Is the Gospel of Thomas gnostic?
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Is the Gospel of Thomas gnostic? book
This chapter considers the main sayings of Jesus in Thomas that reflect the religious identity of a "Gnostic Thomasine community." The Gospel of Thomas is the most famous find from among the 1945 Nag Hammadi discoveries, even being published separately, Coptic text beside English translation, and without commentary, as if a Biblical text. The view of the Gnostic influence can be seen in the notion that the pioneers of the Gnostic movement, at different stages, were ready to adopt Jewish scriptures useful for their primary doctrine, affecting the process of Thomas's textual development. The ideological features of Thomas are an ongoing contentious issue, along with the Christ narratives revealing secret teachings, treatises, sermons, meditations, and otherworld journeys. In particular, features of "dualism" indicate a considerable enough Gnostic influence. Since the original socio-historical identity of the Thomasine community is obscure, as also the way Thomas was used in later ancient contexts, its textual interpretation remains controversial.