A Personal Response to the Gospel of Thomas and Companion Pieces by Elizabeth Elder
The Veiled Sayings sheds new light on our oldest questions, as it examines the intriguing Gospel of Thomas and meets us at our personal, sparkling places of truth.
Elizabeth Elder’s reflections on the veiled sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas reveal an experience of the divine that is both intimate and near, rather than distant and authoritative. Her reading of Thomas leads the reader to a Jesus who does not speak to you, but within you and from you, as you meditate on these simultaneously exotic and familiar sayings. Elder discloses an ancient practice of meditative reading that suggests that the Gospel is not about Jesus, but about you, the reader-that Jesus’ words are also your words. This is the archetypal Jesus that speaks you and lives you. This is a reading in line with the meditative reading praxis that the anonymous author of the Gospel of Thomas would appreciate. As Elder demonstrates with great verve and intuition, this is a text not to be “studied,” but cultivated and contemplated. Her marvelous book is an invitation to this practice. – Justin Lasser, M.Phil., Ph.D., Associate professor of religious studies, Manchester University, North Manchester, Indiana.