The Gospel of Thomas

Introduction and Commentary


In this new commentary on the controversial Gospel of Thomas, Simon Gathercole provides the most extensive analysis yet published of both the work as a whole and of the individual sayings contained in it. This commentary offers a fresh analysis of Thomas not from the perspective of form criticism and source criticism but seeks to elucidate the meaning of the work and its constituent elements in its second-century context. With its lucid discussion of the various controversial aspects of Thomas, and treatment of the various different scholarly views, this is a foundational work of reference for scholars not just of apocryphal Gospels, but also for New Testament scholars, Classicists and Patrologists.

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Simon Gathercole (PhD, 2001) is Senior Lecturer in New Testament Studies at the University of Cambridge. He has published extensively in Early Christian Studies, including The Gospel of Judas (OUP, 2007), and The Composition of the Gospel of Thomas (CUP, 2012).
"Gathercoleʼs style, his soberness, the clear and direct interaction with earlier scholarship, his admirably confident treatment of speculations and “traditional” theories about the Gospel of Thomas, and, above all, the authorʼs meticulous handling of the critical Greek and Coptic texts and the authorʼs concise and sound conclusions make this book a landmark commentary on this highly controversial and fascinating piece of Christian literature." - Thomas J. Kraus, University of Zürich, in: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism (2017)
"The most erudite commentary on the Gospel of Thomas to date." - Ian Phillip Brown, University of Toronto, in: Religious Studies Review 42:2
"Gathercole steers readers through a complex web of highly contested issues. [...] In the future, every scholarly work on Thomas will take Gathercole's work both as a starting point and as an able guide." - Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh, in: The Expository Times 126:4
"All in all, this is an excellent commentary, well worth the cost to purchase and the space it will occupy on a bookshelf." - Llewellyn Howes, University of Johannesburg, in: Neotestamentica 50:3
"....einen Kommentar zum Thomasevangelium [...] der als ein Grundlagen- und Referenzwerk aller weiteren Diskurse zu diesem Zeugnis des frühen Christentums verstanden werden kann." - Enno Edzard Popkes, Kiel, in: Theologische Literaturzeitung 142 (2017) 7-8
Any scholar interested in the fields of Early Christianity, the study of the second century, Christian Egypt, or Gnostic studies, will find this an indispensible work of reference.
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