Thomas: The Other Gospel tells the story of the gospel from its discovery to its current reception among academics and in more popular circles. It provides a clear, comprehensive, non-technical guide through the scholarly maze of issues surrounding the Coptic text.
A brilliant reconstruction of how the document came to be written, what it meant then, and what it means now.
—N. T. Wright, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, St. Andrews University
Nicholas Perrin is Associate Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School, Illinois. Formerly research assistant to N. T. Wright, he has taught at Biblical Seminary (Hatfield, PA) and served as senior pastor at the International Presbyterian Church in London.
“The Gospel of Thomas was a Syriac text written in the last quarter of the second century by a careful editor who arranged his material largely on the basis of catchword connections.” (Page 137)
“The Gospel of Thomas invites us to imagine a Jesus who says, ‘I am not your saviour, but the one who can put you in touch with your true self. Free yourself from your gender, your body, and any concerns you might have for the outside world. Work for it and self-realization, salvation, will be yours—in this life.’ Imagine such a Jesus? One need hardly work very hard. This is precisely the Jesus we know too well, the existential Jesus that so many western evangelical and liberal churches already preach.” (Page 139)
“Perhaps Pagels’s quarrel with orthodoxy and the route she takes in opposition to it arise not just out of her personal experience but out of an impression, made palpable by today’s church, that the only viable alternatives before the modern Christian believer are rationalism and mysticism.” (Page 51)
“Apparently, whenever the Gospel of Thomas was first written, it enjoyed considerable popularity as early as the beginning of the third century and was around the same time declared to be heretical by important church leaders.” (Page 9)
“In his desire to accommodate the gospel to his homeland, Tatian composed a gospel harmony in Syriac. But he also fashioned a theology that was tailored according to the cultural beliefs and practices of his fatherland.” (Page 139)
Nicholas Perrin, PhD, is dean of Wheaton College Graduate School and Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies. Between 2000 and 2003, he was research assistant for N.T. Wright and has since authored and edited numerous articles and books, including Thomas and Tatian (Society of Biblical Literature / Brill); Thomas: The Other Gospel (Westminster John Knox); Lost in Transmission: What We Can Know about the Words of Jesus (Thomas Nelson); and Jesus the Temple (SPCK; Baker Academic), the first of a three-part trilogy on the historical Jesus. He is also coeditor of the recently revised edition of Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (InterVarsity).