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The Q Gospel, Thomas, and the Lost Wisdom of Jesus

October 27–28, 2017
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Two non-canonical gospels are reshaping the way scholars understand Jesus and the early years of the movement he started in Galilee nearly 2000 years ago: the Q gospel and the Gospel of Thomas. Both are “wisdom” gospels in which Jesus appears in the role of sage and prophet. Is this ancient wisdom relevant to anyone living in the modern world?

Photo of Robert Miller

Robert J. Miller (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School) is Rosenberger Professor of Religious Studies and Christian Thought at Juniata College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books including Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy (2016), and editor of The Complete Gospel Parallels (with Arthur Dewey, 2012) and The Complete Gospels (4th ed. 2010).

Photo of Steven J Patterson

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 many books, most recently The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins (2014).

Program Details

Q and Thomas: The Lost Gospels

What is Q, and why does it matter? What is the Gospel of Thomas, and what do we learn from this fifth gospel that we do not learn from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? And why are these gospels reshaping the way scholars understand Jesus? In this opening session, Robert Miller and Stephen Patterson will bring you up to speed on what we know (and don’t know) about the lost gospels.
Friday evening, 7:30–9 pm

The Q Gospel: A Galilean Gospel?

The Q gospel is arguably the first gospel, composed in Jesus’ own Galilean homeland. But this gospel is still lost. So how do we know it existed? How do we know what was in it? Robert Miller will explain what we do know about Q, and how that changes the way we understand the story of Christian origins.
Saturday, 9:30–10:30 am

Thomas: Plato’s Gospel

The surprise discovery of the Gospel of Thomas in 1945 is an event unrivaled in the study of Christian origins. Who wrote it? Where was it written? And why does it sound so different from the canonical gospels? Stephen Patterson will unlock the secrets of this gospel (some of them!) and explain what this new gospel really tells us about early Christianity.
Saturday, 11 am – noon

Questions and Answers on Q and Thomas

In this session, Patterson and Miller will focus on your questions and ideas about these mysterious gospels.
Saturday, 1:30–2:30 pm

The Wisdom of Jesus in the Modern World

In the Q gospel and the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus appears in the role of sage and prophet. How could the wisdom of this ancient sage be relevant to someone living in the modern world? Why should Christians take note? What about those who have given up on organized religion? What gems are worth recovering from these lost gospels?
Saturday, 3–4 pm


Plymouth Congregational Church of Fort Wayne
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne

Local Contact and Information

All events at:

Plymouth Congregational Church of Ft. Wayne
501 W. Berry St.
Fort Wayne, IN 46802

For local information, contact:

Steve & Pam Etheridge
(260) 343-1046


All Sessions

  • Individual Rate $75
  • Pre-registration Rate (by Oct 13) $60
  • Additional Family Members $50

Single Sessions

  • Friday Evening Lecture $20
  • Saturday Morning Workshop $30
  • Saturday Afternoon Workshop $30

Refunds are available until two weeks before the event if requested in writing, minus a $10 administrative fee. No refunds will be given after that date.