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Gospel of Thomas

Thomas travelled to India via Egypt, probably visiting the great Hellenic city of Alexandria, and left his eye-witness account of the life of Jesus, most likely in oral form, with local Greek-speaking Jews. The Greek text of the Gospel of Thomas survives in three fragmentary copies, all found in Egypt, the earliest dated to c.120CE.  The Gospel of Thomas found at Nag Hammadi (also in Egypt) is in Coptic and likely to have been translated from the earlier Greek text sometime in the early 4th century. 

Most modern scholars regard the Gospel of Thomas as being a text that developed during the first and early second centuries CE within an environment that was primarily oral rather than written. One view, increasingly discredited, is that it was in Edessa (in Syria) that the Gospel of Thomas, written in Greek,  may have reached its present form, c.120CE.  The alternative hypothesis is that Thomas, on his way to India, visited Alexandria, the great Hellenic city in Egypt, and left his eye-witness account, probably in oral form, with local Greek-speaking Jews.


Stevan Davies, The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained (Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2002)

Ian Brown, Where Indeed Was the Gospel of Thomas Written? Thomas in Alexandria Journal of Biblical Literature 138(2), 2019:451-472

e-clavis - Gospel of Thomas

Early Christian Writings: Gospel of Thomas

1 comment:

Sadashiva1992 said...

One has to know that there was a route to Asia, sailing from the Red Sea. Shores of Egypt.
Sailing along the coasts was a much better solution than travelling through the Syrian, near eastern, deserts.
THere are 2 reasons for which this Gospel was "lost" or ignored
1/ the Gnosticism developed in Egypt, and since Constantine after 300 (AD!) this way was rejected as an error (heresy) by the Council of NIkaia
2/ The conquest by Arab armies as soon as the 8th did cut all cultural exchanges with the Byzantine/Greek and of course Roman parts of the world.
=> We can only praise with gratitude the devotees ( persecuted and isolated) who decided and succeeded to keep the texts in such a "time capsule" for future Seekers!