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The Nag Hammadi Library [Paperback]

By James M. Robinson (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   576
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.3" Width: 6.08" Height: 1.45"
Weight:   1.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2004
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060669357  
EAN  9780060669355  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...

This revised, expanded, and updated edition of The Nag Hammadi Library is the only complete, one-volume, modern language version of the renowned library of fourth-century manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945.

First published in 1978, The Nag Hammadi Library launched modern Gnostic studies and exposed a movement whose teachings are in many ways as relevant today as they were sixteen centuries ago.

James M. Robinson's updated introduction reflects ten years of additional research and editorial and critical work. An afterword by Richard Smith discusses the modern relevance of Gnosticism and its influence on such writers as Voltaire, Blake, Melville, Yeats, Kerouac, and Philip K. Dick.

Acclaimed by scholars and general readers alike, The Nag Hammadi Library is a work of major importance to everyone interested in the evolution of Christianity, the Bible, archaeology, and the story of Western civilization.

Buy The Nag Hammadi Library by James M. Robinson from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780060669355 & 0060669357

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More About James M. Robinson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robinson is Emeritus Professor of New Testament at Claremont Graduate University and the Director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity.

James McConkey Robinson was born in 1924.

James McConkey Robinson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Hermeneia: A Critical & Historical Commentary on the Bible

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General   [31520  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General   [6817  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great book  Mar 8, 2007
This book is difficult to read, but seems to be very well written and researched. Like many ancient texts, it may take years to read and begin to understand.
The Nag Hammadi Library  Feb 21, 2007
I find this book to be very interesting. You can see why much of it was left out of the Bible. It gives you a different view of what might of gone on in the past.
2 or 3 interesting and inspiring tractates  Feb 19, 2007
i have not read all of the tractates (gnostic books/papyri) in this book carefully, though have skimmed most of it and find a pretty high degree of consistency in what the different tractates are saying.

from a gnostic angle there would seem to be the first thought or voice, which gave rise to father, mother and son, but the first thought can be reffered to as the Father with a capital F... however this father is 'she' who is the original force in this universe. there is talk of the womb. this form of 'christianity' would perhaps be more acceptable to a woman scared off from conventional patriarchal christianity. however certain aspects of the gnostic literature as just as patriarchal as those found in the bible. for example, in the Gospel of Thomas, a woman is encouraged to become a man, that she may be saved. no scripture in my opinion is ever going to be perfect, but all point us towards 'God', or the reality of that which is beyond, if one is averse to useing the word God.

some very interesting little snippets that caught my eye...
"how could virgin have conceived through holy spirit, when the holy spirit is female?"(paraphr.)
"Joseph was the carpenter that made the cross upon which his son was crucified".(paraphr.)
not that one should get caught up in these details, though im sure some people will.

i love the gospel of Thomas, though much of this material is probably parallel to and almost identical with the theoretical Q manuscript from which the four gospels drew source of jesus wisdom sayings, and many, or even most of the wise sayings in the gospel of thomas are found in the new testament, there are two or three significant sayings that arnt in the new testament.

there is a non-dualistic emphasis on making the high as the low and the inside as the outside (in gist, not literally). the passage which blew my mind comes near the beginning of this gospel, was...
"if you are told that the kingdom of heaven is in the sky, birds will be seen, but if you are told that the kingdom of heaven is in the sea, fish will be seen" this impeccable logic can be applied to jesus statement: "seek and ye shall find", he then goes on to say that there is an objective truth, saying something like "the kingdom of heaven is neither in sky nor sea, but within you."(paraphr.)

for me the Thomas Tractate was a highlight, we are lucky to have this copy of the gospel found in an egyptian rubbish tip in nag hamadi in the 1940s, as far as i am aware only one other copy of it existed prior to this find.

i enjoyed the trimorphic protennoia which is more overtly gnostic than Thomas, it is beautifully composed and speaks in female metaphores almost as much as maleness metaphores in relation to the divine, talk of jesus comes out in this tractate, though it would seem he is the 'first thought' given to the 'yaltaboth' in the image of his own son, whilst infact being the arch principle (thought/Father) in disguise.
i can see that there is probably much room for debate over terms and roles of persons in gnosticism, this is because there are simply so many complex and beautiful names and persons mentioned, total consistency with such complexity is nigh on impossible.

'thunder the perfect mind' is rather beautiful too, and expect that anyone calling himself a gnostic would love this piece of writing. it talks of the divine as both cruel and kind, lover and hater, mother and husband. some beautiful complexity and paradox in this tractate.

i cant remember what its called... i think something like exhortations of Jesus, but this though damaged is also very wise and its inspiring to think that here i might be reading the words of jesus and some of his teaching that never entered the bible. his exhortation to find the root of all things, is like that in the Tao to always seek out the ultimate in whatever one does (though one stopp just short of attaing it lest the blade become blunt.) "he who sees reveals"!

the "tripartite tractate" is long, though worth a more careful read, in order to gain some understanding of gnosticism.

there are various apocalypses and other books detailing how jesus has spoken (post resurection), but i was more interested in digging out the actual words of jesus prior to his death.

i have wondered where gnosticism came from whilst reading this, it is not the same as hermetic material in the corpus hermeticum and is pretty consistent with the teaching of a once major or popular belief. some of the material in the nag hamadi library refers to the valentinian sophia's (she who is the personification of wisdom) daughter Achamoth, valentinianism is one of the heracys that ireneus wrote against in his work 'heracys'(or it might have been 'against heracys'). funnily enough, had ireneus never written that work, we would possibly not know much about valentinianism today. among the guanche tribe of the canary islands, some still worship the mother 'achamoth', for some who have converted she has been replaced by veneration for mary, jesus' mother.

all in all, not light reading, but some interesting and lovely material in this ancient library if you wish to read it and have an interest in things of the distant past.

it would do many christians good to realize that the bible does not contain all the words of jesus, which were so many that even the whole world could not contain them!

love, flakey xxx
For the Scholar, not the inquisitive.  Feb 15, 2007
The publication is faithful to the text but to get very far in the readings, one really has to be a scholar. One really gets weighed down in the annotations and markings left in the text and though I've studied ancient Greek and am familiar with having to reconstruct meaning from a partial text, I'd much more appreciate someone sitting down and attempting a plain English version with the guesses to missing words or passages clearly marked.

If you're among the many who have grown beyond the simple-minded and one-dimensional books of the so-called "Holy Bible," and are seeking something with greater depth and spiritual imagination, the Nag Hammadi Library is for you.

My personal favorite is The Gospel of Thomas. As a former Buddhist priest, this Gospel in particular resonates with the spiritual insights I have already gained, yet with a new "spin" that makes them even more relevant.

These scriptures present a very different view of Jesus the Christ, Christianity, and even a very different 'take' on Judaism. This volume of books has the potential to revolutionize your spiritual life if you give them a chance.

A five-star companion volume is JEHOVAH UNMASKED which is a fascinating Gnostic look at the real identity of the god Jehovah. Is Jehovah the real Almighty God or just a pretender? Is God an insane murdering lunatic as the Old Testament says, or is that just a pretender god? Did the first Christians believe in God the Mother? What and where is the Kingdom of God? Who told the First Lie in the Garden of Eden, Jehovah or the Serpent? Are you SURE? Who or what was it that gave us the list of New Testament books as we have them now? The answers to these questions will shock you.

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