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The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus
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The Gospel of Thomas: The Gnostic Wisdom of Jesus

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,114 ratings  ·  61 reviews
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
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 16th 2005 by Inner Traditions (first published September 1st 1986)
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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

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 السريانية
وبسبب طابعه الغنوصي فهو يعد من الأناجيل المنحولة الغير معترف بها من قبل
ينسب هذا الإنج
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 ...more
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
Robert Fritz
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 Kloppenborg
Beyond Belief – The Secret Gospel of Thomas – Elaine Pagels
Zealot – The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth – Reza Aslan
I got started read
Steven Peterson
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 ...more
Doreen Fritz
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 ...more
Leonard Brown
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.
Jacob O'connor
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 intere
Austin Wright
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
Lela Ashkarian
I am still reading this book, along with the Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Hmmmm, learning, absorbing, an Listening deeply.
Purnacandra Sivarupa
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
Lucas Gialluisi
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 darkness

Gospel 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
Mary Baxter
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 ...more
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 ...more
Kevin Summers
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."
Interesting read. Most of this is the same as the other gospels. The differences are what is most interesting though. However, Jesus is known for speaking in riddles and parables, so just a collection of fragments is not very useful. The context for each would be nice. Yet, there were some nice tidbits in this collection.
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
Chai Maa
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
Harry Hylander
A doctor and an agnostic.
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).
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.
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.
Joshua Pinkston
I give the Gospel 4 or 5 stars while the commentary is more of a 3. I love this record of Jesus' words, but the spin and emphasis they put on it many times throughout felt too constricting on the text, too conclusive. It nearly muzzled the mystery, where the reader is able to listen more deeply. But there are great observations as well. Maybe just too many.
This was quite the read. Most of the sayings(logions) were already found in the synoptics(Matthew/Mark/Luke) or John. There are some that either differ a slight bit or are unique here. I found those quite interesting. I spent quite a bit of time trying to understand some of them and found the themes quite revelatory. I would definitely recommend it.
Anna Banana
In 1945, a document containing sayings attributed to Jesus was found in an Egyptian cave. The "Gospel of Thomas" was contemporaneously written with the other four primary gospels of the New Testament. This new gospel offers a new perspective on Jesus' messages: the Kingdom of Heaven is right here in the present, and it is up to us to recognize it.
Ormond College Library
Chelsea Wright: This one is on the 'compulsory reading' list for anyone interested in Gnosticism. There is lots to ponder over in this controversial little ancient text said to consist of a collection of sayings of Jesus.

My favourite is saying 32) Jesus said, "A city built upon a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."
This is one that I have read several times. It is perhaps the best and most spiritually progressive of all the gospels out there. Indeed a powerful compliment coming from an atheist. I haven't read this particular translation, but generally speaking, I would recommend this work to anyone with the capacity to be challenged by it.
This is one of the books that was excluded by the early church. Unlike the synoptic gospels which tell a story, this one is a collection of Jesus' sayings which you will not find in the New Testament. They are mystical in nature, often with a hidden meaning. Marvin Meyer's translation is the best of the ones I have read.
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Gnostic Gospels: Including the Gospel of Thomas - The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

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“Let the one who seeks continue seeking until they find what they are looking for. When they find it, they will become troubled. When they become troubled, they will be amazed, and they will rule over the All.” 0 likes
“Gospel of Thomas. Coptic 3) Jesus said, "If those who lead you say, 'Look, the Realm is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Realm is inside of you and outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you live in poverty and it is you yourselves” 0 likes
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