Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 111 The living will not die

Early Christian Writings Commentary

Title: Gospel of Thomas Commentary: Saying 111

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.”

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of religious, environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material; the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. For purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

FromEarly Christian Writings 

Related Link:   

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

(111) Jesus said: The heavens will be rolled up and likewise the earth in your presence, and the living one, (come forth) from the Living One, will not see death or <fear>, because Jesus says: He who finds himself, of him the world is not worthy.

LAYTON[2]4CM Translator ID: T68

(111) Jesus said, “The heavens and the earth will roll up in your (plur.) presence. And the living from the living will not see death.” – Doesn’t Jesus mean that the world is not worthy of a person who has found the self?

DORESSE[3]4CM Translator ID: T81

115 [111]. Jesus says: “The heavens and the earth will open (?) before you, and he who lives by Him who is living will not see death”, because (?) Jesus says this: “He who keeps to himself alone, the world is not worthy of him.”

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

GThom 11:1
• Ps 102:25-27 KJV
• Isa 34:4 KJV
• Luke 16:16-17 KJV
• Luke 21:32-33 KJV
• Matt 5:18 KJV
• Matt 24:34-35 KJV
• Mark 13:30-31 KJV
DialSav 56 (Dialogus Saluatoris)
• Heb 1:10-12 KJV
• Rev 6:12-14 KJV

Scholarly Quotes

Bentley Layton writes of the last sentence here: “probably a comment added to the text by an ancient reader and later erroneously incorporated in the text.” 

The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 399

Jean Doresse writes that the last part “introduces an explanation or conclusion of one of the editors of the Gospel of Thomas; cf. 65. He draws a comparison between the person who lives by ‘Him who is living’ (the Risen Jesus) and the person who has achieved solitude and unity.” 

The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics, p. 377

Funk and Hoover write: “In vv. 1-2, Jesus speaks as the redeemer sent from God to reveal the secrets of the universe. Such an understanding of Jesus’ identity belongs to the early Jesus movement, not to Jesus himself.” 

The Five Gospels, p. 530

Gerd Theissen describes one theological motive of Thomas: “Dualistic anthropology: the world and with it the human body are devalued and become a synonym for death. The Father’s kingdom of light, knowledge and eternal life are to be attained only by radical ‘fasting from the world’ (27): ‘Whoever finds himself is superior to the world’ (111).” 

The Historical Jesus: A Comprehensive Guide, p. 40


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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *