Provides deeper insight into the understanding that in Gnosticism the distinction between savior and saved ceases to exist—you must save yourself and in doing so save God.
Translation & Annotation by Stevan Davies
5½ x 8½, 208 pp | 978-1-59473-082-5
This ancient Gnostic text can be a companion for your own spiritual quest
The Secret Book of John is the most significant and influential text of the ancient Gnostic religion. Part of the library of books found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, this central myth of Gnosticism tells the story of how God fell from perfect Oneness to imprisonment in the material world, and how by knowing our divine nature and our divine origins—that we are one with God—we reverse God’s descent and find our salvation.
The Secret Book of John: The Gnostic Gospel—Annotated & Explained decodes the principal themes, historical foundation, and spiritual contexts of this challenging yet fundamental Gnostic teaching. Drawing connections to Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, kabbalistic Judaism, and Sufism, Davies focuses on the mythology and psychology of the Gnostic religious quest. He illuminates the Gnostics’ ardent call for self-awareness and introspection, and the empowering message that divine wholeness will be restored not by worshiping false gods in an illusory material world but by our recognition of the inherent divinity within ourselves.
Now you can experience and understand this foundational teaching even if you have no previous knowledge of Gnosticism. This SkyLight Illuminations edition presents the most important and valued book in Gnostic religion with insightful yet unobtrusive commentary. It provides deeper insight into the understanding that in Gnosticism the distinction between savior and saved ceases to exist—you must save yourself and in doing so save God.
“An excellent translation of a seminal text of the Gnostic tradition, with valuable annotations. This book should be welcomed by all students of Gnosticism and especially by all who have sympathies for the spirit of the Gnostic tradition. Highly recommended.”
—Stephan A. Hoeller, author of Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing and other works on Gnosticism
“This uncomplicated presentation of a very important ancient text is a helpful stepping stone toward understanding the distinctiveness of Gnostic thought, its relationship to Christian traditions, and its all-inclusive understanding of the Divine.”
—Miriam Therese Winter, Medical Mission Sister; professor, Hartford Seminary; author of The Gospel According to Mary: A New Testament for Women
“An articulate and illuminating introduction to an important Gnostic text. A good place to begin your study of Gnosticism.”
—Ron Miller, Religion Department chair, Lake Forest College, and author of The Gospel of Thomas: A Guidebook for Spiritual Practice