In 1945, several gospels, hidden since the first century, were discovered in the Egyptian Desert at Nag Hammadi. This caused a sensation as the scrolls revealed the mysteries of the Gnostics – a movement which emerged during the formative period of Christianity. ‘Gnosis’, from the Greek, broadly meaning ‘hidden spiritual knowledge’, was associated with renouncing the material world, and focusing on attaining the life of the Holy Spirit. Many Christian sects are derived from the esoteric knowledge of Gnosticism.
The gospels selected by Alan Jacobs reveal intimate conversations between Jesus and his Disciples. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene sheds new light on his relationship with his favourite follower. The Gospel of Thomas consists of mini-parables of deep inward and symbolic meaning, many of which are not found in the New Testament. The wisdom in this inspiring collection of texts is wholly relevant to our lives today, addressing the questions of good and evil, sin and suffering, and the path to salvation.