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The Gospel of Thomas

Translated by Stevan Davies

This original translation by Stevan Davies of  The Gospel of Thomas is presented in the Gnostic Society Library by permission from the copyright holder. It is published in The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated & Explained, © 2002, Stevan Davies.

(Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for other translations and additional information)





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

1. And he said, "Whoever finds the correct interpretation of these sayings will never die."

2. Jesus said, "The seeker should not stop until he finds. When he does find he will be disturbed. After having been disturbed, he will be astonished. Then he will reign over everything. [Having reigned, he will rest.]

3a. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you 'Look! The Kingdom is in the sky!" Then the birds will be there before you are. If they say that the Kingdom is in the sea, then the fish will be there before you are. Rather, the Kingdom is within you and it is outside of you.

3b. When you understand yourselves you will be understood. And you will realize that you are Sons of the living Father. If you do not know yourselves, then you exist in poverty and you are that poverty.

4a. Jesus said, "The old man will not hesitate to ask a seven day old baby about the place of life and he will live.
4b. For there are many who are first who will become last. They will become a single one.

5. Jesus said, "Recognize what is right in front of you, and that which is hidden from you will be revealed to you. Nothing hidden will fail to be displayed. [And there is nothing that is buried that will not be raised.]

6. His disciples questioned him: "Should we fast? In what way should we pray? "Should we give tocharity? From which foods should we abstain?" Jesus responded: "Do not lie. If there is something that you hate, do not do it, for everything is revealed beneath heaven. Nothing hidden will fail to be displayed. Nothing covered will remain undisclosed.

7. Jesus said, "Blessed is a lion that a man eats, because that lion will become human. Cursed is a man that a lion eats, because that lion will become human."

8. And he said, "The man is like a thoughtful fisherman who threw his net into the sea and pulled it out full of little fish. Among all the little fish, that thoughtful fisherman found one fine large fish that would be beneficial to him and, throwing all the little fish back into the sea, he easily chose to keep the large one. Whoever has ears to hear let him hear.

9. Jesus said, "Look, there was a man who came out to sow seed. He filled his hand with seed and threw it about. Some fell onto the road and birds ate them. Some fell onto to rocks and could not root and produced no grain. Some fell into patches of thorny weeds that kept it from growing and grubs ate it. Some seed fell upon good soil and grew and produced good grain. It was 60 units per measure and 120 units per measure."

10. Jesus said, "I have thrown fire on the world. Look! I watch it until it blazes."

11a. Jesus said, "This sky will cease to be and the sky above it will cease to be.
11b. The dead do not live, and the living will not die.
11c. When you ate dead things you made them alive. When you arrive into light what will you do?
11d. When you were one you became two. When you become two what will you do?

12. His disciples said to Jesus: "We know you will leave us. Who will be our leader then?" Jesus responded, "Where ever you are, turn to Jacob (=James) the Just for whose sake the sky and the earth came into being.

13. Jesus asked his disciples: "Make a comparison; what am I like?" Simon Peter replied, "You are like a righteous messenger." Matthew replied, "You are like an intelligent lover of wisdom." Thomas replied, "Teacher, I cannot possibly say what you are like." Jesus said to Thomas, " I am not your teacher; you have drunk from and become intoxicated from the bubbling water that I poured out." Jesus took Thomas and they withdrew. Jesus said three things to him. When Thomas returned to the other disciples, they asked him, "What did Jesus tell you?" Thomas replied, "If I tell you even one of the sayings that he told me you would pick up stones and throw them at me, and fire would come out of those stones and burn you up."

14a. Jesus said to them, "If you fast you will bring sin to yourselves, and if you pray you will be condemned, and if you give to charity you will damage your spirits.
14b. When you go into a region and walk around in the rural areas, whenever people receive you eat whatever they provide for you, and heal their sick.
14c. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth can defile you.

15. Jesus said: When you see someone not born from a woman, prostrate yourselves and worship him; he is your father.

16a. Jesus said: People think, perhaps, that I have come to throw peace upon the world. They don't know that I have come to throw disagreement upon the world, and fire, and sword, and struggle.
16b (For) There will be five in one house. Three will oppose two. Two will oppose three. The father will oppose his son and the son oppose his father. And they will stand up and they will be alone (monachos).

