There are Two Translations-

page w a y down for the second by Nancy Johnson.


The "Scholars' Translation" of the Gospel of Thomas

by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.

1 And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."

2 Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"

3 Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) 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. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

4 Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.

For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."

5 Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.

For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised."]

6 His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"

Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

7 Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."

8 And he said, The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!

9 Jesus said, Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.

10 Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm 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. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

12 The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

13 Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."

Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."

Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."

Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."

Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."

And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"

Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."

14 Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.

When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.

After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."

15 Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."

16 Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to casy peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.

For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.

17 Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."

18 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"

Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.

Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."

19 Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.

If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.

For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."

20 The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."

He said to them, It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.

21 Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?"

He said, They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. when the owners of the field come, they will say, "Give us back our field." They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.

For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.

As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.

Let there be among you a person who understands.

When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!

22 Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom."

They said to him, "Then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?"

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."

23 Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."

24 His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it."

He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark."

25 Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."

26 Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."

27 "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."

28 Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.

But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."

29 Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels.

Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty."

30 Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."

31 Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't cure those who know them."

32 Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."

33 Jesus said, "What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.

After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light."

34 Jesus said, "If a blind person leads a bind person, both of them will fall into a hole."

35 Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house."

36 Jesus said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food--what you're going to eat, or about your clothing--] what you are going to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.

As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]"

37 His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"

Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."

38 Jesus said, "Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me."

39 Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.

As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."

40 Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."

41 Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."

42 Jesus said, "Be passersby."

43 His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?"

"You don't understand who I am from what I say to you.

Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but 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 will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven."

45 Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.

Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."

46 Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.

But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the kingdom and will become greater than John."

47 Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.

And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.

"Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.

An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear."

48 Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."

49 Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."

50 Jesus said,

"If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'

If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'

If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

51 His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?"

He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."

52 His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."

He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."

53 His disciples said to him, "is circumcision useful or not?"

He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."

54 Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."

55 Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."

56 Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy."

57 Jesus said, The Father's kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, "No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them." For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned.

58 Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life."

59 Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

60 He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea. He said to his disciples, "that person ... around the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass."

They said, "Otherwise he can't do it."

He said to them, "So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten."

61 Jesus said, "Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live."

Salome said, "Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone."

Jesus said to her, "I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father."

"I am your disciple."

"For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."

62 Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries.

Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."

63 Jesus said, There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, "I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing." These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!

64 Jesus said, A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests. The slave went to the first and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said, "Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master has invited you." That one said to the slave, "I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said to the slave, "My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner." The slave went to another and said to that one, "My master invites you." That one said to the slave, "I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me." The slave returned and said to his master, "Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused." The master said to his slave, "Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner."

Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father.

65 He said, A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, "Perhaps he didn't know them." He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, "Perhaps they'll show my son some respect." Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!

66 Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."

67 Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."

68 Jesus said, "Congratulations to you when you are hated and persecuted;

and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted."

69 Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father.

Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."

70 Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

71 Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."

72 A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."

He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?"

He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"

73 Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

74 He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."

75 Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite."

76 Jesus said, The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a peal. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.

So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."

77 Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.

Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

78 Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."

79 A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you."

He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'"

80 Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy."

81 Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce ."

82 Jesus said, "Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom."

83 Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."

84 Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear!"

85 Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have tasted] death."

86 Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest."

87 Jesus said, "How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two."

88 Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'"

89 Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?"

90 Jesus said, "Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves."

91 They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."

He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment.

92 Jesus said, "Seek and you will find.

In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them."

93 "Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs, or they might ... it [...]."

94 Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find, and for [one who knocks] it will be opened."

95 [Jesus said], "If you have money, don't lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back."

96 Jesus [said], The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!

97 Jesus said, The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.

98 Jesus said, The Father's kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one.

99 The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside."

He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's kingdom."

100 They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us."

He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."

101 "Whoever does not hate [father] and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my mother [...], but my true [mother] gave me life."

102 Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."

103 Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."

104 They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast."

Jesus said, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then let people fast and pray."

105 Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."

106 Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."

107 Jesus said, The kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety- nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety- nine.'

108 Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

109 Jesus said, The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished.

110 Jesus said, "Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world."

111 Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death."

Does not Jesus say, "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?

112 Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh."

113 His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"

"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."

[Saying added to the original collection at a later date:] 114 Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life." Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."

Scholars Version translation of the Gospel of Thomas taken from *The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version.* Copyright 1992, 1994 by Polebridge Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Wisdom and Thomas In this chapter and the next I shall try to clarify the basic underlying modes of thought present in the Gospel of Thomas. I shall do this first by considering the set of ideas within Thomas itself through the use of logia to comment upon logia and, second, by situating Thomas' ideas in relation to the Judaism of the intertestamental period (including, of course, texts written at an earlier date but in use during that period). I adopt the premise that Thomas contains a set of comprehensible ideas. Thomas' logia are divided by modern editors on the basis of the words "Jesus said," or "His disciples said to him," and similar phrases. This is convenient, but Thomas contains many more sayings than the 114 usually numbered and it will not infrequently be necessary to refer to logia as, for example, 3a and 3b when two conjoined sayings have been given but one number. For convenience I shall refer to "Thomas" as a person and author instead of employing the more awkward "author or editor of these sayings," just as one might refer to "Matthew" as the author of the book bearing that name. The first logion introduced by "Jesus said," is 2: "The one who seeks must not cease seeking until he finds, and when he finds, he shall be troubled, and if he is troubled, he will marvel, and he will rule over all thing" (Oxy. 654 adds "and reigning he will have rest"). The motif of seeking and finding is very frequently encountered in the Gospel of Thomas: 38, "There will be days when you will seek me, and you will not find me"; 92, "Search and you will find ..."; 94, "He who searches, will find. ..." The motif underlies parable 107, "he searched for the one (sheep) until he found it," and is reflected in such sayings as 76 about the merchant who "found a pearl" and the appended saying, "you also must seek for the treasure which does not perish. ..." It occurs in such enigmatic logia as 80, "He who has known the world has found the body, but he who has found the body, the world is not worthy of him"; 49, "Blessed are the solitary and the chosen, because you will find the Kingdom ..."; 27, "If you do not fast (in respect to) the world, you will not find the Kingdom"; and 24, "Show us the place where you are, for it is necessary for us to seek it." The theme of seeking and finding underlies much of Thomas and constitutes one of its most obvious unifying themes. Logion 2 is not, therefore, randomly placed at the beginning of the Gospel of Thomas; it is the definite expression of a theme permeating and unifying the whole text. The theme of seeking and finding is also one of the most common of all motifs in Wisdom literature; Ben Sirach, at the beginning of a distinct unity of material writes, "My son, from your youth up choose instruction, and until you are old you will keep finding wisdom" (6:18). He begins another unit of material with the statement that "Wisdom exalts her sons and gives help to those who seek her. Whoever loves her loves life, and those who seek her early will be filled with joy" (4:11). This theme can be expressed pessimistically or optimistically or both ways in a single text; a Wisdom poem found at Qumran (4Q 185) contains both the line, "they shall seek him but shall not find him," and the line, "seek it and find it, grasp it and possess it! With it is length of days...." In Proverbs, Wisdom says, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me" (8:17), as well as "they will seek me diligently but will not find me" (1:28). Koheleth writes, "I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things... Behold, this is what I found, says the Preacher, adding one thing to another to find the sum, which my mind has sought repeatedly, but I have not found" (7:25,28). Thomas Logion 2 and the other seeking and finding sayings associated with it have a background which is solidly within the Wisdom tradition. This is not a simple convergence of terminology. Thomas Logion 38, "There will be days when you will seek me, and you will not find me," is derived directly from Prov. 1:28 (quoted above). It is significant that Thomas Logion 2, the first of the sayings of Jesus, holds that initial position. A unit of material in Ben Sirach begins the same way, with reference to seeking, "While I was still young, before I went on my travels, I sought wisdom openly in my prayer. Before the temple I asked for her, and I will search for her to the last" (51:13--14). The Wisdom of Solomon also uses seeking and finding sayings as introductions: "Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth, think of the Lord with uprightness, and seek him with sincerity of heart; because he is found by those who do not put him to the test and manifests himself to those who do not distrust him." (1:1--2) The second major section of the Wisdom of Solomon begins at 6:1 with a series of introductory sentences in which the author describes his audiences. Having done so, he begins his discourse: "Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates." (6:12--14) The author of the Wisdom of Solomon, in introducing his material with the admonition to seek and to find, stands in a tradition where that theme is common and important. Thomas stands squarely in that tradition as well. We can see, then, that not only is the general format of the Gospel of Thomas *logoi sophon,* and therefore implicitly within the Wisdom tradition, but also that the first saying in Thomas introduced by "Jesus said" is typical of introductory sayings in later Wisdom literature. There are other sections of Thomas which are similarly introduced (see Appendix I). Thomas' major theme of seeking and finding is common throughout the Wisdom tradition. Unless there is good evidence to the contrary, when the Gospel of Thomas logia speak of seeking and finding, the quest and discovery will probably be of Wisdom, the Wisdom of God. Logion 2 states that "finding" results in the following conditions: being troubled, marveling, ruling, and (Oxy. 654) rest. The first two of these, being troubled and marveling, have no overt theological overtones, although it is worth notice that one who is troubled is not enjoying the *instantaneous* awakening and *immediate* recognition and joy that are a prominent motif in the Gospel of Truth and related literature. "Rest" and "reign" are theologically loaded terms. Rest, *anapausis,* is used in the Wisdom of Solomon to describe the condition of the righteous man after death: "But the righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest" (4:7). Immortality is the reward of the righteous man in the Wisdom of Solomon; in reference to Wisdom its author writes "because of her I shall have immortality... when I enter my house, I shall find rest with her" (8:13,16). And further, "but the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace *(anapausis).* For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality" (3:1--4). The parallel structure in these passages implies that rest and immortality are equivalent terms. Ben Sirach also regards rest as a reward of Wisdom, "for at last you will find the rest *(anapausin)* she gives" (7:28). Further, in Ben Sirach, we find a passage (reminiscent of Matt. 11:29--30 which is parallel to Thomas 90) related to rest, "Put your neck under the yoke, and let your souls receive instruction; it is to be found close by. See with your eyes that I have labored little and found for myself much rest" (51:26-- 27). The occurrence of the word "rest" in Logion 2 is entirely in accord with this tradition. Because Logion 2 follows upon Logion 1, this situates the Gospel of Thomas, in respect to the conjunction of immortality and rest, in the thought-world of the Jewish Wisdom tradition. "He who finds me," says Wisdom in Proverbs, "finds life" (8:35) and in a passage similar to Thomas 1 and 2 we read in Proverbs, "My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them in your heart. For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh" (4:20--22). The idea that one who finds Wisdom will "reign" is also common in the Wisdom tradition. Ben Sirach, for instance, says that "her fetters will become for you a strong protection, and her collar a glorious robe. Her yoke is a golden ornament, and her bonds are a cord of blue. You will wear her like a glorious robe, and put her on like a crown of gladness" (7:29--31). "It is the glory of God," begins a saying in Proverbs, "to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search thins out" (25:2). For king we may, presumably, read "the wise," for it was an ideal of the Wisdom tradition that the wise man should try to discern hidden truth. An author of proverbs writes, "if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom ..." (2:4--6). Ben Sirach says: "hidden wisdom and unseen treasure, what advantage is there in either of them?" (41:14). It is "the glory of kings" to find this treasure, thus to become rich and thus to reign. In the Wisdom of Solomon the ideas of reigning and immortality are combined: "The beginning of wisdom is the most sincere desire for instruction, and concern for instruction is love of her, and love of her is the