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Bibliography for Metahistory

Throughout the site where quotations appear, their source is indicated in parentheses, citing author and title. This bibliography is provided to identify specific editions cited and to assist reading and research. Books listed here include both those directly quoted in the site and those consulted for research.

The format used here is:

Author.
Title, publisher, place, date.

This bibliography includes specific editions of the 14 books listed in Basic Reading, the 15 books listed in the expanded treatment of the Themes (The Arch of Metahistory), and the seven “classics” listed in Background to Metahistory. Click at the entry to read the brief reviews of these 36 books.

This bibliography is in constant expansion as Metahistory.org evolves.

Bibliography compiled by John Lash

Clear sailing, Metanauts!

 

 

Seven Classics

Book Reviews

Background

Selected Reading

 

A

Abram, David.
The Spell of the Sensuous, Vintage Books, New York, 1996.
Alexander, Franz G., with Sheldon T. Selesnick.
The History of Psychiatry, Harper & Row, New York, 1966.
Allegro, John.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Pelican, London.
The Dead Dea Scrolls - A Reappraisal, Penguin Books, London, 1964.
Allione, Tsultrim.
Women of Wisdom, Arkana, London and New York, 1986.
Andrews, George C.
Extra-Terrestrial Friends and Foes, Illuminet Press, Lilburn, GA, 1993.
The Ante-Nicene Fathers. T & T Clark, Edinburgh/Eerdmans, 1996. These are polemic writings of the Church Fathers against the Gnostics. They contain excerpts and paraphrases of Gnostic writings, some of which have been entirely lost. See Gnostic Materials. These writings can be found on: http://www.gnosis.org/
Arthur, James.
Mushrooms and Mankind, The Book Tree, Escondido, Ca., 2000.
Avens, Roberts.
Imagination is Reality, Spring Publications, Putnam, Conn., 1980.

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

B

Bache, Christopher M.
Dark Night, Early Dawn, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2000.
Baigent, Michael.
Ancient Traces, Penguin Books, 1998.
Baigent, Michael with Leigh, Richard.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception, Corgi Books, London, 1994. Review in 'Basic Reading'.
The Inquisition, Penguin Books, 2000.
Ball, Philip.
H2O: A Biography of Water, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1999.
Barfield, Owen:
Poetic Diction, Wesleyan Univerity Press, Middletown, 1973.
Saving the Appearances,Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, 1988.
Baring, Anne, with Cashford, Jules.
The Myth of the Goddess, Arkana, London, 1993. Review in Basic Readin
Baudrillard, Jean.
Selected Writings, edited by Mark Poster, Polity, Cambridge, UK, 2001.
Simulacra and Simulation
, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2002.
Baynes, Charlotte, trans.
A Coptic Gnostic Treatise Contained in the Codex Brucianus, Cambridge University Press, 1933.
Begelman, Mitchell.
Turn Right at Orion, Helix Books, Cambridge, MA, 2000.
Beier, Matthais.
A Violent God-Image, T & T Clark International, London and New York, 2004.
Benoit, Hubert:
Let Go! George Allen & Unwin, London, 1962.
The Supreme Doctrine, Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT, 1990.
Berendt, Joachim-Ernst.
The World is Sound, Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 1983.
Berlin, Isaiah. Vico and Herder.
The Viking Press, New York, 1976.
Berman, Morris.
Coming to Our Senses, Unwin Paperbacks, London, 1989. Review under Technology.
Bernal, Martin.
Black Athena, I and II, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, 1987.
Berry, Thomas.
The Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, 1988.
The Great Work
, Bell Tower, New York, 1999.
With Brian Swimme: The Universe Story.
Black, Matthew.
The Scrolls and Christian Origins, Thomas Nelson and Sons, London, 1961.
Blavastky, Helena Petrovna.
Isis Unveiled, 2 vols., Theosophical University Press, Pasadena, 1960.
Occultism of the Secret Doctrine
, Kessenger Publishing, n.d.
On the Gnostics, Point Loma Publications, San Diego, 1994.
The Secret Doctrine
Bloom, Harold.
Omens of Millennium, Fourth Estate, London, 1996.
Boer, Charles.
See Homeric Hymns.
de Boer, Ester A.
The Gospel of Mary, T & T Clark International, London and New York, 2004.
Book of Changes.
See I Ching.
Boulay, R. A.
Flying Serpents and Dragons, The Book Tree, Escondido, CA, 1999.
Breaux, Charles.
Journey into Consciousness, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1989.
Bremmer, Jan.
The Early Greek Concept of the Soul,Princeton University Press, 1983.
Brown, Dan.
The Da Vinci Code, Doubleday, 2003. See review.
Brown, Norman O..
Love's Body, Vintage Books, New York, 1966.
Burrows, Millar.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, Viking Press, New York, 1956.
Burstein, Dan.
Secrets of the Code, CDS Books, New York, 2004.

