Between the death and the resurrection, is it fair to describe Thomas as agnostic?
As to his belief in God, I would have to say no. As to his belief that Jesus was God, I think it would be fair to say yes.
I would also say that he wasn’t alone. All of the apostles had doubts until he appeared to them in the upper room.
No. Incredulous yes, but not agnostic.
I believe that Thomas was the first to acknowledge Jesus as God when he said, “My Lord and My God”.
No.each disciple displays a human weakness,take them as a lesson
I don’t believe his doubt pertained to Jesus’s divinity so much as His resurrection. I don’t begrudge him much for not believing his friends. Other than Jesus, how many people do you personally know who were made dead by experts in the trade of executions but came back to life? I’m gonna guess none. It’s not an easy notion to believe, even from otherwise trustworthy friends, who themselves didn’t believe it when told by the women and the fellas on the road to Emmaus. However, Jesus’s reply to Thomas’s confession of faith does serve as a great reply to agnostic and atheist alike who express disbelief toward supernatural matters.
I have, on occasion, tried to imagine what it would have been like to be one of Jesus’ deciples. If I am honest, I have to say it might have been difficult to believe that he could arise from the dead–even though he raised Lazarus and the Roman captain’s daughter from the dead. I might have been as doubtful as Thomas was upon seeing him alive after the crucifixion.
Jesus must have thought that it was okay for Thomas to have his doubts, because he allowed him to look upon and touch his wounds from the cross. Upon doing so, Thomas was convinced and his faith restored.
I recently experienced my own crisis of faith. So I took Jesus at his word and prayed for my faith to be restored. It did not happen magically or immediately, like a flash of lightning… but with work and continued prayer, it did happen. The Lord touched my heart and restored my faith.
It’s true; just believe.
Notice, however, there is no indication in the scriptures that Thomas ever touched Jesus. It jumps from Jesus telling him to do so to his affirmation of Jesus’ divinity to Jesus’ line about seeing.
Skeptical for sure, his character definitely showed some skepticism when hearing of Christ’s Resurrection.
I have heard a story that Thomas was gnostic – not agnostic. Gnosticism was a heresy that rose quickly in the church. By the time John wrote his Gospel, there were already Gnostics in Ephesus who filled in the leadership gap while John was in prison in Patmos. John wrote his Gospel in part to provide such answers…
Gnosticism is a heresy where – to get close to Jesus or God, you had to study and meditate. Through that study, you can ultimately become enlightened and have a more complete understanding of Christianity. This heresy had a lot of problems including they Gnostic leaders could preach almost anything because they were “enlightened”. They also taught reincarnation so that those who did not learn enough in this life could learn more fully in the next and only after you developed a true understanding of the divine, then you could die and remain in heaven. They have other unusual ideas, such as a dualist philosophy of good & evil – to Gnostics, Earth is evil and heaven is good. since Earth is evil, Jesus did not physically come to Earth, he was only here spiritually.
Some of these ideas have been added to the Orthodox and the Coptic versions of Catholicism.
This is not the same as Agnostic which is a belief in God, but little faith in any religion. The speech that Jesus gives Thomas (“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”) means that faith is important, not some divine knowledge.
So, Thomas was not Agnostic. He may have been Gnostic – his apocryphal Gospel contains elements of Gnosticism – but most people believe it was written several hundred years after his death.
I thought I was the only one who saw that in the text… thank you, jokerswild.
Yeah, poor guy gets picked on so much; all these paintings of him poking Jesus and even a first class relic of a finger that might not have touched any divine One at all. I’m gonna look up whether or not that’sa apostolic tradition or just an embellishment of the story.
I keep wondering who Thomas’s twin was.