Essene and Gnostic Studies An annotated bibliography prepared by the Task Force on Gender and Cultural Change, Woods

Hole and Northampton, Massachusetts, in association with a study course on “The Lost Religion of Jesus” based on the book of that title by Keith Akers. Submitted by Audrey Haschemeyer, Ph.D. The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick /Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem, eds., (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 2011. Excerpts with notes from the Gnostic commentary on his life's work by science fiction visionary Philip K. Dick (1928-1982). Concerning his pivotal work Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) he writes, "I did my job and I know it... I need do nothing else in life." On his refusal to rewrite the book to conform to a movie script: "My soul is safe, and it was in jeopardy. This is why I see victory despite the vast defeat" (entry of November, 1981; p. 827). Jung the Mystic: The Esoteric Dimensions of Carl Jung's Life and Teachings /Gary Lachman (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin), 2010. A valuable contribution to Essene-Gnostic studies, including Jung's response to the question of whether he believed in God: "Believe? Hard to say. I know." The Red Book (Liber Novus) / C. G. Jung (Sonu Shamdasani, ed., W.W. Norton & Co.), 2009. Fascinating collection of trance and dream experience. Some notable quotes: "Believe me: It is no teaching and no instruction that I give you. On what basis should I presume to teach you?" "Life does not come from events, but from us. Everything that happens outside has already been." " is Abraxas, the creator and destroyer of his own world." A fine introduction and notes throughout, e.g., this amusing item: "Jung is a walking asylum unto himself." Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing/Stephan A. Hoeller (Quest Books), 2002. Fine presentation of the history and modern relevance of the religious traditions of deep insight and reflection. "What makes us free is the gnosis of who we were, of what we have become..." (Excerpta de Theodoto). Complete Idiot's Guide to the Gnostic Gospels /J. Michael Matkin (Alpha), 2005. Helpful overview of the Nag Hammadi texts.


The Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity /Keith Akers (Lantern Books, New York), 2000. An examination of the "heart" of the message of Jesus with its rejection of violence and flesh-eating, as drawn from the records of the earliest Judaeo-Christian communities. In the foreword theologian Walter Wink writes: "Keith Akers challenges Christians today to reconsider who the real 'heretics' were and who the orthodox." The Essenes: Children of the Light /Stuart Wilson and Joanna Prentis (Ozark Mt. Pub.), 2005. A "you are there" approach to the times of Jesus and the Essene philosophical movement from the perspective of past life regression. Also, Jesus and the Essenes /Dolores Cannon (Ozark Mt. Pub.), 1992. The Hidden Gospel: Decoding the Spiritual Message of the Aramaic Jesus/Neil Douglas-Klotz (Quest Books), 1999. An expanded understanding of the wisdom teachings of Jesus drawn from the Aramaic language in which they were spoken. The Essene Odyssey: The Mystery of the True Teacher and the Essene Impact on the Shaping of Human Destiny /Hugh Schonfield (Element), 1984. Valuable insights from one of the original Dead Sea Scroll scholars. The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-Up in History/Michael Baigent (Harper SanFrancisco), 2006. Review of issues concerning the "historical Jesus" with interesting material on Egyptian mysticism and the Therapeutae ("Jesus in Egypt"). The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin /Lynn Bauman (White Cloud Press), 2004. A study guide including translation, notes and questions. The Gospel of Mary of Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle /Karen L. King (Polebridge Press, Santa Rosa, CA), 2003. Harvard Divinity School professor discusses inner teachings of Jesus and gender politics as revealed in this 2nd century CE document. Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas /Elaine Pagels (Random House, New York), 2003. Scholar provides a picture of the evolution of Christianity in the light of more than fifty early Christian texts with differing views of Jesus. [Also, The Gnostic Gospels (Vintage Books, New York), 1979].


