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Encyclopedia > Bentley Layton

Bentley Layton (born c. 1947), is a Harvard-educated scholar who has been central to the late 20th-century Rediscovery of Gnosticism, which was the title of the international conference he hosted at Yale in 1980 and the volume that came of it. His career has been spent at Yale, where his interests lie in the History of Christianity from its origins until the rise of Islam, Gnostic studies and Coptic. Harvard University is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and a member of the Ivy League. ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various mystical initiatory religions, sects and knowledge schools, which were most prominent in the first few centuries AD. It is also applied to modern revivals of these groups and, sometimes, by analogy to all religious movements based on secret knowledge gnosis, thus can lead... Yale University is a private university in New Haven, Connecticut. ... This article outlines the history of Christianity and provides links to relevant topics. ... The Coptic language is the last phase of the Egyptian languages, and is the direct descendant of the ancient Egyptian language written in the hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic scripts. ...

With a summa cum laude thesis on the Nag Hammadi Gnostic Coptic "Treatise on Resurrection", which he presented in a critical edition in 1978, he has moved on to present critical editions of other texts: The Hypostasis of the Archons, Or, The Reality of the Rulers... , serialized in Harvard Theological Review 67 (1974) 351—425 and 69 (1976) 1—71, and others. His most accessible book is The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1987), which presents some of the enigmatic literature of gnostic Christianity for nonspecialists. He sets his selection of gnostic scripture, the writings of Valentinus and his followers, and related writings that display gnostic tendencies within the broader context of Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism, with generous introductions and plentiful annotations. The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered in the town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. ... Valentinius, more usually called Valentinus (c. ... The Early Christians is a term used to refer to the early followers of Jesus of Nazareth, before the emergence of established Christian orthodoxy. ...

For specialists, Layton's Coptic grammar is a standard text. He catalogued all the Coptic manuscripts in the British Library. He is a board member on the Harvard Theological Review and the Journal of Coptic Studies. British Library Ossulston St entrance, with distinctive red logo. ...

External links

  • Yale University: Bentley Layron curriculum vitae

  Results from FactBites:
Amazon.com: The Gnostic Scriptures: A New Translation with Annotations and Introductions by (The Anchor Bible ... (0 words)
Layton renders some of the enigmatic literature of gnostic Christianity a bit less baffling, primarily for nonspecialists.
No other translations are within light-years of Layton’s in eloquence, pathos, and accuracy, while no other commentaries match his as an introduction to this perpetually relevant religious stance.
Bentley's "Gnostic Scriptures", while it may not be as complete as the Nag Hammadi Library, is for me the more useful volume.
  More results at FactBites »



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