keeping of her laws, and giving heed to her laws is assurance of immortality, and immortality brings one near to God; so the desire for wisdom leads to a kingdom." (6:17--20) We need not read too much into the idea that the wise shall reign, although this may have given rise to Thomas' theme that discovery of Wisdom is the discovery of the Kingdom. Reigning is a metaphor for one who has discovered Wisdom; it is no more to be taken literally than is the idea of the discovery of hidden Wisdom as buried treasure. It is a term used to commend Wisdom; pseudo- Solomon's book was no more written for an audience of actual kings than it was written by King Solomon. The Gospel of Thomas Logion 2 is in essence a brief summary of some leading ideas of the Wisdom tradition especially as exemplified by the Wisdom of Solomon. One who finds Wisdom will rest and will reign. Logion 3 of the Gospel of Thomas is very important for an understanding of the whole text. Through analysis of it we can gain insight into such key motifs as "the Kingdom," "poverty," and the possibility of being "sons of the living Father." Logion 3 has two parts which were conjoined by the compiler of Thomas so that the second could comment on and explicate the first. We will discuss Logion 3b later; Logion 3a is as follows: "If the ones who lead you say, "There is the kingdom, in heaven," then the birds will go first before you into heaven. If they say to you, "It is in the sea," then the fish shall go before you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and outside you." [The clause "and outside you" is missing in Oxy. Pap. 654.] This logion has a long and complex history in Jewish written tradition. It is, in effect, a midrash on Deut. 30:10--15 which reads as follows: "This commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?" Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?" But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. "See, I have set before you this day life and good or death and evil." The enigmatic reference in Thomas to something "within you" ultimately derives from this source. In Deuteronomy the "commandment" is within one's heart as well as upon one's lips. Paul wrote a midrash on this passage in Rom. 10:5--10. "Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, "Who will ascend into heaven?" (that is, to bring Christ down) or "Who will descend into the abyss?" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Although the Pauline interpretation here is utterly distinct from the interpretation in Thomas, Paul's midrash is evidence for very early Christian interest in this passage. The commandment of which Deuteronomy speaks is said to govern the choice between life and death, good and evil. What is this commandment? Apparently it is both obedience to the statutes of the law and turning back to the Lord God. That this is a matter of life and death is as explicit in the Deuteronomy passage as it is in Logion 1 of Thomas. The passage in Thomas 3a does not stem directly from a reading of Deut. 30:10--15. Rather, the logion in Thomas derives from a midrashic tradition already well developed in Wisdom circles. The oldest surviving midrash on this passage is probably the poem added to the text of Job at Chapter 28: " But where shall wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? Man does not know the way to it, and it is not found in the land of the living. The deep says, "It is not in me," and the sea says, "It is not with me." It cannot be gotten for gold, and silver cannot be weighed as its price. (28:12--15) Whence then comes wisdom? And where is the place of understanding? It is hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death say, "We have heard a rumor of it with our ears." God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. for he looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight, and meted out the waters by measure; when he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder; then he saw it and declared it; he established it and searched it out." (28:20--27) What was called the "commandment" in Deuteronomy is here called Wisdom. Job speaks pessimistically of the possibility of finding Wisdom. This pessimism is fairly common in earlier Wisdom texts, where one often encounters the idea that Wisdom, ignored or rejected by mankind, has hidden herself (cf. Prov. 1:20--28). In Job, Wisdom is not absent from the ocean or from the heavens, but it is unrecognized by those realms. It is priceless. It has its source in God and was present at creation, which is explicitly given as the time when God fathomed the depths of Wisdom. combined here are the ideas of Wisdom's presence at the time of creation and a present-day ignorance of Wisdom on the part of creation. According to Gerhard Von Rad, "This wisdom is to be found somewhere in the world; it is there, but incapable of being grasped. If it were not inside the world, then [Job's] references to men digging through the earth would be meaningless. On the other hand--- and this is admittedly remarkable---it is also again something separate from the works of creation. This `wisdom,' this `understanding' must, therefore, signify something like the `meaning' implanted by God in creation, the divine mystery of creation. [Gerhard von Rad, *Wisdom in Israel* (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1972), p. 148.] As we shall see, Thomas too has the idea that there is, upon the earth, hidden meaning which is capable of being discerned. This tradition of midrash continues in Bar. 3:29---4:1, "Who has gone up into heaven, and taken her, and brought her down from the clouds? Who has gone over the sea, and found her, and will buy her for pure gold? No one knows the way to her, or is concerned about the path to her. But he who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures; he who sends forth the light and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear... He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved. Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men. She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures forever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die. Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light." This passage is somewhat more optimistic than the one in Job. Paul's midrash in Rom. 10:5--10 may have reference to it. Wisdom is not found by crossing the sea or going up to the heavens but is to be found on earth. Like the one in Job, this passage discusses the present existence of Wisdom in reference to that crucial time of the beginning when God first sent forth the light. Wisdom is present as Torah where the wise and law abiding are, or so I would interpret Wisdom's living among men. In Baruch's opinion, Wisdom is Torah. Man faces a life or death decision regarding his response to this Wisdom. Ben Sirach, who is roughly contemporary with Baruch, writes: "All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him for ever. The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity---who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss and wisdom---who can search them out? Wisdom was created before all things, and prudent understanding from eternity. The root of wisdom--- to whom has it been revealed? Her clever devices-- -who knows them? There is One who is wise, greatly to be feared, sitting upon his throne. The Lord himself created wisdom; he saw her and apportioned her, he poured her out upon all his works. She dwells with all flesh according to his gift, and he supplied her to those who love him... To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; she is created with the faith in the womb." (1:1--10,14) The same general themes are present here as in the previously quoted material. Reference to the futility of going to the heavens or across the sea has become a reference to the inability of persons to number and measure the things of creation. The presence of Wisdom at the beginning and God's knowledge of Wisdom again are stressed. Ben Sirach regards Wisdom as given to mankind and not, as with Baruch, specifically to Israel alone. In fact, Wisdom is said here to be infused in *all* of God's works. Logion 3a of Thomas stands in this tradition but it does not use the same language. That which is not to be sought in heaven or in the sea is called "Kingdom," not "Wisdom." That which is within a person is called "Kingdom," not "Wisdom" and not "the commandment." In Thomas 113 it is Kingdom not Wisdom which is spread out upon the earth and unseen by mankind. When the hidden treasure is found, in Thomas, it is the Kingdom. The identification of Kingdom and Wisdom is one key to the interpretation of the Gospel of Thomas. This identification can be confirmed (as far as any such proposition can ever be confirmed) if Kingdom logia in Thomas which are otherwise obscure become comprehensible as sayings about Wisdom. The use of Kingdom for Wisdom is certainly *not* a feature of traditional Jewish Wisdom literature; it is a new move, a creative shift of the tradition. Jacob, in the Wisdom of Solomon, is shown by Wisdom "the Kingdom of God and she gave him knowledge of holy things" (10:10), but this is not yet an identification of Wisdom herself with Kingdom. The term Kingdom carries with it apocalyptic connotations, and these are not absent from the Gospel of Thomas. The term Kingdom can imply the reign of God on earth, the arrival of the eschaton, the salvation of the elect, and a return of the initial Paradise of Adam. These ideas are not foreign to Thomas although in Thomas they are present possibilities and not future events. If Thomas is using the apocalyptic term Kingdom (with associated connotations) for Wisdom (in a context of the Wisdom tradition), then Thomas stands at the juncture of Wisdom and apocalyptic. Thomas' standpoint could be termed "realized eschatology," for the revelation of God's Wisdom and God's Kingdom are now at hand for those who can discern them. The statement in Thomas Logion 3a that the Kingdom is within you should be interpreted in light of the material quoted above from Deuteronomy, Job, Baruch and Ben Sirach. According to Deuteronomy the commandment, which is both obedience to Torah and turning back to God, exists within the heart. It is a possibility inherent in persons which may or may not be actualized. By the time of Baruch this commandment has been identified with the Wisdom which is Torah and this dwells with the collective person Israel. Ben Sirach speaks of Wisdom in another way, as a capacity of the human mind and a force within the world akin to the Greek concept of *logos.