Attached to each of the Thomas Sayings that will appear on this blog starting tomorrow are citations from passages in the canonical text of Scripture.

I am not attaching canonical citations to the Sayings of Thomas, in an attempt to prove that “The Gospel of Thomas” and the Bible are the same; they are not. I cite these Scriptures from the Bible in order to attempt to illuminate the Sayings of “The Gospel of Thomas”. I aim to suggest that there may not be as much distance as we might have been led to believe between the sometimes strange and challenging Sayings of Thomas and the more familiar words of the Bible.

There are passages in the canonical Gospels that, if they were not sanctified by centuries of sacred tradition, would seem every bit as strange and unsettling as almost anything that appears in “The Gospel of Thomas.”  Imagine trying to explain to someone who was not starting with the assumption that it was divine wisdom, Jesus’ saying, “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.” (Matthew 5:29)

Reading Thomas – My goal in reading and commenting on “The Gospel of Thomas” is quite specific. I read these Sayings in order to discern if there are ways in which they speak to my heart and can shape my spiritual life in a healthy direction. I come to these Sayings seeking the voice of wisdom that I hear consistently in the words of Jesus as they are recorded in the canonical Gospels.

In commenting on these Sayings, I am not attempting to analyse or argue with “The Gospel of Thomas”. I am not hunting down heresy or attempting to prove Thomas right/orthodox or wrong/heterodox. These categories do not interest me in reflecting on “The Gospel of Thomas.” I am not trying to explain the meaning of these Sayings, or give an authoritative interpretation, or make them palatable.

There are certainly things in these Sayings that I do not understand, things that seem strange, and perplexing, like most of my life. If there is an aspect of one of these Sayings I do not find edifying, I will leave it aside without feeling troubled. This may be a luxury of reading and reflecting upon a non-canonical sacred text. I do not feel bound to wrestle with absolutely every aspect of every Saying in the way I would if these Sayings appeared in our officially sanctioned sacred texts.

I am only interested in finding inner spiritual nourishment from these words, not in getting into a fight with the content they convey. If there is truth here, that truth will resonate with my heart in which the Spirit of truth dwells. This is the Spirit I trust and that I hear speaking in a multitude of voices and a variety of sacred texts.