Gospel of Thomas and Jesus

Stephen J. Patterson

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A masterfully drawn picture of the debate and controversy that has surrounded the Gospel of Thomas since its discovery in 1945. Stephen Patterson concludes that this collection of sayings is not a text dependent on the synoptic gospels, but like the Gospel of John is an independent document from another early Christian school of thought. Unlike those who lived in the more settled communities known to Mark, Matthew, and Luke, the people who produced Thomas lived in a world of itinerant radicalism. Introduction The Gospel of Thomas and the Literary Development of the Jesus Tradition 1. A Question of Method: The Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptic Gospels 2. A Question of Content: The Autonomy of the Thomas Tradition 3. A Question of Form: Thomas and the Sayings Tradition The Gospel of Thomas and the Historical Development of Early Christianity 4. A Time and Place: The Date and Provenance of the Gospel of Thomas 5. Thomas Christianity: A Social-Historical Description 6. Be Passers-By: Thomas Christianity and Itinerant Radicalism 7. The Beginnings of Conflict: Itinerant Radicals and Settled Communities 8. Kingdom Within and Without: Itinerant Radicalis and Thomas Theology The Gospel of Thomas and the Historical Jesus 9. Thomas and the Historical Jesus: What Are the Prospects? Works Cited Index of Authors Index of Passages Stephen J. Patterson (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School) is Geo. H. Atkinson Professor of Religious and Ethical Studies at Willamette University. He is the author of several books, including The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins (HarperCollins, 2014).