Early Christian Writings
Title: Gospel of Thomas
From: (Early Christian Writings)
By: Translation Group: Schoedel-Doresse-Kasser-Leipoldt-Quecke-Giversen
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The following is a fresh translation, made from the Coptic text published by Messrs. Brill of Leiden. (Brill Publishers) In the preparation of this version the following six translationsSchoedel-Doresse-Kasser-Leipoldt-Quecke-Giversen T86 have been consulted, in addition to to published by Messrs. Brill:
English by W. R. Schoedel,4CM Translator ID: T49
French by Doresse 4CM Translator ID: T81 and R. Kasser, 4CM Translator ID: T82
German by J. Leipoldt 4CM Translator ID: T83 and Hans Quecke 4CM Translator ID: T84
Danish by S. Giversen.4CM Translator ID: T85
The numbering of the sayings is that of the Brill edition.
These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down.
(1) And he said: He who shall find the interpretation of the words shall not taste of death.
(2) Jesus said: He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until: finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and if he is troubled, he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All.
(3) Jesus said: If those who lead you say unto you: Behold, the Kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will be before you. If they say unto you: It is in the sea, then the fish will be before you. But the Kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.
(4) Jesus said: The man aged in his days will not hesitate ask a little child of seven days about the place of life, and he shall live. For there are many first who shall be last, and they shall become a single one.
(5) Jesus said: Know what is before thy face, and what hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest.
(6) His disciples asked him and said unto him: Wilt thou that we fast? And how shall we pray? Shall we give alms? And what rules shall we observe in eating? Jesus said: Do not lie; and that which you hate, do not do. For all things are revealed before heaven. For there is nothing hidden which shall not be manifest, and there is nothing covered which shall remain without being uncovered.
(7) Jesus said: Blessed is the lion which the man shall eat, and the lion become man; and cursed is the man whom the lion shall eat, and the lion become man.
(8) And he said: Man is like a wise fisherman, 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 large good fish. He threw down all the small fish into the sea; he chose the large fish without trouble. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
(9) Jesus said: Behold, the sower went forth, he filled his hand, he cast. Some fell upon the road; the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on the rock, and sent no root down to the earth nor did they sprout any ear up to heaven. And others fell on the thorns; they choked the seed, and the worm ate them. And others fell on the good earth, and brought forth good fruit unto heaven, some sixty -fold and some an hundred and twenty -fold.
(10) Jesus said: I have cast fire upon the world, and behold I guard it until it is ablaze.
(11) Jesus said: This heaven shall pass away, and that which above it shall pass away; and they that are dead are not alive and they that live shall not die. In the days when you were eating that which is dead, you were making it alive. When you come in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you have become two, what will you do?
(12) The disciples said to Jesus: We know that thou wilt go from us. Who is he who shall be great over us? Jesus said to them: In the place to which you come, you shall go to James the Just for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.
(13) Jesus said to his disciples: Make a comparison to me, and tell me whom I am like. Simon Peter said to him: Thou art like a righteous angel. Matthew said to him: Thou art like a wise man of understanding. Thomas said to him: Master, my mouth will no wise suffer that I say whom thou art like. Jesus said: I am not thy master, because thou hast drunk, thou hast become drunk from the bubbling spring which I have measured out. And he took him, went aside, and spoke to him three words. Now when Thomas came to his companions, they asked him: What did Jesus say unto thee? Thomas said to them: If I tell you one of the words which he said to me, you will take up stones and throw them me; and a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up.
(14) Jesus said to them: If you fast, you will beget a sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do an evil to your spirits. And if you go into any land and travel in its regions, if they receive you eat what they set before you. Heal the sick among them. For that which goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which comes forth from your mouth, that is what will defile you.
(15) Jesus said: When you see him who was not born of woman, throw yourselves down upon your face and worship him. He is your Father.
(16) Jesus said: Perhaps men think that I am come to cast peace upon the world, and know not that I am come to cast divisions upon the earth, fire, sword, war. For there shall be five in a house; there shall be three against two, and two against three, the father against the son and the son against the father, and they shall stand as solitaries.
(17) Jesus said: I will give you that which eye has not seen, an ear has not heard, and hand has not touched, and which has not entered into the heart of man.