* He also claims that persons have Wisdom created with them in their mothers' wombs. This is not, of course, to say that all human beings are inherently wise; it is to say that all have the capacity to choose to become wise and it is Wisdom within which is that capacity. One ought not look to the heavens and the seas to find Wisdom without actualizing the capacity that is within oneself. This seems to be the message of Thomas 3a. The second section of that logion, 3b, correlates with this message. Thomas 3a concludes, "the kingdom is within you and outside you," and 3b picks up with "if you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are sons of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty and you are poverty." This set of alternatives refers to the choice persons have of actualizing or utilizing what is "within" them. According to Deut. 30:10--15 one chooses life by knowing the commandment which is within oneself. According to Ben Sirach, Wisdom is within one from birth. Thomas, then, offers the alternative of knowing or actualizing what is within one or failing to do so. The successful can e called sons of the living Father, and those who fail can be said to be in poverty, indeed, to be poverty. Poverty is, obviously,t he condition of the absence of wealth; wealth, riches, and treasure are common metaphors for the presence of Wisdom. As Proverbs says, "long life is in her right hand, in her left hand are riches and honor" (3:16). To be poor is not to have this. A wise person has found the Wisdom of God by means of the Wisdom created with him in the womb; a foolish person has failed to find Wisdom despite the Wisdom within. The demand in Thomas 3 to know oneself, i.e., to know the Kingdom within one, means that the inherent component of Kingdom or Wisdom within one cannot be in and of itself sufficient for "finding"; it is a beginning, an inherent capacity which leads "outside" as well; self-knowledge is *not* sufficient for salvation in Thomas. Nor can one find Wisdom or Kingdom by looking outside oneself without utilizing one's given internal capacity. The commandment, Wisdom, and the Kingdom are all said to be within; both Wisdom and the Kingdom are also outside and this is reflected in Thomas' Logion 113, "The Kingdom of the Father is spread out on the earth.' Wisdom, according to Ben Sirach, is not only created in the womb with human beings, it is also infused in all of God's works (1:9). According to the Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom "pervades and penetrates all things" (7:24). The seeking of Wisdom, or Kingdom, begins (as in Logion 3) with discovery of what is within one, but this does not complete the task; one must also find what is outside, one must discover that the Kingdom is spread out upon the earth, or that Wisdom is infused into all the things created by God through Wisdom. Thomas stands in the tradition of ideas Von Rad calls "the self-revelation of creation." [Ibid.] The discovery of Wisdom or, in Thomas' terms, the Kingdom is possible in the present. Because of the activity of Wisdom in creation, the present discovery of Wisdom has direct reference to the primordial past. This complex use of time categories is reminiscent of Jesus' teachings. Helmut Koester admits that "the Gospel of Thomas does not reveal any acquaintance with either the synoptic apocalypse or Q's Son of man expectation. It does contain, however, a number of apocalyptic sayings. The most conspicuous term in these sayings, as well as in the Gospel of Thomas as a whole, is *kingdom* (Sayings 3, 22, 27, 46, 49, 82, 107, 109, 113), or #kingdom of Heaven* (Sayings 20, 54, 114), or *kingdom of the Father* (Sayings 57, 76, 96, 97, 98, 99, 113). To be sure, these sayings in the Gospel of Thomas almost always show a tendency to emphasize the presence of the kingdom for the believer, rather than its future coming. But it is very questionable, whether such eschatology of the kingdom is a later gnostic spiritualization of early Christian apocalyptic expectation, or rather an interpretation and elaboration of Jesus' most original proclamation... It is quote obvious that Thomas interprets the kingdom's presence in such a way that he eliminates the tension between present and future which characterizes Jesus' proclamation; past and future can become a unity in the present religious experience: Saying 18 "Where the beginning is, there shall be the end. Blessed is he who shall stand at the beginning, and he shall know the end and he shall not taste death." [Koester and Robinson, *Trajectories,* pp. 172--173.] This reference to the past is in accord with Thomas' use of Kingdom for Wisdom; the passages quoted above from Job, Baruch, and Ben Sirach (and examples could be multiplied) show that discovery of Wisdom in the present was also discovery of the creative activity of Wisdom in the primordial past. It is hard to see that Thomas has eliminated a tension present in Jesus' teachings if his proclamation emphasizes the present existence of the Kingdom for the believer; what is eliminated is the future orientation, such as is found in the synoptic apocalypse and Q's Son of Man expectations. "Tension" is undoubtedly present in the New Testament between future orientation and present orientation. But the New Testament is a collection of documents and sources with a wide variety of different views on fundamental matters. There are sources in its stressing future orientation (Mark 13, much of Q, 1 Thessalonians, etc.) and there are sources stressing present orientation (some of Q, much of John, some of Colossians, etc.). Jesus may have taught that the Kingdom is to come or (as I think more likely) that the Kingdom is present. Undoubtedly Jesus was understood differently by different people. The idea that his teaching was characterized by a "tension" such that he somehow taught both positions simultaneously derives from the inability to separate New Testament teachings (where both views are present) from the teachings of Jesus (who most probably held one consistent view). Thomas may or may not be consistent with Jesus' original proclamation, but an absence of "tension" is certainly no evidence that it is not consistent. Thomas Logion 3b states that as a result of knowing oneself, or the Kingdom within oneself, one will be known (which presumably means that one will be known by or acknowledged by God). God will know one, and one will know oneself, to be a "son of the living Father." This idea, that one can be known by God as a son of the Father when one has found Wisdom, is present in the Wisdom of Solomon. There the just and wise man is said to be a "son of God" (5:5), and a "child of the Lord" (2:13), and to say that "God is his Father" (2:16). In the Gospel of Thomas one is not a "son of the living Father" without discovery or transformation of oneself. This is evident in Thomas 3b in that one who fails to do this may remain "in poverty." Logion 3 in the Gospel of Thomas can be read as a development of the tradition of Jewish Wisdom. The one who is wise, who finds wisdom which is the treasure, is known as a "son of the living Father." There is a resemblance to the ideas of Logion 3b in Paul's letter to the Galatians. We shall see in a later chapter that Christian baptism is a rite of substantial importance to the Gospel of Thomas. In Gal. 3:26--29 Paul gives a brief summary of his baptismal theory, including the notion that through baptismal union with Christ persons may be called "sons of God." He continues, in Gal. 4:6-- 9: "And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" So through God you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir. Formerly, when you did not know God, you were in bondage to beings that by nature are no gods; but now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves you want to be once more?" We should point out, at the outset, that the idea of a condition of human life wherein persons are slaves to elemental spirits is foreign to Thomas except, perhaps, for a single allusion in Logion 21. Paul in this passage claims