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Basic Gnostic Library
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What Is Gnosis?
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Gnostic Gospels
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Gnostic Terms and Concepts
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What Is Gnosticism?Overview
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Persian Gnosticism
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Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism
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Early Gnostic Groups
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Medieval Gnostic Groups
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Medieval Inquisition
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Modern Gnosticism
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History of Gnosticism
Gnostic Jesus
Fathers and Proto-Gnostics
   

 
The Basic Gnostic Library
Please take a moment to visit our Gnostic library. Included here are book descriptions and basic introductions for the Gnostic reader. Here, you can find every sort of literature about Gnosticism, from those just beginning their journey to those that have been acquainted with the gnosis for some time.
New In the Gnostic Bookstore
We have selected several new Gnostic texts that we feel will be essential to better understanding Gnosticism and all of its traditions. The books listed below are for sale in our bookstore, including many more! Click on the book title or image to purchase or for further information.

The Mystic Christ
   by Ethan Walker III
The Mystic ChristThe Mystic Christ is an ancient tale of mystic union, salvation, and enlightenment. It is the careful uncovering of a lost treasure of immeasurable value, long buried in the suffocating darkness of conventional orthodoxy on one side, and blind fundamentalist extremism on the other. From the viewpoint of the world’s mystical religious traditions which includes Gnosticism, the brilliant light of the Master’s way is revealed as a penetrating radical non-duality unifying all people and all of life. His path to this all-embracing unity is the spiritual practice of pure selfless love. Love God intensely, love our neighbor as our own Self, bless those that curse us, and pray for those that mistreat us. Love has been lost, becoming nothing more than a word in the dictionary and, yet, it remains the foundation of Jesus’ message.

The Mystic Christ is also a compelling story of the ego, the personification of ignorance, and how it has distorted and subverted the sublime sayings of the Master, twisting reality into unreality and light into darkness. The ego is the Antichrist in this ancient drama that has gripped every culture for all time in its talons of self-centered perception. The ego is anti-love.

Adam and Eve were not the first people, the nature of man is good, scripture is not infallible, Jesus is one of the ways, all religions are paths to God, reincarnation is in the Bible, the resurrection as a personal spiritual awakening, and the error of eternal damnation are all carefully and lovingly revealed in the life and sayings of Jesus.

The Mystic Christ is thoroughly punctuated with quotes from Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu and other masters of the mystical traditions. But, most importantly, over 230 scriptural references from the Old and New Testament are used to illustrate the harmony that exists between the life and teachings of Jesus and the world’s great religions.

With the skill of a surgeon and the wisdom of Socrates, the author removes 2000 years of ego-centered bindings that have hidden the brilliant light of the Master from the world. The Mystic Christ is at once profoundly fascinating, deeply historic and electric with the vibration of the mystical experience.

The Nag Hammadi ScripturesThe Nag Hammadi Scriptures
   edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels
The Nag Hammadi ScripturesThe Nag Hammadi Scriptures Finally, a pivotal new translation of the Nag Hammadi Library – in its entirety – has arrived! Dr. Marvin Meyer has masterfully produced a volume that is certain to become a standard source for studying Gnosticism. Since the original publication of the Nag Hammadi Library in 1977, religious scholars have greatly matured their understanding of these Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi. This refinement is fully reflected in the “scholarly ear” of both the spiritual tradition that is preserved in these Gnostic Coptic texts and the ancient forgotten tongue. This publication of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures represents a landmark in the contemporary understanding of Gnostic tradition in every way possible. Elaine Pagels, the author and professor who has paved the way to understanding Gnostic Gospels for many, fittingly composes the introduction to this milestone book. This comprehensive and crucial translation proves a much better way for Gnostics and Gnostic scholars to enjoy and understand the Gnostic scriptures. While every scholar of Gnosticism will want a copy of this edition, we recommend studying the smaller introductory books listed below before delving into this large volume. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus
   edited and translated by Marvin Meyer
The Gnostic Gospels of JesusFor those just beginning their Gnostic exploration, this is our top recommendation. An eminently talented Gnostic commentator and translator, Professor Marvin Meyer has distinguished himself over the last thirty years. Heralded as the best collection he has ever published, Meyer proffers twelve Gnostic “gospels” in a succinctly readable and accurate translation. While the subtitle claims that the book is “The definitive collection of mystical gospels and secret books about Jesus of Nazareth”, this text is not necessarily definitive in the function of being all-inclusive. However, it is readily agreed upon that this collection perhaps the most important of all introductory books regarding Gnostic exploration.

Meyer claims that his goal with this collection is to “be as accurate as possible” while still maintaining use of “felicitous English”. Meyer succeeds with this eloquent collection. The graceful and flowing translation of this collection will prove to be quite a change to readers who have previously struggled though the tortured translations and editor additions to the original Nag Hammadi Library (first published in 1977). An intelligible overview of Christian Gnosticism is presented by Meyer in addition to introductory essays that preface each selected text. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

 Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
    by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of ChristianityUnder the auspice of the National Geographic Society, the finding and subsequent publication of The Gospel of Judas has rightfully received a great deal of acknowledgment. This is an imperative addition to our library of early Gnostic Christian texts, despite the occasionally over-bearing “hype”. Jumping on the bandwagon, Elaine Pagels and Karen King (two foremost scholars of Gnostic texts) together offer their astute introduction to the Gospel of Judas that places it in the context of early Christianity. Pagels’ lucid and informative style of this short book will be easily recognizable to anyone who has enjoyed any of her other works. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

      
The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle

    
by Karen King
The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman ApostleOf all the newly discovered Gnostic texts, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is appraised by many to be one of the most extraordinary and delightful. Renowned author Karen King offers the most authoritative edition on The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Two small Greek fragments found at Oxyrhynchus are incorporated with translations of the Coptic Gospel of Mary that was found in Cairo in 1896. The entire book includes extensive commentary by the author, the texts’ implications on modern Christianity, on Gnosticism, and a brilliant introduction that could only be offered from one of the most influential Gnostic scholars of our time. This book comes highly recommended. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our                                     website.

