Gospel Of Thomas (NHC II, 2)

GOSPEL OF THOMAS (NHC II, 2)

A collection of 114 “secret sayings” attributed to Jesus, said to have been written down by Didymos Judas Thomas. The Gospel of Thomas is completely preserved only in Coptic, but three copies of a Greek version are represented by Greek papyrus fragments found at Oxyrhynchus. Some of the sayings have parallels in the canonical gospels, but most do not. It is possible that some of the sayings represent an Aramaic sayings tradition that is very early, though the Gospel of Thomas as we now have it represents a later mystical type of Christianity at home in eastern Syria, for which Judas Thomas, Jesus “twin,” is the chief apostolic authority.

The original eschatological teaching of Jesus is thoroughly de-eschatologized in the Gospel of Thomas. Some scholars hold that the Gospel of Thomas was composed in Syriac, but no Syriac version is extant. As the Oxyrhynchus fragments attest, the Gospel of Thomas was brought to Egypt sometime during the second century. Some of the sayings also have parallels in apocryphal gospels composed in Alexandria, the Gospel of the Hebrews and the Gospel of the Egyptians (not the same as the Nag Hammadi tractate of the same title).
A likely date of composition for the Gospel of Thomas (whether composed in Greek or Syriac) is around 140.

GAWDAT GABRA

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