Gospel of Thomas

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by heaven_id, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. heaven_id

    heaven_id Active Member

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    Please give me your opinion about Gospel of Thomas.
     
  2. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I have to read through it first...

    v/r

    Q
     
  3. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    I have not read the gospel of Thomas but as far as I know this gospel deals with the mystical, sort of a more like an eastern philosophy (though there are differences).

    Anyone know when Thomas's gospel was written? I assume when he went to India (where he died and was burried). My family has been Saint Thomas Christians for close to two thousand years (the few converted in the South Indian state of Kerela, before the catholic church began). My family though still seems to have the same fundie atitude as fundie christians from other places with a euro origin.

    Here is an article about the Gospel of Thomas;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomas

    In my opinion the gospel of Thomas seems to make sense being teachings from a Godman than the other gospels, although I have not read it.
     
  4. sara[h]ng

    sara[h]ng Well-Known Member

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    http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html


    The Gospel of St. Thomas is one of my favorite religious works. There are things in it that I don't yet understand, but that which I do understand rings true with what I think true 'religion' to be.

    Here are a few of the many things which I particularly like.

    This seems as though it is from an Eastern religion, talking about mindfulness (know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden will be disclosed to you) and karma (nothing buried that will not be raised.)


    My yoga instructor told me just tonight that yoga means 'union' and that it refers to union of the body and spirit. Two into one? It also reminds me of certain brain waves. If I remember correctly, delta waves are produced only by someone in deep sleep, infants, and the insane. When dreaming, when a 'nursing baby', and when different enough from society that we call them insane, has this union been attained?


    Personally, I don't like mainstream religion. If one's preacher is following a dogmatic, obsolete religion, and one follows him, there's the blind leading the blind. And if one is blind to begin with, how can one tell who else is blind and who is not? Maybe it's better to follow only one whom you know has sight, like Jesus.


    Those doors don't open by themselves.

    - Sarah
     
  5. sara[h]ng

    sara[h]ng Well-Known Member

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    All of that being said, I am not sure how one can verify the truth of the Gospel of Thomas. How can anyone know that these are things that Jesus said or promoted?

    Maybe there is a good reason that it is excluded from the Bible? I'm not familiar with how books of the Bible were chosen or chosen to be excluded. I've heard some things but only hearsay, and I fear they don't paint a nice picture. I'll keep them to myself. Maybe someone else knows what I don't?

    - Sarah
     
  6. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Unfortunately, one of the very reasons Thomas' Gospel was not included in the canon, is for the reason you point out above. That is, the followers of Thomas considered all others obsolete. The very conceit, turned people off. The writings of Thomas themselves carried the same timber.

    Thomas countered what Jesus was trying to teach, namely, First one must serve before one can rule. Humility first, then righteousness.

    Another reason (more subtle I believe), is that Thomas doubted, and expressed it boldly. But when taken to task (gently I should think), he balked in his boldness. Jesus told Thomas that because he saw, he believed, but blessed would be those who never saw, yet believed.

    Thomas was a cynic. There is nothing humble about a cynic.

    My thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  7. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste,
    have you had the opportunity to do so?

    Isn't it the oldest document currently of quotes of Jesus.

    It seems it is now the lead possiblity of being the infamous Q.

    I tend to respect those that question (doubt) and then come around after introspection to a decision and understanding that often exceeds those that follow blindly.
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Apparently it is considered to possibly be, on both accounts.

    I too, respect those with second thought after reflection. That to me shows growth of character. But humility must accompany such "revelation", or else all is naught. Since it was lack of humility (often enough), that brought the one to the initial way of thinking.

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. heaven_id

    heaven_id Active Member

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    How about this?

    (2) Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds...."

    No doubt that being christian always need effort, it is not easy.

    (39) Jesus said, "The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves."

    :eek:
     
  10. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Agreed,

    Christians are far from perfect. They simply strive to be.

    In other words, life is a constent state of improvement.

    v/r

    Q
     
  11. FriendRob

    FriendRob Well-Known Member

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    Good question. Have you ever asked the same question about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John?


    As far as date, there is a wide divergence of opinions. Some scholars think it is from around 150 AD and is basically a collection of quotes of the canonical gospels plus extra stuff. Others would date very early - possibly around the time Paul was writing (50s AD). IMHO, it was probably an early collection that got modified and re-written over the years. In fact, some Greek fragments of Thomas have the sayings in a different order, so we KNOW that this happened to some extent.

    Thomas is definitely NOT Q - though they share some similarities. Both are basically lists of sayings of Jesus, with little or no narrative and little or no interpretation. There are many sayings in Q that are not in Thomas, and many in Thomas that are not in Q, however.

    It was largely a popularity contest: the gospels most used in the churches were the ones that became "official." There were also theological considerations: the canonical gospels were amenable to "orthodox" interpretation. (They were, however, amenable to other interpretations as well. Irenaeus (c. 180 AD) reports that the Ebionites used Matthew, the separationists used Mark, Marcion used Luke, and the Valentinians used John.)
    Thomas was a popular gospel among the "heretics" (gnostics) and could be interpreted gnostically, so Irenaeus (I think) rejected it. There was no official decision made on the content of the New Testament until the late fourth century, though.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste,
    I am interpretting you to mean that their are passages in the other texts that are missing from Thomas therefor Thomas is not Q. Q is currently conjecture that fits a mold of understanding, the foremost theory for sure, but still not validated as Q hasn't been found or identified.
    sounding an awful lot like you have a copy of Q to compare to Thomas. Looking always for education, my understanding is that it is possible that Thomas and another text could be what is thought to be Q. And whatever Q was, it wasn't used in its entirety but selected information was used to salt the information which created our other gospels. So I'm still confused as to how Thomas can currently be said to have sayings which are defiinitely not in Q...please enlighten me.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Your opinion is based on?...I'd really like to know.

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    I recommend Pagels' "Beyond Belief" for a lengthy discussion of the "Thomas" character of the Gospel of John and the Thomas of the Gospel of Thomas. There's evidence of a polemicist at work in the former.

    The Gospel of Thomas is about throwing off authority, not taking it up yourself. It's about losing your identity to find Christ. What could be more humble than that?

    Be careful about characterizing one or the other as a "cynic." If you compare the teachings and stories of the Canonical Gospels with the group of philosophers actually known as "Cynics," some remarkable things emerge. I would recommend J.D. Crossan's "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography" and "The Historical Jesus" for a detailed consideration by a first-rate Biblical scholar and historian.
     
  15. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Welcome back...;)
     
  16. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    Thanks. I've been very busy with issues related to autism and haven't had the time to keep up very well. I've been checking back every now and then, though.
     
  17. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Of course...
     
  18. heaven_id

    heaven_id Active Member

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    Maybe we should 'revise' the title, not Gospel of Thomas but Teaching of Jesus Christ by Thomas.

    My thought.
     
  19. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Interesting prospect...
     
  20. Abogado del Diablo

    Abogado del Diablo Ferally Decent

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    That's already what it means, I think. We refer to the "Gospel of John" for example, but it's usually regarded as short hand for "The Gospel According to John." It's the gospel according to a writer or group of writers more likely to whom the name "John" has been attached.

    The term "gospel" itself means "good news" or "God's word" (it's derived either from "Good Spell" or "God's Spell," depending on whom you ask). In popular Christianity it has come to be associated with a story of Jesus's life, teachings, passion and ressurection because the four "gospels" in the canonical NT are of that sort. But I don't think it's inappropriate to call a collection of teachings attributed to Jesus without an account of the life, passion or ressurection a "gospel."
     

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