As far as the Gospel of Thomas goes, I am no expert, but it seems to me that it is in direct disagreement with at least two of the others. And since it seems to be the most questionable (open to debate of course), and it is outnumbered, I'd probably eventually go with a consensus of the others if I can.
The thing is, none of the Gospels are in agreement. In one, it's the Sermon on the Mount, in another, Jesus gives the Sermon on the Plain - and they are the same sermon. If I recall, "only begotten son" appears in John, and none of the other Gospels. Examples like this are plentiful.
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah* took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.'* 29But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30The angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.' 34Mary said to the angel, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?'* 35The angel said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born* will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
48When his parents* saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, 'Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.' 49He said to them, 'Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?'* 50But they did not understand what he said to them.
The writers old and new testify of the God they know. What the Lord their God said and what the Lord their God did. Their relationship with their God.
We shouldn't expect our Gospels and Scripture to perfectly align. There are too many variables - errors of the scribes, different perspectives from the eye witnesses, changes of these original stories in the oral tradition, changing and developing belief systems among early Christians, ect.
It's okay to have contradictions, it's okay to have differences. The specifics of when, who exactly, if it really happened, the absolute location - none of this is important.
If the teachings are good, the whole thing could be fantasy and the books would be equally valuable.
d.t. - The Gospels show us how we should strive to live our lives, because by taking those lessons to heart, we will come closer to God
I believe the point of the Bible is to instruct us how to connect with God through Jesus, as there is no other way.
Now, if the Bible was a fantasy, it would fall short of instructing about Jesus and his purpose (the atonement).
If you compare what the New Testament teaches, understanding what Jesus did for mankind (the atonement) is by far the most important and most valuable.
If the Bible is mere fantasy, the atonement loses most of its force (I will not say all of its force), and thus the value and importance that goes with it.
Jesus is ether a nice guy, or He is who He says He is The Truth the Way The Life.
If the Life that God has offered in and through His Son Jesus the Christ is unacceptable to you, then what life could you have, seeing that God is the source and giver of Life.
Well concerning the nature of Jesus the Christ, He is the Word of God which is the Truth the Only Truth there is. Therefore the only Way to know God given By God in the flesh to the world so that those in the world may know God through The Truth, God's Word the only One.
There are many fingers pointing every where but if it is the Truth you are pointing at then why do you not follow Jesus. Jesus is ether a nice guy, or He is who He says He is The Truth the Way The Life.
Care to explain why Jesus is the only man who could teach truth?
You are still assuming that, for whatever reason, only Jesus could teach that truth.
Going back to something earlier:
If the Holy Spirit was in Jesus as he taught, good! let us learn from him.
There is always something that comes back to me when I think about philosophy, it goes something like this: The Higher cannot come from the Lower (or the Lower cannot produce the Higher). For example, something perfect cannot come from imperfect things, no matter how many imperfect things there are.
To relate this, If the Truth is what Jesus taught, and if Jesus is God, and if God is the Truth, Then no man that is lower than God can teach the Truth. Since all men are lower than God, they will never be able to produce something Higher than them, which is the Truth.
The Holy Spirit is Jesus, and Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Basic Trinity.
I appreciate the suggestion for reading, but I could as easily suggest something like "Living Buddha, Living Christ" to the same effect. I'm certainly open to any point of view;
Would you suggest the physical body of Jesus is the Holy Spirit?