that because of what is within one (the Spirit of God's Son), one is oneself a son. This is true also in Rom. 8:9-- 16, where Paul declares that one within whom God's spirit dwells is thereby a son of God, able to cry "Abba." Further, Paul claims in Galatians, one may thereby know God or, as Paul corrects himself, be known by God. The parallel ideas are as follows: Paul: The Spirit dwells within you. Thomas: The Kingdom is within you. Paul: You are thereby a son of God. Thomas: If you know this about yourself, you know that you are sons of the living Father. Paul: God knows you. Thomas: You will be known (by God). There may also be some connection between Paul's and Thomas' ideas of the conditions of persons not so fortunate. For Paul they are in the control of beggarly or impoverished spirits; for Thomas they are themselves in poverty. What one knows, in Thomas, when one knows oneself is not the mythopoeic history of Sophia's fall, nor that one is a spark of God fallen into a demonically created and controlled world of matter. It is, simply, that one is a son of the living Father, that the Kingdom is both within and outside one, and that one is known by God. This is akin to the set of ideas held by Paul in reference to Christians after their baptism. The similarity with Paul can be passed off as coincidental if Thomas does not speak within a baptismal context, but if Thomas does have that context the parallel may be significant. Another logion in the Gospel of Thomas, 50, speaks of persons who are "sons of the living Father," an expression which is certainly related to the same expression in Logion 3b. Logion 50 is complex and, in addition, partially damaged. It reads as follows: "If they say to you, "Where did you come from?" say to them, "We come from the light, where the light came through itself. *[gloss?]* It stands [...] and reveals itself in their image. If they say to you, "(Who) are you?" say to them, "We are his sons and we are the chosen of the living Father." If they ask you, "What is the sign of your Father who is in you?" Say to them, "It is a movement and a rest." This enigmatic logion seems to be a series of ritual responses. It can be understood by reference to Wisdom and apocalyptic material. The Qumran Community Rule concludes with a poem which reads in part: For my light has sprung from the source of His knowledge; my eyes have beheld His marvellous deeds, and the light of my heart, the mystery to come. From the source of His righteousness is my justification, and from His marvellous mysteries is the light in my heart. My eyes have gazed on that which is eternal, on wisdom concealed from men, on knowledge and wise design (hidden) from the sons of men; on a fountain of righteousness and on a storehouse of power, on a spring of glory (hidden) from the assembly of flesh. God has given them to His chosen ones as an everlasting possession, and has caused them to inherit the lot of the Holy Ones. [Geza Vermes, *The Dead Sea Scrolls in English* (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1962), pp. 92--93.] The Community Rule, specifying what the master is to teach the "sons of light,' tells him to begin as follows: "From the God of Knowledge comes all that is and shall be. Before ever they existed He established their whole design, and when, as ordained for them, they come into being, it is in accord with His glorious design that they accomplish their task without change. The laws of all things are in His hand and He provides them with all their needs. He has created man to govern the world, and has appointed for him two spirits in which to walk until the time of His visitation: the spirits of truth and falsehood. *Those born of truth spring from a fountain of light,* but those born of falsehood spring from a source of darkness." [Ibid., p. 75.] (Emphasis added.) For the Gospel of Thomas to teach "sons and chosen of the living Father" that they have come from the light is in accord with this instruction to Qumran's "sons of light" who are God's "chosen ones." One conversant with the Rule within that community could have replied to the question, "From where have you originated?" with the answer, "We have come from a fountain of light," and to the question, "Who are you?" with the reply, "We are the sons of light and the chosen of the God of Knowledge." Within their hearts, so it is aid, light resides; they have received "hidden" Wisdom concealed from other men. Their light has come from the source of God's knowledge. The Gospel of Thomas speaks similarly in Logia 50, 24, and 6: "24: "There is light within a man of light and he (or, it) lights the whole world. When he (or, it) does not shine, there is darkness." 6: "nothing is hidden that shall not be revealed, and nothing is covered that shall remain without being revealed." In both the Gospel of Thomas and the Community Rule of Qumran we find the idea of inner light: "light within a man of light," and light within the hearts of the sons of light. This light is connected, in both documents, with the unveiling of that which is hidden. Thomas' extraordinary freedom of expression can be seen in the fact that its ideas are couched in a number of different metaphors. The light within one and the Kingdom within one are not different; they are different metaphors for what can also be called the hidden Wisdom of God. Further, to say that the light "lights the whole world" or fails to do so is similar to the statement that "the Kingdom of the Father is spread out on the earth" to be seen by a few and unseen by others (113). The Wisdom of Solomon echoes many of the same themes as these parts of the Community Rule and the Gospel of Thomas. Pseudo-Solomon writes: "I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. (7:7) ... [God through Wisdom] gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; the beginning and end and middle of times. (7:17--18) ... I *learned both what is secret and what is manifest,* for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle. *For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things.* For she is a breath of the power of God, and *a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty;* therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For *she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.* Though she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom. For *she is more beautiful than the sun,* and excels every constellation of the stars. *Compared with the light she is found to be superior.*" (7:21--29) (Emphasis added.) This series of ideas is quite complex. Included are ideas of Wisdom's creative and ordering power, her presence in human beings and in the world through her permeation of all things, and her arrival as spirit to those who call upon her. The equation of Wisdom with light is clearly stated. She is "a reflection of eternal light," which may be what Thomas means by the light which comes from where the light came through itself. Light coming (or being established) from itself is light coming (or being established) from light. The damaged portion of Thomas, "... revels itself in their image," is probably a gloss added to the original text. It may have contained the idea of the light of Wisdom being the image of the light of God, but the referent of the pronoun "their" is obscure. When light is said to come from or be established through light, however, the idea is of the light coming forth from the light of God. The Wisdom of Solomon speaks of learning both what is hidden and what manifest (cf. Thomas Logion 6), and it seems that what is hidden is concealed in the manifest world. It speaks of Wisdom which is light entering into Holy Souls (cf. Thomas' "We come from the light where the light came through itself"), and of Wisdom which is quintessentially mobile but which gives the reward of rest (4:7, 8:13,16). Thomas' Logion 50 gives as answer to the question "What is the sign of your Father who is in you?" the reply, "It is a movement and a rest." This response may derive from ideas similar to those in the Wisdom of Solomon. The Gospel of Thomas is not a document of the Qumran community nor is it from the hand of Pseudo-Solomon. The ideas it contains, however, are not foreign to these texts, and at times its modes of expression are quite similar. To a certain extent, Thomas seems to be a synthesis of two trends of Jewish thought which themselves are not far apart: the apocalyptic and the wisdom tradition. Similarly, the Wisdom of Solomon has strong apocalyptic overtones (cf. 5:1--23) and the Qumran community made use of Wisdom materials (cf. 4Q 184 and 4Q 185 especially). Thomas' Logion 50 derives the status of "sons and chosen of the living Father" from the fact that these persons come from the light. There are different modes by which a person may be said to come from the light or from Wisdom, and it may be neither necessary nor useful to choose among them. All things derive from the light at their creation. The motif of the creative influence of Wisdom is present throughout the Wisdom tradition, with its *locus classicus* at Prov. 8:22--31. By the time of the writing of the Wisdom of Solomon, Wisdom is not only said to have been active at Creation, it is said to permeate all the world, organizing and underlying all ordered phenomena. This conception is obviously similar to St



The Gospel of Thomas


Translated by Nancy Johnson


These are the secret words spoken by the Living Jesus,
and recorded by Didymus Judas Thomas.

Jesus said:
He who uncovers
The significance of these words
Shall not taste death.

Let him who seeks,
Not cease from his search
until he finds.
When he finds he will be bewildered,
And when bewildered,
He will wonder, and reign over the All.

If your guides claim
that the kingdom is in the sky,
The birds of the sky will be there before you.
If they see it is in the sea,
The fishes of the sea will be there before you.
The kingdom is within you and without you.
When you know yourselves, you will be known.
Then you shall know that you are
Sons of the Living Father.
But if you do not know yourselves
You are in poverty, and you are poverty.

An old man heavy in years,
Will not hesitate
To ask a baby seven days old,
About the Place of Life.
And he shall live, for many
Who are first shall be last,
United within the Single One.

Jesus said:
Know what is before you.
That which is hidden will be revealed.

His disciples asked him:
Do you want us to fast?
How should we pray
and distribute alms?
What rules should we observe in eating?
Jesus replied:
Do not lie.
Do not do what you dislike,
For all is revealed before heaven.
Everything hidden will be revealed.
Nothing covered will remain undiscovered.

Blessed is the lion
Eaten by a man, so that
it becomes a man.
Profane is the man
eaten by a lion
so that he becomes a lion.

Man is like a skilful fisherman,
casting his net into the sea
and drawing it out replete with small fish.
If the wise fisherman finds amongst them a large fish
He throws the smaller back into the sea,
Having selected the largest with ease.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus said:
A sower came forth,
Filled his hands, and cast.
A few seeds fell upon the road, where
Birds came down and devoured them.
Others fell among thorns,
Where they choked, or were eaten by worms.
Still others fell upon good ground,
Where they could bring forth good fruit.

Jesus said:
I have cast
A fire upon the world,
and i rekindle it
until it burns.

This Heaven shall pass away
and that above shall pass away.
The dead no longer live.
The living no longer die.
When you ate good things
It was you who gave them life.
But what are you going to do in the Light?
When you were one
You were made two, but when you are two,
what are you going to do?

The disciples said to Jesus:
We know that you are to leave us.
Which of us is to be leader?
Whenever you have gone
Jesus replied:
You will go to James the Just
For whom
Heaven and Earth came into being.

Jesus addressed his disciples:
Compare me to someone.
Tell me whom i resemble.
Simon Peter said:
Like a just Angel.
Matthew answered:
Like a wise philosopher.
But Thomas replied:
Truly Master, my mouth
Cannot bring itself to utter comparisons.
AND Jesus said:
I am no longer your master.
You have drunk from the bubbling fountain
which i brought,
and you are drunk.
He took Thomas aside,
and said three words to him.
When Thomas returned,
his companions asked:
What did Jesus tell you?
And he replied:
If i related even one of the words
he told me, you would gather stones,
and hurl them at me, whereupon fire would leap from
the stones,and burn you.

Jesus said:
If you fast,
you will create sins for yourselves.
If you pray you will be condemned.
If you give alms, you will injure yourselves.
If you go into a land and wander throughout its area,
and are offered hospitality,
Eat what is set before you.
Heal the sick among them.
It is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you
But what comes out of your mouth that defiles you.

When you perceive
One not born of woman,
Prostate yourselves
and worship him. He is your father.

Men think that
I came to bring peace to the world
They do not know that
i bring division,
fire and sword and war.
There shall be five in a house
With three against two
and two against three;
The father against the son,
and the son against the father,
and they shall stand alone.

Jesus said:
I shall give you
what no eye has seen,
No ear heard, no hand touched
nor any heart received.

The Disciples said to him:
Warn us how our end will be.
Jesus replied:
Have you already discovered
the beginning, now that
you are asking about the end?
Wherever the beginning is, there
shall be the end.
Blessed is he who stands
at the beginning, for he understands
the end without tasting death.

Blesses is he who was before he became.
If you become my disciples and respond to my
words, stones will rise to your service.
You have five trees in Paradise,
immobile during summer and winter,
Never shedding their leaves.
He who knows them all shall never taste death.

The disciples challenged him:
Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like.
He answered:
The kingdom is like a grain of mustard.
Although smaller than all the other seeds,
when it falls upon tilled earth,
it sends forth a great branch,
Which became a splendid harbour for birds.

Mary Magdalene asked Jesus:
What are your disciples like?
He said:
They are like children
settled in a field not theirs.
When the owners of the field
approach them, and order,
Give us back our field!
They will be naked before them, and
will hand it over.
So i say to you:
If a householder is aware
that a thief is coming,
he will await his arrival,
block his way into the house,
The kingdom, and so protect his property.
Be wary of the world.
Gird your loins in strength
So that no robbers enter,
For the benefits you expect
will be found: may there wise among you a man of
When the fruit is ripening,
he comes with his swift sickle, and reaps.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus saw little ones being fed.
He addressed his disciples:
These babies being nursed
are like those entering the kingdom.
They asked: Shall we enter the kingdom?
We are small.
Jesus said:
When you make two into one
and what is within like what is without,
and what is without like what was within.
And what is above like what is below,
and when you unite male and female in one
So that the male is no longer male,
and the female is no longer female,
When you make eyes in place of an eye
and a hand in place of a hand,
and a foot in place of a foot
and an image in place of an image,
Then you shall enter the Kingdom.

I shall choose
One from a thousand,
and two from ten thousand,
and they shall stand in unity.

His disciples requested:
Teach us about the PLACE
Where you live,
For we must seek it.
He said:
He who has ears let him hear.
There is light in a man of light,
Who gives light to the world.
If he does not give light,
there is only Darkness.

Love your brother
Like your own soul. Cherish him.
Like the apple of your eye.

You see the mote
within your brothers eye
but you do not see the beam
within your own.
Once you have extracted the beam
from your own eye,
you can remove the mote from your brothers.

