Gospel of Thomas
Coptic-language early Christian non-canonical gospel, part of the Nag Hammadi library
The Gospel of Thomas is one of the Gnostic Gospels, dated to around the 3rd century but lost in modern times until it was rediscovered in a cave near Nag Hammadi in 1945.
The author of the Gospel of Thomas discovered at Nag Hammadi in 1945 is unknown, but is identified in the text as Didymos Judas Thomas, and this is generally regarded to be Thomas the Apostle. It consists primarily of sayings, said to be those of Jesus, with a few framing anecdotes associated with some of them.
- The Gospel of Thomas, translated by Thomas O. Lambdin. The Gnostic Society Library.
- Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.
- If those who lead you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.
- The person old in days will not hesitate to ask a little child of seven days concerning the place of life.
- Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
- I have cast fire upon the world — and behold, I guard it until it is ablaze.
- 10; as quoted in Studies in the Gospel of Thomas (1960) by Robert McLachlan Wilson
- Variant translations:
- I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am watching over it until it blazes.
- As translated by Bentley Layton
- This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die.
- Thou art like a philosopher of the heart.
- 13, Matthew’s words to Yeshua
- I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended.
- 13, words to Thomas
- The Disciples say to Yeshua: Tell us how our end shall be. Yeshua says: Have you then discovered the origin, so that you inquire about the end? For at the place where the origin is, there shall be the end. Blest is he who shall stand at the origin
- When you make the two one, and you make the inside as the outside and the outside as the inside and the above as the below, and if you establish the male with the female as a single unity so that the man will not act masculine and the woman not act feminine, … —then shall you enter the Sovereignty.
- Within a person of light there is light, and he illumines the entire world. When he does not shine, there is darkness.
- Unless ye fast from the world, ye shall not find the Sovereignty; unless ye keep the entire week as Sabbath, ye shall not behold the Father.
- I found them all drunk, I found no one among them athirst in his heart. And my soul was grieved for the sons of men, for they are blind in their minds and do not see that empty they have come into the world and that empty they are destined to come forth from the world.
- 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.
- His disciples say to him, … when will the New World come? He says to them: That which you look for has already come, but you do not recognize it.
- Behold the Living-One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to perceive him and be unable to see.
- When you bring forth that which is within yourselves, this that you have shall save you. If you do not have that within yourselves, this which you do not have within you will kill you.
- It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.
- Your rulers and your dignitaries are those who are clad in plush garments, and they shall not be able to recognize the truth.
- Whoever has recognized the world has found the body; yet whoever has found the body, of him the world is not worthy.
- Why do you wash the outside of the chalice? Do you not comprehend that He who creates the inside, is also He who creates the outside?
- You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment.
- The Sovereignty of the Father is like a woman who is carrying a jar full of grain. While she was walking on a distant road, the handle of the jar broke, the grain streamed out behind her onto the road. She did not observe it, she had noticed no accident. When she arrived in her house, she set the jar down—she found it empty.
- Whoever has found the world and become enriched, let him renounce the world.
- Woe to the flesh which depends upon the soul, woe to the soul which depends upon the flesh!
- His disciples said to Him, "When will the Kingdom come?"
Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'Here it is' or 'There it is.' Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
Quotes about the Gospel of ThomasEdit
- Yet the gnostic Gospel of Thomas relates that as soon as Thomas recognizes him, Jesus says to Thomas that they have both received their being from the same source . . . Does not such teaching—the identity of the divine and human, the concern with illusion and enlightenment, the founder who is presented not as Lord, but as spiritual guide—sound more Eastern than Western? Some scholars have suggested that if the names were changed, the 'living Buddha' appropriately could say what the Gospel of Thomas attributes to the living Jesus. Could Hindu or Buddhist tradition have influenced gnosticism?
- Elaine Pagels. Quoted from Malhotra, R., Nīlakantan, A. (Princeton, N.J.). (2011). Breaking India: Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines
- The Gospel of Thomas Collection at the Gnostic Society Library