The Gospel of Thomas

(If you want to skip the introduction and just read the text itself, the full text of the Gospel of Thomas is below.)


Of all of the early Christian scriptures that weren’t included in the New Testament, few if any have astonished and captivated modern readers as much as the Gospel of Thomas. It isn’t hard to see why: the vision of Christianity articulated by the Gospel of Thomas is strikingly, even radically different from what most people today think of when they hear the word “Christianity,” and that vision happens to powerfully speak to the concerns of modern independent-minded spiritual seekers – both Christian and non-Christian alike.

The Gospel of Thomas consists of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus rather than a story about Jesus’s life. Some of these sayings are different versions of sayings that are also found in the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, and/or Luke. One of them – saying number 17 – is also recorded by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9.[1] The other sayings in the Gospel of Thomas aren’t found anywhere outside of this gospel.

The key to understanding the overall message of the Gospel of Thomas is the name of the apostle to whom the text is attributed. (It should go without saying that it’s extremely unlikely that the apostle Thomas was actually the author of the gospel, just as it’s extremely unlikely that the apostles Matthew and John actually wrote the New Testament gospels attributed to them.) “Thomas” means “twin” in Aramaic and Syriac.[2] The text portrays Thomas as the “twin” of Jesus – someone who has become spiritually identical to Jesus. How does Thomas do that? By achieving gnosis – salvation that consists of mystical, experiential knowledge of the true, spiritual nature of reality, especially including the ultimate nature of the self. Gnosis is something that, in principle, anyone can achieve, and the purpose of the Gospel of Thomas is to help readers reach that point where they become mystically identical to Christ himself.[3] As Jesus says in saying 108, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become as I am. I, too, will become him, and the hidden things will be shown to him.”

The Gospel of Thomas holds that, unlike more mundane kinds of knowledge, gnosis can’t be adequately expressed in words. Jesus’s disciples keep asking him to spoonfeed them the correct beliefs and practices that will lead to salvation, and every time, Jesus admonishes them for lacking understanding and tries to point them in the right direction through deliberately cryptic sayings whose meaning the disciples, like the reader, have to figure out for themselves by trading literal, critical modes of thought for subtler, more intuitive ones.[4][5]

The expectation of Jesus’s “Second Coming” and the apocalyptic arrival of the Kingdom of God occupied a much more central role in early Christianity than it does in today’s Christianity. But the Gospel of Thomas mocks conventional understandings of that notion. Instead, it holds that, in the words of saying 3, “The Kingdom of God is within you and all around you. Those who come to know themselves will find it.” The Kingdom of God is a spiritual state of being, not a set of future events on earth, and only those who achieve gnosis here and now can enter it.[6]

Because of its theological/editorial perspective, most scholars date the Gospel of Thomas in the form in which we have it today to the late first or early second century AD/CE.[7] (See The Origins of Christianity for more on the evolution of understandings of the Kingdom of God in the Christianity of the first century, which shows that it’s highly unlikely that Thomas was composed before the late first century at the earliest.) But the Gospel of Thomas contains material that’s much older than that. Like the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the Gospel of Thomas draws on collections of sayings attributed to Jesus that were probably in circulation among the very first generation of Christians.[8]

Intriguingly, however, the author of the Gospel of Thomas not only doesn’t seem to have used the gospels that would later be included in the New Testament as sources – the text gives no particular evidence that its author was even familiar with them.[9] Even in places where there’s overlap between the Gospel of Thomas and the New Testament gospels, the versions of the sayings found in the Gospel of Thomas are remarkably different than the versions in the New Testament, as if the author of Thomas were drawing on some of those gospels’ sources, both oral and written, rather than those gospels themselves.[10][11] Especially telling in this regard is the fact that the Gospel of Thomas doesn’t include a number of sayings attributed to Jesus in the New Testament that would have helped to advance its theological agenda.[12]

Quite a few early Christian writers mention or quote the Gospel of Thomas, so it must have been rather popular in late antiquity. It was still in circulation in the fifth and sixth centuries despite systematic attempts to suppress it. Today, two copies of it survive. One is a highly fragmentary version in Greek, the language in which it was probably originally written. The other is an almost complete copy in Coptic translation from the Nag Hammadi Library.[13]

