Gospel of St. Thomas - What Is It?
The "Gospel of St. Thomas" is a collection of teachings that some attribute to Jesus of Nazareth. Portions of Greek versions of the text were found at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in the late 1800's. A complete version in Coptic (an Egyptian language derived from the Greek alphabet) was found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. The complete text has been dated to about 340 AD, while some of the Greek fragments have been dated as far back as 140 AD.
Gospel of St. Thomas - Who Wrote It?
Scholars aren't sure who wrote the Gospel of St. Thomas. The first lines of the text refer to "didymos Judas thomas" as the author. The word "didymos" is Greek for twin and the word "thomas" is Aramaic for twin. It appears the author's name was Judas, and his nickname was "the twin" (set forth in two languages). The canonical Gospels of the Holy Bible mention a man named Thomas, who John called "didymos thomas." There are also several people named Judas mentioned in the New Testament other than the well-known Judas Iscariot. There is no mention of a Judas in the New Testament who was also nicknamed Thomas, "the twin."
Gospel of St. Thomas - What Does It Say?
The Gospel of St. Thomas declares that the Kingdom of God exists upon the earth today if people just open their eyes. There is "divine light" within all of us, which allows us to see the Kingdom of God in our physical surroundings. The Image of God at the beginning of creation (Genesis 1) still exists today. We can assume that Image still, which is different than the image of fallen man (Adam) in Genesis 2. The Gospel of St. Thomas reveals that mankind can and should restore their identities to the image of God now, and see the Kingdom of God on earth now. This text treats the first two chapters of Genesis in a non-traditional way. It holds that there were two separate creations of mankind -- the first was perfect and the second was flawed. Rather than wait for a future end-time Kingdom to come, the writer of this book exhorts people to return to the perfect Kingdom conditions of Genesis 1 now.
Gospel of St. Thomas - Why isn't it in the Bible?
The Gospel of St. Thomas is considered "Gnostic" in origin and viewpoint by many fundamental Christians, and is possibly the reason why the book was kept from the original canon of the (if the text was even known by early Christian followers at all). Generally, Gnostics hold that salvation of the soul comes from a quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe and of secret formulae indicative of that knowledge. Since Christians view the Bible as a supernaturally-inspired collection of God's word to humans, which is totally integrated in thought and doctrine, there is no such thing as a "lost book" of the Bible with special secrets for the wise. Even from a non-supernatural perspective, if the Bible that we have read for the past 2,000 years reflects the beliefs of original Christianity, then any texts that were originally rejected, discarded or "lost" are not books of the Christian Bible, by definition. A church that adds the Gospel of St. Thomas to its scriptures would move outside the simple lines of fundamental , and we know of no established denomination that has any notion of doing so... nor should they.