The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins

Essays on the Fifth Gospel


The essays collected in The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Origins offer a series new chapters in the history of Christianity's first century. Stephen J. Patterson, whose work on the Gospel of Thomas has circulated widely for more than two decades, argues that taking this new source seriously will require rethinking a number of basic issues, including the assumed apocalyptic origins of early Christian faith, the supposed centrality of Jesus' death and resurrection, and the role of Platonism in formulation of both orthodox and heterodox Christian theology.

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Stephen J. Patterson, Ph.D. (1988), Claremont, is the George H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the author of several books and articles on the Gospel of Thomas, including The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus (1993).
These essays are richly instructive and help clarify one's thinking about some of the most significant issues in Thomas studies. Having these essays together in a single volume is a welcome convenience.

Paul Foster, School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh, Expository Times 126/6 March 2015
1. Introduction
2. The Gospel of (Judas) Thomas and the Synoptic Problem
3. Wisdom in Q and Thomas.
4. Askesis and the Early Jesus Tradition.
5. Paul and the Jesus Tradition: It Is Time for Another Look.
6. The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Beginnings.
7. Apocalypticism or Prophecy and the Problem of Polyvalence: Lessons from the Gospel of Thomas.
8. The Parable of the Catch of Fish: A Brief History (On Matthew 13:47-50 and Gospel of Thom 8).
9. Jesus Meets Plato: The Theology of the Gospel of Thomas
10. Platonism and the Apocryphal Origins of Immortality in the Christian Imagination or Why do Christians Have Souls that Go to Heaven?
11. The View From Across the Euphrates.

Researchers and graduate students interested in the Gospel of Thomas.
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