Scholars are divided over whether or not the Gospel of Thomas is a truly Gnostic text. On the one hand, its emphasis on gnosis as the means of salvation is in line with Gnostic thinking and contrary to the thinking of most other kinds of early Christians.[14] Furthermore, the fact that it’s a sayings gospel rather than a narrative gospel could be a product of the Gnostic emphasis on Jesus’s teachings rather than his life and death.[15] On the other hand, however, the Gospel of Thomas doesn’t include, or even allude to, the definitive Gnostic myth.[16]

For what it’s worth, my own suspicion is that the Gospel of Thomas is a pre-Gnostic or proto-Gnostic text rather than truly Gnostic one. Several sayings are extremely difficult to square with a Gnostic perspective. For example, saying 77 implies some sort of pantheism, which is at odds with the Gnostics’ anticosmicism. Likewise, sayings 53 and 89 imply that God created both the body and the soul, whereas in the Gnostics’ creation myth, God only created souls, and the body, like the rest of the material world, was created by the Satan-like demiurge. And saying 85 implies that Adam was responsible for the Fall, whereas in Gnostic myth the Fall is generally said to have happened in Heaven prior to Adam’s creation. All of this makes it seem like the Gospel of Thomas occupies a position much like that of the Gospel of John: a text that was beloved by the Gnostics and may have been deeply influential for the formation of Gnosticism, but which wasn’t originally written from a Gnostic perspective.

The following version of the Gospel of Thomas is my own rendering of the text based on the translations of Bentley Layton[17] and Marvin Meyer[18]. My aim has been to produce a version of the text that’s clearer and more readable than the available academic translations, while still being closely based on them to ensure accuracy. I hope you find it useful. For more on my methods and goals, see A Note on My Renderings of the Gnostic Texts.

Unfortunately, the Coptic translation of the text that all modern translations are based on seems to have been of rather shoddy quality. That combined with the inherent ambiguity of the sayings themselves means that any modern rendering of the text involves quite a bit of educated guesswork. Marvin Meyer’s profuse footnotes to his translation bear this out particularly strikingly. Thus, my rendering is very tentative at times, especially sayings 30, 60, 71, 72, and 83. My attempted restorations of those sayings – like everyone else’s attempted restorations of them – should be taken with a large grain of salt.

One final note: modern readers tend to be particularly perplexed by saying 114, which says that “any woman who becomes a man will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Like virtually everything else in this gospel, that saying shouldn’t be interpreted literally. Instead, it’s referencing a custom so common in ancient Greek philosophy that it was practically a literary cliché: the glossing of matter as female and spirit as male. So saying 114 is really declaring that one must trade the flesh for the spirit – one of the most frequently-repeated messages of the Gospel of Thomas as a whole.[19]

The Gospel of Thomas

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote down.


And Jesus said, “Whoever finds out what these sayings mean will not taste death.”


Jesus said, “Let the seeker keep seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will be disturbed. When he is disturbed, he will be amazed. When he is amazed, he will be invincible to everything. And when he is invincible to everything, he will be at rest.”


Jesus said, “If pleasing speakers say to you, ‘Look, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will get there before you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the waters,’ then the fish of the waters will get there before you. Instead, the Kingdom of God is within you and all around you.

“Those who come to know themselves will find it. And when you come to know yourselves, you will see that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not come to know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and that poverty is you.”


Jesus said, “A person of many years will be willing to ask a child of seven days about the nature of life, and that person will live. For many who are first shall be last, and many who are last shall be first. And the many will become one.”


Jesus said, “Understand what is right in front of your face, and all the secrets will be revealed to you. There is no secret that will not be revealed.”


Jesus’s disciples asked him, “How should we fast? How should we pray? Should we give alms? What should we eat?”

Jesus said, “Do not lie, and do not do what you hate, for all things are known to Heaven. There is no secret that will not be revealed, and all that is covered will be uncovered.”


Jesus said, “Blessed is the lion that is eaten by a human so that the lion becomes human. And cursed is the human that is eaten by a lion so that the lion becomes human.”


Jesus said, “Some people are like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the water and pulled it out full of little fish. The fisherman spotted a fine big fish in their midst and immediately chose it over all the little fish, which he threw back into the water. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Jesus said, “A sower went out with a handful of seeds and cast them. Some landed on a path, and the birds came and pecked them out. Others landed on rocks, where they could not reach the soil and so could not produce a crop. Others landed on thorns, which smothered the seeds, and the worms ate them. But others landed in good soil, and these sent up a good crop, some sixty per measure and some a hundred and twenty per measure.”


