Gospel of Thomas

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by vampyregirl, May 23, 2012.

  1. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    Not really a gospel, basically just a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus. Some point to it as evidence that the Q document, a hypothetical collection of the sayings of Jesus, must exist, others, including many ministers of various denominations question its authenticity. It doesn't seem real to me. I question whether Jesus would really say some of these things. It just doesn't sound like the Jesus of the four Gopels. And isn't it part of the Gnostic gospels? Gnostics believed every man is a Christ, or something like that.
    So i believe it probably is false, but that doesn't neccesarily mean the Q document doesn't exist or at least did at one time.
  2. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Examples? Which sayings strike you as odd?
  3. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    For one the saying where he supposedly says he will make Mary a man so she can enter heaven, because women can't enter. Hardly something Jesus would say.
  4. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Well I'm not sure it's something Jesus would say as He's a bit beyond me, but it does sound odd. Might it have something to do with the fact that there is no marriage in heaven? Maybe that calls for no gender? Maybe it's not the wording He used, or maybe "man" is simply meant to indicate mankind. Maybe men can't enter either. It's no more cryptic than the term "born again". Even in the four gospels Jesus is openly recorded as saying different things by different people when recounting particular instances. One example being the 'If he isn't for us, he's against us" in one, and "If he isn't against us, he's for us" in another. Being that there are obviously many people who are indifferent or ignorant and would be placed in different categories depending on which wording is used, it seems pretty clear that it needs to be read with the understanding that whether you believe it to be God's inspired word, fallible human hands wrote it and revised it. Obviously an omnipotent God could deliver a perfectly unabridged, accurate-to-His intentions edition through the years but He hasn't. There are many openly admitted and confirmed revisions and changes in translation, sometimes with significant impact on the meaning of a particular verse.
  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    For those of you not up on the depths of complexity... have at it...


    I myself and going to make some toast. Far more productive and far tastier. :rolleyes:
  6. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Yep, do not have the brainjuice for that today. Maybe when I've got less to keep track of in life.
  7. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    I usually tread carefully when talking about bible verses and what they mean, because when we argue about meaning of specific words, we have to remember that we're dealing with a 2nd or 3d level translation. Apart from the normal translation nuances, the fact is that some words had multiple meanings, or were used in a different fashion depending on context.

    I once used the example of 'bone'. We all know the meaning of the word and the ways in which it can be used. It would be translated to e.g. Dutch as 'bot'.

    However, if used in the hypothetical sentence 'Jesus threw him a bone' your knowledge of the meaning of 'bone' is pointless when you don't understand that 'throwing a bone' means something totally different. If you translate it literally, you're left wondering forever what the significance was of Jesus throwing a bone at someone, and what it meant. Denominations could schism over it, arguing that bones had a religious significance and that the proper way to throw them was the one handed overhand lob.

    The word 'man' is one that could have meant anything and everything. We know it has been used to describe and actual male, but also mankind, homosexuals, and society. Mary 'not being man' (assuming it was even translated correctly or completely) could mean anything, including the fact that she may not have been baptized, or a believer, or part of whatever group of people Jesus may have referred to. I really doubt genitals had anything to do with it.

    The word 'day' is another funny one, which used to mean not only day, but also 'era' or 'epoch'. And despite the fact that we know this, denominations have schismed over whether the 6 days in Genesis are literal 24 hour days or not.

    Putting meaning to translated one liners from languages that noone today understands properly or accurately anymore is a tricky business.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  8. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    But Count, aren't you assuming that nobody from the original era wrote or preached on the subject? In other words, aren't you assuming that there are no commentaries?

    If people back in the original days elaborated and commented and preached and taught about the subject (whatever passage or writing that we're talking about) -- if they did that, then wouldn't the confusion go away?

    I would say, yes, it would. Problem solved.
    Different assumptions lead to different answers.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  9. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    What, wait. So heaven is full of dudes?

    And they call San Francisco gay.
  10. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Possibly. Sadly, as you know, very little survives from that era. What we have usually has to be put together like a jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. Even in the regular NT gospels there are things of which noone really knows what they mean anymore. It would be great to find an authorative analysis of the gospels from that era. However that is very unlikely to happen. So the only things we have outside the known gospels and letters are fragments and pieces.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  11. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    I believe the Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic gospel? The Gnostic sect no longer exist that i know of. They believed every man is a Christ and that they possesed some hidden knowledge. That alone makes me question whether it should be taken seriously.
  12. Kuma

    Kuma Lurking about

    Why does that make you question it? You don't believe men and women today can be like Christ?
  13. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Er, um, I don't think that's true at all.

    Right, they couldn't ever become like Christ in this world, but you would have me believe that they could have become like God in another world. They didn't have any secret knowledge about Jesus unpossessed by the other groups, but you have the "restored" and "corrected" message of Jesus unpossessed by the other groups. Yep, sure. And this is because a book dug out of the ground all covered with worms, without any connection to any people group anywhere on the planet, is thoroughly more authoritative than 1800 years of unbroken person-to-person, face-to-face, instruction that literally goes back to the several Apostles of Jesus, and therefore to Jesus.

    Did I get that correct? If I got that correct, you'll have to excuse me for not weighing your opinion very highly, because I outright do not understand your measuring rod of truth.
  14. Oddsbodskins

    Oddsbodskins Troll hunter 2nd Class

    It's really more of a measuring string.
  15. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula Valued Member

    Really? How much writings do we have left?
    I mean writings covering and explaining the other things.
    For example the specific line mentioned earlier. We have afaik no other writings explaining what that particular line means. And with no context and no living knowledge of the original language, it could mean anything.
  16. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Man and I thought Star Trek fans were nerds.

    The Bear.
  17. m1k3jobs

    m1k3jobs Dudeist Priest

    I've been doing some googling on the Gospel of Thomas. It may have been used by the gnostics but it wasn't specifically gnostic in its writings. The other thing is that it seems to be more of a introspective or internalist school. The kingdom of god lies with in and that type of stuff. Also it neither confirms nor denies Christs divinity. It does disagree with other early church teachings though on the value of grace and works. No wonder it wasn't included.

    It kind of fits with things I have read about the Quakers, non-moon that is.

    So, Jesus may have been a Buddha?
  18. vampyregirl

    vampyregirl Moved on

    I don't understand yours either. Are you defending the Gnostics here? hard to take you seriously if you follow some quasi christian sect that no longer exist.
  19. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    Okay, with respect to non-canonical books, I can agree with you. The Gnostics died out and their belief structure got lost. I can go with you on that one. Sure. :) I was thinking more of canonical books because Vampyre tried to associate this so-called "Gospel" with the same Jesus of the real "Gospel" books. As to the canonical Bible, the outside writings began almost immediately, and that which wasn't written down immediately was passed on through oral instruction that spread like wildfire through dry brush, and was written down later. It's hard to find something in the canonical New Testament that wasn't addressed by someone way back in time.
    Last edited: May 23, 2012
  20. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    It would help us all if you confirm whether I got your measuring rod (or string, or whatever) correct.

    FWIW, I'm Eastern Rite (Byzantine) Catholic, as in Acts 11:26. That's hardly a "sect," and there's never been a single day since Acts chapter 11 that it didn't exist.

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