(18) The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us how our end shall be. Jesus said: Have you then discovered the beginning, that you seek after the end? For where the beginning is, there shall the end be. Blessed is he who shall stand in the beginning, and he shall know the end and shall not taste of death.
(19) Jesus said: Blessed is he who was before he came into being. If you become my disciples and hear my words, these stones shall minister unto you. For you have five trees in Paradise which do not move in summer or in winter, and their leaves do not fall. He who knows them shall not taste of death.
(20) The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like. He said to them: It is like a grain of mustard-seed, smaller than all seeds; but when it falls on the earth which is tilled, it puts forth a great branch, and becomes shelter for the birds of heaven.
(21) Mary said to Jesus: Whom are thy disciples like? He said They are like little children dwelling in a field which is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say: Yield up to us our field. They are naked before them, to yield it up to them and to give them back their field. Therefore I say: If the master of the house knows that the thief is coming, he will keep watch before he comes, and will not let him dig into his house of his kingdom to carry off his vessels. You, then, be watchful over against the world. Gird up your loins with great strength, that the brigands may not find a way to come at you, since the advantage for which you look they will find. May there be among you a man of understanding! When the fruit was ripe, he came quickly, his sickle in his hand, and reaped it. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
(22) Jesus saw some infants at the breast. He said to his disciples: These little ones at the breast are like those who enter into the kingdom. They said to him: If we then be children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper side as the lower; and when you make the male and the female into a single one, that the male be not male and the female female; when you make eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].
(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: Teach us concerning the place where thou art, for it is necessary for us to seek after it. He said to them: He that hath ears, let him hear. There is a light within a man of light, and it gives light to the whole world. If it does not give light, there is darkness.
(25) Jesus said: Love thy brother as thy soul; keep him as the apple of thine eye.
(26) Jesus said: The mote which is in thy brother’s eye, thou seest; but the beam which is in thine eye, thou seest not. When thou dost cast out the beam from thine own eye, then wilt thou see to cast out the mote from thy brother’s eye.
(27) Jesus said: If you fast not from the world, you will not find the kingdom; if you keep not the Sabbath as Sabbath, you will not see the Father.
(28) Jesus said: I stood in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found them all drunk, I found none among them thirsting; and my soul was afflicted for the sons of men, for they are blind in their heart and they do not see. For empty came they into the world, seeking also to depart empty from the world. But now they are drunk. When they have thrown off their wine, then will they repent.
(29) Jesus said: If the flesh has come into being because of the spirit, it is a marvel; but if the spirit (has come into being) because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels. But as for me, I marvel at this, how this great wealth has settled in this poverty.
(30) Jesus said: Where there are three gods, they are gods; where there are two or one, I am with him.
(31) Jesus said: No prophet is acceptable in his village; a physician does not heal those who know him.
(32) Jesus said: A city that is built on a high mountain and fortified cannot fall, nor can it remain hidden.
(33) Jesus said: What thou shalt hear in thine ear, proclaim to the other ear on your roof-tops. For no man lights a lamp and sets it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place; but he sets it upon the lamp-stand, that all who go in and come out may see its light.
(34) Jesus said: If a blind man lead a blind man, both fall into a pit.
(35) Jesus said: It is not possible for anyone to go into the strong man’s house and take it (or him) by force, unless he bind his hands; then he will plunder his house.
(36) Jesus said: Be not anxious from morning to evening and from evening to morning about what you shall put on.
(37) His disciples said: On what day wilt thou be revealed us, and on what day shall we see thee? Jesus said: When you unclothe yourselves and are not ashamed, and take your garments and lay them beneath your feet like little children, and tread upon them, then [shall ye see] the Son of the living One, and ye shall not fear.
(38) Jesus said: Many times have you desired to hear these words which I speak unto you, and you have none other from whom to hear them. Days will come when you will seek after me, and you will not find me.
(39) Jesus said: The Pharisees and the scribes have receive the keys of knowledge; they have hidden them. They did not go in, and those who wanted to go in they did not allow. But you be ye wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
(40) Jesus said: A vine was planted apart from the Father, and since it is not established it will be pulled up by its roots and destroyed.