Jesus said, “I have lit a spark in the midst of the world, and I am tending it until it becomes a blaze.”


Jesus said, “This sphere of heaven will perish, and so will the one above it. What is dead is not alive, and what is alive will not die. In the days when you ate what was dead, you brought it to life. [Text possibly missing] When you step into the light, what will you do? In the days when you were one, you split into two. When you split into two, what will you do?”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “We know that you will leave us. When you do, who will lead us?”

Jesus said to them, “No matter where you are coming from, go to James the Just, for whose sake Heaven and earth were created.”


Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to something that is like me.”

Simon Peter said to him, “You are like an angel of justice.”

Matthew said to him, “You are like a brilliant philosopher.”

But Thomas said to him, “Teacher, none of the words my mouth can form can say what you are like.”

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am not your teacher, for you have quaffed the frothing spring that I have poured for you, and you have become drunk.” And he took Thomas aside and spoke three sayings to him.

When Thomas returned to his companions, they asked him, “What did he say to you?”

Thomas said to them, “If I were to tell you even one of the sayings he spoke to me, you would grab rocks and stone me, and fire would burst forth from the rocks and devour you.”


Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will commit a sin. If you pray, you will be damned. If you give alms, you will bring evil upon your souls.

“When you travel somewhere and people take you in, eat whatever they serve you, and heal those who are sick. For you are not defiled by what goes into your mouth, but rather by what comes out of it.”


Jesus said, “When you find someone who was not born of any woman, fall on your faces and bow before him. For that one is your Father.”


Jesus said, “People may think that I have come to bring peace to the world. They do not know that I have come to bring strife: fire, sword, and war. In a house where five people live, three will be against two, and two will be against three. Parent will be against child and child against parent. Each will be alone against all.”


Jesus said, “I will give you what your eyes have not seen, what your ears have not heard, what your hands have not touched, what the human heart has not felt.”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “Tell us what the end times will be like.”

Jesus said to them, “Have you found the beginning, and can you now move on to finding the end? For the end and the beginning are in the same place. Blessed is the one who has found the beginning, for he will find the end and will not taste death.”


Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who was alive before he was born. If you become my disciples and hear my words, even the stones will be your servants. In paradise, there will be five trees for you, trees that are the same in winter as they are in summer, and whose leaves never fall. Whoever finds them will not taste death.”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “Tell us what the Kingdom of God is like.”

Jesus said to them, “It is like a mustard seed. No seed is smaller, but if it falls on suitable ground, such a luxuriant plant springs forth from it that the birds of the sky find shade beneath it.”


Mary asked Jesus, “What are your disciples like?”

Jesus said to her, “They are like children who live in a house that they do not own. When the owners of the house arrive, they say, ‘Give our house back to us.’ So the disciples strip naked and give back to them both clothes and house.

“So I say that if the owner of a house knows that someone is coming to rob him, he will stand guard before the robber comes, and he will not let the robber break in and steal what is his. As for you, therefore, stand guard against the world. Arm yourselves with the power to keep the robbers away, for sooner or later they will indeed try to break into your house. Surely there is one among you who understands!

[Text missing] “When the crop was ready, that person hurried over with a sickle and harvested it. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Jesus saw some suckling infants. He said to his disciples, “Those who enter the Kingdom of God are like those infants.”

They asked him, “Then do we have to become babies to enter the Kingdom?”

Jesus said to them, “When you make what is two into one, and make what is outside like what is inside and what is inside like what is outside, and make what is above like what is below, and when you make man and woman into the same thing, so that the man is not a man nor the woman a woman, when you replace eyes with eyes, hands with hands, feet with feet, and an image with an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.”


Jesus said, “I will choose one out of a thousand and two out of ten thousand, and they will stand together as one.”


The disciples said to Jesus, “If we must seek the place where you dwell, then show it to us.”

Jesus said to them, “Whoever has ears, let them hear. Light dwells within a person of light. It illuminates the whole world, and if it does not, there is only darkness.”


Jesus said, “Love your brother as yourself. Look after him as you would the pupil of your own eye.”


Jesus said, “You see the grain of sand in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the rock in your own eye. When you remove the rock from your own eye, then you will see clearly enough to be able to remove the grain of sand from your brother’s eye.”


