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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


Jesus and the Eyewitnesses

By Richard Bauckham

This new book argues that the four Gospels are closely based on eyewitness testimony of those who knew Jesus.

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`Judas' is synonymous with `traitor'. But a newly-discovered ancient text of the Gospel of Judas offers a picture of Judas Iscariot radically different from the Church's traditional understanding of him, and maintains that far from being the infamous betrayer, Judas was actually Jesus' trusted friend and the recipient of secret revelation. Simon Gathercole's new book includes a translation of the ancient Egyptian text of the Gospel of Judas and a running commentary, and offers new translations of all the ancient evidence about Judas Iscariot and the Gospel attributed to him... more



The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ

by Martin Hengel

How could the word, 'gospel', be used both by Paul for a proclamation which seems to include no narrative about the earthly Jesus, and by the author of the Gospel according to Mark and his successors, as a title works, which adopt an essentially narrative form? Why did the church, in forming its canon of scripture, choose to include four different and sometimes contradictory accounts of the life of Jesus, when others, like Tatian and Marcion, opted for a harmony, for one account? more


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