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The Gospel of Thomas: The Enlightenment Teachings of Jesus Paperback – November 11, 2010
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From the Author
Over the years, I have casually collected material from a myriad of sources that elucidated what can be known of what is called the "historical Jesus". My interest in the facts of Jesus' life (and the authenticity of his pronouncements) long predated my introduction to the non-Christian scriptures of the East, such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Advaita. After all, I was raised (and baptized at 13) as a Baptist.
When I first came across a translation of The Gospel of Thomas, I wanted to determine how that testament of Jesus' "unknown" sayings contributed to the overall picture of who Jesus was, and what he had taught.
A friend, a (now deceased) professor who retired to Australia, asked me to write for him--from that unorganized file I had collected--what to me appeared to be the answer to the question of how The Gospel of Thomas informed our understanding of the historical Jesus and his message.
Originally I wrote only the section "Commentary on Verses" that is listed here in the Table of Contents, which gives my annotation on each aphorism in Thomas.
The next question followed though: If these are authentic sayings of Jesus, why were they not in public circulation until 1945?
And another significant question needed to be answered: Why would anyone conclude that they are authentic scriptures?
These questions led to writing"The Fifth Gospel" material.
The value of my compilation, I feel, is that it may be of service in drawing attention to the importance of not relegating the "gnostic" Jesus to a dismissive category. There's something of invaluable significance that's been overlooked, so far, in the academic and scholarly biblical discussion. That's why this manuscript was composed.
-- Robert Wolfe (From Author's Note)
From the Back Cover
- Does The Gospel of Thomas record the enlightenment teachings of Jesus--and were they left out of the New Testament for that reason?
- Do conventional understandings of Thomas miss its real significance?
- How does the message of Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas exemplify the ancient teachings of nonduality?
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instead it feels like he is going around in circles too much and it's hard to stay focused.