The Gospel of Thomas
A new translation and analysis of the gospel that records the actual words of Jesus.Explores the gnostic significance of Jesus's teachings recorded in this gospel and explains the true nature of the new man whose coming Jesus envisioned.Translated and interpreted by the author of the bestselling Gospel of Mary Magdalene and The Gospel of Philip.One of the cache of codices and manuscripts discovered in Nag Hammadi, the Gospel of Thomas, unlike the canonical gospels, does not contain a narrative recording Christ's life and prophecies. Instead it is a collection of his teachings — what he actually said. These 114 logia, or sayings, were collected by Judas Didymus Thomas, whom some claim to be Jesus's closest disciple. No sooner was this gospel uncovered from the sands of Upper Egypt than scholars and theologians began to bury it anew in a host of conflicting interpretations and polemics. While some say it is a hodgepodge from the canonical gospels, for others it is the source text from which all the gospel writers drew their material and inspiration.In this new translation of the Gospel of Thomas, Jean-Yves Leloup shows that the Jesus recorded by the "infinitely skeptical and infinitely believing" Thomas has much in common with gnostics of non-dualistic schools. Like them, Jesus preaches the coming of a new man, the genesis of the man of knowledge. In this gospel, Jesus describes a journey from limited to unlimited consciousness. The Jesus of Thomas invites us to drink deeply from the well of knowledge that lies within, not so that we may become good Christians but so we may attain the self-knowledge that will make each of us, too, a Christ.

The Gospel of Thomas Details

TitleThe Gospel of Thomas
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 13th, 1992
PublisherHarper San Francisco
ISBN006065581X
ISBN-139780060655815
Number of pages160 pages
Rating
GenreReligion, Christianity, Nonfiction, Philosophy, Spirituality, Gnosticism, Theology

The Gospel of Thomas Review

  • Christopher
    June 14, 2011
    So obviously pseudoepigraphical and so distinctly Gnostic in contrast to the canonical gospels that it perplexes me why so many modern scholars can continue to assert with any degree of integrity that this piece of literature is a more reliable description of the historical Jesus than the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. To demonstrate how greatly it differs from the canonical gospels, I'll compare two infamous verses from the Gospel of Thomas with corresponding verses from the So obviously pseudoepigraphical and so distinctly Gnostic in contrast to the canonical gospels that it perplexes me why so many modern scholars can continue to assert with any degree of integrity that this piece of literature is a more reliable description of the historical Jesus than the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. To demonstrate how greatly it differs from the canonical gospels, I'll compare two infamous verses from the Gospel of Thomas with corresponding verses from the Bible:Gospel of Thomas on the nature of the Kingdom:(113) His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here it is' or 'there it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it." Bible on the nature of the Kingdom - Gospel of Matthew and Mark:"Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Matthew 6:10"And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." Mark 9:1Gospel of Thomas on Jesus' attitude towards women:(114) Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."Bible on Jesus' attitude towards women - Gospel of Matthew and Luke"Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly." Matthew 15:28"But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare me for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her." Mat 26:10-13And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:50Jesus' compassion and respect for women demonstrated in the canonical gospels and his teaching regarding the imminency and dynamic personal nature of the Kingdom of God are radically alternative to both Jewish and Greek ways of thinking on these subjects. It is absolutely pathetic that the measurement of the authenticity of Jesus' statements among modern scholars (such as those who participated in the Jesus Seminar) is based on how much a statement differs with the rest of Jesus teachings throughout the canonical gospels, so that if a statement is unusual within the canonical gospels it is considered authentic but if it is consistent with the rest it is dubious. Such scholars are predisposed to doubt any theologically motivated statement or any description of the miraculous, as a result, the same scholars are keen to embrace a piece of trash like the Gospel of Thomas because it is such a stark contrast to the canonical gospels, this kind of analysis and textual criticism is just ridiculously self-gratifying pseudo-intellectualism.The Gospel of Thomas may be read properly if it is understood to be a piece of apocryphal Gnostic heresy distinct from the textually reliable, manuscript rich, and internally consistent Biblical accounts of Jesus. It really is a shame that so many people today have bought the myth that the Gnostic gospels (also including the Gospel of Judas and Mary Magdelene, ect.) are giving us a sneak peek into mind of the "real Jesus" as if the Jesus in the canonical gospels is very easy to dismiss as fictional, even though the statements made there are clear, consistent, and largely unambiguous unlike the Gnostic gospels which obscure, spiritualize, and equivocate at every point.
