Directory:
Basic Books on Gnosis 
More Advanced Reading
Editions of
Gnostic Scriptures
 
Books by
Stephan A. Hoeller
  
Gnostic Reading List 
Dead Sea Scrolls Section
 
Search Amazon.com
 
Return to
Gnosis Archive

 

 

Support  The
Gnosis Archive:

Click and add this Amazon.com Bookmark to your favorites (Internet Explorer and Firefox).
Use our link when you go to Amazon.com. You get the same low Amazon prices, and we receive a small commission that supports our non-profit efforts.
Or add a bookmark by right-clicking on image below and select "Add to Bookmarks":


Amazon.com

The Gnostic Society Library
BOOKSTORE

Gnosis Archive | Basic Books | Advanced Reading | Scriptures | Stephan HoellerSearch


Recent Releases and Recommendations...


Revelations by Elaine PagelsRevelations: Visions, Prophecy, And Politics In The Book Of Revelation
by Elaine H. Pagels

Dr. Pagels gives us another classic in the study of early Christianity, focusing on the most controversial New Testament text, the Book of Revelation. In her critique of the Book of Revelation, she opens a discussion of the other revelatory texts, the Gnostic texts, that were excluded from the Christian canon. It is in Pagels' discussion of the message of the many alternative Christian texts - the Gnostic texts - that we think this book will be most valuable to a modern reader. Buy the Book



The Gnostics: Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity
by David Brakke

This short book is a fine representative of the increasingly nuanced understanding of Gnostic tradition that has developed over the last decade. In a concise and engaging fashion, Dr. Brakke explores key questions central to the study of Gnostic tradition: Who were the Gnostics? How did the Gnostic movement influence the development of Christianity in antiquity? Is it true that the Church rejected Gnosticism? In answer to these questions, Brakke offers an illuminating discussion of recent scholarly debates over the concept of “Gnosticism” and the nature of early Christian diversity. He shows how Gnostic myth and ritual addressed basic human concerns about alienation and meaning, offered a message of salvation in Jesus, and provided a way for people to regain knowledge of God, the ultimate source of their being. Rather than depicting the Gnostics as heretics or as the losers in the fight to define Christianity, Brakke argues that the Gnostics participated in an ongoing reinvention of Christianity, in which other Christians not only rejected their ideas but also adapted and transformed them. (For more information on the book, read the fine review published by the Society of Biblical Literature.) Buy the Book


The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by James RobinsonThe Nag Hammadi Scriptures
edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels

The epochal new translation of the entire Nag Hammadi library has finally arrived!  Dr. Marvin Meyer has done a masterful job in producing a volume that will serve for many decades as the standard source. Scholarly understanding of the Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi has vastly matured since their original publication as the Nag Hammadi Library in 1977.  This new edition fully reflects that refinement in "the scholarly ear" for both the forgotten ancient tongue and the spiritual tradition preserved in the Gnostic Coptic texts.  In every possible way, publication of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures represents a milestone in modern understanding of Gnostic tradition.  Elaine Pagels, the author and professor who introduced a generation of readers to the Gnostic Gospels, appropriately pens the introduction to this landmark edition.  Every student of Gnosticism will want to own this book, but before jumping into the big volume, we still highly recommend a study of some of the briefer introductory readings listed here.  Buy the Book

 


The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, edited by Marvin MeyerThe Gnostic Gospels of Jesus
edited and translated by Marvin Meyer 

This is our top recommendation for readers beginning their exploration of the Gnostic scriptures. Over the last three decades Prof. Marvin Meyer has distinguished himself as a singularly talented translator and commentator. In this new collection -- the best of several  that he has now published -- Meyer presents twelve key Gnostic "gospels" in succinct, accurate and highly readable new translations.   The book's subtitle claims it to be: "The definitive collection of mystical gospels and secret books about Jesus of Nazareth".   Though perhaps not definitive in the sense of comprehensive,  we agree this is the single best  introductory collection available.  

Meyer states his goal in these translations  is to be "as accurate as possible" while still presenting the texts in "felicitous English."  At this he succeeds beautifully.  Readers who have labored with the sometimes tortured translations and editorial conventions presented in the original editions of the Nag Hammadi Library (first published thirty years ago) will be amazed at the graceful intelligibility of Meyer's translations.  Meyer adds to the collection an  overview of our evolving understanding of Christian Gnosticism, and  prefaces each of the selected text with an excellent introductory essay.   Buy the Book

 

 

The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, edited by Marvin MeyerThe Gnostic Discoveries:  The Impact of the Nag Hammadi Library  
by Marvin Meyer 

Another masterful introductory work by Marvin Meyer, one of the leading scholars of Gnosticism and editor of the new 2007 edition of the Nag Hammadi Library (now published under the title The Nag Hammadi Scriptures). Meyer seems particularly interested in making the message and significance of the Gnostic texts intelligible to a general readership. In this wonderful little book he introduces the Nag Hammadi discovery, the themes and visions of the Gnostic texts, and the way in which the discovery of these documents is transforming our understanding Christianity's origins. Even if you have read the other introductions to the Nag Hammadi library collection, this book merits attention -- and if you are entirely new to the subject, this is a great place to start.  For a taste of the book, read the introductory chapter, provided here.   Buy the Book

