The Gospel of Thomas: Original Text with Commentary

German Bible Society Titles

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Retail: $69.95
Size: 6.25 x 9.375 inches
Binding: Cloth
Pages: 282
Pub Date: 2008
ISBN: 9781598563085
ISBN-13: 9781598563085
Item Number: 563085
Categories: Language and Reference

Product Description

The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of words of Jesus, is one of the most significant extrabiblical texts of the early Christian era.

This edition presents the texts in the classical languages and provides an English translation and a readily readable commentary. It includes:
• an introduction to the Gospel of Thomas
• the complete Coptic text
• the text of the Greek fragments and a Greek retranslation of all logia with parallel texts from the canonic gospels
• an English translation
• an extensive commentary
• illustrations of the Coptic manuscript
• an appendix with an index and bibliography

The introduction and commentary do not assume knowledge of the classical languages, making The Gospel of Thomas accessible to a broad audience.


"This book consists essentially of the edition of the Gospel of Thomas published in the fifteenth edition of the Synopsis Quatuor Evangeliorum (Kurt Aland, ed., 1996), with slight revisions, together with a commentary on each logion. The Coptic text of each logion is followed by a Greek retroversion whenever it has a parallel in the NT. The Greek parallel in the Oxyrhynchus papyri is also presented where extant, followed by an English translation of the Coptic text. The commentary is intended to facilitate understanding of the Coptic text, with philological and historical exegesis and discussion of parallel traditions in early Christian literature. In his introduction, Plisch deals with such issues as tradition history, time of composition, authorship, and provenance. Plisch places the Gospel of Thomas in a Syrian milieu, and argues that some of the sayings present very early tradition, while others stem from as late as the second quarter of the second century. Schenke Robinson’s English translation of the German is excellent. While it is unfortunate that Plisch was unable to take into account the important work on Thomas by A. DeConick, his edition and commentary is a valuable contribution to scholarship on that gospel."
Religious Studies Review

“Plisch sets out the text of the Gospel of Thomas and provides a brief commentary on each saying. He gives the Coptic text of each logion, taken from the Appendix in Kurt Aland (ed.), Synopsis Quattuor Evangeliorum (Stuttgart. 1996), followed by either a Greek retroversion of the Coptic or the Greek text as it is found in the Oxyrhynchus papyri and translated by Harold Attridge, and finally an English translation of the saying. There is an introductory chapter, dealing with the Gospel's transmission history, date, authorship and provenance, literary form and theological profile. Plisch concludes that the work is likely to have originated and been preserved in Syria, probably amongst East Syrian itinerant preachers whose needs and context may be reflected in certain logia (e.g., 36; 42; S6; SS; 94). He argues that the Gospel is not a Gnostic text, although it demonstrates some ‘tendency of wisdom towards Gnosis’ (p. 33, following Hans-Martin Schenkel, in its rejection of ‘the world’, and in sayings such as 70 and S3, which could be later additions.

“The introduction to the Gospel is clear, useful, and engages with the views of the most significant commentators on Thomas. It is also very convenient for the reader to have Coptic and Greek versions of each logion presented side-by-side with an English translation. Plisch's comments on each saying are relatively brief due to the size and purpose of this volume, and focus heavily on questions of tradition history and the relationship of each saying to its parallels in the Synoptic Gospels and other early Christian literature.”
JSNT Booklist

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