Gospel of Thomas

Didymos Judas Thomas
Didymos Judas Thomas
Nag Hammadi Codex II, folio 32, the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas
Nag Hammadi Codex II, folio 32, the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library. Scholars speculate that the works were buried in response to a letter from Bishop Athanasius declaring a strict canon of Christian scripture.

The introduction states: “These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.” Didymus (Greek) and Thomas (Aramaic) both mean “twin”.

When asked his identity in the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus usually deflects, ambiguously asking the disciples why they do not see what is right in front of them, similar to some passages in the canonical gospels like John 12:16 and Luke 18:34.

Considered by some as one of the earliest accounts of the teachings of Jesus, the Gospel of Thomas is regarded by some scholars as one of the most important texts in understanding early Christianity outside the New Testament.

Gospel of Thomas – PDF download

My opinion of this little guide book is that it contains some ideas that were directly from the living Jesus. We know that because of the Q Source. Knowledge is power and to debate the authenticity of good wisdom is ignorant of the value. Read it and decide for yourself.

The Gospel of Thomas is very different in tone and structure from other New Testament apocrypha and the four Canonical Gospels. Unlike the canonical Gospels, it is not a narrative account of the life of Jesus; instead, it consists of logia (sayings) attributed to Jesus, sometimes stand-alone, sometimes embedded in short dialogues or parables.

The text contains a possible allusion to the death of Jesus in logion 65 (Parable of the Wicked Tenants, paralleled in the Synoptic Gospels), but does not mention his crucifixion, his resurrection, or the final judgment; nor does it mention a messianic understanding of Jesus. Since its discovery, many scholars have seen it as evidence in support of the existence of the so-called Q source, which might have been very similar in its form as a collection of sayings of Jesus without any accounts of his deeds or his life and death, a so-called “sayings gospel”.


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