__Why _The Other Twin_ isn’t observing Advent,__
By Bob Cramer
The Gospel of Thomas is one of the most important religion-related discoveries of our age. “Thomas” is a pseudonym (as are the names of the familiar biblical gospels). We know the text in its Coptic form although we also have a few tiny fragments in Greek which date back to about the year 200 of the Common Era (CE 200). Text scholars say that some of its sayings of Jesus probably go back at least to CE 50, when a similar list of quotations from Jesus, called ‘Q’, also appeared.
Syrian Christians revere Thomas as one of Jesus’ disciples, and they call him “Didymus” (Twin) Judas Thomas since, for reasons unknown to me, they believe him to have been Jesus’ twin. I don’t, of course.
As I have tried to illuminate an almost-hidden period – some two or more decades following Jesus’ death and the electric effects of reports of his continuing presence – I have seized an opportunity to write as a disciple who actually lived with Jesus might have written.
So I have imagined Thomas as a youth just entering manhood, and a twin for Thomas who is not Jesus (but who I leave unnamed). _The Twin,_ all about the man, Jesus, would have been written as Paul was writing – long before Mark, Matthew, Luke and John appeared.
The Twin frequently challenges the mythology steadily creeping into the preaching not only of Paul but of the evangelists who, from 20 to 60 years later, would fashion some of the stories into written gospels. In my opinion, the canonical gospels are virtually totally imaginary, as are a dozen and a half, or more, early gospels rejected by bishops when the Bible as we know it was officially designed.
I think The Twin presents the man of Galilee in a way only a couple of brave film makers have dared try. It’s based generally on the work of the Jesus Seminar. More particularly, I am a disciple of J.D. Crossan, Marcus Borg and John Shelby Spong. All of them have produced a whole small library of books which support my text.
__Now:__ Why doesn’t my _Twin_ gospel follow the lectionary for the weeks of Advent, as all my previous chapters have used the regular gospel lectionary texts (disagreeing painfully often with them)?
Because for a long time after Jesus’ reported post-crucifixion visits to Earth, stories about his birth seem to have been seldom, if ever, told. Mark knows of none, nor do John or Paul. Luke and Matthew are in strong disagreement as they celebrate the birth of a divine savior. It seems to have been only after people began assuming Jesus was part, if not all, of God, that stories developed about how that occurred.
And the gospel reading for Sunday, Nov. 27, 2005 (Mark 13:24-37), is in fact about waiting for a _Second Coming_ – which The Twin does not even imagine.
I enjoy imagining, as if true, his not-imagining.