Thomas

If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the
birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then
the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is
outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known,
and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But
if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that
poverty.

I’m no theologian, Biblical scholar, or Pastor, so maybe I am not the best one to comment on certain topics, but I wanted to go ahead and give it a try.

Last night, I got Amber to do something she rarely has done in the past…I got her to sit with me and watch the Military Channel.  She was probably only willing to watch that particular channel because the program that was on had nothing to do with the military or war; instead, it was lost secrets from the Bible.  This particular episode talked about the lost Gospel of Thomas.

Biblical scholars (again, not me) often point out that the Bible was written and edited by men, and that such edits have included the omission of certain parts of the text.  If the particular Roman emperor did not like something, it was left out at the time; if the Pope at the time thought something should be excluded, it was excluded.  What we have, in its current form, is a Bible with the four Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I guess you could easily put me in the camp of those who believe that there has to “be more to the story” than what is presented.  The Bible is a wonderful book, but if we take it exactly as presented, we are accepting what is basically a watered-down version created by men to suit the rulers of their time.  And if we are not getting a complete and accurate depiction of the Word of God, aren’t we short-changing ourselves?  Who among us believes that they are one who can preach steadfast adherence to the Word as it is presented, when there is evidence that information was left out?  What I am not saying is that we should discard the Bible.  I just think that we should take the Bible, and educate ourselves with the information contained therein, and then yearn for more.  We should seek to find out, as the late Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.”

The Gospel of Thomas, unlike the Four Gospels of the New Testament, does not necessarily tell the story of Jesus.  It is more of a collection of quotes from Jesus.  If you were to read all 114 (the third entry is at the beginning of this post, and the fourteenth is at the conclusion of this post), you would probably recognize some from their inclusion in other parts of the Bible.  If we are to believe the results of carbon-date testing performed on the scripts, Thomas pre-dates the other Gospels, so an argument could be made that the quotes from Thomas that are presented in the other gospels of the New Testament, were taken from Thomas, while the others were discarded.  To acknowledge the authenticity of Thomas, however, would be to also acknowledge teachings of the Church have fallen short for centuries.

I don’t profess to know if the Gospel of Thomas is legitimate or not, but it is interesting to read.  What I do know is that I thirst for a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world around me, and the Bible is part of that world.  I would challenge all of us to seek to continue to learn, and to know that it is ok to question things.

If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will
be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits. When you
go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what
they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your
mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth – it is that
which will defile you.

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3 Responses to Thomas

  1. Mike says:

    Sounds a little like you’re doubting Thomas.

  2. Pingback: Put Down Your Pitchforks | Our Not So Expert Opinions

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