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

C

Campbell, Jonathan.
Deciphering the Dead Sea Scrolls, Fontana Press, 1996.
Campbell, Joseph.
Creative Mythology, Penguin Books, London, 1968
The Hero with a Thousand Faces
, Fontana Press, London, 1993. Review in Basic Reading.
The Mythic Dimension,
ed. Anthony Van Couvering, Harper, SanFrancisco, 1997.
Occidental Mythology
, Penguin Books, London, 1964.
Oriental Mythology
, Viking Compass, New York, 1962.
Primitive Mythology
, Penguin Books, London, 1969.
The Mythic Image
, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1974.
Myths to Live By
, Bantam Books, New York, 1973.
Camphausen, Rufus C.
The Divine Library, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1992.
Capra, Fritjof.
The Web of Life, Flamingo, 1997.
Carey, Ken.
Return of the Bird Tribes, Harper San Francisco, 1988.
Cashford, Jules.
See Baring, Anne.
Cassirer, Ernst. R 
The Renaissance Philosophy of Man (ed.), University of Chicago Press, 1948.
Cauville, S.
Le Zodiaque d'Osiris, Peeters, Leuven, 1997.
Chang Chung-Yuan.
Original Teachings of Ch'an Buddhism, Vintage Books, 1971.
Chogyam Trungpa
Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Shambhala, Berkeley, 1973.
The Dawn of Tantra, Shambhala, Berkeley & London, 1975.
Journey Without Goal
, Prajna Press, Boulder & London, 1981.
Meditation in Action
, Shambhala Berkeley, 1969.
The Myth of Freedom, Shambhala, Berkeley & London, 1976.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead, with Francesca Fremantle, Shambhala, Boston & London, 2000.
Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche.
The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, Hong Kong, Boudhanath and Arhus, 1994.
Chuang Tzu.
Translated by Herbert Giles. George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1961.
Churton, Tobias.
The Gnostics, Barnes and Noble, New York, 1987.
Cleary, Thomas, with Satra Aziz.
Twilight Goddess, Shambhala, Boston & London, 2000.
Cloos, Walther.
The Living Earth, Lanthorne Press, 1997.
Cohn, Norman.
Cosmos, Chaos and World Order. Review under Eternal Conflict
Collins, John J.
Apocalypticism and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Routledge, London & New York, 1997.
The Columbia Encyclopedia in One Volume.
Morningside Heights, New York, 1950.
Confucius.
The Unwobbling Pivot, The Great Digest, The Analects, translated by Exra Pound, New Directions, New York, 1951.
Cook, Edward M.
Solving the Mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI.
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K.
Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1964.
Couliano, Ioan P.
Eros and Magic in the Renaissance, University of Chcago Press, Chicago and London, 1987.
Craft, Michael.
Alien Impact, St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1996.
Crystal Mirror, Volume 5.
Dharma Publishing, Emeryville, Ca., 1977.
Cupitt, Don.
After God, Phoenix Press, London, 1997.
Curtius, Ernst Robert.
European Literature in the Latin Middle Ages, Harper & Row, New York and Evanston, 1963.

