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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

Nag HAMMADI CODICES- The Gospel of Thomas – by ArchBishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

The LION and the LAMB



by ArchBishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

Introduced by

Helmut Koester

Translated by

Thomas O. Lambdin

The Gospel of Thomas is a collection of traditional sayings of Jesus. These sayings, or small groups of sayings (the numeration of the 114 sayings is not found in the manuscript, but is followed by most scholars today) are introduced in most instances by “Jesus said (to them),” sometimes by a question or a statement of the disciples. Only in one instance (13) is a saying expanded into a longer discourse between Jesus and the disciples. The sayings preserved in The Gospel of Thomas are of several types: wisdom sayings (proverbs), parables, eschatological sayings (prophecies), and rules for the community. They appear in this document in arrangement that does not reveal any overall plan of composition. On occasion, small groups of sayings are kept together by similarity in form or by catchword association.

The Coptic Gospel of Thomas was translated from the Greek. Fragments of this gospel in the original Greek version are extant in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1, 654 and 655, which had been discovered and published at the beginning of this century, but were identified as parts of The Gospel of Thomas only after the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi library. The first of these Greek papyri contains sayings 26–30, 77, 31–33 (in this order!), the other two the sayings 1–7 and 36–40, respectively. At least one of these Greek fragments comes from a manuscript that was written before 200 C.E.; thus the Greek version of this gospel was used in Egypt as early as the second century.

The authorship of this gospel is attributed to Didymos Judas Thomas, that is, Judas “the twin” (both the Aramaic thomas and the Greek didymos mean “twin”). In the Syrian church, (Judas) Thomas was known as the brother of Jesus who founded the churches of the East, particularly of Edessa (in a somewhat later tradition, he even travels to India). Other Christian writings of the eastern churches have been attributed to the same apostle; to these belong the Acts of Thomas and most likely also The Book of Thomas, which was discovered as part of the Nag Hammadi library (II,7). The latter writing, as well as The Gospel of Thomas, were most likely written in Syria. It is doubtful, however, whether it was originally composed in Aramaic and then translated into Greek, although many of the sayings, like the oldest sayings of the canonical gospels, were certainly first circulated in Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

A large number of the sayings of The Gospel of Thomas have parallels in the gospels of the New Testament, in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), as well as the Gospel of John (parallels with the latter are especially striking; cf., e.g., sayings 13, 19, 24, 38, 49, 92). Some of the sayings are known to occur also in noncanonical gospels, especially in the Gospel According to the Hebrews (cf. saying 2) and the Gospel of the Egyptians (cf. saying 22), which are both attested for the second century by Clement of Alexandria (floruit 180–200). However, a direct dependence of The Gospel of Thomas upon another non-canonical gospel is very unlikely. More problematic is the relationship of The Gospel of Thomas to the canonical gospels. Whereas the latter all contain large segments of narrative materials, no traces of such materials are found in the former. Already this makes it unlikely that our document can be considered as an eclectic excerpt from the gospels of the New Testament. If one considers the form and wording of the individual sayings in comparison with the form in which they are preserved in the New Testament, The Gospel of Thomas almost always appears to have preserved a more original form of the traditional saying (in a few instances, where this is not the case, the Coptic translation seems to have been influenced by the translator’s knowledge of the New Testament gospels), or presents versions which are independently based on more original forms. More original and shorter forms are especially evident in the parables of Thomas (cf. sayings 8, 9, 57, 63, 64, 65, 96, cf. 109).

In its literary genre, The Gospel of Thomas is more akin to one of the sources of the canonical gospels, namely the so-called Synoptic Sayings Source (often called “Q” from the German word Quelle, “source”), which was used by both Matthew and Luke. Indeed, many of the sayings found in our document were also parts of this source of the gospels of the New Testament. On the other hand, The Gospel of Thomas also contains quite different older sayings, paralleled in the Gospel of John, in Mark 4:21–25, and even in 1 Corinthians (cf. saying 17 with 1 Co 2:9). Moreover, the sayings about the future coming of the Son of Man, so characteristic for “Q” (cf. Lk 12:8, 10; 17:22, 24, 26), are completely missing. The Gospel of Thomas is, therefore, a closely related but independent collection of sayings. In its most original form, it may well date from the first century (the middle of the first century is usually considered the best date for the composition of “Q”).

Neither the Coptic translation nor the Greek fragments seem to have preserved this gospel in its oldest form. Even the comparison of the extant Coptic and Greek texts demonstrates that the text was subject to change in the process of transmission. The oldest form most likely contained wisdom sayings and eschatological sayings of Jesus, including a number of parables. The sayings of this type, even those which have no parallels in the gospels of the New Testament (especially the parables 97 and 98), may belong to the oldest strata of the tradition. Whereas “Q” emphasized the eschatological expectation of the future coming of the “Kingdom of God,” The Gospel of Thomas in its oldest form, stressed the finding of wisdom, or of the “Kingdom of the Father,” in the knowledge (gnosis) of oneself (cf. saying 3), guided by the sayings of Jesus. This understanding of salvation is similar to that expressed in many passages of the Gospel of John in which the finding of truth and life is bound to the words of Jesus (Jn 6:63; 8:51). The first saying of The Gospel of Thomas states this programmatically: the interpretation of the sayings is identical with the finding of eternal life.

In the further history and growth of The Gospel of Thomas, this wisdom interpretation of the sayings of Jesus is more clearly developed under the influence of gnostic theology, though it is not possible to ascribe the work to any particular gnostic school or sect. The theme of recognizing oneself is further elaborated in sayings (cf. 50, 51) which speak of the knowledge of one’s divine origin which even Adam did not share, although “he came into being from a great power” (saying 85). Salvation is obtained in stripping off everything that is of this world (cf. sayings 21a, 37, 56). The disciples must “pass by” the present corruptible existence (saying 42). The existence of the ideal gnostic disciple is characterized by the term “solitary one,” which describes the one who has left behind everything that binds human beings to the world (cf. sayings 16, 23, 30, and 76). Even women can obtain this goal, if they achieve the “maleness” of the solitary existence (saying 114).


II 32, 10–51, 28

These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus | spoke and which Didymos Judas Thomas wrote down.

(1) And he said, | “Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will | not experience death.”

(2) Jesus said, 15 “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he | finds. When he finds, he will | become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will | be astonished, and he will | rule over the all.”

(3) Jesus said, “If 20 those who lead you say to you, | ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ | then the birds of the sky will precede you. | If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ | then the fish will precede you. 25 Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and | it is outside of you. When you come to | know yourselves, then you will become known, 33 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 5 who are that poverty.”

(4) Jesus said, “The man old in days will not | hestitate to ask | a small child seven | days old about the place of life, and | he will live. For many who are first will become last, 10 and they will become one and the same.”

(5) Jesus said, | “Recognize what is in your (sg.) sight, | and that which is hidden from you (sg.) will become plain | to you (sg.). For there is nothing hidden which will | not become manifest.”

(6) His disciples questioned him 15 and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? | How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? | What diet shall we observe?”

Jesus said, “Do not tell lies,’ | and do not do what you hate, for 20 all things are plain in the sight | of heaven. For nothing hidden will not | become manifest, and nothing covered | will remain without being uncovered.”

(7) Jesus said, | “Blessed is the lion which 25 becomes man when consumed by | man; and cursed is the man | whom the lion consumes, and the | lion becomes man.”

(8) And he said, | “The man is like a wise fisherman 30 who cast his net | into the sea and drew it up | from the sea full of small fish. | Among them the wise fisherman found a fine large fish. | He threw 35 all the small fish 34 back into the sea and chose the large | fish without difficulty. Whoever has ears | to hear, let him hear.”

(9) Jesus said, “Now | the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), 5 and scattered them. Some fell on the road; | the birds came and gathered them up. Others | fell on rock, did not take root | in the soil, and did not produce ears. | And others fell on thorns; 10 they choked the seed(s) and worms ate them. | And others fell on the good soil | and it produced good fruit: | it bore sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure.”

(10) Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon 15 the world, and see, I am guarding it | until it blazes.”

(11) Jesus said, “This heaven will | pass away, and the one above it will pass away. | The dead are not alive, and the living | will not die. In the days when you consumed 20 what is dead, you made it what is alive. | When you come to dwell in the light, | what will you do? On the day when you | were one you became two. But when | you become two, what 25 will you do?”

(12) The disciples said to Jesus, | “We know that you will depart from us. Who is | to be our leader?”

Jesus said to them, | “Wherever you are, you are to | go to James the righteous, 30 for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”

(13) Jesus said | to his disciples, “Compare me to someone and | tell me whom I am like.”

Simon Peter | said to him, “You are like a | righteous angel.”

Matthew said to him, 35 “You are like a wise philosopher.”

Thomas said to him, | “Master, my mouth is wholly incapable | of saying whom you are like.”

Jesus said, 5 “I am not your (sg.) master. Because you (sg.) have drunk, you (sg.) have become intoxicated | from the bubbling spring which I | have measured out.”

And he took him and withdrew | and told him three things. | When Thomas returned to his companions, they asked him, 10 “What did Jesus say to you?”

Thomas said to them, | “If I tell you one of the things | which he told me, you will pick up stones and | throw them at me; a fire will come out of | the stones and burn you up.” 15

(14) Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will | give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you | pray, you will be condemned; and | if you give alms, you will do | harm to your spirits. When you 20 go into any land and | walk about in the districts, if they receive | you, eat what they will set before you, | and heal the sick among them. | For what goes into your mouth 25 will not defile you, but that which | issues from your mouth — it is that which | will defile you.”

(15) Jesus said, “When | you see one who was not born | of woman, prostrate yourselves on 30 your faces and worship him. That one | is your father.”

(16) Jesus said, | “Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast | upon the world. | They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast 35 upon the earth: fire, sword, | and war. For there will be five 36 in a house: three will be against | two, and two against three, the father | against the son, and the son against the father. | And they will stand solitary.” 5

(17) Jesus said, “I shall give you what | no eye has seen and what no | ear has heard and what no hand has touched | and what has never occurred to the human | mind.”

(18) The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell 10 us how our end will be.” |

Jesus said, “Have you discovered, then, | the beginning, that you look for | the end? For where the beginning is, | there will the end be. Blessed is 15 he who will take his place in the beginning; | he will know the end and will not experience | death.”

(19) Jesus said, “Blessed is | he who came into being before he came into being. | If you become my disciples 20 and listen to my words, these stones | will minister to you. | For there are five trees for you in Paradise | which remain undisturbed summer and winter | and whose leaves do not fall. 25 Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death.”

(20) The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell | us what the kingdom of heaven is | like.”

He said to them, “it is like | a mustard seed. It is the smallest of 30 all seeds. But when it | falls on tilled soil, it | produces a great plant and becomes | a shelter for birds of the sky.”

(21) Mary said to Jesus, “Whom are your disciples 35 like?”

He said, “They are like 37 children who have settled in a field | which is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, | they will say, ‘Let us have back our field.’ | They (will) undress in their presence 5 in order to let them have back their field and to give | it back to them. Therefore I say, | if the owner of a house knows that the thief is coming, | he will begin his vigil before he comes and will not | let him dig through into his house of his 10 domain to carry away his goods. You (pl.), | then, be on your guard against the world. Arm | yourselves with great strength | lest the robbers find a way to come | to you, for the difficulty which you expect 15 will (surely) materialize. Let there be | among you a man of understanding. | When the grain ripened, he came quickly | with his sickle in his hand and reaped it. | Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” 20

(22) Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to | his disciples, “These infants being suckled | are like those who enter the | kingdom.”

They said to him, “Shall we then, as children, | enter the kingdom?”

Jesus said to them, 25 “When you make the two one, and | when you make the inside like the outside | and the outside like the inside, and the above | like the below, and when | you make the male and the female one and the same, 30 so that the male not be male nor | the female female; and when you fashione | eyes in place of an eye, and a hand | in place of a hand, and a foot in place | of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; 35 then will you enter [the kingdom].” 38

(23) Jesus said, “I shall choose you, one out | of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand, and | they shall stand as a single one.” |

(24) His disciples said to him, “Show us the place 5 where you are, since it is necessary for us | to seek it.”

He said to them, “Whoever has | ears, let him hear. There is light | within a man of light, | and he lights up the whole world. If he 10 does not shine, he is darkness.”

(25) Jesus said, “Love | your (sg.) brother like your soul, guard him | like the pupil of your eye.”

(26) Jesus said, “You (sg.) see the mote | in your brother’s eye, | but you do not see the beam in your own eye. When 15 you cast the beam out of your own | eye, then you will see clearly to cast the mote | from your brother’s eye.”

(27) <Jesus said,> “If you do not fast | as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. | If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, 20 you will not see the father.”

(28) Jesus said, “I took my place in the midst of the world, | and I appeared to them in flesh. | I found all of them intoxicated; I found none | of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted 25 for the sons of men, because they are blind | in their hearts and do not have sight; | for empty they came into the world, | and empty too they seek to leave the world. | But for the moment they are intoxicated. 30 When they shake off their wine, then they will | repent.”

(29) Jesus said, “If the flesh | came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. | But if spirit came into being because of the body, | it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed 39 at how this great wealth | has made its home in this poverty.”

(30) Jesus said, | “Where there are three gods, | they are gods. Where there are two or one, I 5 am with him.”

(31) Jesus said, “No prophet | is accepted in his own village; no physician heals | those who know him.”

(32) Jesus said, | “A city being built on a high mountain | and fortified cannot fall, 10 nor can it be hidden.”

(33) Jesus said, “Preach from your (pl.) housetops | that which you (sg.) will | hear in your (sg.) ear. | For no one lights a lamp and | puts it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a 15 hidden place, but rather he sets it on a lampstand | so that everyone who enters | and leaves will see its | light.”

(34) Jesus said, “If a blind man leads | a blind man, they will both fall 20 into a pit.”

(35) Jesus said, “It is not possible | for anyone to enter the house of a strong man | and take it by force unless he binds | his hands; then he will (be able to) ransack | his house.”

(36) Jesus said, “Do not be concerned from 25 morning until evening and from evening | until morning about what you will wear.” | (37)

(37) His disciples said, “When | will you become revealed to us and when | shall we see you?”

Jesus said, “When 30 you disrobe without being | ashamed and take up your garments | and place them under your feet | like little children and | tread on them, then [will you see] 40 the son of the living one, and you will not be | afraid.”

(38) Jesus said, “Many times have you | desired to hear these words which | I am saying to you, and you have 5 no one else to hear them from. There will be days | when you will look for me and | will not find me.”

(39) Jesus said, “The pharisees | and the scribes have taken the keys | of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, 10 nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. | You, however, be as wise | as serpents and as innocent as | doves.”

(40) Jesus said, “A grapevine has been | planted outside of the father, but being 15 unsound, it will be pulled up by its roots and | destroyed.”

(41) Jesus said, “Whoever has something in his | hand will receive more, and whoever has nothing | will be deprived of even the little he has.”

(42) Jesus said, “Become passers-by.” 20

(43) His disciples said to him, | “Who are you, that you should say these things to us?”

<Jesus said to them,> “You do not realize who I am | from what I say to you, | but you have become like | the Jews, for they (either) love the tree and hate 25 its fruit (or) love the fruit | and hate the tree.”

(44) Jesus said, “Whoever | blasphemes against the father will be forgiven, and | whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, | but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit 30 will not be forgiven either on earth | or in heaven.”

