Chapter

<b>The Figure of Thomas in the Gospel of John</b>

Ismo Dunderberg

in The Beloved Disciple in Conflict?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199284962
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603785 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199284962.003.0003
 The Figure of Thomas in the Gospel of John

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This chapter offers a closer discussion of the Johannine portrayal of Thomas. It argues that the author of John was unaware of the Syrian Thomas tradition: he never used the name Judas Thomas for this figure. It is shown that the theological positions ascribed to Thomas in recent scholarship are far from evident. It is neither clear that Thomas doubts the possibility of physical resurrection, nor it is clear that he is portrayed as an advocate of those seeking mystical ascent and a visio dei. The negative aspects in the Johannine portrayal of Thomas are not unique in this gospel. Several other followers of Jesus are cast in equally negative terms. It is not conceivable to assume that behind all these figures would be Christian communities rejected by the author of John.

Keywords: Doubting Thomas; Judas Thomas; physical resurrection; mysticism; theological conflict

Chapter.  5997 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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