Pseudepigraphic text which relates the adventures of the apostle Judas Thomas as he preaches an ascetical or encratite form of Christianity on the way to and from India.
Like other apocryphal acts combining popular legend and religious propaganda, the work attempts to entertain and instruct.
In addition to narratives of Thomas' adventures, its poetic and liturgical elements provide important evidence for early Syrian Christian traditions.
Some form of the work was clearly in circulation by the end of the 4th century when testimonies begin.
B 35) date to the 11th century, although there are partial Grek witnesses dating from the 10th. Some sections, particularly the originally independent Hymn of the Pearl, presuppose conditions in the Parthian period, which ended with the establishment of the Sassanian Empire in 226 C.
The original composition is probably to be dated in the first half of the 3d century, slightly later than the Acts of Peter, John, and Paul, which are attested in the 2d century. underwent redactional development, including adaptation by Manicheans, in the late 3d or 4th centuries.
114) and the 11th-century archbishop, Nicetas of Thessalonica, who paraphrased the work.
Attestations continue sporadically until the 9th-century Byzantine patriarch Photius (Cod.
Faustum 14 and 22.79) attests its use by Manicheans, and allusions are found in the Manichean Psalms.The Gospel According to Thomas is an early Christian non-canonical sayings-gospel that many scholars believe provides insight into the oral gospel traditions.It was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in December 1945 among a group of books known as the Nag Hammadi library.Scholars speculate that the works were buried in response to a letter from Bishop Athanasius declaring a strict canon of Christian scripture.The name of Thomas was also attached to the Book of Thomas the Contender, which was also in Nag Hammadi Codex II, and the Acts of Thomas.While the Gospel of Thomas does not directly point to Jesus' divinity, it also does not directly contradict it, and therefore neither supports nor contradicts gnostic beliefs.