James & Mike,
Don't know why, but Mike's reply never ended in my in-box.
The introduction I speak of was that of the translator, Alexander Walker, on
page 352 of ANF volume VIII:
"The Gospel of Thomas. - Like the Protoevangelium of James, the Gospel of Thomas
is of undoubted antiquity. It is mentioned by name by Origen(1), quoted by
Irenaeus(2) and the author of the Philosphumena(3), who says that it was used by
the Nachashenes, a Gnostic sect of the second century. Cyril of Jerusalem (d.
386) attributes the authorship not to the apostle, but to a Thomas who was of
the three disciples of Manes (4). This fact, of course, indicates that Cyril
knew nothing of the antiquity of the book he was speaking of. This Manichaean
origin has been adopted by many writers, of whom the best known are in recent
times R. Simon and Mingarelli.
[A discussion about the two Greek forms and a Latin translation are omitted
It seems pretty clear, from the contents of the book, that its author was a
Gnostic, a Docetist, and a Marcosian; and it was held in estimation by the
Nachashenes and the Manichaeans. Its bearing upon Christian art(5), and to some
extent, Christian dogma, is well know." (Numbered footnotes were added by me)
(1) Origen, Luc. hom. I, where it is assigned along with Gospel of Matthias
among the heterodox gospels
(2) Irenaeus, Adv. haer. 1.20.1, quotes the Infancy Gospel ch 6 where the child
Jesus converses with his teacher Zacchaeus. He says the Marcosian sect, a
subsect of the Valentinian school, included it among their sacred scriptures.
(3) Hippolytus, Ref. V 7.20, mentions it in connection with Naassenes and quotes
from a text resembling the Coptic GOT.
(4) Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. IV 36 & VI 31.
(5) Giving life to the clay bird
Footnotes 1,3,4 from Beate Blatz, "The Coptic Gospel of Thomas", in the E.T. of
Schneemelcher's _NT Apocrypha_, vol. 1, revised ed. Footnote 2 is from _An
introduction to the New Testament Apocrypha_ By F. Lapham, page 129.
Aside from the story of Jesus' alphabet lesson preserved in Irenaeus, and the
allusion to the clay bird coming alive in Christian art, all the other citations
probably refer to the GOT revered by the present list. How Walker and his
comrades could seriously think that the silly collection of stories was
composed/revered by Naassenes, Marcosian Valentinians and the Manichaeans is
However, I do seriously believe the OP references a person who had read the
"Gospel of Thomas" of the ANF volume, and did not realize the initial question
he was responding to was about the Coptic GOT, or did not know what the Coptic
Newton Falls, Ohio USA
] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:43 AM
Subject: [GTh] Re: On the Net
Excuse me for jumping in here. The intro might have something to do with it.
The stories of Thomas the Israelite, the Philosopher, concerning the works of
the Childhood of the Lord.
I. I, Thomas the Israelite, tell unto you, even all the brethren that are of the
Gentiles, to make known unto you the works of the childhood of our Lord Jesus
Christ and his mighty deeds, even all that he did when he was born in our land:
whereof the beginning is thus:
--- In email@example.com, "M.W. Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
> > It is because in the Ante Nicene Fathers series, in the introduction
> > to the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, it is identified as the Gospel of
> > Thomas mentioned by Church fathers ...
> I didn't know that, Dave, but still the name 'Thomas' must have been
> in the original title, right? Why do you suppose that was?
Gospel of Thomas Homepage: http://home.epix.net/~miser17/Thomas.html
Coptic-English translation: http://www.gospel-thomas.net/x_transl.htm
PEJE IESOUS (Chris Skinner) http://pejeiesous.com Judy's Research Blog (Judy
Redman) http://judyredman.wordpress.com The Forbidden Gospels (April DeConick)
Yahoo! Groups Links