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When Was the Gospel of Thomas Written?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

For the last several years, a lot of hay has been made concerning the Gospel of Thomas, an alleged fifth Gospel only discovered in 1945.  A few New Testament scholars have tried to make the case that the views espoused in Thomas represent a competing strain of Christianity that was suppressed by the early church hierarchy.

These scholars, in order to make their case, must show that Thomas was written in the first century along with the other four Gospels and the rest of the New Testament writings.  Unfortunately for them, the evidence seems to place the Gospel of Thomas in the late second century, at the earliest.

Lee Strobel and John Ankerberg (see video below) explain that Thomas was completed more than a century  after Jesus lived, and that this Gospel actually draws upon the other books of the New Testament, thus removing it from contention as an early version of Christianity.  The truth is that it came along far after Christianity was well underway as a religious movement.


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Comments

  • MJ

    Nice post!
    I have heard there are 7 more books in the catholic Bible. I have also heard that the 10 commandments in the Catholic Bible is different than the 10 commandments in the regular Bible. Are these claims true? And if yes, how do we answer people about the differences?

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi MJ,
    Between the Catholic and Protestant Bible, there are 11 pieces of literature that are different. The Catholic Bible adds seven complete books and four parts of books. They are the following: Book of Wisdom (ca. 30 b.c.), Sirach (132 b.c.), Tobit, Judith, 3 Esdras, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, Baruch chaps. 1–5, Baruch 6 (ca. 300–100 b.c.), 4 Esdras, Esther 10:4–16:24 (140–130 b.c.), Daniel 3:24–90—”Song of Three Young Men”, Daniel 13, Daniel 14 (ca. 100 b.c.).

    In practice, Catholics seem to largely ignore these books or at least downplay them compared to the rest of Scripture. The reason Protestants dispute these books is because they were written during the 400 years of prophetic silence and are not included in the Hebrew Bible.

    With regard to the 10 commandments, I believe that they are exactly the same in both Bibles, since they are found in Exodus.

  • MJ

    I found this link.
    http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/romancatholic-tencommandments.html
    It shows a table that points out the differences between the Bible ten commandments and Catholic Ten Commandment.
    I could not get a catholic Bible to verify the correctness of the article however, it was interesting. There seems to be some problem with ten commandments in the catholic bible. Do let me know if you get verify the correctness through a catholic Bible. It could also be possible that though the catholic Bible gives the correct 10 commandment, may be they practise the modified version, but that’s just my guess. Anyway, thanks for your reply.

    MJ

  • Bill Pratt

    Hi MJ,
    The website you pointed to does not contrast the Catholic Bible with the Protestant Bible. They are referring to the Catholic Catechism, which is kind of like a practical manual for Catholics to help them live out the beliefs of their faith. They are contrasting the text of the Catechism to the text in the Bible. In the United States, Catholics primarily use the New American Bible, which can be found online. In fact, here is the link for Exodus 20, where the 10 commandments are found. As you can see, the text is the same as the traditional Protestant “version.”

    Thanks for the question,
    Bill

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