(41) Jesus said: He who has in his hand, to him shall be given; and he who has not, from him shall be taken even the little that he has.
(42) Jesus said: Become passers-by.
(43) His disciples said to him: Who art thou, that thou shouldst say these things to us? Jesus said to them From what I say unto you, you do not understand who I am, but you have become as the Jews; for they love the tree and hate its fruit, and they love the fruit and hate the tree.
(44) Jesus said: He who blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and he who blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven.
(45) Jesus said: They do not gather grapes from thorns, no pluck figs from camel-thistles; they do not yield fruit. A good man brings forth a good thing from his treasure; a bad man bring forth evil things from his evil treasure which is in his heart, and he says evil things; for out of the abundance of his heart he brings forth evil things.
(46) Jesus said: From Adam to John the Baptist there is none born of woman who is higher than John the Baptist, so that his eyes will not be broken (?) But I have said, He who shall be among you as a little one shall know the kingdom, and shall be higher than John.
(47) Jesus said: It is not possible for a man to ride two horses or draw two bows, and it is not possible for a servant to serve two masters; or he will honour the one and insult the other. A man does not drink old wine and immediately desire to drink new wine; and they do not pour new wine into old skins, lest they burst, nor do they pour old wine into new skins, lest it spoil. They do not sew an old patch on a new garment, for a rent will come.
(48) Jesus said: If two make peace with one another in this or house, they shall say to the mountain: Be moved, and it shall be moved.
(49) Jesus said: Blessed are the solitary and the elect, for you shall find the kingdom; for you came forth thence, and shall go there again.
(50) Jesus said: If they say to you: Whence have you come?, tell them: We have come from the light, the place where the light came into being through itself alone. It [stood], and it re- vealed itself in their image. If they say to you: Who are you?, say: We are his sons, and we are the elect of the living Father. If they ask you: What is the sign of your Father in you?, tell them: It is a movement and a rest.
(51) His disciples said to him: On what day will the rest of the dead come into being? And on what day will the new world come? He said to them: That which ye await has come, but ye know it not.
(52) His disciples said to him: Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and they all spoke concerning (lit. in) thee. He said them: You have neglected him who is alive before you, and have spoken about the dead.
(53) His disciples said to him: Is circumcision profitable or not? He said to them: Were it profitable, their father would beget them from their mother circumcised. But the true circum- cision in spirit has proved entirely profitable (lit.: has found usefulness altogether).
(54) Jesus said: Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.
(55) Jesus said: He who shall not hate his father and his mother cannot be my disciple, and (he who does not) hate his brethren and his sisters and take up his cross like me shall not be worthy of me.
(56) Jesus said: He who has known the world has found corpse, and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.
(57) Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a man who had [good] seed. His enemy came by night, he sowed a weed among the good seed. The man did not allow them to pull up the weed. He said to them: Lest perhaps you go to pull up the weed, and pull up the wheat with it. For on the day of harvest the weeds will be manifest; they will be pulled up and burned.
(58) Jesus said: Blessed is the man who has suffered; he has found the life.
(59) Jesus said: Look upon the living One so long as you live, that you may not die and seek to see him, and be unable to see.
(60) They saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb going into Judaea. He said to his disciples: Why does he carry the lamb? They said to him: That he may kill it and eat it. He said to them: So long as it is alive he will not eat it, but if he kill it and it become a corpse. They said: Otherwise he will not be able to do it. He said to them: You also, seek for yourselves a place within for rest, lest you become a corpse and be eaten.
(61) Jesus said: Two shall rest upon a bed; one shall die, the other live.
Salome said: Who art thou; O man? And whose son? Thou hast mounted my bed, and eaten from my table. Jesus said to her I am he who is from that which is equal; to me was given of the things of my Father. Salome said I am thy disciple. Jesus said to her Therefore I say, when it is equal it will be filled with light, but when it is divided it will be filled with darkness
(62) Jesus said: I tell my mysteries to those [who are worthy of my] mysteries. What thy right hand shall do, let not thy left hand know what it does.
(63) Jesus said: There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow and reap and plant, and fill my barns with fruit, that I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear.