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

D

Dalai Lama XIV.
Dzogchen: Heart Essence of the Great Perfection, Snow Lion, Ithaca and Boulder, 2004.
Daly, Mary.
Gyn/Ecology, Beacon Press, Boston, 1990.
Pure Lust
, Harper SanFrancisco, 1984.
David-Neel,Alexandra, with Lama Yongden.
The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, City Lights Books, San Francisco, 1981.
Davies, Stevan (translation and annotation).
The Gospel of Thomas, Skylight Paths, Woodstock, Vermont, 2002.
Davis, Eric.
Techgnosis, Serpent's Tail, London, 1999.
Dechend, Herta von.
See Santillana, Giorgio de.
De Pater, Wim A.
Immortality: Its History in the West, Acco, Leuven, Belgium, 1985.
De Vries, Jan.
Perspectives in the History of Religions, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1967.
Deutsch, Nathaniel.
The Gnostic Imagination, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1995.
DeZirkoff, Boris.
Rebirth of the Occult Tradition: How the Secret Doctrine of H. P. Blavatsky Was Written, Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton & Adyar, n.d.
Dhyani Ywahoo.
Voices of Our Ancestors, Shambhala, Boston & London, 1987. Review under Moral Design.
The Diamond Sutra.
Concord Grove Press, 1987.
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible.
E. J. Brill, Leiden New York Koln, 1995.
Dick, Philip K.
A Scanner Darkly, Victor Gollancz, London, 1999.
Valis, Victor Gollancz, London, 2000.
DiZerega, Gus.
Pagans & Christians, Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, 2001.
Doty, William G.
Mythography, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 1986.
Douglas, Nik.
Sexual Secrets, Destiny Books, Rochester, VT, 2000
Dowman, Keith.
Sky Dancer, Snow Lion, Ithaca, 1996.
Drake, W. Raymond.
Gods and Spacemen in the Ancient East, Sphere Books, Ltd., London, 1973.
Elizabeth A. Dreyer, e.d.
The Cross in Christian Tradition, ed. , Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ, 2000.
Driver, G. R.
The Judaean Scrolls, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1965.
Dukes, Terence (Shifu Nagaboshi Tomio).
The Bodhisattva Warriors, Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine, 1994.

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

E

Edda.
Attributed to Snorri Sturluson. Translated by Anthony Faulkes, J. M. Dent, London, 2002.
Eisler, Riane.
The Chalice and the Blade, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990. Review in Basic Reading.
Sacred Pleasure. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1996.
Eliade, Mircea.
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 8 volumes, Paul Edwards, Editor in Chief, Collier Macmillan Publishers, New York and London, 1967.
The Encyclopedia of Religion, 12 vols, ed., Macmillan, New York.
The Forge and the Crucible, Harper Torchbooks, 1971.
From Primitives to Zen, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1977.
A History of Religious Ideas
,3 volumes, University of Chicago Press, 1978, 1982, 1985.
Images and Symbols
, Sheed and Ward, New York, 1969.
Ordeal by Labyrinth
. Conversations with Claude-Henri Pocquet), University of Chicago Press, 1982.
Occultism, Witchcraft and Cultural Fashions, University of Chicago Press, 1976.
Patterns of Comparative Religion, New American Library, New York, 1974.
The Quest: History and Meaning in Religion, University of Chicago Press, 1969.
Myth and Reality, Harper Torchbooks, 1963.
The Myth of the Eternal Return, Princeton University Press, 1971.
Myths, Dreams and Mysteries, Harper Torchbooks, New York, 1960.
Patanjali and Yoga, Schocken Books, New York, 1975.
Rites and Symbols of Initiation,Harper Torchbooks, 1965.
The Sacred and the Profane, Harvest Books, Harcourt, 1987.
Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, Bollingen Series, Princeton, 1974.
Ellerbe, Linda.
The Dark Side of Christian History, Morningstar and Lark, Orlando, Florida, 1995.
The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 10 vols. ed.
James Hastings, T & T Clark, Edinburgh, 1913.
Erkvast, Pekka.
The Key to the Kalevala, Blue Dolphin Publishing, Nevada City, 1996.
The Essential Lotus
(Lotus Sutra), translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, 2002.
Escohotado, Antonio.
A Brief History of Drugs, Park Street Press, Rochester, Vt, 1999.
Evans-Wentz, W. Y.
The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Oxford University Press, 1968.
The Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation, Oxford University Press, 1970.
Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, Oxford University Press, 1968.
Tibet's Great Yogi Milarepa, Oxford University Press, 1972.
 

