Just wondering, why the exclusion of John?
I do not suggest the exclusion of John; I suggest we look at John critically, something I suggest we do with each of the Gospels.
I must not be seeing the same thing... where do you find the disagreement?
Was Jesus not tempted by Satan? Just as Buddha was tempted by Mara, Jesus was tempted by Satan, and the result was the same in both cases - the devil, upset with the prophets wise answers, left. The story is the story of Jesus casting away the last of Satan's grasp upon his soul.
As far as the translation goes, I think the text of story would suggest a "fatherless" conception with or without the actual use of the word virgin.
Before I go much further with this, I only speak English. I am certainly no authority on translation regarding Biblical texts. I think part of the problem exists also in that the virgin birth of Jesus is not addressed in our earliest texts, and is something that appears in later texts, leading some scholars to think the notion of a virgin birth was an addition made by later Christians and not part of Jesus' own doctrine.
Also, in Isaiah, instead of using the Hebrew word for virgin, a more general term is used which means young woman. This has lead some to argue that Isaiah does not predict the virgin birth of the messiah.
However, in the time of Jesus, and to the present, the prevailing thought among practitioners is that the messiah is to be born to a virgin. This may be the reason why early Christians added the virgin birth to their accounts of Jesus (appearing in Mathew and Luke), so as to make Jesus more appealing to Jews, just as many pagan traditions were adopted by Christians to make Christianity more appealing.
If you don't believe in God's ability to do the miraculous, then I think you would really have to do away with all Biblical teaching as being any source of accurate information, and proceed to study it in an accademic way only.
Rejecting the notion of miracles does not mean one must reject all Biblical teaching. Why should it? If we reject miracles, why must we reject the notion that love for all human kind is a good thing, something to be practiced?
But that really does raise the quesiton that if it were our ultimate goal to be Sons of God the way Jesus is, then why would He not have taught that?
And I quote "Our father, who art in heaven..." If God is the father of all, then we are all His children, sons of God.
You are right to say that Jesus and the disciples see Jesus as something special - he is the messiah, their teacher and certainly was thought to be a holy man, more holy than any other perhaps. I do not argue that Jesus was no more holy than anyone else - he seems to have been far more holy. What I doubt is that this holiness which we ascribe to Jesus can only be attributed to Jesus.
As far as wether or not Jesus taught that He was the Son of God in way that others could not be (in the synoptic Gospels), I would have to say that He obviously never teaches directly on the subject.
But he seems to teach otherwise when he instructs those gathered to pray "Our father".
All in all, I think that the lack of Jesus teaching about it, and the witness of the Old Testament prophecies as well as His own that point to His uniqueness, and the "fatherless" birth lead me to believe that Jesus was intended to be the Son of God in a way that no other would or could be.
All in all, I think the fact that Jesus teaches us that God is "our" father is enough to show that being the son of God is not a unique title. As for the OT prophecies, I want to bring up again what Jesus says about the prophets and the laws - that the value in them is their instruction with respect to loving God and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. I'm not convinced that Jesus was, or that we should be, concerned with the dogmatic beliefs many OT lines have spawned, as Jesus is clear that we should not let them become dogma.
As far as the Gospel of Thomas, I have never read it and don't know what it teaches. Do you know of a good website to learn about it?
If you want some background information, the wiki article is decent. You can find full versions of the text in a simple google search.