Gospel of Thomas140-170 AD
The Gospel of Thomas was
discoverd in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945.
The following is a fresh translation, made from the Coptic text
published by Messrs. Brill of Leiden. In the preparation of this versi the
following six translations have been consulted, in addition to to published by Messrs.
Brill: English by W. R. Schoedel, French by Doresse and R. Kasser, German by J. LeipoIdt
and Hans Quecke Danish by S. Giversen. The numbering of the sayings is that of the Brill
These are the secret words which
the living Jesus spoke, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down.
1 And he said: He who shall find the interpretation of
the words shall not taste of death.
2 Jesus said: He who seeks, let him not cease seeking
until: finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and if he is troubled, he will be
amazed, and he will reign over the All.
3 Jesus said: If those who lead you say unto you: Behold,
the Kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will be before you. If they say
unto you: It is in the sea, then the fish will be before you. But the Kingdom is within
you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you
shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves,
then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.
4 Jesus said: The man aged in his days will not hesitate
ask a little child of seven days about the place of life, and he shall live. For there are
many first who shall be last, and they shall become a single one.
5 Jesus said: Know what is before thy face, and what
hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not
be made manifest.
6 His disciples asked him and said unto him: Wilt thou
that we fast? And how shall we pray? Shall we give alms? And what rules
shall we observe in eating? Jesus said: Do not lie; and that which you hate, do not
do. For all things are revealed before heaven. For there is nothing hidden which shall not
be manifest, and there is nothing covered which shall remain without being uncovered.
7 Jesus said: Blessed is the lion which the man shall
eat, and the lion become man; and cursed is the man whom the lion shall eat, and the lion
8 And he said: Man is like a wise fisherman, who cast his
net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of small fish. Among them the wise
fisherman found a large good fish. He threw down all the small fish into the sea; he chose
the large fish without trouble. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
9 Jesus said: Behold, the sower went forth, he filled his
hand, he cast. Some fell upon the road; the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on
the rock, and sent no root down to the earth nor did they sprout any ear up to heaven. And
others fell on the thorns; they choked the seed, and the worm ate them. And others fell on
the good earth, and brought forth good fruit unto heaven, some sixty -fold and some an
hundred and twenty -fold.
10 Jesus said: I have cast fire upon the world, and
behold I guard it until it is ablaze.
11 Jesus said: This heaven shall pass away, and that
which above it shall pass away; and they that are dead are not alive and they that live
shall not die. In the days when you were eating that which is dead, you were making it
alive. When you come in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one,
you became two. But when you have become two, what will you do?
12 The disciples said to Jesus: We know that thou wilt go
from us. Who is he who shall be great over us? Jesus said to them: In the place to
which you come, you shall go to James the Just for whose sake heaven and earth came into
13 Jesus said to his disciples: Make a comparison to me,
and tell me whom I am like. Simon Peter said to him: Thou art like a righteous angel.
Matthew said to him: Thou art like a wise man of understanding. Thomas said to him:
Master, my mouth will no wise suffer that I say whom thou art like. Jesus said: I am not
thy master, because thou hast drunk, thou hast become drunk from the bubbling spring which
I have measured out. And he took him, went aside, and spoke to him three words. Now when
Thomas came to his companions, they asked him: What did Jesus say unto thee? Thomas said
to them: If I tell you one of the words which he said to me, you will take up stones and
throw them me; and a fire will come out of the stones and burn you up.
14 Jesus said to them: If you fast, you will beget a sin
for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do
an evil to your spirits. And if you go into any land and travel in its regions, if they
receive you eat what they set before you. Heal the sick among them. For that which goes
into your mouth will not defile you, but that which comes forth from your mouth, that is
what will defile you.
15 Jesus said: When you see him who was not born of
woman, throw yourselves down upon your face and worship him. He is your Father.
16 Jesus said: Perhaps men think that I am come to cast
peace upon the world, and know not that I am come to cast divisions upon the earth, fire,
sword, war. For there shall be five in a house; there shall be three against two, and two
against three, the father against the son and the son against the father, and they shall
stand as solitaries.
17 Jesus said: I will give you that which eye has not
seen, an ear has not heard, and hand has not touched, and which has not entered into the
heart of man.
18 The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us how our end shall
be. Jesus said: Have you then discovered the beginning, that you seek after the end? For
where the beginning is, there shall the end be. Blessed is he who shall stand in the
beginning, and he shall know the end and shall not taste of death.
19 Jesus said: Blessed is he who was before he came into
being. If you become my disciples and hear my words, these stones shall minister unto you.
For you have five trees in Paradise which do not move in summer or in winter, and
their leaves do not fall. He who knows them shall not taste of death.
20 The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us what the kingdom
of heaven is like. He said to them: It is like a grain of mustard-seed, smaller than all
seeds; but when it falls on the earth which is tilled, it puts forth a great branch, and
becomes shelter for the birds of heaven.
21 Mary said to Jesus: Whom are thy disciples like? He
said They are like little children dwelling in a field which is not theirs. When the
owners of the field come, they will say: Yield up to us our field. They are naked before
them, to yield it up to them and to give them back their field. Therefore I say: If the
master of the house knows that the thief is coming, he will keep watch before he comes,
and will not let him dig into his house of his kingdom to carry off his vessels. You,
then, be watchful over against the world. Gird up your loins with great strength, that the
brigands may not find a way to come at you, since the advantage for which you look they
will find. May there be among you a man of understanding! When the fruit was ripe, he came
quickly, his sickle in his hand, and reaped it. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
22 Jesus saw some infants at the breast. He said to his
disciples: These little ones at the breast are like those who enter into the kingdom. They
said to him: If we then be children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to
them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the
outside as the inside, and the upper side as the lower; and when you make the male and the
female into a single one, that the male be not male and the female female; when you make
eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot,
an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].
23 Jesus said: I shall choose you, one out of a thousand,
and two out of ten thousand, and they shall stand as a single one.
24 His disciples said: Teach us concerning the place
where thou art, for it is necessary for us to seek after it. He said to them: He that hath
ears, let him hear. There is a light within a man of light, and it gives light to the
whole world. If it does not give light, there is darkness.
25 Jesus said: Love thy brother as thy soul; keep him as
the apple of thine eye.
26 Jesus said: The mote which is in thy brother's eye,
thou seest; but the beam which is in thine eye, thou seest not. When thou dost cast out
the beam from thine own eye, then wilt thou see to cast out the mote from thy brother's
27 Jesus said: If you fast not from the world, you will
not find the kingdom; if you keep not the Sabbath as Sabbath, you will not see the Father.
28 Jesus said: I stood in the midst of the world, and I
appeared to them in flesh. I found them all drunk, I found none among them thirsting; and
my soul was afflicted for the sons of men, for they are blind in their heart and they do
not see. For empty came they into the world, seeking also to depart empty from the world.
But now they are drunk. When they have thrown off their wine, then will they repent.
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 as for me, I marvel at this, how this great wealth has
settled in this poverty.
30 Jesus said: Where there are three gods, they are gods;
where there are two or one, I am with him.
31 Jesus said: No prophet is acceptable in his village; a
physician does not heal those who know him.
32 Jesus said: A city that is built on a high mountain
and fortified cannot fall, nor can it remain hidden.
33 Jesus said: What thou shalt hear in thine ear,
proclaim to the other ear on your roof-tops. For no man lights a lamp and sets it under a
bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place; but he sets it upon the lamp-stand, that all
who go in and come out may see its light.
34 Jesus said: If a blind man lead a blind man, both fall
into a pit.
35 Jesus said: It is not possible for anyone to go into
the strong man's house and take it or him by force, unless he bind his hands; then he will
plunder his house.
36 Jesus said: Be not anxious from morning to evening and
from evening to morning about what you shall put on.
37 His disciples said: On what day wilt thou be revealed
us, and on what day shall we see thee? Jesus said: When you unclothe yourselves and
are not ashamed, and take your garments and lay them beneath your feet like little
children, and tread upon them, then [shall ye see] the Son of the living One, and ye shall
38 Jesus said: Many times have you desired to hear these
words which I speak unto you, and you have none other from whom to hear them. Days will
come when you will seek after me, and you will not find me.
39 Jesus said: The Pharisees and the scribes have receive
the keys of knowledge; they have hidden them. They did not go in, and those who
wanted to go in they did not allow. But you be ye wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
40 Jesus said: A vine was planted apart from the Father,
and since it is not established it will be pulled up by its roots and destroyed.
41 Jesus said: He who has in his hand, to him shall be
given; and he who has not, from him shall be taken even the little that he has.
