One God | Salvation | Baptism | Faith
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Touch and Agree? | One Body? | One Liners
A: No. There is evidence of Rameses II and of the Israelites being slaves in Egypt (wall paintings etc...). There is also evidence of a mass exodus of the Jews but no hard evidence or independant confirmation that the man Moses existed. I have heard of a papyrus that spoke of "one plucked from the Nile" but in my opinion this is hardly "proof."
They are finding new things in Israel every day however and if you hear of anything please let me know.
The Pharisees of Jesus' time said that they knew that God had spoken to Moses. Many believe this was an act of faith but they had the Ark of the Covenant with the stone tablets (tables) on which Moses had written the Ten Commandments. These are lost now but I believe that both these tablets and the Ark will resurface.
A: I will assume that the writer meant "why wasn't the Gospel according to Thomas considered a legitimate book of the Bible?"
The reasons are really quite simple and very reasonable. The answer to this question applies to the so called books of Peter and the other "New Testament Apocrypha" as I call them.
There are several criteria or rules that must be considered before one can ascribe a book as a ligitimate entry to the Bible. One that I feel is the most important is that it had be written in the Apostolic era. The "job" of the Apostles was to establish the order that the Body of Christ was to assume to be acceptable in the sight of God. There are very serious evidence that these books were not from this era. I have heard the "Gospel of Thomas" dated into the 4th or even the 5th century with similar dates for the "Books of Peter."
A second requirement is that it have no conflicts with existing Cannon or Scripture. I haven't read the whole book of Thomas but have read far enough to know that there are major disagreements with the rest of the Bible.
The most glaring of these is the books account of the boy Jesus playing in the sand and sculpting a bird which when lifted "flew away." I would consider this a miracle by any standards but in John 2:1-11 we have an account of what verse 11 calls the "beginning" of Jesus' miracles: "This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him." Now we have an open, blaitant contradiction. Thomas could not have seen Jesus "create" a bird when He was a boy and then John be correct to say that the "beginnig" of Jesus' miracles was turning the water into wine mant years later.
When you have a contradiction of this sort your choices are very limited. Either both accounts are bogus, or one is an actual account of, at the very least, what an eye witness believed.
How can you tell?
Well if one is written at the time that John and Thomas were alive and the other was written 200 years after these men had died, the "choice" is easy. This is the case with these books.
Were this the only factor, it would not in and of itself exclude these writings from the Bible but there is more. These contradict the whole of accepted Scriptures. They tell a different story. They don't add a part that may not have been apparant to another writer but basically imply "All the other prophets, including Jesus Himself, was wrong." There is absolutely none of the harmony of the other Gosples.
This is the reason that some other contemporaneous or "same time" documents are also rejected.
These have a very limited value as historical reference (to the mind set of the 4th century) but no doctrinal value whatsoever.
Many try to use these to "muddy" the waters but I think that there is more evidence to support the Bible as it is written in the 1st century documents than there is for anything else in existance.
Many proponents of these books reason along these lines: There is no concrete proof that these are not the writings of Thomas. There is also no real concrete proof the Apostles didn't fly around with big "S's" on their chests. The way I like to go about things is evaluate the "proof" that a thing did or did not happen and see if there is enough real evidence to reasonably believe that the stated hypothesis is valid.
Let's not fall into the trap of basing our perceptions of the world and all of Creation upon what can't be disproven beyond any possible point of contention, and stick to what is reasonable and to a generally satisfactoy point, supported by the evidence at hand.
As I have said to a friend that I correspond with "The most you will ever come up with when you are looking for proof about the Bible is that the men of the given time believed and recorded what you read in the manuscripts. This has been proven to all who will accept the evidence.