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

F

Feldman, Burton and Richardson, Robert D.
The Rise of Modern Mythology: 680 - 1860, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and London, 1972.
Ferris, Timothy.
The Red Limit, Bantam Books, 1979.
Feuerstein, Georg.
Sacred Sexuality, Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT, 2003.
Fideler, David (ed.)
Alexandria 2, Phanes Press, 1993.
Alexandria 4: The Order and Beauty of Nature, Phanes Press, 1997.
Filoramo, Giovanni.
A History of Gnosticism, Basil Blackwell, London, 1979.
Finegan, Jack.
Myth and Mystery, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1989.
Finley, M.I.
The World of Odysseus, Pimlico, London, 1999.
Fisher, Andy.
Radical Ecopsychology, SUNY Press, 2002.
Fortrey, Richard.
The Earth: An Intimate History, HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 2004.
Fossum, Jarl Egil.
The Name of God and the Angel of the Lord, Drukkerij Elijnkwijk, Utrecht, n.d.
Frazer, Sir James.
The Golden Bough, one-volume abridged edition, Macmillan, New York, 1963.
Fremantle, Francesca.
Luminous Emptiness, Shambhala, Boston & London, 2001.
Fromm, Erich.
The Anatomy of Human DestructivenessReview under Eternal Conflict.
The Dogma of Christ, Fawcett Publications, Greenwich, CT, 1963.
Fuller, Curtis G. Ed.
Proceedings of the First International UFO Congress, Warner Books, 1980.

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

G

Gampopa.
The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, translated by H.V. Guenther, Shambhala Berkeley, Clear Light Series, 1971.
Garcia Martinez, Florentino.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated.
With Tigchelaar, Eibert J. C. The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition, 2 vols., Brill, Leiden, 1998.
Garma C. C. Chang.
The Practice of Zen, Harper & Row, 1959.
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Buddhism in the Tibetan Tradition, Arkana, 1988.
Geshe Lhundub Sopa, with Roger Jackson and John Newman.
The Wheel of Time, Snow Lion, Ithaca, 1985.
Gilhus, Ingvild Saelid.
The Nature of the Archons, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1985.
Gimbutas, Marija.
The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1982. Review under Origins.
The Language of the Goddess, HarperSanFransicso, 1991.
The Living Goddesses
, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2001.
Girard, Rene.
Desire, Deceit and the Novel
The Scapegoat
Things Hidden from the Foundation of the World
, Stanford University Press, 1987.
To Double Business Bound
Violence and the Sacred, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.
Gnostic Materials.
Follow this link for a full coverage, at the bottom of this page.
Godwin, Jocelyn.
Arktos: The Polar Myth in Science, Symbolism, and Nazi Survival, Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 1996. Review in Basic Reading.
Goldsmith, Edward.
The Way: An Ecological World-View, University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1998.
Goldberg, B. Z.
The Sacred Fire, The Citadel Press, Secaucus, NJ, 1974.
Gooch, Stan.
Cities of Dreams, Rider & Co., London, 1989.
Goodrick-Clarke, Nicholas (ed.).
Helena Blavatsky, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 2004.
Gopi Krishna.
Ancient Secrets of Kundalini, UBS Publishers, Delhi, 1996.
The Biological Basis of Religion and Genius
, Harper & Row, 1971.
Higher Consciousness and Kundalini, Kundalini Research Foundation, Darien, CT, 1974.
Gottfried von Strassburg.
Tristan, trans. by A. T. Hatto, Penguin Books, Baltimore, Maryland, 1965.
Govinda, Lama Anagarika.
Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism, Rider &Company, London, 1969.
The Psychological Attitude of Early Buddhist Philosophy, Ryder & Co, London, 1961.
Guenther, Herbert V.
Buddhist Philosophy in Theory and Practice, Shambala, Boulder & London, 1976.
The Jewel Ornament of Liberation
, Shambhala Berkeley, 1971.
Kindly Bent to Ease Us, Three Volumes, Dharma Publishing, 1976.
The Life and Teachings of Naropa
, Oxford Univesity Press, 1963.
The Royal Song of Saraha
, Shambhala, Berkeley and London, 1973.
The Tantric View of Life
, Shambhala, Berkeley and London, 1976.
Treasures of the Tibetan Middle Way
, Shambhala, Berkeley, 1971.
Yuganaddha: The Tantric View of Life, Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series, Varanasi, 1969.

