{Note: In the following post some words I have capitalized, like Word.  This is to denote for the reader they are part of Monadic sets used in Gnostic Philosophy. Word, is part of a sacred tetrad, (quadrant) named by Valentinus, as the Sacred Tetrad, Word, Man, Life, Truth (Church).  Another familiar set is the Pentad of the Soul: Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, Knowledge. These words are capitalized to emphasize their Gnostic connotations. The ancient Gnostics like Theodotus, Heracleon, Basilides, Valentinus, all knew the underlying philosophy of Knowledge.}

This is what the “Gospel of Mary” says about sin….

“25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?  (26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin. 27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.” (Gospel of Mary)
There is no doubt that the “Gospel of Thomas,” is beneficial for everyone, regardless of their level of understanding regarding the Gnostic origins of the text. What I mean by this is that there is an underlying philosophy to Gnostic documents that you must be taught or made aware of in order to understand the intended meaning. All Sethian Gnostic texts have an underlying philosophy based upon the principle of Wisdom as an ordering force of the universe. For the Gnostic God is Sophia, or Wisdom, and Jesus is the Monad.

The references in the Thomas gospel are directly related to the mindset of the Gnostic texts, like the other Gnostic Gospels, and works like “The Pistis Sophia.”  The Gnostic beliefs are probably totally alien to those that have not put a great deal of effort into understanding the Sethian Philosophy. Gnostics do not believe in “God” as extrinsic to their own Soul. Soul for the Gnostic is ‘Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, and Knowledge.’  These are also features of the Word, or treasure of the Mind.

Mainstream Christians see God, according to a Baylor University study, below. These are the main types of Christians in regard to qualifying categories…

— Authoritarian God: Individuals who follow this model feel God is highly involved in their personal lives and world affairs, they give the Deity credit for their decision-making, and they feel God is angry and meting out punishment to the wicked.

— Benevolent God: These believers also think God is very active in their daily life, just not as wrathful. They believe Benevolent God is mostly a force for positive influence in the world, and reluctant to condemn individuals.

— Critical God: The faithful of this subset believe God is not meddling in world affairs but is nonetheless looking on in disapproval. These people tend to believe that God’s displeasure will be felt in another life, and that divine justice is not of this world.

— Distant God: Individuals in this group think that Distant God is not active in humanities affairs, and is not especially angry, either. Believers consider the Deity more of a cosmic force who sets the laws of nature into motion.

The ”Gospel of Thomas,” is the means to the living resurrection, and the ‘Bridal Chamber,’ which is a Gnostic sacrament, (Contemplation) you don’t hear about in mainstream Christian circles. The Bridal Chamber is undertaking the task of achieving Gnosis through the adoption of Jesus Wisdom, or the Word. The Gnostic undergoes Mentennoia, and seeks to become aware or enlightened.

Enlightenment: Refers to a state of being; described in Chinese/Oriental classics that reflects the same kinds of mental changes, ‘awareness,’ or ‘Satroi’ as in Gnosis. ”The Enlightenment refers to a movement in philosophy that advocated the untrammeled use of reason to establish truth. The movement challenged traditional authority, doctrine, and values. Emphasis was placed on the empirical method employed by the sciences.” (”The Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harrier-Collins, 1993, p. 544.) ”For scientific knowledge is necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension without science.” (Quote from Theodotus, See; Kirby, Criddle collections.) Criddle.http://neonostalgia.com/xtian/Extracts_from_Theodotus.htm

I’m always glad to hear of people reading the “Gospel of Thomas,” and relating to its intrinsic power.  However, I might point out that what is there when your mindset is mainstream Christian, and what is there when you understand the Gnostic connotations is dramatic. For instance all Sethian Gnostic writings refer to certain words that belong to Monadic sets.  The study of the Monad in Gnosticism is essential because the Monad flows through everything the same way the Chinese regard the energy (Spirit) of Chi.  In Gnostic philosophy, Jesus is the Monad. The sacrament of the Bridal Chamber makes the Gnostic ‘One’ with this mindset.

Tom Saunders