Verbum et Ecclesia (Oct 2005)

The infancy Gospel of Thomas: Allegory or myth � Gnostic or Ebionite?

  • A G van Aarde

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 26, no. 3
pp. 826 – 850


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The aim of this article is to show that scholars assess the Infancy Gospel of Thomas disparagingly as �illogical�, �un-Christian� and �banal�. A more positive judgment is� that it is either �Gnostic� or �purified of Gnosticism�, or merely one of many ancient tales in the form of a historical allegory about Jesus as a child.� The article argues that the author of the Greek version of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas in Codex Sinaiticus (Gr 453) describes the miracles of Jesus in a positive and negative light as if he were an adult.� This phenomenon should be understood against the background that this second-century gospel is presented not so much in the genre of a Gnostic redeemer myth, but rather as a god-child myth that has neither an Orthodox nor a Gnostic orientation. Its context is rather early Ebionite Christianity.