".....and the use of Thomas by the Nag Hammadi group does not in itself imply
a Gnostic origin for Thomas."
I think we have to consider another obvious thing about the GThom. It may well be the first Gnostic Gospel. As you point out.......,
"On the other hand Hippolytus claims that the Naassene Gnostics at the end of the second century used a Gospel of Thomas....."
I can't support what Pagels suggests in "Beyond Belief" about GJohn being written to refute Thomas, but I would support the idea that John came way after Thomas and was to strengthen the hold of orthodoxy to those that bought into the idea of the 'sparks of divine light' Gnostic creationist myth.
The GJohn is obvious in some respects:
J-4-14. but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life.
6-53. Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves.
The GJohn through those like Iranaeus relegates whatever light that exists for the follower to be administered through the Church sacraments, the only way to get to the light.
Herein, Pagels wins the day when she points out the search for divine light as a primary dividing line in secular Christianity. We certainly see that Thomas presents us with this 'being of the light' idea and by that standard has always been Gnostic.
Platter Flats, OK
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