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Gospel of Thomas

Jul 26, 1996 05:00 AM
by Paul M.M. Kieniewicz

Jim Meier askes readers for their opinion on the origin of the gospel of Thomas,

According to scholars of the Jesus Seminar (See the "Five Gospels") - the
Gospel of Thomas  (GT) has sayings of Jesus that are less corrupted than
those in the canonical texts, suggesting that the writer drew on material
that was very close to the source. It draws heavily on a source used by
Mathew and Luke called "Q", but also on some other early oral traditions.
Its first draft could have been as early as 70 AD, but the version that has
survived is more probably no earlier than 150 AD. GT also contains saying
that were current among the gnostics. The Jesus Seminar people generally
rejected those as having originated with Jesus. However - the seminar
participants clearly did not want to commit themselves to any saying in the
GT that was not paralleled in another text.

I reccommend the book "The Five Gospels" to anyone who has an interest in
textual criticism of the New Testament.

Paul K.


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