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Author(s): Bentley Layton

ISBN13: 9780385478434

ISBN10: 0385478437

Publisher: Doubleday

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  • 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.
  • Bentley Layton

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    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, Harding Univ. Lib., Searcy, Ark.

    - Library Journal

    'Bentley Laytons The Gnostic Scriptures is the one indispensable book for the understanding of Gnosis and Gnosticism. No other translations are within light-years of Laytons 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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