Elaine Pagels quotes

  • Although the gospels of the New Testament-- like those discovered at Nag Hammadi-- are attributed to Jesus' followers, no one knows who actually wrote any of them.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Jesus #Followers #New Testament

  • Christians have ... identified their opponents, whether Jews, pagans, or heretics, with forces of evil, and so with Satan... Nor have things improved since. The blood-soaked history of persecution, torture, murder, and destruction perpetrated in the name of religion is difficult to grasp, let alohne summarize, from the slaughter of Christians to the Crusades to the Inquisitiion to the Reformation to the European witchcraze to colonialization to today's bitter coflict in the Middle East.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Blood #Names

  • The Book of Revelation is the strangest book in the Bible, and the most controversial. Instead of stories and moral teaching, it offers only visions - dreams and nightmares, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, earthquakes, plagues and war.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Dream #War #Book

  • What is clear is that the Gospel of Judas has joined the other spectacular discoveries that are exploding the myth of a monolithic Christianity and showing how diverse and fascinating the early Christian movement really was.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Discovery #Movement

  • There's practically no religion that I know of that sees other people in a way that affirms the others' choices. But in our century we're forced to think about a pluralistic world.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Thinking #People #Choices

  • It is the winners who write history - their way.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Writing #History #Way

  • Why did the consensus of Christian churches not only accept these astonishing views but establish them as the only true form of Christian doctrine? . . . these religious debates - questions of the nature of God, or of Christ - simultaneously bear social and political implications that are crucial to the development of Christianity as an institutional religion. In simplest terms, ideas which bear implications contrary to that development come to be labeled as 'heresy'; ideas which implicitly support it become 'orthodox.'
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Religious #Views

  • The efforts of the majority to destroy every trace of heretical 'blasphemy' proved so successful that, until the discoveries at Nag Hammadi, nearly all our information concerning alternative forms of early Christianity came from the massive orthodox attacks upon them.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Successful #Discovery #Effort

  • Contemporary Christianity, diverse and complex as we find it, actually may show more unanimity than the Christian churches of the first and second centuries. For nearly all Christians since that time, Catholics, Protestants, or Orthodox, have shared three basic premises. First, they accept the canon of the New Testament; second, they confess the apostolic creed; and third, they affirm specific forms of church institution. But every one of these - the canon of Scripture, the creed, and the institutional structure - emerged in its present form only toward the end of the second century.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Catholic #Religion

  • Possession of books denounced as heretical was made a criminal offense. Copies of such books were burned and destroyed. But in Upper Egypt, someone, possibly a monk from a nearby monastery of St Pachomius, took the banned books and hid them from destruction - in the jar where they remained buried for almost 1,600 years.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Book #Egypt #Years

  • Jesus Christ rose from the grave.' With this proclamation, the Christian church began. This may be the fundamental element of Christian faith; certainly it is the most radical.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Jesus #Rose

  • The story of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas gave a moral and religious rationale to anti-Jewish sentiment, and that's what made it persistent and vicious.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Religious #Jesus #Betrayal

  • He's an intimate betrayer. That's what's so troubling. Judas turned in his own teacher.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Teacher #Betrayal #Intimate

  • Rediscovering the controversies that occupied early Christianity sharpens our awareness of the major issue in the whole debate, then and now: What is the source of religious authority? For the Christian the question takes more specific form: What is the relation between the authority of ones own experience and that claimed for the scriptures, the ritual and the clergy?
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Religious #Issues

  • The idea that each individual has intrinsic, God-given value and is of infinite worth quite apart from any social contribution - an idea most pagans would have rejected as absurd - persists today as the ethical basis of western law and politics. Our secularized western idea of democratic society owes much to that early Christian vision of a new society - a society no longer formed by the natural bonds of family, tribe, or nation but by the voluntary choice of its members.
    -- Elaine Pagels

    #Christian #Law #Ideas