(45) Jesus said, “Grapes are not harvested | from thorns, nor are figs gathered | from thistles, for they do not produce fruit. | A good man brings forth 41 good from his storehouse; an evil | man brings forth evil things from | his evil storehouse, which is in his heart, and | says evil things. For out of 5 the abundance of the heart he brings forth evil | things.”

(46) Jesus said, “Among those born of women, | from Adam until John | the Baptist, there is no one so superior to John the Baptist | that his eyes should not be lowered (before him). 10 Yet I have said, whichever one of you | comes to be a child will be acquainted with the kingdom | and will become superior to John.”

(47) Jesus said, | “It is impossible for a man to mount two horses | or to stretch two bows. And it is impossible 15 for a servant to serve two masters; | otherwise, he will honor the one | and treat the other contemptuously. No man drinks old wine | and immediately desires to drink new wine. | And new wine is not put into old wineskins, 20 lest they burst; nor | is old wine put into a new wineskin, lest | it spoil it. An old patch is not sewn into a new garment, | because a tear would result.”

(48) Jesus said, “If two make peace with 25 each other in this one house, they will say | to the mountain, ‘Move away,’ and it will move | away.

(49) Jesus said, “Blessed are the | solitary and elect, for you will | find the kingdom. For you are from it, 30 and to it you will return.”

(50) Jesus said, “If they say to you, | ‘Where did you come from?’, say to them, | ‘We came from the light, the place | where the light came into being on 35 its own accord and established [itself] 42 and became manifest through their image.’ | If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’, say, | ‘We are its children, and we are the elect | of the living father.’ If they ask you, 5 ‘What is the sign of your father in | you?’, say to them, ‘It is movement and | repose.’ ”

(51) His disciples said to him, | “When will the repose of | the dead come about, and when 10 will the new world come?”

He said to them, | “What you look forward to has already come, but | you do not recognize it.”

(52) His disciples said to him, “Twenty-four | prophets spoke in Israel, 15 and all of them spoke in you.” |

He said to them, “You have omitted the one living in | your presence and have spoken (only) of the | dead.”

(53) His disciples said to him, | “Is circumcision beneficial or not?”

He said 20 to them, “If it were beneficial, their father | would beget them already circumcised from their mother. | Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has | become completely profitable.”

(54) Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor, | for yours is the kingdom of heaven.” 25

(55) Jesus said, “Whoever does not hate his father | and his mother cannot become a disciple to me. | And whoever does not hate his brothers and | sisters and take up his cross in my way | will not be worthy of me.” 30

(56) Jesus said, “Whoever has come to understand the world has found (only) a | corpse, and whoever has found a corpse | is superior to the world.”

(57) Jesus said, “The kingdom of the father is like | a man who had [good] seed. 35 His enemy came by night 43 and sowed weeds among the good seed. | The man did not allow them to pull up | the weeds; he said to them, ‘I am afraid that | you will go intending to pull up the weeds 5 and pull up the wheat along with them.’ | For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be plainly visible, | and they will be pulled up and burned.”

(58) Jesus said, | “Blessed is the man who has suffered | and found life.”

(59) Jesus said, “Take heed of the 10 living one while you are alive, lest you die | and seek to see him and be unable | to do so.”

(60) <They saw> a Samaritan carrying | a lamb on his way to Judea. | He said to his disciples, “That man is round about the 15 lamb.”

They said to him, “So that he may | kill it and eat it.”

He said to them, “While | it is alive, he will not eat it, but only when he has | killed it and it has become a corpse.”

They said to him, | “He cannot do so otherwise.”

He said to them, 20 “You too, look for a | place for yourselves within repose, | lest you become a corpse and be | eaten.”

(61) Jesus said, “Two will rest | on a bed: the one will die, and the other 25 will live.”

Salome said, “Who are you, | man, that you … have come up on | my couch and eaten from my | table?”

Jesus said to her, “I am he | who exists from the undivided. 30 I was given some of the things of my father.”

< … > “I | am your disciple.”

