The Gnostic Bible
A landmark work of scholarship and literary translation, The Gnostic Bible presents the most significant and beautiful sacred texts of gnostic mysticism. The gnostics were religious thinkers who believed that salvation is found through mystical knowledge and personal religious experience. Gnostic writings offer striking perspectives on both early Christian and non-Christian thought. For example, some gnostic texts suggest that God should be celebrated as both Mother and Father and that self-knowledge is the route to union with the Divine. Dating from the first to the thirteenth centuries, the selections in this volume represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar forms of gnostic spirituality, and their sources include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. These texts show that gnosticism was a world religion that sought truths in a wide variety of traditions and expressed those truths in powerful and provocative mystical poetry and prose. The impact of gnosticism upon other religions of the world was considerable, and the influence of gnosticism continues to the present day. This is the first time that such a diverse collection of ancient gnostic texts has been published in a single volume, and many of the texts have never before been translated into English. The selections are accompanied by introductions and notes, and additional study aids describe gnosticism, elucidate gnostic terms, and suggest further readings.