HANDBOOK TO THE GOSPELS
by miriam berg
THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS
(passages with no parallels)
Below are the rest of the sayings of Jesus which were preserved
in the Gospel of Thomas but have no parallels in the other gospels.
7. Jesus said, Blessed is the lion whom the
man will eat, and the lion will become man;
but cursed is the man whom the lion will eat
and the lion will become man.
11. Jesus said, This heaven will pass away
and that which is above it will pass away
and the dead do not live, and the living will
not die. In the days that you ate what was
dead, it became in you the living.
When you are in the light, what will
you do! On the day you were One, you became the Two;
but then being Two, what will you do?
12. The disciples said to Jesus, We know that
you will depart from us. Who will be our
leader? Jesus said, Wherever you are, you
should go to James the Just, because for him
heaven and earth came into being.
15. Jesus said, When you see the One who was
not born of woman, fall upon your face and worship
him; for that one is your Father.
18. The disciples said to him, Tell us how our end
will be. Jesus said, Have you found the beginning
that you now look for the end? But in the Place
where the beginning is, there the end will be.
Blessed is he who will stand boldly
at the beginning; he shall know the end, and shall not
19. Jesus said, Blessed is he who became before
becoming. If you become my disciples, and hear my
sayings, these very stones will be your ministers.
For you have five trees in Paradise which are unchanged
in summer or winter and their leaves shall not fall.
Whoever knows them shall never taste death.
21a. Mary said to Jesus, Who do your disciples
resemble? He said, They resemble small children
dwelling in a field which is not theirs. When
the owners of the field come they will say, Return
to us our field. They strip off their outward
facade before them to return it to them.
22b. Jesus said to them, When you make the two one
and you make the inner as the outer, and the outer
as the inner, and the above as the below, so that
you will make the male and the female into a single
one, in order that the male is not made male nor
the female made female: when you make eyes in place
of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a
foot in place of a foot, and an image in place of
an image, then shall you enter the kingdom.
23. Jesus said: I will choose you, one out of a
thousand, and two out of ten thousand, and they
shall stand boldly, being a single one.
27. If you abstain not from the world, you will not
find the kingdom; if you do not keep the sabbath as
sabbath, you will not behold the Father.
28. Jesus said: I stood boldly in the midst of the
world and I manifested to them in the flesh.
I found them all drunk; I found
none among them athirst, and my soul was afflicted for
the sons of men because they are blind in their heart
and they do not see that empty they came into the world
and that empty they seek to go out of the world again,
except that now they are drunk.
When they shake off their wine,
then they will change their knowing.
29. Jesus said, If the flesh has come into being
because of the spirit, it is a marvel; but if the
spirit has come into being because of the body, it
is a marvel of marvels. But I, I marvel at this:
about this great wealth stored in this poverty.
37. His disciples said, On which day will you be
manifest to us and on which day will we behold you?
Jesus said, When you strip yourselves
of your shame, and take your garments and put them under
your feet even as little children, and you trample
them; then shall you behold the son of him who is
living, and you shall not fear.
42. Jesus said, Become yourselves, passing away.
(or, Become passers-by.)
43. His disciples said to him, Who are you that you
should say these things to us? Jesus said to them,
From what I say to you, are you not aware of who I am?
No, you have become like the Jews; for they love the tree,
but dislike its fruit; or they love the fruit,
but dislike the tree.
49. Jesus said, Happy are the loners and the chosen
for you shall find the kingdom. Because you are from
the heart of it, you shall go there again.
50. Jesus said, If they ask you, "Where are you from?"
say to them, "We came from the light there, where the
light was, by itself. It stood boldly and manifested
itself in their image."
If they ask you, "Who ARE you?"
say, "We are his sons and we are the chosen of the living
If they question you, "What is the
sign of your Father in you?" say to them, "It is a movement
52. His disciples said to him, Twenty-four prophets spoke
have spoken in Israel, and they spoke about your nature.
He said to them, You have ignored
him who is living in front of you, and you have just talked
about the dead.