 

 

The Gospel of Judas by Marvin MeyerThe Gospel of Judas: On a Night with Judas Iscariot
by Marvin Meyer

This is a new and very intriguing work by Dr. Marvin Meyer. The publication of the Gospel of Judas aroused great interest about 6 years ago. But wait, there is more! Severaladditional fragments of the original Coptic manuscript have recently been recovered, and it is now possible to decipher about 95% of the ancient text. To his authoritative translation of this augmented version of the manuscript, Dr. Meyer adds a wonderful imaginative "conversation with Judas," engaging his own vision of a night once upon a time, with Judas Iscariot answering for himself. As Dr. Willis Barnstone notes: "Beginning with the Nag Hammadi library, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Gospel of Judas, we have a trinity of essential holy scriptures that radically enrich and alter our knowledge of Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism. Now with his definitive version of Judas and its latest fragments, Marvin Meyer bequeaths the world a benevolent Judas. Meyer provides a crisp literary translation and introduction to the fully annotated Judas text—as well as a surprise: 'A Night with Judas Iscariot." In his profoundly funny and thoughtful mystery play, Judas stars as the redemptive figure. Hurrah for this revolutionary book with its poetic enlightenment!" Buy the Book


Voices of GnosticismVoices of Gnosticism
by Miguel Conner

This is a wonderful and very readable collection of interviews with thirteen leading scholars in Gnostic studies - including Elaine Pagels, Marvin Meyer, Karen King, April DeConick and other internationally recognized authorities on Gnostic tradition. For several years, Miguel Conner has engaged the most prominent writers and scholars on Gnosticism and early Christianity on his Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio show, a weekly internet based audio broadcast. The interviews published here represent some of the best of his many broad-ranging conversations. If you have ever thought it might be interesting to sit down for an informal converstation with "the people who write these books on Gnosticism" -- the books you will find widely referenced and recommended here in The Gnosis Archive -- then you will very much enjoy this book. While the interviews are animated by the personal commitment each of these scholars feels for Gnostic tradition, they also reveal the wide range of perspectives that now focus on Gnostic studies. These interviews provide one of the best ways to get to know ancient Gnosticism, as seen through the eyes of its best informed modern students. This is fun, easy, and informative reading. Buy the Book


Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner KnowingGnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing
by Stephan A. Hoeller

There has long been need for a comprehensive introductory guide to the Gnostic tradition.  Hoeller supplies just such a book with this new offering.  This delightful study gives clear voice to the essential message of Gnosticism; it is an invaluable introduction to the history and import of Gnosticism in the Western tradition.  Buy the Book



The Gospel of Mary of Magdala, by Karen King The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle
by Karen King 

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is one the most surprising and delightful of the rediscovered Gnostic texts. This excellent new print edition of the Gospel of Mary of Magdala by the widely respected scholar Karen King is the best authorative edition available.  It incorporates translations of the Coptic Gospel of Mary found in 1896 in Cairo, along with the two small Greek fragments of the text found at Oxyrhynchus.   Included is a superb introduction along with extensive commentary on the text and its implications for modern understandings of early Christianity.  Highly Recommended. Buy the Book   


The Gnostic Bible, edited by Barnstone & MeyerThe Gnostic Bible
edited by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer

A superb collection of original Gnostic texts, all gathered together in a single book.  Included here are the most important texts from Nag Hammadi, along with a comprehensive selection of other Gnostic texts found surviving in ancient and medieval sources.  Each text is accompanied by an excellent introduction and overview.  This is currently the single best collection of traditional Gnostic texts available, and serves as a better "starting point" for study than does the Nag Hammadi Scriptures (which, of course, contains only the Coptic Gnostic texts).  Highly recommended.  Buy the Book    


The Royal Road, by Stephan HoellerThe Fool's Pilgrimage: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot
by Stephan A. Hoeller

Just republished in a beautiful new edition after thirty years in print, this is truly a classic!  (Note that the title of the first edition was slightly different: The Royal Road: A Manual of Kabalistic Meditations on the Tarot.) This little book provides an excellent introduction both to Kabbalah and to the use of Tarot imagery in guided meditations upon the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. You will find few better introductions to Tarot or Kabbalah. Also included with this fine new edition is a CD with the author reading the Meditations. Highly Recommended! Buy the Book 


Wisdom of the GnosticsWisdom of the Gnostics - An Introduction to Gnosticism - Audio Lectures 

A ten lecture audio course (nine hours of listening) by Dr. Stephan Hoeller is now available from the BC Recordings online store for purchase or immediate download.   This is the quintessential introduction to Gnostics, Gnosis and Gnosticism.  Included here are introductory lectures on the nature of Gnosticism and discussions of central Gnostic scriptures, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip.  Mary Madgalene, the Prophet Mani, the medieval Cathar Gnostic renaissance, and the Templar myth are all covered in this superb course.  After finishing this course, you will be much better prepared for your further reading!
 

