The Gospel of Thomas

2002-01-02

One of the books I read over vacation was The Gospel of Thomas (the other was about half of The Portable Nietzsche translated by Walter Kaufmann!). I found a number of the sayings captured in this gospel to be of interest, at least as they relate to my continuing research into gnosticism. Here are some of the purported sayings of Jesus I'd like to reflect on more fully:

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. [3]

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. [49]

His followers said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and whn will the new world come?" He said to them, "What you look for has come, but you do not know it." [51]

Fortunate is the person who has worked hard and has found life. [58]

Look to the living as long as you live, or you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see. [59]

He who knows all but is lacking in himself is utterly lacking. [67]

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. [70]

Whoever has found himself, of that person the world is not worthy. [111]

[The kingdom] will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, "Look, here it is," or "Look, there it is." Rather, the father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people do not see it. [113]


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