22 May 2009

Exploring Early Christian and Gnostic Texts

Recently I published the fourth volume in the History Enlightened book series, Exploring Early Christian and Gnostic Texts.

In this book the reader will find an exploration of the surviving texts written and used by the early Christians and Gnostics that were discarded by later generations as heretical and thus excluded from the Christian Bible. In so doing I have made use of the latest academic research to present these texts with commentary that enables an understanding of the societal context, thus equiping the reader who wishes to reflect on the deeper meaning of the texts.

In addition to the main corpus of texts from the early Christian and Gnostic writers, I have included also a sampling of extracts from later writers in the Syriac tradition, and also from Mani and his tradition, together with a few extracts from Muslim writers showing how their traditions have understood the teachings of Issa (Jesus).

Then follows a section entitled ‘Comparative Contemplations’ in which some spiritual themes are followed through to the present day. I contrast early Christian and Gnostic handlings of each theme with extracts from later writers, including the contemporary Indian spiritual teacher, Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

This is of course a secondary study in English of texts originating mostly in Aramic and Greek. I have thus been dependent on successive generations of scholars who rescued, conserved and assembled the physical fragments, and then translated these texts into English. I have consulted the various English translations available for each text – both those composed in the tradition of the King James Bible, and those of more recent date. I take responsibility for the resulting renderings. In so doing I have made use of the meditative techniques practised by those of the Sahaja Yoga meditation tradition, particularly the technique known as Vibrational Awareness.

I do hope the resulting book is of use to readers. I certainly enjoyed the challenges of the research.

All the History Enlightened volumes are now available as print-on-demand books through lulu.com

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