What is the Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas

Before this manuscript was found, only the existence of the Gospel of Thomas was known, as the name has been mentioned in church tradition since the middle of the third century.

The collection of 13 codices found in Nag Hammadi, which had been kept in clay jugs, contains more than 50 different writings. All the manuscripts found there have in common that they were not generally accepted by Christianity at the time.

The name "Gospel of Thomas" can be found as the name of the text at the end of the corresponding section of the manuscript. However, the text has very little in common with the other Gospels. It is not a coherent narrative; Jesus' suffering, death and resurrection do not occur. Individual words of Jesus and short stories are recorded in a total of 114 proverbs. Some passages are closely based on the four biblical gospels, others are more puzzling. The Second Logion reads: “Jesus says: He who seeks should not stop looking until he finds. And if he finds, he will be dismayed. And if he's upset, he'll be amazed. And he will be king over space. "

There are different views on the time the text was written. Some researchers go so far as to assume that the Gospel of Thomas, as a pure collection of sayings, must even be older than the Biblical Gospels. Mostly, however, the time is assumed to be around the middle of the second century, in tradition a work with this title has been known since the middle of the third century. Individual sayings can go back to earlier times. And that would make this text a lot younger than the canonical Gospels.