Gnosticism, hunger for secret knowledge: Recommended reading

Early Christianity

The Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, edited by Everett Ferguson, 2 volumes (Garland, 1997)

• Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity (Eerdmans, 3rd edition, 2003)

• J. N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (Continuum, 5th edition, 2000)

• Bryan Litfin, Getting to Know the Church Fathers (Brazos, 2007)

• Robert McQueen Grant, Greek Apologists of the Second Century (Westminster John Knox, 1988)

• Oskar Skarsaune, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity (InterVarsity, 2002)

• Robert Wilken, The Spirit of Early Christian Thought (Yale, 2005)

• Frances M. Young and Lewis Ayers, Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature (Cambridge, 2004)

Early Christian writings

• Everett Ferguson, Early Christians Speak: Faith and Life in the First Three Centuries (ACU Press, 1999)

• Michael W. Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers in English (Baker Academic, 2006)

• Robert McQueen Grant, Second Century Christianity: A Collection of fragments (Westminster john Knox, 2003)

• Henry Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church (Oxford, 3rd ed., 1999) and The Early Christian Fathers (Oxford, 1969)

• C. C. Richardson, Early Christian Fathers (Westminster john Knox, 2006)


The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1: The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus (Hendrickson, new edition, 1994)

• Mary Ann Donovan, One Right Reading? (Michael Glazier Books, 1997)

• Robert Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons (Routledge, 1996)

• St. Irenaeus of Lyons, On the Apostolic Preaching, translated by john Behr (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997)

• Eric Osborn, Irenaeus of Lyons (Cambridge, 2005)

Scripture and tradition

• F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Chapter House, 1988) and Tradition: Old and New (Zondervan, 1970)

• D. H. Williams, Evangelicals and Tradition: The Formative Influence of the Early Church (Baker Acad emic, 2005) and Tradition, Scripture and Interpretation: A Sourcebook of the Ancient Church (Baker Academic, 2006.


• Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures (Anchor Bible, 1995)

• Christoph Markschies, Gnosis: An Introduction (T&T Clark, 2003)

• Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen, A Companion to Second-Century Christian &;dquo;Heretics” (Brill, 2005) • The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The International Edition, edited by Marvin Meyer (HarperOne, 2007)

• Birger Pearson, Ancient Gnosticism: Tradition and literature (Fortress, 2007)

• Nicholas Perrin, Thomas: The Other Gospel (Westminster John Knox, 2007)

• Kurt Rudolph, Gnosis (T&T Clark, 1998)

• David Scholer, “Gnosis, Gnosticism,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments, ed. R. P. Martin and P. H. Davids (InterVarsity Press, 1997), pp. 400-12

• Richard Smoley, Forbidden Faith: The Gnostic Legend from the Gospels to The Da Vinci Code (HarperSanFrancisco, 2006)

• Yuri Stoyanov, The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy (Yale Nota Bene, 2000)

• N. T. Wright, Judas and the Gospel of Jesus (SPCK, 2006)

Modern controversies

• Darrell L. Bock, The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities (Thomas Nelson, 2006) and Breaking the Da Vinci Code: Answers to the Questions Everyone’s Asking (Thomas Nelson, 2004)

• Craig A. Evans, Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels (InterVarsity, 2006)

• Philip Jenkins, The Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost It’s Way (Oxford, 2001)

• Nicholas Perrin, Lost in Transmission? What We Can Know about the Words of Jesus (Thomas Nelson, 2008)

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #96 in 2007]

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