9780060815981

The Other Bible: Jewish Pseudepigrapha, Christian Apocrypha, Gnostic Scriptures, Kabbalah, Dead Sea Scrolls

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  • ISBN13:

    9780060815981

  • ISBN10:

    0060815981

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/6/2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Summary

A new edition of our classic, The Other Bible, including a new index, new cover, and a new introduction from the author to bring The Other Bible up to date. The Other Bible gathers in one comprehensive volume ancient, esoteric holy texts from Judeo-Christian tradition that were excluded from the official canon of the Old and New Testaments, including the Gnostic Gospels, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Kabbalah, and several more. The Other Bible provides a rare opportunity to discover the poetic and narrative riches of this long-suppressed literature and experience firsthand its visionary discourses on the nature of God, humanity, the spiritual life, the world around us, and infinite worlds beyond this one. This new edition will include a full index and a new introduction from editor Willis Barnstone. o The interest in Gnostic texts begun with The Da Vinci Code has spread to include many of the other "suppressed" early texts of Judaism and Christianity, and this book contains many of them in one volume.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Note for the Second Edition
Creation Myths
The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (2 Enoch) (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
3(7)
The Creation of the World
4(6)
The Book of Jubilees (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
10(4)
The Creation of the World
11(1)
Adam, Eve, and Paradise
12(2)
Haggadah (Jewish Legend from Midrash, Pseudepigrapha, and Early Kabbalah)
14(25)
The Creation of the World
15(24)
Manichaean Creation Myths (Gnostic) (Manichaeism and Other Gnostic Sects)
39(12)
Primal Man
44(1)
Adam, Child of Demons, and His Salvation
45(1)
Concerning His Impure Doctrine (from Theodore bar Konai)
46(2)
Manichaean Myth (from the Speech on Gehmurd and Murdiyanag)
48(3)
The Secret Book of John (Gnostic)
51(11)
Of Sophia, Mother of the Monstrous Creator Ialdabaoth, Yahweh
53(4)
The Birth of Adam and Eve
57(5)
On the Origin of the World (Gnostic)
62(13)
The Creation of the World and the Demiurge Ialdabaoth
63(6)
The Raising of Adam from Mud by Eve (Zoe-Life)
69(1)
The Rape of Eve by the Prime Ruler (God) and by His Angels
70(5)
The Hypostasis of the Archons (Gnostic)
75(6)
The Hypostasis of the Archons
76(5)
The Apocalypse of Adam (Gnostic)
81(6)
The Revelations of Adam's Origin as Told to His Son Seth
82(5)
The Gospel of Philip (Gnostic)
87(14)
The Gospel of Philip
88(13)
The Paraphrase of Shem (Gnostic)
101(15)
The Conflict of Light and Darkness
102(14)
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth (Gnostic)
116(7)
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
117(6)
Creation of the World and the Alien Man (Mandaean Gnosticism)
123(19)
The World Beyond
125(1)
The World of Darkness
126(1)
Cosmogony
127(7)
The Creation of Man
134(4)
The Head Is One World
138(4)
Kabbalah
142(7)
The Beginning
143(1)
The Universe: Shell and Kernel
143(1)
The First Light
144(1)
Creation of Man
