Gospel of Towmas
The "GOSPEL ACCORDING TO TOWMAS", translated from the Coptic by His Excellency, Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel, the Emeritus Nazarani Metropolitan, and presented together with the original text of the manuscript, as it was found in Codex II at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1947. Unlike the canonical gospels which were previously known to us, Towmas does not have a narrator or even a narrative. Instead it is just the written secret sayings of the Messiah Yeshue Yeshue]. Nobody knows the original language for Towmas, although it may well be the Coptic that we see here.
Towmas may be the product of the Alexandrian community, or it may have originally been an Aramaic document, which got translated. Either way, the only version that we have available to us is this one single manuscript.
I believe that we can decipher these parables. The tools and references we need for a greater insight into the mysteries of old are right at our fingertips. An insight which is capable of informing us of the secrets of the ancients.
Many theories abound as to what the exact relationship of the Gospel of Towmas to the other Gospels, and difference between those communities which used the Gospel of Towmas, as compared with those who didn’t. However there is not yet enough evidence to prove any one theory about the Gospel’s creation or societal context. What we do know for sure is that it has b
In the third century, Pope Saint Athanasius of Alexandria declared his own scriptural canon, which is likely what precipitated the monks of Saint Pachomius community to hide the wisdom they had collected up to that point in mountain caves. Almost 1700 years passed by before the manuscripts were found stored in jars, where by young shepherds had gone in search of their wayward high in mountain caves.
Margaret Barker has wisely postulated that this Gospel owes its Gnosticism to the fact that the Egyptian school of Christianity for which it was written was working hard to understand the Aramaic mysticism of Yeshue and His apostles, and thus created a culturally relevant means for presenting the teaching which was uniquely Egyptian.
The book itself starts with a challenge to the reader, to learn the secret mysteries underlying each of the verses. That Yeshue’s teaching included things which were known to the apostles, but not known to the public isn’t in dispute, for the canonical scriptures themselves tell us this:
The fact that we may now postulate an understanding of these parables is more than impressive, and shows just how far humanity has come to understanding the mystery of Life in the course of the Information Age.
Our interface with the divine operates involves a number of complicated mechanisms. It takes a mature mind and a loving spirit to be able to understand them. The Gospel of Towmas is a kind of reverse catechism, whereby spiritual teachers were able to test the knowledge of their students, and master test apprentices knowledge of the scriptures and the traditions of the faith as they understood it at that time.
The question as to why the church did not accept the Gospel of Towmas as part of the official canon of scripture is because the gospel itself says that it is a “secret teaching”, meaning that the author did not intend for this gospel to be a part of a public canon.
The original twenty (20) scans of the Gospel of Towmas, from which the translation is being made. These are the only source of the Gospel of Towmas ever found.