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The Gospel of Thomas Tapped

Lather is not solid enough to build a life on.

The Gospel of Thomas, a maverick? The Gospel of Thomas has become less of a maverick in Bible scholar circles. The non-canonical gospel of the apostle Thomas contains sayings of Jesus that few had heard or read for centuries and never thought to live up to. That could be very good for them.

  • After all, Jesus of the gospels teach that his teachings, salvation and kingdom are for Jews only, just as the Bible scholar Geza Vermes summarises and such as Matthew 15:24 gives evidence of (Vermes 2010:37-41).
  • Thus, small wonder that no or very, very few good Christians proffer good evidence that everything they pray for, they get. Look at the state of the world and consider.
  • Are they able to throw mountains into the sea? Gospel-promised miracle powers to Jewish followers - Jews only - are hallmarks of true (Jewish) followers, says Jesus in some gospels.
  • As for those who call Jesus "Lord, Lord" without being Jews, are they hypocritical fools, not heeding his "for Jews only"? - not respecting his teachings?
  • There is also the problem of determining which sayings attributed to Jesus are genuine, not distorted, later-added forgeries, as for example the missionary command at the end of Matthew (cf. Vermes 2005).
  • Or are they hypocrites for shirking as to the deal (pact) for Christians (Acts 15) and include blood food among their traditional Christmas dishes?

I leave to you to decide in such matters: First study the evidence; then decide on what to do..

As for the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas, is it teeming with Forbidden Teachings (put in the mouth of Jesus, for non-Jews), like the four gospels in the Bible? Yes. As a non-Jew, you don't do right if you read Jesus, but disregards his teachings, according to canoncal gospels.

A long life has taught me that it is best to stay away from Jesus sayings, for I am not Jewish, and GIGA (Garbage in, garbage out) is also a good reminder. And once set free this way, what is there to go for? May I suggest some decent meditation method and the overarching Nyingma philosophy in Tibetan Buddhism.

Here are some comments on gospel statements of Thomas

❦❦❦❦

"Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark," said Jesus. [logion 24]

Those with one ear can listen too, I daresay. The value of phrases and cryptical sayings depends on how they are interpreted or understood.

"No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. [Thomas 33 (excerpt)]."

Some do; the world is such a funny place. And nowadays some lamp screens are like wicker baskets also. Different times with other sorts of lamps make some assertions of old too futile.

"Seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten." [Thomas 60 (excerpt)]

Add: "Are there no alternatives at this very moment?" Yes, but one is to consider the cost of living on and lose all former fellows, and getting out of tune with the new sorts of music and so on too.

"The Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it." [Thomas 113].

Many say they see it - ◦a Light. Vital details on how to see subtle light are descibed in Swami Sivananda's Kundalini Yoga (1994). A few parts of his way of doing it are dispensed with in other variants. But the finger placements is there. The link given leads to a free and online reference about how some yogis try to see subtle Light.

Dare to Choose Money Given

To jeer and scoff and tease others until they fall from a fit place in society appears to be a hard wrong-doing, and not recommended at all. Mobsters think and act differently, but that is their problem.

A message from the allegedly helping, saving friend can be read and interpreted to your own advantage. Align to: "Bible stuff can be read and interpreted to your own advantage." Feel free to do better than for decorum, though. [John 14:12]

John 14:12 implies you may do better than Jesus if you are a worthy non-Gentile follower of, the crucified one they called a madcap in his days.

In the case of somewhat inconsistent and internally conflicting messages that the Bible is so very rich in, dare to choose the one(s) you may rise a lot by. If you are among the Christian Jews - that tradition - you have access to the sayings of Jesus in the gospels too. His words are not for non-Jews. That may be something worth considering, in the light of his many self-molesting, loser commands in Matthew 5. (Matthew 15:24; Geza Vermes 2010:37-41)

Who are poor now? There are many sorts of poverty and on several levels. Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs easily lends itself to this sort of thinking. A dire need that goes unfulfilled suggests a form of poverty.

Maslow's Pyramid

Abraham Maslow's Pyramid of Needs

Figure. Abraham Maslow's postulated pyramid of layered (hierarchic) needs

"Fulfillment steps" that Maslow postulated, to be read from bottom and up:

  • Self-actualization desires and yearnings.
  • Esteem hankerings.
  • Social yearnings.
  • Safety adherence.
  • Physiological, steady competence needs.

The first four of these stages he called deficit needs, or D-needs. B-needs (Being-needs) above relates to Self-actualization desires and yearnings. [More]

Lack of culture, lack of tact may be seen as forms of poverty too. There is poverty of expression, lack of a fulfilling, traditional rooting, poverty of self-actualisation, poverty of satisfaction and of non-calculative contacts - even among frustrated multi-millionaires. So some rich people can be understood as being poor in many ways, and other millionaires not. It depends on how holistic one's wealth is - one's inner wealth and outer wealth, for example. Some very rich people find it good to give generously to some good causes - or seemingly good causes. If all goes well, giving of one's surplus at least means a lot for a decent and OK fare.

