Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Key to Understanding Jesus and the Apostles

This unique Gospel message is Freely given for the sake of the church.

Seemingly hidden for many centuries, but now revealed, the recent discovery of a "key of knowledge" has yielded a practical and very useful cross reference tool to understand the scriptures.

This Tau-Rho Cross is created by the joining of the two letters Tau (T) and Rho (P) into the one amalgamated letter often known as the Staurogram. This amalgamation reveals the primary message of "The Word of God": specifically, "Make the two into one." The joining together of these two letters into the one amalgamated letter illustrates the marriage of the bride and the bridegroom, and also the reconciliation of all things into the one body, (Ephesians 1:10, 5:32).

Turned sideways this Staurogram or Tau-Rho Cross looks a lot like a key. Jesus said, “Woe unto you, lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you have not entered in yourselves (into the kingdom), and them that were entering in you hindered,” (Luke 11:52). Jesus said "When you make the two into one... then will you enter the kingdom" (Thomas 39). This key is a parable, an illustration revealing the great mystery, and the primary message of The Word of God: Reunite that which is divided, make the two one, and enter the kingdom.

This key of knowledge, this cross shaped key is found hidden within many early manuscripts, and most prominently and climatically within the controversial Gospel of Thomas. This appears to be where "the pharisees and the scribes have taken the key(s) of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them, (Thomas 39). However, now revealed, this mysterious key can unlock a treasure chest allowing the diligent disciple to discover the hidden connections both within Thomas, and within the canonical letters.

Convincing sequential similarities in thought, word, and rhetoric between the Gospel of Thomas and several canonical writings become plainly visible. Providing an invaluable contribution to the study of the New Testament, these connections appear to reveal the original thought processes behind the apostolic writings.

Aligning and combining the sayings of Jesus within The Gospel of Thomas together with the canonical apostolic writings, we "make the two into one." It's almost like Jesus and the apostles left us a cross reference study bible.

The Gospel of Thomas - New Testament
Cross Reference Study

Open the links.  Connect the Key Words.  Be Amazed and Enter.

The Gospel of Thomas - Romans Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 1 Corinthians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 2 Corinthians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Galatians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Ephesians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Philippians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Colossians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 1 Thessalonians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 2 Thessalonians Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 1 Timothy Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 2 Timothy Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Titus Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Hebrews Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - James Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 1 Peter Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - 1 John Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - Revelations Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - The Gospel of Mark Connection

The Gospel of Thomas - The Gospel of John Connection

“Give attendance to reading… Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all,” 1 Timothy 4:1315.

These new insights suggest that The Gospel of Thomas squares more neatly into the framework of early Christianity than is commonly assumed. Such similarities, connections, and cross references could revolutionize our understanding of the epistles, the gospel, the tapestry of the early church, and even of Christ.

I think the implications of these revelations stretch the imagination beyond belief. What do you think? Being the only known document with simultaneously extensive, sequential, and unique connections to all these early canonical writings does not suggest a later date for Thomas, but rather a very, very early date.

If there had been only one New Testament text that aligned with the Thomas text it might be difficult to determine which text came first, but this is not the case. As can be seen in the above links, there are many New Testament writings aligning themselves with Thomas.

The reason this suggests an early date is that it becomes extremely unlikely that a later author could have fashioned Thomas using the sayings of Jesus from the canonical Gospels, while simultaneously and sequentially matching the Rhetoric of so many epistles (See the Key Word Connection links above), while also consistently maintaining both the inner and outer loosely based chiasms that provide the overarching structure for the Gospel of Thomas. It is much, much easier to believe that Thomas came first, and that the other writings flowed out from Thomas.

What does all this mean?
Why are these texts interconnected in such an extensive manner?
What do these connections teach us about the meaning of the canonical letters and about Thomas?
Let's dare to ask the difficult question:

Did Paul, James, Peter, and John construct their letters using "The Gospel of Thomas?" This does appear to be the case, (See the Key Word Connection links above). Why would the apostles do this? I am suggesting that the apostles appear to be following a pattern provided to them by Jesus.

