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Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection (10 vols.)
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Overview

The Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection assembles titles dealing with Christian apocryphal literature, particularly those texts associated with the Gnostic tradition. Such a multifaceted issue demands a variety of focal points, and this collection offers just that. With scholarly thoroughness, the authors included examine everything from Manichaean Christology to the Gospels of Thomas and Mary.

In the first few centuries after the death of Christ, a tradition that came to be known as Gnosticism produced a number of texts that defy modern conventional understanding of the life of Christ and the apostles. These legends and gospels integrated philosophies from Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and other sources with the Christian narratives. Many of the tenets and beliefs presented in these works were later seen as incongruent with Christ’s teachings and Christianity’s history. Subsequently, they were deemed heretical. Though never canonized and thought lost, discoveries of the past two centuries (especially the Nag Hammadi Library) have brought many of these apocryphal works to light.

Compelling in their own day, these texts continue to hold sway over contemporary imaginations. Best-sellers like The Da Vinci Code and Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas, as well as the recent buzz surrounding the reconstruction of the gospel of Judas are but three examples of Gnostic apocryphal literature’s lasting popularity.

Given their contemporary relevance, it is critical for the Christian to understand these ancient texts and evaluate their place within Christianity’s history. With the Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection, you’ll have information you need to evaluate these texts.

Individual Titles

Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction

  • Author: Hans-Josef Klauck
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 288

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

In this book Hans-Josef Klauck provides a comprehensive introduction to the apocryphal gospels - the biblical and related writings which do not form part of the accepted canon of Scripture. Klauck classifies the material in various helpful ways: Agrapha (isolated sayings if Jesus), Fragments, Jewish Christian Gospels, Two Gospels of the Egyptians, Infancy Gospels, Gospels about Jesus' Death and Resurrection, Gospels from Nag Hammadi, Conversations with the Risen Jesus, Dialogues of Jesus with No Location, Legends about the Death of Mary, Lost Gospels, the Toledot Jeshu (an anti-gospel) . Each section is accompanied by a carefully related bibliography.

This highly readable introduction takes account of all the latest international scholarship on the apocrypha and will be an invaluable resource for all scholars and students in the field.

Dr. Hans-Josef Klauck is Professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of Munich, Germany.

Gnosis: An Introduction

  • Author: Christoph Markschies
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 160

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

This introduction to Gnosis by Christoph Markschies combines great clarity with immense learning. In his Introduction, Markschies defines the term Gnosis and its relationship to 'Gnosticism', indicating why Gnosis is preferable and sketches out the main problems. He then treats the sources, both those in the church fathers and heresiologists, and the more recent Nag Hammadi finds. He goes on to discuss early forms of 'Gnosis' in antiquity, Jewish and Christian (New Testament) and the early Gnostics; the main representatives of Gnosis, especially Valentinus and Marcion; Manichaeism as the culmination and end-point of Gnosis; ancient communities of 'Gnostics'; and finally 'Gnosis' in antiquity and the present. A useful chronological table and an excellent select bibliography are also included.

Christoph Markschies is Professor of Early Church History and President of Humboldt University Berlin.

Thomas at the Crossroads: Essays on the Gospel of Thomas

  • Editor: Risto Uro
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 1998
  • Pages: 256

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The Gospel of Thomas is one of the most debated early Christian writings. Discovered as a Coptic translation in the Nag Hammadi Library, its date, message and relation to the canonical gospels have been the subject of much divisive argument. This volume offers new perspectives on the gospel and demonstrates the various ways in which it sheds light on the ideological and social history of early Christianity.

Expert scholars go to the heart of current issues in Thomasine studies, such as the role of oral and written traditions in the composition of the gospel, Thomas' relationship with the Gospel of John and with Gnostic and ascetic tendencies in early Christianity, the gospel's attitude to women followers of Jesus and to Jewish ritual practices.

This impressive collection of essays covers key areas of current study of Thomas… thoughly researched and cogently argued. The book will provide an invaluable for all future work on this fascinating text for beginners and advanced researchers alike.

—Christopher Tuckett

A substantial contribution to the scholarly study of the Gospel of Thomas, Thomas at the Crossroads offers innovative perspectives on some of the most controversial questions in Thomas studies today. These studies yield fruitful insights into the relation of the Gospel of Thomas to other early Christian gospel literature, to ‘Gnosticism,’ encratism and Judaism… The authors lead readers to an enriched understanding of early Christian thought and practice. Required reading for anyone interested in the meaning of this fascinating work and its place in the history of ancient Christianity.

