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Publisher's Summary

Millions of readers have turned to Elaine Pagels for her clear and insightful books about the Gnostic Gospels, the teachings of Jesus that have been lost for centuries. Sounds True is proud to present the first widely available audio recording of this extraordinary scholar as she explores the text that has changed the way many of us think about the message of Christ: The Gospel of Thomas.

The stunning archaeological discovery of these lost scriptures of early Christianity in 1945 has revealed exciting new dimensions to the wisdom passed on from Jesus to his disciples. In her analysis of this revived gospel, Dr. Pagels reveals that Thomas was not a "doubter" of Christ, rather, his thoughtful inquiries reflected and brought out the deepest truths that Jesus had to offer. Thomas' account depicts a Jesus who taught us that the "Kingdom of Heaven" is not a separate realm, but a state of divinity that we all can reach. He is even called the "twin" of Jesus, a metaphor for the possibility that all of us can achieve the same state of divine grace embodied by Jesus.

Elaine Pagels has riveted readers and audiences everywhere with her clear and provocative explorations of the testaments of early Christianity. The Gospel of Thomas gives listeners a first opportunity to join her in charting "a wider horizon" of Christian spirituality.

©2006 Elaine Pagels (P)2006 Sounds True
  • Original Recording Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about The Gospel of Thomas

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting lecture

Obviously, this is slightly less than 2 hours in length, so it's not a book. This is a lecture about the Gospel of Thomas and Elaine Pagels spends considerable time after her talk answering many questions from the live audience.

If you have already read "Beyond Belief" then you may find that this lecture provides even more detailed insights from Elaine Pagels on the Gospel of Thomas and its relation to other gospels. If you haven't read "Beyond Belief" you might want to do so before downloading this lecture.

33 people found this helpful

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A Modern Scholar-Seeker

This short offering is a wonderful introduction to Elaine Pagels, both to her work and to who she is as a person. She has been at the forefront of scholarly research and writing on early Christianity as revealed in ancient manuscripts only recently discovered in the Middle East. Despite her impressive credentials (she is a chaired Professor of Religion at Princeton), her tone is unfailingly one of sincerity, openness and humility.

Here, she provides a informative introduction to textual analysis of scripture and other early documents, then proceeds to an examination of The Gospel of Thomas, which most scholars agree was written roughly during the same time period in which the 4 canonical gospels were produced. This lecture summarizes and adds to what Pagels included in her 2004 book, "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas" which is the most personal of her books, and shows how she finds many of these early texts to have the potential of enriching, rather than undermining, the Christian faith (and which I highly recommend if you have not already read it).

Roughly the second half of the audiobook is Q&A as she takes questions form the lecture audience--I only wish I could have been there!


7 people found this helpful

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The Path to Enlightenment through Christ.

Very interesting subject matter treated with sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Audio rough. Couldn't hear questions from the audience at times.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book ABOUT The Gospel of Thomas

While it helps to be familiar with the Gospel of Thomas, it is not necessary at all, before reading or listening to this book. Professor Pagels once again brings foremost to her listening audience the greatest portions, interpretations, popular and unpopular understandings, and the history to be considered, both now and at the time that the Gospel of Thomas was written. Along with her audience during this book, Professor Pagels tackles some of the harder to understand sayings in the book. This was a very interesting book. I highly recommend this book to everyone interested in understanding Christianity as well as understanding the history of the formation Christianity in historic times. The Lord knew what he was doing when He made sure that the Gnostic gospels were hidden such that we would be able to find them and recover them for today's understanding of Christianity.

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Disappointed

I didn't realize this was a lecture given by Elaine Pagels when I purchased this audio "book".. It wasn't very interesting and I didn't get much from the questions asked by the participants. If you like to listen to lectures, then you may enjoy it.. However, if you think this is a book, it's not. It's priced too expensive for just a short lecture with questions asked/answered..

7 people found this helpful

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Not a good experience

What would have made The Gospel of Thomas better?

The sound quality was very poor in the question/answer period. VERY poor.

What could Elaine Pagels have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The format was mostly a waste of time. Questions from the audience were unenlightening, and answers were often evasive or shallow. Just have Elaine talk!

Would you be willing to try another one of Elaine Pagels’s performances?

Absolutely not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Gospel of Thomas?

All the Q & A. The questions were random, the answers pat or simplistic, the sound quality was TERRIBLE. It was just the sort of poor use of time for learning that you see in most university lecture hall 'conversations'.

Any additional comments?

I would not recommend spending more than $.99 for this. It was poor value, even on sale. Buy her books--she is much better there!

7 people found this helpful

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Not a good way to learn about the Gospel of Thomas

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

No

What was most disappointing about Elaine Pagels’s story?

To much personal revelation and opinions not based on fact...

Would you be willing to try another one of Elaine Pagels’s performances?

No

What character would you cut from The Gospel of Thomas?

The author- Elaine Pagel

Any additional comments?

This was not informational and would request a refund......

3 people found this helpful

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NOT the Gospels

This is a great lecture on the Gospel of Thomas, not the Gospels themselves

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Hearsay

Elain Pagels erroneously confuses the words sayings and “hear sayings.”. Never once. not once, does (Greek) Jesus “say” anything in the New Testament or any gospel. The sayings are always filtered through another mind, which is the definition of hearsay. Jesus (Jewish Yeshia) never said anything. Sloppy!

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Not what I wanted to hear in a book

This should be a podcast instead of a book. Semi interesting but it is not a book to read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-17-21

a lively exposition

of the sayings....secret.....or perhaps advanced and in private.....of jesus ....to his closest followers illustrating what an important spine they are.....not to heretics....but rather devotees to judeo christian mystics....as well as christian and muslim spiritualists.....and the observant as well as religious adherrents to his basic doctrines.

it is necessary to have read the sayings yourself at least more than once to appreciate these interpretations.....perspectives and philosophies......but once that is done.....really not rocket science.......it highlights exactly what a great philosopher....storyteller prophet and king jesus remains.

only one sour note.....the sound quality of student questioning is worse than appalling.......please dont let that deter the serious student from struggling through.

the clarity of thought.....sensitivity for the subject......and diligence of all participants is clear enough.


im very pleased with my choice in attending this lecture.

a genuine privelidge. thank you.

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  • Dean Simmons
  • 02-25-21

Enlightening

Elaine Pagels does a great job of explaining the Gospel of Thomas in more depth and awnsers some interesting Q&A at the end of her presentation.
A good listen for those who are interested in The Gospel of Thomas.