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Encyclopedia > Thomas (apostle)
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Jude Thomas. (Discuss)
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Reformation Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This entry discusses problems of the identity of Jude Thomas Didymus. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, known by Christians as Jesus Christ, as recounted in the New Testament. ... Image File history File links Christian_cross. ... This article outlines the history of Christianity and provides links to relevant topics. ... Jesus (Greek: , Iēsous) (8-2 BC/BCE – 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene, is the central figure of Christianity, in which context he is known as Jesus Christ, where Christ is a Greek title meaning Anointed, corresponding to the Hebrew... The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... In Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, an ecumenical council or general council is a meeting of the bishops of the whole church convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice. ... Great Schism redirects here. ... This article is about the medieval crusades. ... The Protestant Reformation was a movement which emerged in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church in Western Europe. ...

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The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio.
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The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio.

Thomas, also called Judas Thomas Didymus or Jude Thomas Didymus, was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. The Synoptic Gospels and Acts list this "twin" (Thomas means twin in Aramaic, as does Didymus in Greek) among the apostles (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:18, Lk 6:15), but the Synoptic Gospels say nothing more about him. The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. ... The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. ... He Was Gay. ... This entry discusses problems of the identity of Jude Thomas Didymus. ... The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... Jesus (Greek: , Iēsous) (8-2 BC/BCE – 29-36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus the Nazarene, is the central figure of Christianity, in which context he is known as Jesus Christ, where Christ is a Greek title meaning Anointed, corresponding to the Hebrew... The Synoptic Gospels is a term used by modern New Testament scholars for the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke of the New Testament in the Bible. ... The Acts of the Apostles (Greek Praxeis Apostolon) is a book of the Bible, which now stands fifth in the New Testament. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a 3,000-year history. ...

Contents


Thomas in the Gospel of John

Saint Thomas appears in a few passages in the Gospel of John. The Gospel according to John is the fourth gospel document in the sequence of the canon of the New Testament, and scholars agree it was the fourth to be written down. ...

  • John 11:16: Lazarus has just died, and the disciples are resisting Jesus' decision to return to Judea, where the Jews had previously tried to stone Jesus. Jesus is determined, but Thomas has the last word: "Let us also go, that we might die with him" (NIV). Some interpret this to anticipate St. Paul's theological conception of "dying with Christ".
  • John 14:5: During The Last Supper, Jesus assures his disciples that they know where he is going, but Thomas protests that they don't know at all. Jesus replies to this and to Philip's requests with a detailed and difficult exposition of his relationship to God the Father.
  • John 20:24-29: In Thomas's best known appearance in the New Testament, Thomas doubts the resurrection of Jesus and demands to feel Jesus' wounds before being convinced. Caravaggio's painting, The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (illustration below), depicts this scene. This story is the origin of the term Doubting Thomas. After seeing Jesus alive (the Bible never states whether Thomas actually touched Christ's wounds), Thomas professed his faith in Jesus; on this account he is also called Thomas the Believer.

See also Thomas and John. See also Faith and Character of Apostle Thomas by Dr. Mathew Vellanickal and many other articles in St.Thomas Christian Encyclopaedia, ed.G.Menachery] Resurrection of Lazarus by Juan de Flandes, around 1500. ... The New International Version (NIV) is an English translation of the Christian Bible which is the most popular of the modern translations of the Bible made in the twentieth century. ... An early portrait of the Apostle Paul. ... This article relates to the events described in the New Testament of the Bible, see The Last Supper (disambiguation) for other uses, including a list of famous works of art with this name. ... It has been suggested that Resurrection of the dead be merged into this article or section. ... He Was Gay. ... Doubting Thomas as a side project of the band Skinny Puppy. ... The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio. ...


Name and identity

There has been, and continues to be, disagreement and uncertainty as to the identity of Saint Thomas.


