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The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  226 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In December 1945, two Egyptian fellahin, digging for natural fertilizer in the Nile River valley unearthed a sealed storage jar. The jar proved to hold treasure of an unexpected sort: a collection of some fifty-two ancient manuscripts, most of which reflect the teachings of a mystical religious movement we call Gnosticism (from the Greek word gnosis, "knowledge"). The text ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 12th 1986 by Vintage (first published 1984)
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Feb 04, 2014 Rama rated it it was amazing
The teachings of Gnostic gospels and the early Christianity

Gnosticism is a mystical, esoteric religious movement that existed during the very early phase of Christianism. The discovery of 13 books containing 52 texts in the Nile River valley of Egypt in 1945 called Nag Hammadi opened the door for the history of early Christianism and the teachings of four Gnostic gospels called; the secret book of James, the gospel of Thomas, the book of Thomas and secret book of John. Biblical scholars estimate
Jennifer Harshaw
Jan 12, 2016 Jennifer Harshaw rated it it was ok
I guess I can't rate the book based on the content, but how it was written. There wasn't much additional writing besides the gnostic gospels. I didn't know much about the gnostic gospels until I read a Jodi Piccolt book "Change of Heart". I thought it was interesting because I know the church had to have withheld some information from the times of Jesus.
I thought they were interesting, but I was just reading them over I wasn't going in depth into research. Until I got to the Gospel of John and
Aug 16, 2009 Ron rated it liked it
Although the title smacks a bit of the lure of the forbidden, or some sort of scandalous and salacious content, I was impressed by how often the material in the gospels made sense. I think that often persons who are exposed to mainstream Christianity are turned off by the emotional and often narrow approach to dealing with figuring out what to believe. Orthodoxy rules the day, and not just with Christianity. It's easy to believe that the less heard of belief systems (those not in control over th ...more
Natalie Corrigan
Apr 13, 2013 Natalie Corrigan rated it it was amazing
I bought this mainly to study the book and gospel of Thomas (one half of the entirety in this collection), since I have heard they parallel many Buddhist ideas such as oneness and detachment. They did not disappoint, and in fact I was thrilled to read Jesus speak of teachings that are basic law of attraction fundamentals. The gospel of Thomas reads much like the dhammapada in that it contains only sayings from Jesus with little narrative. The book of Thomas is an account during Jesus' life, duri ...more
Dan Beliveau
Nov 07, 2011 Dan Beliveau rated it liked it
Interesting texts.The Secret Book of James, The Gospel of Thomas & The Book of Thomas are presented as "things Jesus said." and there are deep kernels of truth, as well as many commonly known "sayings, teaching and stories." The Secret Book of John, well, it seems to be this esoteric creation story, that appears to be based in Zoroastrianism. I found it impossible to follow, but was reading it, rather than trying to study it. It dicussed many layers of gods and spirits, angels, demons and se ...more
Mar 12, 2016 Elaine rated it really liked it
Shelves: bible
There were certainly a variety of Christian texts. Gnostic writings were suppressed by the early Christian church.
Trey Nowell
Nov 25, 2013 Trey Nowell rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed reading the Gnostic writings here. It would have benefitted I feel from a little interpretation from the translator, especially on the Secret Book Of John, which I found to be completely fascinating. I had read the others before in theology classes many years ago and the Gospel Of Thomas again recently. Few people understand the idea behind Gnostics (who were preached against by Paul often in his NT letters. I have always tried to understand their view and put it into 1st century ...more
David S. T.
Jan 15, 2015 David S. T. rated it it was ok
Its pretty easy to see why these were rejected as heretical. They were somewhat interesting to see a different view point, but mainly from a historical viewpoint.

I had trouble getting past the translators choice to translate "Son of Man" to "child of humanity", it bugged me every time I saw it and it make me instantly distrust the translation of other parts.
Jul 11, 2009 Julia rated it it was amazing
I gave this book a high mark because of the spiritual truth it contains and reveals to those with ears to hear and eyes to see, which I admit - am not quite there yet.
The study of these ancient truths is not to be taken lightly and I intend to study more seiously and reverently when I find an astute and spiritual partner or small group for discussion.
Aug 02, 2007 Adrian rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ideally: everyone / realistically: the curious
i've come to the point where i consider myself a Gnostic. i adore all the Gnostic gospels. these were enlightening and thought provoking.
Aug 16, 2012 Andrew rated it it was ok
Four gospels that aren't included in the authorized version of the Bible. Quite different and from a different viewpoint.
Jan 27, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
The Secret Book of John was the best - VERY interesting!!
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Marvin Meyer is a scholar of religion and a tenured professor at Chapman University, in Orange, California.

He is the Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University and Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute. He is also Director of the Coptic Magical Texts Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity. Dr. Meyer is the author of numerous books and articles on G
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