The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels



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 Texts Are Also, With Few Exceptions, Christian Documents, And Thus They Provide Us With Valuable New Information About The Character Of The Early Church, And About The Gnostic Christians Within The Church.In This Volume, Marvin W Meyer Has Produced A New English Translation For General Readers Of Four Of The Most Important And Revealing Of These Early Christian Texts The Secret Book Of James, The Gospel Of Thomas, The Book Of Thomas, And The Secret Book Of John.The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels

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 Greco Roman and Christian religions in antiquity and late antiquity, and on Albert Schweitzer s ethic of reverence for life He has been interviewed on television programs that have aired on ABC, BBC, CNN, PBS, AE, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the National Geographic Channel.Professor Meyer is best known for his translations of the texts of documents associated with the ancient mystery religions, early Christian magic, and Gnostic texts, of which the most notable have been the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas He is regarded as an authority on Gnosticism and has published many books on the subject.Meyer died of melanoma on August 16, 2012.

[ Epub ] ❧ The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels Author Marvin W. Meyer – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 160 pages
  • The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels
  • Marvin W. Meyer
  • English
  • 09 November 2019
  • 0394744330

10 thoughts on “The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels

  1. says:

    The teachings of Gnostic gospels and the early ChristianityGnosticism 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 The teachings of Gnostic gospels and the early ChristianityGnosticism 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 that these books belong to second century C.E, and the followers of this abstract faith were Gnostics and they were comprised of various groups Some fostered spiritual values, others lead very ascetic life in solitude in wilderness, and most Gnostics followed traditional life engaging in an inner spiritual quest for God They advocated a faith different from the early Christian church They believed in a direct approach to finding God rather than believing in the concept of Son of God or a prophet or a spiritual healer The conservative Christian leaders dismissed them as heretics and most of their books were either destroyed or modified or suppressed.In this book, the author, who is actively involved in the academic research of the history of Gnosticism, and the translation Nag Hammadi texts provide us with an English translation of the four Coptic texts the secret book of James, the gospel of Thomas, the book of Thomas and secret book of John The sayings of Jesus in these books are discussed, interpreted, and revised within the contexts of the history, culture and religion of that time Many sayings were similar to kingdom sayings, proverbial utterances and parables of the New Testament The author compares several parables from Gnostic gospels with those found in the canonical gospels Examples include the parable of Palm shoot secret book of James 4 10 12 , the parable of the head of grain secret book of James 8 2 , the parable of wise fisher gospel of Thomas 8 , etc It is interesting to read as how these parables evolved over the years into the current King James Version of Bible The fourth gospel, the secret book of John says very little about Jesus This text appears to be of early Jewish literature that includes some basic concepts Christianism.The parable of the Jar of Flour Gospel of Thomas 95 and the parable of Assassin Gospel of Thomas 95 refer to the kingdom of God that is not found in New Testament or any other early Christian literature Verse 103 makes a controversial statement about the parents of Jesus, and makes references to another name of Jesus in some Jewish traditions as Yeshu ben Pantera In the book of Thomas, chapter 9, verse 1 7 that deals with conclusion of revelation, one must escape the grim realities of incarnation and reincarnation is related to the Upanishadic thought Hindu scriptures The secret book of John, chapter 2, verses 1 22 is related to the revelation of One we find a classic statement of divine transcendence, formulated with terms of negation is in close agreement with the Upanishadic insistence of the Ultimate as neti neti, not this, not that It is the invisible spirit, it is beyond deity, beyond perfection, beyond being, as the ground of all being, and it is wholly other or any other finite category These factual statements reverberates the influence of Upanishads on early Jewish and Christian literature.In the secret book of James chapter 1, verses 7 14, Gnostic texts suggest various periods of time for resurrection and reappearance of Jesus as 545 days ascension of Isaiah , and 12 years Pistis Sophia, Book of Jeu In the last chapter 16, verses 19 21 of the secret book of James, Jesus make an unorthodox request The Savior communicated these things to John for him to record and safeguard He said to him, Cursed is everyone who will trade these things for a present, for food, drink, clothes, or anyone else verse 19 These things were communicated to John as a mystery and afterword the savior disappeared at once verse 20 Then John went to other disciples and reported what the savior had told him Verse 21 This is an excellent book for undergraduate students majoring in early Christian literature and the history of New Testament

  2. says:

