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Thomas In Edessa? Another Look At The Original Setting Of The Gospel Of Thomas

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Chapter Summary

Gilles Quispel is the specialist who has elaborated the most comprehensive hypothesis about the composition of the Gospel of Thomas. Leaving aside the delicate question of the use of the Gospel of Thomas in the Third Quest for the Historical Jesus, this chapter focuses on the contribution to Thomas studies by DeConick, an American heir of Quispel's work, beginning with her hypothesis of early contacts and polemical exchanges between the group of Thomas and the community of the Beloved Disciple. In order to understand the philological and text-critical possibilities and impossibilities of the Gospel of Thomas one should keep in mind that the only integral witness at our disposal is the Hasidic secondary version from Nag Hamada, copied around the middle of the fourth century CE. However, there are too many methodological uncertainties in locating the final edition of the Gospel of Thomas in Edessa as early as 120 CE.

Keywords: April D. DeConick; Edessa; Gilles Quispel; Gospel of Thomas; Historical Jesus; Nag Hammadi text



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