Jesus said, “If you do not forsake the world, you will never find the Kingdom of God. If you do not treat the Sabbath as the Sabbath, you will never meet the Father.”


Jesus said, “I came into the flesh and made my way through the world. Everyone I met was drunk, yet no one was thirsty. It pained me to see the blindness of their hearts. They were empty when they came into the world, and they intend to leave the world empty as well. But in the meantime, they are drunk. When they get out from under their liquor, they will regret it.”


Jesus said, “If the body were created for the sake of the spirit, that would be a marvel. If the spirit were created for the sake of the body, that would be a marvel of marvels. But I marvel at how such a treasure can be found amidst so much poverty.”


Jesus said, “Whether there are three together, or two, or one alone, I am with them.”


Jesus said, “A prophet is never welcome in his own town, and a doctor does not heal his own friends.”


Jesus said, “A city with high walls on a high hill cannot fall – nor can it be kept hidden.”


Jesus said, “What you hear with your ears, announce for other ears from your rooftop. After all, no one lights a lamp and puts a jug over it, nor hides it away somewhere. Instead, it is put on a lampstand so that anyone who is near to it will see its light.”


Jesus said, “If a blind person is led by another blind person, both will fall into a hole.”


Jesus said, “No one can invade a strong man’s house without first binding his hands. Then you can loot his house.”


Jesus said, “From dawn to dusk and from dusk to dawn, do not worry about what you will wear.”


Jesus’s disciples asked him, “When will you be revealed to us, and when will we see you?”

Jesus answered, “When you shamelessly strip naked and trample your clothes under your feet like little children, then you will see the child of the living Father, for your sight will not be blocked by fear.”


Jesus said, “You have sought me out many times to hear my sayings, for there is no one else from whom you can hear them. A time will come when you will look for me but not find me.”


Jesus said, “The Pharisees and the scribes have seized the keys to gnosis and hidden them. They have not used the keys, nor have they allowed anyone else to use them and enter the place of gnosis. You must therefore be as cunning as snakes and as innocent as doves.”


Jesus said, “A grapevine has been planted far from the Father. Because of this, it is weak and sickly. It will be yanked out of the ground and left to die.”


Jesus said, “He who already has much will be given even more. And he who has little will be stripped of everything.”


Jesus said, “Be passersby.”


Jesus’s disciples challenged him, “Who are you to give us these sayings?”

Jesus said to them, “Can you not tell who I am from my sayings? You have become like the Jews, who love the tree but hate its fruit, and love the fruit but hate the tree.”


Jesus said, “Someone who speaks blasphemy against the Father will be forgiven, and someone who speaks blasphemy against the Son will be forgiven, but someone who speaks blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven – not on earth, and not in Heaven.”


Jesus said, “No one gathers grapes from weeds, and no one picks figs from cacti. Good people leave their storehouse with arms full of good, but evil people bring evil things out of the storehouse in their hearts, and speak evil words. Such is what their hearts contain in abundance.”


Jesus said, “From Adam to John the Baptist, no one born to any woman has been the equal of John the Baptist. There are none before whom he must lower his eyes. And yet, as I have told you, whoever among you becomes a little child will come to know the Kingdom of God, and they will surpass even John.”


Jesus said, “No one can ride two horses or draw two bows at once. No slave can serve two masters, for he will have to obey one and disobey the other. No one wants to drink new wine after drinking aged wine. No one fills old wineskins with new wine, for they might burst. No one fills new wineskins with aged wine, for it might turn. And no one sews old patches onto new clothes, for they might rip.”


Jesus said, “If two people reconcile with each other in the same house, they will say to a mountain ‘Get up and move’ and it will move.”


Jesus said, “Blessed are those who stand out and stand alone, for they will find the Kingdom. They have come from the Kingdom, and they will return to it.”


Jesus said, “If they ask you, ‘Where are you from?’ tell them, ‘We are from the light, from the place where the light arose by itself and established its own in its image.’ If they ask you, ‘Are you that light?’ tell them, ‘We are its children, those whom the living Father has chosen.’ If they ask you, ‘How do you know that your Father dwells within you?’ tell them, ‘By his movement and his rest.’”


Jesus’s disciples asked him, “When will the resurrection of the dead occur, and when will the new world arrive?”

