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Thomas as Sextus Empiricus’s Arch-Skeptic

Stacy Abernathy 
Lafayette, IN 
stacy.abernathy@gmail.com

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Abstract

The depiction of the reaction of Thomas to the resurrection in chapter 20 of the Fourth Gospel satisfies the major criteria demanded by skeptics in connection with coming to belief. This article identifies these criteria from Sextus Empiricus’s second-century compilation of Pyrrhonean tendencies.1 Its parallels with the Gospel suggest the Fourth Evangelist knew and engaged early formulations of skeptical tendencies. Interpreting elements of narrative episodes traditionally designated as “misunderstandings” in light of the Pyrrhonean connections supports the thesis that the evangelist intended to satisfy a skeptic’s criteria for belief.

 
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Volume 19 Issue 2

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VOLUME 19, No. 2
Fall 2016

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