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The Gospel of Thomas: Original Text With Commentary [Hardcover]

By Uwe-Karsten Plisch (Author) & Gesine Schenke Robinson (Translator)
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Item description for The Gospel of Thomas: Original Text With Commentary by Uwe-Karsten Plisch & Gesine Schenke Robinson...

Overview
The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of words of Jesus, is one of the most significant extrabiblical texts of the early Christian era. This edition presents the texts in the classical languages and provides an English translation and a readily readable commentary. It includes: * an introduction to the Gospel of Thomas * the complete Coptic text * the text of the Greek fragments and a Greek retranslation of all logia with parallel texts from the canonic gospels * an English translation * an extensive commentary * illustrations of the Coptic manuscript * an appendix with an index and bibliography The introduction and commentary do not assume knowledge of the classical languages, making The Gospel of Thomas accessible to a broad audience.

Publishers Description

"The Gospel of Thomas," a collection of words of Jesus, is one of the most significant extrabiblical texts of the early Christian era.

This edition presents the texts in the classical languages and provides an English translation and a readily readable commentary. It includes:
- an introduction to the Gospel of Thomas
- the complete Coptic text
- the text of the Greek fragments and a Greek retranslation of all logia with parallel texts from the canonic gospels
- an English translation
- an extensive commentary
- illustrations of the Coptic manuscript
- an appendix with an index and bibliography

The introduction and commentary do not assume knowledge of the classical languages, making "The Gospel of Thomas" accessible to a broad audience

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Pages   281
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.5" Width: 6.5" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2009
Publisher   Hendrickson Publishers
ISBN  1598563084  
ISBN13  9781598563085  


Availability  0 units.


More About Uwe-Karsten Plisch & Gesine Schenke Robinson


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dr. Uwe-Karsten Plisch is a renowned specialist in extrabiblical texts of the early Christian era (second and third centuries). He participates in the German translation of the texts from Nag Hammadi.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Language Studies


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Books > Bible Study > Language Tools



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Reviews - What do customers think about The Gospel of Thomas: Original Text With Commentary?

Gospel Truth and Insight  Sep 23, 2009
I purchased two new and remarkable books on the Thomas Gospel on the e-recommendation of this site for which I am most grateful.

The surprise discovery in 1945 of a hand-copied list of sayings of Jesus, perhaps authentic and untampered, created a sensation and much controversy. The sensation was the fulfilment of a dream to reach the mind of the sage without the intervention of Church tradition. The reason lost gospels mentioned in Luke's were lost was the conscientious prohibition and destruction of all but four sanctioned by the newly political Roman church which alienated the Jewish and other Christian churches to create an imperial hegemony. At the very least, "Thomas" proved that the scholars reconstruction of an early sayings gospel, long lost, but used by Matthew and Luke was a known genre (along with the sayings + events gospels).

The major academic controversies concern the dates of composition and copying; also the translation and transmission. These issues, of course, determine the closeness to the words of the itinerant sage. Scholars and skeptics tend to apply labels to phenomena in order to deny and exclude them. For "Thomas" the circular formula works as follows: this gospel is Gnostic, therefore it is the work of a Gnostic sect and so it is not authentic compared to the orthodox gospels.

The Gospel of Thomas is, however, its own rule book. It begins, "These are the hidden (often translated, secret) words of Jesus," and the reader is invited to ... "find the meaning." Many will suggest that you just read the gospel to form your own perspective, but there are problems. Despite the enormous literature inspired by "Thomas" most translations from the Greek fragments and complete Coptic document are opaque. A few of the commentaries are plain silly or shallow. Through "Thomas," Jesus advises us to treat the world as an unweeded field and not to pull the weeds until the time of harvest, lest you destroy the precious crop.

It is still not easy to interpret Thomas unaided and people have waited fifty years for the forthcoming definitive translation and commentary by the inspired Prof Gilles Quispel; in 1959 his preliminary translation was published. Shortly before his death, the great work was published in 2005. I missed it because it was published in Dutch, Het Evangelie van Thomas; so much for Google and this site's search limitations! Aware of the work's value and sensitivity, the trustees of Quispel are in no hurry to publish an English translation and my Dutch is poorer than my slight grasp of Sahidic Coptic!

You can gain much simply by reading a good translation of the text itself, but a reliable scholar with insight like Quispel is to be highly recommended. Imagine my joyful discovery of Uwe-Karsten Plisch, a German scholar who is not as well-known as Quispel, but who has published a similar work (the English translation published in 2008 is the subject of this review). Let me state immediately that this work is as rigorous and insightful as I expected from the deceased Dutch professor, which is immense praise, but I believe entirely accurate. Translating a very complex document with nuances and depths almost guarantees disaster, but (as the author generously acknowledges) Gesine Schenke Robinson if anything clarifies and illuminates.

What we have here is a work, not too short, not too long, which discusses the historical and textual problems, endowing the reader with critical tools and knowledge to read and assimilate this astounding gospel which is at least as genuine and luminous as the four admitted to the Holy Bible. All are transcribed by human hand and heard by human ear. The central point of the esoteric teaching of Jesus is exactly the matter of discrimination and interpretation. The Plisch-Robinson book is a very powerful tool in this most worthwhile quest. No praise or gratitude is too high.

The second book (by APRIL DeCONICK, 2007) Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation (The Library of New Testament Studies) emerges as a close second in quality. It is a little tougher to read, indeed it's great merit is to disentangle for the perplexed reader many of the academic labels and debates. Even more than Plisch-Robinson, April De Conick marshalls the evidence by which we can make very informed tests of our own "interpretations." For example, she may confirm behind the Greek is a Semitic word or phrase which makes us celebrate (or force one to reject) our grasp. She may place beside the Coptic text a variant in the Greek, or a parallel with another gospel and in this way it is remarkable how easy, or at least how stimulating, it is to grasp the meaning. And if we can do that, the Gospel of Thomas promises that by understanding we will marvel and reign rather than by faith we will be saved.

According to Dan Brown's latest book, The Secret is how to die. According to Thomas, The Secret is how to live.
 

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