I just finished Crossan's chapter in "The Birth of Christianity" where he states that the GThom is far too early to be Gnostic. I tend to agree. Gnosticism and what we call Gnostic is a development in Christianity that is diverse and more of a species rather than genus in its nature.
Gnosticism developed later in Christianity and took too many forms to equate Thomas as more than a sympathetic document used later by diverse Gnostic sects, (and others). But there may be some basis for equating mysticism to it. This is in regard to the apocalyptic type of diversity seen in the Q Gospel. This difference may represent an early rift between epistemologies before or about the Pauline era in very early Christianity.
The conflict between Jewish law or ideals in general had to be made clear to early Christians. Thomas may actually be an attempt to clarify this position, as well as establish the belief system to Gentiles. The Jewish model formulates God as a force who can control from the cosmos. This is somewhat the model Paul proposed.
Thomas constructs another picture of the cosmic force. God does not come out of the cosmos and smite you down. You just die and are assimilated to darkness. Salvation is a tool learned and practiced as you gird your loins from the world and guide your soul back to the light from which you came.
Tom ( I write 'Christian Thomist' on my name badge) Saunders
Platter Flats, OK
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