The Writings of Jerome | Gospel of Thomas
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Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas, discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, is comprised of 114 sayings of Jesus of Nazareth. The author states he is Didymus Judas Thomas, simply translated as Judas the Twin (both didymus (Greek) and thomas (Aramaic) mean twin). Some scholars believe this is the earliest written record of Jesus’ words from the late 1st century. The logic being that the sayings are closer to the source because they are simpler than in the canonical gospels. In the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, Thomas is believed to be the identical twin brother of Jesus.


Jerome in this work does not make a literal translation of the Coptic edition which some believe was first composed in Greek, later translated into Syriac, and then Coptic. Rather Jerome interprets the various editions into a more easily readable English version. He has done the same for the Chinese classic Tao Te Ching published in 2016.


Thomas (Aramaic) or Didymus (Greek) means twin
Thomas (the twin) is Judas, a brother of Jesus
According to the Eastern Church, Jesus’ twin brother
Who became the Apostle to India

This gospel is one of first writings about Jesus
And it is said to have two parts
One composed by Jesus’ brother, Judas (Thomas)
And the other by another brother, James

When disciples ask Jesus who is to be their leader
He responds to go to James the Just, this brother
While in the synoptic gospels, Peter is the leader
And in the Acts of the Apostles, it is Paul

The brothers in this gospel describe
Jesus’ philosophy and message
They do not mention his miracles
Nor his passion nor his resurrection

Some of the sayings are what parents would teach
Good persons produce good
Bad persons produce and say evil
From the wickedness in their hearts

Be adaptable and respectful to other people
So when you go into different region
When people invite you in
Eat what they serve you

When you see a sliver in your friend’s eye
But you don’t see the one in your own
You must first take out yours
Then you will see well enough to remove your friend’s

Don’t worry every day from morning to evening
About what you are going to wear or eat
You are better than the lilies of the field
And they are taken care of

Give to the emperor what is his
And to God what belongs to Him
Or how about, be as sly as snakes
And as simple as doves

Love your brother like your soul
Guard him like the pupil of your eye
Plus if a blind man leads a blind man
They will both fall into a pit

But what is unique to Jesus’ message is
His view of the kingdom of God (imperial rule)
And the key to understanding this kingdom
Is recognizing your affinity with God

Jesus says of himself I am the light before all things
I am all things; from me all things come forth
Split a piece of wood, I am there
Lift a stone, you will find me

We are all made in the image of God
Which is hidden within everyone
But if you become a child
You will know the kingdom is in you

The kingdom is inside you and outside you
When you know yourself
You will know the depth of things
That you are a child of the living Father

The kingdom is like a mustard seed
The smallest of all seeds
When it falls on prepared soil
It grows to a large plant and shelters the birds

The Father’s imperial rule is like the merchant
Who had a lot of merchandise
When he found a pearl
He sold his goods and bought the pearl

The Father’s imperial rule is like a woman
Who took a little leaven
Mixed it with dough
And made large loafs of bread

The kingdom will not come by waiting for it
It is not a matter of saying “here it is” or “there it is”
Rather, the kingdom is spread out upon the earth
And men do not see it