Twin the Twin

twin#2

Thomas certainly plays an odd role in Christian history. Even his name is odd.  It’s not a name, in fact, but a sobriquet meaning “Twin” – just as Peter would be “Rocky” today.  Sometimes he’s referred to as “Thomas the Twin” – which is like saying “Twin the Twin” – and at other times he appears to possess another name, “Thomas who is called Didymus.” But since “Didymus” is just Greek for “Twin” this means he’s known as “Twin who is called the Twin.”  If this isn’t deliberate obfuscation, then it’s accidental obfuscation.  Someone doesn’t like Thomas.  He’s barely allowed any space in the canonical New Testament: once he says something stupid, and the other time he asks if he can put his fingers in Jesus’ nail wounds.  Yet his own alleged works were a huge hit everywhere but Rome for several hundred Christian years.  And he also does for Christianity in the East what Paul did in the West.  If Thomas achieved half of what he claims to have achieved during an evangelizing stroll from Palestine to India, then he towers above any other saint.

from Journey of the Magi by Paul William Roberts
I.B. Tauris, 20006

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