(64) Jesus said: A man had guests, and when he had prepared the dinner he sent his servant to summon the guests. He came to the first; he said to him: My master summons thee. He said: I have money with some merchants. They are coming to me in the evening. I will go and give them orders. I pray to be excused from he dinner. He went to another; he said to him: My master has summoned thee. He said to him: I have bought a house, and they ask me for a day. I shall not have time. He came to another; he aid to him: My master summons thee. He said to him: My friend is about to be married, and I am to hold a dinner. I shall not be able to come. I pray to be excused from the dinner. He went to another; he said to him: My master summons thee. He said him: I have bought a village; I go to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I pray to be excused. The servant came, he said to his master: Those whom thou didst summon to the dinner have excused themselves. The master said to his servant: Go out to the roads. Bring those whom thou shall find, that they may dine. The buyers and the merchants [shall] not [enter] the places of my Father.
(65) He said: A good man had a vineyard. He gave it to husbandmen that they might work it, and he receive its fruit their hand. He sent his servant, that the husbandmen might give him the fruit of the vineyard. They seized his servant, they beat him, and all but killed him. The servant came (and) told his master. His master said: Perhaps they did not know him. He sent another servant; the husbandmen beat the other also. Then the master sent his son. He said: Perhaps they will reverence my son. Those husbandmen, since they knew that he was the heir the vineyard, they seized him (and) killed him. He that hath ears, let him hear.
(66) Jesus said: Teach me concerning this stone which the builders rejected; it is the corner -stone.
(67) Jesus said: He who knows the All but fails (to know) him-self lacks everything.
(68) Jesus said: Blessed are you when they hate you, and persecute you, and do not find a place in the spot where they persecuted you.
(69) Jesus said: Blessed are they who have been persecuted in their heart; these are they who have known the Father in truth. Blessed are they that hunger, that they may fill the belly him who desires.
(70) Jesus said: When you bring forth that in yourselves, that which you have will save you. If you do not have that in yourselves, that which you do not have in you will kill you.
(71) Jesus said: I will des[troy this] house, and none shall able to build it [again].
(72) [A man said] to him: Speak to my brethren, that they may divide my father’s possessions with me. He said to him: O man, who made me a divider? He turned to his disciples (and) said to them: I am not a divider, am I ?
(73) Jesus said: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few; but pray the Lord, that he send forth labourers into the harvest.
(74) He said: Lord, there are many about the well, but no one in the well.
(75) Jesus said: There are many standing at the door, but the solitary are they who shall enter the bridal chamber.
(76) Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a merchant was who had a load (of goods) and found a pearl. That merchant was wise. He sold the load, and bought for himself the pearl alone. You also, seek after his treasure which does not perish but endures, where moth does not enter to devour, nor does worm destroy.
(77) Jesus said: I am the light that is over them all. I am the All; the All has come forth from me, and the All has attained unto me. Cleave a (piece of) wood: I am there. Raise up the stone, an ye shall find me there.
(78) Jesus said: Why came ye forth into the field? To see reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in soft raiment? [Behold, your] kings and your great men are they who are clothed in soft [raiment], and they [shall] not be able to know the truth.
(79) A woman in the crowd said to him: Blessed is the womb which bore thee, and the breasts which nourished thee. He said to her: Blessed are they who have heard the word of the Father and have kept it in truth. For there shall be days when you will say: Blessed is that womb which has not conceived, and those breasts which have not given suck.
(80) Jesus said: He who has known the world has found the body, and he who has found the body, the world is not worthy of him.
(81) Jesus said: He who has become rich, let him become king, and he who has power let him deny.
(82) Jesus said: He who is near to me is near the fire, and he who is far from me is far from the kingdom.
(83) Jesus said: The images are revealed to the man, and the light which is in them is hidden in the image of the light of the Father. He shall be revealed, and his image is hidden by his light.
(84) Jesus said: When you see your likeness, you rejoice; but when you see your images which came into being before you — they neither die nor are made manifest — how much will you bear?
(85) Jesus said: Adam came into being out of a great power and a great wealth, and yet he was not worthy of you. For if he tad been worthy, he would not have tasted of death.
(86) Jesus said: [The foxes have] the[ir holes] and the birds have [theirs nest, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head and rest.
