The Gospel of Thomas -- found in 1945 -- has been described as "without question the most significant Christian book discovered in modern times." Often Thomas is seen as a special independent witness to the earliest phase of Christianity and as evidence for the now-popular view that this earliest phase was a dynamic time of great variety and diversity.
In contrast, Mark Goodacre makes the case that, instead of being an early, independent source, Thomas actually draws on the Synoptic Gospels as source material--not to provide a clear narrative, but to assemble an enigmatic collection of mysterious, pithy sayings to unnerve and affect the reader. Goodacre supports his argument with illuminating analyses and careful comparisons of Thomas with Matthew and Luke.
Mark Goodacre's Thomas and the Gospels contributes significantly to the ongoing, sometimes vexatious debate about the relationship of the mysterious Gospel of Thomas and the well known New Testament Synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Goodacre takes a whole new approach, carefully examining the Synoptic Gospels, as well as Thomas, asking important questions about how they developed and how they may have influenced one another. The author has given all of us a lot to think about, whatever position we may prefer.
-Craig A. Evans
Payzant Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada
With firm and vigorous (but never shrill) argumentation, incisive critique of other views, and full and clearheaded handling of the data, Mark Goodacre mounts a cogent, persuasive case that the Gospel of Thomas reflects acquaintance with the Synoptic Gospels. This is not a rehash of earlier arguments but a creative treatment that introduces new analysis of this important early Christian text.
-Larry W. Hurtado
University of Edinburgh
Meticulous, adroit, and closely reasoned, this work will immediately become the definitive presentation of the case that Thomas draws on the Synoptics. Those who take the contrary position truly have their work cut out for them.
-Dale C. Allison Jr.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Written with both verve and calm intelligence, this book is head and shoulders above most of the rest of scholarship on Thomas and the Synoptics. It grapples skilfully with both the nitty-gritty of the Greek and Coptic texts and the various scholarly minefields. Read it!
Goodacre engages the secondary literature carefully, challenges exaggerated claims and unjust assumptions, and offers valuable insight...Anyone who cares at all about the Gospel of Thomas cannot afford to neglect this book.
North Park Theological Seminary
Mark Goodacre offers a bold and distinctive approach to the ongoing debate about the relationship between the Gospel of Thomas and the Synoptic Gospels. Rightly rejecting the tendency to label and thereby dismiss opposing views as either 'liberal' or 'conservative,' he focuses instead on the textual evidence on which any responsible historical conclusion must be reached.
University College, Oxford
This book is quietly revolutionary, turning on its head sixty years of scholarship...Those on both sides of the divide have much to learn from Goodacre's meticulous scholarship.
-Nicola Denzey Lewis
Among those works that argue for Thomas's dependence on the Synoptic Gospels, this one by Mark Goodacre is rare for taking Thomas seriously as a literary work rather than merely dismissing it as a secondary compilation. Though not an exhaustive or definitive treatment of Thomas, this book merits serious consideration. Goodacre's arguments, always incisive and well considered, invite an equally serious response.
-John S. Kloppenborg
University of Toronto
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