The Gospel of Thomas: How to Live

Previous Post: Salvation Through Gnosis

The Gospel of Thomas is an apocryphal (non canonical) gospel containing sayings of Jesus. Being a sayings gospel, like the theoretical gospel of Q, the source of the sayings in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, the gospel of Thomas is very primitive in nature. Nonetheless, it appears to have been worked over by gnostics, giving it a distinctly non-Christian character.

Here is saying number 6:

“Do you want us to fast?” asked Jesus’s disciples. “How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?”

“Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven,” Jesus said. “For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.”

In the canonical gospel of Matthew, when the disciples ask Jesus how they should pray, he gives them the Lord’s prayer. Note how different the message that the writer of the gospel of Thomas puts in his mouth is. It is essentially to be true in both word and deed.

Compare the second sentence with Luke 8:16-17:

No one lights a lamp and covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he sets it on a lampstand, so those who enter can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing concealed that will not be known and illuminated.

Jesus’s message in Luke is one being open and willing to preach the gospel, but in Thomas, it has become a warning to those who lie and practice deceit that the truth will always come out.

Next Post: The Mystery of the Lion

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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2 Responses to The Gospel of Thomas: How to Live

  1. Pingback: The Gospel of Thomas: Salvation Through Gnosis | Jim's Jumbler

  2. Pingback: The Gospel of Thomas: The Mystery of the Lion | Jim's Jumbler

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