(87) Jesus said: Wretched is the body which depends upon a body, and wretched is the soul which depends on these two.
(88) Jesus said: The angels come to you, and the prophets, and they shall give you what belongs to you; and you also, give the what is in your hands, and say to yourselves: On what day do they come and take what is theirs?
(89) Jesus said: Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not understand that he who made the inside is also he who made the outside?
(90) Jesus said: Come unto me, for easy is my yoke and my lordship is gentle, and you shall find rest for yourselves.
(91) They said to him: Tell us who thou art, that we may believe in thee. He said to them: You test the face of the heaven and the earth, and him who is before you you do not know, and you know not to test this moment.
(92) Jesus said: Seek, and ye shall find; but those things concerning which ye asked me in those days, I did not tell you then. Now I wish to tell them, and ye seek not after them.
(93) Jesus said: Give not that which is holy to the dogs, lest they cast them on the dung- heap; cast not the pearls to the swine lest they grind it [to bits].
(94) Jesus [said]: He who seeks shall find, and he who knock to him it shall be opened.
(95) [Jesus said]: If you have money, do not lend at interest, but give [it] to him from whom you will not receive them back.
(96) Jesus [said]: The kingdom of the Father is like a woman who took a little leaven and [hid] it in meal; she made large loaves of it. He that hath ears, let him hear.
(97) Jesus said: The kingdom of the [Father] is like a woman; carrying a jar full of meal and walking a long way. The handle the jar broke; the meal poured out behind her on the road. She was unaware, she knew not her loss. When she came into her house, she put down the jar (and) found it empty.
(98) Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a man who wanted to kill a great man. He drew the sword in his house and drove it into the wall, that he might know that his hand would be strong. Then he slew the great man.
(99) The disciples said to him: Thy brethren and thy mother are standing outside. He said to them: Those here who do the will of my Father, these are my brethren and my mother; these are they who shall enter into the kingdom of my Father.
(100) They showed Jesus a gold piece and said to him: They who belong to Caesar demand tribute from us. He said to them: What belongs to Caesar give to Caesar, what belongs to God give to God, and what is mine give unto me.
(101) Jesus said He who shall not hate his father and: mother like me cannot be my [disciple], and he who shall [not] love [his father] and his mother like me cannot be my [disciple]; for my mother [. ..] but my true [mother] gave me life.
(102) And Jesus said: Woe to them, the Pharisees! For they are like a dog sleeping in the manger of the cattle; for he neither eats, nor does he let the cattle eat.
(103) Jesus said: Blessed is the man who knows in what part the robbers are coming, that he may rise and gather his [domain] and gird up his loins before they come in.
(104) They said [to him]: Come, let us pray today and fast. Jesus said: What then is the sin that I have done, or wherein have I been vanquished? But when the bridegroom comes forth from the bridal chamber, then let them fast and pray.
(105) Jesus said: He who shall know father and mother shall be called the son of a harlot.
(106) Jesus said: When you make the two one, you shall become sons of man, and when you say: Mountain, be moved, it shall be moved.
(107) Jesus said: The kingdom is like a shepherd who had hundred sheep. One of them, the biggest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and sought after the one till he found it. When he had laboured, he said to the sheep: I love thee more than the ninety-nine.
(108) Jesus said: He who shall drink from my mouth shall become like me; I myself will become he, and the hidden thing shall be revealed to him.
(109) Jesus said: The kingdom is like a man who had in his field a [hidden] treasure about which he did not know; and [after] he died he left it to his [son. The] son also did not know; he took (possession of) that field and sold it. The man who bough it came to plough, and [found] the treasure. He began to lend money at interest to whomsoever he chose.
(110) Jesus said: He who has found the world and become rich, let him deny the world.
(111) Jesus said: The heavens shall be rolled up and the earth before your face, and he who lives in the living One shall neither see death nor (fear); because Jesus says: He who shall find himself, of him the world is not worthy.
(112) Jesus said: Woe to the flesh which depends upon the soul; woe to the soul which depends upon the flesh.
(113) His disciples said to him: On what day will the kingdom come? <Jesus said>: It cometh not with observation. They will not say: Lo, here! or: Lo, there! But 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 go forth from among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.