Christianity is a pearl, hidden within an old brick, made of Camel dung, that has been sitting behind the trash, for many years.
The old Testament of course, is not Christianity, that is Judaism. Much of the new Testament is the letters of Paul, who was a Christian hunter and executioner, before his conversion...but he never actually studied under the man, and he pushes a believist version of the teachings that is dissonant with Jesus's sayings...but it appears that this fundamentalist approach is helpful to some highly disorganized FWAUs as a transition.
Another section of the new Testament are the letters of the disciples, the men that actually lived and were instructed by the man.
The only part I would pay attention to are the gospels, which is the oral record of the sayings of Jesus and his story, written down many years after his death. There are several such initially oral records, some lost (but they leave an evidence trail in later versions), some existing, some in the official Cannon, some not, as per Ted's most important example.
The key is to read the gospels and listen to the message, more with your heart than your head, and see if you feel something of significance and unique, specifically on how Jesus viewed various scenarios, and how he talked about them.
my recommendation is to look at Christianity with openness and scepticism, and make peace with it - it is a pervasive part of our history and culture, that should not be impudently dismissed
In the Thomas gospel, Jesus is presented as a spiritual guide whose words (when properly understood) bring eternal life (Saying 1). Readers of these sayings are advised to continue seeking until they find what will enable them to become rulers of their own lives (Saying 2) and thus to know themselves (Saying 3) and their legacy of being the children of "the living Father" (Saying 3). These goals are presented in the image of "entering the Kingdom" by the methodology of insight that goes beyond duality. (Saying 22). The Gospel of Thomas shows little or no concern for orthodox religious concepts and doctrines. Scholars have traditionally understood the Gospel of Thomas as a Gnostic text because it was found amongst other gnostic texts, it was understood as being prone to a Gnostic interpretation by the early Church, and the emphasis on knowledge as the key to salvation, particularly in Saying 1. However this view has recently come under some criticism by suggesting that while it is possible to interpret the text in a way that aligns with Gnosticism there is nothing inherently Gnostic about the text itself.
The Gospel of Thomas emphasizes direct and unmediated experience. In Thomas saying 108, Jesus says, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become as I am; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him." Furthermore, salvation is personal and found through spiritual (psychological) introspection. In Thomas saying 70, Jesus says, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not bring it forth, what you do not have within you will kill you." As such, this form of salvation is idiosyncratic and without literal explanation unless read from a psychological perspective related to Self vs. ego. In Thomas saying 3, Jesus says,
...the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.
In the other four gospels, Jesus is frequently called upon to explain the meanings of parables or the correct procedure for prayer. In Thomas saying 6, his disciples ask him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give alms? What diet should we observe?" For reasons unknown, Jesus' answer is found in saying 14, wherein he advises against fasting, praying, and the giving of alms (all contrary to Christian practice of the time), although he does take a position similar to that in Mark 7: 18–19 and Matthew 15:11 that what goes into the mouth will not defile a person, but what comes out of the mouth will. This is just one example in Thomas in which the hearer's attention is directed away from objectified judgements of the world to knowing oneself in direct and straighforward manner, which is sometimes called being "as a child" or "a little one" through the unification of dualistic thinking and modes of objectification. (For example, Sayings 22 and 37) To portray the breaking down of the dualistic perspective Jesus uses the image of fire which consumes all. (See Sayings 10 and 82).
The teaching of salvation (i.e., entering the Kingdom of Heaven) that is found in The Gospel of Thomas is neither that of "works" nor of "grace" as the dichotomy is found in the canonical gospels, but what might be called a third way, that of insight. The overriding concern of The Gospel of Thomas is to find the light within in order to be a light unto the world. (See for example, Sayings 24, 26)
In contrast to the Gospel of John, where Jesus is likened to a (divine and beloved) Lord as in ruler, the Thomas gospel portrays Jesus as more the ubiquitous vehicle of spiritual inspiration and enlightenment, as in saying 77:I am the light that shines over all things. I am everything. From me all came forth, and to me all return. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift a stone, and you will find me there.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Thomashttp://www.metalog.org/files/thomas.html