42 Jesus said: Become passers-by.
43 His disciples said to him: Who art thou, that thou
shouldst say these things to us? Jesus said to them From what I say unto you, you do not
understand who I am, but you have become as the Jews; for they love the tree and hate its
fruit, and they love the fruit and hate the tree.
44 Jesus said: He who blasphemes against the Father will
be forgiven, and he who blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven but he who blasphemes
against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven.
45 Jesus said: They do not gather grapes from thorns, no
pluck figs from camel-thistles; they do not yield fruit. A good man brings forth a good
thing from his treasure; a bad man bring forth evil things from his evil treasure which is
in his heart, and he says evil things; for out of the abundance of his heart he brings
forth evil things.
46 Jesus said: From Adam to John the Baptist there is
none born of woman who is higher than John the Baptist, so that his eyes will not be
broken ? But I have said, He who shall be among you as a little one shall know the
kingdom, and shall be higher than John.
47 Jesus said: It is not possible for a man to
ride two horses or draw two bows, and it is not possible for a servant to serve two
masters; or he will honour the one and insult the other. A man does not drink old wine and
immediately desire to drink new wine; and they do not pour new wine into old skins, lest
they burst, nor do they pour old wine into new skins, lest it spoil. They do not sew an
old patch on a new garment, for a rent will come.
48 Jesus said: If two make peace with one another in this
or house, they shall say to the mountain: Be moved, and it shall be moved.
49 Jesus said: Blessed are the solitary and the elect,
for you shall find the kingdom; for you came forth thence, and shall go there again.
50 Jesus said: If they say to you: Whence have you come?,
tell them: We have come from the light, the place where the light came into being through
itself alone. It [stood], and it re- vealed itself in their image. If they say to you: Who
are you?, say: We are his sons, and we are the elect of the living Father. If they ask
you: What is the sign of your Father in you?, tell them: It is a movement and a rest.
51 His disciples said to him: On what day will the rest
of the dead come into being? And on what day will the new world come? He said to them:
That which ye await has come, but ye know it not.
52 His disciples said to him: Twenty-four prophets spoke
in Israel, and they all spoke concerning lit. in thee. He said them: You have neglected
him who is alive before you, and have spoken about the dead.
53 His disciples said to him: Is circumcision profitable
or not? He said to them: Were it profitable, their father would beget them from their
mother circumcised. But the true circum- cision in spirit has proved entirely profitable
lit.: has found usefulness altogether.
54 Jesus said: Blessed are the poor, for yours is the
kingdom of heaven.
55 Jesus said: He who shall not hate his father and his
mother cannot be my disciple, and he who does not hate his brethren and his sisters and
take up his cross like me shall not be worthy of me.
56 Jesus said: He who has known the world has found
corpse, and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.
57 Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a man
who had [good] seed. His enemy came by night, he sowed a weed among the good seed. The
man did not allow them to pull up the weed. He said to them: Lest perhaps you go to pull
up the weed, and pull up the wheat with it. For on the day of harvest the weeds will be
manifest; they will be pulled up and burned.
58 Jesus said: Blessed is the man who has suffered; he
has found the life.
59 Jesus said: Look upon the living One so long as you
live, that you may not die and seek to see him, and be unable to see.
60 They saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb going into
Judaea. He said to his disciples: Why does he carry the lamb? They said to him: That he
may kill it and eat it. He said to them: So long as it is alive he will not eat it, but if
he kill it and it become a corpse. They said: Otherwise he will not be able to do
it. He said to them: You also, seek for yourselves a place within for rest, lest you
become a corpse and be eaten.
61 Jesus said: Two shall rest upon a bed; one shall die,
the other live.
Salome said: Who art thou; O man? And whose son? Thou
hast mounted my bed, and eaten from my table. Jesus said to her I am he who is from that
which is equal; to me was given of the things of my Father. Salome said I am thy disciple.
Jesus said to her Therefore I say, when it is equal it will be filled with light, but when
it is divided it will be filled with darkness
62 Jesus said: I tell my mysteries to those [who
are worthy of my] mysteries. What thy right hand shall do, let not thy left hand know what
63 Jesus said: There was a rich man who had many
possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow and reap and plant, and
fill my barns with fruit, that I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his
heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear.
