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In 1945, a group of camel drivers from the al-Samman clan unearthed an ancient earthenware jar while digging for much-needed fertilizer. Unwittingly, the drivers had discovered the greatest collection of early Christian documents ever found, the Nag Hammadi library. Among the ancient papyri was the Gospel of Thomas, a collection of over 100 sayings of Jesus purportedly gathered by Jesus' disciple Thomas (the doubting one). Dart, a religion writer for the Los Angeles Times, and Riegert (The Lost Gospel Q), narrate this story of discovery and offer an annotated translation of the Gospel of Thomas. Each saying is explained in terms of its historical and spiritual importance. For example, Jesus' tendency simultaneously to reveal and conceal his message and his identity is reflected, the contend, in the saying, "Recognize what is in front of your face and what is concealed will be revealed to you. For there is nothing that will not be disclosed." In this book, Thomas seems to present Jesus as a sage, the personification of wisdom, cast in the tradition of Solomon or Buddha, a humble man with a powerful message.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.