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Language Arts

Doubting Thomas

Ever heard the phrase -Doubting Thomas-, or been called a Doubting Thomas? In this article we are exploring the history and meaning of the popular phrase -Doubting Thomas. The origins of this commonly used idiom trace back thousands of years.

While there are many popular phrases and sayings with unknown origins. It is clear which historical event sparked the meaning behind the phrase "Doubting Thomas,"  which is often used to explain a person of skepticism. The idiom "Doubting Thomas" describes someone who won't accept an explanation of an idea or concept without actual physical evidence.

The saying "Doubting Thomas" is originally derived from the skeptical Saint Thomas, one of Jesus Christ's 12 apostles. Saint Thomas was famously known for refusing to believe proof of Jesus' resurrection following his crucifixion. Thomas refused to be convinced until he had felt Jesus' wounds. However, once Jesus presented him with the opportunity to feel his wounds, Thomas accepted it as truth. This account is found in the biblical reference John 20:24-29. However, the Bible does not mention whether or not physical contact actually took place. Thomas then professed his faith in Jesus, and was the first person who actually voiced his belief in Jesus' as a divine ruler calling him, "My Lord and my God." This is why he has also been referred to as Thomas the Believer, according to the Museum of Learning website.

An example of using the common phrase "Doubting Thomas" in current day would be: "Joe is such a Doubting Thomas. He never believes anything his teachers tell him." 

The lesson to be learned from the expression "Doubting Thomas" is to remember not to let skepticism rule over faith. Sometimes, a person needs to remember that to see or touch something isn't always necessary in order to believe. If you trust the person who is telling you the information to not mislead you, then you should have enough faith in them to accept what they are telling you as truth. That is not to say to always accept information blindly, but sometimes it is best to accept to rely on faith to discover the truth.