Look after who really benefits from gifts, how the gifts are put to use, and the direction or flow of the benefits. If in doubt, win the trick, Edmund Hoyle puts it. [Dq]

LoWake up to something more relevant and worthwhile than gospel rattling out of tune

Jesus said, "I am all: from me all came forth, and (...) Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you'll find me there." [Thomas 77]

"Jesus had a big belly which burst open - is that how the universe came into being?" Actually, such sayings are hard to document. If you find a Woody as large as the whole world there, surprise! If not, consider that the saying in the gospel of Thomas is fit or not. I hope you do a good job in chopping wood, then, and are not taken in by big-belly words of old. Don't get too disappointed if you find insects with no likeness of Jesus in the wood.

One question is how far we have come to see the teachings of the Gospel of Thomas as true.

Thomas [logion 13] demonstrates that some teachings had better be kept away from the apostles of Jesus, even. Still it says: "There's nothing hidden that won't be revealed. [Thomas 5]".

You can sleep on more important matters and hopefully wake up to a good solution. That could be time well spent.

Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden." [Thomas 32]

He was wrong on both issues. (1) Jerusalem was fortified and on a high hill, and yet fell during the reign of Vespasian: in 70 AD, the armies of his warfare-skille son Titus surrounded the city of Jerusalem. After a bloody siege, the city was overrun, the temple destroyed, and the Jews taken captive. The historic evidence proves Jesus wrong. It means we cannot trust Jesus in this either. (2) As for the "cannot be hidden" part, for it is possible to camouflage a town or city all right, both on top of a hill as Machu Picchu in Peru (unknown to most people for centuries until 1911). So yes, a city on a hill may be hidden too. "All the hilltop cities you haven't seen, could be masterly hidden . . ." There are in fact several other cases of cities in rocks or mountains, with hidden rooms and passageways between them too. [Cf. WP, "Karfi" and "Cappadocia"]

"Whoever doesn't hate father and mother cannot be my disciple. And whoever doesn't hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, won't be worthy of me." [Thomas 55]

Is this "Haters having the time of their life" by Jesus? How unfit and poor hater-love is! How litte elevated. A dictatorial psychopath may say things like that, you know. You may be worthy of such as Buddism and TM without hating the nearest one in a long tradition. The Bhagavad Gita further tells that the Lord (Bhagavan) is no hater, but Jehovah of the Bible is presented as a jealous hater: it boils down to that.

Find out who are your real friends too, and not only fakers or haters or low-life enemies. That could be good! And there are criteria!

LoHave awareness to stay in control enough over your body too

Jesus: "I am the one who comes from what is whole." ... " [Thomas 61] – "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." [Thomas 62 (excerpt)]

He came out of a whole that remains whole all the same, he seems to say. "To be whole mentally, have such awareness and interest intact that you know what both hands are doing. Can you clap hands or claps hands without knowing it while in your right mind? Stay coordinated and things may go well for a long time. Ahh, what Jesus appears to hint of by this adage (in logion 62), was discretion.

To do greater deeds than Jesus is still OK, for Jews, that is. Jesus said his teachings are for Jews only. [John 14;12]

LoOnly Jewish miracle-working Jesus followers could be left if all who falsely call themselves true followers of Jesus for Jews only, were made to drink deadly poison to show what they are or are not

If the gospels are right, Jesus said before his death that he would give the Comforter and Reminder of all he had taught. He also said he would accompany his true followers - Jews only The marks: The true Jewish Jesus followers are marked by casting mountains into the sea, waking the dead - Peter did wake a dead person at least - and drinking poison heavily. They can lay their hands on ill persons and making them well in a single moment.

Do not put your health and life at stake. Animals who feed on poisonous plants throughout life, use some 'detoxifying strategy' to cleanse their innards. Some resort to eating clay (kaolin), Sir David Attonborough informs in the series "Life of Mammals (BBC), episode 3".

And, let us be frank about it: (1) The teachings of Jesus in the four canonical gospels were not for non-Jews, he said, and was very strict about keeping Gentiles out. The Bible scholar Geza Vermes confirms it. (2010:37-41). (2) Besides, many of the words of Jesus were not taken care of for centuries and longer. There is good evidence to conclude that way in the light of recent findings of scrolls. (3) Followers nowhere seem able to cast mountains into the sea by their word alone, not literally. Perhaps you should decide on what's the most relevant and esteemed intriguing question and thing to do before you speak up.