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  • Sarah
    February 20, 2014
    إنجيل توما الملقب "بالإنجيل الخامس" يظم 114 قولا من الأقوال التي تنسب للمسيح عليه السلام بدون أن تتحول لسيرة و بدون تسلسل زمني لها.و هو إحدى النصوص الغنوصية المكتشفة ب "نجع حمادي"في صحراء الصعيد المصري بعد مرور ألف و 500 سنة بعض الباحثين يرجعون تاريخه إلى النصف الثاني من القرن الأول الميلادي و إعتباره مصدرا لإنجيلي "متى و لوقا"أقدم ترجمة متوفرة له باليونانية لكن يعتقد أنه كتب باللغة الٱرامية أو السريانيةوبسبب طابعه الغنوصي فهو يعد من الأناجيل المنحولة الغير معترف بها من قبل الكنيسةينسب هذا الإنج إنجيل توما الملقب "بالإنجيل الخامس" يظم 114 قولا من الأقوال التي تنسب للمسيح عليه السلام بدون أن تتحول لسيرة و بدون تسلسل زمني لها.و هو إحدى النصوص الغنوصية المكتشفة ب "نجع حمادي"في صحراء الصعيد المصري بعد مرور ألف و 500 سنة بعض الباحثين يرجعون تاريخه إلى النصف الثاني من القرن الأول الميلادي و إعتباره مصدرا لإنجيلي "متى و لوقا"أقدم ترجمة متوفرة له باليونانية لكن يعتقد أنه كتب باللغة الٱرامية أو السريانيةوبسبب طابعه الغنوصي فهو يعد من الأناجيل المنحولة الغير معترف بها من قبل الكنيسةينسب هذا الإنجيل إلى يهوذا توما أحد تلاميذ يسوع الإثني عشر أو أحد إخوته المذكورين في الأناجيل :يعقوب ،سمعان ،يوسف ، يهوذاقرأته بترجمة فراس السواح حيث إعتمد على 4 ترجمات مختلفة كمصادر بالإضافة لشروحاته ضمن كتاب "الوجه الٱخر للمسيح"
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  • Greg
    May 29, 2014
    The Gospel of Thomas was rejected as heretical by the orthodox Christians who formally established the New Testament canon, presumably for its Gnosticism. Harold Bloom states in his Interpretation that the “popularity of the Gospel of Thomas among Americans is another indication that there is indeed ‘the American religion’: creedless, Orphic, enthusiastic, proto-gnostic, post-Christian. Unlike the canonical gospels, that of Judas Thomas the Twin spares us the crucifixion, makes the resurrection The Gospel of Thomas was rejected as heretical by the orthodox Christians who formally established the New Testament canon, presumably for its Gnosticism. Harold Bloom states in his Interpretation that the “popularity of the Gospel of Thomas among Americans is another indication that there is indeed ‘the American religion’: creedless, Orphic, enthusiastic, proto-gnostic, post-Christian. Unlike the canonical gospels, that of Judas Thomas the Twin spares us the crucifixion, makes the resurrection unnecessary, and does not present us with a God named Jesus.” (111) He goes on to talk about the gnostic aspects of the sayings, as well as the scholarly opinion that the sayings are closer to the postulated “Q” document, upon which portions of the canonical Gospels are built. “Of the veritable text of the sayings of a historical Jesus, we have nothing. Presumably he spoke to his followers and other wayfarers in Aramaic, and except for a few phrases scattered through the gospels, none of his Aramaic sayings has survived. I have wondered for some time how this could be, and wondered even more that Christian scholars have never joined in my wonder. If you believed in the divinity of Jesus, would you not wish to have preserved the actual Aramaic sentences he spoke, since they were for you the words of God? But what was preserved were Greek translations of his sayings, rather than the Aramaic sayings themselves…Any sayings of Jesus, open or hidden, need to be regarded in this context, which ought to teach us a certain suspicion of even the most normative judgments as to authenticity, whether those judgments rise from faith or from supposedly positive scholarship.” (114)The study of these texts is highly informative as to the religious ideas being debated within early Christianity. That is not to say, however, that we should assume that the sayings are the true words of the historical Jesus, or that they are more in line with modern sensibilities. In fact, the attitudes towards women in the canonical Gospels are often complimentary of the role of women, while the Gospel of Thomas finds Simon Peter stating that Mary should leave them because “women are not worthy of life.” In his line of thinking, women must make themselves like males to enter the kingdom of heaven. Clearly, this is not modern enlightened thinking.Like many of the Gnostic texts, presumably these sayings were written down as “hidden sayings” with exclusivity in mind, not inclusiveness of the whole world. “The Gospel of Thomas addresses itself only to a subtle elite, those capable of knowing, who then through knowing can come to see what Jesus insists is plainly visible before them, indeed all around them. This Jesus has not come to take away the sins of the world, or to atone for all humankind…There is no haste in this Jesus, no apocalyptic intensity. He does not teach the end-time, but rather a transvaluation of time, in the here of our moment.” (118)Bloom’s introduction, Meyer’s notes, and the translation itself are all very well done. For serious students of the development of Christian thought, this is a worthy and important text to analyze, and to critically consider for both its similarities and its differences to orthodox Christian thought.
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  • Eric
    January 30, 2014
    In the long run, very little in life is secret: a career bureaucrat fesses up to being Deep Throat; you find out that your grandfather performed on Broadway; career readers work over a library's offerings with care and diligence. A community of heretics disappears in Egypt, and their library turns up intact 1500 years later.Such is the story of the Nag Hammadi Library and the Gospel of Thomas. One of the groups that lost the struggle to determine Christian orthodoxy and doctrine, in this case, a In the long run, very little in life is secret: a career bureaucrat fesses up to being Deep Throat; you find out that your grandfather performed on Broadway; career readers work over a library's offerings with care and diligence. A community of heretics disappears in Egypt, and their library turns up intact 1500 years later.Such is the story of the Nag Hammadi Library and the Gospel of Thomas. One of the groups that lost the struggle to determine Christian orthodoxy and doctrine, in this case, a group often categorized as proto-Gnostic, gets the last laugh when thirteen of their books are discovered in a cave in Egypt (1945). And maybe the best laugh of all is the Gospel of Thomas. Of all the bits and pieces of alternative early Christianity that have been discovered in the last century and a half, GThom is the most complete and, in RT's opinion, the closest in content and tone to the canonical gospels. Except, as it turns out, that the gospel contains almost no narrative; it is a sayings gospel, consisting of more than 100 items. And except that some of these items are just downright puzzling.What is going on here is an expansion or clarification of material mostly familiar from the New Testament. Some of this clarification, however, can be shocking. Jesus tells his followers that if they want to see him, they will have to take their clothes off first. Not that this is necessarily referring to actual nudity; it could just be referring to a change in spiritual state. And to be fair, spirituality is a hallmark of GThom. Still, the possibility remains.Those who have read around in the alternative texts (and even in the Gospels, with a discerning eye) will know that clothing is a major theme in Jesus's teachings: "Why do you worry about what you wear and what you eat..." And actually, GThom contains a variant of this famous teaching, one that emphasizes the clothing theme.So we reach the second problem: variant readings, as in "give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, God the things that are God's, and me, the things that are mine." Hmmm, which reading is the right one? Did Jesus, on different occasions, use both versions? And how is it, again, that we know what Jesus said at all? Now we're out over the deep waters.That last question becomes pressing when we evaluate the portrait of Jesus that emerges from these sayings: in RT's estimation, Jesus is tougher and simultaneously more realistic and more remote, focused on more philosophical themes than is the case in the New Testament. And finally, there are uncomfortable sayings about women, including, "I will guide Mary to become a man in spirit..." And add to this Peter's words: "Women are not worthy of Life..." Ouch!Surely, any reader who reads this book carefully will come away with a more complex portrait of Jesus than he or she had before. This complexity may actually be an aid to faith as well as knowledge, rooting Jesus's genius more firmly in the palpable world that he lived and died in.In sum, the struggle between spirit and flesh continues in Jesus's teachings. The Gospel of Thomas helps give us a more complex, but also a more balanced, view of his word.
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  • Steven Peterson
    June 6, 2009
    This is a Gospel allegedly authored by Judas Thomas the Twin. This Gospel does not provide a narrative analysis as the four Gospels of the New Testament do. The focus is the (page 5) "sayings of Jesus." As such, this work is closer to what is called a (page 7) "a collection of sayings." The introductory essay (an introduction and a rather difficult concluding essay by Harold Bloom sandwich the slim volume of sayings) notes that there are three explanations for the "Gospel of Thomas," one of whic This is a Gospel allegedly authored by Judas Thomas the Twin. This Gospel does not provide a narrative analysis as the four Gospels of the New Testament do. The focus is the (page 5) "sayings of Jesus." As such, this work is closer to what is called a (page 7) "a collection of sayings." The introductory essay (an introduction and a rather difficult concluding essay by Harold Bloom sandwich the slim volume of sayings) notes that there are three explanations for the "Gospel of Thomas," one of which is that it is (page 13) "independent of the New Testament synoptic gospels, but it is related to oral or written traditions similar to those behind the synoptic gospels." Marvin Meyer, the book's editor, suggests that the Gospel of Thomas (page 13) "preserves sayings that at times appear to be more original than the New Testament parallels." Bloom's concluding essay uses this Gospel to raise interesting questions about Biblical understanding. Not being an expert, I say nothing more. Individual readers will need to examine his work for themselves and come to their own judgments. The Gospel itself is interesting, given that quite a few of the "sayings" are very close to what is in the traditional four Gospels. One example: 55 Jesus said, "Fortunate are the poor, for yours is heaven's kingdom." 110 Jesus said, "Let someone who has found the world and has become wealthy renounce the world." Other apothegms: 1 And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." 95 Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather give [it:] to someone from whom you will not get it back." And one final saying (discussed at length in the introduction and in Lane's work on the Bible): 114 Simon Peter said to them, "Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter heaven's kingdom." What to make of the Gospel of Thomas? I'm not an expert, but I do find this interesting reading. What it portends for an understanding of Scripture I must leave to others. But the questions that come to mind as one reads the essays and, even more, the text itself, makes this an interesting expenditure of mental energy.
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  • Robert Fritz
    January 21, 2014
    I'm thinking that this review will be the only one of several books that I read on this subject that I'll enter into Goodreads since it's fairly easy to access. I simply enjoyed researching this topic. Just to begin - the other books on the topic which I read were: Q the Earliest Gospel – An Intro to the original stories and sayings of Jesus – John KloppenborgBeyond Belief – The Secret Gospel of Thomas – Elaine PagelsZealot – The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza AslanI got started read I'm thinking that this review will be the only one of several books that I read on this subject that I'll enter into Goodreads since it's fairly easy to access. I simply enjoyed researching this topic. Just to begin - the other books on the topic which I read were: Q the Earliest Gospel – An Intro to the original stories and sayings of Jesus – John KloppenborgBeyond Belief – The Secret Gospel of Thomas – Elaine PagelsZealot – The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza AslanI got started reading John Dominic Crossan (thanks to our Pastor Steve Swanson) and that moved me into these four books. The Gospel of Thomas was discovered in the 1940's and was one that was not included in the official version of the bible that was put together back prior to 300 AD. I found that I enjoyed the focus on the purported sayings of Jesus and not on the stories related to what many consider the myths of Jesus - the birth and the death. Isn't that what is really important? What was actually said. Like the other gospels, there are verses that were perhaps edited or added as the stories were orally passed down or written, still it was interesting to read some sayings that were new to me as well as some which were very similar to the familiar ones that we grew up hearing.Each of the books I mentioned above were quite interesting, but for me, the most fascinating was Zealot by Aslan, which is the most recently written and which received wide press coverage. If you're read it, let me know, I'd like to discuss sections with you.
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  • Doreen Fritz
    January 16, 2014
    A gospel just discovered in the 1940's (all copies ordered destroyed when the "official Bible" of the Christian church was assembled), the Gospel of Thomas is made up merely of several compiled sayings of Jesus. Our group enjoyed delving into this short gospel, and followed the practice of the participants in the Jesus Seminar: we voted for each saying by putting out one of four chips designating one of the following about whether or not we believed that Jesus actually said this: it is absolutel A gospel just discovered in the 1940's (all copies ordered destroyed when the "official Bible" of the Christian church was assembled), the Gospel of Thomas is made up merely of several compiled sayings of Jesus. Our group enjoyed delving into this short gospel, and followed the practice of the participants in the Jesus Seminar: we voted for each saying by putting out one of four chips designating one of the following about whether or not we believed that Jesus actually said this: it is absolutely true; it is probably true; it is probably false; it is absolutely false. Without any authoritative scholarship to support our views other than any learning we might have picked up in Sunday School, church, other studies, or personal reading, our votes carried no weight, but led to some wonderful discussions.
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  • Austin Wright
    May 31, 2014
    Lots and lots and lots of annotations. The book is worth it alone for linking Jesus' saying to Plutarch:Gospel of Thomas Saying 86: Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests. But the son of man has nowhere to lay his head and gain repose." ...Marvin Meyer quotes Plutarch's Life of Tiberius Gracchus 9.4-5 on the homeless soldiers of Italy: "The wild animals that range over Italy have a cave, and there is a lair for each of them to enter, but those who fight and die for Italy Lots and lots and lots of annotations. The book is worth it alone for linking Jesus' saying to Plutarch:Gospel of Thomas Saying 86: Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests. But the son of man has nowhere to lay his head and gain repose." ...Marvin Meyer quotes Plutarch's Life of Tiberius Gracchus 9.4-5 on the homeless soldiers of Italy: "The wild animals that range over Italy have a cave, and there is a lair for each of them to enter, but those who fight and die for Italy have a share in the air and the light and nothing else, but, having no house or abode, they wander about with wives and children." (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 101)
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  • Leonard Brown
    June 30, 2012
    This is a good read overall. It started out slow for me but the authors analysis picks up as you get into the book. The only negative was assumptive and overly conclusive language that he used. I eventually enjoyed his analysis, particularly the manner in which he provides context from the Gospels and other early Christian/Jewish writings. It is clear to see why the Gospel of Thomas was not included in the Canon. Never the less, some of the ideas and thoughts fit well into Christian philosophy. This is a good read overall. It started out slow for me but the authors analysis picks up as you get into the book. The only negative was assumptive and overly conclusive language that he used. I eventually enjoyed his analysis, particularly the manner in which he provides context from the Gospels and other early Christian/Jewish writings. It is clear to see why the Gospel of Thomas was not included in the Canon. Never the less, some of the ideas and thoughts fit well into Christian philosophy. It provides such an alternative view of Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven, it is worth the read. At the same time, it seems written with a particular agenda in mind to the degree that it does not fit with the Gospels.
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  • Lela Ashkarian
    December 18, 2012
    I am still reading this book, along with the Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Hmmmm, learning, absorbing, an Listening deeply.
  • Con Robinson
    July 8, 2013
    Stunning
  • Suzanne
    March 7, 2017
    The most profound sayings of Jesus instructing his students. This was obviously meant for those who had a deeper understanding of the His mysteries.
  • Bob Buice
    November 16, 2015
    The remarkable discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 cast a totally new light an ancient Christian belief known as Gnosticism. The Gnostics regarded knowledge, directly from Christ, as the key to salvation and sought such knowledge in several traditions. Their belief also included mysticism – the God within, and dualism – The divine world of light contrasted with the evil world of darkness. Actually, scholars still debate the belief system of the various groups of Gnostics.Gnostic expert The remarkable discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 cast a totally new light an ancient Christian belief known as Gnosticism. The Gnostics regarded knowledge, directly from Christ, as the key to salvation and sought such knowledge in several traditions. Their belief also included mysticism – the God within, and dualism – The divine world of light contrasted with the evil world of darkness. Actually, scholars still debate the belief system of the various groups of Gnostics.Gnostic expert Marvin Meyer recounts this in his editorial revision of The Gospel of Thomas, a Coptic a manuscript found among the Nag Hammadi collection, and presents his own updated translation of the manuscript. The Gospel of Thomas is attributed to Judas Thomas the Twin, but the true author is unknown. It consists of 114 sayings of Jesus and is considered a book of wisdom, much like the mysterious Q Gospel. Gnosticism is evident in numerous sayings, e.g. “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not taste [death].” Because it contains a number of verses that also appear in the Christian canon, it is thought to have been written by a late first or early second century Christian who was familiar with the canonical writings. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus performs no miracles, fulfills no prophecy, mentions no apocalyptic kingdom - His apocalyptic kingdom has already come. [Gospel of Thomas 51: 1 His followers said to him, “When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?” 2 He said to them, “What you look for has come, but you do not know it”.] Moreover, He does not die for the sins of mankind. A belief in mysticism is clear as, “they discover that God’s kingdom is not only outside them but also inside them” and “the kingdom is inside you and it is outside you”.If the Gnostics believed that knowledge was the key to salvation, this list of Jesus’ sayings must have been a source of knowledge. As Dr. Meyer puts it, “According to Thomas, those who seek to respond to Jesus and his sayings may be startled and surprised, but if they persevere, they will find God and God’s kingdom. And they will be transformed”.The introduction, the Gospel of Thomas, and the reading by Harold Bloom were interesting and informative, but don’t try to read the notes unless you need specific information.
