Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, CA

“The Gospel according to Thomas” say the two lines standing alone at lower center. Appearing on the last page of the tractate, these lines were apparently added by the copyist. Written in the Coptic (late Egyptian) language using Greek letters, the “gospel” begins with a heading that identifies the purported author more precisely: “These are the Secret Sayings which the Living Jesus spoke, and which Didymus Judas Thomas wrote down.” In three passages in the Gospel of John, we are told that the disciple Thomas “was also called Didymus,” a Greek word meaning “twin.” Since the name “Thomas” is actually only a transcription of an Aramaic word meaning “twin,” the canonical Gospels do not really tell us Thomas’s given name. But the Gospel of Thomas reveals that his given name was Judas, thus making it possible to attempt an identification of Thomas. Of the people named Judas in the New Testament, Judas the brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55)—Jesus’ twin according to the apocryphal Acts of Thomas—appears the most likely identity of Thomas, and hence of the purported author of the Gospel of Thomas.