Great site Michael McLafferty,
Too bad the Giversen did not have "Thomas The Contender" in his mix. I like the part in T-Acts, that tells what Thomas did with the money to build a temple. "Die," he says to the King, "and then you'll see the Temple." ("You come from the light and go back to it.")
Giversen points out there is proof that St. T started churches and followings, but the Gospel is not attached to a community. If T-Acts has any historical relationship to the legend, it has to be that Thomas was a real character, bohemian, and likely to have written something like the GThom. Something that would not be directed to starting community. ("I tell my mysteries to those that........ be a passer by, gird your loins from the world, etc. ")
Giversen points out that Marcion, Mani, and Vanlatinus used it. This may be based on the same reference as Henry Chadwick, "Early Chritianity" which was pointed out as not being a substantial proven idea. On the other hand Fr. Pochomus got the GThom from somebody.
I like the arguments that Syria had the GThom, but I do not buy into the idea that it was written there in 173. See Penn. I think it got to Nag Hammadi via the Silk Routes and exchanges between Vanlintinus, Marcion, and Tatian,who noted in the Diatessaron that Thomas was sometimes called Thama.) Tatian's followers were called "Rulers of Themselves." Encrotites. Thomists? Iranaeus called them all heretics.
I would have to plead that the utility of the GThom does not characterize itself as an instrument that would build a community, 'until you die.' What in it might be a clue as to its character as a community builder, except for those that had it?.....like Fr. P. in Nag Hammadi, they had lots. But as we know from the way it was traditionally hidden, it was "ver botten, yooogen!"
The GThom has no community associated with it because no harmonic theme exists in it that would by itself, after the start of the Jesus legend, even in the 1st Century, cause a community to form. Its utility is workable to building individuals, and Internet groups, respectively. (Every time I think about starting a ministry based on the GThom, it inevitably starts and ends with, "Here read this, bye." Be a passerby. "The Temple is in Heaven.")
Platter Flats, OK
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