『法王經』과 『도마복음』으로 본 불교와 기독교의 僞經(外經)
Apocrypha of Buddhism and Christianity through the sutra of the King of Law(『法王經』) and the Gospel of Thomas
This article aims to reiterate the significance of the studies on the apocryphal scriptures, carrying out a comparative study on the authors' intentions of the Gospel of Thomas and the sutra of the King of Law(法王經) among many other apocryphal scriptures. The Christian apocrypha was in history condemned to be heretic by the Fathers who recognized themselves authentic and the apocryphal sutras of Buddhism was denigrated as false teachings of mere humans, not transmitted and translated from the Sanskrit original texts. However, it should be noted that the apocrypha was read and followed by the early Christians from the second century to the fourth century C.E. Likewise, the Buddhist apocryphal sutras in China also helped the Chinese people understand the Buddhist teachings better.The Gnostic apocryphal Gospels are a reservoir of unique experiences and insights of the gnosis. The Gospel of Thomas, similar to other gnostic scriptures, focuses on the knowledge of self-awareness and teaches the methods to become united with God by practicing a personal practice.The sutra of the King of Law, among various other apocryphal sutras, especially summarizes the core lessons of the translated sutras and delivers the teachings that had not been easily accessible for ordinary people. By summing up the Mahayana thoughts based on the Buddha dharma of the Single Vehicle and re-organize them,the sutra provides a new thought on the Buddhist practice.The apocryphal scriptures play a significant role in promoting mutual understanding of religions and of inner diversities of a religion, by encouraging modern practitioners to go forward one step closer to the enlightenment and self-gnosis.
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