Saint Saul: A Skeleton Key to the Historical Jesus /Donald H. Akenson (Oxford), 2000. Interesting contribution on the role of Saul (Paul) in the schisms in the early faith inspired by Yeshua (Jesus) and the denigration and overthrow of those closest to him [Miriam (Mary), Yacov (James) and others of the "Family Firm"]. Jesus: One Hundred Years before Christ /Alvar Ellegard (The Overlook Press, Woodstock, NY), 1999. Investigation of Christian history with particular attention to the Essenes. The Jesus Mysteries: Was the "Original Jesus" a Pagan God?/Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy (HarperCollins Publishers, Ltd; Harmony Books), 1999. Similarities in the beliefs and practices developed in orthodox Christianity with those of popular religions of the period. [See, also, The Mysteries of Mithra /Franz Cumont (orig. 1903, Dover Publications, 1956).] Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism and the World's Religions /Rynn Berry (Pythagorean Publishers, New York), 1998. [Recipes for barley and lentils, bulgur wheat salad, and Essene sprouted bread may be found in Famous Vegetarians & Their Favorite Recipes by the same author, 1993]. For the nutritional perspective of a modern-day Essene see The Sunfood Diet Success System /David Wolfe, 6th edition, 2006. Jesus /David Flusser in collaboration with R. Steven Notley (The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem), 2nd ed. corrected, 1998. Also by David Flusser: The Spiritual History of the Dead Sea Sect, 1989; Judaism and the Origins of Christianity, 1988. Insights on the teachings of the Essenes. Who Wrote the Gospels? /Randel McCraw Helms (Millennium Press, Altadena, CA), 1997. Professor Helms takes a look at authors and editors of the canonical gospels, sources of gospel stories, orthodox misogyny and other topics in early Christianity. The Double Vision: Language and Meaning in Religion /Northrop Frye (University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1991. Also by Northrop Frye: The Great Code: The Bible and Literature, 1982; Words with Power: Being a Second Study of "The Bible and Literature", 1990. Eve: The History of an Idea /John A. Phillips (Harper & Row, San Francisco, CA), 1984. Discussion of the Eve myth in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and its role in patriarchal domination.


Jewish People, Jewish Thought: The Jewish Experience in History /Robert M. Seltzer (Macmillan), 1980. A valuable resource on the historical setting of the Essenes and Jesus, including "The Hellenistic Disaspora to 70 CE" and "Varieties of Judaism in the Late Second Temple Period." Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels /Geza Vermes (Fortress Press, Philadelphia), 1973. Jewish scholar, historian and Qumran pioneer provides great insight into the teachings of Jesus in relation to the Essene and other movements of charismatic and esoteric Judaism.

Translations The Gospel of Thomas /Ed. by Jean-Yves Leloup, Illus. by Frank Lalou (Shambhala Publications), 2003. Presentation of 24 of the teachings ("logia") with remarkable renderings in calligraphy (from the Greek for "beautiful writing"). The New Covenant - Commonly Called the New Testament /Willis Barnstone (Riverhead Books, New York), Vol. 1, 2002. A new translation of the 4 Gospels and Apocalypse and reflection on the "three invisible poets" of the New Testament; extensive afterword on transmission and translation of scripture. The Coming of the King James Bible: A Collation of the Translators’ Work-inProgress /Ward S. Allen and Edward C. Jacobs, eds. (The University of Arkansas Press), 1995. The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English /Geza Vermes (Penguin Books, New York), 1998. [For background: Israel and the Dead Sea Scrolls /Edmund Wilson (Farrar Straus Girous, New York), 1978]. The Nag Hammadi Library in English /James M. Robinson, ed. (HarperCollins, New York), 3rd rev. ed., 1990. The Other Bible: Jewish Pseudepigrapha, Christian Apocrypha, Gnostic Scriptures, Kabbalah, Dead Sea Scrolls / Ed. with introductions by Willis Barnstone (HarperSanFrancisco), 1984. Selections only.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.