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The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus of Nazareth Unless it is merely a collection of materials that mainly were drawn out of the Biblical gospels as seems unlikely for most if not all of Thomas sayings then Thomas is the most important historical source for knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth that exists outside of the Bible It is the most significant manuscript ever found for the history of earliest Christianity When the gospel was written is question many scholars are debated Scholars say that it was written at about the same time even perhaps somewhat before the gospels in the bible Their argument is that most of the sayings in Thomas show no signs of having any dependence on or knowledge of the Biblical gospels and so Thomas sayings derive from oral tradition and not from written Biblical texts This doesnt seem to have been possible after the end of the first century when the Biblical texts began to be authoritative in Christianity Other scholars find bits of evidence that indicate that Thomas was indeed dependent in part on Biblical texts and surmise that the author of Thomas must have edited out almost all indications of the particular styles and ideas of the Biblical authors Those scholars date Thomas in the mid second century AD Another great question is of who wrote the gospel No one knows The four canonical gospels and Thomas and other gospels such as the Gospel of Philip found at Nag Hammadi were given their names some time in the second century Scholars of the New Testament generally agree that none of the gospels were written by people who had ever met Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime But at a later date names were assigned to them that were associated with famous individuals in the earliest church The name of the person who supposedly wrote the Gospel of Thomas is given in
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