The Gospel of Thomas


The Role of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas starts with the statement:

While it is easy to dismiss this as an example of the common practice of attributing a document to a respected name, we have to consider some of the evidence presented to us. First of course is how the disciple with the birth-name Judas came to be given, twice over, the spiritual name of Twin. This is reflected in the tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church that the apostle Thomas had a special affinity with Jesus, and in their ikons he is portrayed with a particularly sensitive expression.

Such a person would have been needed to understand and record the sayings with the precision and the cutting edge that we see. Furthermore, he had to convey the hidden meanings in the parables, which are put there to prompt us to find them as steps in our spiritual growth. They are meant to be found by anyone with the urge to seek them, and they are not secret sayings merely for a favoured elite as in the mystery cults of that time.

Apart from that opening statement, Thomas completely effaces himself—with one very significant exception which we can find in the next text 'Signature of Thomas'.