Tanho Monday Textual Study

Early Christian Texts Discussions
Presented by the Tanho Center

Once a month, at 8:00–9:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday nights (generally the fourth of the month), the Tanho Center sponsors a presentation and discussion of one of the early Christian texts.  Each Monday session is led by a trained scholar of these texts.  Discussion leaders will share a well-framed overview of the particular text, and give time for all participants to ask questions or share their own insights about the meanings and potential for these texts.

There is no charge, but people are invited to give donations to the Tanho Center.  One does not have to attend every session, and anyone is welcome any time.  We look forward to your joining these textual studies.

Folks who need a brief introduction to these rather surprising and deeply moving texts are invited to check out the several short films on the Tanho website home page. People who would like a larger introduction will enjoy the book, A New New Testament: A Bible for the Twenty-First Century Combining Traditional and Newly Discovered Textsedited by Hal Taussig and published by Houghton, Mifflin, and Harcourt.  

Parables of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas

Monday, January 27, 2020
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page
Zoom Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/499027361
Presenter: Dr. Hal Taussig

The Gospel of Thomas (GThomas) in its only full form was found along with the approximately 50 other Christ or Jesus related documents in a jar in the desert near the village of Nag Hammadi in central Egypt.  Other existing ancient documents had referred to the Gospel of Thomas, but no document had been found.  The document contains 114 short paragraphs each with a teaching from Jesus.  Like many other canonical and extra-canonical documents from the first and second centuries, GThomas contains a number of parables.  GThomas has more or less three kinds of parables: those with almost exact parallels with Matthew, Mark, or Luke; those with similar story-lines to canonical gospels but with strikingly different meanings; and those that have little or no similarities to canonical gospels.

This Tanho Monday Textual study examines the GThomas parables from several different angles:

  1. what does each individual parable mean in its ancient context?
  2. how likely is it that some or all of these parables come directly from Jesus?
  3. how do GThomas parables expand understanding of parables in early Jesus traditions?

Parables or parable-like sayings from GThomas include sayings 8,9,20,21,57,63,64,65,76,96,97.98,107,109,113.  If you have time to read the whole Gospel of Thomas, please do so, since the parables are integral to the whole gospel.  It is widely available online.

Good examples are available on the gospels.net website, and Early Christian Writings.

The Tanho Center is dedicated to the study and interpretation of the large range of early Christ movement texts discovered in the last 150 years. By incorporating recently discovered texts into contemporary practices, we hope to signify exactly what tanho means in Coptic: “to make or be alive.”

Early Christian Texts:  The Bible and Beyond

Exploring historical and spiritual questions about Jesus, women, salvation, healing, gender, and wholeness raised by extra-canonical books, forgotten scriptures, and so-called “gnostic” gospels.


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