Monday, April 18, 2022

The Gospel of Thomas


By the mid-2nd century CE, the Christian church had settled on four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) as canonical. Since then their exclusive status has never been seriously challenged. But in the mid-20th century, a discovery of texts near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, rocked the theological world. Of the 52 mostly-Gnostic texts in the so-called Nag Hammadi library, one has become particularly well known: The Gospel of Thomas. Not a narrative of the life of Jesus, like the canonical gospels, it is a group of sayings of Jesus, many quite cryptic. Attributed to the Apostle Thomas, its real author is unknown; it is written in Coptic, a late form of Egyptian.



  • "Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
  • "He who knows the All but fails to know himself lacks everything."
  • "[T]he Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."


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