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on 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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