Jesus answered, “What you are looking for is already here, but you do not recognize it.”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “Of the twenty-four prophets who foretold the fortunes of Israel, all of them spoke about you.”

Jesus replied, “You have overlooked the living one in your midst and have wasted your words on the dead.”


Jesus’s disciples asked him, “Is circumcision beneficial?”

Jesus answered, “If circumcision were beneficial, children would be born circumcised. True spiritual circumcision, however, is very beneficial indeed.”


Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of God is theirs.”


Jesus said, “One who does not hate his father and mother cannot be my disciple, and one who does not hate his brothers and sisters and take up his cross as I have is not worthy of me.”


Jesus said, “Whoever has understood the world has unearthed a corpse, and whoever has unearthed that corpse is someone of whom the world is not worthy.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is like a man who had heirloom seeds. In the night, his enemy came and scattered the seeds of weeds where his prized seeds had been planted. When the weeds sprouted, the man said to his farmhands, ‘Do not pull them out, for you might pull out the wheat as well. Wait until the day of the harvest arrives, when it will be easy to distinguish the weeds from the wheat. Then you will pull up the weeds and burn them.’”


Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who has suffered and found life.”


Jesus said, “Keep your eyes on the living one while you are still alive. If you try to find him when you are dead, you will not be able to see him.”


The disciples saw a Samaritan on his way to Judea with a lamb. Jesus asked them, “Why is that man carrying a lamb?”

They replied, “So that he can kill it and eat it.”

Jesus responded, “He will not eat it while it is still alive, but only when it has been slaughtered.”

They agreed, “Otherwise he cannot eat it.”

Then Jesus said, “You are like that lamb. Unless you can free yourselves from the grasp of the one who holds you, you will be slaughtered and devoured.”


Jesus said, “Two will recline on a couch. One will die, and the other will live.”

Salome wondered aloud, “Who are you? You lie on my couch and eat from my table, yet you are a stranger to me.”

Jesus replied, “I come from that which is whole. My Father has given me all that he has to give.”

Salome said to him, “I am your disciple.”

Jesus said, “Therefore I say that one who is whole will be full of light, but one who is divided will be full of darkness.”


Jesus said, “I tell my secrets to those who are worthy of hearing them. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand does.”


Jesus said, “A rich man once said, ‘I will invest my money in order to plant a great crop, harvest it, and fill all my storehouses to the brim. Then I will not have to go without anything.’ That was what he was thinking in his heart when, that very night, he died. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Jesus said, “Someone wanted to host several guests for dinner. When the feast was prepared, he sent one of his servants to invite the guests. The servant went to the first one and said, ‘My master invites you to his table.’ But that person said, ‘There are merchants who owe me money, and I am to meet with them this evening. I must decline.’ The servant went to the next guest and said, ‘My master invites you to his table.’ That person said, ‘I have just bought a house, and it needs my attention. I cannot come.’ The servant went to another and said, ‘My master invites you to his table.’ That one said, ‘A friend of mine is getting married, and I am to host the banquet. I must decline.’ The servant went to another and said, ‘My master invites you to his table.’ That person said, ‘I must go and collect the rents from an estate I own. I cannot come.’ The servant went back to his master and said, ‘Those you have invited to the feast have declined.’ The master said to his servant, ‘Go into the streets and bring anyone you meet to dinner.’ Buyers and sellers will not enter my Father’s house.”


Jesus said, “The owner of a vineyard rented it to some workers for them to tend it on his behalf. When it came time to collect the fruits of the vineyard, the owner sent one of his servants to the workers to obtain the harvest. The workers beat the servant so badly that he barely escaped with his life to tell his master what happened. His master said, ‘Perhaps they did not know that he was my servant,’ and he sent another servant. But this servant was beaten like the first. So the owner sent his son, saying, ‘Maybe they will treat my son with more respect.’ But the workers, who knew that the son was the heir to the vineyard, murdered him. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Jesus said, “Let me see the stone that the builders threw away, for that one is the cornerstone.”


Jesus said, “One who knows everything but does not know himself knows nothing.”


Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are hated and persecuted, and can find no refuge from those who pursue them.”


Jesus said, “Blessed are those whose hearts have been persecuted, for they have truly known the Father. Blessed are those who go hungry to fill the belly of someone in need.”