145(4)
Histories and Narratives
The Martyrdom of Isaiah (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
149(4)
The Martyrdom of Isaiah
150(3)
The Fourth Book of Maccabees: Concerning the Sovereignty of Reason (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
153(18)
The Martyrdom of Eleazar, His Wife, and Seven Sons
155(16)
The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity (Christian Acts of Martyrdom)
171(11)
The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity
174(8)
The Story of Ahikar (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
182(19)
The Story of Ahikar
183(18)
The Genesis Apocryphon (Dead Sea Scrolls)
201(7)
The Genesis Apocryphon
203(5)
The Manual of Discipline (Dead Sea Scrolls)
208(15)
The Manual of Discipline
210(13)
The Damascus Document (Dead Sea Scrolls)
223(12)
The Damascus Document
225(10)
The War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness (Dead Sea Scrolls)
235(8)
The War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness
237(6)
The Letter of Aristeas (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
243(10)
On the Translation of the Septuagint
244(9)
Wisdom Literature and Poetry
The Psalms of Solomon (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
253(2)
Psalm 16
254(1)
The Thanksgiving Psalms (Dead Sea Scrolls)
255(12)
Psalm 1
257(1)
Psalm 4
258(1)
Psalm 5
258(1)
Psalm 6
259(1)
Psalm 8
260(1)
Psalm 9
261(1)
Psalm 10
262(1)
Psalm 11
262(1)
Psalm 14
263(1)
Psalm 15
264(1)
Psalm 23
265(1)
Psalm 25
265(2)
The Odes of Solomon (Jewish Pseudepigrapha, Jewish Christian)
267(19)
Ode 1
268(1)
Ode 3
268(1)
Ode 4
269(1)
Ode 5
270(1)
Ode 6
270(1)
Ode 7
271(2)
Ode 11
273(1)
Ode 12
274(1)
Ode 14
275(1)
Ode 15
276(1)
Ode 16
276(1)
Ode 17
277(1)
Ode 18
278(1)
Ode 19
279(1)
Ode 21
280(1)
Ode 24
280(1)
Ode 29
281(1)
Ode 30
282(1)
Ode 34
282(1)
Ode 35
283(1)
Ode 38
283(1)
Ode 41
283(1)
Ode 42
284(2)
The Gospel of Truth and the Valentinian Speculation (Gnostic)
286(13)
The Gospel of Truth
290(9)
The Gospel of Thomas (Gnostic)
299(9)
The Gospel of Thomas
300(8)
The Hymn of the Pearl (Gnostic)
308(6)
The Hymn of the Pearl
309(5)
Manichaean Hymn-Cycles (Gnostic)
314(12)
From the Govishn ig griv zindag
315(1)
From the Parthian Hymn-Cycles
316(10)
The Coptic Psalm-Book (Manichaean Gnostic)
326(7)
Let Us Worship the Spirit of the Paraclete
327(2)
Joy Came Over Me
329(4)
Gospels
The Gospel of the Hebrews (Jewish-Christian)
333(3)
The Gospel of the Hebrews
335(1)
The Gospel of the Ebionites (Jewish-Christian)
336(3)
The Gospel of the Ebionites
337(2)
The Secret Gospel of Mark (Christian Apocrypha)
339(4)
The Secret Gospel of Mark
341(2)
The Apocryphon of James (Gnostic)
343(7)
The Apocryphon of James
345(5)
The Gospel of Bartholomew (Christian Apocrypha)
350(9)
The Gospel of Bartholomew
351(8)
The Gospel of Nicodemus (Christian Apocrypha)
359(24)
The Acts of Pilate
362(12)
Christ's Descent Into Hell
374(4)
The Paradosis
378(1)
The Pistis Sophia: Concerning the Union of the Child Jesus with the Spirit (Gnostic)
379(4)
Infancy Gospels
The Infancy Gospel of James (The Birth of Mary) (Christian Apocrypha)
383(10)
The Infancy Gospel of James (Protevangelium Jacobi) (The Birth of Mary)
385(8)
The Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew: The Book About the Origin of the Blessed Mary and the Childhood of the Savior (Christian Apocrypha)
