William G. Duffy’s Quest for Spiritual Truths

William G. Duffy discusses his award-winning book, Hidden Gospel of Thomas, challenging traditional views, exploring its non-dual philosophy, and his ongoing quest for enlightenment through ancient wisdom.


Renowned author William G. Duffy delves deep into the enigmatic depths of the Gospel of Thomas in his latest book, published by SilverWood Books Ltd in Bristol, UK in 2020. With a career spanning mental health counseling and a passion for unraveling spiritual mysteries, Duffy’s journey to dissecting this ancient text began in 1983. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Cortland, New York, Duffy’s academic journey led him through Syracuse University and the University of Toronto, culminating in a rich tapestry of experiences that inform his unique perspective.

Accolades have already adorned his work, with the 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award recognizing his meticulous analysis and groundbreaking insights. Duffy’s exploration of the Gospel of Thomas transcends mere scholarly interpretation; it serves as a beacon for those seeking profound spiritual truths amidst the cryptic verses of this ancient manuscript.

In a recent interview with Reader’s House magazine, Duffy sheds light on the motivations behind his magnum opus, aptly titled the “Hidden Gospel of Thomas.” His elucidation of the gospel’s non-dualistic philosophy challenges conventional religious paradigms, inviting readers to embark on a journey of introspection and enlightenment.

Central to Duffy’s interpretation is the notion of uncovering hidden truths buried within the psyche, echoing the gospel’s cryptic style designed to provoke contemplation and introspection. Through his meticulous analysis, Duffy unveils the profound wisdom embedded within seemingly absurd anecdotes, compelling readers to question their fundamental assumptions about spirituality and existence.

Dispelling misconceptions surrounding the gospel’s classification as Gnostic, Duffy elucidates its unique philosophical underpinnings, distinct from the elaborate cosmologies associated with Gnostic belief systems. His scholarship not only reframes the narrative surrounding the Gospel of Thomas but also breathes new life into its timeless teachings, transcending the boundaries of conventional religious discourse.

As Duffy contemplates future endeavors, his unwavering dedication to unraveling the mysteries of the Gospel of Thomas remains resolute. With a plethora of insights yet to be unearthed, Duffy’s ongoing exploration promises to revolutionize our understanding of Christianity and spirituality at large.

In a world inundated with dogma and doctrine, William G. Duffy’s profound insights offer a beacon of hope for seekers of truth, inviting readers to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery through the “Hidden Gospel of Thomas.”

Why did you write this book?

“I think that certain people are meant to do certain things. It’s not fate exactly; it’s more like having an inclination to do things in a certain way. My inclination seems to have been to ask questions: Is this true? Is this right? Such questions naturally led me to question my basic assumptions about religion and then, life itself. I asked myself, is what I perceive with my five senses truly there as I perceive it? How much of this is projection? Do I not see what I want to see? I became fascinated with the Gospel of Thomas because it seemed to answer these questions by pointing to a spiritual realm it calls the “Kingdom of the Father.” This corresponds with what Luke 17:20-21 says about the Kingdom of God: it is within. It is the awareness of God’s love. It is, as saying 5 says, hidden but (right) in front of your face (accessible). It is always present for everyone to realize. But it is hidden behind the egoic belief in separation.

Why do you call your book the “Hidden Gospel of Thomas?”

The Gospel of Thomas was written in a cryptic style precisely to challenge the reader. For example, throughout Thomas, one is confronted with absurd situations. In saying 8, a fisherman throws away a big haul of valuable fish but keeps a single yet worthless fish for himself. That is absurd. What fisherman would do that? But wait. If the many small fish were a metaphor for all the empty pleasures in life and the one big fish a metaphor for the awareness of God’s love (the Kingdom of the Father), what then? You see, this Jesus likes to challenge conventional thinking. He does this in every saying. He insists, however, that the reader should dig for the truth himself. The truth cannot be spoon-fed. The seeker of truth must dig. He has buried the truth (God’s love) deep within his mind, and now, he must earnestly look and listen for it. It is hidden not because God wishes it so. It is hidden because man’s ego fears it.

Is the Gospel of Thomas Gnostic?

No, it is not. I write about this in my book in greater detail, but I will say a few things about this here. The Gospel of Thomas was found in a buried jar in Egypt with other texts, some of which were Gnostic. That does not mean that Thomas was Gnostic. Gnosticism was a family of beliefs encompassing many different but related ideas. Gnosis means “knowledge,” and while this gospel stresses the importance of knowing the truth in one’s mind and heart, it has none of the trappings of developed Gnosticism. Such trappings include upper and lower aeons, secret hand signs, evil archons, mystery rites, etc. It appears that many people like to dismiss the Gospel of Thomas as a second-century, Gnostic forgery, but the evidence for this is very slim.  

Does your book really say anything new?

Yes, most definitely. While a few other authors have recognized the non-dual nature of this gospel, my book applies that philosophy in a way that for the first time, brings these sayings to life. Jesus was a master of the metaphor. For those readers who understand this, his words are profound and life changing. For those who do not, for them, it is gibberish or, at best, reworked sayings from the New Testament, plus unknown others.

Are you planning another book?

The Gospel of Thomas is such a vast topic. If taken seriously, it could revolutionize Christianity. If truly understood, it has that power. How could I write about anything else? I will continue to write about this gospel, its implications, and insights. I have composed papers for Academia dot com on sayings 8 and 114. Copies of these can be seen on my website, williamgduffy.com.

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