According to Pagels, the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas emphasizes a solitary path to salvation in the form of self-discovery (74) (Thomas blesses the â€œsolitary and the chosenâ€) (Thomas 34:29). On the other hand, the canonized gospels present Jesusâ€™ teachings in a much more social context; Jesus teaches before large crowds, he and his disciples interact with Temple elders and ruling authorities.
Discuss the reasons for these differences as Pagels sees them. You should include some historical context (i.e. the threats to the fledgling Christian movement), and you should cite the text as well. You donâ€™t need a works cited page, but you should cite in the text with a page number. If you cite gospel passages, please list the gospel, chapter and verse.
**Think about audience and purpose here. The gospel writers had a very specific purpose in presenting their narratives the way they did.