if you want to experience what he meant
Prologue; unfolding sayings.
(latest update: 25-11-2018)
These are the hidden sayings that the living Jesus spoke
and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.
These are the hidden sayings the living Jesus spoke and Judas,
who is also called Thomas, recorded.
Quispel (2004) remarks that Thomas Jesus' saying are always in the present tense,
reflecting the eternal value of their meaning , through which Jesus is living in his teachings,
with which Koester fully agrees (Robinson and Koester, 1971).
Obviously, one of the fundamental characteristics of Jesus' sayings
is their universal truth, which does not depend on time or place, and can, therefore,
always be experienced in the 'here and now'. The meaning of these sayings never lose
their actuality! As just as was the case with the Buddha, Jesus identified
with his teachings, became one with them. Finding the meaning of his words
is a personal thing, and it makes no difference if Jesus had taught us personally here and now
- those who have ears to hear will hear him anyway.
Kloppenborg (1987b) stated that the sayings have been “formulated so that they require
interpretation in order to become efficacious”. I think such interpretation is eventually personal,
not collective, but one can never do without proper background information on the one hand,
and the ability to empty one's mind completely of all formerly held ideas on the matter at hand
on the other, in order to bypass a priory held convictions.
Now if the bulk of Thomas is most “primitive’, likely has an Aramaic origin,
never refers to the past, has no particular theological outset except for the “seeking the kingdom”,
whereas it does nowhere refer to what must have been the most agonizing event for those
who valued Jesus, viz. his death, must we always and firmly reason from the idea that everything
written in relation to Jesus came exclusively about after his death?
Therefore, a daring (but probably rather stupid idea): as “the living” Jesus speaks in
the present tense, sayings might have been jotted down in one way or another,
by someone during Jesus' lifetime…….
Montefiore and Turner (1962) noted that the term hidden or secret is almost a technical
term for divine revelation, and that ultimate knowledge is interpreted mystically rather than
intellectually. They denoted Thomas' spirituality as a type of unitive mysticism, which may be
well pointed, despite their conviction that Thomas' theology was fundamentally 'gnostic',
a stance they took with conviction while admitting that the nature of the document
does not suggest that it was intended to embody a system of theology (!).
How to value the sayings, depends on how you look at them. Here we look at them from
a personal perspective, and not from a collective or scientific one. However, personal perspectives
are likely to create even greater bias than restrictions imposed by scientific paradigms.
There is ameans to bypass subjective prejudice, though, and that is
to empty one's mind completely of all formerly held ideas on the matter at hand, which by
no means is easy, yet not impossible. How to reach such frame of mind may differ between
people, and anyone would have to choose his or her own way to that end.
To see what Thomas-Jesus' sayings mean,
requires an empty, unbiased mind.
without which Thomas remains enigmatic;