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The nature of the Kingdom which described in the Gospel of Thomas - Term Paper Example
Author : donald60
Religion and Theology
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Gospel of Thomas Introduction The Gospel of Thomas is a non-canonical text grouped in the Nag Hammadi writings, a collection of scriptures discovered in 1945 in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, with the date of its authorship ranging from 50AD to 140AD…
The quotations on the Kingdom of Heaven, in particular, have been a focal point of discussion and argument as to what exactly the author of the text intended, especially in reference to its nature and how exactly one attains it. This paper analyses this Gospel’s allusions to the Kingdom of Heaven and what it entails with regard to the historical, cultural, social and political atmosphere of the time in which the Gospel was written. Discussion The strongest approach for interpretation of the Gospel of Thomas seems to be the Gnostic approach, with several factors lending credence to this theory. The scriptures seem to indicate that the main characteristic of the Kingdom of Heaven is that it is within us, and all that is required of us is inward reflection and self-knowledge. The emphasis on knowledge is a major selling point for this argument, with the word Gnosis itself being Greek for knowledge. Gnostics held the belief that the realization of knowledge was the path to salvation and deliverance. In what can be viewed as Gnostic tradition, the scriptures are viewed as holding a secret meaning, and only those who attain a deeper understanding have the truth revealed to them and are finally worthy of entering the kingdom (Valantasis, p 79). ...