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The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings

of Jesus

Author(s): Marvin Meyer

ISBN13: 9780060655815

ISBN10: 006065581X


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  • The gospel according to Thomas is an ancient collection of sayings attributed to Jesus and thought to be recorded by his brother Judas, the Twin (Thomas means "twin" in Aramaic). Some scholars suggest that this gospel was collected from New Testament sayings, while others believe it springs from a completely independent author because many of the quotations are not in the New Testament at all. It slept for two millennia in a stone jar until it was accidentally exhumed by a group of fertilizer gatherers in the northern Egyptian desert in 1945. (The gospel is just one document in the fourth-century papyrus library discovered near the city of Nag Hammadi, from which the entire collection gets its name.) Marvin Meyers distinguished translation includes Coptic text on each left page and the English translation on the right. It is considered by many to be perhaps the closest well ever get to reading what was actually said by the historical Jesus. In The Gospel of Thomas, youll discover a different kind of Christ - a wandering spiritual teacher from Galilee who performs no miracles, reveals little prophecy, announces no apocalypse, and dies for no ones sins.

  • Marvin Meyer

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    Best known of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts (a collection buried c. 370 C.E. and found accidentally by an Egyptian farmer in 1945), the Gospel of Thomas confronts readers with sayings attributed to a Jesus who seems more like a Zen master (Split a piece of wood; I am there) than either a political messiah or incarnate god.... Many historians of religion now think the Gospel of Thomas is the nearing surviving approximation to Q, a hypothetical collection of material about Jesus believed to have been used as a source by the authors of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the so-called synoptic gospel. Thomas, however, contains no stories about Jesus, but instead consists of a compilation of 114 sayings attributed to him.... Free as it is from the encrustation of orthodoxy, the Gospel of Thomas can take the reader, as much as any book can, directly to an enigmatic teacher who walked out of Galilee two millennia ago.

    - Gnosis

    "Discovered among the gnostic texts found in Egypt in 1945, this gospel from Thomas gives the reader a fresh vision of Christs teachings. Free of dogma, Zen-like wisdom graces the pages of this scholarly yet immensely readable work...superbly presented."

    - NAPRA Trade Journal

    "In this book an excellent, very readable translation of the Gospel of Thomas accompanies a new edition of the Coptic text and learned notes."

    - Birger Pearson, University of California, Santa Barbara, Religious Studies Review

    "The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus, is one of the Nag Hammadi gnostic texts discovered in 1945 in upper Egypt. The collection belongs to the genre of wisdom sayings, and some of the sayings parallel those of Jesus in the synoptic gospels and Q. Professor Meyer, professor of religion at Chapman University, presents a critically established Coptic text and a new English translation on facing pages. He also provides an introduction and notes. Also included is a brief appreciation by Harold Bloom."

    - Theology Digest

    "Thomas tells us more about the historical Jesus than all of the Dead Sea Scrolls put together. A superb presentation of the most important early Christian text discovered in this century."

    - John Dominic Crossan, author of The Historical Jesus


The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings