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Thomas: Seeking the Historical Context of the Gospel of Thomas
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Thomas: Seeking the Historical Context of the Gospel of Thomas


T&T Clark 2003

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Many scholars believe that the Gospel of Thomas, the famous collection of Jesus' sayings found in Nag Hammadi in 1945, radically changes our understanding of the origins of Christianity. The Gospel is generally studied closely for the new light it throws on pre-canonical traditions and for the different world of wisdom it seems to represent. By contrast, Risto Uro seeks to locate the Gospel of Thomas on the map of early Christian literature and history by comparing the Gospel to other related writings and traditions of the period. These include the writings ascribed to the mysterious apostle, Judas Thomas, other documents from Nag Hammadi, Paul and Stoic teachers, and the Gospel of Matthew.

Uro argues that the conventional methods scholars have been using in their studies are in need of rethinking and refinement. Among many conclusions is the author's belief that Thomas is an early second-century work written by people who, like many other first- and second-century Christians, understood Jesus' message in terms of the Hellenistic belief in the divine origin of the self.

Praise for the Print Edition

…a valuable contribution to a still very inadequate body of scholarship on the Gospel of Thomas… a clear and cogent presentation of views, with excellent interaction with other scholarship.

—Larry Hurtado

…a very high quality piece of work… Uro surveys in a masterly way many aspects of the Gospel of Thomas, including the issue of whether the text can be classified as ‘gnostic,’ of a possible community reflected in the text, of the dualism apparent in the text, as well as the question of the relationship of the gospel to the New Testament materials about Jesus… a significant contribution to Thomas scholarship.

Christopher Tuckett

Product Details

  • Title: Thomas: Seeking the Historical Context of the Gospel of Thomas
  • Author: Risto Uro
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Pages: 208

About Risto Uro

Risto Uro is Lecturer in New Testament, University of Helsinki.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition