A New Gospel for a New Age

An interpretation of The Gospel Of Thomas


Dr. Randall E. Wilson

January 2004

Unless otherwise noted all quotations from

The Gospel of Thomas and other Nag Hammadi texts are from The Nag Hammadi Library in English,

James M. Robinson, General Editor

Harper & Row


All Bible quotes are from

The Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha

Oxford University Press

Cambridge University Press


For an online source to both Nag Hammadi and other Gnostic texts, see The Gnostic Society Library

I would like to express my thanks to all the members of the Gospel of Thomas online discussion group

who acted as my sounding board throughout this project. This is the e-group that asks the question:

“What does this saying mean to you?” Because a few of my interpretations are based on original works

of other group members, I feel that these group members have co-authored portions of this work

with me. Special thanks to Sam, John, Ron, Joe, Christel, Isabella, Scotty, Jef, Judas, Roger, Felix, Ulli,

Mike, Monica, Tiffani, Christian, Dave, A.K.A., Staats, Ted, Tom, Richard and Jerry B.

For more information or to join this group, go to

I do not seek financial gain from writing this book, but would like to see it read by as many interested parties

as possible. If anyone has information on publishing, printing, or posting to other sites, please contact me

via e-mail,

This book is not really intended for those who are comfortable in traditional Christianity, but it is for

those who are attracted to Jesus’ teachings but yet repelled by a church that insists they believe the unbelievable.

Found in Egypt in 1945, having been successfully hidden in a clay jar inside a cave for over 1700 years,

The Nag Hammadi Library was finally translated into English in 1977. It contains 114 sayings attributed to Jesus in The Gospel of Thomas.

I believe The Gospel of Thomas is the most important archeological record to date for authentic teachings of the early Jesus movement, predating Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I believe it was designed to be used as a study guide for the select few initiated

into the inner mysteries of the Jesus movement.

As interesting as the sayings themselves can be,

the most interesting part may be what Thomas does not say.

It does not contain a supernatural virgin birth

in a manger. It does not promote a doctrine of

original sin. It does not mention Jesus’ crucifixion

or a supernatural bodily resurrection. It does not interpret Jesus’ death as payment of a debt to “atone” for our sins. It does not include any supernatural healings. It does not exclude, but

goes out of its way to include women.

Gnosis is the Greek word for “Knowledge” used

by the early Christian sect known as “Gnostics”.

The Gospel of Thomas invites all who hear it to

look within themselves to find the “Knowledge”

that God is within them and they are within God.


Jeremiah 32:14

“Take these (documents) and

deposit them in an earthenware jar

so that they may be preserved

for a long time to come.”


Once hidden,

now I am revealed.

Once lost,

now I am found.

Once rejected,

now I am the cornerstone.

Once buried treasure,

now I emerge from the tomb, alive!

Once imprisoned in Egypt,

now I declare freedom

to all who hear my words,

which have been resurrected

to bring you Life.


These are the secret sayings

which the living Jesus spoke and

which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.
(1) And he said,
"Whoever finds the interpretation

of these sayings

will not experience death."

Isaiah 55:3

"Come to me and listen to my words,

hear me and you will have life."

John 6:68

"Your words are words of eternal life"

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654

"whoever hears these words

shall not taste death"

John 8:52

"if anyone keeps my word,

he will not taste death
for all eternity"

John 6:63

"The words I have spoken to you

are both Spirit and Life"

from Pseudo-Dionysius The Complete Works

Translation by Colm Luibheld,1987, Paulist Press

“He grants the highest measure of existence to those more exalted beings described in scripture

as eternal. But beings are never without being

which, in turn, comes from the Preexistent.

He is not a facet of being.

Rather, being is as facet of him. …

He is the eternity of being,

the source and the measure of being.”

Life is a verb.

Become a human being.


A new version based on its inner meaning

by Andrew Phillip Smith, Ulysses Books, 2003

“The Gospel of Thomas …tells us that if we find the inner meaning of these sayings, we shall not taste death. This death is both the fact of mortality, that each one of us will die, and the spiritual death in which we live our everyday lives. Throughout its sayings, parables and dialogues, the Gospel of Thomas presents mankind as being in a fallen state. We are dead, we are blind and drunk, we do not know the truth, are impoverished, divided and in darkness. But there is another state. In the new state we will be alive, will be able to see, will be intoxicated rather than drunk, will know the truth, have real wealth, and be in the light. We will go into the kingdom and we will have unity. The Gospel of Thomas tells us of these two states and how we may change our state from the former to the latter.”