Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Book Note: Das Thomas-Evangelium. Einleitung - Zur Frage des historischen Jesus - Kommentierung aller 114 Logien (Reinhard Nordsieck)

I received a wonderful gift in the mail yesterday. Mr. Nordsieck kindly sent me a copy of his new book, a commentary on the Gospel of Thomas. The publication of my own two volumes on Thomas occurred simultaneously, so we did not know about each other's take on the Gospel.

Mr. Nordsieck relies heavily on redaction-, form-, and tradition-criticism and argues against the current in German scholarship to perceive the Gospel of Thomas as a Gnostic text. He thinks that the text represents a form of Jewish Christianity. He also says that the Gospel of Thomas potentially can tell us about the historical Jesus, and should not be dismissed in these discussions. In fact, he doesn't think that a good reconstruction of the historical Jesus or New Testament theology is possible without reference to Thomas.

His book starts with a bibliographical introduction (27 pages), a short discussion of the historical Jesus (8 pages), and ends with a substantial saying-by-saying commentary (361 pages).

2 comments:

Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

"In fact, he doesn't think that a good reconstruction of the historical Jesus or New Testament theology is possible without reference to Thomas."

I agree with that. Certainly no treatment of Jesus that leaves out Thomas can be called complete.

Geoff Hudson said...

In the Gospel, Jesus is a blatant later addition. If Thomas (the twin) is an adjective for Judas in the Coptic gospel, it is only possible to reconstruct the historical prophet by reference to Judas.