Apostle Thomas References:GOSPEL of THOMAS
The introduction states: "These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.” Didymus (Greek) and Thomas (Aramaic) both mean "twin". Some critical scholars suspect that this reference to the Apostle Thomas is false, and that therefore the true author is unknown. Source: April D. DeConick 2006 The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation- page 2.ACTS OF THOMAS
Fragments of four other cycles of romances around the figure of the apostle Thomas survive, but this is the only complete one. It should not be confused with the early "sayings" Gospel of Thomas mentioned above.. Acts of Thomas is a series of Acts that occurred during the evangelistic mission of Thomas to India. It ends with his martyrdom when he dies pierced with spears. Mainstream Christian tradition rejects the Acts of Thomas as pseudepigraphal and apocryphal, and the Roman Catholic Church declared the Acts as heretical at the Council of Trent.
The view of Jesus in the book could be inferred to be docetic. Thomas is not just Jesus' twin, he is Jesus' identical twin. As such, it is possible that Thomas is meant to represent the earthly, human side of Jesus, while Jesus is entirely spiritual in his being. In this way, Jesus directs Thomas' quest from heaven, while Thomas does the work on earth. For example, when the apostles are casting lots to choose where they will mission, Thomas initially refuses to go to India. However, Jesus appears in human form to sell Thomas as a slave to a merchant going to India, after which Jesus disappears.
Also in line with docetic thinking is Jesus' stance on sex. In one scene, a couple is married, and Jesus miraculously appears to the bride in the bridal chamber. He speaks against having intercourse, even if it is for the purpose of procreation. This indicates that the spiritual world is more important than the earthly one, and as such, Christians should not be concerned with procreation.
source for above is located at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acts_of_Thomas
According to the Church of the East, which began in India while Thomas and Jesus lived, the author of Acts of Thomas was Xenophon, who most probably also wrote the first Acts of Yesu (from which St. Siphor copies and edited later). Xenophon relied on information gathered from years of personal contact with both Jesus and Thomas. He had personally served Thomas daily for a number of years as an accolade. Just to be clear, historically there are two men named Xenophon, and both were Greek. The other was a well-known Greek historian who lived 430 – 354 BC. Church of the East
“The Acts of Thomas was first published in Srinagar, India, before the death of the author, Xenophon. He was well educated in letters and was fluent in the two international languages, Greek (probably his native language) and Aramaic. He worked closely with St. Thomas for many years and set up Church of the East’s library and publishing facility in Srinagar. Xenophon was ordained as Teacher in charge of the area that included (modern) Kashmir, Pakistan, and North India. This was the most important diocese of Church of the East at the time. As Teacher, Xenophon served on the Senior Council seated in Srinagar, which was attended by the Suren (Sarman Brother-hood is discussed elsewhere in this book) and later Kushan kings – not to mention other seers and sages from Persia, China and India.”
“Besides the fact that he was a superb teacher, Xenophon had excellent literary and language skills and was well suited for the task of publisher and librarian. The quality of the work in Acts of Thomas is beyond compare for the time and setting – it is nothing less than a literary masterpiece.
We know that Xenophon was born 20 CE in Takshashila (Taxila), student of letters, wrote Acts of Thomas -first publishing it in chapters from 45 CE onward and by 80 CE (the year St. Siphor died-Jesus died circa 100 AD, also in Kashmir) the first Eastern Bible canon was announced and it included Aof T. Xenophon was fluent in Greek and Aramaic and additionally he mastered (at least) Sanskrit, Bactrian, and the Karoshti and Brahmi scripts. Aof T was completed in 65 or 66 CE, shortly after Siphor arrived in Srinagar. The first publication of the book was in Karoshti but we know of Greek and Aramaic versions that circulated in the West. However, during later years Aof T and other books of the Eastern Bible were published only in Devanagari script, especially during the Gupta period and beyond.”
“The Acts of Yesu
have an uncertain author, although it probably began with writings from Xenophon, then copied from first and second century manuscripts in several languages including Karoshti, Aramaic, and Greek. In spite of efforts to suppress Acts of Yesu, it was one of the most treasured books of the Syrian and Nazorean Christians.
Xenophon was 18 years old when he met Yesu in 38 CE (Aof T 3:16ff). Xenophon left his body somewhere between the age of seventy and seventy three –we don’t know the year, except that “the great and enlightened King Kanishka buried Teacher Xen-ophon with great honors in the same tomb used for blessed Teacher Siphor.
Kanishka came to power in 78 CE, Xenophon was about 68 years old, and alive in 80 CE, but in 83 CE, his passing is lamented by a prosaic lover (the “comely girl” of Aof T 3:16ff). Takshashila (Taxila) was Xenophon’s earlier home.”
This information also appears in my book, after I had several years of emails and letters from Reverend Yajn and Church of the East. When they fled Kashmir, they brought with them many ancient Church documents and relics belonging personally to their Church. According to Reverend Yajn, these would verify many of the early writings…He said he hoped to house them in a museum one day….but then he died, and I have no idea what became of these things after that. I know some went to South Africa...and some to Canada.
In addition to the two above discussed sources that are linked to Thomas, there are many other sources mentioning events in the life of Thomas, such as his appearance after the Dormition or Assumption (falling alseep) of Mother Mary, when he received her 'sash'. No writer ever included the idea that Thomas was witnessing the death of his own mother....which seems highly suspect if he were indeed her natural born son...
From John the Theologian, The Dormition of the Holy Theotokos
(Her death is not recorded in scripture. Hyppolitus of Thebes claims that Mary lived for eleven years after the crucifixion, dying in 41 AD.[)
This Greek narrative is one of the earliest witnesses to the "Bethlehem" traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition, so-called because some of their events take place in Bethlehem. This is in contrast to other early traditions in which the setting is limited to Jerusalem. This narrative is probably from the sixth century, although it is difficult to be certain. It has tightly condensed earlier traditions that are evident in two Syriac manuscripts from the sixth century, as well as in later Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic narratives. And with the departure of her blameless soul (the death of Mother Mary) the place was filled with perfume and ineffable light; and, behold, a voice out of the heaven was heard, saying: Blessed art thou among women. And Peter, and I John, and Paul, and Thomas, ran and wrapped up her precious feet for the consecration; and the twelve apostles put her precious and holy body upon a couch, and carried it.
These writings are presumed to be based upon earlier writings, and then modified again and again.. What I noted again and again is no hint that this was the mother of Thomas.
Although Thomas may be referred to as brother of Jesus, I see no support for the suggestion that this was meant in the literal sense..