64 Jesus said: A man had guests, and when he had prepared
the dinner he sent his servant to summon the guests. He came to the first; he said to him:
My master summons thee. He said: I have money with some merchants. They are coming to me
in the evening. I will go and give them orders. I pray to be excused from he dinner. He
went to another; he said to him: My master has summoned thee. He said to him: I have
bought a house, and they ask me for a day. I shall not have time. He came to another; he
aid to him: My master summons thee. He said to him: My friend is about to be married, and
I am to hold a dinner. I shall not be able to come. I pray to be excused from the dinner.
He went to another; he said to him: My master summons thee. He said him: I have bought a
village; I go to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I pray to be
excused. The servant came, he said to his master: Those whom thou didst summon to the
dinner have excused themselves. The master said to his servant: Go out to the roads. Bring
those whom thou shall find, that they may dine. The buyers and the merchants [shall] not
[enter] the places of my Father.
65 He said: A good man had a vineyard. He gave it to
husbandmen that they might work it, and he receive its fruit their hand. He sent his
servant, that the husbandmen might give him the fruit of the vineyard. They seized his
servant, they beat him, and all but killed him. The servant came and told his master. His
master said: Perhaps they did not know him. He sent another servant; the husbandmen
beat the other also. Then the master sent his son. He said: Perhaps they will reverence my
son. Those husbandmen, since they knew that he was the heir the vineyard, they seized him
and killed him. He that hath ears, let him hear.
66 Jesus said: Teach me concerning this stone which the
builders rejected; it is the corner -stone.
67 Jesus said: He who knows the All but fails to know
him-self lacks everything.
68 Jesus said: Blessed are you when they hate you, and
persecute you, and do not find a place in the spot where they persecuted you.
69 Jesus said: Blessed are they who have been persecuted
in their heart; these are they who have known the Father in truth. Blessed are they that
hunger, that they may fill the belly him who desires.
70 Jesus said: When you bring forth that in yourselves,
that which you have will save you. If you do not have that in yourselves, that
which you do not have in you will kill you.
71 Jesus said: I will des[troy this] house, and none
shall able to build it [again].
72 [A man said] to him: Speak to my brethren, that they
may divide my father's possessions with me. He said to him: O man, 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 indeed is great, but the
labourers are few; but pray the Lord, that he send forth labourers into the harvest.
74 He said: Lord, there are many about the well, but no
one in the well.
75 Jesus said: There are many standing at the door, but
the solitary are they who shall enter the bridal chamber.
76 Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a
merchant was who had a load of goods and found a pearl. That merchant was wise. He sold
the load, and bought for himself the pearl alone. You also, seek after his treasure which
does not perish but endures, where moth does not enter to devour, nor does worm destroy.
77 Jesus said: I am the light that is over them all. I am
the All; the All has come forth from me, and the All has attained unto me. Cleave a piece
of wood: I am there. Raise up the stone, an ye shall find me there.
78 Jesus said: Why came ye forth into the field? To see
reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in soft raiment? [Behold,
your] kings and your great men are they who are clothed in soft [raiment], and they
[shall] not be able to know the truth.
79 A woman in the crowd said to him: Blessed is the womb
which bore thee, and the breasts which nourished thee. He said to her: Blessed are they
who have heard the word of the Father and have kept it in truth. For there shall be days
when you will say: Blessed is that womb which has not conceived, and those breasts which
have not given suck.
80 Jesus said: He who has known the world has found the
body, and he who has found the body, the world is not worthy of him.
8 I Jesus said: He who has become rich, let
him become king, and he who has power let him deny.
82 Jesus said: He who is near to me is near the fire, and
he who is far from me is far from the kingdom.
83 Jesus said: The images are revealed to the man, and
the light which is in them is hidden in the image of the light of the Father. He shall be
revealed, and his image is hidden by his light.
84 Jesus said: When you see your likeness, you rejoice;
but when you see your images which came into being before you -- they neither die nor are
made manifest -- how much will you bear?
85 Jesus said: Adam came into being out of a great
power and a great wealth, and yet he was not worthy of you. For if he tad been worthy, he
would not have tasted of death.
86 Jesus said: [The foxes have] the[ir holes] and the
birds have [theirs nest, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head and rest.
87 Jesus said: Wretched is the body which depends upon a
body, and wretched is the soul which depends on these two.
88 Jesus said: The angels come to you, and the prophets,
and they shall give you what belongs to you; and you also, give the what is in your
hands, and say to yourselves: On what day do they come and take what is theirs?
89 Jesus said: Why do you wash the outside of the cup?
Do you not understand that he who made the inside is also he who made the outside?
90 Jesus said: Come unto me, for easy is my yoke and my
lordship is gentle, and you shall find rest for yourselves.
91 They said to him: Tell us who thou art, that we may
believe in thee. He said to them: You test the face of the heaven and the earth, and him
who is before you you do not know, and you know not to test this moment.
92 Jesus said: Seek, and ye shall find; but those things
concerning which ye asked me in those days, I did not tell you then. Now I wish to tell
them, and ye seek not after them.
93 Jesus said: Give not that which is holy to the dogs,
lest they cast them on the dung- heap; cast not the pearls to the swine lest they grind it
94 Jesus [said]: He who seeks shall find, and he who
knock to him it shall be opened.
95 [Jesus said]: If you have money, do not lend at
interest, but give [it] to him from whom you will not receive them back.
96 Jesus [said]: The kingdom of the Father is like a
woman who took a little leaven and [hid] it in meal; she made large loaves of it. He that
hath ears, let him hear.
97 Jesus said: The kingdom of the [Father] is like a
woman; carrying a jar full of meal and walking a long way. The handle the jar broke; the
meal poured out behind her on the road. She was unaware, she knew not her loss. When she
came into her house, she put down the jar and found it empty.
98 Jesus said: The kingdom of the Father is like a man
who wanted to kill a great man. He drew the sword in his house and drove it into the wall,
that he might know that his hand would be strong. Then he slew the great man.
99 The disciples said to him: Thy brethren and thy mother
are standing outside. He said to them: Those here who do the will of my Father, these are
my brethren and my mother; these are they who shall enter into the kingdom of my Father.
100 They showed Jesus a gold piece and said to him: They
who belong to Caesar demand tribute from us. He said to them: What belongs to Caesar give
to Caesar, what belongs to God give to God, and what is mine give unto me.
101 Jesus said He who shall not hate his father and:
mother like me cannot be my [disciple], and he who shall [not] love [his father] and his
mother like me cannot be my [disciple]; for my mother [. ..] but my true [mother] gave me
102 And Jesus said: Woe to them, the Pharisees! For they
are like a dog sleeping in the manger of the cattle; for he neither eats, nor does he let
the cattle eat.
103 Jesus said: Blessed is the man who knows in what part
the robbers are coming, that he may rise and gather his [domain] and gird up his loins
before they come in.
104 They said [to him]: Come, let us pray today and fast.
Jesus said: What then is the sin that I have done, or wherein have I been vanquished? But
when the bridegroom comes forth from the bridal chamber, then let them fast and pray.
105 Jesus said: He who shall know father and mother shall
be called the son of a harlot.
106 Jesus said: When you make the two one, you shall
become sons of man, and when you say: Mountain, be moved, it shall be moved.
I07 Jesus said: The kingdom is like a shepherd who had
hundred sheep. One of them, the biggest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and sought
after the one till he found it. When he had laboured, he said to the sheep: I love thee
more than the ninety-nine.
I08 Jesus said: He who shall drink from my mouth shall
become like me; I myself will become he, and the hidden thing shall be revealed to him.
109 Jesus said: The kingdom is like a man who had
in his field a [hidden] treasure about which he did not know; and [after] he died he left
it to his [son. The] son also did not know; he took possession of that field and sold it.
The man who bough it came to plough, and [found] the treasure. He began to lend money at
interest to whomsoever he chose.
110 Jesus said: He who has found the world and become
rich, let him deny the world.
111 Jesus said: The heavens shall be rolled up and the
earth before your face, and he who lives in the living One shall neither see death nor
fear; because Jesus says: He who shall find himself, of him the world is not worthy.
112 Jesus said: Woe to the flesh which depends upon the
soul; woe to the soul which depends upon the flesh.
113 His disciples said to him: On what day will the
kingdom come? <Jesus said>: It cometh not with observation. They will not say: Lo,
here! or: Lo, there! But the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men
do not see it.
114 Simon Peter said to them: Let Mary go forth from
among us, for women are not worthy of the life. Jesus said: Behold, I shall lead her, that
I may make her male, in order that she also may become a living spirit like you males. For
every woman who makes herself male shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.