Gnostic Scriptures & Other Non-Canonical
Biblical Scripture Reads

The Gnostic Bible by Willis Barnestone and Marvin Meyer
1st edition (December 2, 2003)

Marvin Meyer states, "The Gnostic Gospels offers a compelling portrayal of the Gnostics as freethinking mystics who recommended a direct experience of god, unmediated by church heirarchy... In The Gnostic Scriptures, Bentley Layton assembles an anthology in English translations as authoritative gnostic scriptures. The title of Layton's book is close to the title of our volume, and the conception is similar, though more limited in scope.... the sacred literature in this Bible illustrates a diversity that we have suggested is characteristic of gnostic religions... no closed canon... there are other gnostic texts that have not been included."

In contrast to Bentley Layton (The Gnostic Scriptures) who adopts a more factual approach to translation providing extensive notes, Barnestone and Meyer take a more liberal approach in translating considering "vital contemporary speech" and "aesthetic variables," notes are brief but informative. Althought he work may be used academically, it is more so, a book to be read for inspiration and enjoyment. Jessika

The selections represent Jewish, Christian, Hermetic, Mandaean, Manichaean, Islamic, and Cathar expressions of gnostic spirituality. Their regions of origin include Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, China, and France. Also included are introductions, notes, an extensive glossary, and a wealth of suggestions for further reading.

Willis Barnstone, Ph.D., former O'Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and is in the Institute of Biblical and Literary Studies at Indiana University. A Guggenheim Fellow, poet, scholar, and memoirist, his many books include The Poetics of Translation, The Other Bible, The New Covenant, With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires, Life Watch, and Border of a Dream: The Poems of Antonio Machado. He has received numerous awards for his work, among them the Emily Dickinson Award, the W. H. Auden Award, and a PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Special Citation for translation.

Marvin Meyer, Ph.D., is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies at Chapman University, Orange, California, and is one of the foremost scholars of Coptic and gnostic studies at work today. He is Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, and a Pacific Coast regional past president of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is the author of numerous books, including Ancient Christian Magic, The Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospels, Jesus Then and Now, The Magical Book of Mary and the Angels, and The Ancient Mysteries. Dr. Meyer appears frequently in documentary television programs for ABC, BBC, A&E, and the History Channel.

The Secret Teachings of Jesus : Four Gnostic Gospels

by Marvin W. Meyer (Translator)

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 Thong, and the Secret Book of John.


The Gnostic Scriptures : A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions
by (The Anchor Bible Reference Library) by Bentley Layton
First P
blished 1987

Bentley Layton provides a timeless, highly readable, extensive selection of Gnostic Texts. He also provides an introduction to the history and beliefs of the ancient Gnostics as well as historical introductions to the texts individually. Texts are numbered by verse, introductions contain summaries of the contents of the text, describe the literary background and provide an outline of the mythic characters who appear in the entire text. Each text is cited with extensive footnotes accompanied by a conclusion Select Bibliographies specific to the text, cross references, and editorial notations. The book is an invaluable work to have as a reference. A must have for your reference Library. Jessika

The Other Bible Willis Barnstone
Published 1984

Gathered here for the first time in one comprehensive volume are excerpted ancient holy texts from Judeo-Christian traditions that were excluded from the official canon of the Old and New Testaments. The Other Bible is a unique sourcebook of essential selections, an excellent anthology of the more important of the Jewish Psudepigrapha, early Kabbalah, Haggadah, Midrash, Christian Apocrypha, and Gnostic scriptures.

This book is a good introduction to the varieties of texts outside of the cano

The Nag Hammadi Library in English : Revised Edition
by James M. Robinson
First published in 1978

This revised, expanded, and updated edition of The Nag Hammadi Library is the only complete, one-volume, modern language version of the renowned library of fourth-century manuscripts discovered in Egypt in 1945.

