Monday, October 31, 2005

Post-Consultation Conflagration

After some questions were posted about the exact problems with the Protoevangelium of James and the Gospel of Thomas, I went back to my trusty copy of the standard text on Patrology by Johannes Quasten to make sure I had my facts straight. So here it is.

The Protoevangelium of James is apocryphal but not considered to be of a Gnostic source. So, therefore, it is probably of spurious origin. As to actual usefulness, I will need to more research.

The Gospel of Thomas however being early is considered to be of Gnostic origin, or at minimum, highly influenced by Gnosticism. One commentor asked for a definition of the errors and I will say here, I will try to post an article pinning down Gnostic doctrines, although that is like trying to staple Jello to a tack board. The main problem with the Gospel of Thomas is a clear duelistic notion of matter and a problematic misogyny present in the closing chapters. The reason that the Gospel of Thomas came up at all was to my knowledge, the only source for the tale of the Lord animating clay pigeons is the Gospel of Thomas. So, if Mrs. Rice got that story from somewhere else, it would be news to me. Further, if I recall the event correctly, after the pigeons are animated, one of the Pharisee's children complains that Jesus was working on the sabbath, and the Lord's response is to strike him dead. But I will confess it has been a good spell since I read the Gospel of Thomas.

Okay, enough of that for now. No more Anne Rice posts until I see the book.

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