The Gospel of Thomas and Secret Knowledge

Per pp. 438-439 of Dr. Larry Hurtado’s Lord Jesus ChristGosThom presents the secret/mystery that is missed by (or withheld from) unbelievers, thus differentiating them from the elect. This secret truth [too] differentiates the elect from other Christians. That is, it functions in a sectarian manner

It is interesting that in several cases where GosThom presents a revisionist view of some of the matter, this is done by Jesus replying to and correcting an unnamed group of “disciples” who appear to mouth a more conventional Christian view, often asking questions that Jesus answers in a negative or cryptic manner (GosThom Sayings 6, 12, 18, 20, 23, 24, 27, 43, 51-53, 99, 133.)

For example, in GosThom 32, “his disciples” profess that twenty-four prophets who “spoke in Israel” all “spoke by/in you” (which must reflect some sort of view the Old Testament writings.) But Jesus rejects the disciples’ statement, accusing them of having abandoned ‘the living one (a key designation of GosThom,) in your presence’ and of speaking instead of “the dead.” This fairly obviously represents a rejection of the widely shared view [in GosMatt & GosLuke] that Jesus’ significance is to be understood in light of the Old Testament texts; indeed the Saying may even challenge the idea that the Old Testament is to be treated as Scripture [as I further argue in the Key to the Fourth Gospel — Certainly Not the Old Testament! Section.]