Jesus said, “If you bring out what you have within you, what you have will save you. But if you do not have something within you to bring out, what you do not have will destroy you.”


Jesus said, “I will demolish this house, and only I will be able to rebuild it.”


Someone said to Jesus, “Tell my brothers to divide their inheritance from our father and share it with me.”

Jesus said to him, “When did I become a divider?”

Then he turned to his disciples and asked them, “Am I a divider?”


Jesus said, “There is a bountiful crop but few to harvest it. So ask the landowner to send workers for the harvest.”


Jesus said, “There are many around the well but there is nothing in it to drink.”


Jesus said, “Many stand outside the door, but only those who are single can enter the wedding hall.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is like a merchant with a vast inventory of goods who came across a pearl for sale. The merchant was wise, and sold all he had to buy the lone pearl. You should do the same: seek the one treasure that endures forever and never fails, which cannot be eaten by any moth or worm.”


Jesus said, “I am the light that shines upon all things. Indeed, I am all things. Everything comes from me, and everything returns to me. Whenever you split a log or turn over a stone, you can find me there.”


Jesus said, “Why have you made the trip to the middle of nowhere? To watch the grass sway in the wind? To see a well-dressed person like your officials and nobles, who are draped in finery yet cannot perceive the truth?”


A woman said to Jesus, “Blessed is the womb from which you were born, and blessed are the breasts from which you suckled!”

He said to her, “Blessed are the ones who have heard the Father’s call and have truly answered it. For in the days to come, people will say, ‘Blessed is the womb that has not given birth, and blessed are the breasts that have not given milk.’”


Jesus said, “Whoever has understood the world has understood the body, and whoever has understood the body is someone of whom the world is not worthy.”


Jesus said, “One who has made a fortune should rule, and the one with power should relinquish that power.”


Jesus said, “The one who is close to me is close to fire, and the one who is far from me is far from the Kingdom.”


Jesus said, “People can see images, but they cannot see the Father’s light within them, for it is hidden by its image. The Father can be found, but his image is hidden by light.”


Jesus said, “When you see an image of you, you are delighted. But when you see the image of you that existed before you were born, and which can be neither destroyed nor seen, you will have much to bear.”


Jesus said, “Adam descended from unfathomable power and luxury, but he was not worthy of his inheritance. Had he been worthy of it, he would not have tasted death.”


Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lie down and be comfortable.”


Jesus said, “A body that depends on another body is distressed, as is a soul that depends on both.”


Jesus said, “Prophets and angels will come to you and give you what belongs to you. Give them what belongs to you and ask yourselves, ‘When will they come and take what belongs to them?’”


Jesus said, “Why do you only clean the outside of the cup? Do you not know that both the outside and the inside were made by the same maker?”


Jesus said, “Come to me, for my yoke is easy and my command is light, and you will find rest there.”


Some people said to Jesus, “Tell us who you are. Then we might believe in you.”

Jesus said to them, “You scrutinize Heaven and earth, yet you cannot identify the one who stands in your midst, and you do not know how to scrutinize the present moment.”


Jesus said, “Seek and you shall find. But you used to ask me many questions that I did not answer, and now I am willing to answer them, yet you are no longer asking them.”


Jesus said, “Do not hand holy things to dogs, who might drop them in a pile of shit. And do not throw pearls to pigs, who might grind them to pieces.”


Jesus said, “One who seeks will find. One who knocks will have the door opened for him.”


Jesus said, “One who has money should not lend it at interest, but instead give it away to someone who will never repay it.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who hid a bit of yeast in dough and baked huge loaves of bread. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who carried a jar full of meal down the road. When she was far from home, the handle of the jar broke, and the meal poured out onto the road behind her. She did not notice until she got home, put down the jar, and found it empty.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of the Father is like a man who wanted to assassinate a nobleman. First, while he was still at home, he drew his dagger and stabbed the wall so that he would know that his hand would be steady. Then he went and murdered the nobleman.”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “Your brothers and your mother are waiting for you outside.”

Jesus said to them, “My true brothers and mother are those who do the will of my Father. Only they will enter my Father’s Kingdom.”


Some people held up a gold coin and said to Jesus, “Caesar’s officials have ordered us to pay taxes to them.”

Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, give to God the things that are God’s, and give to me what is mine.”


