The Gospel of Thomas presents Jesus Christ in a totally different manner than what is in the Christian Bible. Some of the sayings I recognized as being in the Christian Bible, but most are not. These new sayings put Jesus in a new light for me.
The biggest thing had to deal with homosexuality and bisexuality. This was totally new to me when it came to Jesus. According to the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus Christ might have practiced both homosexuality and bisexuality. According to these sayings, this could have been very well true of Jesus. This would give a new meaning to the word "beloved" in the Christian Bible. I also did not know that older men would help younger men and teenage boys learn to have sex.
Also, the fact that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene was new. He could have also have possibly fathered children with her during his lifetime. According to the one of the sayings, Peter wanted Jesus to get rid of Mary but refused to do saying. In fact, Jesus might have loved Mary and the rest of the women more than his male disciples.
The first lesson was also very fascinating. I love history and lesson 1 gave a background on how the Nag Hammadi Library was discovered. I had heard of the Nag Hammadi Library but did not realize that it was a more recent discovery. A couple of men went to harvest some fertilizer outside of Nag Hammadi, Egypt. While harvesting the fertilizer, one of their shovels hit this clay jar. This must have been guided by God. For having these men hit this clay jar in the middle of the Egyptian desert is probably nil.
I also found interesting in why the Gospel of Thomas was hidden. There used to be a Coptic Monastery there. The monks tried to hide the Nag Hammadi Library expecting to retrieve them later one but did not since these monks probably were persecuted by the early church. We are all fortunate that these documents were preserved so well since they were hidden probably in the 2nd or 3rd century and stayed there until their discovery in 1945.
This course was well written and very well presented. The author/teacher definitely knew this subject well. This course did present Jesus in a new light, something that was not known for a long time. The information was presented in a straight forward manner. The author did a really good job in interpreting the sayings in the Gospel of Thomas. I would recommend this course to anyone, especially if you would like to see Jesus Christ in a new way or are interested in Gnosticism.
The ULC, run by Rev. Long, has created a chaplaincy program to help train our ministers. We also have a huge catalog of Universal Life Church materials. I've been ordained with the Universal Life Church for many years and it's Seminary since the beginning and have loved watching the continual growth of the seminary.