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A book of more than passing interest

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  • Bruce Morgen
    The noted scholar and writer Elain H. Pagels has built her latest book around my favorite of the pre-canonical (before the pulpit parrots took over) renderings
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 5, 2003
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      The noted scholar and writer
      Elain H. Pagels has built her
      latest book around my
      favorite of the pre-canonical
      (before the pulpit parrots
      took over) renderings of the
      teachings of Jesus, the
      sublime Gospel of Thomas. 
      Here's a blurb about "Beyond
      Belief: The Secret Gospel of
      Thomas."  I haven't read it
      yet myself, but I rejoice in
      such a popular and respected
      author putting her pen to the
      subject -- and at less than
      $15 discounted, even the
      near-paupers among us can to
      own what imo promises to be a
      very important work!
      _____
       
      Over the last twenty-five years, award-winning author Elaine Pagels has been on a personal and intellectual quest to understand the origins of Christianity, and in this exciting new book, she traces the source to the Gospel of Thomas. When her infant son is diagnosed with fatal pulmonary hypertension, Elaine Pagels's spiritual quest takes on a new urgency. In Beyond Belief, her most personal book, she reexamines the faith of the early Christians, revealing a path toward transformation that was offered before Christianity became, for many simply a set of beliefs. Pagels shows that both the New Testament's Gospel of John and the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas draw on the same sources of Jesus' teaching, but interpret these in different ways. While both see Jesus as revealing the divine light of God, in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus urges each one of us to seek that divine light within, since all are created in the image of God. But the Gospel of John insists that Jesus alone reveals God, and that only those who believe in him are saved. The Church's decision to include John in the New Testament and reject Thomas as heresy has decisively shaped Christianity ever since. In Beyond Belief, Pagels lends stunning new interpretations to the virgin birth, the creation of Eve, and the nature ofour relationship with God. Pagels's scholarship is accessible and alive, and, as with The Gnostic Gospels, it will challenge and transform what we know of Christianity. 
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