gospel of st thomas

intro

Whether or not Thomas represents actual sayings of Jesus, it is perhaps one of the most spiritually advanced documents produced by his followers, and in this author’s opinion, probably comes closer to the original message of Jesus than do the canonical gospels (at least in their modern orthodox interpretations). The message of Thomas’ Jesus is one of salvation through personal realization of the presence of the divine. The sayings of Jesus in this text sound very similar to words one might expect to hear from the mouths of the Buddha Gotama Siddharta, the Taoist philospher Lao-Tzu, or many modern psychologists and philosphers such as Aldous Huxley or Alan Watts. In the end, it matters not who spoke these words, only that they have been preserved for us, for these are words with much wisdom to impart. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!

Although it is not possible to attribute the Gospel of Thomas to any particular sect, it appears to represent an early form of Gnosticism. As the preamble indicates, these are “secret sayings”, and are intended to be esoteric in nature. The sayings are not intended to be interpreted literally, as their New Testament parallels often are, but to be interpreted symbolically, as attested by Saying 1. One symbolic feature found throughout Thomas is the use of the gender terms “male” and “female” as symbolic of different levels of spiritual awareness, a theme which was later adopted by many of the second and third century Gnostic schools. Although not attributable to any particular Gnostic or other group, it seems that it was incorporated into the literary collections of various Gnostic sects.

GoST Links: laymans interpretationWikipediacomparisons with canonical sayings,THE TEXT.

critique

“No major Christian group accepts this gospel as canonical or authoritative.” I say first READ this work that “comprises 114 sayings attributed to Jesus”.

“Many modern scholars believe that the GoST was written independent of the New Testament, and therefore, is a useful guide to historical Jesus research.”

“The plot of the 1999 Hollywood film Stigmata revolves around a cover-up within the Roman Catholic Church of an unnamed lost “Gospel” (that is revealed at the end of the film to be based upon the real-life GoST), whose teachings of the immanence of God are profoundly threatening to the church hierarchy. The director believes the truth is “out there” and hopes the movie would encourage people to research alternative Christian writings, like the GoST.”



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