The Gnostic Scriptures

A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions

Bentley Layton

View Inside Price: $45.00


August 1, 1995
576 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300140132
Paper

This definitive introduction to the gnostic scriptures provides a crucial look at the theology, religious atmosphere, and literary traditions of ancient Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism.
 
 

"Layton renders some of the enigmatic literature of gnostic Christianity a bit less baffling, primarily for nonspecialists. The general introduction explains his selection of documents (classic gnostic scripture, writings of Valentinus and his followers, and related writings that display gnostic elements) and places them within the milieu of early Christian literature. Introductions to the individual translations explain content, literary background, characters (where appropriate), and textual information. Extensive introductory material, lucid translation, and plentiful annotations, all relatively free of jargon, make this a fine introduction to the thought and literature of Gnosticism. Recommended for academic libraries and for public libraries where there is interest."—Craig W. Beard, Library Journal

“Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures is the one indispensable book for the understanding of Gnosis and Gnosticism. No other translations are within light-years of Layton’s in eloquence, pathos, and accuracy, while no other commentaries match his as an introduction to this perpetually relevant religious stance. Layton is particularly brilliant in his appreciation of Valentinus, the central Gnostic visionary, whose Gospel of Truth is marvelously served in this translation.”—Harold Bloom, author of The Book of J and The Western Canon

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