< … > “Therefore I say, | if he is destroyed he will be filled | with light, but if he is | divided, he will be filled with darkness.”

(62) Jesus said, It 35 is to those [who are worthy of 44 my] mysteries that I tell my mysteries. Do not let your (sg.) left hand know | what your (sg.) right hand is doing.”

(63) Jesus said, | There was a rich man who had | much money. He said, ‘I shall put 5 my money to use so that I may sow, reap, | plant, and fill my storehouse with produce, | with the result that I shall lack nothing.’ Such were | his intentions, but | that same night he died. Let him who has ears 10 hear.”

(64) Jesus said, “A man | had received visitors. And when he had prepared | the dinner, he sent his servant to | invite the guests. He went to | the first one and said to him, ‘My master invites 15 you.’ He said, ‘I have claims | against some merchants. They are coming to me this evening. | I must go and give them my orders. I ask to be excused | from the dinner.’ He went to another | and said to him, ‘My master has invited you.’ 20 He said to him, ‘I have just bought a house and | am required for the day. I shall not have any spare time.’ | He went to another and said to him, ‘My master | invites you.’ He said to him, ‘My friend | is going to get married, and I am to prepare the banquet. 25 I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused from the dinner.’ | He went to another and said to him, ‘My master | invites you.’ He said to him, ‘I have just bought | a farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. | I ask to be excused.’ The servant returned and said 30 to his master, ‘Those whom you invited to | the dinnerhave asked to be excused.’ The master said to | his servant, ‘Go outside to the streets | and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that | they may dine.’ Businessmen and merchants 35 [will] not enter the places of my father.” 45

(65) He said, “There was a good man who owned | a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers | so that they might work it and he might collect the produce | from them. He sent his servant so that 5 the tenants might give him the produce of | the vineyard. They seized his servant | and beat him, all but killing him. | The servant went back and told his master. | The master said, ‘Perhaps he did not recognize them.’ 10 He sent another servant. The tenants beat | this one as well. Then the owner sent | his son and said, ‘Perhps they will show respect | to my son.’ Because the tenants | knew that it was he who was the heir 15 to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. | Let him who has ears hear.” |

(66) Jesus said, “Show me the stone which | the builders have rejected. That one is the | cornerstone.”

(67) Jesus said, “If one who knows the all 20 still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient.”

(68) Jesus said, “Blessed are you when | you are hated and persecuted. | Wherever you have been persecuted | they will find no place.” 25

(69) Jesus said, “Blessed are they who have been persecuted | within themselves. It is they | who have truly come to know the father. | Blessed are the hungry, for | the belly of him who desires will be filled.”

(70) Jesus said, 30 “That which you have will save you | if you bring it forth from yourselves. | That which you do not have within you [will] kill you | if you do not have it within you.”

(71) Jesus said, “I shall [destroy this] house, 35 and no one will be able to build it […]” 46

(72) [A man said] to him, “Tell my brothers | to divide my father’s possessions | with me.”

He said to him, “O man, who | has made me a divider?”

He turned to 5 his disciples and said to them, “I am not a divider, | am 1?”

(73) Jesus said, “The harvest | is great but the laborers are few. | Beseech the lord, therefore, to send out laborers | to the harvest.”

(74) He said, “O lord, there are 10 many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in | the cistern.”

(75) Jesus said, “Many are standing | at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter | the bridal chamber.”

(76) Jesus said, | “The kingdom of the father is like a 15 merchant who had a consignment of merchandise | and who discovered a pearl. That merchant | was shrewd. He sold the merchandise | and bought the pearl alone for himself. | You too, seek 20 his unfailing and enduring treasure | where no moth comes near | to devour and no worm destroys.”

(77) Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above | them all. It is I who am the all. 25 From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all | extend. Split a piece of wood, and I | am there. Lift up the stone, and you will | find me there.”

(78) Jesus said, “Why | have you come out into the desert? To see a reed 30 shaken by the wind? And to see | a man clothed in fine garments | [like your] kings and your great 47 men? Upon them are the fine garments, | and they are unable to discern | the truth.”

(79) A woman from the crowd said to him, | “Blessed are the womb which 5 bore you and the breasts which | nourished you.”

He said to [her], | “Blessed are those who have heard | the word of the father and have truly kept it. | For there will be days 10 when you (pl.) will say, ‘Blessed are the womb | which has not conceived and the breasts which have not | given milk.’”

(80) Jesus said, “He who has recognized | the world has found the body, but he who has found | the body is superior to the world.” 15

(81) Jesus said, “Let him who has grown rich | be king, and let him who possesses power | renounce it.”

(82) Jesus said, “He who is near | me is near the fire, and he who is far | from me is far from the kingdom.”

(83) Jesus said, 20 “The images are manifest to man, | but the light in them remains concealed | in the image of the light of the father. He will | become manifest, but his image will remain concealed | by his light.”

(84) Jesus said, 25 “When you see your likeness, you | rejoice. But when you see | your images which came into being before you, | and which neither die nor become manifest, | how much you will have to bear!”

(85) Jesus said, 30 “Adam came into being from a great | power and a great wealth, | but he did not become worthy of you. | For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have experienced] | death.”

(86) Jesus said, “[The foxes 48 have their holes] and the birds have their | nests, but the son of man | has no place to lay his head and | rest.”

(87) Jesus said, “Wretched 5 is the body that is dependent upon a body, | and wretched is the soul that is dependent | on these two.”

(88) Jesus said, “The angels | and the prophets will come to you and | give to you those things you (already) have. And 10 you too, give them those things which you have, | and say to yourselves, ‘When | i will they come and take what is theirs?’”

(89) Jesus said, “Why do you wash the outside | of the cup? Do you not realize that 15 he who made the inside is the same one | who made the outside?”

(90) Jesus said, | “Come unto me, for my yoke is easy | and my lordship is mild, | and you will find repose for 20 yourselves.”

(91) They said to him, “Tell us | who you are so that we may believe in you.” |

He said to them, “You read the face of the sky | and of the earth, but you have not recognized | the one who is before you, and 25 you do not know how to read this moment.”

(92) Jesus said, “Seek and you will find. Yet, what | you asked me about in former times and which I did not | tell you then, now | I do desire to tell, but you do not inquire after 30 it.”

(93) <Jesus said,> “Do not give what is holy to dogs, lest | they throw them on the dung heap. Do not throw the | pearls [to] swine, lest they … it | […].”

(94) Jesus [said], “He who seeks will find, | and [he who knocks] will be let in.” 35

(95) [Jesus said], “If you have money, 49 do not lend it at interest, but give [it] to one | from whom you will not get it back.”

(96) Jesus said, | “The kingdom of the father is like [a certain] woman. She | took a little leaven, [concealed] it in 5 some dough, and made it into large loaves. | Let him who has ears hear.”

(97) Jesus said, “The kingdom of the [father] is like | a certain woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking [on the] road, 10 still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke | and the meal emptied out behind her [on] the road. | She did not realize it; she had noticed no | accident. When she reached her house, | she set the jar down and found it 15 empty.”

(98) Jesus said, “The kingdom of the father | is like a certain man who wanted to kill | a powerful man. In his own house he drew | his sword and stuck it into the wall | in order to find out whether his hand could carry through. 20 Then he slew the powerful man.”

(99) The disciples said to him, “Your brothers | and your mother are standing outside.’ |

He said to them, “Those here | who do the will of my father are 25my brothers and my mother. It is they who will | enter the kingdom of my father.”

(100) They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, | “Caesar’s men demand taxes from us.” |

He said to them, “Give Caesar what belongs 30 to Caesar, give God what belongs to God, | and give me what is mine.”

(101) <Jesus said,> “Whoever does not hate his [father] and his | mother as I do cannot become a [disciple] to me. | And whoever does [not] love his [father and] his 35 mother as I do cannot become a [disciple to] | me. For my mother […], 50 but [my] true [mother] gave me life.”

(102) Jesus said, “Woe to the pharisees, for | they are like a dog sleeping in the | manger of oxen, for neither does he eat 5 nor does he [let] the oxen eat.”

(103) Jesus said, | “Fortunate is the man who knows | where the brigands will enter, | so that [he] may get up, muster his | domain, and arm himself 10 before they invade.”

(104) They said to Jesus, “Come, let us pray today | and let us fast.”

Jesus said, “What | is the sin that I have committed, or wherein have I been defeated? | But when the bridegroom leaves 15 the bridal chamber, then let them | fast and pray.”

(105) Jesus said, | “He who knows the father and the mother will be called | the son of a harlot.”

(106) Jesus said, | “When you make the two one, you will become 20 the sons of man, and when you | say, ‘Mountain, move away,’ it will | move away.’”

(107) Jesus said, “The kingdom is like | a shepherd who had a hundred | sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. 25 He left the ninety-nine and looked for that one | until he found it. When he had gone to such trouble, he said | to the sheep, ‘I care for you more than the ninety-nine.’”

(108) Jesus said, “He who will drink from my mouth | will become like me. I myself shall become 30 he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.”

(109) Jesus said, “The kingdom is like a man | who had a | [hidden] treasure in his field without knowing it. | And [after] he died, he left it to his 35 [son]. The son [did] not know (about the treasure). He inherited 51 the field and sold [it]. And the one who bought it | went plowing and [found] the treasure. | He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished.”

(110) Jesus said, “Whoever finds the world 5 and becomes rich, let him renounce the world.”

(111) Jesus said, “The heavens and the earth will be rolled up | in your presence. And the one who lives from | the living one will not see death.” Does not Jesus | say, “Whoever finds himself 10 is superior to the world”?

(112) Jesus said, “Woe | to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe | to the soul that depends on the flesh.”

(113) His disciples said to him, | “When will the kingdom come?”

<Jesus said,> “It will not come by 15 waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘here | it is’ or ‘there it is’. Rather, the kingdom | of the father is spread out upon the earth, and | men do not see it.”

(114) Simon Peter said | to them, “Let Mary leave us, 20 for women are not worthy of life.”

Jesus said, | “I myself shall lead her | in order to make her male, so that | she too may become a living spirit resembling | you males. For every woman who will make herself 25 male will enter the kingdom | of heaven.” |

The Gospel |

According to Thomas

| Small strokes above the line indicate line divisions. Every fifth line a small number is inserted in place of a stroke; the frequency of these numbers, however, may vary in tractates which are quite fragmentary. A new page is indicated with a number in bold type. When the beginning of a new line or page coincides with the opening of a paragraph, the line divider or number is placed at the end of the previous paragraph.

( Parentheses indicate material supplied by the editor or translator. Although this material may not directly reflect the text being translated, it provides useful information for the reader.

[ Square brackets indicate a lacuna in the manuscript. When the text cannot be reconstructed, three dots are placed within the brackets, regardless of the size of the lacuna; a fourth dot, if appropriate, may function as a period. An exception to this rule is the occasional use of a different number of dots to estimate the extent of the missing portion of a proper noun. In a few instances the dots are used without brackets to indicate a series of Coptic letters which do not constitute a translatable sense unit. A bracket is not allowed to divide a word, except for a hyphenated word or a proper noun. Other words are placed entirely inside or outside the brackets, depending on the certainty of the Coptic word and the number of Coptic letters visible.

< Pointed brackets indicate a correction of a scribal omission or error. The translator has either inserted letters unintentionally omitted by the scribe, or replaced letters erroneously inserted with what the scribe presumably intended to write.

Robinson, James McConkey ; Smith, Richard ; Coptic Gnostic Library Project: The Nag Hammadi Library in English. 4th rev. ed. Leiden; New York : E.J. Brill, 1996, S. 124


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