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The books are small Christian anthologies, containing 52 different

documents. They were produced in the 4th Christian century,


but the documents in the books were originally composed much
earlier. The Gospel of Thomas was probably from the early 2nd
century. It may be our oldest gospel outside of the four of the New
Testament. It consists of 114 sayings of Jesus, many of which are
similar to those found in the New Testament and many of which are
very different.

The Gospel of Thomas begins as follows: “These are the Secret


Sayings of Jesus and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down;
the one who finds the meaning of these words will not taste death.”
For this author, salvation does not come to people who believe in
the death and resurrection of Jesus; salvation comes to those who
interpret Jesus’s secret teachings. The death and resurrection are not
mentioned in this gospel.

The Gospel of Thomas is part of the early Christian Apocrypha, one


of the many gospels that are found outside of the New Testament.
It’s probably the most famous of these other gospels, and it’s widely
considered to be the most important. The gospel may include actual
sayings of Jesus.

The author calls himself Didymus Judas Thomas. The name


Didymus is a word that means “twin” in Greek, and the name
Thomas means “twin” in Aramaic. This author, whose actual name
is Judas (not Judas Iscariot), is a twin, allegedly the twin of Jesus.

The Acts of Thomas


In the church of Syria, in antiquity, it was widely thought that
Didymus Judas Thomas was, in fact, Jesus’s identical twin. We
learn this from a different book associated with Didymus Judas
Thomas, the Acts of Thomas. This book is one of the Apocryphal
Acts, an account of the lives of the apostles of Jesus from outside
the New Testament. The Acts of Thomas probably originated in
Syria, possibly in the 2nd century.

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