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  • Lucas Gialluisi
    December 23, 2013
    Some verses that have been grabbing my attention:``once integrated it will become full of light , but such person divided , it will become full of darknessGospel of Thomas - Saying 61``Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you wi Some verses that have been grabbing my attention:``once integrated it will become full of light , but such person divided , it will become full of darknessGospel of Thomas - Saying 61``Jesus said: If those who lead you say to you: See, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will go before you; if they say to you: It is in the sea, then the fish will go before you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.``Gospel of Thomas - Saying 3, "If you (plur.) do not abstain from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not make the sabbath a sabbath you will not behold the father." (The importance of meditation in your daily lifes)Gospel of Thomas - Saying 27Jesus said, "Where there are three divine beings they are divine. Where there are two or one, I myself dwell with that person." Gospel of Thomas - Saying 30) Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find. The door will be opened to one [who knocks].Gospel of Thomas - Saying 94His disciples said to him, "When is the kingdom going to come?" , "It is not by being waited for that it is going to come. They are not going to say, 'Here it is' or 'There it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out over the earth, and people do not see it." Gospel of Thomas - Saying 113His disciples said, "When will you be shown forth to us and when shall we behold you?" Jesus said, "When you strip naked without being ashamed, and take your garments and put them under your feet like little children and tread upon them, then [you] will see the child of the living. And you will not be afraid.Gospel of Thomas - Saying 37(The importance of see the world with the children eyes who dont judge or try to rationalize but instead of this just contemplate the things as they are...)
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  • Mary Baxter
    December 4, 2013
    I did not purchase this book. However, I did just read the translation that was presented in the text. At this time I am not interested in commentary by theologians. My preference is to get my hands on the original and subsequent translations for my personal study. I find the overall idea that a "gospel" written by what asserts to be the disciple Thomas fascinating. There are many parallel parables in this text that are present in the New Testament. My favorite verses were even included in Thoma I did not purchase this book. However, I did just read the translation that was presented in the text. At this time I am not interested in commentary by theologians. My preference is to get my hands on the original and subsequent translations for my personal study. I find the overall idea that a "gospel" written by what asserts to be the disciple Thomas fascinating. There are many parallel parables in this text that are present in the New Testament. My favorite verses were even included in Thomas's edition. This leads me to believe this author was likely present for the early teachings of Christ. Thomas's take however reminds me of a big family that viewed the same experience uniquely. In other words, they may have twelves witnesses to Christ's life but the result is varying perspectives. My own family of 6 siblings does this. Not one of us has the same story to tell about the life and death of our mother. Each of our stories depend on our own personal relationship with her and what we knew first hand or "remembered". Clearly there was conflict over the pecking order of the disciples which is also very typical in large groups like my own family. A comment attributed to Simon Peter at the very end of the text amazes me: "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life." I am astounded. If Peter did say something like this or even if it was added later to make sure Mary was "dealt with" tells me volumes about the cultural influences of our "church" fathers. Nose to my grindstone... uh huh...
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  • Purnacandra Sivarupa
    December 19, 2010
    The translation of the Gospel of Thomas in this book seems to be pretty good, though that isn't my area of expertise; basically, it is quite clear and both literal and literary.That said, the commentary is, from my perspective, quite lacking. Stevan Davies obviously knows the Gospel inside and out, as a literary object within a historical context, but as to the intention of the text he often seems to miss the mark by a mile. Some of his comments are helpful, some of them unhelpful but interestin The translation of the Gospel of Thomas in this book seems to be pretty good, though that isn't my area of expertise; basically, it is quite clear and both literal and literary.That said, the commentary is, from my perspective, quite lacking. Stevan Davies obviously knows the Gospel inside and out, as a literary object within a historical context, but as to the intention of the text he often seems to miss the mark by a mile. Some of his comments are helpful, some of them unhelpful but interesting, and some come off as shallow or forced.Given the overall poor quality of the commentary, I cannot recommend this volume, though the Gospel of Thomas itself is among my favorite Christian texts, and is thankfully available in multiple good translations in numerous easily-obtained collections. (See, for instance, The Gnostic Bible, The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholar's Version, and The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth.)
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  • Jacob O'connor
    September 25, 2014
    A few years ago (good grief, it's been 15 years.  I'm getting old) I watched a movie called Stigmata.  The inspiration for the movie was a first century Gnostic gospel called the Gospel of Thomas.  The movie, as with much popular writing today, suggests the early church suppressed this book.  Under this view, GoT was every bit as legit as the canonical Gospels, and we've been missing out. I'll have more to say about this in some upcoming reviews.  I'm reading several books on the topic. But what A few years ago (good grief, it's been 15 years.  I'm getting old) I watched a movie called Stigmata.  The inspiration for the movie was a first century Gnostic gospel called the Gospel of Thomas.  The movie, as with much popular writing today, suggests the early church suppressed this book.  Under this view, GoT was every bit as legit as the canonical Gospels, and we've been missing out. I'll have more to say about this in some upcoming reviews.  I'm reading several books on the topic. But what interests me here is how much GoT has in common with the sayings of Jesus as we know them.  Half of the quotes will be familiar to Sunday school students. The simple truth may not be as entertaining as a Hollywood movie.  It may not be as provocative as a Time magazine article.  The boring truth is we can have confidence that the Christ we've come to know and love is the Christ of history.  
