Elaine Pagels: The Gnostic Gospels

Discussion in 'Comparative Studies' started by Zenda71, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    Greetings all!

    I'm not sure where to put this, so Brian, please feel free to move it if you think it should go somewhere else.

    I am reading the above book and am fascinated by the overlap of these documents with Buddhist thought. Frankly, it all sounds very Eastern to me. I know that there are some who believe Jesus was influenced by the East, and that still others think he might have spent his remaining days in India. (See http://www.tombofjesus.com/home.htm. Fun site, even if its not true.) I love the idea of these two religions being much closer than they appear.

    Has anyone else read this book? What did you think of it? What is your take on the Nag Hammadi documents?

    With metta,
    Zenda
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Zenda,


    yes, i've read the book. it is my opinion that Pagels does a very good job in her research and her selections of texts to present. i'm fully aware of the difficulties invovled in working with the papyri from the Nag Hamadi find.. her and the other researchers have my gratitude.

    as for the conclusions that she has drawn..well... they seem fine to me :) of course, i was always a bit left of center when i was a Christian in any regards.. thus, it's probably not all that important if it makes sense to me or not.

    one of the things that i found particularly fascinating was the political climate that existed at the first and second councils of Nicea where the Bible that we have today was codified. these are, of course, very much the same as the three Buddhist councils where the Tipitaka was first written down and fixed as the Canon.
     
  3. Zenda71

    Zenda71 New Member

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    I would be interested to read about this. Do you know if there is as much interest in the historical Buddha as there is in the historical Jesus? I remember reading a bit about the Pali text society in Bhante G's biography ...

    With metta,
    Zenda
     
  4. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    You should read Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy's "The Jesus Mysteries" when you finish "The Gnostic Gospels". Freke and Gandy make a convincing case that the Jesus myth is just a Jewish adaptation of the "pagan" mystery religions practiced in Egypt and by the Greek philosophers. Pythagoras brought the philosophical mystery religion from the cult of Osiris in Egypt, formed a Greek version called the cult of Dionysis, whose adherents included Plato, Herodotus and the Jewish philosopher Philo and that Hellenized Jews created yet another variation that merged the mystery religion of Osiris-Dionysis with Jewish messianic prophecy.

    There were other variations of the same god-man mystery religion all over North Africa, Southern Europe and and the Indian subcontinent, including the mysteries of Attis, Adonis, Mithras and the Buddah - similarities that Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung recognized even before the Gnostic scrolls were found at Nag Hammadi.

    I would also strongly reccommend Pagels' newer book "Beyond Belief" for additional information on the how the various gospels came to be.
     

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