Jesus said, “Whoever does not hate his father and mother as I do cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not love his father and mother as I do cannot be my disciple. For the mother who gave birth to me brought me death, but my true mother brought me life.”


Jesus said, “Woe to the Pharisees, who are like a dog that sleeps in the cattle’s feeding trough. It neither eats nor lets the cattle eat.”


Jesus said, “Blessed is he who knows when and where the burglars are going to try to break into his house. For he may get up, gather his household, and arm them before the burglars arrive.”


Jesus’s disciples said to him, “Come, let us pray and fast today.”

Jesus said to them, “What sin have I committed, or what calamity has happened to me? Let us instead pray and fast when the groom leaves the wedding hall.”


Jesus said, “Whoever knows his father and mother will be called a bastard.”


Jesus said, “When you make two into one, you will become a Son of Man, and when you say to a mountain ‘Get up and move,’ it will move.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a shepherd who tended a flock of a hundred sheep. The biggest one of them wandered away. The shepherd left the other ninety-nine and searched for the one until he found it. After having worked so hard to find the sheep, he said to it, ‘I love you more than the other ninety-nine.’”


Jesus said, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become as I am. I, too, will become him, and the hidden things will be shown to him.”


Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man who owned a field in which, without his knowing it, a great treasure was buried. When he died, he left the field to his son. The son was also unaware of the treasure, and he sold the field. The person who bought the field plowed it and discovered the treasure. Then he lent money at interest to anyone to whom he wanted to lend money.”


Jesus said, “One who has found the world and gotten rich should forsake the world.”


Jesus said, “The heavens and the earth will unfurl before you, and whoever has obtained life from the living one will not taste death.”


Jesus said, “Woe to the flesh that needs a soul. And woe to the soul that needs the flesh.”


Jesus’s disciples asked him, “When will the Kingdom come?”

Jesus said to them, “It will not come to those who wait for it. No one can say, ‘It is here’ or ‘It is there.’ Instead, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out across the earth, but people do not see it.”


Simon Peter said to the other disciples, “Mary should leave us, for women do not deserve life.”

Jesus said to him, “Watch – I will show her the way to become a man, so that she too may become a living spirit like you men. For any woman who becomes a man will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”


[1] Robinson, James M. 1986. “On Bridging the Gulf from Q to the Gospel of Thomas (or Vice Versa).” In Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity. Edited by Charles W. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson. Hendrickson Publishers. p. 143.

1 Corinthians 2:9 reads, in the New King James Version, “But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him.'”

[2] Lewis, Nicola Denzey. 2013. Introduction to “Gnosticism:” Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds. Oxford University Press. p. 103-104.

[3] Ibid. p. 114-115.

[4] Ibid. p. 113-114.

[5] Meyer, Marvin (trans.). 2008. “The Gospel of Thomas with the Greek Gospel of Thomas.” In The Nag Hammadi Library. Edited by Marvin Meyer. p. 134.

[6] Lewis, Nicola Denzey. 2013. Introduction to “Gnosticism:” Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds. Oxford University Press. p. 107.

[7] Ibid. p. 107-111.

[8] Ibid. p. 100-101.

[9] Ibid. p. 105-106.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ehrman, Bart. 2003. Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Oxford University Press. p. 59.

[12] Ehrman, Bart. 1999. Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. Oxford University Press. p. 77.

[13] Lewis, Nicola Denzey. 2013. Introduction to “Gnosticism:” Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds. Oxford University Press. p. 100-101.

[14] Ibid. p. 106.

[15] Robinson, James M. 1986. “On Bridging the Gulf from Q to the Gospel of Thomas (or Vice Versa).” In Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity. Edited by Charles W. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson. Hendrickson Publishers. p. 136.

[16] Lewis, Nicola Denzey. 2013. Introduction to “Gnosticism:” Ancient Voices, Christian Worlds. Oxford University Press. p. 106.

[17] Layton, Bentley. 1987. “The Gospel of Thomas.” In The Gnostic Scriptures. Doubleday. p. 380-399.

[18] Meyer, Marvin (trans.). 2008. “The Gospel of Thomas with the Greek Gospel of Thomas.” In The Nag Hammadi Library. Edited by Marvin Meyer. p. 139-153.

[19] Layton, Bentley. 1987. “The Gospel of Thomas.” In The Gnostic Scriptures. Doubleday. p. 399, footnote f.