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The secret books of the Egyptian Gnostics : an introduction to the Gnostic Coptic manuscripts discovered at Chenoboskion

Author: Jean Doresse
Publisher: New York : MJF Books, 1986.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Jean Doresse's book was originally published in 1958 as the first authoritative description of the now famous cache of Egyptian Gnostic writings known as the Nag-Hammadi Library or, as Doresse calls it, the Chenoboskion Library. Despite the forty plus years since publication, a more readable and thorough introduction to the material is not to be found. Until the Nag-Hammadi discovery, the Gnostics were thought to  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jean Doresse
ISBN: 1567312276 9781567312270
OCLC Number: 41014280
Notes: Translation of: Les livres secrets des gnostiques d'Egypte.
Description: xvii, 445 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: The problem of gnosticism: its earliest known elements --
Original texts and monuments --
The story of a discovery --
Thirteen codices of papyrus --
Forty-four secret (and hitherto unknown) books --
The Sethians according to their writings --
The survival of gnosticism: from Manichaeism to the Islamic sects --
Epilogue --
Appendix I: The teaching of Simon Magus in the Chenoboskion manuscripts --
Appendix II: The Gospel according to Thomas.
Other Titles: Livres secrets des gnostiques d'Egypte.
Responsibility: by Jean Doresse ; with an English translation and critical evaluation of the Gospel according to Thomas.

Abstract:

"Jean Doresse's book was originally published in 1958 as the first authoritative description of the now famous cache of Egyptian Gnostic writings known as the Nag-Hammadi Library or, as Doresse calls it, the Chenoboskion Library. Despite the forty plus years since publication, a more readable and thorough introduction to the material is not to be found. Until the Nag-Hammadi discovery, the Gnostics were thought to be no more than a heretical splinter group of early Christianity with particularly bizarre cosmologies and licentious sexual practices. Hardly surprising given that most of what we knew about the various sects of Gnostics came from their rivals, the Christians. Doresse thoroughly reviews what was known of Gnosticism before these writings of theirs were unearthed. As one of the original discoverers of these texts, his first person account of their unearthing, acquisition, and identification is quite engaging. A physical description of the books then is given. Finally he launches into a discussion of the texts themselves, and what they reveal to us of Gnostic belief and practice"--Amazon.com.

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