Monday, April 21, 2008
Jesus, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Bible
I’ve read excerpts from the Gospel of Thomas before, usually the most outlandish verses from an orthodox perspective, but I’ve never read the whole thing. But I just read the whole thing the other day and I was surprised at how often there are legitimate quotes from canonical Scripture as well as some quotes that have similar ideas. Why blog on this? As much as Thomas lines up with Scripture (the aberrant stuff notwithstanding), it just doesn’t compare with Scripture. I’ve always heard this from professors and others. “Just read the Bible compared to other literature,” they’d say. “There’s no comparison.” I’m only a dabbler in noncanonical literature, but in my limited dabbling, my professors are being proven true. Thomas was a quick read with a bunch of Jesus sayings, but there’s no story. There’s no hero. There’s no conflict. It’s just sayings, but there’s so much more to the Jesus of the Bible. There’s nothing like the storyline of Scripture and God’s revelation through history in the Scriptures.