Like many parts of the Bible, the Gnostic books are challenging reading. The best introduction would be The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels, a Professor at Princeton University. She has written several outstanding books that the layperson can understand. Instead of "right belief" as she teaches in her wonderful best selling (2003) book, Beyond Belief, these Gnostic scriptures "preach" God is found primarily within oneself, not in the externals like doctrines, creeds, bishops, priests, and church proclamations. For example, the Gospel of Thomas suggests the intent of Jesus was not a church, which had exclusive truths, but a spiritual relationship open to all. The Gospel of Mary (ascribed to Mary Magdalene) shows total openness to women. (Read The Da Vinci Code!) The Gospel of Philip challenges some questionable doctrines. Not denying the validity of the New Testament writings, the authentic Gnostic scriptures lift up a different way to be Christian. It is more about relationship than beliefs.
Check out prices at Amazonbooks.com or barnesandnoble.com, etc., usually under the retail price of $16. Enter: The Hidden Messages of Jesus. The book is available on Kindle and Nook for $6.95.
About the Author and His Book
Why Consider the Book? Although not needed to sign on for the Newsletter, in the book, you will learn much more specially about the Gnostic Gospels, how and why they were ordered destroyed, who the Gnostics were, and why they were considered heretics. There are descriptions of their various myths, and you will learn about the contents of many of these gospels. Further, it is explained from documents of the early church how such authoritarian power happened and why these gospels were condemned. It shows how this act by both Bishop Irenaeus and Constantine made believing correctly the necessary way to be Christian, and how this created many wars to follow over beliefs
A special thank you to Scott Lawrence Angus for providing photography. My son Scott is a Professor of Photography and Digital Art at Maryville University in St. Louis. His website is scottlawrenceangus.comAll photography within this website is copyrighted by scottlawrenceangus.com
I am a Christian and ordained minister. I am also a heretic in the sense of the Gnostics. I believe it is always fair to question one's faith and beliefs. I hope there are other Christians who will say so as well. I am a recently retired Presbyterian minister, having two Degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, one for ordination, the second, an academic Masters Degree. Having served my last church in Colorado (USA) for 30 years, I honorably retired to pursue my passion for early Christianity and particularly the Gnostics, given that name by the church, and their response to Jesus. An Independent Scholar, I seriously study all things "gnostic." I am dedicated to the church and Christ. I am gnostic in my faith as a Christian, which means in more modern terms, that I am a "Seeking Christian," and that is how I identify myself. I am a Christian -- not a Gnostic, and as a seeker, I believe there are many paths for authentic faith. Thus the title of my Newsletter is "Seeking Christians Newsletter."
"Christ's Way Was A Spiritual Journey"
Thus the Newsletter is called “The Seeking Christians Newsletter."
If you do order the book, please review the book (positive or negative). These reviews, particularly at Amazon books,Good reads, etc. are important. Elaine Pagels has responded by writing, "Your book is remarkable." Hopefully, that should create some interest, and also I would add that her books, such as The Gnostic Gospels, are more than helpful, and her books should become essential reads.
To repeat, buying this book is not essential for signing on to the Newsletter, but for those who are really interested, it explains much better the details of this web site.
Thanks! Rev. Larry Angus
Information on the Award Winning Book
The Hidden Messages of Jesus: How the Gnostic Gospels Change Christianity by Larry A. Angus, was first published in April 2012. Its fourth edition won the nationally respected CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) 2014 Merit Award in the category Spirituality/Religion. It also won the Reader's Favorite Five Star Award.
Although intended for a general audience, the book gives footnotes and much scholarly ground for the validity of the information presented in this web site. It is built on years of research and tells the story in an organized book form.
Also another source to learn more is found in the book described next, The Hidden Messages of Jesus, which many have found very inspiring and helpful -- for example, see the reviews at amazonbooks.com. It was written because of the response to this site and gives a much more complete and well documented and organized story of what has been presented here.