What would Jesus say? Now we know!

It has been about 1500 years since the “Canon” or definitive Scripture for the New Testament was settled. However, translations have come and gone and with scholarship having comprehensive access to early documents the technical writers have greater confidence about the original texts.  However, there are really no original documents and when a wrinkle was added to this process it created great excitement. In 1945, a shepherd hunting some caves discovered a full text of the so-called “Gospel of Thomas” which had only been available in fragments previously. The document consists of a series of sayings attributed to Jesus which shows some similarity to other gospels, but present Jesus in a different light. It may not be exciting to you, but it was to me when I first read the materials. It seemed to fit Christianity much more into a Unitarian mold. Some of the questions that arise when you find materials like this are, “Who was the real Jesus? What are the essential truths of Christianity? What is the place of mystery in our faith? And how do we reward contemplation as a religious activity?”  Naturally a new discovery of a series of sayings of Jesus that approximates some of the other Gospels raises the absurdity of fundamentalism and the inadequacy of creedal formulas.