Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 080 The world is like the body

Early Christian Writings Commentary

Title: Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 80

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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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

BLATZ[1]4CM Translator ID: T87

(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.

LAYTON[2]4CM Translator ID: T68

(80) Jesus said, “Whoever has become acquainted with the world has found the body, and the world is not worthy of the one who has found the body.”

DORESSE[3]4CM Translator ID: T81

84 [80]. Jesus says: “He who has known the world has fallen into the body, and he who has fallen into the body, the world is not worthy of him.”

Funk’s Parallels[4]4CM Translator ID: T71

• GThom 56
GThom 111
• Luke 17:37 KJV
• Matt 24:28 KJV

Scholarly Quotes

Bentley Layton writes: “This saying is nearly identical with no. 56, which likens the world to a ‘corpse’ (Greek ptoma) rather than the body (Greek to soma).”

The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 394

Helmut Koester writes: “Understanding the world – a thing that is really dead – leads inevitably to a proper understanding of the body and corporeal existence. Becoming superior to the world involves deprecation of the flesh in favor of the spirit.”

Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 126

Funk and Hoover write: “Jesus did not depreciate the world, so far as we can tell from the body of lore identified as coming from him. But in Thomas’ version of Christianity, this seems to be a standard theme. Note, for example, the saying recorded in Thomas 110: ‘The one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, should renounce the world’ (further, compare Thom 27:1 and 111:3). These sayings represent a branch of the Christian movement that grew increasingly ascetic as time passed. Asceticism does not comport with the Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and a drunk (Luke 7:34).”

The Five Gospels, p. 517


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

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