 The Gnostic Gospels
      by Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic GospelsThis new edition provides the perfect starting point to any Gnostic reading program. Pagels produces a popular classic that has been celebrated by novices and scholars alike. While this book is now slightly dated (published in 2004), readers will be hard pressed to find a better introductory book that covers classical Gnosticism and the discovery of the Gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi. The combination of this book with Hoeller’s introductory work (Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing, listed above) provide a sound and thorough introduction to Gnosticism. Additionally, many readers follow this work with another one of Pagels’ groundbreaking books Beyond Belief. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas          by Elaine Pagels Beyond Belief

With another book destined to become a classic, Pagels revisits the themes she initially introduced in her breakthrough study, The Gnostic Gospels. In Beyond Belief, Pagels blends ancient history with a subtle telling of her personal struggle in an effort to reveal the intimacy of spirituality. The novel is a journey, guiding the reader with meticulously argued steps to a remote spiritual Christian tradition that was regarded as heresy and later ostracized and forgotten by what would later become an orthodox creedal faith. Pagels reveals to her readers her compassion for this forgotten Christianity through her majestic book.


The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters
       by Elaine H. PagelsThe Gnostic Paul

Written before The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels investigates the Valentinian Gnostic reading of the Pauline letters which present a new perspective on Pauline studies. This exegesis of Paul is composed in a high scholarly fashion.





Adam, Eve, and the Serpent
         by Elaine H. Pagels
Adam, Eve and the Serpent

In her trademark intellectual style, Pagels examines the initial three chapters of Genesis and their impact on the political thought and development of Christendom. While each chapter of the book is important, the chapter titled “Gnostic Improvement on Genesis” is of particular importance to Gnostic readers.




The Nag Hammadi Library
Until the discovery of the codices at Nag Hammadi, the only known literature about Gnosticism was derived from heresiologists. In 1945, the world of Gnosticism was forever changed. Here, the Nag Hammadi Library is unlocked and its story is told. From its discovery, to its translation to a guide to its codices, this section of the site is your one-stop place for truly uncovering the texts of the Nag Hammadi Library.

Gnostic Terms and Concepts
Before beginning any of the reading on this page, it is strongly suggested that the novice reader starts by reviewing this list of Gnostic terms and concepts. By being familiar with these terms, the study of this beautiful Gnostic religion will be a much easier feat!

What Is Gnosticism?
To help our readers to fully comprehend Gnosticism, we have taken the time to break Gnosticism down into easy to read articles. These articles provide a wonderful starting point before delving into the Gnostic Bookstore. Here, you can find articles explaining a General Overview of Gnosticism, The Gnostic Creation Myth, The Importance of Sophia to Gnosticism, Gnostic Rituals, Gnostic Morals and Ethics, and Gnosticism’s Relation to Dualism and Monism.

Modern Gnosticism
Contemporary Gnosticism is extremely interesting, as it is prevalent in nearly every aspect of our society. While it is important to stay abreast of current Gnostic Studies, it is also essential that any self-proclaimed Gnostic is aware of the current and past Gnostic Scholars, the prominence of Gnosticism in Popular Culture (including Gnostic Books, Gnostic Movies, Gnostic Music and Art, and Gnostic Games). There are also many modern Gnostic Revivals occurring all over the world. Also included here is a links page to find Gnostic Churches and Organizations in your area.

Early Gnostic Groups
The development of Gnosticism has been broken down here so that you can explore for yourself the diversely fascinating groups of Gnosticism. While each sect here varies in beliefs and texts, it is important to understand these early Gnostic groups in an effort to fully comprehend the history of Gnosticism and how it has affected present-day Gnosticism. Also included in this section of the site are essays explaining the plight of the Medieval Gnostics, the Persian Gnostics and the Syrian-Egyptian Gnostics.

History of Gnosticism
It has been said that winners write their own history. Certainly this is the case with the Gnostics. In this section of the site, we have probed into the origins of the Orthodox Church and how Gnosticism was eventually regarded as heretic. Included here is a timeline of Christianity and Gnosticism, an analysis of the influence of Pythagoreanism on Gnosticism, an essay on Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, and information on the heresiologists and their works that ensured that Gnosticism was not a tolerated religion in the ancient world.

Fathers and Proto-Gnostics
Gnosticism did not develop on its own. The proto-Gnostics are considered to be the first Gnostic teachers and messengers. Subsequently, the founding fathers of Christian Gnosticism have made a large impact on what we regard as Gnosticism today. Some of these founders even began their own schools of Gnostic thought, which can be read about in our section of early Gnostic groups.

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