17. Jesus said: I will give you that which eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, hands did not touch, and minds have not conceived.

18a. The disciples asked Jesus: Tell us about our end. What will it be? Jesus replied: Have you found the beginning so that you now seek the end? The place of the beginning will be the place of the end.
18b. Blessed is anyone who will stand up in the beginning and thereby know the end and never die.

19a. Jesus said: Blessed is one who existed before coming into being.
19b. If you become my disciples and listen to me these stones will serve you.
19c. In paradise there are five trees that do not change between summer and winter, and their leaves never fall. Anyone who comes to know them will not die.

20. The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. He replied: It is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all. However, when it falls into worked ground it sends out a large stem and it becomes a shelter for the birds of heaven.

21a. Mariam asked Jesus: Who are your disciples like? He replied: They are like little children in a field that does not belong to them. When the field's owners come they will say: "Give our field back." They will strip naked in the owners' presence and give it back, returning their field to them.
21b. Therefore I say: If a householder knows a thief is coming he will keep watch and not let him break into his house (of his kingdom) and steal his goods.
21c. You must keep watch against the world, preparing yourselves with power so that thieves will not find any way to come upon you.
21d. The situation you are expecting will come. Let a person who understands be with you.
21e. After the grain had ripened he quickly came, carrying his sickle, and he harvested it.
21f. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

22. Jesus saw children being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants taking milk are like those who enter the Kingdom. His disciples asked him: We are infants; will we enter the kingdom? Jesus responded: When you make the two into one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the upper like the lower and the lower like the upper and thus make the male and the female the same, so that the male isn't male and the female isn't female. When you make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image then you will enter the Kingdom.

23. Jesus said: I will choose one of you out of a thousand and two of you out of ten thousand. They will stand up and they will be alone.

24. His disciples said to him: Show us the place you are for it is essential for us to seek it. He responded: He who has ears let him hear. There is light within a man of light and he lights up all of the world. If he is not alight there is darkness.

25. Jesus said: Love your brother as your own soul. Protect him as you protect the pupil of your eye.

26. Jesus said: You see the splinter in your brother's eye, but you do not see the log that is in your own eye. Remove the log from your own eye and then you can clearly see to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.

27a. If you do not fast from the world you will not find the Kingdom.
27b. If you do not keep the Sabbath as a Sabbath you will never see the Father.

28 Jesus said: I stood in the midst of the world. I came to them in the flesh (sarx).
I found all of them drunk. I found not one of them to be thirsty. My soul was saddened by the sons of men for they are mentally blind. They do not see that they have come into the world empty and they will go out of the world empty. But now they are drunk.. When they sober up they will repent.

29a. Jesus said: If flesh (sarx) came into being because of spirit it is wonderful. If spirit came into being because of the body it is exceedingly wonderful.
29b. I am amazed that this great wealth has appeared 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 accepted in his own village. No physician heals the people who know him well.

32. Jesus said: A city built and fortified atop a tall hill cannot be taken, nor can it be hidden.

33a. Jesus said: What you hear in your ears preach from your housetops.
33b. For nobody lights a lamp and puts it underneath a bushel basket or in a hidden place. Rather, it is placed on a lampstand so that all who go in and out may see the light.

34. Jesus said: If a blind person leads another blind person both of them will fall into a ditch.

35. Jesus said: It is not possible for anyone to enter a strong man's house and take it over forcefully unless he first ties his hands. Then he can steal from that house.

36. Jesus said: Do not worry from morning to evening or evening to morning about what you are going to wear.

37. His disciples asked him: When will you appear to us? When will we see you? Jesus replied: When you strip naked without shame and trample your clothing underfoot just as little children do then you will look at the son of the living one without being afraid.

38. Jesus said: You often wanted to hear the words I am speaking to you. You have no one else from whom you can hear them. The days will come when you will seek me and you will not be able to find me.

39a. Jesus said: The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys to knowledge and have hidden them. They did not go in and they did not permit those desiring to go in to enter.
39b. You should be as clever as snakes and as innocent as doves.