Without being overly dramatic, I would like to make this next point as straightforward as possible. Perhaps the most simple explanation for these connections, and for the apparent apostolic reliance upon the Gospel of Thomas is that Thomas was The Original Gospel Of Christ.

Thomas appears to be the "Original Gospel" Jesus delivered to those closest to him, and to those who walked with him in His Way. Specifically, Thomas appears to be a more spiritual minded message tailored primarily for those who had forsaken all to follow Christ. 

The Thomas prologue explains that Christ was the originator of this Gospel and that this gospel was merely written down or scribed by Thomas. Apostolic acceptance that Christ was the author of this gospel would explain the connections, and would explain why the apostles used this gospel so extensively? (See the Thomas prologue)

As mentioned earlier, as can be seen in the above links, the apostles appear to have relied heavily upon this Original Gospel authored by Christ, considering phrase by phrase the words of Jesus in Thomas, as they wrote their own writings. If this reliance and interconnectedness between the New Testament and Thomas is genuine, as it appears to be, then the many canonical references to "The Gospel of Christ", "The Testimony of Jesus ", " The Doctrine of Christ", " His Sayings", " The Preaching of Jesus Christ", " The Gospel of God", " The Word of God", " The Revelation of Jesus Christ", " The Everlasting Gospel", and even just " The Gospel" could all reasonably be direct references, and sometimes even veiled references to "The Gospel of Thomas"

If we have now recovered Christ's own gospel, then this could be revolutionary. As a unique gospel, apparently intended primarily for those within the church, this key of knowledge teaches those who would follow Jesus, as one of his disciples, how to live life as a wandering radical. It then reveals to these solitary and elect the complete reunification and oneness of the all through the teachings of the bridal chamber. This gospel, if sent and received, could be a significant challenge to the current religious world.

May we be granted wisdom and grace.
And may we be found building upon the Rock,

Dean Johnson

P.S. Perhaps The Gospel of Thomas was even used by non-canonical authors:

From the Nag Hammadi Library
See The Gospel of Thomas - The Gospel of Mary Connection

See also The Gospel of Thomas - The Quran Connection
This page examines the concept of the Injel or the Original Gospel of Christ 
as it relates to the Quran. It is still under construction.
Yet to be examined, and perhaps for another day
is a possible connection between Thomas and the Upanishads.

For now,
Enjoy The Gospel of Thomas - New Testament
Cross Reference Study

Read The Gospel of Thomas
Watch The Gospel of Thomas



URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Did this gospel come directly from Christ, merely being scribed by Thomas, as this gospel claims?

(See the Thomas Prologue?)

This would make Thomas Christ's own gospel.

Regarding this question, there four pages worth considering:

Considered together these 4 pages suggest that the Apostle Paul relied heavily upon on the Gospel of Thomas. Paul's reliance on the Gospel of Thomas in his creation of 1 Corinthians suggests a very early date for Thomas. This early dating together with Paul's extensive usage of Thomas suggests a pre-eminent authority present in this text. One reasonable explanation is that "The Gospel of Thomas" was "The Gospel of Christ."

1. http://www.angelfire.com/dc/universalism/Corinthian_Thomas_Parallels.html

This is a complete side by side comparison of both 1 Corinthians and The Gospel of Thomas. There appears to be extensive and entirely sequential similarities in thought, word, and rhetoric, throughout both the gospel and letter. Individually these similarities might be inconsequential, but sequentially throughout the entirety of both texts they cannot be ignored.

Then there are the 2 loose chiastic structures based on key word connections throughout Thomas:

2. The Outer Thomas Chiasmic Structure based on the Cross (Staurogram):

3. The Inner Chiasmic Structure
based on the Kingdom:

Cumulatively, the evidence from these 3 web pages suggests a very early date for the Gospel of Thomas. The reason they suggest an early date is that it becomes extremely unlikely that a later author could have fashioned Thomas using the saying of Jesus, while sequentially matching the Rhetoric of 1 Corinthians, while also simultaneously maintaining both the inner and outer loosely based chiasms that provide the overarching structure for the Gospel of Thomas. It is much easier to believe that Thomas came first, and that the other gospels flowed out from Thomas.

Finally, with Paul's extensive reliance upon Thomas in mind, http://www.angelfire.com/dc/universalism/mygospel.html hesitantly considers the realistic possibility that "The Gospel of Christ" that is so often referred to in the scriptures and in Paul's writings may be an actual early text commissioned by Christ himself. The possibility is examined that the gospel commonly known as "The Gospel of Thomas" may be the actual Gospel of Christ: Christ's own message and gospel passed on to his closest disciples.

This might explain the apostle Paul's extensive use of The Gospel of Thomas in his own writings.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today, many similarities in thought, word, and rhetoric between Thomas and Galatians were posted online for the benefit of the body of Christ.

The Gospel of Thomas Compared to Galatians

It is almost like Jesus and the Apostles gave us a cross reference Bible for our personal studies. Enjoy.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today is posted a sequential side by side comparison of
James and The Gospel of Thomas

James was leader in the initial church in Jerusalem.

These similarities between James and the Gospel of Thomas may suggest that James also recognized the value of Thomas, perhaps also viewing it as the very gospel of Christ.

This connection to James is especially interesting as it is reminiscent of the the "Gospel to the Circumcision" mentioned by Paul.

These connections may also imply that some of the the early Jewish believers which were scattered abroad in the early dispersion could have been very familiar with this gospel known as Thomas. James 1:1

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

For the sake of the church, and especially for those who value the special place of Peter in Church history, today is revealed the connections between
1 Peter and The Gospel of Thomas

May it be a blessing.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Some recent scholarship has suggested that the disciples of Thomas and John did not get along. For example, partially based on John's gospel portrayal of Thomas as the doubting Thomas Elaine Pagels in Beyond Belief portrays Thomas and John as rival factions within the early church.

This posting of the Thomas - 1 John Connection may provide further insights and perhaps even challenge this train of thought.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

The Gospel of Thomas - Gospel of Mary Connection is posted today.

Though not a canonical gospel this posting is significant as Mary was the first to see Christ in his resurrection glory.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Here is a gift for the prophets and all those who look for the Revelation of Christ from within.

Today is posted a side by side comparison between The Gospel of Christ and The Revelation of Jesus Christ

May we see him as he is.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Jesus chastised the scribes of his day for hiding the key of knowledge within their scribblings. This key was necessary for those who would enter the kingdom.

Jesus said, "The scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to,” (Thomas 39, Luke 11:52).

The recognition of the scribal use of the "Staurogram" or the "Tau-Rho Cross" as this "key of knowledge" may be useful in locating other texts that are based on the Gospel of Thomas.

Just as the Staurogram is located in saying 55 at the center of the Thomas text, so also, other ancient texts constructed using Thomas also have the concepts of Thomas 55 and the cross located centrally within their texts. Seek and you will find.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Last weekend was posted a comparison between The Gospel of Thomas and Hebrews

Those who are enjoying this study may also enjoy comparing key phrases in Thomas with several different canonical writers simultaneously to gain deeper insight into how the apostles as a group viewed the words of Jesus. For example the gospel phrase in Thomas "make the two into one" seems to correspond with the phrase "the word of God" in several of the apostolic epistles. (Thomas 22, 106, James 22, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:8).

Seek and you will find.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today is posted
The Thomas - 1 Thessalonians Connection

Once again it is worth mentioning that the the key phrase in Thomas "make the two one" seems to connect with the phrase "the gospel" in 1 Thessalonians.

"Make the two One" (Thomas 106) /
"The very gospel of God" (1 Thes. 5:23)

"If two make peace" (Thomas 48) /
"The gospel of Christ" (1 Thes. 3:2)

"Make the two One" (Thomas 22) /
"The gospel of God" (1 Thes. 2:8)

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Now is posted
The Thomas - Ephesians Connection

I particularly enjoyed the comparison of Thomas 17 with Ephesians 1:17

I liked the thought that what Jesus gives us, which no natural eye has seen, is the spirit of wisdom and revelation. May he open our spiritual eyes

Anonymous said...

