My little buddy

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Gospel According to Thomas

Thomas, you ask? There were only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament ... Where did Thomas come from? Well .... it was always there. Written around the same time as the other gospels. But it flew in the face of the organized church, so was ordered destroyed.

This Gospel, now called The Fifth Gospel, was found at Nag Hammadi(Egypt) in the 30's and came to light in the 50's ... the copy found was actually just that, a copy. At first, it was thought a hoax because it was dated to a time when Thomas couldn't have written it, but upon closer inspection and translations, it was discovered that the copy at Nag Hammadi was a copy from an earlier copy, from an earlier copy: it had been copied several times to the language of the times.

Many believe this Gospel is a closer or more realistic version of the teachings of Christ, since Thomas was known as Didymos(twin) Judas Thomas and was likened to Jesus' twin.

In Thomas' Gospel, there are some verses that strike a chord. That give me hope. That tell me that I can have faith without the Church.

For many years now I have had a crisis of faith. I have issues with the Catholic Church, the Vatican, and the Cannons of the Church - Cannons produced by men who haven't always had the spiritual well-being of their people in mind. I have had issues since university actually ... since I took some History courses and got a major crash course into the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, and the Hypocrisy of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

But now, thanks to St. Thomas and his Gospel, I am starting to believe that faith in God and Jesus may not be misplaced or useless.

Here are two particular verses I love:

(03) Jesus says:
(1) "If those who lead you say to you: ‘Look, the kingdom is in the sky!’
then the birds of the sky will precede you.
(2) If they say to you: ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fishes will precede
(3) Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and outside of you."
(4) "When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the children of the living Father.
(5) But if you do not come to know yourselves, then you exist in poverty,
and you are poverty."

(77) Jesus says:
(1) "I am the light that is over all. I am the All. The All came forth out
of me. And to me the All has come."
(2) "Split a piece of wood – I am there.
(3) Lift the stone, and you will find me there."

There's more, there's much more. Basically, according to Thomas, Jesus wanted his people to know that you can worship anywhere, anytime. It has nothing to do with the wood or stone building in which you do it. It has nothing to do with the unchanging ritual that is fostered in religious institutions. It comes down to the fact that you can have a relationship with God, with Jesus. You can be filled with his love, understanding, and guidance without the pomp and ceremony. Basically - without the BS.

And that my friends, makes me cry. Because for so long, I have felt alone. But now I am starting to believe that maybe I'm not. Maybe there is something or someone to have faith in.