    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 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, during a conversation with Thomas While there is narrative, there is no history included within in order to place it in any precise point in the biblical timeline But this book is where one will find many ideas of detachment to the material world The secret book of James, like the gospel of Mary Magdalene, is one written about a meeting with Jesus after his crucifixion and bodily death, where he is giving further spiritual instruction to his followers, and as a medium and spiritualist I found his teachings on the immortal soul fascinating The secret book of john however That one proved a little too off base for me at this time It started out fairly understandable, with another post crucifixion meeting with Jesus in spirit to answer a spiritual dilemma of a question john had, granted a big one who is god and where do we go after death The conversation then turned into creation myth however, presented in story Not exactly what I was looking for, but it may be of interest to others looking for esoteric knowledge and not as much soul coaching All in all, I understand why these books were not included in the New Testament, none of them included the basic ideas that the newly forming christian church wanted to proliferate, but they still offer much across the board Regardless of faith, the basic teachings found in James and Thomas are building blocks for knowing True Self

  3. says:

    I chose this book because I didn t think I wanted commentary or context, I just wanted to read the books and mull them over on my own The first three were great The last one Secret Book of John was just kind of cray, in the same way that the Biblical Book of Revelations is cray I sort of lost interest at that point, and started wishing I had some commentary after all, to tell me WTF I was reading But that s not really what this book was designed for I can t fault it for that I m mainly g I chose this book because I didn t think I wanted commentary or context, I just wanted to read the books and mull them over on my own The first three were great The last one Secret Book of John was just kind of cray, in the same way that the Biblical Book of Revelations is cray I sort of lost interest at that point, and started wishing I had some commentary after all, to tell me WTF I was reading But that s not really what this book was designed for I can t fault it for that I m mainly giving it four stars instead of five because, like I saidcray

  4. says:

    Translation made easy to read Good notes and introduction Best gnostic translation I ve read and the quickest Not as authoritative maybe as someesoteric works on the Gnostics but easier to grasp and perhaps discard as nothing I ve read of Gnosticism so far rings very true to me But both Gnostic Gospels and Dead Sea Scrolls are very interesting early histories New and Old Testament times of so called Christianity These Gospels do at least pretend to be quoting Christ and they do Translation made easy to read Good notes and introduction Best gnostic translation I ve read and the quickest Not as authoritative maybe as someesoteric works on the Gnostics but easier to grasp and perhaps discard as nothing I ve read of Gnosticism so far rings very true to me But both Gnostic Gospels and Dead Sea Scrolls are very interesting early histories New and Old Testament times of so called Christianity These Gospels do at least pretend to be quoting Christ and they do give fuller andinteresting portrayals of some of the disciples

  5. says:

    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 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 the centuries were forced into hiding and that the written material of those groups also had to be concealed, for survival s sake The discovery of 50 odd documents at Nag Hammadi in the mid 1940 s pointed out a bit of how truly the gnostic materials had literally gone underground I have found the gnostic writings that I have read to be stimulating, often controversial, broad in intent and scope, and occasionally at odds with what I believe, though not as frequently as I expected The four gospels none of which were included in the New Testament were at times simplistic, at other times profound, and sometimes dealt with hidden knowledge The content frequently evidenced philosopical underpinnings Many sophists had been influenced by such as Plato, and it shows

  6. says:

    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 seemed 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 seemed convoluted in its use of commonly known names and abtractions While all 4 books requirethan a single read, the Secret Book of John, was almost alien in its explanation of Christ and his appearance on Earth For all I know, it ringstrue than anything else, but I really had a hard time following it

  7. says:

    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 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 I was so confused and I couldn t even read it any Could be John s writings considering the book of revelation, but I don t know I m just going to keep it on my bookshelf and keep praying for the Lord to reveal truth to me

  8. says:

    Four Gnostic gospels The 4th one was VERY strange twist on the story of creation The first 3 repeated some stuff from from the traditional gospels, plus had many additional quotes they attributed to Jesus I think I could have been a Gnostic since they challenged the authority of the priests and approached God directly They emphasized the quest for understanding, but not a common, mundane understanding they searched for a higher knowledge, aprofound insight into the deep and secret th Four Gnostic gospels The 4th one was VERY strange twist on the story of creation The first 3 repeated some stuff from from the traditional gospels, plus had many additional quotes they attributed to Jesus I think I could have been a Gnostic since they challenged the authority of the priests and approached God directly They emphasized the quest for understanding, but not a common, mundane understanding they searched for a higher knowledge, aprofound insight into the deep and secret things of God

  9. says:

    5 5 I don t think about this book as a religious book but a book about believing in yourself and not following the throngs, about being confident in yourself, being ok with yourself, and being proud of yourself Look yourself in the mirror, be honest with yourself about who you really are and then work to be a person that you can look in the mirror and be happy with If you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, you will say to the mountain Move and the mountain wi 5 5 I don t think about this book as a religious book but a book about believing in yourself and not following the throngs, about being confident in yourself, being ok with yourself, and being proud of yourself Look yourself in the mirror, be honest with yourself about who you really are and then work to be a person that you can look in the mirror and be happy with If you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, you will say to the mountain Move and the mountain will move

  10. says:

    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 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 perspective, and this book is a good collection to begin with

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