The Gospel According to St. Thomas

St. Thomas the Apostle

Stop searching your Bible; you're not going to find it in there. It's not hidden among the four New Testament gospels. It's the Gospel of Thomas and despite its name, some scholars aren't quite convinced that St. Thomas the Apostle actually wrote this ancient text.

This gospel is a collection of sayings and teachings attributed to Jesus Christ. Portions of this document were initially discovered in the late 1800s. Later, a complete version of it was found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. Scholars can date the complete text to approximate 340 AD. Certain fragments of this gospel though have been dated to nearly 200 years earlier than that.

Despite its name, The Gospel of Saint Thomas, controversy exists over who exactly the author of this work may be. Many point to the very first line of the text in which it states that the author is "didymos Judas Thomas." Didymos is the Greek for Twin. Not only that, but Thomas means twin in Aramaic.

Many believe that the author's name was actually Judas, whose nickname was twin. The confusion emerges because the Gospel of John refers to a man called Thomas, who is called "didymos Thomas." But the Bible mentions no Judas whose nickname is the twin.

Whether St. Thomas wrote the gospel or not, the document declares that the Kingdom of God actually exists on the earth. It quotes Jesus as saying that all anyone needs to do is to open their eyes. It also says that a "divine light" exists in each of us. It's this light that allows us to see the Kingdom in our physical surroundings.

Curiously, views the Creation Story of the Bible from a different perspective than the Bible portrays it. This text says that there were two separate "creations" of mankind. The first was perfect; the second flawed. Jesus, according to the Gospel of Thomas, extols us to return to the first, perfect Kingdom - through opening our eyes - instead of waiting for the "end of times" prophecy to come.

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