Monday, June 18, 2012

gnostic thomas

According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus said, "The kingdom is inside you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you do not know yourselves, you will dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty." Thomas's Jesus is the dispenser of wisdom, not the resurrected Lord.

In The Book of Thomas the Contender, Jesus said, "For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge of the depth of the all."*
The heart of the problem for the Gnostic is ignorance. But Jesus redeems man from such ignorance. Stephan A. Hoeller says that in the Valentinian system "there is no need whatsoever for guilt, for repentance from so-called sin, neither is there a need for a blind belief vicarious salvation by way of the death of Jesus." Rather Jesus is the savior in the sense of being a spiritual maker of wholeness.  

Unlike the canonical gospels, Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection are not narrated and neither do any of the one hundred-fourteen sayings in the Gospel of Thomas directly refer to any of these events. Although Thomas does not articulate every aspect of a full-blown Gnostic system, some of the teachings attributed to Jesus fit the Gnostic system.

Christ comes, not as a Redeemer, but a Revealer. He gives a metaphysical assist.



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