The Gospel of Thomasalso records a parable concerning the death of Jesus (45:1–16) and relates his subsequent exaltation (45:17–19). Again, Jesus is identified as “living” or as the “Living One,” a reference to his post-resurrection life
62 The Gospel of Thomas32:10–11.
63 See Grant, Gnosticism and Early Christianity, pp. 183–184.
64 Helmut Koester, “Introduction” in James Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library, p. 117; Baur, p. 310; Pagels, Gnostic Gospels, XV-XVI.
65 See Mark 8:27–30; Matt. 16:13–17; Luke 9:18–21.
66 The Gospel of Thomas34:30–35:4.
67 Ibid., 43:82–30.
68 Ibid., 44:34–35; 45:11–15; 49:21–26.
69 Ibid., 46:23–28.
(see Rev. 1:17–18).^70 These references relate (6)the death of Jesus and (7)his exaltation as a result of his resurrection from the dead.
The foregoing references in The Gospel of Thomasrequire further comment. Initially, they often appear to be dependent on Gospel testimony, especially in the question of Jesus’ identity and in the parable of the vineyard. Additionally, the overly obvious Gnostic tendencies, such as those found in the identification of Jesus with the “Undivided” and with the “All,” including monistic tendencies, certainly cast doubt on the reliability of these reports.^71 The Treatise On Resurrection
This book is addressed to an individual named Rheginos by an unknown author. Some have postulated that Valentinus is the author, but most scholars object to this hypothesis. The ideas are somewhat Valentinian, which could point to the presence of earlier ideas, but it is probably better to date the work itself from the late second century AD.^72
For the author of The Treatise on Resurrection, Jesus became a human being but was still divine: The Lord . . . existed in flesh and . . . revealed himself as Son of God . . . Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to the Pleroma might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of the Truth, before this structure (of the cosmos) had come into being.^73 In this passage we find much Gnostic terminology in addition to the teachings (1) that Jesus became flesh as the Son of Man in spite of (2)his true divinity as the Son of God who conquers death.