Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ and is among each of the four apostolic lists. Thomas’ name appears several times in the New Testament; Matthew (10:3), Luke (6), Mark (3:18) and Acts of Apostles (1:13). Apostle Thomas has little effect in the gospel but becomes relevance towards the end of the Book of John.[footnoteRef:1] Towards the end of the Gospel, Synopsis becomes known as’ the doubting Thomas’ although his fellow companion never viewed him a chronic doubter There is little information about Thomas and being doubtful is associated with his name rather than his character, and sometimes it is often misappropriated. [footnoteRef:2]This apostolic biographical study will focus on the ministry of Thomas as a companion of Jesus Christ. [1: Ismo Dunderberg. “The Beloved Disciple in the Gospel of John.” In The Beloved Disciple in Conflict?: Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2006.] [2: Petr Pokorny. Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas: From Interpretations to the Interpreted, Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central]
Thomas was an apostle of Jesus born in the 1st century AD in a small town, Galilee. Information about his private and career life is not mentioned in the bible. He was labeled the doubting Thomas because he questioned the resurrection of Jesus.[footnoteRef:3] Thomas was designated as an apostle since he witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was among the few that Jesus termed a friend in the New Testament. Also, he proved his love and loyalty to Jesus on many occasions. [3: Stephen J. Patterson, Hans-Gebhard Bethge, and James M. Robinson. 2011. The Fifth Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ]
Jesus walked on earth 2,000 years ago, yet he had very many followers. However, he had innermost companions known as the 12 disciples. Thomas was one of those called their private lives and occupation to be trained by Jesus for the continuity of his ministry. Jesus called Thomas and offered him an opportunity to travel the world to spread his gospel. He witnessed the death and resurrection of Jesus thus qualifying him to be an apostle.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Petr Pokorny. Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas: From Interpretations to the Interpreted, Bloomsbury Academic & Professional, 2014. ProQuest Ebook Central]
After the resurrection of Jesus, other disciple told Thomas that Jesus had risen from death. Thomas claimed that unless he sees the nail marks on Jesus, he would not believe. People respond to his reaction in different ways claiming he was doubtful. Thomas was a unique disciple and hearing and seeing wasn’t enough, but the experience of touching and feeling was enough to quench his curiosity.
Thomas was fearless, bold, brave and ready to spread the gospel regardless of the consequences of rejection. In John 11:16, Thomas says “let us also go, that we may die with him.’ In this verse, Thomas urges his fellow disciple to follow Jesus Christ to Judea even if there are deadly consequences.[footnoteRef:5] He was trying to distinguish his character from being curious about the gospel rather than doubting it. [5: John 11:16 ]
After the end of the day of Pentecost, the apostles were required to travel across the world to spread the gospel. It is believed that Thomas was able to share the gospel with some areas of India. Although there is no biblical evidence, Thomas was martyred and buried in India while spreading the gospel. [footnoteRef:6] [6: Ismo Dunderberg. “The Beloved Disciple in the Gospel of John.” In The Beloved Disciple in Conflict?: Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2006.]
Today’s Christians can apply the characters of Thomas and the way he lived his life. Just like Thomas, Christians need to travel and seek knowledge as well as spread the word of God. Christians also need to be fearless and confidence in God’s provision and sustenance throughout their ministry.
Throughout the research on the biography of Apostle Thomas, scholars don’t presume him as a doubter but a curious disciple. Because Thomas was inquisitive about the resurrection of Jesus, people confused him with a doubter. Thomas represents bold Christians who are fearless and willing to seek knowledge for the sake of Christ’s ministry.
Moloney, Francis J.. 2013. Love in the Gospel of John : An Exegetical, Theological, and Literary
Study. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic. ProQuest Ebook Central. James, Robert. “The Travels of St. Thomas in the East and the Migration of His Name.” E-Theologos 2, no. 2
Patterson, Stephen., Bethge, Hans-Gebhard., and Robinson, James M. 2011. The Fifth Gospel:
The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.
Sylva, Dennis. 2013. Thomas – Love As Strong As Death : Faith and Commitment in the Fourth
Gospel. London: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC. ProQuest Ebook Central.
Dunderberg, Ismo. “The Beloved Disciple in the Gospel of John.” In The Beloved Disciple in
Conflict Revisiting the Gospels of John and Thomas. Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2006. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2006.
Pokorny´, Petr. 2014. Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas : From Interpretations to the
Interpreted. New York: Bloomsbury Academic & Professional. ProQuest Ebook Centra