[Back to Beginning]

 

Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 

 

Gnostic Materials

Because so much of my writing in Metahistory.org reflects a Gnostic orientation, I would like to specify the materials on which I rely for research and reference. Scholars refer to some of these materials by initials and abbreviations, as explained below.

I use the standard scholar's edition of the Coptic Gnostic Library (abbreviated CGL), compiled by the team led by J. M. Robertson and published by E. J. Brill of Leiden, the Netherlands. These are hardcover volumes bound in olive green. As it is exceedingly difficult, and expensive, to acquire these books, I have used the libraries of the departments of theology and Coptic studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.

Some titles are:
The Apocryphon of John: Synopsis of NHC II,1, III,1 and IV,1 with BG 8502,2. Ed. Michael Waldstein and Frederik Wisse, Leiden, 1995.
The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text of the Bruce Codex. Leiden, 1978
Nag Hammadi Codex I (Jung Codex). Ed., H. W. Attridge, Leiden, 1985.
Nag Hammadi Codex III, 5. Ed. Stephen Emmel, Leiden, 1984.
Nag Hammadi Codices V, 2-5 and VI with Papyrus Berlinolensis 8502. Ed., Douglas Parrot, Leiden, 1988.
Nag Hammadi Codex VII. Ed., B. A. Pearson, Leiden, 1996.
Nag Hammadi Codex VIII. Ed., John H. Sieber, Leiden, 1991.
Nag Hammadi Codices XI, XII, XII. Ed. Charles W. Hedrick, Leiden, 1990.
Pistis Sophia. Ed., Carl Schmidt, Trans. Violet Macdermot, Leiden, 1978.

There is some confusion because the full Coptic Gnostic Library (CGL) contains some materials not found in the Nag Hammadi Library (NHL). In the above list, The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text of the Bruce Codex and the Pistis Sophia, are non-NHL. Texts in the Nag Hammadi cache are referred to by the initials NHC for Nag Hammadi Codices.

When citing pages in these hardcover volumes I will refer to the editor and year: for instance, NHC III, 5, Emmel 1984, p. 67 where one finds the wonderful line, "Whoever does not stand in the darkness will not be able to see the Light."

I might, however, refer to the same line using standard notation for the Codices, the packets in which the papyrus leaves are bound. These packets are numbered I through XIII (because thirteen were found), with the specific text in the codex indicated by an arabic number, then a page or sheaf number, and then the line on that page, with page and line numbers separated by a period thus: III, 5, 133.23-24. (Some scholars use a : to separate page and line, thus 133: 23-24.) The full notation here is: NHC III (codex or packet), 5 (fifth document in that packet), 133 (page of the codex), 23-24 (lines on the that page).

Documents are paginated straight through the codex, including all individual texts in one unbroken sequence. For instance, in Codex III are five documents, beginning with the Apocryphon of John, so the first page of this text is III, 1, 1. The Dialogue of the Savior, the last text in the same packet, is paginated consecutively. It begins at page 120, thus: III, 5, 120. Codex III, 5 ends at page 147, hence there are a total of 147 pages or 74 leaves in Codex III.

Each document has a full title. For instance, NHC III, 5 is called "The Dialogue of the Savior," abbreviated Dial. Sav. Some scholars (Karen King, for example) use the abbreviated name of the document with page and line: Dial. Sav. 133.23-24. This is helpful because instead of staring at NHC III, 5, and trying to remember which text it is, you have the name of the text provided.

