The Gospel of Thomas
by Paul Williams
We have known of the existence of the Gospel of Thomas from ancient writers, but it was only after the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codices that the actual text became available. The Gospel of Thomas is basically a collection of sayings, or logia, that sometimes seem similar, perhaps more primitive than sayings found in the canonical Gospels. Sometimes, however, the sayings seem better explained as reflecting a “Gnostic” understanding of the world. This involves a rejection of the material world and a desire for gnosis, a secret knowledge, in order to escape the world and return to the divine being.
00:00 – Chapter 1. The Nag Hammadi Codices and Thomasine Literature
10:35 – Chapter 2. The Sayings of the Gospel of Thomas
28:15 – Chapter 3. Proto-orthodoxy and “Gnosticism”
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses