `Nag Hammadi Scriptures' cannot imply a canon of scriptures similar to the Bible or Quran - these are texts that were less a sacred (and closed) collection and more of a general gathering of pieces that were considered inspired and inspirational. The original language of the texts is Coptic, although these may have been translated originally from Greek.

Coptic is the Egyptian language written with the Greek alphabet; there are different dialects of Coptic, and the Nag Hammadi library shows at least two. They were found in codex form (book form rather than scroll form), discovered in the mid 1940s, just a few years prior to the discovery of the first Dead Sea Scrolls (another reason for the combination of the texts in the public imagination). However, even this discovery led to others - there was an earlier find that made its way to Berlin (rather like the earlier `Dead Sea Scroll' that had been found in Cairo), and a third collection discovered in the 1970s, and passed from hand to hand until retrieved by scholars (now known as the Codex Tchacos).

Included in these texts are The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Philip, The Gospel of Truth, The Gospel of Mary and other gospel contenders (alas, in fragmentary form--this edition carries as much of the text in translation as was recovered). The Gospel of Thomas has perhaps been the highest profile text from Nag Hammadi; it has been translated and commented upon extensively, particularly in modern scholarship which discusses gospel development. The most recent `star' among the non-canonical gospels is the Gospel of Judas, the publication of which Meyer was involved in not long ago (taken for the first time from the Codex Tchacos discovery).

Some of the texts were known by title prior to the discovery of these manuscripts - some titles were found on heretical texts lists, and yet, the idea of heresy is a slippery one, which the authors discuss in context of the non-canonical gospels and texts found in the collection that still had a following within early Christian communities.

For purposes of scholarship, there are limitations to this volume. `As in Nag Hammadi Deutsche, here also only Coptic page numbers are given, and not line numbers from the manuscripts. The Nag Hammadi Scriptures is not presented as an edition of Coptic manuscripts but a publication of texts in English translation, and for this reason the continuation of the use of references based upon line numbers in Coptic manuscripts seems inappropriate.' There are, however, generous notes and references that can provide much of what the average and even scholarly reader will need save for those few specialists who will no doubt know how to use this information to go further.

As an epilogue after the texts, there are four essays that discuss the different ideas within the scholarly community about the texts and Gnosticism more generally. Some have proposed abandoning the term as inappropriate (or too vague to be useful), and others follow the lead of Ireneaus, who apparently used the terms to describe certain groups as they themselves had used it in self-reference.

This is a fascinating text, useful for those who want more insight into the kinds of spiritual writing that were circulating in addition to the canonical scriptures of the early Christians. This also provides information about what the early Christians were reacting to - and opens up new possibilities of interpretation of early Christian history and practice.
131 von 139 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen All the writings in one volume 18. Mai 2012
Von Aeryck S. De Sade - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is an updated release of a wonderful collection of the Gnostic writings that were found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt.

Unlike the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic writings were ones that the church tried to destroy all remnants of, so as to not allow the common person to understand that a clergy class was not needed, or even meant to exist, according to the teachings of Jesus.

Over the centuries, the teachings of the Gnostics have endured through oral tradition, sometimes at great peril to those people keeping the stories, by such means of the church as damning them as heretics and killing them. No other works of early Christianity has ever been more controversial and no other writings have the early church tried so hard to dispose of, and the followers as well, as were the Gnostic writings.

When these writings were found in 1945, it brought together so many fragments from centuries of speculation and oral tradition. Obscure passages in the modern Bible that reference things unknown were finally brought to light as to their meaning, because the actual words of these texts are what was being referenced, yet hidden for so long.

This book compiles the writings in a complete volume, more complete that any other book ever has, of all the known fragments and complete works of the Gnostic scriptures. These writings are more complete in the actual first person teachings of Jesus among his disciples than even the Bible has kept, and show a picture that would have changed early Christianity forever if it would have been allowed the light of day by the church priests that sought to have them forever hidden.
70 von 75 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Important scholarship marred by a greater commitment to political correctness than to accuracy. 8. Juni 2015
Von John Aaron - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
First, in the interest of full disclosure, let me state my views on translation.

A translator's job is to translate. Not to improve. Not to bring in accordance with current ideas, values, or prejudices. Not to make choppy style clean. Not to make complex ideas (apparently) simple. A translator's job is to present a text as accurately as possible in the target language. I realize that there are other approaches to translation - but this is the one that I feel best serves both the original author and the reader.

This is not an approach taken by the Late Dr. Meyer in this translation.

It is clear from the introduction - and on every following page - that Dr. Meyer's primary commitment was to making the Nag Hammadi library palatable to modern readers - rather than presenting the text accurately.

This is demonstrated throughout - and, to give credit, and least Dr. Meyer and the other translators make no excuses for their choices. They make it clear that they have consistently changed the meaning of the text to make the language fit current ideas.

He says, very directly, "We have given special attention to issues of gender in our translations, and we employ inclusive language where the spirit of the Coptic text recommends it and where it does not compromise the accuracy of the translations."

The spirit of the Coptic text? I'm not clear that Dr. Meyer - or anyone else, for that matter - was qualified to make that determination. His job - and that of the other translators - is to communicate what the text says. Not what they may believe the spirit recommends. And I can only disagree with Dr. Meyer that his changes do not compromise the accuracy of the translations. Putting in something that isn't there, based on a sense of the "spirit" of a text is, by definition compromising accuracy.

When the text says "Son of Man" that should not - in my view - be mistranslated as "Child of Humanity." When the text says "Father," that should not become "Parent." When the text says, "He," that should not be transformed into "It."

The text says what it says. It's the job of the translators to present that. Modern values may - or may not - be more advanced. But those ideas are not what's in the text. And - as a reader - I want to see what is there. Not what the Late Dr. Meyer and his colleagues felt should be there.

In addition, the annotation adds very little value. To give credit - again - where deserved - many notes to mention that the translators have changed the clear meaning of the text. But, too often, the notes are simply Dr. Meyer's digressions on other similar mythologies which may or may not have any relevance to the text.

Like another reviewer, I look forward to a digitized version of the original, 1977 translation. That translation is not without challenges - it's harder to read, and significantly less clear in many places. But, since it was published before Gnosticism became hip - and profitable - the original translation demonstrates a clear and consistent commitment to the text. I wish that were also the case with this important - but deeply flawed - work.
39 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Complete(?) Gnostic Sourcebook 28. Januar 2008
Von Dennis L. Hughes - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I want to make one short point in this review. I believe this is the only volume you need for Gnostic source material.

The title is misleading. This book (as of 2007) contains the _entire_ collection of "Gnostic" texts available, whether included in the Nag Hammadi codices or not. This includes the Gospel of Judas, first published in English in 2006. These are also the most modern translations, taking advantage of the latest finds and research.

That said, prior volumes such as The Nag Hammadi Library, The Gnostic Bible, and The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions by (The Anchor Bible Reference Library) all contain editorial material that is well worth reading.
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