Usually, the first time I cite a text I will give the full name and then use the abbreviated name in further references to the same text in the same essay.

I also use The Facsimile Edition of the Nag Hammadi Library in 13 volumes, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1972-8. This is a large-format hardover edition with full-page photos of each page of the Nag Hammadi material. This will be indicated as Facsimile, abbreviated, with volume and page: e.g., NHL Fac VII, p. 27. (Once again, acknowledgements to the Theological Library of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, for access to this material.)

That's all fine and clear, I trust, but now brace yourself. In 2000 Brill brought out a five-volume paperback edition of the Nag Hammadi materials, comprising the full content of the NHC but not the CGL; hence, exclusive of the non- and pre-Hag Hammadi materials. Like the hardcover editions, these volumes give the original Coptic texts on the left-hand page. This is the edition I own. The problem with this edition is that the five volumes each contain more than one book from the hardcover edition. To cite the paperback compilation I will use this notation: Gnostic5V (indicating the five-volume set), a number for the volume in the set, a number for the book in that volume, then the page, as follows: Gnostic5V III, B3, p. 67. This indicates page 63 in the third book (B3) in the third volume (III). This is the page where the above-cited line will be found in the five-volume paperback edition.

Here is the full compilation of Gnostic5V:

Volume I:
Book 1: NHC I, complete
Book 2: Notes on NHC I.
Volume II:
Book 1: Synopsis of the Apocrypon of John (four versions)
Book 2: NHC II, texts 2 through 7
Book 3: NHC II, texts 2 through 7, continued
Book 4: NHC III, 2 and NHC VI, 2
Volume III:
Book 1: NHC III, texts 3 and 4, and NHC V, 1
Book 2: NHC III, 5
Book 3: NHC V, texts 2 through 5, and NHC VI
Volume IV:
Book 1: NHC VII
Book 2: NHC VIII
Book 3: Papyri and Covers (cartonnage)
Volume V:
Book 1: NHC IX and X
Book 2: NHC XI, XII, and XIII

Organization is complicated by the fact that some NHC texts appear in multiple versions in the thirteen packets. Otherwise it's all pretty straightforward (!!) These volumes contain masses of scholarly commentary on the texts. Usually I will cite Gnostic5V to do a little scholar-bashing, like swatting flies on a donkey too feeble to ride anywhere. For instance Gnostic5V I, B1, p. 135 cites the learned commentator, Malcolm L. Peel, whom I would like to peel for his assertion that "nous = the essential and immortal self." This is one of several recurring assumptions (false and misleading, I maintain) that the experts bring to Gnostic studies.

Whew! We're almost through this didactic ordeal, but not quite. Additional to these source texts, I sometimes cite the well-known one-volume edition of the Nag Hammadi Library in English, abbreviated NHLE. This was originally published in 1977. My preferred version is the hardcover edition of 1996, published by E. J. Brill with a new introduction by translation team leader, James. M. Robertson, and an important Afterword by Richard Smith, titled "The Modern Relevance of Gnosticism." My reference is NHLE 1996 with page number.

I also have two other dog-eared editions, NHLE 1981 and NHLE 1990. The reason I don't stick to one edition is that notes I use are scattered through all three. Most of the time however I use the 1996 version. Thank Goddess for simplicity.

I can't read Coptic any more than I can tango, but I stumble around in it, trying to learn the moves. The main Coptic translation manuals on which I rely for my treatment of Gnosticism and the reconstruction of the Fallen Sophia scenario in the Gaia Mythos are:

Crum, W. E.
A Coptic Dictionary, Oxford, 1939.
Crum, J. Ed.
Coptic Etymological Dictionary, Cambridge, 1976.
Lambdin, Thomas O.
Introduction to Sahidic Coptic, Mercer University Press, Macon, GA, 2000.
Layton, Bentley.
A Coptic Grammar, Harrassowitz Verlag, Weisbaden, 2000.
Walters, C. C.
An Elementary Coptic Grammar of the Sahidic Dialect, B. H. Blackwell, Oxford, 1983.
 