First published in 1978, The Nag Hammadi Library launched modern Gnostic studies and exposed a movement whose teachings are in many ways as relevant today as they were sixteen centuries ago. James M. Robinson's updated introduction reflects ten years of additional research and editorial and critical work. An afterword by Richard Smith discusses the modern relevance of Gnosticism and its influence on such writers as Voltaire, Blake, Melville, Yeats, Kerouac, and Philip K. Dick.

Acclaimed by scholars and general readers alike, The Nag Hammadi Library is a work of major importance to everyone interested in the evolution of Christianity, the Bible, archaeology, and the story of Western civilization.

James M. Robinson is the former director of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity and Professor Emeritus at The Claremont Graduate School. He was honored as a Fulbright Scholar, American Council of Learned Societies Fellow and American Association of Theological Schools Fellow at the University of Heidelberg. The editor of The Sayings Gospel Q in Greek and English (2002), The Critical Edition of Q (2000), and author of Trajectories Through Early Christianity (1971, with Helmut Koester) and A New Quest of the Historical Jesus (1959), he is best known for his work on the Nag Hammadi Codices and as the General Editor of The Nag Hammadi Library in English (1977). He directed the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity and its Coptic Gnostic Library Project at Claremont Gradate School.

This is the classic work that launched modern Gnostic Studies. A beautiful translation. Jessika

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible : The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English by Martin G. Abegg, Peter Flint & Eugene Ulrich
Published 1999

Chapters are in in historical order ( translations of Psalms are in a different order) according to familiar Bible Chapter headings.This volume takes the texts of The Dead Sea Scrolls : A New Translation (below) and adds scholarly notes and commentary. Wonderful introduction discusses the various Bibles in use today, discovery of the scrolls, and "emphasizes accuracy over style." Contains introductions to each chapter. Scroll numbers are cited and variations noted between the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint, and the Samaritan Pentateuch. Jessika


The Dead Sea Scrolls : A New Translation

by Michael O. Wise, Martin G. Abegg

Published 1996

Wise, Abegg and Cook's collection is one of the most complete collections of the Dead Sea Scrolls available. From a new generation of Dead Sea Scrolls scholars comes this landmark work. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr. and Edward Cook bring the long-inaccessible ancient scrolls of Qumran vividly to life, translating and deciphering virtually every legible portion of the fragmented scrolls, with startling results. For the first time since their discovery, this historic volume reveals:

* Intriguing revelations about biblical history and the roots of Christianity.

* Never-before-seen stories about Abraham, Jacob, and Enoch -- including a text explaining why God demanded the sacrifice of Isaac.

* Twelve texts not included in the Bible that claim Moses as their author.

* New psalms attributed to King David and to Joshua.

* Texts illuminating ancient doctrines about angels and writings claiming to be revelations of angels themselves -- including the Archangel Michael.

The translators provide pointed commentary throughout that places the scrolls in their true historical context.

Also an introduction to the history of the discovery of the scrolls and a theory about the community that produced the scrolls. Texts are aranged by subject and scroll number. Jessika

The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated: The Qumran Texts in English

by Florentino Garcia Martinez, Wilfred G. E. Watson
Published in English 1994

... the first comprehensive English translation of the non-biblical Qumran scrolls, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated presents the largest collection of Qumran texts ever published in this language. Two-hundred of the total 625 manuscripts discovered can be found in this volume. (Those manuscripts omitted are either in such a fragmentary condition that translation would be meaningless, or are sufficiently modest in size that translation of them would add very little.) Thanks to the official publication, in 1993, of all the photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls (The Dead Sea Scrolls on Microfiche by E.J. Brill, Leiden and the Israel Antiquity Authority), it is now possible for the public to enjoy the same material available to the specialists.

The 200 Dead Sea Scrolls translated here are a marked increase on the 62 previously published in the third edition of Geza Vermez's The Dead Sea Scrolls below in English. This increase is mainly possible due to the introduction of the fascinating `new' texts, some of which, for example 4QMMT, are still awaiting official publication.