40. Jesus said: A grapevine was planted outside of the father but, as it did not strengthen, they will pull it up by its roots and it will die.

41. Jesus said: Whoever possesses some will be given more. Whoever possesses virtually nothing will have what little he does possess taken away.

42. Jesus said: Be one of those who pass by.

43. His disciples asked him: Who are you to say these things to us? Jesus replied: Don't you recognize who I am from what I say to you? You have become like the Jews who like the tree but loathe its fruit or they like the fruit but loathe the tree.

44. Jesus said: Whoever blasphemes against the father will be forgiven. Whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, neither on earth nor in heaven.

45. Jesus said: They do not pick grapes from brambles, nor do they pick figs from thistles, for these do not yield the proper fruit. A good man brings good things out of his storehouse, but a bad man brings bad things from his storehouse (which is in his heart). And he says bad things. For out of the surplus in his heart he brings out bad things.

46a. Jesus said: From Adam to John the Baptist no one born of a woman is above John the Baptist so that he should not lower his eyes.
46b. But I have said: Whoever among you becomes like an infant will know the Kingdom and be greater than John.

47a. Jesus said: One person cannot ride two horses at once, nor stretch two bows,
47b. nor can a servant serve two masters as he will respect one and despise the other.
47c. No one drinks vintage wine and immediately wants to drink fresh wine.
47d. Fresh wine is not put into old wineskins because they might burst. Vintage wine is not put into new wineskins because it might be spoiled.
47e. A patch of old cloth is not sewn onto a new garment because it would tear.

48. Jesus said: If two can make peace between themselves in a single house they can say to a mountain "Move!" and it will move.

49. Jesus said: Blessed are the single ones and the chosen ones for you will find the Kingdom. Because you emerged from it you will return to it.

50a Jesus said: If they ask you "Where are you from?" reply to them "We have come from the place where light is produced from itself. It came and revealed itself in their image."
50b. If they ask you "Are you it?" reply to them, "We are his sons. We are chosen ones of the living father."
50c. If they ask you "What is the sign within you of your father?" reply to them, "It is movement. It is rest."

51. His disciples asked him: "When will the dead rest? When will the new world arrive?" He replied: "That which you are waiting for has come but you don't recognize it."

52. They said to him: "Twenty four prophets spoke to Israel and they all spoke of you." He responded to them: "You have deserted the living one who is with you and you spoke about the dead."

53. His disciples asked him: "Is circumcision useful or not?" He replied: "If it were useful then they would be born already circumcised. On the other hand, true circumcision in the spirit is entirely beneficial.'

54. Jesus said: Blessed are the poor for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.

55. Jesus said: He who doesn't hate his father and mother cannot be a disciple of mine. He who doesn't hate his brothers and sisters and bear his cross as I do will not be worthy of me.

56. Jesus said: Whoever has known the world has found a corpse; whoever has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.

57. Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a man with good seed. His enemy came at night and scattered the seed of weeds in with the good seed. The man did not let them pull out the weeds but said "Don't do it. You might pull out the grain along with the weeds." During the harvest the weeds will be obvious and then they can be removed and burned.

58. Jesus said: Blessed is one who has labored and has found life.

59. Jesus said: Look at the living one while you live for, if you die and then try to see him you will not be able to do so.

60. They saw a Samaritan going into Judea carrying a lamb. He asked his disciples: "What do you think he will do with that lamb?" They replied, "He'll kill it and eat it." He said to them, "As long as it remains alive he will not eat it; only if he kills it and it becomes a corpse. They said: "Otherwise he won't be able to do so." He said to them: "You too must seek a place for rest or you may become a corpse and be eaten."

61a. Jesus said: Two will lie down on one bed; one will die and the other will live.
61b. Salome asked him: Who are you, man? As though coming from someone, you have come onto my couch and eaten from my table. Jesus replied: I am he who comes into being from him who is the same. Some of the things of my father have been given to me. Salome said: I am your disciple.
61c. Therefore I say that if one is unified one will be filled with light, but if one is divided one will be filled with darkness.

