• Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel

  • By: G.R.S. Mead
  • Narrated by: Barry J Peterson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (51 ratings)

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Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel  By  cover art

Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel

By: G.R.S. Mead
Narrated by: Barry J Peterson
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Publisher's summary

Pistis Sophia (Greek: Π?στις Σοφ?α) is a Gnostic text discovered in 1773, possibly written between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The existing manuscript, which some scholars place in the late 4th century, relates one Gnostic group's teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples (including his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Martha). In this text, the risen Jesus had spent eleven years speaking with his disciples, teaching them only the lower mysteries. After eleven years, he receives his true garment and is able to reveal the higher mysteries revered by this group. The prized mysteries relate to complex cosmologies and knowledge necessary for the soul to reach the highest divine realms.

Much of the first two books of the manuscript are dedicated to outlining the myth of the fall and restoration of the figure known as Pistis Sophia, in particular giving detailed parallels between her prayers of repentance and particular Psalms and Odes of Solomon.

Although in many Gnostic texts and systems Sophia is a major female divinity, in Pistis Sophia she originates and dwells outside of the divine realm. Her fall and redemption parallel that found in versions of the Sophia myth such as that in the Apocryphon of John, but the actions all take place in the material aeons, and she can only be restored to her place in the 13th aeon, outside the Kingdom of Light. 

This audiobook contains all of the 148 chapters and six books of the Gnostic gospel. It does not contain the rather verbose introduction targeted to academics and researchers. That section can be found online in PDF form.

©1921 JM Watkins (P)2018 Audio Enlightenment

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Pistis Sophia Review

I respect the historical and religious significance of this work, that's why I read it, but I have to say that it was the most unpleasantly repetitive text I have ever read. Aspects of the narrative such as the cosmology were interesting, but it all could have been condensed down so much. Furthermore, the text is intentionally very esoteric; even as someone who has researched a lot of Gnostic terminology I barely understood what they were talking about half the time.

Of course, I come at this from the perspective of a non-religious person who is interested in studying religion. If you are a genuine Gnostic this is probably worth reading, but if you're not you'd be better off just reading a summary.

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A fascinating text in a lackluster production

This text should be a great listening experience, but the reading, while competent, has no energy. And it’s extremely annoying to have the narrator read every verse number, repeatedly distracting the listener. C’mon, folks, you can do better than this!

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1 person found this helpful