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The Gospel of Thomas

A New Vision of the Message of Jesus
Narrated by: Elaine Pagels
Length: 1 hr and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

Non-member price: $20.46

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Publisher's Summary

Millions of readers have turned to Elaine Pagels for her clear and insightful books about the Gnostic Gospels, the teachings of Jesus that have been lost for centuries. Sounds True is proud to present the first widely available audio recording of this extraordinary scholar as she explores the text that has changed the way many of us think about the message of Christ: The Gospel of Thomas.

The stunning archaeological discovery of these lost scriptures of early Christianity in 1945 has revealed exciting new dimensions to the wisdom passed on from Jesus to his disciples. In her analysis of this revived gospel, Dr. Pagels reveals that Thomas was not a "doubter" of Christ, rather, his thoughtful inquiries reflected and brought out the deepest truths that Jesus had to offer. Thomas' account depicts a Jesus who taught us that the "Kingdom of Heaven" is not a separate realm, but a state of divinity that we all can reach. He is even called the "twin" of Jesus, a metaphor for the possibility that all of us can achieve the same state of divine grace embodied by Jesus.

Elaine Pagels has riveted readers and audiences everywhere with her clear and provocative explorations of the testaments of early Christianity. The Gospel of Thomas gives listeners a first opportunity to join her in charting "a wider horizon" of Christian spirituality.

©2006 Elaine Pagels (P)2006 Sounds True

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drayton
  • Drayton
  • 05-03-2006

Very interesting lecture

Obviously, this is slightly less than 2 hours in length, so it's not a book. This is a lecture about the Gospel of Thomas and Elaine Pagels spends considerable time after her talk answering many questions from the live audience.

If you have already read "Beyond Belief" then you may find that this lecture provides even more detailed insights from Elaine Pagels on the Gospel of Thomas and its relation to other gospels. If you haven't read "Beyond Belief" you might want to do so before downloading this lecture.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 21-08-2012

A Modern Scholar-Seeker

This short offering is a wonderful introduction to Elaine Pagels, both to her work and to who she is as a person. She has been at the forefront of scholarly research and writing on early Christianity as revealed in ancient manuscripts only recently discovered in the Middle East. Despite her impressive credentials (she is a chaired Professor of Religion at Princeton), her tone is unfailingly one of sincerity, openness and humility.

Here, she provides a informative introduction to textual analysis of scripture and other early documents, then proceeds to an examination of The Gospel of Thomas, which most scholars agree was written roughly during the same time period in which the 4 canonical gospels were produced. This lecture summarizes and adds to what Pagels included in her 2004 book, "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas" which is the most personal of her books, and shows how she finds many of these early texts to have the potential of enriching, rather than undermining, the Christian faith (and which I highly recommend if you have not already read it).

Roughly the second half of the audiobook is Q&A as she takes questions form the lecture audience--I only wish I could have been there!


7 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 25-03-2012

Not a good experience

What would have made The Gospel of Thomas better?

The sound quality was very poor in the question/answer period. VERY poor.

What could Elaine Pagels have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The format was mostly a waste of time. Questions from the audience were unenlightening, and answers were often evasive or shallow. Just have Elaine talk!

Would you be willing to try another one of Elaine Pagels’s performances?

Absolutely not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gospel of Thomas?

All the Q & A. The questions were random, the answers pat or simplistic, the sound quality was TERRIBLE. It was just the sort of poor use of time for learning that you see in most university lecture hall 'conversations'.

Any additional comments?

I would not recommend spending more than $.99 for this. It was poor value, even on sale. Buy her books--she is much better there!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 15-09-2013

Disappointed

I didn't realize this was a lecture given by Elaine Pagels when I purchased this audio "book".. It wasn't very interesting and I didn't get much from the questions asked by the participants. If you like to listen to lectures, then you may enjoy it.. However, if you think this is a book, it's not. It's priced too expensive for just a short lecture with questions asked/answered..

6 people found this helpful

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  • Abigail Neville
  • 24-05-2016

The Path to Enlightenment through Christ.

Very interesting subject matter treated with sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Audio rough. Couldn't hear questions from the audience at times.

1 person found this helpful

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  • dbernelle
  • 09-03-2016

Great Book ABOUT The Gospel of Thomas

While it helps to be familiar with the Gospel of Thomas, it is not necessary at all, before reading or listening to this book. Professor Pagels once again brings foremost to her listening audience the greatest portions, interpretations, popular and unpopular understandings, and the history to be considered, both now and at the time that the Gospel of Thomas was written. Along with her audience during this book, Professor Pagels tackles some of the harder to understand sayings in the book. This was a very interesting book. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in understanding Christianity as well as understanding the history of the formation Christianity in historic times. The Lord knew what he was doing when He made sure that the Gnostic gospels were hidden such that we would be able to find them and recover them for today's understanding of Christianity.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for P Melton
  • P Melton
  • 07-12-2014

Not a good way to learn about the Gospel of Thomas

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

No

What was most disappointing about Elaine Pagels’s story?

To much personal revelation and opinions not based on fact...

Would you be willing to try another one of Elaine Pagels’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from The Gospel of Thomas?

The author- Elaine Pagel

Any additional comments?

This was not informational and would request a refund......

3 people found this helpful

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  • AGUSTIN PUENTES JR.
  • 14-06-2020

Not what I wanted to hear in a book

This should be a podcast instead of a book. Semi interesting but it is not a book to read.

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  • Anna S.
  • 29-04-2020

Wonderful Lecture

I've listened to this lecture twice, and I intend to listen to it again. The more I read by Elaine Pagels and the more I listen to her speak, the more enlightened I feel when I read the Nag Hammadi and the Gospels of the New Testament.

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Profile Image for LBM
  • LBM
  • 23-01-2020

Dr Pagels is always and sincere about she shares

Overall I enjoyed the lecture but the audio specifically during the Q&A session could have been clearer.