393(5)
The Infancy Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
394(4)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Christian Apocrypha)
398(6)
The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
399(5)
A Latin Infancy Gospel: The Birth of Jesus (Christian Apocrypha)
404(3)
A Latin Infancy Gospel: The Birth of Jesus
405(2)
The Arabic Infancy Gospel: The Children Who Were Changed Into Goats (Christian Apocrypha)
407(4)
The Arabic Infancy Gospel: The Children Who Were Changed into Goats
408(3)
Acts
The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of John
411(2)
The Acts of John (Christian Apocrypha)
413(13)
From Miletus to Ephesus
414(1)
First Stay in Ephesus
414(2)
The Portrait of John
416(1)
Christ's Earthly Appearance
417(1)
Revelation of the Mystery of the Cross
418(2)
The Destruction of the Temple of Artemis
420(1)
Resurrection of the Priest of Artemis
421(1)
Encounter with a Parricide
422(1)
The Obedient Bugs
423(1)
The Death of John
424(2)
The Acts of Peter (Christian Apocrypha)
426(19)
Peter's Daughter
427(1)
The Gardener's Daughter
428(1)
Marcellus
429(2)
Peter's Miracles and First Attacks on Simon
431(2)
Peter's Vision and Narrative about Simon
433(2)
The Contest with Simon in the Forum
435(5)
Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle Peter
440(5)
The Acts of Paul (Christian Apocrypha)
445(14)
Acts of Paul and Thecla
447(6)
Paul in Ephesus
453(2)
Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle Paul
455(3)
The Beginning of the Stay in Ephesus
458(1)
The Acts of Andrew (Christian Apocrypha)
459(5)
Reconstructed Text of the Martyrdom
460(4)
The Acts of Thomas (Christian-Gnostic Apocrypha)
464(21)
How the Lord Sold Him to the Merchant Abban
465(5)
Concerning His Coming to King Gundaphorus
470(5)
Concerning the Serpent
475(1)
Concerning the Youth Who Had Murdered the Maiden
476(3)
Martyrdom of the Holy and Esteemed Apostle Thomas
479(6)
Apocalypses
The Book of Enoch (1 Enoch) (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
485(10)
Enoch's Dream Vision of Heaven, the Watchers, and the Giants
487(1)
Enoch's Journeys through Sheol (Hell) and Heaven
488(7)
The Book of the Secrets of Enoch (2 Enoch) (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
495(6)
Enoch's Life and Dream
495(1)
Ascension into the Heavens
496(5)
The Sibylline Oracles (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
501(5)
The Sibylline Oracles
502(4)
The Apocalypse of Baruch (2 Baruch) (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
506(6)
Baruch's Lament over Zion
507(2)
The Vision of the Forest, The Vine, the Fountain, and the Cedar
509(1)
The Angel Ramiel Speaks of the Coming of the Bright Lightning, the Messiah
510(2)
The Apocalypse of Ezra (4 Ezra) (Jewish Pseudepigrapha)
512(5)
The Seer Speaks of the Signs Which Precede the End
514(1)
The Angel Speaks
515(1)
The Man from the Sea (Sixth Vision)
515(2)
The Ascension of Isaiah (Christian Apocrypha)
517(15)
The Ascension of Isaiah
519(5)
The Vision Which Isaiah the Son of Amoz Saw
524(8)
Apocalypse of Peter (Christian Apocrypha)
532(5)
The Day of Judgment
533(1)
Akhmim
534(3)
Apocalypse of Paul (Christian Apocrypha)
537(14)
Apocalypse of Paul
538(13)
Apocalypse of Thomas (Christian Apocrypha)
551(3)
Apocalypse of Thomas
551(3)
