Biblical Archaeology Review 36:1, January/February 2010

Biblical Views: What’s Up with the Gospel of Thomas?

By April D. DeConick

New manuscript discoveries continually expand our knowledge of what was actually going on in antiquity. The accommodation of this new knowledge can sometimes require us to create new histories. Yet as a Biblical scholar, I am constantly faced with the fact that our old academic models die hard. Why? Because there is a general resistance to changing previous understandings of the Bible based on the discovery of “new” nonbiblical manuscripts. For one thing, the religious view that the Bible is old, trustworthy and sacred has become a cultural icon in our society. Second, not only are believers invested in maintaining traditional faith, but scholars are invested in maintaining their previous academic opinions.

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