Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pope affirms importance of Gospel of Thomas and Acts of Thomas

Well, I am being a little cheeky in making that the headline of this post since it refers to only one sentence, but it's nice to see the Gospel of Thomas and the Acts of Thomas getting a mention in Pope Benedict XVI's address today. Here are the last two paragraphs of the address, courtesy of Zenit, with the mention of the Gospel and Acts of Thomas at the end of the first paragraph below:
The fourth Gospel has preserved for us a last note on Thomas, on presenting him as witness of the Risen One in the moment after the miraculous catch on the Lake of Tiberias (cf. John 21:2). On that occasion, he is mentioned also immediately after Simon Peter: an evident sign of the notable importance that he enjoyed in the ambit of the first Christian communities. In fact, in his name, were later written the "Acts" and the "Gospel of Thomas," both apocryphal, but in any case important for the study of Christian origins.

Let us recall, finally, that according to an ancient tradition, Thomas evangelized in the first instance Syria and Persia (so says Origen, as referred by Eusebius of Caesarea, "Hist. eccl." 3,1) and later went as far as western India (cf. "Acts of Thomas" 1-2: 17 and following), from where Christianity also later reached the south of India. We end our reflection with this missionary perspective, hoping that Thomas' example will increasingly confirm our faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Holy Father's recent quoting of a Byzantine emperor turned him into an anti-Islamic fundamentalist in media coverage. Now we are looking forward to see the headline printed in bold, "POPE AFFIRMS GNOSTICISM: Billions of Catholics to accept apocrypha as inspired by God". Then quote some expert in religious studies who can explain how the Pope's love for the Gospel of Thomas is of course due to this Gospel's antipathy towards sex and women. Then quote some anonymous source from inside the Vatican who can call to mind those happy days of John Paul II, who would never have given in to gnostic tendencies...

Anonymous said...

Mark, I'm curious, how unusual is it for the Vatican to reference apocrypha in this manner?

Zimri said...

anon2- Intellectual Catholics quote the Didache quite a bit, as it's pro-life. I would wager that B16 is also conversant with the epistle of the Romans to the Corinthians ("I Clement").

HORTON R.S.CANALE said...

JEWS ARE NOT SEMITIC. JEWS ARE CUSHITES,HAMITIC ANTISEMITES.SEE 2KINGS CH.16,v5,6. JER.CH.24,vs8-10. JER.CH.38,v19. REV.CH.2 V9.REV.CH.3,v9. 1 THESS.CH.2,v14-16. TITUS,CH.1,v14. 2SAM.CH.19,v43. HORTON R.S.CANALE, ARBROATH,SCOTLAND