In my opinion this is the best book on the Gospel of Thomas that I own and worth every penny which I paid for it. Although this book is aimed at a scholarly audience, it is accessible to a general reading public which is willing to do some intellectual work since this is not light reading. In keeping this book accessible to non-specialists - and the great majority of university students in theology/religious studies, I might add – , when Goodacre gives quotations of original texts in Greek and/or Coptic, he always provides a following English translation. Goodacre also provides very extensive footnotes, rather than awkwardly placed endnotes. The indices and bibliography are easy to use and I have no substantial complaints against them.
Goodacre is a proponent of Markan priority without Q, hence some people will not be too surprised by the position which he takes. Namely, that Thomas is not independent of the Synoptic Gospels and that it should be dated well into the second century C.E., after the Jews had been permanently expelled from Jerusalem - now Aelia Capitolina - by Hadrian. His essential argument is that the author of Thomas is aware of all three synoptic gospels and has made allusions to all streams of the synoptic material in order to give his alternative, non eschatological Jesus, a credible voice since the Synoptics were simply too well established for Thomas to argue against their perspective without interacting with the existing tradition which they preserved. In essence, Thomas shares an affinity with the Marcionite program of reshaping the received tradition and both are negative on the Jewish scriptures which the actual historical Jesus and his earliest followers were not.
I particularly enjoyed chapter 8, Orality, Literacy, and Thomas, for the insights which he gives for thinking about literacy and orality in the early Jesus communities. Overall, his tone is irenic and respectful of other scholarly positions and he does engage a very broad range of scholarly opinion. This was not a book written in a hurry and is well written.
One comment which I found rather funny, though I do not think that he intended to be so, is his comment about verbatim agreements of Thomas with the Synoptics on pages 44-45, where he notes that evidence of familiarity of one author’s work with another’s is not a matter of overall percentages. The humour here is that he is critiquing scholars who argue that there is a low overall percentage of agreement between Thomas and the Synoptics, and points out that they share the same fallacy found in Eta Linnemann’s Is There a Synoptic Problem, a book which most of them would strongly disparage for poor methodology. Perhaps one needs to read some of the negative scholarly reviews of Linnemann’s book to get the humour here, but I sure found his discussion at this point really funny.