The Gospel of Thomas and Plato

A Study of the Impact of Platonism on the “Fifth Gospel”


Now available in Open Access thanks to the support of the University of Helsinki. In The Gospel of Thomas and Plato, Ivan Miroshnikov contributes to the study of the earliest Christian engagements with philosophy by offering the first systematic discussion of the impact of Platonism on the Gospel of Thomas, one of the most intriguing and cryptic works among the Nag Hammadi writings. Miroshnikov demonstrates that a Platonist lens is indispensable to the understanding of a number of the Thomasine sayings that have, for decades, remained elusive as exegetical cruces. The Gospel of Thomas is thus an important witness to the early stages of the process that eventually led to the Platonist formulation of certain Christian dogmata.
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Ivan Miroshnikov, Ph.D. (2016), is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki and Research Fellow at the Center of Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He co-edited Women and Knowledge in Early Christianity (Brill, 2017) and is currently working to publish various unedited manuscripts in Coptic.
"This careful and illuminating study... will be viewed as a significant contribution to Thomasine studies." - Paul Foster, in: Expository Times, 2019

'...einen wichtigen Beitrag zu weiteren Erforschung der platonischen Hintergründe des Thomasevangeliums im Speziellen und des frühen Christentums im Generellen [...] der in jeden weiteren Diskussionen zu diesem Themenfeld zu berücksichtigen sein wird.' Enno Edzard Popkes, Kiel, Theologische Literaturzeitung 145 (2020) 1/2

Acknowledgements A Note to the Reader
1 Setting the SceneMiddle Platonism: A Debated ConceptEarly Christian Appropriation of Platonism: The Prologue of JohnPreliminary Notes on the Gospel of ThomasThe Gospel of Thomas and Philosophy: A History of Research
2 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on the WorldThe Text of Sayings 56 and 80The World as a Body and as a CorpseBodies are CorpsesWhat is Alive is Hidden in What is DeadConclusions
3 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on the Body and the SoulInterpretative Notes on Sayings 29, 87, and 112Tripartite Anthropology in the Gospel of Thomas?The Body vs. the SoulConclusions
4 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on OnenessThe Androgynous Protoplast?Becoming Asexual?Platonists on Becoming OneAramaic Background of the Term μοναχός?The Meaning of μοναχός in the Gospel of ThomasConclusions
5 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on StabilityDeConick, Williams, and Murray on “Standing” in the Gospel of ThomasThe Varieties of “Standing” in the Gospel of ThomasPlatonists on Transcendental “Standing”Transcendental “Standing” in the Gospel of ThomasConclusions
6 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on Immutability and IndivisibilityThe Setting of the DialogueThe Contents of the DialogueThe Integrity of the DialogueConclusions
7 The Gospel of Thomas and the Platonists on Freedom from AngerThe Text of Gos. Thom. 7Recent Research on Gos. Thom. 7The Lion within a Human is AngerTripartite or Bipartite?Platonists on AngerThe Meaning of Gos. Thom. 7Conclusions
8 Thomasine Metaphysics of the Image and Its Platonist BackgroundThe Text of Gos. Thom. 83The Two Types of Images in Middle PlatonismΕἰκὼν θεοῦ as a Paradigmatic ImageThe Meaning of Gos. Thom. 83:1The Meaning of Gos. Thom. 83:2The Metaphysics of the Image in Sayings 22, 50, and 84Conclusions
9 Concluding Remarks
Appendix 1: The Greek Vorlage of Gos. Thom. 12:2 Appendix 2: The Secondary Nature of Gos. Thom. 5:3 Appendix 3: A Note on Gos. Thom. 77:1 Bibliography Index
All interested in the Nag Hammadi writings and the Gospel of Thomas, and anyone concerned with Middle Platonism and its impact on early Christian literature.
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