The gospel of Thomas


#1

Some dude in my Art History class did a project on Coptic art and he showed us some slides of Coptic art work.

Someone, something about the gospels came up…yeah, I think so girl brought up something about Coptic gospels (?)…that they contained the gospel of Thomas and then later my instructor (who is Catholic :clapping: ) told the class something like the CC rejected it or I can’t remember exactly what she said and then some other guy in class said that the gospel of Thomas had stuff about Jesus or something like when He was a kid? Then another person said that it was said in the gospel of Thomas that Christ killed someone??? Huh? That doesn’t sound right.

Were we on crack or something or is that really true about the gospel of Thomas??


#2

That is true about the Gospel of Thomas. Fortunately the Gospel of Thomas isn’t true. It was rejected by the Church at the Council of Hippo and the other one (Carthage?). It is part of the Catholic apocrypha (not to be confused with the deuterocanon).


#3

[quote=Aaron I.]That is true about the Gospel of Thomas. Fortunately the Gospel of Thomas isn’t true. It was rejected by the Church at the Council of Hippo and the other one (Carthage?). It is part of the Catholic apocrypha (not to be confused with the deuterocanon).
[/quote]

What? So did Thomas himself write that?? :eek:


#4

[quote=Paris Blues]What? So did Thomas himself write that?? :eek:
[/quote]

No, it was written by someone else and attributed to him. It is non-biblical.

Here’s what my NAB says about the apocrypha:

Those books which were rejected by the Council of Hippo as being non-bblical belong to what is called the Apocrypha. These books treat largely of the incidents and events during the life of Christ not related in the books of the Bible. The are often well worth reading, as they offer much historical information not otherwise available. However, some of thse stories have slightly heretical tendencies.

Also, keep in mind that when a Protestant says “apocrypha”, they are referring to the deuterocanon.


#5

Peace be with you!

As far as I know, the Coptic Orthodox Church does not have the Gospel of Thomas in their Bible. The Gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic gospel, and that was one of the great heresies.

The other one is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, where Jesus kills a boy for insulting him and works miracles for his family and friends. The Gospel of Thomas is just a bunch of quotes from Jesus to his apostles.

The Gospel of Thomas: misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/Trans.htm

The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancythomas-a-mrjames.html

In Christ,
Rand


#6

[quote=Aaron I.]No, it was written by someone else and attributed to him. It is non-biblical.

Here’s what my NAB says about the apocrypha:

Those books which were rejected by the Council of Hippo as being non-bblical belong to what is called the Apocrypha. These books treat largely of the incidents and events during the life of Christ not related in the books of the Bible. The are often well worth reading, as they offer much historical information not otherwise available. However, some of thse stories have slightly heretical tendencies.

Also, keep in mind that when a Protestant says “apocrypha”, they are referring to the deuterocanon.
[/quote]

Aaron,
can you tell me where in the NAB it discusses this? In another forum, I’ve been told that the Apocrypha is just fable/folklore and therefore should not be part of the bible, and that Catholics would agree with this, my priests, etc…I think the person who made the claim confused what the deuterocanonical books with the Catholic apocrypha.


#7

The Gospel of Thomas is not part of the Coptic Orthodox Church in any manner.

It is contradictory to the other 4 Gospels.

So just because it is written in Coptic, doesn’t mean the Coptic Orthodox Church regards it as inspirational! :rolleyes:

God Bless,
Elizabeth


#8

[quote=dwolstro]Aaron,
can you tell me where in the NAB it discusses this? In another forum, I’ve been told that the Apocrypha is just fable/folklore and therefore should not be part of the bible, and that Catholics would agree with this, my priests, etc…I think the person who made the claim confused what the deuterocanonical books with the Catholic apocrypha.
[/quote]

It says this under a section entitled origin, inspiration, and history of the bible. It immediately follows the listing of the books of the Bible (which itself is obviously in the front of the book. The author is not confusing the apocrypha with the deutercanon, as they explain the difference immediately following.

I’m not promoting reading the apocryphal books, and I almost certianly never will myself. That being said, I do understand the argument they make for them. But yes, it is certainly not biblical or inspired…


#9

[quote=Paris Blues]Some dude in my Art History class did a project on Coptic art and he showed us some slides of Coptic art work.

Someone, something about the gospels came up…yeah, I think so girl brought up something about Coptic gospels (?)…that they contained the gospel of Thomas and then later my instructor (who is Catholic :clapping: ) told the class something like the CC rejected it or I can’t remember exactly what she said and then some other guy in class said that the gospel of Thomas had stuff about Jesus or something like when He was a kid? Then another person said that it was said in the gospel of Thomas that Christ killed someone??? Huh? That doesn’t sound right.

Were we on crack or something or is that really true about the gospel of Thomas??
[/quote]

There are at least two Thomas Gospels - you’re describing the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. He does kill someone - the son of Caiaphas. In fact, the Jesus of that Gospel is a nasty, precocious and spiteful brat, which is enough evidence that it is uncanonical.

Read it for yourself :slight_smile:

Probably the only thing the NT Apocrypha have in common is that they are not in the canon - they come from various groups, places, dates, & are of very varied value & literary quality. Some survive only in fragments - others are more or less complete. Not all were doctrinally suspect. Some were unknown until recent times, others have been popular for a long time. Some have been very influential in Christian art and devotion - others not. It’s impossible to generalise usefully about them. ##


#10

I have a question - how does one explain Isaiah 7:15-16?

It seems to support the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.


#11

I think one of the big problems with the “Gospel of Thomas” is that ole Thomas was likely in India at the time the work was written. It’s doubtful he even knew someone was writing in his name.


#12

[quote=Vir Dei]I have a question - how does one explain Isaiah 7:15-16? It seems to support the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.
[/quote]

No, it doesn’t.

[quote=StCsDavid]I think one of the big problems with the “Gospel of Thomas” is that ole Thomas was likely in India at the time the work was written. It’s doubtful he even knew someone was writing in his name.
[/quote]

Actually, he was likely dead when it was written. The Gospel of Thomas dates from the late 2nd to early 3rd century A.D., Elaine Pagels fantasies of a 1st century apostolic origin notwithstanding.

– Mark L. Chance.


#13

I’m inclined to agree with you. I should have prefaced my thought with “even if it had been written when Thomas was alive…” Poor Thomas. First he earns this label as a doubter, then he gets a bogus gospel ascribed to him.


#14

[quote=mlchance]No, it doesn’t.
[/quote]

Well, of course it doesn’t say “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is true,” but it implies that there was a time when Jesus did not know the difference between good and evil (which is what the Infancy Gospel of Thomas is about).


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.