The Gospel of Thomas is an ancient Christian sacred text whose contemporary re-emergence is changing the face of Christianity. “Missing” (some would say “banished”) for more than 1600 years, it was rediscovered among the trove of early Christian scriptures — popularly known as the “Gnostic gospels” — that turned up in the Egyptian desert near Nag Hammadi in 1945. It is by far the most important text in the collection and the scriptural cornerstone for the contemporary recovery of the Wisdom Jesus.
The text consists of 114 short sayings of Jesus. About two-thirds of these are familiar from the canonical gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.) The remaining third explore areas largely untapped in the canonical gospels but essential to the path of spiritual transformation: issues such as attention, right presence, the question of “what are we here for?”, and the attainment of a state of being which this gospel calls “singleness” — and which looks a lot like contemporary notions of nonduality.
When the Gospel of Thomas was first recovered, scholars were all too eager to discredit it, dismissing it as late and theologically unorthodox. But over the past 30 years that initial negative assessment has been radically revised; in fact, some scholars have now suggested that far from being a latecomer, the Gospel of Thomas may actually contain our earliest version of the original Jesus teachings! And what was originally demonized as “Gnosticism” is increasingly recognized as Judaeo-Christianity’s own authentic Wisdom lineage.
With popular editions of the Gospel of Thomas now widely available, literally thousands of religious seekers worldwide have begun to break open this text, discovering within its teachings extraordinary tools for their own spiritual journey and a confirmation that the Jesus they always suspected was true and, in fact, actually is. Spiritual seekers worldwide have been joining “the Thomas revolution,” discovering how this remarkable text contains rich food for the journey and a powerfully contemporary vision of transformed humanity.