Christian Sibyllines (Christian Apocrypha)
554(13)
End of Book I
555(1)
Book II
556(4)
Book VI: Hymn to Christ
560(1)
Jesus Christ, Son of God, Redeemer, Cross
561(4)
Prophetia Sibillae Magae (Fourth or Fifth Century) (Mundus Origo Mea Est)
565(2)
Hermes Trismegistus: Poimandres (Pagan Gnostic)
567(8)
Hermes Trismegistus: Poimandres
569(6)
Hermes Trismegistus: Asclepius (Pagan Gnostic)
575(6)
Hermes Trismegistus: Asclepius 21-29
576(5)
Hermes Trismegistus: On God's Bisexuality (Pagan Gnostic)
581(1)
Hermes Trismegistus: On God's Bisexuality
581(1)
The Book of Thomas the Contender (Gnostic)
582(6)
The Book of Thomas the Contender
583(5)
Trimorphic Protennoia (Gnostic)
588(6)
Trimorphic Protennoia
589(5)
The Thunder, Perfect Mind (Gnostic)
594(9)
The Thunder, Perfect Mind
595(8)
Diverse Gnostic Texts
Simon Magus
603(7)
Conversion of Simon the Sorcerer
606(1)
Commentaries
607(3)
Valentinus and the Valentinian System of Ptolemaeus
610(11)
The Valentinian System of Ptolemaeus
611(10)
Ptolemaeus' Letter to Flora
621(5)
Ptolemaeus' Letter to Flora
622(4)
Basilides
626(9)
Basilides
628(1)
Basilides' System
629(6)
The Naassene Psalm
635(2)
Naassene Psalm
636(1)
Baruch By Justin
637(5)
Baruch by Justin
638(4)
Marcion
642(4)
Marcion
644(2)
Carpocrates
646(5)
Carpocrates
648(1)
Epiphanes, Concerning Righteousness (Justice)
649(2)
The Cainites
651(2)
The Cainites
651(2)
The Sethians
653(6)
The Sethians
654(3)
The Sethians
657(2)
The Sethian-Ophites
659(6)
The Sethian-Ophites
661(4)
Ophite Diagrams
665(4)
The Ophite Diagrams
665(4)
Manichaean and Mandaean Gnostic Texts
Mani and Manichaeism
669(11)
Synopsis of the Entire System According to Augustine
675(5)
Faust Concerning Good and Evil
680(2)
Faust Concerning Good and Evil
680(2)
Augustine's Letters Against the Manichaeans
682(2)
Epistula 236.2
683(1)
From Other Letters of Augustine on the Manichaeans
684(3)
From Contra epistulam fundamenti, 8, 12, 13, 15
684(1)
From De natura boni, 42, 46
685(2)
Evodius, Against the Manichaeans
687(1)
Evodius, Against the Manichaeans 28.5
687(1)
The Kephalaia of the Teacher
688(2)
Concerning the Three Blows Struck at the Enemy on Account of the Light
689(1)
Diverse Manichaean Documents
690(6)
The Religion That I, Mani, Have Chosen
690(1)
Mani's Death
690(2)
Visions of Paradise in Manichaean Missionary History
692(1)
The Light of Paradise
692(1)
Prayer to Mani and Other Poems
693(3)
Mandaean Salvation and Ethics
696(9)
Soteriology (Salvation of the Soul)
697(3)
Song of Ascent
700(1)
Ethics and Morality (Mandaean)
701(4)
Mystical Documents
The Divine Throne-Chariot (Dead Sea Scrolls)
705(2)
The Divine Throne-Chariot
706(1)
The Zohar, The Book of Radiance (Kabbalah)
707(12)
Highest Grade of Faith
708(1)
Midnight
708(2)
A Seal upon Your Heart
710(2)
The Ten Sefirot
712(1)
The Destiny of the Soul
713(2)
The Three Aspects of the Soul
715(1)
Hymns in Heaven
715(1)
God's Love
716(1)
The Rose of Sharon
717(1)
The Tree of Life
717(2)
The Mystical Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius (Christian)
719(4)
What Is the Divine Gloom?
721(1)
How We Ought Both to Be United and Render Praise to the Cause of All and Above All
722(1)
APPENDIX I. Plotinus
723(10)
Plotinus, The Enneads (Pagan)
724(9)
The Ascent of Union with the One
727(6)
APPENDIX II. Glossary
733(4)
Bibliography 737(22)
Index 759

