NEW COMPILATION OF GNOSTIC SCRIPTURES IS NOW AVAILABLE
Many early Christians sought gnosis (knowledge) by revelation, inspiration and testimony; hence, they were known as Gnostics. But eventually they were branded as heretics and their writings were suppressed. Although many gnostic views were eccentric, their emphasis on revelation and ritual reflected Important aspects of early Christianity that soon were lost. Now many of their writings are conveniently available in a new English translation.
Students of ancient scripture, the roots of Christianity, or classical Judaism will be interested in a new English translation of 46 foundational works of Gnosticism. This 550-page book, entitled The Gnostic Scriptures, brings together for the first time many previously obscure texts. The translator has also included valuable introductions and annotations to aid in understanding both the translation and its context. This is the most comprehensive collection of gnostic literature ever published. The book contains 1) authoritative works handed down in a Christianized form and read by gnostics, 2) the writings of Valentinus, 3) the writings of the followers of Valentinus, 4) scripture from the school of St. Thomas, and 5) other related writings such as the works of Basilides and the non-Christian Hermetic writings. In his works, Hugh Nibley has cited many of these texts, which are very difficult to find elsewhere. For example, in his Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri, Nibley critiques and summarizes the Syriac "Hymn of the Pearl." This intriguing gnostic poem is the chant of the imprisoned Thomas Judas who yearns for deliverance. The hero of the poem has been stripped of his preexistent glory and sent by his parents from his home in the East to retrieve a great pearl. Equipped with wisdom and a covenant written on his heart, the protagonist obtains the prize which enables him to return, resume his garment of light, and become heir to his father's throne.
Bentley Layton, the book's author, is Professor of Religious Studies at Yale and is one of the fine American scholars who can deal directly with these original texts. Published by Doubleday with Charlesworth's Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, The Gnostic Scriptures is available on the attached order form for only $25.00, a 30% savings off the regular price.