The Lost Way
The Gospel of Thomas was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. Together with “Q,” the lost gospel behind the biblical gospels of Matthew and Luke, it opens a window onto a world of forgotten paths once trod in the earliest years of Christianity.
Thomas and Q don’t include a story of Jesus’ life. No miracles, no death, no resurrection. Instead, they are collections of sayings attributed to Jesus. According to Patterson, the followers of Jesus who created these gospels had a different conception of him than most modern Christians.
“Instead of thinking about Jesus as God, God’s son, or even a martyr, these early followers of Jesus considered him a great teacher who shared divine wisdom,” Patterson says. “I think that many will be surprised to learn that Jesus’ death and resurrection were not always the focus of his followers. For many, it was Jesus’ words that made him significant.”
Patterson has spent his career considering the question, “Who was Jesus?” from the perspective of lost and forgotten writings not found in the Bible. He’s still intrigued by the pursuit and shares this dramatic story in The Lost Way.