Excerpts

The Other Bible

Introduction

William Blake's wife, Catherine Boucher, once complained that she had very little of Mr. Blake's company for he was always in Paradise. When the English poet was not in the Paradise of an imagined Jerusalem or in the Hell of his native London, he was recording those revelations in a personal bible that he wrote throughout his life. His was a rebellious scripture, influenced by the canonical Bible as well as such texts as The Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphical text from the intertestamental period. Other poets -- Wait Whitman, Charles Baudelaire, Jorge Guillen -- gave themselves to one book, to recording their personal religion, sacred or profane, in a bible for their times.

The word bible, from biblia, Greek for "small books," signifies broadly a collection of books by which a person or people can live. The ancient Bible was sacred, for its composition was held to be inspired by God. Similarly, if we believe the text, William Blake's prophetic books were divinely inspired. So the act of inspired composition, whether of a Blake or a Whitman or a biblical patriarch, whether of the West or East, appears to be a universal human endeavor, not restricted to one people or religion. After the closing of the Old Testament and during the first centuries of the Common Era, inspired authors continued to write sacred scriptures. They were written by Jews, Christians, Gnostics, and Pagans. Many of these texts were of amazing beauty and religious importance and competed with books within the canon. The Jewish texts are in large part called pseudepigrapha, which includes the Dead Sea Scrolls; the Christian texts are called Christian Apocrypha; the Gnostic scriptures, today so fascinating and even modish, were called by their orthodox rivals heretical. These Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic, books are presented here under the title of The Other Bible. Had events been otherwise and certain of these inspired texts incorporated in our Bible, our understanding of the tradition of religious thought would have been radically altered. Today, free of doctrinal strictures, we can read the "greater bible" of the Judeo-Christian world.

The Other Bible, then, is a book of holy texts that were not included in the Old or New Testaments. It contains creation and Eden myths, psalms and romances, gospels and epistles, prophecies and apocalypses, histories and mystical documents. Every genre of the Bible is represented. It also has works from early Kabbalah, Haggadah, Hermes Trismegistus, and Plotinus.

Why did the specifically Jewish and Christian texts fail to find a place in the Bible? Was it a question of divine authority, period, doctrine? These errant scriptures are often aesthetically and religiously the equal of books in the canon and offer vital information, such as infancy gospels on Jesus' childhood, as well as alternate versions of major biblical stories. In a Manichaean version of Genesis it is Eve who gives life to Adam, while the serpent, the Luminous Jesus, is a liberating figure urging the first couple to take the first step toward salvation by eating from the Tree of Gnosis. The exclusion of many texts was often as arbitrary and dubious as was the inclusion of such magnificent and dangerous books as Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.

At times the cause of exclusion was fierce political and religious rivalry between sects, between factions, between Jew, Christian, and Gnostic. The antiquity of a book was a primary factor influencing inclusion, and for this reason many competing texts were attributed to great figures of the Bible -- to Enoch, Isaiah, Thomas, Paul-to give them both age and authority. For similar reasons pseudonymous books of the Bible -- the Song of Songs, the Psalms, and certain Epistles -- assumed the names of Solomon, David, and John in their titles. As for the abundant Gnostic scriptures, these were excluded precisely because of their Gnosticizing tendencies. Indeed, it is said that the early Gnostic Marcion of Sinope so angered the followers of the new religion of Jesus Christ that he provoked the Christian Fathers into establishing a New Testament canon.

The Gnostics were serious rivals of orthodox Christians. The most systematized and organized Gnostic cult was Manichaeism, which and the spread from Mesopotamia through Asia Minor to North Africa an, European territories of the Roman Empire. It extended to eastern Iran and into Chinese Turkestan, where it became the state religion of the Uigur Empire. Western China remained Manichaean until the thirteenth century. In the West it rose here and there as various medieval sects, such as the Bogomils and Cathari, and the Albigensians in southern France. Today in Iran and southwest Iraq the Mandaeans, a Gnostic offshoot of heterodox Jewish sects originally from eastern Syria and Palestine, continue in the Gnostic faith.

The most serious conflict between Christians and Gnostics was in the first four centuries of the Common Era. In the second century Valentinus, a major Gnostic thinker, sought election as Pope of Rome. Surely the fixation of the New Testament in Carthage in 397 would have been drastically different had Valentinus succeeded; and what would have been the views of that former Gnostic, Saint Augustine, whose words so affected the conciliar decisions at Carthage? Leaving aside speculations, we can say categorically that the Bible, with the absence of sacred texts from the entire intertestamental period, with its acceptance of a small and repetitious canon for the New Testament, with the exclusion of all later Christian Apocrypha, and the total rejection of Gnostic scriptures, has given us a highly censored and distorted version of ancient religious literature.

The Other Bible. Copyright © by Willis Barnstone. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Other Bible by Willis Barnstone
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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