Interesting thoughts.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

The parallels and similarities between Thomas 17 and 1 Corinthians 2:9 have long been acknowledged by scholars.

What is most interesting is that these two verses naturally align themselves when these two books are compared side by side. This can be seen in The Gospel of Thomas – 1 Corinthians Key Word Connections page. Perhaps, this may lend some support and credibility to the validity of the other connections that are presented.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Last night was posted a web site that is still under construction. The potential connection between these two books is still being considered.

The Gospel of Thomas - The Quran Connection

Both books are composed of 114 divisions. Matching Sayings to corresponding Suras may yield interesting results.

I especially love the climax of Thomas in Saying 55: "take up his cross" which is expanded by Matthew, Mark and Luke to include "let him deny himself, and take up his cross."

This may be significant since the phrase "will you deny Allah?" (the God) is repeated to the point of extreme emphasis in Suras 55 in the Quran.

Does this suggest that if we refuse to deny ourselves that we deny God?

Very Interesting.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

So much history has passed since the Original Gospel of Christ was hidden from humanity. Now that it may have been recovered big questions may need to be asked.

I wonder if Muhammad gave more credibility to this Original Gospel of Christ than is commonly acknowledged by many of us in the west.

Suras 3:84
"Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma`il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." Yusuf Ali Translation

What do we now do if we have recovered the Original Gospel text given to Christ, recognized to be holy scripture within Islam, and demonstrably the basis of the apostolic writings within the canon?

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Tonight is posted the first comparison between The Gospel of Thomas and one of the Canonical Gospels.

The Gospel of Thomas - The Gospel of John Connection
A Key Word Comparison


URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

I started working again on the Injeel - Quran connection about a week ago, just hours before the big Superstorm hit New York.

The water flowing into Ground Zero like a new Niagara Falls illustrated the need many feel for a new understanding in the earth.

Perhaps, a new day is at hand.

Jesus said, "I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war," Thomas 16.

Together as One as Jesus in the earth, we declare war on war. We pierce through the divisions with the Sword of the Spirit and the word of God. The fire within the bridal chamber burns away every high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, making the two into one, declaring once again that God is ONE, and so are We.

Tearing down the middle wall of partition, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, and spiritual. Every division will be cast down, and we will gather together in One all that was scattered abroad, for there is nothing hidden that will not be made known.

Shaking heaven and earth,

URfriend, Dean Johnson

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Work Continues on the Injeel - Quran Connection.

Posted today is the proposal that The She-Camel of Allah is an Allegorical Allusion to the Suffering Soul of Jesus.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Early this morning was posted The Gospel of Thomas and The Gospel of Mark Connection.

The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mark are aligned using key word connections. Then deeper insights are revealed through the comparison and contrast of these two aligned gospels.

The dramatic interplay between these two specific texts is especially interesting. For example, in perhaps one of the most controversial passages in Thomas, Peter argues to exclude Mary from the group of disciples (114). Rather than to exclude Mary, Jesus "promises" to lead her. In surprising manner, in Mark's gospel it is Mary that the Angel calls to proclaim this same "promise" to Peter, the very one who had denied the Lord three times, (Mark 16:7).

Through this message of "promise" given to Mary, now for Peter, a reconciliation between Peter and Mary can be accomplished. Two become one again, and overcome carnality, and move toward maturity. Just as Jesus had promised to go with and lead Mary (in The Gospel of Thomas), so also the message of the angel through Mary to Peter (in The Gospel of Mark) is that Jesus "goeth before you." In this way the same promise is to both Peter and Mary that they might both become living Spirits.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today is posted The Colossians - Gospel of Thomas Connection.

I found the connection to Thomas 17 especially interesting. There is a spiritual body. Perhaps, Christ and his body can be so much deeper than our mere physical senses perceive.