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  • Josh
    June 27, 2013
    There are many more similarities to the canonical gospels than I was expecting. The Gospel of Thomas is a gnostic gospel that is mainly a collection of sayings attributed to "the living Jesus." I submit that these many of these saying, like many of the sayings in Q (and consequently Matthew and Luke) can be admired for their wisdom without the assumption that they are divinely revealed or divinely inspired. They do not even require the assumption that Jesus was a real person. They could just be There are many more similarities to the canonical gospels than I was expecting. The Gospel of Thomas is a gnostic gospel that is mainly a collection of sayings attributed to "the living Jesus." I submit that these many of these saying, like many of the sayings in Q (and consequently Matthew and Luke) can be admired for their wisdom without the assumption that they are divinely revealed or divinely inspired. They do not even require the assumption that Jesus was a real person. They could just be the observed social wisdoms developed over a long time of experiment and infused with a vocabulary that people may or may not have understood at the time. This vocabulary (The kingdom of god, "Father," son of man, Repose, etc), could have been used because it had rhetorical value and was appealing to audiences, or because it was the only terms by which the author(s) knew how to think. This kind of metaphorical language is still in use today for much the same reasons.
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  • Ashley
    November 18, 2013
    I watched a program on the History Channel quite some time ago that referenced the Gospel of Thomas a few times and it made me want to check it out on my own at some point. Overall, I didn't really see anything overly ground-breaking here...there wasn't much that really strayed from the gospels that are currently "accepted"...I think I probably would have enjoyed the read more if I read this as part of a course or a larger discussion...I feel like I probably missed a lot of significance just bec I watched a program on the History Channel quite some time ago that referenced the Gospel of Thomas a few times and it made me want to check it out on my own at some point. Overall, I didn't really see anything overly ground-breaking here...there wasn't much that really strayed from the gospels that are currently "accepted"...I think I probably would have enjoyed the read more if I read this as part of a course or a larger discussion...I feel like I probably missed a lot of significance just because I'm not overly knowledgeable about mysticism and everything. Ideally I'd like to do some more reading and maybe return to this at a later day...maybe I'll get more out of it once my foundation is a bit better.
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  • Alexandru
    November 20, 2015
    Very interesting read...As far as i know and read the scholarly opinions, there are three distinct strata in the Gospel:a) A probably Judaeo-Christian (think about the Logion exalting James, the brother of Christ)b) A Gnostic strata (think about Logions that describe the world as a corpse, etc).c) A „orthodox” strata, with teachings similar to the „canonical” Gospels.It is very interesting to read, if you are a scholar interested in the history of religion. For someone interested in Christian sp Very interesting read...As far as i know and read the scholarly opinions, there are three distinct strata in the Gospel:a) A probably Judaeo-Christian (think about the Logion exalting James, the brother of Christ)b) A Gnostic strata (think about Logions that describe the world as a corpse, etc).c) A „orthodox” strata, with teachings similar to the „canonical” Gospels.It is very interesting to read, if you are a scholar interested in the history of religion. For someone interested in Christian spirituality, it is however, a „must”. There are many sayings there that are simply mind blowing... just like in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene or in Pistis Sophia.
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  • Fred Kohn
    July 6, 2016
    This edition consists of four sections: Introduction, Coptic text with parallel English translation, Notes, and "sermon-as-commentary" by Harold Bloom. It was mainly for the last section that I read this book. I really liked the formatting of the parallel text, and I suppose if I cared to study the Coptic text this book wouldn't be a bad way to go. The notes didn't thrill me to pieces, to say the least. To me it seemed like they tried to incorporate textual notes with brief bits of commentary, w This edition consists of four sections: Introduction, Coptic text with parallel English translation, Notes, and "sermon-as-commentary" by Harold Bloom. It was mainly for the last section that I read this book. I really liked the formatting of the parallel text, and I suppose if I cared to study the Coptic text this book wouldn't be a bad way to go. The notes didn't thrill me to pieces, to say the least. To me it seemed like they tried to incorporate textual notes with brief bits of commentary, which just made them seem scattered. Kudos to Harold Bloom, though.
