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On Our World's Religions
The Gospel of Thomas and The Acts of Thomas
Translation and Comments: Catherine Chor-kok Lam
Publisher: eBook Dynasty
Publishing Date: July 2014
Languages: Traditional Chinese (TC), Simplified Chinese (SC)
Chinese eBook Formats: MOBI, ePUB, PDF
Chinese eBook Price: US$2.99
Chinese Print Book Format: B&W Paperback Perfect Binding
Traditional Chinese Print Book ISBN: 9781925462579
Chinese Print Book Price: US$9.99, Contact Us for postage
Chinese eBook Formats/Languages
Global Channels:
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About This Book:

The Gospel of Thomas and The Acts of Thomas are two classic Christian texts. First discovered in Egypt in 1945, The Gospel of Thomas is a record of Jesus' original words, according to his disciple Thomas. Their various translations are now complied and presented in Chinese for the first time. A series of comments are also supplied to help readers better understand the similarities between Jesus' teachings and various Oriental and Western philosophies.

The apocryphal book, The Acts of Thomas, closely connected to The Gospel of Thomas, was used by the Christians at the beginning of the 3rd century. The first mentioned document revealed the missionary work of the apostle at Edessa, where the earthly remains of Thomas were brought from Madras in 163. The apocrypha wrote about Jesus' life after leaving Palestine.

The Acts of Thomas (Acta Thomae) was written in the beginning of the second century by Leucius who was also the author of other apocryphal Acts. This work was based on the letters from Thomas himself and was on the information received from an embassy from South India that reached Rome after passing through Edessa and Jerusalem. The whole text was collected in 368 by Epiphanius, the Bishop of Salamina, though it was referred to and quoted much earlier.

The Acts of Thomas was accepted and read together with The Gospel of Thomas in all churches until the decree of Pope Gelasius (495) when it was declared as herectical, the real cause being the fact that it establishes the presence of Jesus long after His resurrection. Nevertheless, it is read and accepted even today by the Assyrian Church. Most recently it was published in 1823 by Thilla, and in 1851 by Tischendorf. The English translation from Syriac was translated by Dr. W. Wright in 1871.

Like John, Thomas was a favourite disciple of the Saviour. His full name was Didymos Judas Thomas, which means Judas the Twin (John 20:24). Didymos is the Greek equivalent of the Aramaic Thomas. In the Arabic literature he is referred to as Ba'dad or Ba'bad, meaning also "twin". The word "twin" in the Coptic texts was often replaced by "companion". The Acts of Thomas shows the special relation between Christ and this disciple. Jesus Himself used to say, "I am the brother of Judas." (AT 11) The Syriac version (AT 39) called Thomas, "Twin of the Messiah and Apostle of the Most High, and sharer in the hidden word of the Life-giver, and receiver of the secret mysteries of the Son of God", while other version ended by "who shares in the knowledge of the hidden word of Christ, recipient of His secret pronouncements".

Hippoclytus, Bishop of Portus, who was one of the earliest Christians historians, wrote, "Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Bactrians, Indians, Hyrcaneans and was thrust with a spear at Calamania, the city of India, and was buried there." Calamania was the ancient name of the Malabar Coast in India. Traditionally, Thomas has been regraded as the apostle in Mesopotamia and India and the house of St. Thomas is in the city of Malapore.

About This Author:

Catherine Chor-kok Lam graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Department of Sociology. She has worked as a high school teacher and an editor, and is now a senior author of high school textbooks. She is interested in all issues related to religion and spirituality. ... More

Sample Reading (in Traditional Chinese):


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