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The Nag Hammadi Library by James M. Robinson

The Nag Hammadi Library (1978)

by James M. Robinson (Editor)

Other authors: Harold W. Attridge (Translator), Alexander Böhlig (Translator), Hans-Gebhard Bethge (Translator), James Brashler (Contributor), Roger Aubrey Bullard (Translator)29 more, Peter A. Dirkse (Contributor), Stephen Emmel (Contributor), Joseph A. Gibbons (Contributor), Søren Giverson (Translator), James E. Goehring (Contributor), Charles W. Hendrick (Translator), Wesley William Isenberg (Translator), Howard M. Jackson (Contributor), Karen L. King (Contributor), Helmut Koester (Contributor), Thomas O. Lambdin (Contributor), Bentley Layton (Contributor), George W. MacRae (Contributor), Marvin W. Meyer (Contributor), William R. Murdock (Contributor), Elaine H. Pagels (Contributor), Douglas M. Parrott (Contributor), Malcolm L. Peel (Contributor), Michel Roberg (Contributor), William C. Robinson, Jr. (Contributor), William R. Schoedel (Contributor), Maddalena Scopello (Contributor), John H. Sieber, John D. Turner, Francis E. Williams, Robert McLachlan Wilson (Translator), Orval Stewart Wintermute (Translator), Frederik Wisse (Contributor), Jan Zandee (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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The standard English translation of the 13 books found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in the mid-1940's -- not to be confused with the Dead Sea Scrolls which were found in Israel at nearly the same time.

(These 13 books came from 4 separate ancient libraries, but who put them together and buried them under a large rock is a mystery.)

Not all the works in this collection are Gnostic (there is a portion of Plato, for instance) but the ones that are opened a new era in the study of this ancient religion, allowing specialists to read what the Gnostics had to say for themselves, in depth, rather than relying on the reports, allegations, and sometimes garbled information from their ancient opponents.

This careful translation tracks the line and page numbers of the 13 ancient books and shows where there are gaps in the original text. The introductory and final essay (as well as the short introduction to each work) are very helpful and are worth reading with care.

A perennially useful book for anyone interested in Gnosticism, Roman religion beyond Jupiter and Juno, or Late Antiquity.

(Note that the Gospel of Mary came from another previously discovered ancient book , the Berlin Codex. Its current partial state is due to the vicissitudes of history and specialists lament this fact more than anyone: most of the works translated in _The Nag Hammadi Library_ survive in only one copy ... so any damage to that copy is a loss to history.)

-Kushana ( )
1 vote Kushana | Jan 30, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robinson, James M.Editorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Attridge, Harold W.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Böhlig, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bethge, Hans-GebhardTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brashler, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bullard, Roger AubreyTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dirkse, Peter A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Emmel, StephenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, Joseph A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Giverson, SørenTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goehring, James E.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hendrick, Charles W.Translatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Isenberg, Wesley WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jackson, Howard M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
King, Karen L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koester, HelmutContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lambdin, Thomas O.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Layton, BentleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacRae, George W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Meyer, Marvin W.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murdock, William R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pagels, Elaine H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parrott, Douglas M.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peel, Malcolm L.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberg, MichelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Robinson, William C., Jr.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schoedel, William R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scopello, MaddalenaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sieber, John H.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turner, John D.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, Francis E.secondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Robert McLachlanTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wintermute, Orval StewartTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wisse, FrederikContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zandee, JanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, RichardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060669357, Paperback)

The Nag Hammadi Library was discovered in 1945 buried in a large stone jar in the desert outside the modern Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi. It is a collection of religious and philosophic texts gathered and translated into Coptic by fourth-century Gnostic Christians and translated into English by dozens of highly reputable experts. First published in 1978, this is the revised 1988 edition supported by illuminating introductions to each document. The library itself is a diverse collection of texts that the Gnostics considered to be related to their heretical philosophy in some way. There are 45 separate titles, including a Coptic translation from the Greek of two well-known works: the Gospel of Thomas, attributed to Jesus' brother Judas, and Plato's Republic. The word gnosis is defined as "the immediate knowledge of spiritual truth." This doomed radical sect believed in being here now--withdrawing from the contamination of society and materiality--and that heaven is an internal state, not some place above the clouds. That this collection has resurfaced at this historical juncture is more than likely no coincidence. --P. Randall Cohan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:52 -0400)

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