53. His disciples said to him, Is circumcision beneficial
He said to them, If it were
beneficial, their father would beget them circumcised from
their mother. But the true circumcision, of spirit, gives
the ultimate benefit.
56. Jesus said, He who has found the world has found
a corpse; and he who has found a corpse, of him the
world is not worthy.
58. Jesus said, Happy is the man who has toiled;
he has found the Life.
59. Jesus said, Look upon him who is living as long
as you live, lest you should die and you should seek
to see him, and you would not be able to see.
60. They saw a Samaritan, carrying a lamb, going into
Judea. He said to his disciples, Why does this man
carry the lamb about? They said to him, In order that
he may kill it and eat it. He said to them, As long
as it is alive he will not eat it, but only if he kills
it and it becomes a corpse. They said, Otherwise he
will not be able to do it. He said to them, You
yourselves, seek after a Place for yourselves within
Repose, lest you become corpses and be eaten.
67. Jesus said, He who understands the All, but lacking
himself, lacks everything.
69a. Jesus said, Happy are they who have been pursued
in their heart. It is they who have known the Father
70. Jesus said, When you bring forth that in yourselves,
this which is yours will save you; if you do not have
that in yourselves, this which is not yours in you
will kill you.
74. He said, Lord, there are many around the well
but none in the well.
80. Jesus said, He who has known the world has found the body;
but he who has found the body, of him the world is not worthy.
81. Jesus said, He who has become rich, let him become king;
and he who has power, let him renounce it!
83. Jesus said, The images are manifest to man, and
the light that is amongst them is hidden. In the image
of the light of the Father the light will reveal itself
and his image is hidden by his light.
84. Jesus said, In the days you see your resemblance, you
rejoice. But when you will see your images that in the
beginning were in you which neither die nor are manifest
oh! how will you bear!
85. Jesus said, Adam came into being from a great power
and a great richness, and he was not worthy of you;
for if he had been worthy, he would not have tasted death.
87. Jesus said, Wretched is the body that depends on a body
and wretched is the soul that depends on these two.
88. Jesus said, The angels with the prophets will come to you
and they will give you what is yours.
You also, give what is in your hands
to them, and say to yourselves: On which day will they come
and receive what is theirs?
97. Jesus said, The kingdom of the Father is like a
woman who was carrying a jar full of flour while
walking on a long road; the handle of the jar broke
and the flour streamed out behind her on the road.
As she did not know it she could
not be troubled by it. When she had reached her house
she put the jar on the ground; she found it empty.
98. Jesus said, The kingdom of the Father is like a man
wishing to kill a giant. He drew the sword in his house;
he struck it through the wall in order to be assured
that his hand would be confident. Then he went out and
slew the giant.
92. Jesus said, Seek and you will find. But those things
that you asked me in those days I did not tell you then;
now I desire to tell them but you do not seek after them.
102. Jesus said, Woe to them, the Pharisees! for they
resemble a dog sleeping in the oxen's manger; for neither
does he eat nor does he allow the oxen to eat. (Aesop)
103. Jesus said, Happy is the man who knows where and when
the robbers will creep in; so that he will arise and gather
his strength and prepare for action before they come.
105. Jesus said, He who knows the Father and the
Mother, will he be called the son of a harlot?
110. Jesus said, He who has found the world, and become
rich, let him deny the world! (cf. #81)
111. Jesus said, The heavens and the earth will roll back
before you, and he who is living, from the Life, shall see
neither death nor fear, because Jesus said this: He who
finds himself, of him the world is not worthy.
112. Jesus said, Unhappy will be the flesh that depends
upon the soul! and unhappy will be the soul that depends
upon the flesh! (cf. #87)
None of the imagery or aphoristic utterances in any of these
passages seems consonant or consistent with the words of Jesus
reported in the Synoptic gospels. Some of them are incomprehensible
such as, The kingdom of God is like a man wishing to kill a giant
and so he pokes the sword through the wall of his house.