Download The Gnostic Gospels Audiobook

The Gnostic Gospels Audiobook, by Elaine Pagels Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Elaine Pagels Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9780739333181
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,764 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The Gnostic Gospels provides engaging listening for those seeking a broader perspective on the early development of Christianity. Author and noted scholar Elaine Pagels suggests that Christianity could have developed quite differently if Gnostic texts had become part of the Christian canon. Without a doubt: Gnosticism celebrates God as both Mother and Father, shows a very human Jesus's relationship to Mary Magdalene, suggests the Resurrection is better understood symbolically, and speaks to self-knowledge as the route to union with God. Pagels argues that Christian orthodoxy grew out of the political considerations of the day, serving to legitimize and consolidate early church leadership. Her contrast of that developing orthodoxy with Gnostic teachings presents an intriguing trajectory on a world faith as it "might have become." Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • The first major and eminently readable book on gnosticism benefiting from the discovery in 1945 of a collection of Gnostic Christian texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. The New York Times Book Review

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debra | 2/5/2014

    " The most important book I read in my late twenties. Dr. Pagels has spent her career trying to find the 'truth' within Christianity. Her study helped me start solidifying my own spirituality. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Syd | 2/2/2014

    " This book shed more light on how christianity was stripped of feminine energy and I was amazed at the similarities of gnostic christianity, buddhism, and psycho therapy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/5/2014

    " Pagels soes a good job intigrating history and sociology into her presentation of her thesis of why the Nag Hammadi documents were surpressed by the early church and why gnosticism didn't survive as a branch of Christianity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dane | 12/23/2013

    " This book will make you question everything you have learned about modern day religion. If this is true I can't believe I'm just now hearing this... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lianna | 12/13/2013

    " Started out with an Indiana Jones-esque story but then got really dry. I think I'd be more interested in the Gnostic Gospels wiki page than a full-on book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarazen | 12/1/2013

    " Interesting window into what might have been. I would have liked more translation of the text in question in addition to the analysis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 11/6/2013

    " Interesting discussion of the Nag Hammadi texts. Too bad the gnostic texts had been obscured and hidden by religious authorities of the time. Christianity may have been different (better?). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 10/29/2013

    " This short, but very dense, record of some of the history of the early church is truly fascinating. HIGHLY recommended for anyone interested in learning more about how we got to where we are today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 8/19/2013

    " One of my favorite books of all time. Elaine Pagels is one of my favorite researchers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 8/14/2013

    " I liked the info in here, but Pagels' writing is sooo convoluted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 7/22/2013

    " Facinating description of the ancient text discovery and it's role in the development of orthodox Christianity _ prompts me to further investigation --- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/24/2013

    " Fascinating- challanges sunday school notions of early christianity "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cicely | 4/11/2013

    " A good guide to the history of the Gnostic Church "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mac | 3/17/2013

    " Fascinating stuff. Interesting how a lot of modern Christian theology (and Buddhist teachings, and modern psychology) is starting to sound a whole lot like early Christian gnosticism. Definitely worth reading, even for an infidel like me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Avary | 10/4/2012

    " Not as startling as I had thought. OK, only. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linny | 7/29/2012

    " This book looks at the differences between gnostic teachings and orthodox Christianity. It is packed with information and left me wondering what Christianity as we know it today might be like if gnosticism had not been deemed heretical and suppressed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Solomon | 7/12/2012

    " An utterly fascinating book. I didn't merely read it, I devoured it! This book has changed my perception of Christianity and, in certain ways, even of spirituality itself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Morgan | 6/21/2012

    " An amazing take on the first centuries of Christianity and the politics that went into forming the Church as we know it today. Written by the foremost scholar on Gnosticism, she makes an incredibly complicated and complex discussion manageable for those who, like me, have no knowledge of this topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 6/1/2012

    " I found this really enlightening about the various ways people understood or read Jesus' life in the few centuries before the theology became standardized. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 5/14/2012

    " The author's goal is to explore the early formation of Christianity and issues related to religious authority. I found her descriptions compelling in light of current political pressure in the U.S.A. to codify religious beliefs into law. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jac | 3/31/2012

    " This is always a go to book when I am reading other types of religious discovery books or articles in magazines or,believe it or not:) political tweets from the ridiculous religious right. The bible, and christianhistory books are also go to books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 11/25/2011

    " The great equalizer: Elaine Pagels. Love her interpretations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 4/17/2011

    " Great introduction to the concept of Gnosticism and how the conflicts between Gnosticism and Proto-Orthodoxy helped shape the formation of the Catholic church. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gale | 3/27/2011

    " interesting... still don't know what christianity means to me.. still searching. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 12/3/2010

    " I liked the info in here, but Pagels' writing is sooo convoluted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 11/1/2010

    " A change of pace read that turned out to be even more interesting than I expected. Being in Rome during the time I read it seemed to make it even more interesting. One of a dozen or so I read on a Mediterranean cruise. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 10/16/2010

    " Solid introduction to the gnostic tradition, its religious worldview, and its conflicts with the canonical tradition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 9/17/2010

    " if you're interested in doing a different adult bible study class, this text is an excellent resource. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miranda | 9/13/2010

    " I very heady read, but fascinating discussion of orthodoxy, i.e literal view, vs. gnostics, i.e the figurative view of Jesus' message.
    I wish more Christians were interested in reading investigation like this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 9/10/2010

    " Interesting discussion of the Nag Hammadi texts. Too bad the gnostic texts had been obscured and hidden by religious authorities of the time. Christianity may have been different (better?). "

About the Author

Elaine Pagels taught at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she chaired the department of religion. She is now the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the author of several books on religious subjects and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1981.

About the Narrator

Lorna Raver, named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of the Year, has received numerous Audie Award nominations and many AudioFile Earphones Awards. She has appeared on stage in New York, Los Angeles, and regional theaters around the country. Among her many television credits are NYPD Blue, Judging Amy, Boston Legal, ER, and Star Trek. She starred in director Sam Raimi’s film Drag Me to Hell.