The Book of Thomas the Contender
This is not the Gospel of Thomas, this is something else with some reckoning this is the Gospel of Matthias that was lost. It was discovered with the Nag Hammadi Gnostic library found in Egypt 1945. The Book of Thomas the Contender reportedly records a conversation between Jesus and “Judas Thomas”, and many scholars believe that it was part of a larger Gnostic collection of Thomas-related manuscripts that emerged some time after the canonical Gospels.
Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion
- Dated outside the apostolic age to the third century
- Too far away from anyone who would’ve heard or known about these conversations
- Found with Gnostic manuscripts
- Fits with other Gnostic Thomas style books which are rejected
- Sees the body as evil, knowledge as the goal
- Church fathers Eusebius, Origen, Jerome, Ambrose and Pope Gelasius all considered The Gospel of Matthias to be apocryphal and unreliable.
Useful external attestation details
- Jesus is known as “The Saviour” and “Lord”
- Jesus is a wise teacher
- Jesus had many disciples
- Jesus told his disciples to preach the truth who had not heard (Great commission)
- Contains “woes” and “blessed” statements similar to Matthew and Luke’s Gospels.