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Skye

Gospel of Thomas

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I wonder what others think of the GoT, I find it impossible to believe that Jesus actually said half of the things he is quoted as saying, I think half of it is gnostic extrapolation, is it that simple for others, or do some think this is a genuine record that was not included in the bible for political reasons, which seems to me to be the common new age understanding? 

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2 hours ago, Skye said:

I wonder what others think of the GoT, I find it impossible to believe that Jesus actually said half of the things he is quoted as saying, I think half of it is gnostic extrapolation, is it that simple for others, or do some think this is a genuine record that was not included in the bible for political reasons, which seems to me to be the common new age understanding? 

I think the only thing we can be 'sure' about, is that the GOT differs from the synoptic gospels, but I doubt we have any way of really telling which might be more accurate concerning Jesus.  We can say that the version of Jesus presented in the synoptics won the day because somebody/s somewhere decided these were a better reflection of the Jesus story, but we don't really know why or how this decision was made other than we can speculate that it seems this version (the synoptics) was favoured by those of the day that made the choices.  We can say that it may have been supported by 'oral tradition', but the fact is we just don't really know.  Rightly or wrongly - I'm not sure we can ever accurately 'know'.

We do know that there were quite a number of different takes on early Christianity, so maybe the GOT is 'just another take' on Jesus.  Maybe it is more accurate than anybody realises.  Maybe it is the most accurate but least popular of the takes on Jesus' life?  Unfortunately, at this point in time we simply don't have any evidence to accurately portray where it stands on the scale of accuracy about Jesus.

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13 hours ago, Skye said:

I wonder what others think of the GoT, I find it impossible to believe that Jesus actually said half of the things he is quoted as saying, I think half of it is gnostic extrapolation, is it that simple for others, or do some think this is a genuine record that was not included in the bible for political reasons, which seems to me to be the common new age understanding? 

Jesus was in Game of Thrones?  

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14 hours ago, PaulS said:

I think the only thing we can be 'sure' about, is that the GOT differs from the synoptic gospels, but I doubt we have any way of really telling which might be more accurate concerning Jesus.  We can say that the version of Jesus presented in the synoptics won the day because somebody/s somewhere decided these were a better reflection of the Jesus story, but we don't really know why or how this decision was made other than we can speculate that it seems this version (the synoptics) was favoured by those of the day that made the choices.  We can say that it may have been supported by 'oral tradition', but the fact is we just don't really know.  Rightly or wrongly - I'm not sure we can ever accurately 'know'.

We do know that there were quite a number of different takes on early Christianity, so maybe the GOT is 'just another take' on Jesus.  Maybe it is more accurate than anybody realises.  Maybe it is the most accurate but least popular of the takes on Jesus' life?  Unfortunately, at this point in time we simply don't have any evidence to accurately portray where it stands on the scale of accuracy about Jesus.

I think there is a radical difference between the two approaches, revealing the light that is intrinsically within us versus deferring to light that is God/Jesus and seeking the way for that light to enter into us, and I think it matters which perspective is adhered to. I get what you are saying though, I can only have a personal opinion on the relative value of each perspective for now, and can only hope that some long lost text comes to light to resolve the issue officially one day. 

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Historically, there seems to be some evidence that the apostle Thomas went to India and established a Christian community there, which was in accord with orthodox Christianity. 

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Also this sort of research might be able to finally clarify the issue one day...

Thomas and Tatian: The relationship between the "Gospel of Thomas" and the "Diatessaron"

Nicholas Perrin, Marquette University

Abstract

Since the 1946 discovery of the Coptic Gospel of Thomas , the relationship between the sayings found in this collection (almost all of them attributed to Jesus) and the synoptic gospels has been disputed. Some have affirmed that the sayings in the Coptic texts reflect a line of transmission independent of the synoptic tradition. Others have contended that Thomas shows a reworking of the Greek synoptic gospels. In my study I propose a third possibility: namely, that the Gospel of Thomas was dependent on a second-century Syriac gospel harmony known to us as Tatian's Diatessaron (written 170-175 CE). I begin with a reexamination of the gospel's original language of composition. While most scholars have held that the collection was first written in Greek, and others have proposed Coptic, I align myself with those who have argued for a Syriac hyparchtype. Through my linguistic analysis of Thomas, I identify 502 catchwords (words that can be linked semantically, phonologically, or etymologically) in a hypothetical Syriac reconstruction of the text--almost double the number found in a Greek reconstruction or in the Coptic. Many of these (Syriac) verbal connections are realized through puns involving the interplay of word-sounds and meanings, a technique typical not only of early Syriac literature, but also of certain texts dealing with esoteric revelation Some of these Syriac puns are even paralleled in another Syriac text of the same period, the Odes of Solomon . From the linguistic analysis it can further be inferred that the Gospel of Thomas was composed by an author who appropriated and modified the canonical tradition in order to create catchwords. While the elaborate aligning and reworking of sources suggests written rather than oral sources behind Thomas , more telling is the fact that the sayings collections, at points, follows the sequence of the Diatessaro n. Given these considerations, I conclude that the author of Thomas knew and used the Diatessaron .

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