Farm to (School)table: The Cultivation of Paideia in the Gospel of Thomas
Ian Brown [+]
University of Regina
This chapter locates the Gospel of Thomas within the world of Graeco-Roman encyclia paideia (education) by examining four seed parables within Gos.Thom. In Graeco-Roman school exercises and commentaries on encyclia paideia, seeds were frequently used as metaphors for teaching with the sower representing the teacher, and the soil representing the student. Gos.Thom.’s parables of the sower (9), mustard seed (20), grapevine (40), and good seed (57) all employ the metaphor of seed-as-learning. This metaphor is hidden from the uneducated but rewards the educated with the hidden meaning of these parables: the reader is the soil that must prepare themself for Jesus’ teachings.