Think you know the story of Jesus? Peter? Paul? Think again.
In 1945, a trove of ancient papyrus books was discovered in Egypt. Among them was the Gospel of Thomas. This new Gospel, that of Thomas (the Younger), was not found at Nag Hammadi, but also claims to have been written by an eyewitness-- a nephew of the man now called the Christ.
Over the course of his long life, Younger Thomas watched the mythology that grew up around the very human man he traveled with and saw die on a cross become the basis for a religion that Jesus himself would never have accepted. Then, in his Gospel, he gave us his uncle’s true message along with all the blood-chilling drama of those times.
Translator Timothy X. Hardesty, PhD. fully annotates this alternative history of the major players on the First Century stage in this humane, rational and thought-provoking novel of truly epic proportions and spiritual vision. The Gospel of Thomas (the Younger) might just change your life.
Novel as Gospel, Gospel as Novel
Although I always want to tell a really good story, to me, this is genuinely more than a novel. It’s also a Gospel. And by that, I mean even more than just “Good News” which is the usual translation of “gospel.” Everything I have ever written in the past has been planned and outlined in advance. This was not. As thoroughly researched as it seems to be, it all came to me with my rational mind turned off. It was like automatic writing or a gift from the Muse or maybe from God (some will say Satan.) I don’t know. I just know that it was a totally different writing experience for me.
My intention was to refute Christian fundamentalism while trying to find the wisdom in the Gospels and emphasize that. There is much in what Jesus teaches that echoes the Buddha. The sort of “Stop judging and love” theme. The blessing of peacemaking and generosity. These are things that lead to a good, happy, enlightened life.
This is the book I wished I had found when I was younger. I hope it will help others.