—Christopher Tuckett

Dr Risto Uro is Lecturer in New Testament, University of Helsinki.

Thomas: Seeking the Historical Context of the Gospel of Thomas

  • Author: Risto Uro
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 208

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Many scholars believe that the Gospel of Thomas, the famous collection of Jesus' sayings found in Nag Hammadi in 1945, radically changes our understanding of the origins of Christianity. The Gospel is generally studied closely for the new light it throws on pre-canonical traditions and for the different world of wisdom it seems to represent.

By contrast, Risto Uro seeks to locate the Gospel of Thomas on the map of early Christian literature and history by comparing the Gospel to other related writings and traditions of the period. These include the writings ascribed to the mysterious apostle, Judas Thomas, other documents from Nag Hammadi, Paul and Stoic teachers, and the Gospel of Matthew.

Uro argues that the conventional methods scholars have been using in their studies are in need of rethinking and refinement. Among many conclusions is the author's belief that Thomas is an early second-century work written by people who, like many other first- and second-century Christians, understood Jesus' message in terms of the Hellenistic belief in the divine origin of the self.

…a valuable contribution to a still very inadequate body of scholarship on the Gospel of Thomas… a clear and cogent presentation of views, with excellent interaction with other scholarship.

—Larry Hurtado

…a very high quality piece of work… Uro surveys in a masterly way many aspects of the Gospel of Thomas, including the issue of whether the text can be classified as ‘gnostic,’ of a possible community reflected in the text, of the dualism apparent in the text, as well as the question of the relationship of the gospel to the New Testament materials about Jesus… a significant contribution to Thomas scholarship.

—Christopher Tuckett

Dr Risto Uro is Lecturer in New Testament, University of Helsinki.

The Gospel of Mary: Beyond a Gnostic and a Biblical Mary Magdalene

  • Author: Esther A. de Boer
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 256

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

The Gospel of Mary, the only known gospel that is named after a woman, has aroused new interest in the figure of Mary Magdalene and the beginnings of Christianity. What was her impact and her message? What became of her and her ideas?

This volume examines the Gospel of Mary to discover what it reveals about Mary Magdalene and to determine the origin of its portrayal. It proposes a new perspective on matter and nature in the Gospel of Mary, suggesting that it is not to be categorized as a gnostic writing.

Furthermore, the study argues that Mary’s teaching in the Gospel of Mary is more closely related to the writings of Philo, the letters of Paul and the Gospel of John than to the Nag Hammadi Codices. As such, the Gospel of Mary and its portrayal of Mary Magdalene cannot be seen as evidence of a specific gnostic esteem for Mary Magdalene, but rather demonstrates the esteem of believers belonging to a broader Christian context.

Esther A. de Boer completed her Ph.D. at the Theological University of Kampen, Holland. She is the author of Mary Magdalene: Beyond the Myth.

Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John and Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature

  • Author: April DeConick
  • Publisher: Sheffield Academic Press
  • Publication Date: 2001
  • Pages: 192

Table of Contents: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

The Gospel of John has always been perceived as a more mystical Gospel than the Synoptics. This volume explores the mysticism of John in its historical context. It puts forward evidence that the mysticism developed in this text is the result of the textualization of a dialogue between the Johannine and Thomasine Christians on the subject of soteriology.

In contradiction to the Christians who revered the Gospel of Thomas and taught salvation through ascent and vision mysticism, the Johannine Gospel argues for a mysticism based on the faith experience. Evidence from the Preachings of John, the Gospel of the Savior, the Apocryphon of James, the Ascension of Isaiah, and the Dialogue of the Savior is examined to show that this soteriological controversy did not end with the composition of the Gospel of John but continued well into the second century.

This volume not only sheds new light on the development of Johannine ideology, but also forges a new path in New Testament socio-rhetorical criticism, particularly by developing the field of tradition intertexture.

April DeConick is Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University, Houston, USA. She is the author of Seek to See Him: Ascent Mysticism in the Gospel of Thomas. She is co-editor of Thomasine Traditions in Antiquity: The Social and Cultural World of the Gospel of Thomas.

