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The Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel according to Thomas is the name found at the end of a work found in a fourth century Coptic manuscript. Although this manuscript is the only complete copy of the Gospel of Thomas, the work clearly goes back earlier, as three fragments of it date to earlier times, possibly as early as AD 200.

A number of scholars have made the claim that the Gospel of Thomas contains information about what Jesus actually said which is independent of what can be found in the four canonical gospels.

The work consists of about 114 individual sayings of Jesus, some of which show distinct similarity with sayings in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and some of which are substantially different. The sayings are said to be part of the secret revelation to the Apostle Thomas.

The most commonly given date for this work by scholars is about AD 140, though there is no firm evidence for such a precise date.

Links: Craig Blomberg; Simon Gathercole


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