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

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

"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
Print Book, English, 1986
MJF Books, New York, 1986