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The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters
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The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  173 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In this highly original work, Elaine Pagels demonstrates how evidence from gnostic sources may challenge the assumption that Paul writes his letters to combat "gnostic opponents" and to repudiate their claims to secret wisdom. Drawing upon evidence from the gnostic exegesis of Paul, including several Nag Hammadi texts, the author examines how gnostic exegetes cite and inte ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Bloomsbury T&T Clark (first published 1975)
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Steve Cooper
Feb 05, 2016 Steve Cooper rated it it was amazing
This Gnostic interpretation of the Pauline letters provides, among many other things, a framework to reconcile the Old and New Testaments. It has been argued that it is heresy and an exercise in wish fulfillment - selectively choosing whom Paul intended as the audience on a case-by-case basis, and completely ignoring Acts and the Pastoral Letters in order to support the Gnostic position. But this comprehensive exegesis (Valentinian, for the most part) finally succeeds in making a compelling case ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Ken rated it really liked it
I don't think Pagels fully understands what the Gnostics (and Paul) are saying here--or at least didn't when she wrote the book. She fails to interpret some of the gnostic exegesis, itself clearly non-literal. She also shies away from drawing in bold strokes the rather obvious conclusion: Paul was a gnostic. The articles of Christian faith--the virgin birth, the crucifixion--were intended as metaphors, as parables, not as historical fact. Nonetheless, there was enough here for me to divine clear ...more
Erik Graff
Oct 08, 2014 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone who wants to read Paul as a "gnostic" might have
Recommended to Erik by: other books by Pagels
Shelves: religion
I started reading Pagels in college in preparation for a thesis on theories regarding the origins of "gnosticism." Later, in seminary, I was able to take a course she was teaching in preparation for her book, Adam & Eve & the Serpent. She was kind enough at that time to allow me the liberty of composing a dictionary entitled, cleverly, "On the Procession of the Hieresiarchs of Gnosis" even tho the course was ostensibly about Genesis.

The other contact I had with Pagels was my roommate at
Aug 15, 2008 Frankie rated it liked it
Another Elaine Pagels' goody but this one is written very academically with a lot more attention to technical detail. For those with basic curiosity of the Pauline Letters, check out The Letters of Paul: Conversations in Context by Calvin J Roetzel
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Elaine Pagels is a preeminent figure in the theological community whose scholarship has earned her international respect. The Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University, she was awarded the Rockefeller, Guggenheim & MacArthur Fellowships in three consecutive years.
As a young researcher at Barnard College, she changed forever the historical landscape of the Christian r
More about Elaine Pagels...

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