Synopses & Reviews
In this fresh and masterful translation, Marvin Meyer presents one of the world's best-loved sacred texts. Honed over the last twenty years through a dozen versions, Meyer's Thomas promises to remain the definitive translation for decades to come. Widely regarded by scholars as containing many of the original sayings of Jesus, The Gospel of Thomas was discovered in 1945 among the gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt. Reportedly dictated by Jesus to his brother, Judas Thomas the Twin, founder of the churches of the East, Thomas reveals a Jesus who merges with the wisdom of the sophists, with Diogenes, Plato, and Socrates. In his interpretation, Harold Bloom writes about the Jesus who touches him, the uncanny voice he hears in the Gospel of Thomas, free of the dogmatic cast that has held Jesus in ecclesiastical captivity since the canonical Gospels were written. "Seeing what is before you is the whole art of vision for Thomas's Jesus", he writes. "Nothing mediates the self for the Jesus of the Gospel of Thomas. Everything we seek is already in our presence, and not outside our self. What is most remarkable in these sayings is the repeated insistence that everything is already open to you. You need but knock and enter". Through Marvin Meyer's lucid rendering of Christ's Zen master-like sayings we witness a gospel that, as Bloom puts it, "spares us the crucifixion, makes the resurrection unnecessary, and does not present us with a God named Jesus. No dogmas could be founded upon this sequence (if it is a sequence) of apothegms. If you turn to the Gospel of Thomas, you encounter a Jesus who is unsponsored and free".
A fresh, authoritative English translation, with an informative introduction, fascinating explanatory notes, and the Coptic text, with interpretation by Harold Bloom, our pre-eminent literary critic.
Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed."
Many scholars of the historical Jesus believe the Gospel of Thomas contains original sayings of Jesus that circulated among his followers before the composition of the New Testament Gospels.
This fresh revision of Marvin Meyer's masterful translation is clearly the most complete, up-to-date, accurate, and literary version of the Gospel of Thomas. Meyer has refined the translation in light of the latest research and has updated the Notes and Bibliography.
Readers of Thomas will be enthralled by the Jesus revealed here through his Zen master-like sayings. What emerges is not the canonical Jesus but, as Harold Bloom puts it in his skillful interpretation, a gospel that "spares us the crucifixion, makes the resurrection unnecessary, and does not present us with a God named Jesus. . . . If you turn to the Gospel of Thomas, you encounter a Jesus who is unsponsored and free."
About the Author
Marvin Meyer, general editor of this collection, is one of the foremost scholars on Gnostic traditions, the Nag Hammadi library, and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament. He is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies and director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Chapman University in California. Among his recent books are The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth; The Gospels of Mary: The Secret Tradition of Mary Magdalene, the Companion of Jesus; The Gnostic Discoveries: The Impact of the Nag Hammadi Library; The Gnostic Bible; and The Gospel of Judas.