Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 068 The persecuted are blessed


Early Christian Writings Commentary

Title: Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 68

Subheading:  This page explores modern interpretations of the Gospel according to Thomas, an ancient text preserved in a Coptic translation at Nag Hammadi and Greek fragments at Oxyrhynchus. With no particular slant, this commentary gathers together quotations from various scholars in order to elucidate the meaning of the sayings, many of which are rightly described as “obscure.”

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FromEarly Christian Writings 

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By:
Horst Balz. (T87)
Bentley Layton. (T68)
Harold W Attridge. (T34)
Jean Doresse. (T81)
Robert Funk. (T71)

Our Ref:
ECST: 014.10.000.T34
ECST: 014.10.000.T68
ECST: 014.10.000.T71
ECST: 014.10.000.T81
ECST: 014.10.000.T87


Nag Hammadi Coptic Text

Gospel of Thomas Coptic Text

BLATZ1)4CM Translator ID: T87

(68) Jesus said: Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted, and they will find no place where you have been persecuted.

LAYTON2)4CM Translator ID: T68

(68) Jesus said, “Blessed are you (plur.) whenever they hate you and persecute you. And wherever they have persecuted you, they will find no place.”

DORESSE3)4CM Translator ID: T81

72 [68]. Jesus says: “Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted; but they will not find a position in that place to which they shall pursue you!”

Funk’s Parallels4)4CM Translator ID: T71 , , ,

• Luke 6:22-23 KJV
• Matt 5:10-12 KJV
• 1 Pet 4:12-19 KJV
Clem. Alex. Strom. 4.6.41.2.


Scholarly Quotes

Comparing Thomas to Matthew and Luke, Koester finds that the Thomas form is more original: “The phrase ‘and cast out your name as evil on account of the Son of man’ is certainly Lukan; it is missing in the parallel passage Matt 5:11. Moreover, the reference to persecution has disappeared in the Lukan redaction of this saying, but is preserved in Matt 5:11.” 

Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 89

Gerd Ludemann writes: “The meaning [of v. 2] is unclear. Is this talk of the lack of success of the ones who are acting? But in what sense? Perhaps it helps to note that ‘place’ also appears in other passages of the Gospel of Thomas (4.1; 24.1; 60.6; 64.12) and each time denotes the place of salvation. In that case v. 2 says that the persecutors have forfeited salvation.” 

Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 625

References   [ + ]

1. 4CM Translator ID: T87
2. 4CM Translator ID: T68
3. 4CM Translator ID: T81
4. 4CM Translator ID: T71

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