You abstain from the world,
you will not find the kingdom.
Unless you honor the sabbath,
you will not see the Father.

I stood
In the midst of the world,
and i found everyone drunk,
and none thirsty.
Then my soul was sorry
for all the sons of men,
because they are blind in their hearts.
They cannot realize that they have come
empty into the world,
and must leave it empty.
Now they are drunk,
But when they renounce the wine,
they will repent.

If the flesh
came into being for the sake
of the spirit,that is
a mystery. But if
the spirit came into being
for the sake of the body,
That is a wondrous miracle.
How did such great wealth
make its home, i wonder,
in such poverty?

Where there are three Gods,
They are Gods.
Where there are two,or one,
I am with Him.

No prophet is honoured
in his homeland.
No physician heals those
who know him well.

No city
Built upon a mountain,
and well fortified,
can fall, or conceal itself.

Jesus said:
Whatever you hear,
With one ear and the other,
Preach from the housetops.
Nobody lights a lamp in order
to place it under a bushel
or to hide it is some secret place.
Set it upon a lampstand,
so that all who enter or depart
may see its light.

When the blind lead the blind,
they fall together into the ditch.

Nobody can enter
the house of a strong man,
or seize it by force,
unless his hands are tied.
Only then can the house be

Morn to Eve and Eve to Morn
do not think what you put on.

His disciples asked: When will you appear to us
and when shall we see you?
Jesus answered:
When you shed your shame,and take your cloths,
Place them on the ground,and trample them underfoot
like children, Then you shall see The Son of the
Living One, and will not be afraid.

You have often wished
to hear the words
i now express.
When you have no other to listen to,
days will come when you shall search,
but never find me.

The scribes and Pharisees
received the keys of understanding,and hid them.
They did not enter,nor allowed entrance to those
who so wished. Be wise as serpents,and innocent as doves.

A vine was planted outside the father, yet as it was
never tethered it was torn from the roots,and died.

He who has something in his hands,
will receive, and from him who has
nothing,shall be taken away all
that he possesses.

Jesus said:
Be passers-by.

His disciples said:
Who are you to say that to us?
You do not understand
Who i am, from what i say.
You have become like the Jews.
They love the tree and hate the fruit.
Or they love the fruit and hate the tree.

He who blasphemes against the father
shall be forgiven,and he who blasphemes
against the son shall be forgiven,but he
who blasphemes against the holy ghost shall not be
forgiven on earth or in heaven.

No grapes
Are gathered from thorn,
nor are figs plucked from camelthorn.
A good man produces good from his treasure.
An evil man brings forth evil from his heart,
speaking evil when he expresses himself.

Jesus said:
From the first man
to John the Baptist,
no one born of woman is higher
than John the Baptist,whose
eyes remain unbroken.
Whoever becomes small
shall understand the kingdom,
and be exalted above John.

A man can not mount two horses,
or bend two bows,
A servant cannot obey two masters,for
he must honor the one, and despise the other.
Nobody at once drinks old wine.and desires new.
Nor is new wine packed within old skins,
lest they crack.
Old wine is not contained within new skins,
lest they perish.
An old patch is not grafted upon new cloths, for it
will tear.

If two
Make peace with one another in the same house,
they can order the mountain to move,
and it will move.

Jesus said:
Blessed are the solitary,and the elect
for they shall discover the kingdom from which
they come, and to which they must return.

If you are asked your origins, answer:
We have come out of the light
where the light came of itself.
It rested appearing in their image.
It you are asked your identity, answer:
We are his sons, and The Elect of the
Living Father.
If asked for a sign of your father, answer:
Movement and repose.

His disciples asked Jesus:
When will begin the repose of the dead?
And when will the new world appear?
He answered:
The sanctuary you expect is here,
Although you cannot recognize it.

His disciples commented:
24 prophets spoke in Israel.
All referred to you.
Jesus replied:
You have neglected the one who lives
in your presence, in order to talk
about the dead.

His disciples asked:
Is circumcision of use?
He said:
if it were useful, your father
would of begotten you circumcised out
of your mother.
But the real circumcision of the Spirit
has always been useful and nothing but useful.

Blessed are the poor,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus said:
He who does not hate Father and Mother cannot be
my disciple, as he who does not hate brother and sister,
and take up his cross as i did, cannot ever become worthy of

me. 56.)
He who has known the world
has found a corpse,
and the world is unworthy of him
who has found a corpse.

The Kingdom of the Father
is like a farmer who possessed good seed.
One night, his enemy sowed Tares among the seed,
but the farmer refused to pull up the tares,
saying:You may uproot wheat as well.
On the harvest day, the tares will appear, be uprooted
and burned.

Blessed is the man who has suffered, for he has truly
discovered life.

Look to the Living One
as long as you live, lest you die,
Then search for him, and fail.

A Samaritan was bearing a lamb towards Judea.
Jesus asked his disciples why he wanted the animal.
They replied that he wished to kill it and to eat it.
He replied:
As long as it is alive,
he will not eat it.
He can only once it is dead.
There is no other way, they said.
He answered:
You too are seeking rest in order to avoid
becoming corpses, and ripe for being eaten.

Two share one bed.
One shall live, and the other die.
Salome challenged him, Who are you?
Did you mount my bed,
and eat from my table?
Jesus addressed her:
I am an equal.
I have been giving things belonging to my father.
Salome replied, I am your disciple.
And Jesus responded:
When a man is growing equal, he shall be suffused
with light, but when he is growing apart, he shall
be consumed with darkness.

Jesus said:
I reveal my secrets
to those deserving of them.
Do not let your left hand know
what your right is doing.

A rich man owned a great fortune, and
determined to employ it so as to sow, reap, plant, and fill
his barns with fruit, that he may lack nothing.
That very night, he died.
He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Having prepared a banquet,
a host sent his servant to summon the guest.
He went to the first and said:
My master has invited you.
Some merchants who are in my debt
are visiting me tonight. I have to advise them.
I am sorry i can not come.
He visited another and said:
My master has sent an invitation to you.
That one replied:
I have bought a house, and made an appointment
for today. I have no time.
He went to another and offered:
My master has invited you.
He was told:
My friend is getting married, and i am organizing a
dinner to celebrate.I can not come i must be excused.
Then he approached another and said:
My master invited you. He was answered:
I have just bought an estate, and am about to collect the
rents.I shall not be able to come.
The servant returned to his master, and reported:
All those you invited are unable to come.
The master responded:
Go out into the streets;bring in all you find to
partake of the banquet.
Merchants and dealers shall not enter the abode
of my father.