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  • Chai Maa
    July 14, 2014
    اولا تقييمى على حسب اثارتى وفضولى وحماستى لما عرفت انه لسة مكتشف فى نجع حمادى هذا القرن كان شئ جميل بالنسبالى انى اقرأ شئ تاريخى لسة مكتشف القرن دة ام بالنسبة للترجمة فمعظمها غامض بالنسبالى مش عارفة العيب فيا لانى اول مرة اقرأ انجيل ولا الترجمة فعلا فيها حاجة غلط وقرأت كتاب اتجيل توما لاحمد حجازى السقا وانا حاسة الاتنين مختلفين اوى ومفيش تشابة بينهم الا بسيط ف انجيل توما لاحمد حجازى السقا كان بيقول قول سيدنا عيسى مع قصة هو قال كدة ليه, الكتاب دة ال مش فاهمة الكلام دة اتقال ليه وعلشان اية مش عا اولا تقييمى على حسب اثارتى وفضولى وحماستى لما عرفت انه لسة مكتشف فى نجع حمادى هذا القرن كان شئ جميل بالنسبالى انى اقرأ شئ تاريخى لسة مكتشف القرن دة ام بالنسبة للترجمة فمعظمها غامض بالنسبالى مش عارفة العيب فيا لانى اول مرة اقرأ انجيل ولا الترجمة فعلا فيها حاجة غلط وقرأت كتاب اتجيل توما لاحمد حجازى السقا وانا حاسة الاتنين مختلفين اوى ومفيش تشابة بينهم الا بسيط ف انجيل توما لاحمد حجازى السقا كان بيقول قول سيدنا عيسى مع قصة هو قال كدة ليه, الكتاب دة ال مش فاهمة الكلام دة اتقال ليه وعلشان اية مش عارفة انا حاسة فيه حاجة مفقودة
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  • Kevin
    July 25, 2008
    The thing that struck me when I read this "sayings gospel" was that Thomas didn't take very good notes. Luke reconstructs events in great detail, but Thomas' retelling of Jesus's sayings is extremely terse and occasionally quite convoluted. Most of the 114 sayings are in the other gospels, some of the new ones don't make a lot of sense, a few others are quite strange and were probably mistranscribed or misremembered (in my opinion).
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  • Kevin Summers
    November 17, 2014
    Sample quotes...77. "Jesus said, 'I am the light that is over all things. I am all: From me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.'"Harold Bloom: "[T]his Jesus [of the Gospel of Thomas] is looking for the face he had before the world was made. ... If such is your quest, then the Gospel of Thomas calls out to you."
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  • Vanessa
    January 21, 2017
    5 stars for the sayings themselves. Some cryptic? Sure! That made it more fun. I felt that in a few cases it even cleared up some of the Synoptic gospels. Not to mention a ton coincides perfectly with them. Not a story/narrative like the synoptic gospels. Just a list of sayings back to back- like one would write bullet point of quotes from a speaker doing a lecture series. Vs 114 male and female are code for religious sects at the time. Not actually referring to genders.
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  • Daniel
    July 22, 2009
    It was good to finally read a gnostic (also Gnostic) text to see for myself what was considered heretical by the early Roman Catholic Church. Leloup's commentary was often insightful, though I often had different ones. But then, such texts generally have several layers of meaning. I would recommend this to open-minded Christians and open minded non-Christians alike.In many ways, it reads like Buddhism.
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  • Karl Nordenstorm
    September 4, 2016
    I am glad this document was discovered, but even more so that it was lost. Why? It is a collection of opaque Koan-like sayings that would be fodder for senseless arguments between theologians.A typical verse is the following: 4 Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live. For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."
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  • Fred Kohn
    August 29, 2015
    Somewhat disappointing after reading LeLoup's commentary on the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. In this one, he comes off more like a guru (in the most negative sense of the word) than a commentator. Still, there was some interpretation which was based on comparison to other works, which I appreciated, rather than the more usual "shot in the dark" feel, which I did not. And as with The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, I really liked the translation.
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  • Rose
    November 23, 2013
    This version of this was really nice because it put the verses side by side with any canonical New Testament equivalents that there were for reference, and it also explained a lot of the philosophy and translating that went into putting it together, where misunderstandings can arise from, etc.I also liked the gospel itself. A few more mystical/pantheistic/gnostic type things that really resonated well with me.
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  • Ethan Brouder
    October 11, 2016
    This is quite possibly the most interesting piece of theological writing I have ever read. Not because I believe it or find it convincing but because it is so absurd and cryptic that it feels more like T.S. Eliot's Wasteland then it feels like a Gospel. Furthermore, the controversy that surrounds the text makes reading it feel delightfully naughty– as though one is eating forbidden fruit from a guarded tree.
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