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The Nag Hammadi Library: Definitive Translation of the Gnostic Scriptures [Hardcover]

James M. Robinson , Coptic Gnostic Library Project
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Price: 46.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

15 Jan 2002
First published in 1978, "The Nag Hammadi Library" was widely acclaimed by critics and scholars alike. Containing many of the writings of the Gnostics since the time of Christ, this was the work that launched modern Gnostic studies and exposed a movement whose teachings are in may ways as relevant today as they were sixteen centuries ago. Although some of the texts had appeared in other translations, the 1978 edition was the first and only translation of these ancient and fascinating manuscripts to appear in one volume. This new edition is the result of ten years of additional research, and editorial and critical work. Every translation has been changed or added to; many have been thoroughly revised. Unearthed in 1945 near the town of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, the texts literally begin where the Dead Sea Scrolls end. Their discovery is seen as equally significant, bringing to light a long-hidden well of new information, sources, and insights into early Judaism and the roots of Christianity. Each text is accompanied by a new and expanded introduction. Also included are a revised general introduction and an afterword discussing the modern relevance of Gnosticism, from Voltaire and Blake through Melville and Yeats to Jack Kerouac and science fiction writer Philip K. Dick. The translations and introductions to the Nag Hammadi texts are by members of the Coptic Gnostic Library Project, which includes such scholars as Helmut Koester, George McRae, and Elaine Pagels.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Brill; 3Rev Ed edition (15 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004088563
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004088566
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 941,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'This definitive translation has become a standard since its first publication in 1977.' J.K. Elliott, Novum Testamentum, 1991. 'Dieses Buch ist ein Meilenstein.' Wolf-Peter Funk, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1981.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now We Hear From The Other Side 25 May 2004
The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of ancient religious texts which were discovered in Egypt in 1945. The people who collected and buried the library are believed to have been Gnostic Christians. The various scriptures are considered to be examples of texts used by them before Christianity achieved favored status during the reign of Constantine.
James Robinson's book is divided into chapters which include English translations of individual scriptures plus discussions of each by noted biblical scholars. A table is also provided to show the appropriate identifications for the texts comprising the thirteen Nag Hammadi Codices and Papyrus Berolinensis 8502. Among the contributors are Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King. For supplementary reading I recommend especially THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS and BEYOND BELIEF by Pagels as well as THE GOSPEL OF MARY OF MAGDALA by King.
I find the subject of Gnosticism to be extremely interesting and suspect that the study of it is just in its infancy. We know that Gnosticism is similar in some respects to primitive Christianity and a few eastern religions.Gnosticism is also different in many ways from the orthodox Christianity which ultimately gained the upper hand in the fourth century. It is hard to overestimate the significance of Gnosticism.For anyone wishing to explore this topic, THE HAG HAMMADI LIBRARY is a good place to begin the journey.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars *****Find the Original 1977 printing of this book***** 19 Jan 2002
By A Customer - Published on
I ordered my new edition copy 2 weeks back. While awaiting receipt I borrowed the 1977 printing from our local library. I rate the 1977 edition at full 5 stars. I expected the copy I ordered to be simply a paperback edition of the hardback version I had on loan. The new copy is revised. Introductions to each of the published tracts does make them clearer to follow.
If you want the highest connection with Spirituality, as what must have truly been in the original texts, don't settle for anything less than the 1977 printing of this book. Word usages and phrase placements in the newer edition have drastically minimized the Spiritual impact and feeling of connection one receives from reading the 1977 translation text.
It is as though the worms of "political correctness" have entered the minds of the translators, causing them to minimize the Actuality of the Spiritual Power and Powers which must have been truly experienced by the originators of these tracts in both the Coptic texts and in the native tongue of their authorship.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An influencial addition to Spiritual understanding 27 Oct 1999
By Charles H. Kropf ( - Published on
I have a copy of the Library in my library at home. I cannot truthfully express how much of an influence it has had on my own literary efforts. It expresses a profound Gnosis that cannot be grasped by the finite mind, and offers archetypal messages for the soul. I do not agree with every text of the Nag Hammadi Library, and have found some passages somewhat disturbing, to say the least. But I can say truely, that the good found in this Library far outweighs the bad. This is why I give it a five star rating. I place it right up there with the Zohar and the Dead Sea Scrolls as one of the most influencial volumes of the twentieth century and beyond.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Library Book... 20 Dec 2012
By Omur Esen - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book has all of Nag Hammady document and it is so useful for researchers. I hope that new version is published.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 23 Dec 2009
By Pawel Jesien - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very interesting book.Profesional translation.I am interested in history of christian religon and I am sure it is a milestone in understandig it.worth buying.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nag Hammadi for years 30 July 2000
By Rhea Ambrose - Published on
I have had the Nag Hammadi Library at my bedside now for over 15 years. There is hardly a week that goes by that I am not studying it for some topic. Neither my 8-translation christain bible not my 4-translation new testament are able to be readily located. They are most likely in a box somewhere. THE NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY is a great book. Also read THE HIRAM KEY, by Knight and Lomas. A great non-fiction read and believable too.
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