Thomas the (Un)Faithful: Πιστός in John 20.27

Bibliographic Information: 

Seglenieks, Chris. "Thomas the (Un)Faithful: Πιστός in John 20.27." Journal for the Study of the New Testament Vol. 45.2 (2022). 135–156.

Thomas in John’s gospel has often been understood as the prototypical doubter based on Jn 20.27. Jesus’ words are taken as condemning a failure of intellectual belief, despite the shift in 20.27 from the frequent use of πιστεύω to the adjective πιστός. Yet the use of πιστός in other texts denotes faithfulness and often the actions which display faithfulness. The prominent theme of witness in Jn 20, along with contrasts to Synoptic accounts of post-resurrection doubt, point towards Thomas’s failure as a failure to take up Jesus’ commission and become a faithful witness. This is confirmed by Thomas’s response to Jesus, where he becomes an active witness to Jesus as God (20.28).