Inside Sacred Texts

"I love this show! Try to watch it folks." ~ Magdalene Jaeckel
"I would love to be able to make this mandatory viewing for all U.S. Americans. I don’t believe they have a clue (most of them) of the wealth of knowledge that could only make them a better people. All the rhetoric spouted by the religious in the U.S. and they don’t know just how silly they sound. They need to start somewhere. This is an excellent place for them." ~ Jeanne Tenorio
"Anyone seeking intimations of unity among people of all the earth, will appreciate what Global Spirit offers." ~ Lare Willson
"This morning’s program was EXCELLENT!!! It occurred to me during this particular presentation that the reason we don't learn more from other programs is because the great information they offer is never heard because the participants are all talking/screaming over each other and are so focused on discrediting each other. Great work... hope to see more of this kind of programming!"

This program was supported by:

Fetzer Institute

Inside Sacred Texts

  • What makes a text sacred?
  • Have there been biases in the translations of sacred texts?
  • Why are the newly-discovered gospels of Thomas, Philip, Judas and Mary Magdalene so important?

For a rare sign of hope and optimism about the healing between different cultures, we can look into the phenomenal rise of language translation in our times. More than at any time in history, translators are making available sacred texts that were previously inaccessible or misunderstood. With discussions of the New Testament, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita. the Gnostic gospels and others, raising some provocative, even explosive questions. Who owns sacred texts? How did the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John become Christian Canon law? Have there been editorializing or historic gender biases in their translations? Do we need new translations of sacred texts for new eras or generations?

Where to Watch on PBS

Program Guests

Willis Barnstone, Sacred Text Scholar, Biblical and Gnostic, Poet

Willis Barnstone

Willis Barnstone is a writer of comparative literature, biblical studies, and poetry, as well as a New Testament and Gnostic scholar and translator. His most well-known book: The Restored New Testament seeks to restore the lyricism and mysticism of the Jesus story and to undo centuries of mistranslation designed to obscure the Jewish identity of the carpenter from Nazareth.

Rev Cynthia Borgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is a modern day mystic, Episcopal priest, writer, and internationally known retreat leader, Cynthia has actively participated in numerous inter-spiritual dialogues and events with luminaries and leaders from different world faiths. An author of eight books, she travels globally and teaches the recovery of the Christian contemplative and Wisdom path.

Ken McLeod

Ken McLeod

Ken McLeod is a senior Western translator, author and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism. He received traditional training in the Shangpa-Kagyu lineage, through a long association with his principal teacher Kalu Rinpoche, for whom he served as translator and interpreter. He is known for his ability to explain deep and subtle teachings in clear and simple language.

Share Your Thoughts