The Gospel of Thomas


Our Presentation of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas is definitely not a literary or narrative work. It is quite unlike the Gospels in the Bible, and even the epistles of Paul and other writers. It is an early example of recorded speech.

To recover it therefore it has to be spoken and heard. It has to enter one's awareness through one's ears, not just the eyes (and in fact silent reading was not invented until several centuries later).

To help recover this spoken quality, in our work it is presented in short phrases, typical of speech. These were first identified by the scholars of l'Association Metanoia (they added identifying numbers for easy reference). What is so extraordinary is that Jesus' speech pattern has come right through—from his original Aramaic or Greek, via translations into Greek and Coptic, right through to modern European languages.

Thus to receive Thomas it is necessary to speak it, even to oneself. It is usually necessary to practice saying each logion, to get the rhythm and emphasis right. To aid this, we have added punctuation and capital letters (these indicate when a word has a greater-than-normal spiritual meaning).

The only place in the New Testament where these short phrases have survived is in the Lord's Prayer. Any translation of Thomas that does not reflect this pattern of Jesus' speech is seriously lacking.

Our work goes even further in helping to convey the original quality. When Thomas dictated the sayings that he remembered to a scribe in the market place (for there is no evidence he could himself write), they were written down by hand. Therefore we present the Gospel in hand-written calligraphy—of a particularly fine quality done by John Blaymires. If one inspects this carefully in our printed books, it will be found to have tiny variations in the letters. It is these that give it a living quality that cannot be obtained by typeset work, let alone computer work!

Here is a typical page as we employ these features to present the Gospel

The Gospel of Thomas translated by Hugh McGregor Ross  To find out more go to 'Presentation' book