Okay, let's have a chorus of the Gnostic theme song, "Boogie Street," while someone breaks out the chips and salsa - but wait, there is one more textual complication to explain. Scholars also rely on the polemics of the Church Fathers for paraphrases of Gnostic teachings. The authors cited are Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, Tertullian, Origen, and Theodoret. They are often cited by name only, or by the work attributed to them: for example, Against Heresies by Irenaeus. A typical citation would be: Irenaeus II, 4.10, referring to Book (II), Chapter (4) and section (10) of Against Heresies. This is how I will cite these materials.

The complete works of the Church Fathers are found in The Ante-Nicene Library in several editions. I have used the 1996 reprint by Eerdmans of the 1910 edition by T & T Clark of Edinburgh, eleven volumes with informative prefaces on each of the Fathers. Once again, I have relied on the theological library of the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, for direct access to these books. I cannot describe the weird pleasure of sitting in an atmosphere steeped in two thousand years of religious insanity and perusing, page by page, these arguments against the teaching elite of the indigenous spirituality of Europe. I cite these materials by volume and page when referring to the helpful notes in the prefaces to each author.

Okay, break out the chips. And while you're stirring the salsa, consider this:

From hanging out in Leuven, I estimate that in those facilities alone there are about 2200 books, complete books, written to defend Christian doctrines, for every page of the Nag Hammadi cache. Much of this defensive literature is theodicy, "apology for god," something that a Gnostic never does. Much of it is intended to counter and defeat Gnostic views, even when these views are not explicitly cited. The Church Fathers were passionately convinced of the absurdity and perversity of Gnostic thought, so we might assume that the best way to defeat the heretic writings would have been to leave them extant for all to see. It is as if prosecuting lawyers argued that the evidence against a defendant was clear and irrefutable, and then destroyed the evidence!

We are lucky to have the few flakes of Gnostic writings that remain. As I have said elsewhere in the site, I do not consider the NHC to be original texts, or even copies (in Coptic) of originals (in Greek). Neverthless, this is all we have, and it is potent enough to blow Judeo-Christian salvationism off its rocker for good and all. The Gnostic protest against Christianity has to be reconstructed using the Lego method, as I have explained. The same applies for the Fallen Goddess scenario. In both cases, the Ante-Nicene writings can be helpful, but they must be taken with a large grain of caution. The Church ideologues faced a paradox: they had to represent Gnostic ideas accurately in order to defeat them, yet if they did so, they risked preserving ideas which they regarded as perverse and deplorable, not to mention dangerous to the faith! In some instances, it is difficult to extremely estimate the reliability of the polemic materials.

For the Fallen Goddess scenario, we must rely on Irenaeus for the crucial description of how the emotions of the Goddess are metamorphosed into the physical elements of the earth. (For indigenous parallels to this episode see Earth Goddess.) There is no doubt that in some places he and others stated the radical views of Gnosis in precise terms. For instance, Ireneaus writes that "Sophia cunningly devised a scheme to to seduce Adam and Eve, by means of the serpent, to transgress the command of Ialdaboath." (VI.4,7) This clearly shows the reversal of Biblical mythology in the Sophianic redemption drama.

Fortunately for visitors and readers of Metahistory.org, a trip to Leuven is not necessary. All the writings in the Ante-Nicene library can be easily accessed via the Internet at Gnosis.org

Finally, there are two 4th century texts called the Clementine Recollections and the Clementine Homilies to which I occasionally refer for anecdotal material on the Gnostics.

For a summary of specific texts in the NHC used to reconstruct the Fallen Goddess scenario, see that entry in the Lexicon.

Now let's hit the salsa and chips!

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Special entry on Gnostic source materials

A B C D E F G

H I J K L M N O

P Q R S T UVW XYZ

 

A through G

H through O

P through Z

 


Material by John Lash and Lydia Dzumardjin: Copyright 2002 - 2017 by John Lash.