Elaine Pagels: Trump and Doubting Thomas

Listen to the renowned religious scholar Elaine Pagels (link). Known for her profound work on the Gnostic Gospels and early Christian history, Pagels brought her unique insights into the contentious dynamics of early Christian texts, particularly focusing on the potential rivalry between the Gospels of John and Thomas.

Pagels suggests that the Gospel of John may have been written with the intention of silencing or countering the messages found in the Gospel of Thomas. This intriguing theory delves deep into the early Christian community’s struggles with power, belief, and the very nature of divine revelation. The conversation weaves through the fabric of early Christian teachings, challenging our understanding of canonical versus non-canonical texts, and shedding light on the politics of early church formation.

Our discussion touched on several key points, including the portrayal of Thomas as a doubter in the Gospel of John—a depiction that Pagels argues could have been a strategic move to discredit the teachings found in the Gospel of Thomas, which emphasize a more personal and internal experience of the divine. This episode not only explores these hidden gospels but also invites listeners to reconsider the foundational narratives that have shaped Christianity for centuries.

Join us as Elaine Pagels guides us through the labyrinth of early Christian writings, revealing a world where theological debates and power dynamics shaped what we have come to know as the New Testament. This episode is a must-listen for anyone interested in the history of Christianity, the process of canon formation, and the enduring question of what it means to seek and find truth within ancient texts.

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