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"e;Pistis Sophia"e; is a Gnostic text discovered in 1773 and thought to have been written between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. It relates to one Gnostic group's teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples that blends primitive Christianity and Hellenic Paganism with other elements such as reincarnation, Astrology, Mystery religion and Hermetic magic. This volume is highly recommended for those with an interest in ancient mythology and religious teaching, and it is not to be missed by collectors of related literature. Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with the original text and artwork.
This is the complete edition including all three books and a detailed essay about Hermeneutics. The so-called Hermetic writings have been known to Christian writers for many centuries. The early church Fathers (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria) quote them in defense of Christianity. Stobaeus collected fragments of them. The Humanists knew and valued them. They were studied in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in modern times have again been diligently examined by many scholars. G. R. S. Mead has issued a translation of the whole body of extant literature, with extended prolegomena, commentary, etc. There is a wide difference of opinion as to the date at which this literature was produced. Mead believes that some of the extant portions of it are at least as early as the earliest Christian writings, while von Christ assigns them to the third Christian century, and thinks that they show the influence of neo-Platonism. To affirm that they influenced New Testament usage would be hazardous, but they perhaps throw some light on the direction in which thought was moving in New Testament times.
In these days of the "e; higher criticism,"e; with its merciless analysis of original Scripture, much light would doubtless be thrown on the New Testament by an unprejudiced study of Gnosticism. This philosophy, which reached a flourishing maturity in the second century of the Christian era, but became virtually extinct in the sixth, taught that all natures - intellectual, moral, spiritual, and material-are successive emanations from Deity. Its professors claimed to have an esoteric and philosophic knowledge of Christian doctrines, and some modern scholars assert that the Gospels are replete with allusions to the Gnostic teaching. Although it is now fashionable to dismiss the Syrian and Egyptian schools as a fantastic combination of Oriental mysticism, Greek philosophy, and Christian theology, yet it is probable that a profound interest will be awakened among reasoning Christians by "e; Pistis Sophia."e;
A study that thoroughly questions the date of the birth of Jesus Christ. George Robert Stowe Mead was an author, editor, translator, and an influential member of the Theosophical Society as well as the founder of the Quest Society. Contents:I. Foreword. II.- The Canonical Date Of Jesus. III.-Earliest External Evidence To The Received Date. IV.-The Genesis Of The TalmudV.-The Talmud In HistoryVI.-In The Talmud's Outer Court. VII -The Earliest External Evidence To The Talmud Jesus Stories. VIII-The Talmud 100 Years B.C. Story Of Jesus. IX.-The Talmud Mary Stories. X.-The Talmud Ben Stada Jesus Stories. XI-The Talmud Balaam Jesus Stories. XII. The Disciples And Followers Of Jesus In The Talmud. XIII.-The Toldoth Jeschu. XIV-A Jewish Life Of Jesus. XV.-Traces Of Early Toldoth Forms. XVI.-The 100 Years B.C. Date In The Toldoth. XVII.-On The Tracks Of The Earliest Christians. XVIII.-Concerning The Book Of Elxai. XIX.- The 100 Years B.C. Date Epiphanius. XX.-Afterword.
The writing of the present work has been a congenial task to Mr. Mead, and he has brought to bear lovingly and zealously upon the portraiture of the figure of Christ and of early Christianity, all the knowledge which a deep study of Oriental religions from their emotional side could furnish.The outset that there is very little of what is commonly regarded as the Theosophic method apparent in the work, which is the product of a scholarly though withal very devotional spirit. Mr. Mead's aim has been to enable the reader to obtain a glimpse of a world of which he has never heard at school, and of which no word is ever breathed from the pulpit; to take him away from the pictures which the rationalists and the apologists have presented, and to enable him to obtain an unimpeded view of that wonderful panorama of religious strife which the first two centuries of our era presented. He will here see a religious world of immense activity, a vast upheaval of thought and a strenuousness of religious endeavor to which the history of the Western world gives no parallel. Thousands of schools and communities on every hand, striving and contending, a vast freedom of thought, a mighty effort to live the religious life. Here he finds innumerable points of contact with other' religions; he moves in an atmosphere of freedom of which he has previously had no experience in Christian tradition. Who are all these people-not fishermen and slaves and the poor and destitute, though those are striving too-but these men of learning and ascetic life, saints and sages as much as many others to whom the name has been given with far less reason ?
This is the extended and annotated edition including* an extensive annotation of almost 10.000 words about the history and basics of Gnosticism, written by Wilhelm BoussetThe so-called Hermetic writings have been known to Christian writers for many centuries. The early church Fathers (Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria) quote them in defense of Christianity. Stobaeus collected fragments of them. The Humanists knew and valued them. They were studied in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and in modern times have again been diligently examined by many scholars. Contents:I. Poemandres, the Shepherd of MenII. To AsclepiusIII. The Sacred SermonIV. The Cup or MonadV. Though Unmanifest God Is Most ManifestVI. In God Alone Is Good And Elsewhere NowhereVII. The Greatest Ill Among Men is Ignorance of GodVIII. That No One of Existing Things doth Perish, but Men in Error Speak of Their Changes as Destructions and as DeathsIX. On Thought and SenseX. The KeyXI. Mind Unto HermesXII. About The Common MindXIII. The Secret Sermon on the Mountain
This is the extended and annotated edition including* an extensive annotation of almost 10.000 words about the history and basics of Gnosticism, written by Wilhelm BoussetThe main materials contained in these pages will certainly be new for the vast majority of readers. Moreover the Mandaean narratives, legends and discourses are not only interesting because of their own distinctive matter and manner, but they are also arresting; for they raise a number of problems, some of which are far-reaching and one is fraught with implications of immense importance. The definite solutions of these problems, however, lie in the future, and the most important of them will perhaps never be reached; for, in the absence of straightforward historical information, general agreement on any subject that concerns Christian origins immediately or even indirectly is now well-nigh a psychological impossibility.
George Robert Stow Mead (1863-1933) was for twenty-five years a prominent member of the Theosophical Society and worked closely with its founder, Helena Blavatsky. He was fascinated both by eastern religions and by western esotericism, including gnosticism, and published widely in these areas. Pistis Sophia, an important, probably second-century, text preserved in a Coptic manuscript, presents complex gnostic teachings in 'gospel' format, as having been addressed by Jesus Christ to his disciples after the resurrection. This translation, based on a Latin version published in 1851, appeared in 1896 and was the first English version of a major gnostic work. The book also includes passages from the Books of the Saviour found in the same manuscript. Mead's introduction discusses the origin of the texts and highlights their difficulty. It also describes the upsurge of scholarly interest in Gnosticism in the mid-nineteenth century and the mysterious history of the manuscript itself.