Gospel of Thomas

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kochun
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 09:27 am
Hi all,

I don't know anyone heard about gospel of Thomas. And what u guys think about it?
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 01:34 pm
@kochun,
kochun;70828 wrote:
Hi all,

I don't know anyone heard about gospel of Thomas. And what u guys think about it?
Vaguely, it was rejected i believe because of certain discrepancies with the other gospels.I do believe it mentions Jesus had brothers and sisters,more than that and i would have to wickie.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 04:04 pm
@xris,
As you might be able to guess, I am fond of the Gospel of Thomas.

This one was lost to history until roughly fifty years ago a complete codex was found in Egypt with the Nag Hammadi Library. Until the discovery, we only had fragments in ancient Greek.

Unlike the Synoptic Gospels, John's Gospel and other apocryphal gospels, Thomas is not in narrative form. Instead, Thomas is a 'sayings gospel' - a compilation of sayings attributed to Jesus.

In my opinion, Thomas theologically coincides with the Synoptic Gospels more so than John coincides with the Synoptic Gospels. Thomas was most certainly written prior to John and may pre-date the Synoptic Gospels as well. A few scholars have even proposed that Thomas is the Q document, though such a claim is impossible to prove.

Xris - that Jesus had siblings is not unique to Thomas. Mathew, Mark and Galatians all contain mentions of Jesus' family with words often translated as brother and sister. As is so common, the question hinges on translation.

As for Thomas being kept out of official cannon, this is a long and complex story. We have no definitive answer despite the common claim that Thomas has disagreements with the other gospels. Having read the other Gospels, I find that claim to be rather silly given that John has mountains of discrepancies with the Synoptic Gospels to the point where there almost seems to be two Jesus - one of the Synoptic Gospels and one of John.

The more likely reason(s) for Thomas to be excluded are that Thomas contains hints of esotericism, was used by gnostics, and more than any other reason, presents a Jesus who would disagree with central religious authority. The Thomasines simply did not wield the kind of political power held by other early Christian groups and leaders (such as the Bishops in Alexandria).
 
kochun
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 11:00 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Gospel of Thomas is one of my favorite as well. I really like your name 'Didymus Thomas' which is also means Twins. Smile

The doubting behavior of Thomas make him trademarked as a unfaithful Christian. Nevertheless, I feel that doubt is an essence element for every philosopher. Just as Rene Descartes had said 'If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.'

Besides of that, Gospel of Thomas has many similarity with Buddhism and it also dictate Jesus as a more enlightenment person.

What a precious treasure from Nag Hammadi Library!!!
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:00 am
@kochun,
A precious treasure indeed. It allows one to place Jesus alongside Muhammed, Buddha, Lao-Tzu, the writers of the Upanishads and so forth, instead of having to believe that only Jesus was not a fraud.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:45 am
@Whoever,
I see many use this gospel to dismiss Jesus as myth, an invention to carry the message.
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:57 am
@kochun,
That's true. But it hardly matters whether he is a myth if the message is worth receiving. I have no idea whether he was historical person or a myth, and it makes no difference to me either way. E=M whether Einstein was a myth or not.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 04:10 am
@Whoever,
Whoever;71011 wrote:
That's true. But it hardly matters whether he is a myth if the message is worth receiving. I have no idea whether he was historical person or a myth, and it makes no difference to me either way. E=M whether Einstein was a myth or not.
I agree, for me it is the message not the man,but can we pick and mix the message and not adhere to the written word as if it was all from god.The message can be found in other teachings,so do you use it as a guide or do you worship?
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 04:25 am
@kochun,
Mohammed remarked that an hours' contemplation is worth a year's worship, and that would be my conjecture. I use texts like Thomas to confirm that Christianity is not an odd man out among religions, as many latter-day Christians would have it, but carries the perennial message. As a extremely lazy lily of the field with all sorts of inherited muddled ideas about sin and virtue I prefer the clarity and simplicity of Zen, but can find no inconstistencies between the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas and Master Hongzhi of the Silent Illuminations. Horses for courses imho.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 07:29 am
@Whoever,
so you say its a guide?
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:23 am
@kochun,
Well, I think most of it's the truth. As such it would be a guide. But I came to Thomas already convinced, and don't find it convincing in itself.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:40 am
@Whoever,
Whoever;71053 wrote:
Well, I think most of it's the truth. As such it would be a guide. But I came to Thomas already convinced, and don't find it convincing in itself.
Convinced of what?
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:58 am
@kochun,
Convinced that it's a book full of wisdom.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 09:49 am
@Whoever,
Whoever;71061 wrote:
Convinced that it's a book full of wisdom.
what all of it?there must be some thats not.
 
Whoever
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 10:05 am
@kochun,
Okay, poor choice of words. A book containing a lot of wisdom.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 12:07 pm
@Whoever,
Whoever;71077 wrote:
Okay, poor choice of words. A book containing a lot of wisdom.
Well we got there,i agree completely.It does make you wonder why the politics of the early Christians dismissed it.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 03:04 pm
@xris,
There are several possible reasons why early Church politics suppressed this book. For one, the Gnostics took to the text. Also, the teachings contained in the book imply esoteric teachings (hidden teachings) and the book portrays Jesus as someone who would have opposed a hierarchical organized church.
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 01:02 am
@kochun,
A good argument has been put forward which demonstrates quite well why it would be wrong to the view the document as being primarily a Gnostic work (but that's at the house...so can recall the specifics). One line is that other works which are clearly not Gnostic were in that library as well. However, as DT has stated, some parts could be construed, if one so wished to do so (however wrongly), as Gnostic in flavor.

Some of the pericopes (parts of the sayings) are evidently older than their counterparts in the Synoptics, and a few in the latter are evidently older than in the former. The other Greek fragments attest to the documents relative popularity in at least the early third century CE (and maybe even the later second). It did not seem to have the familiarity that some of the other exemplar copies seem to have had, and I wouldn't be so quick to agree that it had been penned earlier than the basic work attributed to John, although would not doubt at all, that parts of its core exemplar had been derived from a much earlier source--just as the synoptic gospels.

Any seeming relation to other religious belief-systems would more likely than not, simply be patternizing/associative overlay--unless we were to trace back from peripheral systems to Zoroastrianism, maybe, and find connections to that by the several (rather than among themselves)?
 
salima
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:22 am
@kochun,
anybody read the gospel of saint barnabas?
 
KaseiJin
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 02:39 am
@kochun,
Yes, I'm pretty sure I have that one in Greek even... but I have to admit, I have not read all of it as carefully as one should. I'll check on it after I get home tonight, and edit this post.
 
 

 
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