The Gnostic Bible

By Willis Barnstone (Editor); Marvin Meyer (Editor)
(Shambhala Publications, Paperback, 9781590306314, 881pp.)

Publication Date: June 30, 2009

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Description
Gnosticism was a wide-ranging religious movement of the first millennium CE--with earlier antecedents and later flourishings--whose adherents sought salvation through knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that god should be celebrated as both mother and father, and that self-knowledge is the supreme path to the divine. Only in the past fifty years has it become clear how far the gnostic influence spread in ancient and medieval religions--and what a marvelous body of scriptures it produced.
The selections gathered here, in poetic, readable translation, represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.



About the Author
Willis Barnstone, born in Lewiston, Maine, and educated at Bowdoin, the Sorbonne, Columbia and Yale, taught in Greece at end of civil war (1949-51), in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War, and in China during Cultural Revolution, where he was later a Fulbright Professor in Beijing (1984-85). Former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at Indiana University. A Guggenheim fellow, he has received the NEA, NEH, Emily Dickinson Award of the PSA, Auden Award of NY Council on the Arts, Midland Authors Award, four Book of the Month selections, four Pulitzer nominations, and Lanner Poetry Award for BORDER OF A DREAM: THE POEMS OF ANTONIO MACHADO (Copper Canyon). His work has appeared in APR, Harper's, NYRB, Paris Review, Poetry, and the New Yorker. Author of seventy books, recent volumes are Poetics of Translation (Yale, 1995), The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala, 2003), Life Watch (BOA, 2003), BORDER OF A DREAM: SELECTED POEMS OF ANTONIO MACHADO (2004), Restored New Testament (Norton, 2009), Stickball on 88th Street (Red Hen Press, 2011), Dawn Cafe in Paris (Sheep Meadow, 2011), The Poems of Jesus Christ (Norton, 2012), ABC of Translation (Black Widow Press, 2013), Borges at Eighty (New Directions Press, 2013), and MOONBOOK AND SUNBOOK: POEMS (Tupelo Press, 2014).

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".
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