Jesus in the Nag Hammadi Writings

  • Author: Majella Franzmann
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 1996
  • Pages: 318

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Many of the Nag Hammadi writings are considered “heretical” and therefore not valid sources for traditions about the founder, Jesus. Majella Franzmann, however, shows that it is a mistake to believe that Christianity was a homogenous entity from the first and that the only valid traditions about the founder are preserved by those early Christians who became the dominant, mainstream group. The whole range of early Christian movements, including the Gnostic Christian movements, cannot be separated and identified simply as orthodox or heretical from the beginning.

This volume presents a fascinating and innovative portrait of Jesus and of the world into which he came. Franzmann’s work advances our whole understanding of the origins, development and present identity of Christians and Christianity.

This is the first comprehensive study of the Jesus figure in the Nag Hammadi writings… the author has done a marvelous job.

—Professor Hans-J. Klimkeit

Majella Franzmann is Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of New England, Australia.

Jesus in the Manichaean Writings

  • Author: Majella Franzmann
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 208

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Manichaeism was a dualistic religious system with Christian, Gnostic and pagan elements, founded in Persia in the third century by Manes. This is the first full-length study of the Manichaean Jesus, since the publication of several major Manichaean texts. These include the Homilies, Psalm Book and Kephalaia published in the 1930s and 1940s.

A knowledge of Manichaean Christology is important for any understanding of the development of Christologies in the early centuries CE, whether within mainstream Christianity or within associated heterodox groups. This volume undertakes a comprehensive study of six distinct figures of Jesus that can be found in both Eastern and Western Manichaean literature.

Previous partial studies of Manichaean Christology have tended to restrict their focus to texts from either Eastern or Western traditions alone. Majella Franzmann argues that a single Manichaean Jesus can be discerned behind the many different representations to be found.

…the most qualified scholar to write about Jesus in Manichaeism.

—Siegfried Richter

Majella Franzmann is Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of New England, Australia.

The New Testament and Gnosis: Essays in Honour of Robert McL. Wilson

  • Editors: Alexander J. M. Wedderburn and Alastair H. B. Logan
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 272

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

This collection of essays commemorates two important events. The first is the retirement of Professor Robert Wilson, the leading British authority on the subject of Gnosis and Gnosticism and a foremost international scholar in this field, from the Chair of Biblical Criticism in the University of St. Andrews and from the Editorship of New Testament Studies in the autumn of 1983.

The second is the recent appearance, both in facsimile form and in English translation, of the Nag Hammadi Codices. Some of these have become known in various ways since their discovery in 1945-6, but it is only until very recently that the complete corpus of material has been made generally available. Thus it is only now that we can begin to assess its significance both for our understanding of this area of early Church history and in particular for the question of the relationship between Gnosis and Gnosticism and the New Testament.

Rev. Dr Alastair H. B. Logan is Senior Lecturer in Theology, University of Exeter.

Alexander J. M. Wedderburn is Professor of New Testament in the Evangelisch-Theologische Facultat, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich.

Irish Biblical Apocrypha: Selected Texts in Translation

  • Editors: Martin McNamara and Maire Herbert
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2004
  • Pages: 240

Sample pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Ireland has a rich legacy of apocryphal material, which can be traced back in origin to the earliest centuries of Christianity in the island. Some of the writings are in Latin, but most have been handed down in vernacular translation. These writings in Irish form one of the richest collections of apocryphal material in any vernacular language.

Of this body of literature, some texts are straightforward Irish translations of well-known Latin writings. Others are translations of early, rare or little attested Apocrypha. Some have no known original, although they appear to be direct translations of some lost apocryphal work. Some are apocryphal writings, or sections of such writings, worked into a new Irish composition on biblical or world history. Still others are modifications of some apocryphal writing, combined with native Irish tradition. Further study of this literature promises new discoveries about the apocryphal texts, the origins and development of Christianity and the development of Irish cultural history.

Under the auspices of the Irish Biblical Association, the editors here have brought together in English translation the most important texts, bearing on both the Old and New Testaments, and fully representing the main kinds of Irish apocryphal literature. The translations and annotations are presented in accordance with the most up-to-date scholarly findings and will be a work of invaluable resource.

Martin McNamara is Emeritus Professor of Scripture at Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin.

Maire Herbert is Associate Professor in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College, Cork.

Product Details

  • Title: Gnostic & Apocryphal Studies Collection (10 vols.)
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 2,398