There is a growing consensus among scholars that the Gospel of Thomas – discovered over a half century ago in the Egyptian desert – dates to the very beginnings of the Christian era and may well have taken first form before any of the four traditional canonical Gospels. During the first few decades after its discovery several voices representing established orthodox biases argued that the Gospel of Thomas (abbreviated, GTh) was a late-second or third century Gnostic forgery. Scholars currently involved in Thomas studies now largely reject that view, though such arguments will still be heard from orthodox apologists and are encountered in some of the earlier publications about Thomas.
Today most students would agree that the Thomas Gospel has opened a new
perspective on the first voice of the Christian tradition. Recent studies centered
on GTh have led to a stark reappraisal of the forces and events forming
"orthodoxy" during the second and third centuries. But more importantly, the Gospel
of Thomas is awakening interest in a forgotten spiritual legacy of Christian
culture. The incipit (or "beginning words") of Thomas invite each
of us "who has ears to hear" to join in a unique quest:
These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke,
and that Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down. And He said:
"Whoever finds the meaning of these words will not taste death."
The Gospel of Thomas Collection in the Gnostic Society Library catalogs materials about the Gospel of Thomas available both in our archives and elsewhere on the internet. Included are audio lectures about GTh, links to a wide variety of internet resources including several academic articles and essays, and a bibliography of GTh manuscript sources. Despite the wealth of material available here, the reader should also consult a few important books on the subject. An annotated selection of the best available translations of GTh and publications about GTh is provided in the suggested readings section of our Bookstore. We sincerely hope these resources help you in your studies of this most remarkable document.