Why Thomas’s Gospel Didn’t Make It Into the Canon
Thank you for both points of view on the so-called Jesus Seminar (“Battling Over the Jesus Seminar,” Robert Miller and Ben Witherington, BR 13:02).
What I find most disturbing about the seminar is an academic arrogance of which many 20th-century humans are guilty. We equate technological advancement with advanced intelligence. This attitude leads to the assumption that modern-day scholars are somehow better equipped to determine the truth regarding events that occurred nearly two millennia ago than those who actually witnessed those events.
If gospel accounts contain gross inaccuracies, would not the many eyewitnesses of Jesus have stepped forward to object? Isn’t that the very reason the gospels of Thomas and Peter and many other accounts of Jesus’ life were not included in the canon? They were deemed inaccurate by those historically close to the events.
Let’s give the ancient world some credit. Biblical and extrabiblical evidence shows that they were much more devoted to literary accuracy than we are today.
Congrats on the Civil Tone
Robert Miller and Ben Witherington are to be congratulated on the civil tone of their discussion of the Jesus Seminar. They bring much useful clarification to the subject.