The Gospel of Thomas Paperback – August 1, 2002
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A great translation, with an insightful esoteric commentary... Our general interpretations of the teachings are much in harmony. -- Timothy Freke, co-author of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
2. Jesus said, "The seeker should not stop searching until he finds, and when he finds he will suffer, and when he suffers he will be astonished and will be king over everything, and having become king he will find rest."
3. Jesus said, "If those who lead you should say to you, Look, the kingdom is in the air, then the birds of the air will be first, coming before you. If they say to you, It is in the sea, then the fish of the sea will be first, coming before you. But the kingdom is within you and outside of you. When you know yourselves then you will be known and will find it, and you will discover that you are sons of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves then you are impoverished and you are poverty."
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There is very little actual commentary to help understand the crytic and at times opaque sayings of Thomas. Yet, as the superior Stevan Davies translation suggests, Thomas was written to challenge the reader, and force him inside to meditate as it were for answers. Davies does a decent job of commentary, more satisfying for me than the Marvin Meyer translation and commentary.
Of course Elaine Pagels' "Beyond Belief" is essential reading for anyone who has appreciated the illuminating brilliance of Thomas. In time, I feel Thomas will be even more of a "sleeper gospel" and have a profound influence on what is preached in main-line churches, as well as having much potential to heal misunderstandings between Christians and Jews.
the Gospel of Thomas, Smith's book contains a useful historically-based introduction to the text to enable ordinary readers to put Thomas into historical context and a set of penciled illustrations based on religious works by Rembrandt van Rijn.