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Laura Mbabazi wrote:

Hi, guys —

Thanks for all the good work you are doing:

  • Eric, Paul, and Mike
  • the backup helpers: Richard, John, and Bob
  • the grammarians, Kathy and Beth, and
  • Fr. Jonathan

Sometimes I am really confused by stuff I come across, so your help does a lot of good.
Once again, I need clarification on how the Church views the gospel of St. Thomas.

The movie Stigmata gives the impression that the Catholics hid this gospel because it was different from what the Church preached, and seeing the gospel contains the Words of Jesus Himself, as it is assumed or believed by some people, that the Church did not want Christians to know about it.

As much as I went through different information about this gospel, I wish to know more about it from you — a site that I can trust.

Thank you very much for your help,

God Bless you and may He grant you happiness in your lives, families, and to all who you love.

Laura

  { Can you tell me about the gospel of Thomas? }

John replied:

Hi, Laura —

The so-called Gospel of Thomas is a second century forgery attributed to Thomas, the Apostle.
It was written by the Gnostics who denied that Jesus was truly man, as well as truly God. These people believed that all matter was evil, therefore God would never become man. They therefore denied that Jesus really died on the Cross.

If we take that further, if He didn't die on the Cross, he didn't rise from the grave either.

  • No need, right?

So their message of salvation was not about atonement and redemption but about gaining this secret knowledge which only they had.

Some of these communities had other bizarre beliefs like for a woman to be saved she had to become man.

They also became extreme. The belief that:

  • all matter was evil, and
  • that Christians were only spirits living in a body

lead to one of two extremes. They either became extremely legalistic, adopting harsh forms of mortification, or they went the other way. For the Gnostics, since we are really spirit and our bodies mean nothing, they became libertines, giving in to all desires of the flesh — from lust to gluttony.

The gospel of Thomas is laden with all kinds subtle heresies that denies the Incarnation.
It purports to have childhood stories about Jesus, more than likely coming from North African or Egyptian Christian traditions. That's all the more reason to doubt Thomas had anything to do with it. Thomas went to India to preach the Gospel, not Egypt.

If there is any truth in the accounts of this document, it's not because it is Inspired Scripture. Most heresy is rooted in some truth.

The Church rejected it because it is full of heresy and contradicts, not only all four Gospels, but the entire Bible.

John

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