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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: book questions

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  • Michael Leavitt
    ... -- M. Leavitt
    Message 1 of 24 , May 10, 2006
      Gerry wrote:
      > Hi, Michael.
      > I might have managed to chime in earlier, but I'm having some
      > computer difficulties at the moment (on top of everything else), and my
      > emergency laptop is little consolation.
      > --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, --Michael <epsilon717@...> wrote:
      >> I was wondering if there's a significant difference between
      >> _The Gnostic Bible_ and _The Other Bible_, both by Willis
      >> Barnstone.
      > One other thing to keep in mind, Michael, is that both The Other Bible
      > and The Gnostic Bible offer abridged versions for some of the translated
      > texts. This is fine for those who are simply looking for an introductory
      > taste of works excluded from their own religious tradition, or for those
      > who prefer a flowing and accessible rendering of some of these diverse
      > and difficult works, but for carefully examining what the Gnostic
      > authors actually sought to convey, one would be well advised to balance
      > those anthologies with Robinson's affordable compilation, The Nag
      > Hammadi Library
      > <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&isbn=00\
      > 60669357&itm=1> . I stress "affordable" there because the next step up
      > in my own recommended reading list would be another series edited by
      > Robinson, The Coptic Gnostic Library
      > <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ISBN=900411\
      > 7024&pdf=y&z=y> (the forerunner of the NHL).
      > Since I've broached the subject of "readability" already, it should
      > be mentioned that this is another aspect of Robinson's collection
      > that should be taken into consideration. Personally, I frequently found
      > myself avoiding certain tractates in his book simply because of the
      > numerous lacunae. It's definitely a challenge to read something all
      > the way through when it sometimes seems as if every passage consists of
      > random words interspersed with countless bracketed ellipses. My own copy
      > of the NHL is the first edition, so I was somewhat dismayed just now
      > when I looked up a critique of his revised edition and found that the
      > "new & improved" version was even more conservative (i.e., less fluid).
      > The same reviewer suggested that it would be nice to see yet another
      > revision in which those lacunae are preserved (so that the reader can
      > see where actual gaps and irregularities exist in the extant originals),
      > but where such voids in the text were supplemented with footnotes
      > offering scholarly insight into what they likely contained. Frankly,
      > such a work already exists (inasmuch as it is possible to speculate on
      > filling some of those holes), but it is the more expensive CGL that I
      > referred to above. If anyone here happens to own both editions of the
      > popularly targeted NHL, I would be interested in hearing additional
      > insights regarding differences between the translations presented in
      > these two.
      >> For that matter, how about _Gnosis : The Nature and History
      >> of Gnosticism_ by Kurt Rudolph?
      >> --Michael
      > As Cari said, this is a very good overview of the subject. As always,
      > however, I wouldn't want anyone taking the opinions expressed
      > therein as gospel, and neglecting the more recent research of other
      > scholars in the field. Frankly, there are groups out there who do just
      > that, not only with Rudolph's book, but even the older work of Hans
      > Jonas. Basically, such people read these and seem to conclude that the
      > measure of a Gnostic group is how similarly it resonates with
      > Marcionism. When they get started on their rants, "Old Testament god
      > bad; New Testament God good," it soon comes across as little more than a
      > heavily dualistic, anti-Semitic brand of orthodoxy in which Jesus has
      > still come to rescue us all from a life of sin. The mere concept of
      > anything actually "transcendent" is usually lost on such individuals.
      > If you run across these people in your Internet travels, you will
      > recognize them immediately. ;-)
      > Gerry
      > Try the wife's, a Compaq Presario 1200, a P-1 peocessor and no USB, of course only one port on this Compaq P-IV 2 gig thing isn't USB. I don't really like that but it is fast, even with Windoze XP pro. Gotta try it with Linux!
      M. Leavitt
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