I choose to look at the introduction. I like introductions. The philsophers call introductions “limnal texts” — they exist to control how we will read the rest of the text.
These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down.
Didymus and Thomas both mean twin, and the intent seems to be that Judas was the brother (twin?) of Jesus.
(1) And he said: He who shall find the interpretation of the words shall not taste of death.
I notice three things here.
First of all, these are secret sayings of the living Jesus. What it sepaks to is a two tiered Chrsitianity or a two-tiered faith. There are secrets — and soe peopel get to know them and others don’t. Thomas Christians are better than Peter and Paul Christians because they (we) have access to secret information. The implication of this secret teaching of the “living Jesus” is that the public teaching of the rival sect’s Jesus belongs to a dead Jesus.
I find this disturbing.
We then launch directly into the saying which reinforces thsi living/dead things with a promise that these special Thomas Christians shall not taste of death.
The third thing I notice is interesting (to me) and sort of undermines the stuff I just talked about. In the canonical gospels the emphasis is eitehr on beliveing or obeying. Believ in Jesus. Or obey him. Those are the emphases.
Here it is finding an interpretation. It doesn’t even say the right interpretation. Just an interpretation.
I think Twyla may be right baout these sayings. Its not about what theys ay. Its like teh Buddhist koans. Its what they do you when you wrestle with them.