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The Gnostic Gospels Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 64 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Gnostic Gospels.
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Pagels begins her book by describing how, in 1945, an Egyptian peasant, Muhammad 'Ali al- Samman accidentally discovered an earthenware jar containing thirteen papyrus books. These texts were later found to include four gospels that offer accounts of Jesus and his times that are strikingly different from the stories in the New Testament. Included in the discovery at Nag Hammadi are texts purportedly written by Jesus' followers, such as the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Truth. Experts have estimated that the texts were written between A.D. 120 and 150.

The books express ideas about Christianity that were considered heretical in the middle of the second century. Evidence shows that the texts were hidden, as the possession of heretical books was considered a crime in the second century, and the orthodox authorities destroyed any texts they found.

While the books refer to the Old...

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This section contains 1,767 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Gnostic Gospels Study Guide
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The Gnostic Gospels from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.