Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus (meaning "Twin," as does "Thomas" in Aramaic), was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is most famous for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in John 20:28. He understands that Jesus is his Lord after he places his fingers into Jesus' side for Thomas said he wouldn't believe in the Lords resurrection unless he could see the mark of the nails in Jesus' hands and put his hand inside of them. Now that Thomas has seen Jesus, he believes in him and that he has died and been resurrected.
Gospel of Thomas (c. 50? — c. 140?)
- The author of the Gospel of Thomas discovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945 is unknown, but is identified in the text as Didymos Judas Thomas, and this is generally regarded to be Thomas the Apostle. It consists primarily of sayings, said to be those of Jesus, with a few framing anecdotes associated with some of them.
- Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.
- If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.
- The person old in days will not hesitate to ask a little child of seven days concerning the place of life.
- Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
- I have cast fire upon the world — and behold, I guard it until it is ablaze.
- 10; as quoted in Studies in the Gospel of Thomas (1960) by Robert McLachlan Wilson
- Variant translations:
- I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am watching over it until it blazes.
- As translated by Bentley Layton
- This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die.
- I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended.
- 13, words to Thomas
- The Disciples say to Yeshua: Tell us how our end shall be. Yeshua says: Have you then discovered the origin, so that you inquire about the end? For at the place where the origin is, there shall be the end. Blest is he who shall stand at the origin
- When you make the two one, and you make the inside as the outside and the outside as the inside and the above as the below, and if you establish the male with the female as a single unity so that the man will not act masculine and the woman not act feminine, … —then shall you enter the Sovereignty.
- Within a person of light there is light, and he illumines the entire world. When he does not shine, there is darkness.
- Unless ye fast from the world, ye shall not find the Sovereignty; unless ye keep the entire week as Sabbath, ye shall not behold the Father.
- I found them all drunk, I found no one among them athirst in his heart. And my soul was grieved for the sons of men, for they are blind in their minds and do not see that empty they have come into the world and that empty they are destined to come forth from the world.
- Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.
- His disciples say to him, … when will the New World come? He says to them: That which you look for has already come, but you do not recognize it.
- Behold the Living-One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to perceive him and be unable to see.
- When you bring forth that which is within yourselves, this that you have shall save you. If you do not have that within yourselves, this which you do not have within you will kill you.
- Your rulers and your dignitaries are those who are clad in plush garments, and they shall not be able to recognize the truth.
- Whoever has recognized the world has found the body; yet whoever has found the body, of him the world is not worthy.
- Why do you wash the outside of the chalice? Do you not comprehend that He who creates the inside, is also He who creates the outside?
- You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment.
- The Sovereignty of the Father is like a woman who is carrying a jar full of grain. While she was walking on a distant road, the handle of the jar broke, the grain streamed out behind her onto the road. She did not observe it, she had noticed no accident. When she arrived in her house, she set the jar down—she found it empty.
- Whoever has found the world and become enriched, let him renounce the world.
- Woe to the flesh which depends upon the soul, woe to the soul which depends upon the flesh!
- His disciples said to Him, "When will the Kingdom come?"
Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is.' Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
Quotes about Thomas
- A similar saying in Luke 12:49 is clearly eschatological. "I came to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled." Thomas changes future to past and present. The fire has been ignited, and Jesus keeps the world until it burns up; to be near the fire is to be near Jesus and the kingdom (Saying 82).
- Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
- Jesus, in John 20:29
- Logion 10 has a parallel in Luke xii. 49, but with a change of emphasis. The canonical version looks to the future: "I came to cast fire upon the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" In Thomas the fire has been kindled: "I have cast fire upon the world, and behold, I guard it until it is ablaze." This raises an interesting problem in relation to the common source of Matthew and Luke, since Matthew (x. 34) records a saying, "I came not to cast peace, but a sword." As already observed, something like this appears in logion 16, but in the saying in Thomas "division" and "fire" are paralleled in Luke, "sword" in Matthew. The question is whether in Thomas we have a conflation of the two synoptic versions, or a form of the saying derived from an independent tradition.
- Robert McLachlan Wilson, in Studies in the Gospel of Thomas (1960), p. 110
Quotes about Thomas in India and the St. Thomas myth
- A number of scholars... have built on slender foundations what can only be called Thomas romances, such as reflect vividness of their imagination rather than the prudence of historical critics. ... The story of the ancient church of the Thomas Christians is of great significance for the whole history of Christianity in India. It is to be regretted that, when all the evidence has been collected and sifted, much remains uncertain and conjectural. ... Millions of Christians in South India are certain that the founder of their church was none other than the apostle Thomas himself. The historian cannot prove to them that they are mistaken in their belief. He may feel it right to warn them that historical research cannot pronounce on the matter with a confidence equal to that which they entertain by faith.
- Stephen Neill, History of Christianity in India: The Beginnings to 1707 AD, Cambridge University Press, 1984.
- Among those who like to say that "all are equally guilty", we also find the Christian missionaries. They too have a history of persecutions and temple destructions to cover up, not only in Europe and America, but in India as well. The Portuguese organized a branch of the Inquisition in Goa, and they practised conversion by force on a large scale. The French and British missionaries were less brutal, often resorting to subversion tactics and inducement by means of material advantages for converts, but they too have a record of temple destructions in India. Hundreds of churches contain rubble of the Hindu temples which they replaced. We may look a bit more closely into one case which sums it all up: the Saint Thomas church on Mylapore beach in Madras. According to Christian leaders in India, the apostle Thomas came to India in 52 AD, founded the Syrian Christian church, and was killed by the fanatical Brahmins in 72 AD. Near the site of his martyrdom, the Saint Thomas church was built. In fact this apostle never came to India, and the Christian community in South India was founded by a merchant Thomas Cananeus in 345 AD ( a name which readily explains the Thomas legend ). He led 400 refugees who fled persecution in Persia and were given asylum by the Hindu authorities. In Catholic universities in Europe, the myth of the apostle Thomas going to India is no longer taught as history, but in India it is still considered useful. Even many vocal secularists who attack the Hindus for relying on myth in the Ayodhya affair, off-hand profess their belief in the Thomas myth. The important point is that Thomas can be upheld as a martyr and the Brahmins decried as fanatics. In reality, the missionaries were very disgruntled that these damned Hindus refused to give them martyrs (whose blood is welcomed as the seed of the faith), so they had to invent one. Moreover, the church which they claim commemorates Saint Thomas' martyrdom at the hands of Hindu fanaticism, is in fact a monument of Hindu martyrdom at the hands of Christian fanaticism: it is a forcible replacement of two important Hindu temples (Jain and Shaiva), whose existence was insupportable to Christian missionaries. No one knows how many priests and worshippers were killed when the Christian soldiers came to remove the curse of Paganism from Mylapore beach. Hinduism doesn't practise martyr-mongering, but if at all we have to speak of martyrs in this context, the title goes to these Shiva-worshippers and not to the apostle Thomas.
- Elst, Koenraad. Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam.
- Gospel of Thomas : 5 translations of the Coptic text presented in parallel format, + 3 from the Greek
- Split Screen presentation of translations of the Gospel of Thomas
- Gospel of Thomas as translated by Lambdin from the Coptic texts; and Grenfell, Hunt, and Layton from the Greek fragments
- Gospel of Thomas + Commentary
- Coptic-English INTERLINEAL Gospel of Thomas
- List of Gospel of Thomas versions Online