BOOK OF THOMAS THE CONTENDER (NHC II, 7)
A revelation dialogue between the resurrected Jesus and his twin brother, Judas Thomas, purportedly recorded by Mathaias (Matthew?). Judas Thomas is presented as a “contender” (literally, “athlete”) for control of bodily passions, an ideal taught by the Savior. The Book of Thomas the Contender represents a type of Christianity at home in Eastern Syria (Edessa), represented also by the Gospel of Thomas (NHC II, 2) and the apocryphal Acts of Thomas. The text as we have it may be a composite work made up of two sources. Extant only in Coptic, it was probably originally composed in Greek, but Syriac is also a possibility. A third century date is likely.