The translation of the manuscripts is organized into nine chapters, each with one or two pages of introduction. It concludes with an exhaustive list of all manuscripts discovered at Qumran. This list has a double function. Firstly, it provides the reader with accurate information of all the existing texts, biblical and non-biblical, published an not yet published. Secondly, it offers basic bibliographical references for the textual editions already available and for the publications which provide information on the texts not yet published. This list is a very useful reference tool and forms a scientific publication in its own right. Originally published in Spanish (1992) the present authorized translation has been prepared by Wilfred G.E. Watson of the University of Newcastle, a renowned scholar of Biblical Hebrew poetry.

The translator states, "It is only in the texts which are evidently poetry that I have allowed myself some freedom, such as occasionally omitting the ubiquitous conjunction or using synonyms." A highly academic work containing fragments as well as the larger readable texts. A good reference of all available. Jessika

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English
by Geza Vermes
Published 1962

Geza Vermes, a former professor of Jewish studies at Oxford and a noted authority on the scrolls, marks the 50th anniversary of Muhammed edh-Dhub's find with his book The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English; the title, however, is misleading, for the collection of documents is by no means complete.

Vermes has left out the copies of Hebrew scriptures that are available elsewhere, instead focusing on the sectarian writings of the Essene community at Qumran and the intertestemental texts, and these are indeed complete translations. Vermes has also included an overview of five decades of research on the scrolls and a thumbnail sketch of the Qumran community's history and religion. For anyone interested in biblical history, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English is a worthwhile read.

*Vermes use of language is dated, but as the first of the English translations remains a classic. If you are new to the study of the scrolls, I recommend the books by Wise & Abegg above. Jessika

The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translationby J. K. Elliott
Published 1993

This collection of apocryphal texts supersedes the best-selling edition by M.R. James, which was originally published in 1924. Several new texts have come to light since 1924 and the textual base for some of the apocrypha previously translated by James is now more secure, as in several cases there are now recently published critical editions available. Although a modest addition to James's edition was made in 1953, no thorough revision has previously been undertaken.

In this volume, J.K. Elliott presents new translations of the texts and has provided each of them with a short introduction and bibliography for readers who wish to pursue further the issues raised in the texts or to consult the critical editions, other translations, or general studies. The translations are in modern English, in contrast to James's deliberate imitation of the language of the Authorized Version. The collection is designed to give readers the most important or famous of the Christian apocrypha and a small sample of gnostic texts. Full translations of the earliest texts are printed, as well as some derivative apocrypha.


The Septuagint with Apocrypha: Greek and English

by L.C.L., Sir Brenton

This edition of The Septuagint with Apocrypha (the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament and the apocryphal books of the same linguistic origin) gives the complete Greek text along with a parallel English translation by Brenton. Orignal publish 1851: in its 9th priniting this is the Hendrickson Publishers (April 1, 1986) edition; Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton Translation

The early Christian church was predominantly Greek-speaking, so it used the Septuagint LXX for its Greek Scriptures, and most Christian writers of the first three centuries - including the writers of the New Testament - generally used the LXX as their Old Testament.

The Septuagint is the first Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, probably from the third century B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt. It was translated for the benefit of the Israelites living in Greek-speaking countries due to the Diaspora.

According to tradition, there were probably seventy-two translators (six from each of the twelve tribes). This number was later changed to the number seventy, suggesting the seventy elders of the Sanhedrin. Thus, the Roman numeral LXX represents the Septuagint, a word which comes from Latin meaning "seventy." The Greek form was later improved and altered to include the books of the Apocrypha and some of the pseudepigrapha. It was the version used by the Greek-speaking Christians, including St. Paul; it is still used in the Greek Church.

This impressive volume contains both the original Greek and its English translation. It gives you the complete Septuagint text in parallel columns with Brenton's translation. It was first printed in 1851 and is said to be the best study edition you can buy.

Also see online:

Page List | Home Page & Search For