He is contradictory, opaque, and elusive. Its incredible that a world religion is based on his apparently incoherent ramblings about a man hed never met. But Pagels book goes a long way to dispersing the Pauline conceptual mist and suggesting why he was so successful. One of the earliest crises in Christianity, the Gnostic Controversies, occurred about a century after The Secret Sharer Paul of Tarsus, that Moses of the Christian religion, is a persistent intellectual pain for many, including me.
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She found it to be "the most spiritual of the four gospels". She started to learn Greek when she entered college, and read the Gospels in their original language, which proved to be a new experience  She graduated from Stanford University , earning a B. She headed its Department of Religion from until she moved to Princeton in Modern Library named it one of the best books of the twentieth century. The programme triggered a national furore, and marked a significant moment in the changes that religious broadcasting was already undergoing at that time.
In , Pagels joined Princeton University as a professor of early Christian history. Aided by a MacArthur fellowship —85 , she researched and wrote Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, which examines the creation account and its role in the development of sexual attitudes in the Christian West. Her New York Times bestseller , Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas , contrasts the Gospel of Thomas with the Gospel of John , and argues that a close reading of the works shows that while the Gospel of Thomas taught its adherents that "there is a light within each person, and it lights up the whole universe [-] If it does not shine, there is darkness", the Gospel of John emphasizes the revelation that God as Jesus Christ is the "light of the world".
This apocryphal viewpoint is in contradiction with the four New Testament gospels. Pagels argues that the Gospel of John was written as a rebuttal to the viewpoints put forth in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas. She bases her conclusion on the theory that, in the Gospel of John, the apostle Thomas is portrayed as a disciple of little faith who cannot believe without seeing and, that the Gospel of John places an emphasis on Divine Jesus Christ as the center of belief, which Pagels views as a hallmark of early orthodoxy.
Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities for, as one nominator wrote, "her ability to show readers that the ancient texts she studies are concerned with the great questions of human existence though they may discuss them in mythological or theological language very different from our own.
She had a son and a daughter, while Greenawalt had three sons. Society of Biblical Literature monograph series.
Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Akinolkree A group of Christian heretics so subsequently determined began using a somewhat older and distinctly un-Jewish theological approach called Gnosticism to interpret the traditions and writings about Jesus. The world makes more sense to me because of this book, and for that I will be forever grateful. Return to Book Page. Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic. One of the earliest crises in Christianity, the Gnosric Controversies, occurred about a century after Paul wrote his very influential letters to the congregations he founded throughout the Roman Empire. There has only been one disappointment, viz.
The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters