Re: Why did Gospel of John call the Apostle Thomas "Didymos"
- After reading the comments on Thomas Didymos while on vacation, I would
like to add a few pieces of research information. I deleted these
comments from the final copies of both the SBL presentation and the
Perspectives in Religious Studies publication of "Un-doubting Thomas".
"William Bonney briefly discusses this issue in a footnote. He
references Bultmann's discussion that the Greek word "Thomas" is a
transliteration of a Semitic word for twin, thus the evangelist's
identification "Thomas, the one called Didymus." Some efforts have
been made seeking to identify the missing twin of Thomas. While the
Acts of Thomas identifies this absent sibling as Jesus, other
possible siblings are also mentioned. Elizabeth C. Piasecki, argues in
her essay published in the National Student Essay Competition in
Divinity, 1981, that the "twin" is Nathanael. This identification is
based more on the literary structuring of the two pericope than on any
genetic information. Interestingly, both the Nathanael episode, Jn
1.43-51, and the Thomas episode, Jn 20.24-29 contain recognition scenes;
the topic to which we now turn. "
William Bonney, Caused to Believe, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. 137, n. 20
Piasecki, Elizabeth C. "Nathanael: the twin of 'doubting' Thomas." Pages
101-106 in Church Divinity, 1981: National Student Essay Competition in
Divinity. Edited by John H. Morgan. Notre Dame, IN: Church Divinity
Monograph Series, 1981.
I fear that we are prone to read too much into some comments recorded
2000 years ago. As most of this audience are aware, the Gospel of
Thomas refers to Thomas as the "twin" to Jesus.
Stan Harstine, Ph.D.
2100 W. University Ave..
Wichita, KS 67213-3379
 William Bonney, Caused to Believe, (Leiden: Brill, 2002), p. 137,
 "But the Lord said to him; 'I am not Judas who is also Thomas, I am
his brother.'" Acts of Thomas, 11, translated by Han J.W. Drijvers in
Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., New Testament Apocrypha, Vol 2, translated
by R. McL. Wilson, (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992), pp.
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