 

Suggestions for a Basic Library on Gnosticism...

 

The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine PagelsThe Gnostic Gospels
by Elaine Pagels

For any reading program, this is the place to start.  Recently release in a new edition, Pagels has produced a popular classic, a book acclaimed for three decades by laymen and scholars alike.  Though now slightly dated, you will find few better introductions to classical Gnosticism and the Gnostic texts discovered at Nag Hammadi.  The combined reading of this book and Stephan Hoeller's text (listed above) will  give an excellent introduction to Gnosticism. Of course, after finishing The Gnostic Gospels, you will also want to read Pagels recent book, Beyond Belief (see above).  Buy the Book


Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner KnowingGnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing
by Stephan A. Hoeller

There has long been need for a comprehensive introductory guide to the Gnostic tradition.  Hoeller supplies just such a book with this new offering.  This delightful study gives clear voice to the essential message of Gnosticism; it is an invaluable introduction to the history and import of Gnosticism in the Western tradition.  Buy the Book



The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus, edited by Marvin MeyerThe Gnostic Gospels of Jesus
edited and translated by Marvin Meyer 

This is our top recommendation for readers beginning their exploration of the Gnostic scriptures. Over the last three decades Prof. Marvin Meyer has distinguished himself as a singularly talented translator and commentator. In this new collection -- the best of several  that he has now published -- Meyer presents twelve key Gnostic "gospels" in succinct, accurate and highly readable new translations.   The book's subtitle claims it to be: "The definitive collection of mystical gospels and secret books about Jesus of Nazareth".   Though perhaps not definitive in the sense of comprehensive,  we agree this is the single best  introductory collection available.  

Meyer states his goal in these translations  is to be "as accurate as possible" while still presenting the texts in "felicitous English."  At this he succeeds beautifully.  Readers who have labored with the sometimes tortured translations and editorial conventions presented in the original editions of the Nag Hammadi Library (first published thirty years ago) will be amazed at the graceful intelligibility of Meyer's translations.  Meyer adds to the collection an  overview of our evolving understanding of Christian Gnosticism, and  prefaces each of the selected text with an excellent introductory essay.   Buy the Book


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

In a book certain to become a another classic, Pagels returns to the themes she first introduced two decades ago in her landmark study, The Gnostic GospelsBeyond Belief interweaves ancient history with the quietly compelling tale of Pagels' own quest to understand her heritage.  It leads by careful and well-reasoned steps back through history, to an interior spiritual tradition within Christianity forgotten by the world – a tradition reviled as heresy, and excised from what became orthodox creedal faith.  As most readers will perceive, Pagels’ heart is keenly attuned to that forgotten Christianity.  Buy the Book    



Knowledge of the Heart, by June SingerA Gnostic Book of Hours: Keys to Inner Wisdom
by June Singer

A delightful labor of love by a noted Jungian analyst and author. The text consists of Gnostic sacred texts (taken from the Nag Hammadi Library) arranged for reading in the cycle of an ancient monastic "book of hours".  To each meditative text, a commentary of psychological and Gnostic inspiration is appended. This wonderful little work is an instrument for deepening of one's Gnosis -- and a wonderful introduction to the Gnostic scriptures found at Nag Hammadi.   Buy the Book



The Gnostic Scriptures, by Bentley LaytonThe Gnostic Scriptures
edited by Bentley Layton

Layton provides outstanding translations with commentaries of the more important scriptures from the Nag Hammadi collection, along with a large number of quotations from and references to other Gnostic texts and sources. An excellent (but scholarly) introduction to the study of Gnostic scriptures.   Buy the Book



The Nag Hammadi Library, edited by James RobinsonThe Nag Hammadi Scriptures
edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels

The epochal new translation of the entire Nag Hammadi library has finally arrived!  Dr. Marvin Meyer has done a masterful job in producing a volume that will serve for many decades as the standard source. Scholarly understanding of the Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi has vastly matured since their original publication as the Nag Hammadi Library in 1977.  This new edition fully reflects that refinement in "the scholarly ear" for both the forgotten ancient tongue and the spiritual tradition preserved in the Gnostic Coptic texts.  In every possible way, publication of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures represents a milestone in modern understanding of Gnostic tradition.  Elaine Pagels, the author and professor who introduced a generation of readers to the Gnostic Gospels, appropriately pens the introduction to this landmark edition.  Every student of Gnosticism will want to own this book, but before jumping into the big volume, we still highly recommend a study of some of the briefer introductory readings listed above.  Buy the Book


The Gnostic Society Bookstore is an Amazon.com Associate
You get great Amazon.com service and the lowest prices available when ordering books from our collection.


Basic Books | Advanced Reading | Scriptures | Stephan HoellerSearch
| Gnosis Archive - Home Page |