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Hidden Meanings: Metaphor as Salvation in the Gospel of Thomas

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Title: Hidden Meanings: Metaphor as Salvation in the Gospel of Thomas
Author: Sturtevant, Peter
Advisor: Dawson, John David
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Religion
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: The Gospel of Thomas provides a unique, independent representation of the figure Jesus, which warrants more attention to the idiosyncratic elements of this "gospel." Jesus' non-literal, image-based discourse in the Gospel of Thomas can be generally categorized and understood as metaphor. Drawing on an "inter-animation" theory of metaphor, I aim to show how a reader, in interpreting and making sense of the Gospel of Thomas as a whole, will extrapolate an overarching mythos that is suggested to them via metaphor. The reader is motivated to seek meaning within the sayings and recognize the immanent "light" of the "Father" that lays hidden within each person. Coming to know this light and transforming one's perception of reality leads one closer to the state of being called "the kingdom of the father," and is enacted by seeking the "obscure" meanings of the sayings.
Subject: Kingdom of God -- History of doctrines
Subject: Inner Light -- Early works to 1800
Subject: Metaphor -- Religious aspects -- Christianity
Subject: Gospel of Thomas (Coptic Gospel)
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Sturtevant, Peter. "Hidden Meanings: Metaphor as Salvation in the Gospel of Thomas". 2011. Available electronically from

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