Translation & Annotation by Stevan Davies
a review by John Gilbert
In 1945, twelve ancient books were found sealed inside a jar at the base of an Egyptian cliff. One of those texts was a copy of the Gospel of Thomas which is believed to have been written by the Apostle Thomas. This is a book of sayings attributed to the Master Jesus as the master was teaching his disciples and other followers.
The Gospel of Thomas raises serious questions about some of the major doctrines and dogma of organized Christian religion. The major message of this Gospel is that self-knowledge and contemplation of the nature of this physical world in which we live are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Organized Christian religions generally preach a different message: contemplation on the Kingdom of Heaven and faith in the Church.
It's no surprise organized Christian religions are not embracing the Gospel of Thomas with loving arms. They really don't want to teach that the Kingdom of the Divine is here and now. These churches accept income from people who believe they need the church to assist them into reaching the Kingdom of the Divine. The Gospel of Thomas sends the message we are not saved by grace, salvation is not a gift, each of us has to actively seek the Truth. The Truth is the Kingdom of the Divine is within each and every one of us. If we seek, we will find. That's the message.
The Gospel of Thomas annotated & translated by Stevan Davies (ISBN 1-893361-45-4), edited by Andrew Harvey and published by SkyLightPaths Publishing is by far the best annotated version of this important document I've read.
Saying Five is a favorite of mine: Jesus said: Recognize what is right in front of you, and that which is hidden from you will be revealed to you. Nothing hidden will fail to be displayed. When life seems to be hiding the answers to all our problems, all we have to do is concentrate on the next thing to do and do it. The answers will come.
Another one I like is Saying 11b: The dead do not live and the living do not die. Everything that has ever lived is still living. Everything living now will continue to live forever. That includes you and me. Things that never lived will never live.
Saying Twenty-five: Jesus said: Love your brother as your own soul. Protect him as you protect the pupil of your eye. The message of the Master Jesus over and over again is to love your neighbor as yourself.
The thing I like about this book are the explanations given by scholar Stevan Davies. His website at Misericordia.edu is undoubtedly the world's leading Internet source of information on the Gospel of Thomas. He is considered one of the world's top experts on the Gospel of Thomas. He knows this Gospel better than most and he does an excellent job making it easy to understand for the layman and expert alike. I recommend this book to anybody following a spiritual path.NOTE: The Gospel of Thomas is available from several websites on the Internet. Follows a list of a few favorites of this reviewer:
Misericordia College version translated by Davies
Misericordia College Greek Text A
Gnosis Organization translated by Thomas O. Lambdin
Reluctant Messenger Thomas Scholars Translation
Wesley College Greek Text A
Wesley College Greek Text B
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