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The Gospel of Thomas

The Hidden Sayings of Jesus

 

PROLOGUE

These are the hidden sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Judas Thomas the Twin recorded.

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

2. Jesus said, Let one who seeks not stop seeking until one finds. When one finds, one will be troubled. When one is troubled, one will marvel and will rule over all.

3. Jesus said, If your leaders say to you, Look, the kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of heaven will precede you. If they say to you, It is in the sea, then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside 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 dwell in poverty and you are poverty.

4. Jesus said, The person old in days will not 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?

6. His followers 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, Do not lie, and do not do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven.          For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered that will remain undisclosed.

7. Jesus said, Fortunate 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 will become human.

8. And he said, Humankind is like a wise fisher man 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 with no difficulty chose the large fish. Whoever has ears to hear should hear.

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 pecked them up. Others fell on rock, and they did not take root in the soil and did not produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms devoured them. And others fell on good soil, and it brought forth a good crop: It yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.

10. Jesus said, I have thrown fire upon the world, and look, I am watching 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 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 followers 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 followers, 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 consume 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 through the countryside, when people receive you, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it is 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 is your father.

16. Jesus said, Perhaps people think that I have come to impose peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to impose conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: There will be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.

17. Jesus said, I shall 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 followers said to Jesus, Tell us how our end will be.

Jesus said, Have you discovered the beginning, then, so that you are seeking the end? For where the beginning is, the end will be. Fortunate is one who stands at the beginning: That one will know the end and will not taste death.

19. Jesus said, Fortunate is one who came into being before coming into being.

If you become my followers and listen 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 followers said to Jesus, Tell us what heavens kingdom is like.

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

21. Mary said to Jesus, What are your followers 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 our field back to us. 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 owner of a house knows that a thief is coming, he will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into the house of his estate and steal his possessions. As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Arm yourselves with great strength, or the robbers might 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, the person came quickly with sickle in hand and harvested it.

Whoever has ears to hear should hear.

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his followers, 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 followers said, Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it.

He said to them, Whoever has ears should hear. 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 brother like your soul, protect that person like the pupil of your eye.

26. Jesus said, You see the speck that is in your brothers eye, but you do not see the beam that is in your own eye. When you take the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brothers 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 now they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent.

29. Jesus said, If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, it 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, A prophet is not acceptable in the prophets own town; a doctor does not heal those who know the doctor.

32. Jesus said, A city built upon 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. For 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 stand so that all who come and go will see its light.

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

35. Jesus said, You cannot enter the house of the strong and take it by force without tying the persons hands. Then you can loot the persons house.

36. Jesus said, Do not worry, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, about what you will wear.

37. His followers said, When will you appear to us and when shall 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 them, then [you] will see the child 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 scribes 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 shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

40. Jesus said, A grapevine has been planted away 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 that person has.

42. Jesus said, Be passersby.

43. His followers said to him, Who are you to say these things to us?

You do not know who I am from what I say to you. Rather, you have become like the Jewish people, 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. A good person brings forth good from the storehouse; a bad person brings forth evil things from the corrupt storehouse in the heart and says evil things. For from the abundance of the heart this person brings forth evil things.

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 the persons eyes should not be averted. But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will know the kingdom and will become greater than John.

47 Jesus said, A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows. And a servant cannot serve two masters, or that servant will honor the one and offend the other. No person drinks aged wine and immediately desires to drink new wine. New wine is not poured into aged 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, for there would be 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, Fortunate are 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 followers 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 look for has come, but you do not know it.

52. His followers 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 followers said to him, Is circumcision useful or not?

He said to them, If it were useful, childrens fathers would produce them already circumcised from their mothers. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become valuable in every respect.

54. Jesus said, Fortunate are the poor, for yours is heavens kingdom.

55. Jesus said, Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be a follower of me, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters and bear 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 fathers kingdom is like a person who had [good] seed. His enemy came at night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let them pull up the weeds, but said to them, No, or 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, Fortunate is the person who has worked hard and has found life.

59. Jesus said, Look to the living one as long as you live, or 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 followers, <> 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 cannot 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 rest on a couch; one will die, one will live.

Salome said, Who are you, muster? 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 given from the things of my father.

I am your follower.

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. Whoever has ears should hear.

64. Jesus said, A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant to invite the guests.

The servant went to the first and said to that one, My master invites you.

That person said, Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I must go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.

The servant went to another and said to that one, My master has invited you.

That person said to the servant, I have bought a house and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time

The servant went to another and said to that one, My master invites you

That person said to the servant, 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 servant went to another and said to that one, My master invites you.

That person said to the servant, I have bought an estate and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.

The servant returned and said to his master, The people whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.

The master said to his servant, 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 that they might work it and he might collect its produce from them. He sent his servant so that the farmers might give the servant the produce of the vineyard. They seized, beat, and almost killed his servant, and the servant returned and told his master. His master said, Perhaps he did not know them. He sent another servant, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, Perhaps they will show my son some respect. Since the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Whoever has ears should hear.

66. Jesus said, Show me the stone that the builders rejected: That is the cornerstone.

67. Jesus said, One who knows all but is lacking in oneself is utterly lacking.

68. Jesus said, Fortunate are you when you are hated and persecuted; and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted.

69. Jesus said, Fortunate are those who have been persecuted in their hearts: They are the ones who have truly come to know the father. Fortunate are they who are hungry, that the stomach of the person 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 shall destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [. . ].

72. A [person said] to him, Tell my brothers to diivide my fathers possessions with me.

He said to the person, Mister, 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 is large but the workers are few. So beg the master to send out workers to the harvest.

74. He said, Master, 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 wedding chamber.

76. Jesus said, The fathers kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and then found a pearl. 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 devour and no worm destroys.

77. Jesus said, I am the light that is over all things. I am all: From me all has come forth, and to me all has reached. 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, Fortunate are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you.

He said to [her], Fortunate are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, Fortunate 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 person the world is not worthy.

81. Jesus said, Let one who has become wealthy rule, and let one who has power renounce (it).

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 fathers 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 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 the child of humankind has no place to lay his head 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 is yours. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, When will they come and take what is theirs?

89. Jesus said, Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not 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 easy and my mastery 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 this 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. Do not give what is holy to dogs, or they might throw them upon the manure pile. Do not throw pearls [to] swine, or they might it [].

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

95. [Jesus said], If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you will not get it back.

96. Jesus [said], The fathers kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little yeast, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Whoever has ears should hear.

97. Jesus said, The [fathers] 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 did not know it; she had not noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.

98. Jesus said, The fathers kingdom is like a person who wanted to put someone powerful to death. While 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 followers said to him, Your brothers and your mother are standing outside.

He said to them, Those here who do the will of my father are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my fathers kingdom.

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, Caesars people demand taxes from us.

He said to them, Give Caesar the things that are Caesars, give God the things that are Gods, and give me what is mine.

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

102. Jesus said, Damn the Pharisees, for they are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger, for it does not eat or [let] the cattle eat.

103. Jesus said, Fortunate is the person who knows where the robbers are going to enter, so that [he] may arise, bring together his estate, and arm himself before they enter.

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 bridegroom leaves the wedding chamber, 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 humanity, 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 sought the one until he found it. After he had gone to this trouble, 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 that person.

109. Jesus said, The 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). 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.

101. Jesus said, Let someone 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, Whoever has found oneself, of that person 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 followers said to him, When will the kingdom come?

It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, Look, here it is, or Look, there it is. Rather, the fathers kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it.

114. Simon Peter said to them, Mary should leave us, for females are not worthy of life.

Jesus said, Look, I shall 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 heavens kingdom.

The Gospel According to Thomas

***

Source: THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus. English translation, with introduction, critical edition of the Coptic text & notes by Marvin Meyer, with an interpretation by Harold Bloom, Harper San Francisco, 1992.

Copyright 1992 by Marvin W. Meyer

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