Twin and its renditions

  • The Greek Didymus: in three of these passages (John 11:16; 20:24; and 21:2), Thomas is more specifically identified as "Thomas, also called the Twin (Didymus)".
  • The Aramaic Tau'ma: the name "Thomas" itself comes from the Aramaic word for twin: Tau'ma. Thus the name convention Didymus Thomas thrice repeated in the Gospel of John is in fact a tautology that omits the Twin's actual name.

Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ... Tautology refers to a use of redundant language in speech or writing, or, put simply, saying the same thing twice. Within the study of logic, a tautology is a statement that is true by its own definition. ...

Other names

The Nag Hammadi "sayings" Gospel of Thomas begins: "These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded." Syrian tradition also states that the apostle's full name was Judas Thomas, or Jude Thomas, and as early as the Acts of Thomas (written in east Syria in the early 3rd century) he was identified with the apostle Jude, one of the brothers of Jesus (see Desposyni). Gospel of Mark 6:3 quotes the many who knew Jesus and heard him with surprise in the synagogue of his home country: The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered in the town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. ... The Gospel of Thomas, completely preserved in a papyrus Coptic manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, is a list of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. ... The early 3rd century text called Acts of Thomas is arguably the most Gnostic of the New Testament apocrypha, portraying Christ as the Heavenly Redeemer, independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. ... , by Georges de La Tour. ... The Desposyni (from Greek, belonging to the Master) was a sacred name reserved only for Jesus blood relatives. ... The Gospel of Mark is traditionally the second of the New Testament Gospels. ...

"Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.""King James Bible.

The texts do not anywhere identify Judas Thomas's other twin. This page is about the version of the Bible; for the Harvey Danger album, see King James Version (album). ...


Split identity

One interpretation is that the mainstream Christian tradition, as early as the beginning of the second century, has divided the person of Jude the Twin and rendered the one man as two, both Saint Jude and Saint Thomas. This is not the teaching of mainstream Christian churches, however, who insist on their separateness. Questions of the multiplied identities of Jude Thomas Didymus are particularly discussed at the entry Jude Thomas. See also Saint Jude. , by Georges de La Tour. ... This entry discusses problems of the identity of Jude Thomas Didymus. ... , by Georges de La Tour. ...


Thomas is revered as a saint in both the Roman Catholic Church and in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and is remembered each year on St Thomas Sunday, which is always one week after Easter. In general, the term Saint refers to someone who is exceptionally virtuous and holy. ... This article considers Catholicism in the broadest ecclesiastical sense. ... The Vladimir Icon, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. ... Easter is the most important religious holiday of the Christian liturgical year, observed in March, April, or May to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, which Christians believe occurred after his death by crucifixion in AD 27-33 (see Good Friday). ...


Later history

Just as Saints Peter and Paul are said to have brought the fledgling Christianity to Greece and Rome, Thomas is often said to have taken it eastwards. St.Thomas is believed to have been the first Catholicos of the East. Petrus, by Francesco del Cossa Saint Peter, also known as Peter, Simon ben Jonah/BarJonah, Simon Peter, Cephas and Kepha—original name Simon or Simeon (Acts 15:14)—was one of the twelve original disciples or apostles of Jesus. ... An early portrait of the Apostle Paul. ... City motto: Senatus Populusque Romanus – SPQR (The Senate and the People of Rome) Founded 21 April 753 BC mythical, 1st millennium BC Region Latium Mayor Walter Veltroni (Left-Wing Democrats) Area  - City Proper  1285 km² Population  - City (2004)  - Metropolitan  - Density (city proper) 2,553,873 almost 4,300,000 1. ... This article describes different viewpoints about the history and tradition associated with the ecclesiastical position called Catholicos of the East, a title used by Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches to denote the head of a Church or a dignitary of the highest order. ...


Thomas and Syria

Thomas has a role in the legend of king Abgar of Edessa (Urfa), for having sent Thaddaeus to preach in Edessa after the Ascension (Eusebius, Historia ecclesiae 1.13; III.1; Ephrem the Syrian also recounts this legend.) In the 4th century the martyrium erected over his burial place brought pilgrims to Edessa. In the 380s, Egeria described her visit in a letter she sent to her community of nuns at home (Itineraria Egeriae): Tenth_century icon of Abgar with the mandylion, the image of Christ Abgar V or Abgarus V of Edessa (born between 4 BC - AD 7 and reigned AD 13 -50) is a historical ruler of the kingdom of Osroene, holding his capital at Edessa. ... Edessa is the historical name of a town in northern Mesopotamia. ... Name of two Christian saints: Saint Jude Thaddaeus of Edessa: one of the 70 or 72 original disciples (besides the 12 Apostles); according to Eusebius he was sent to Edessa to cure the king Abgar V and founded the Christian church there; he is venerated by the Orthodox churches. ... Ephrem the Syrian was a prolific Syriac language hymn writer and theologian of the 4th century. ... The name Egeria may refer to— in Roman mythology, the wife of Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome. ...

"we arrived at Edessa in the Name of Christ our God, and, on our arrival, we straightway repaired to the church and memorial of saint Thomas. There, according to custom, prayers were made and the other things that were customary in the holy places were done; we read also some things concerning saint Thomas himself. The church there is very great, very beautiful and of new construction, well worthy to be the house of God, and as there was much that I desired to see, it was necessary for me to make a three days' stay there."

Thomas and India

The Saint Thomas shown on the post stamp
The Saint Thomas shown on the post stamp

Eusebius of Caesarea (Historia Ecclesiastica, III.1) quotes Origen (died mid-3rd century) as having stated that Thomas was the apostle to the Parthians, but Thomas is better known as the missionary to India, which lies beyond Parthia to the east, through the Acts of Thomas, written ca 200. In Edessa, where his remains were venerated, the poet Ephrem the Syrian (died 373) wrote a hymn in which the Devil cries, Image File history File links St_thomas_apostle. ... Image File history File links St_thomas_apostle. ... Eusebius of Caesarea (~275 – May 30, 339) (often called Eusebius Pamphili, Eusebius [the friend] of Pamphilus) was a bishop of Caesarea in Palestine and is often referred to as the father of church history because of his work in recording the history of the early Christian church. ... Origen (ca. ... Parthia, or known in their native Iranian language as Ashkâniân [2] (also called the Arsacid Empire) was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. It was the second dynasty of... The early 3rd century text called Acts of Thomas is arguably the most Gnostic of the New Testament apocrypha, portraying Christ as the Heavenly Redeemer, independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. ... Edessa is the historical name of a town in northern Mesopotamia. ... Ephrem the Syrian was a prolific Syriac language hymn writer and theologian of the 4th century. ...

...Into what land shall I fly from the just?
I stirred up Death the Apostles to slay, that by their death I might escape their blows.
But harder still am I now stricken: the Apostle I slew in India has overtaken me in Edessa; here and there he is all himself.
There went I, and there was he: here and there to my grief I find him. —quoted in Medlycott 1905, ch. ii.

A long public tradition in the church at Edessa honoring Thomas as the Apostle of India resulted in several surviving hymns that are attributed to Ephrem, copied in codices of the 8th and 9th centuries. References in the hymns preserve the tradition that Thomas' bones were brought from India to Edessa by a merchant, and that the relics worked miracles both in India and at Edessa. A pontiff assigned his feast day and a king erected his shrine. The Thomas traditions became embodied in Syriac liturgy, thus they were universally credited by the Christian community there.


The various denominations of modern Saint Thomas Christians ascribe their unwritten tradition to the end of the 2nd century and believe that Thomas landed at Kodungallur in AD 52 and founded the churches popularly known as 'Ezharappallikal', meaning Seven and Half churches. These churches are Kodungallur, Kollam, Niranam, Nilackal (Chayal), Kokkamangalam, Kottakkayal (Paravoor), Palayoor (Chattukulangara) and Thiruvithamkode — the half church. This article deals with Saint Thomas Christians or Mar Thoma Khristianis (Malayalam  :മാ൪േതാമാ കൃിസ്തിയാനികള്) and the various churches and denominations that form the Nasrani people The Saint Thomas Christians are a group of Christians from the Malabar coast (now Kerala) in South India, who follow Syriac Christianity. ... Cranganore (modern day Kodungallur) and known in ancient times as Shinkli, Muchiri (anglicised to Muziris), Muyirikkodu, Muchiripattinam was a famous and prosperous sea-port at the mouth of the Periyar (also known as Choorni Nadi) river in the southern Indian state of Kerala. ... For other uses, see number 52. ... Cranganore (modern day Kodungallur) and known in ancient times as Shinkli, Muchiri (anglicised to Muziris), Muyirikkodu, Muchiripattinam was a famous and prosperous sea-port at the mouth of the Periyar (also known as Choorni Nadi) river in the southern Indian state of Kerala. ... For the district with the same name, see Kollam District. ... Niranam is a small village in Southern part of Kerala in India. ... Kokkamangalam is a village in Alappuzha district of Kerala state, south India. ... Paravoor is a coastal resort town in the Quilon (renamed Kollam) district of India‘s southern state of Kerala. ... Palayoor/Palayur is a part of Thrissur district and is located on the west coast of Kerala, in India. ...


The Acts of Thomas describes in chapter 17 Thomas' visit to king Gondophares in northern India; chapters 2 and 3 depict him as embarking on a sea voyage to India, thus connecting Thomas to the west coast of India. Though the Acts are usually considered to be moral entertainments of a legendary nature, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea is a surviving roughly contemporary guide to the routes commonly being used for navigating the Arabian Sea. At the times the Acts were being composed, and until the discovery of his coins in the region of Kabul and the Punjab, there was no reason to suppose that a king named "Gondophares" had ever really existed. The reign of Gondophares, established by a votive inscription of his 26th regnal year that was unknown until 1872, commenced in AD 21, so he was in fact reigning as late as AD 47. "It is impossible to resist the conclusion that the writer of the Acts must have had information based on contemporary history. For at no later date could a forger or legendary writer have known the name." (Medlycott 1905). The early 3rd century text called Acts of Thomas is arguably the most Gnostic of the New Testament apocrypha, portraying Christ as the Heavenly Redeemer, independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. ... Coin of Gondophares (20-50 CE), first king of the Indo-Parthians. ... The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei ) is a Greek periplus, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along East Africa and India. ...


In 232 the relics of the Apostle St. Thomas are said to have been brought back from India to the city of Edessa, Mesopotamia, on which occasion his Syriac Acts were written. Events Relics of St. ... Edessa is the historical name of a town in northern Mesopotamia. ...


While exploring the Malabar coast of west India in 1498, the Portuguese encountered Christians who traced their foundations to Thomas. However, the Catholic Portuguese did not accept the legitimacy of local Malabar traditions, and they began to impose Roman Catholic practices upon the Saint Thomas Christians, some of whom conformed, to become the Syro-Malankara and Syro-Malabar Catholic churches; others resisted and remained fully within the various Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian traditions. A number have since joined other Christian denominations. It has been suggested that Malabarian Coast be merged into this article or section. ... 1498 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Malankara catholic church. ... The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a Major Archiepiscopal Eastern Rite Church sui iuris with historical ties to the Chaldean Catholic Church in communion with the Church of Rome. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keep the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. ... The symbol of the Assyrian Church The Holy Apostolic and Catholic Assyrian Church of the East under His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, is a Christian church that traces its origins to the See of Babylon, said to be founded by Saint Thomas the Apostle. ...


On the isolated island of Socotra south of Yemen in the Arabian Sea, a community of Christians had been attested as early as ca. 354 by Philostorgius, the Arian Church historian, in his narrative of the mission of Bishop Theophilus to the Homeritae (Medleycott), and was confirmed by medieval Arab sources. They survived to be documented in 1542 by Saint Francis Xavier, whom they informed that their ancestors had been evangelized by Thomas (Medlycott 1905, ch. ii). Francis Xavier was careful to station four Jesuits to guide the faithful in Socotra into orthodoxy (letter, April 15, 1549). Socotra had been briefly garrisoned by Albuquerque, but after the Mahra sultans from the Horn of Africa conquered Socotra in 1511. Almost all traces of the Thomas Christian community in Socotra had been utterly effaced (see Socotra). Map of the Socotra archipelago Socotra or Soqotra (Arabic سقطرة Suquṭrah) is a small archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa some 350 km south of the Republic of Yemen, which administers Socotra for the Banu Afrar Mahra Sultanate of Qishn and... Map of the Arabian Sea. ... Philostorgius (364?-?) was a scholar who subscribed to Arianism, a heresy that questioned the Trinitarian account of the relationship between God the Father and Christ. ... This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ... Events War resumes between Francis I of France and Emperor Charles V. This time Henry VIII of England is allied to the Emperor, while James V of Scotland and Sultan Suleiman I are allied to the French. ... Memorial to St. ... Afonso de Albuquerque Afonso de Albuquerque, Afonso dAlbuquerque or Alfonso de Albuquerque (pron. ... Mahra or Al Mahrah (Arabic: المهرة) is a governorate of Yemen in the southern Arabian Peninsula. ... Nations of the Horn of Africa. ... Map of the Socotra archipelago Socotra or Soqotra (Arabic سقطرة Suquṭrah) is a small archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa some 350 km south of the Republic of Yemen, which administers Socotra for the Banu Afrar Mahra Sultanate of Qishn and...


Thomas may have also travelled to China establishing the first church there.


There is near Madras (now called Chennai) in India, a small hillock called St. Thomas Mount, where the Apostle is said to have been killed in 78 AD (exact year not established). Also to be found in Madras is the San Thome Cathedral Basilica to which his mortal remains were supposedly transferred. Madras refers to: the Indian city of Chennai, formerly known as Madras, the former Indian state, now known as Tamil Nadu (Plural of Madra): Ancient people of Iranian affinites, who lived in northwest Panjab in the Uttarapatha division of ancient India. ... Chennai (சென்னை in Tamil), formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is Indias fourth largest metropolitan city. ... Located a litte of guindy and close to the flying range in madras is the Saint Thomas mount. ... The Twelve Apostles (in Koine Greek απόστολος apostolos [1], someone sent forth/sent out, an emissary) were probably Galilean Jewish men (10 names are Aramaic, 4 names are Greek) chosen from among the disciples, who were sent forth by Jesus of Nazareth to preach the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles... For other uses, see number 78. ... The San Thome Cathedral Basilica at dusk San Thome Basilica is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Chennai, India. ...


Writings attributed to Thomas

"Let none read the gospel according to Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the twelve apostles, but of one of Mani's three wicked disciples."
Cyril of Jerusalem, Cathechesis V (4th century)

In the first two centuries of the Christian era, a number of writings were circulated, which claimed the authority of Thomas, some of them said, perhaps too loosely, to be espousing a Gnostic doctrine, as Cyril was suggesting. It is unclear now why Thomas was seen as an authority for doctrine, although this belief is documented in Gnostic groups as early as the Pistis Sophia (ca 250 - 300 A.D.) which states that the "three witnesses" committing to writing "all of his words" Thomas, along with Philip and Matthew. In that Gnostic work, Mary Magdalene (one of the disciples) says Cyril of Jerusalem was a distinguished theologian of the early Church ( 315 - 386). ... Gnosticism is a blanket term for various religions and sects most prominent in the first few centuries A.D. General characteristics The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special, hidden mysticism (esoteric knowledge) that only a few possess. ... The important Gnostic text, the Pistis Sophia, in five copies, which scholars date c. ... Philip was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. ... Rembrandts The Evangelist Matthew Inspired by an Angel Matthew the Evangelist (מתי Gift of the LORD, Standard Hebrew and Tiberian Hebrew Mattay; Septuagint Greek Ματθαιος, Matthaios) is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Matthew. ...

"Now at this time, my Lord, hear, so that I speak openly, for thou hast said to us 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear:' Concerning the word which thou didst say to Philip: 'Thou and Thomas and Matthew are the three to whom it has been given... to write every word of the Kingdom of the Light, and to bear witness to them'; hear now that I give the interpretation of these words. It is this which thy light-power once prophesied through Moses: 'Through two and three witnesses everything will be established. The three witnesses are Philip and Thomas and Matthew" ( —Pistis Sophia 1:43)

An early, non-Gnostic tradition may lie behind this statement, which also emphasizes the primacy of Matthew's Gospel in its Aramaic form, over the other canonical three. The name Matthew comes from Hebrew מתי Mattay, (Matthias in Greek) a short form of Hebrew מת(נ)יהו Mattanyāhû/Mattayyāhû, which is itself a variation of Hebrew נתניהו , which means gift of the lord. Matthew (name) — as a given name, surname, and place name. ... For the genre of Christian-themed music, see gospel music. ... Aramaic is a Semitic language with a four-thousand year history. ...


Besides the Acts of Thomas there was a widely circulated Infancy Gospel of Thomas probably written in the later 2nd century, and probably also in Syria, which relates the miraculous events and prodigies of Jesus' boyhood. This is the document which tells for the first time the familiar legend of the twelve sparrows which Jesus, at the age of five, fashioned from clay on the Sabbath day, which took wing and flew away. The earliest manuscript of this work is a sixth century one in Syriac. This gospel was first referred to by Irenaeus; Ron Cameron notes: "In his citation, Irenaeus first quotes a non-canonical story that circulated about the childhood of Jesus and then goes directly on to quote a passage from the infancy narrative of the Gospel of Luke (Luke 2:49). Since the Infancy Gospel of Thomas records both of these stories, in relative close proximity to one another, it is possible that the apocryphal writing cited by Irenaeus is, in fact, what is now known as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Because of the complexities of the manuscript tradition, however, there is no certainty as to when the stories of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas began to be written down." The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a non-canonical Christian text that was part of a popular genre of the 2nd and 3rd centuries— a miracle literature of Infancy gospels that was both entertaining and inspirational, written to satisfy a hunger for more miraculous and anecdotal stories of the childhood... Syriac is an Eastern Aramaic language that was once spoken across much of the Fertile Crescent. ... An engraving of Saint Irenaeus (ca. ...


The best known in modern times of these documents is the "sayings" document that is being called the Gospel of Thomas, a noncanonical work which many scholars believe may actually predate the writing of the Biblical gospels themselves. The opening line claims it is the work of "Didymos Judas Thomas" - who has been identified with Thomas. This work was discovered in a Coptic translation in 1945 at the Egyptian village of Nag Hammadi, near the site of the monastery of Chenoboskion. Once the Coptic text was published, scholars recognized that an earlier Greek translation had been published from fragments of papyrus found at Oxyrhynchus in the 1890s. The Gospel of Thomas, completely preserved in a papyrus Coptic manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, is a list of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. ... The Biblical canon is an exclusive list of books written during the formative period of the Jewish or Christian faiths; the leaders of these communities believed these books to be inspired by God or to express the authoritative history of the relationship between God and his people (although there may... Coptic is the last phase of ancient Egyptian. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... The town of Nag Hammadi in Egypt Nag Hammâdi (Arabic نجع حمادي; transliterated: Naj Hammādi) (26°03′N 32°15′E), is a town in the middle of Egypt, called Chenoboskion in classical antiquity, about 80 kilometres north-west of Luxor with some 30,000 citizens. ... Papyrus plant Cyperus papyrus at Kew Gardens, London Papyrus is an early form of paper made from the pith of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, a wetland sedge that grows to 5 meters (15 ft) in height and was once abundant in the Nile Delta of Egypt. ... Oxyrhynchus (Greek: Οξύρυγχος; sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian Per-Medjed; modern Arabic el-Bahnasa) is an archaeological site in Egypt, considered one of the most important ever discovered. ... The 1890s were sometimes referred to as the Mauve Decade, because William Henry Perkins aniline dye allowed the widespread use of that colour in fashion, and also as the Gay Nineties, under the then-current usage of the word gay which referred simply to merriment and frivolity, with no...


Thomas and John

The theology of Thomas and of John are unalterably opposed. The Gospel of John was accepted in the canon, though not without reserve on the part of some Christian communities, and the roughly contemporary Gospel of Thomas was preserved only by being hidden in the sands at Nag Hammadi. Elaine Pagels' widely-read Beyond Belief (2003) devotes a chapter to these "Gospels in Conflict": "Thomas' gospel encourages the hearer not so much to believe in Jesus, as John requires, as to seek to know God, through one's own, divinely given capacity" (Pagels 2003 p 34). Thomas is like the synoptic gospels in speaking of Jesus as human, as Origen noticed: "none of them clearly spoke of his divinity, as John does" (Commentary on John 1.6). Thomas and John give similar accounts of what Jesus taught privately, but Thomas is not embedded in a narrative: John interrupts the narrative to give five chapters of Jesus' private discourse in John 13 - 18. Both gospels characterize Jesus as God's own light in human shape. The town of Nag Hammadi in Egypt Nag Hammâdi (Arabic نجع حمادي; transliterated: Naj Hammādi) (26°03′N 32°15′E), is a town in the middle of Egypt, called Chenoboskion in classical antiquity, about 80 kilometres north-west of Luxor with some 30,000 citizens. ... Elaine Pagels (née Hiesey, born February 13, 1943), is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. ... Origen (ca. ...


The conclusions drawn in the two gospels are diametrically opposed: John claims that the divine light is embodied only in Jesus, while Thomas' Jesus urges the apostles to find it within each of them.


See also

The early 3rd century text called Acts of Thomas is arguably the most Gnostic of the New Testament apocrypha, portraying Christ as the Heavenly Redeemer, independent of and beyond creation, who can free souls from the darkness of the world. ... Coin of Gondophares (20-50 CE), first king of the Indo-Parthians. ... The Gospel of Thomas, completely preserved in a papyrus Coptic manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, is a list of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. ... This article deals with Saint Thomas Christians or Mar Thoma Khristianis (Malayalam  :മാ൪േതാമാ കൃിസ്തിയാനികള്) and the various churches and denominations that form the Nasrani people The Saint Thomas Christians are a group of Christians from the Malabar coast (now Kerala) in South India, who follow Syriac Christianity. ...

External links

  • Official site of Malayattoor Chruch established by St.Thomas in Kerala, India.
  • A.E. Medlycott, India and the Apostle Thomas, London 1905 (e-text)
  • Herbert Christian Merillat, "The Gnostic Apostle Thomas", 1997
  • Niranam Valiyapally and St. Thomas
  • St.Thomas Christian History and Culture
  • The Myth of Saint Thomas and the Mylapore Shiva Temple
  • Thomasine Church


Apostles of Jesus Christ
Evangelists: John | Matthew |
Others: Simon Peter | Andrew | James | Philip | Bartholomew | Thomas
James son of Alphaeus | Simon the Zealot | Thaddaeus | Judas Iscariot

  Results from FactBites:
 
St. Thomas - Saints & Angels - Catholic Online (317 words)
Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles.
When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities.
Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus - at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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