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#4215- Friday, April 8, 2011 - Editor: Jerry Katz


The Nonduality Highlights -


Two nondualists walk into a bar....

    -Mike Himelstein






The Gospel of Thomas: The Enlightenment Teachings of Jesus, by Robert Wolfe
Review by Paula Marvelly 


In 1945, a peasant boy called Mohammad Ali unearthed a clay jar, near the town of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt, in which were thirteen papyrus leather-bound books, containing in total 52 texts. Written in Coptic (an ancient Egyptian language) about fifteen hundred years ago, the texts are translations from earlier works written in Greek. Focusing on a diverse range of subject matter – creation mythology, discussions on the nature of the soul and reality, hagiography of the apostles and the teachings of Jesus – they are now collectively known as the Nag Hammadi Library. More specifically, they belong to a branch of theological doctrine, which scholars term Gnosticism; taken from the Greek work, gnostikoi (meaning ‘insightful’ or ‘intuitive’), their wisdom is drawn from the contemporaneous mystical traditions of India, Persia, Egypt and ancient Greece.


It is believed that these texts were widely known in their day but the Roman Emperor Constantine (known for boiling his wife alive as well as murdering his own son) had other ideas about their future. In 325 CE, he convened the Council of Nicaea where the official texts of the Bible were decided upon: those texts that were deemed acceptable we now know as the New Testament; those texts that supported the Gnostic position were burned (and those who disagreed with the Emperor’s decision were exiled).


Of all the Gnostic texts, the one which encompasses the ‘enlightenment’ teachings of Jesus the most profoundly is The Gospel of Thomas. At the very beginning of the tract, the writer announces the immortal phrase, ‘Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death’ (p.155). (Indeed, such a statement could suffice as an introduction to the entire canon of Gnostic scripture.)


The Gospel of Thomas: The Enlightenment Teachings is essentially composed of two main sections: a general critique, entitled ‘The Fifth Gospel’; and a commentary on the verses of the gospel themselves, entitled ‘Nondual Perspective’.




Without doubt ... the suppression of the Gnostic gospels irrevocably changed the course of history and the way in which Jesus’ message has been interpreted over the centuries, something that is only being acknowledged in recent years.


Robert Wolfe is an accomplished writer [ hosts many of his articles]. In this particular offering, he has made use of exhaustive research, which does him much credit. In the world of academe, a thesis of such magnitude (challenging the bedrock beliefs of Christendom no less) cannot be taken lightly on board.


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Read the entire review by Paula Marvelly at


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