A virtuous man owned a vineyard which he gave
to farmers to be tilled, having agreed to
receive the fruit from them.
He sent his servant to collect the fruits, and he
was seized, beaten and almost killed.The servant
returned, and told his master of this. Perhaps
they did not recognize him, thought the master.
So he sent another servant. The farmers beat him too.
Then the man sent his son thinking they will respect
my son.The farmers knew that he was the heir, and they
seized and killed him.
He who has ears to hear let him hear.

Show me the stone, which the builders rejected.
It is the head of the corner.

He who knows the All
and does not know himself
has missed everything.

You are blessed,
when men beat you, and persecute you for
they shall find no place still standing
where they have tormented you.

Blessed are they who have been persecuted in
their hearts.They have known the father in truth.
Blessed are the hungry, for he who desires
will be satisfied.

When you produce this within,
what you have will save you.
What you do not have within will
kill you.

Jesus said:
I shall destroy this house, and nobody will be
able to restore it.

A man requested:
Tell my brothers
to divide my fathers things with me.
He replied:
Who made me a divider?
Turning to his disciples, he said:
Do i divide things up?

The harvest is great,
but the labourers are few.
Ask the Lord to send
Labourers to the harvest.

Look there are many people around the well,
but there is nobody within the well.

There are many at the door.
But only the solitary ones shall
enter the Bridal Chamber.

The Kingdom of the Father
is like a merchant, who
found a pearl to add on to his possessions.
Being a clever merchant, he sold his other
possessions, and bought himself the pearl alone.
Seek like him the treasure which does not fade, in
the place where no moths enter to consume, and no
worms to corrupt.

Jesus said:
I am the Light
That is above them all.
I am the All.
The all came from me,
and the all has returned to me.
Split wood and i am there.
Raise a stone and you will find me.

Why have you come into the field?
To see a reed tremble in the wind?
To observe a man wearing soft cloth?
Your kings and great men
all wear soft cloths and yet they cannot
see the truth.

A woman from the crowd addressed him:
Blessed is the womb that gave you birth and
the women who nursed you.
He answered:
Blessed are those who heard the WORD of the
Father and maintained it in truth, for the day
will come when you will say blessed is the womb
which has not conceived, and the woman who has not nursed.

He who has known the world has found the body, but he who
has found the body, is to great for the world.

He who is rich
can become a king.
He who has power can do without.

He who is close to me is close to fire:
He who is far from me is distant from
the kingdom.

Appeared to man, and the Light
within is hidden in the image
of the Fathers Light.
He will reveal Himself,
and his image hidden by light.

When you see your likeness,
you are happy, but when you see
your images rising before you without
subsiding or approaching,
how long can you stand that?

the first man emerged
from a great power and great wealth,
and was still unworthy of you.
Had he been worthy, he would not of
experienced death.

Foxes have their lairs,
and birds their nests.
But the son of man has no place to lay
down his head, and rest.

Wretched is the body
dependent upon the body,
and wretched is the soul
dependent upon them both.

Jesus said:
The angels and the prophets
shall visit you, and give you
what is yours. For your part, give them
what you have in your hand and ask yourselves
when they will come to take what is theirs.

Why do you wash
the surface of the chalice?
Do you not understand that the man who made the
outside also created the inside?

Come to me for
my yoke is light,
my rule is mild and you shall
find repose.

They said to him:
Tell us who you are
so that we may believe in you.
He replied:
You are testing the face of
Heaven and Earth and have not
recognized the man before you.
You do not even know how to
test this moment.

Jesus said:
Seek and you shall find.
What you have asked me recently.
I did not tell you then.
I want to tell you now,
when you are not asking me.

Do not give the sacred to dogs,
lest it be cast on the dung-heap.
Do not cast pearls before swine,
lest they destroy them.

He who seeks shall find
and the doors will be opened to him.
Who knocks.

If you have money,
do not lend it out at interest but give
it to him who can not repay it.

The Kingdom of Heaven
is like a woman who takes a little
leaven, puts it in dough, and makes
large loaves. He who has ears to hear,
let him hear.

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a women carrying a jug
full of meal on a long journey. When the handle broke,
the meal streamed out behind her, so that she never
noticed anything was wrong until arriving home,
she sat down the jug and discovered it was empty.

The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who wished
to assassinate a noble. He drew his sword at home, and
struck it against the wall, to test whether his hand were
strong enough. Then he went out and killed the noble.

The Disciples said to him:
Your brothers and your mother are outside.
He answered:
Those who perform the will of my Father are my
brothers and mother.
They are the ones who will enter
My Fathers Kingdom.

They showed Jesus a gold coin and said:
Caesars men wanted tribute from us.
He replied:
Render unto Caesar what belongs to
Caesar, and render unto God, what belongs
to God, and give me what is mine.

He who does not hate
his father and his mother as i do
cannot be my disciple, and who does not
love his mother and father as i do,
cannot be my disciple. for my mother
killed me, but my true mother has given me life.

Woe to the Pharisees.
They resemble a dog in a manger,
who neither eats, nor allows the oxen to eat.

Blessed is he who knows
the time of the robbers arrival, for
he can rise, collect himself, and gird
his loins in preparation.

They said:
Come. Let us pray today and fast.
Jesus said:
What sin have i committed?
What have i failed to do?
When the bridegroom departs from
the bridal chamber, then you can
fast and pray.

He who knows
his father and his mother shall
be called a bastard.

When you make the two one, you will
become Sons of Man, and if you order the
mountain to move, it will move.

The kingdom is like a shepherd, who owned a
hundred sheep, the largest of which went astray. He
left the 99, in search of the one until he found it.
After all his trouble, he said to the sheep:
I love you more than the 99.

Whoever drinks from my mouth shall become like him.
For him, the hidden will be revealed.

The kingdom is like a man who is ignorant of the
treasure hidden in a field. When he dies he
leaves it to his son who sells it.Being aware also
of the treasure within.The buyer will come, discover the
treasure while ploughing, and lend out money at interest.

He who has found the world and riches, should then deny the

The heavens will be rolled back, and the earth unfurled
before your eyes.The Living One out of The Living One sees
neither death nor fear, for Jesus says the world is unworthy
of the man who finds themselves.

Jesus said:
Woe to the flesh that is dependent upon the Soul, and
woe to the soul that is dependent upon the flesh.

His disciples questioned:
When will the kingdom come?
Jesus answered:
It will never come if you are
expecting it. Nobody will say look here
or look there. Yet the Kingdom of the Father
is spread throughout the earth and no man sees it.

Simon Peter suggested to them:
Mary Magdalene should leave us .
Women are unworthy of the life.
Jesus said:
I shall lead her so as to make her a
man, that she may become a Living Spirit, as
you other men for every woman made manly, shall enter
the Kingdom of Heaven.


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