Gist

IN SUM

  1. Better go for valuable are true solutions, not sullen verbiage that leads to mass martyrdom.
  2. Stay aware, have fair control, and remain cogent and able. Do not succumb to a sect.
  3. It may be called a miracle if someone drinks deadly poison like mad and survives. However, a medical expert may be expected to look for explanations of it - and others would like those who call themselves Christians, to behave less childish and stop such a charade.

IN NUCE Many solutions have been discovered by budding and settled experts. Experts can become good at what they should be doing, by not pretending over and over.

TO TOP

A Christian Martyr

"If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits," said Jesus [logion 14]

Is that really so? Be at any rate aware that sanctioned gospels teach differently. We may combine gospel directives on praying and being charitable with this, and then it stands out what Jesus is at: harm and condemnation of those who try to follow him. Being a Christian martyr makes added sense in such a wild world as his.

By now you might have lost much motivation to get a complete version of the Gospel of Thomas in Coptic (the native Egyptian language written in an alphabet derived from the Greek alphabet), as it was found in Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1945. That version can be dated to about 340 A.D.

Heaven is like a good woman in the house

Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty." [logion 97]

There are different kinds of women and different kinds of men. A heavenly home depends on the qualities of those who live their, how well sustained they get, how well they get along with one another (how compatible they are), and how they behave towards one another - and to still others too.

There will not be any meals in the heaven of Jesus, it is rather a place one finds out is empty. If one finds out of it so late, is it good?

Conclusion: Watch out along the road of life, so that you do not get waylaid by false doctrine. The intricacies of faith are many.

One is a basic notion

Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.

For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one." [logion 4]

To try and fail and learn from it looks like a dangerous sport. The good thing to do is to learn from the lessons of others. Good schooling is for that, also in the university of hard knocks. A newborn baby may not say much that makes sense. And old Christians die, all possibly metaphoric doctrine aside.

Does the Gospel of Thomas reflect the views of Christ?

Jesus said, "The kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then . . . you are the poverty." [logion 3]

If the text has it right, then know yourself. Decent meditation is for that. And you don't need Jesus to succeed, for healthy one's do not need him, he says in Matthew 9:12-13 and Mark 2:17. Take care of your health in a wide sense, then. Holistic health-concepts can serve well.

How many of the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas come from Jesus?

As a non-Jew, you are not gospel-called to live up to any teachings of Jesus. However, he was seldom original; you may find almost all his teachings in the Old Testament, which is not forbidden for non-Jews by Jesus. That clarified, you are not called to call Jesus "Lord, Lord," and do what he says either, if as a Jew you don't qualify for being his disciple.

Look to the good side of these gospel tidings. You do not have to be afraid that Jesus will denounce you as a hypocrite follower, and you do not have to obey his self-molester commands in Matthew 5. Instead, abstain from blood food and three more things and be saved. That means "good!" from ca. 50 CE and later. as a Gentile follower - a non-Jewish guy - you are not required to, according to Acts 15 and Acts 21:25 [Cf. WP, "The Apostles' Creed"]. If you go for being of sound moral, mind, and body, you can dispense with Jesus too, as judged from sayings of his, such as Mark 2:17.

And "better" than "good" is to go for contemplative living also, Christians came to think. Christian monasticism was born some hundred years after Jesus for Jews alone. As for meditative living, it is good to include some periods of restful, envigorating, destressing meditation in one's daily routine. Meditation does not have to be told of and does not have to be ineffective, misdirected Christian contemplation either to be good for many.

Seek for the best all-round meditation methods (for example on the Internet) and you can find. out which works better than the rest.

Get rid of the nonsense

Which stones were not added to the Bible? Jesus said, "If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you." [logion 19]

Which sayings, which stones? and so on. Some seek to make sense of many sayings of Jesus by interpreting them figuratively, not literally. The outrageous commands to pluck out one's eye and maim oneself ought to be ignored in the light of Acts 15. A "next best" and halting way out could be to interpret them figuratively.

The simple and radical solution that all the apostles and the Ghost decided on when Christianity was born, was not to include anything particular by Jesus (Acts 15:17-29). To get rid of nonsense is awarding also.

Many sayings in Thomas are also in Mark, Matthew and Luke. And it is quite possible that Thomas retains sayings that the biblical gospels don't retain and . . . that Thomas is a more reliable guide to some of the alleged sayings of Jesus than many in the biblical gospel, where the end of Matthew is a later, forged addition, according to such as J. Wheless.

Contents


Gospel of Thomas reflections, Literature  

Sivananda, Swami. Kundalini Yoga. 10th ed. Shivanandanagar, India: The Divine Life Society, 1994, "Mudras and Bandhas": "12. Yoni Mudra".

Vermes, Geza. The Real Jesus: Then and Now. Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 2010.

Vermes, Geza. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. London: Penguin, 2005.

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