Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thomas Yet Again

Somehow it did not sit well with me when I found the first saying (Logion 1) of the Thomas Gospel rendered as "whoever happens upon the meaning of these words," since I believe that the whole point of Jesus' teaching is for us to take responsibility for turning the wrong corner, since else we would never make it back (except to say that we inevitably will).  In other words the teacher who teaches "seek and ye shall find" (use whatever version suits you best), does not want you to "happen upon" the meaning of his words. The whole point is that we need to muster the courage to turn back on our footsteps, and find our way back home with as much deliberation as we once had to run away. Within the Thomas gospel the second Logion immediately impresses upon us the determination to seek and find, reminding us not to stop seeking.

This is what has happened with me more and more as I compare a growing list of Thomas translations, and in the end I find inconsistencies everywhere, which also led to the decision in my upcoming book not to include the text of any one of the existing translations, but rather to only discuss the Nag Hammadi tradition generically.