Thomas 39 was also interesting. Perhaps it suggests that the key of knowledge is closely connected to the Pleroma, the fulness, and our being mature and complete in him.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today is posted The Gospel of Thomas - 1 Timothy Connection
In it I am reminded of what the kingdom of heaven is truly like: Like a certain man and a certain woman, like the Bride and the Bridegroom, of a pearl, a field, and of one who buys the field. For indeed, we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. May we all have eyes to see past the parable and into the reality within.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

This past weekend was posted The Gospel of Thomas - Romans Connection.

This posting is a gift to the teachers in the body, and to all those who are interested in meditating more deeply on the gospel of our salvation. What can I say about a revelation like this? This is the book of Romans.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Earlier this week was posted
The Gospel of Thomas - Titus Connection.
In it Titus refers to "not giving heed to Jewish fables"
which seems to align with the phrase
"Flesh came into being because of spirit," (Thomas 29).
In contrast "Sound doctrine" seems to refer to
"The keys of knowledge (gnosis)," (Thomas 39).

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Last week was posted the 2 Thessalonian - Gospel of Thomas Connection.

Paul is correcting a troubling misunderstanding that proclaimed to the Thessalonians that the day of Christ had already arrived.

If this error sprang from a wrong understanding of the teaching found in Thomas, then we may have another confirmation of a very early dating for Thomas.

Jesus, in his original gospel, taught that his message would be troubling. It might initially seem that Paul is alluding to this troubling. However, his heart is actually to address this
misunderstanding of "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ," a misunderstanding that was inappropriately troubling the Thessalonian believers. Thomas 2, 2 Thessalonians 1:8, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.

It seems that this misunderstanding could have sprung from a deficient understanding of Thomas in which "the day of Christ" was wrongly being equated with the already present "kingdom of the father". In the Gospel of Thomas, what Jesus
actually says is "the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."

Jesus did indeed say regarding this kingdom, "What you look forward to has already come, but you do not recognize it." However, It was the kingdom that was already here, not the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Thomas "the day" is clearly distinct from "the Kingdom"

As can be seen, Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a man who had good seed. His enemy came by night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The man did not allow them to pull up the weeds; he said to them, 'I am afraid that you will go intending to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.' For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be plainly visible, and they will be pulled up and burned," Thomas 57.

Perhaps, unlike the day of Christ, the kingdom often comes subtly, silently, "without observation," like a man casting seed into the ground and trying to watch the plant grow, Luke 17:22, Mark 4:26-28.

As Paul says of those who can see this growth, if any man be in Christ (in the kingdom) all things (even the worlds) are made new." There is a new world even now. May we have eyes to see it, and look forward to the day when it will be obvious to all.

And so, to correct this error, Paul exhorts the brethren "stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by (the Sayings of Jesus and His) Word, or our epistle," 2 Thessalonians 2:15.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

This weekend is posted The Gospel of Thomas - 2 Corinthians Connection.

Several comparisons stand out.

First, the "cross" in saying 55 connects with "a great trial of affliction" and "deep poverty," (2 Corinthians 8:2). This describes the life of those who would walk with Christ in his way. It may also suggest that "the grace of God," (8:1) is available for those in the church who would "not be worthy," (Thomas 55) for such a cross.

Second, "the stone... the cornerstone... which the builders have rejected," (Thomas 66) seems to align with the "the gospel of Christ," (2 Corinthians 9:13). And again, "the gospel of Christ" seems to connect with "the light," (Thomas 77), suggesting that it is this revelation from Christ that that we can look to in our journey back to the Father.

It is this "glorious gospel," (2 Corinthians 4:4) that once again connects with and that also declares "make the two One," (Thomas 22).

This is indeed a glorious gospel.

URfriend, Dean Johnson said...

Today is posted The Gospel of Thomas and Ezekiel's First Vision Side by Side with Key Word Connections.

Ezekiel prophesies of a special two sided scroll held out to the son of man.

This same imagery is echoed in the Book of Revelation and may be a direct reference to the two sided scroll more commonly known as the Gospel of Thomas. Clues to hidden mysteries are unveiled.

Also recently posted was The Gospel of Thomas - 2 Timothy Connections. Thomas 106 together with 2 Timothy 4:17 suggests that the primary point and message of "The preaching" was to "Make the two one."