62a. Jesus said: I tell my mysteries to people worthy of my mysteries.
62b. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

63. Jesus said: Once there was a rich man who had lots of money and he said,
"I will invest my money so that I can sow, reap, plant and fill up my silos with crops
so that I won't lack anything. So he thought, but that night he died. He who has ears,
let him hear.

64a. Jesus said: A man entertained guests and when dinner was ready he sent a servant to invite
his guests. The servant went to the first one and said: "My master invites you," but
he replied, "I have to collect money from some merchants and they are due to arrive this evening. Therefore I have to do business with them and I must be excused from the dinner." The servant went to another and said
"My master invites you," but he said "I have just bought and house and I have to spend a day
there so I cannot come. I must be excused." He went to the next and said, "My master invites you." This one replied, "My friend is about to be married and I must organize the dinner. I can't come. I must be excused." Again he went and said to another, "My master invites you." He replied "I have just bought a village and I have to go collect the rent. I can't come and must be excused." The servant reported back to his master, "Those whom you invited to the dinner are unable to come." The master said, "Go to the roads outside and invite anybody you can find to the dinner."
64b. Merchants and salesmen will not enter the places of my father.

65. He said: A good man had a vineyard that he arranged for tenant farmers to take care of for him in return for a portion of the produce. He sent a servant to collect the grapes. Tenants seized the servant and beat him nearly to death. That servant reported back to his master but his master responded, "Perhaps they did not recognize him." And so he sent another servant; the tenants beat him too. Then the owner sent his own son saying, "Perhaps they will show some respect for my son." Since the tenants were aware that he would inherit the vineyard they seized him and then killed him. He who has ears let him hear.

66. Jesus said: Show me the stone that the builders rejected. It is the cornerstone.

67. Jesus said: One who knows everything else but who does not know himself knows nothing. (NOTE alternatives)

68. Jesus said: Blessed are you when they hate and persecute you. No place will be found where they persecuted you.

69a. Jesus said: Blessed are those who have been persecuted within themselves. They have really come to know the father.
69b. Blessed are those who are hungry in order to fill the bellies of the needy.

70. Jesus said: When you give rise to that which is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not give rise to it, what you do not have will destroy you.

71. Jesus said: I will destroy this house and no one will be able to build it again.

72. A man said to him: Talk to my brothers so that they will divide my father's property with me. Jesus replied: "Man, who made me a divider?" He returned to his disciples and asked them, "Really, am I a divider?"

73. Jesus said: The harvest is great but there are only a few workers. Ask the master to send more workers for the harvest. (74.) He said: Master, there are many around the drinking barrel but there is nobody in the well. (75.) Jesus said: There are many standing by the door, but only the single will enter the bridal suite.

76a. Jesus said: The kingdom of the father is like a merchant with goods to sell who found a pearl. The merchant was thoughtful. He sold the merchandise and bought himself the pearl.
76b. You too should seek for long-lasting treasures that do not decay, where moths do not come to eat them or grubs to destroy them.

77a. Jesus said: I am the light above everything. I am everything. Everything came forth from me and
everything reached me.
77b. Split wood, I am there. Lift up a rock, you will find me there.

78. Jesus said: Why did you go into the desert? Did you expect to see reeds shaken by the wind? To see people clothed in elegant garments like your kings and courtiers? They wear elegant garments and cannot know the truth.

79a. A woman in the crowd said to him: "Blessed are the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you." He replied, "Blessed are those who have listened to the word of the father and really done it.
79b. For the days are coming when you will say "Blessed are the womb that has never conceived and the breasts that have never given milk."

80. Jesus said: Whoever has come to know the world has found the body.
Whoever has found the body, the world is not worthy of him.

81. Jesus said: Whoever has become rich should rule. Whoever has power should renounce it.

82. Jesus said: Whoever is near to me is near the fire. Whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom.

83. Jesus said: The images are revealed to people. The light within them is hidden in the image of the father's light. He will be revealed. His image is hidden in his light.

84. Jesus said: You are pleased when you see your own likeness. When you see your images that came into being before you did, immortal and invisible images, how much can you bear?

85. Jesus said: Adam came into being from enormous power and wealth but he was never worthy of you for, had he been worthy of you, he would not have died.

86. Jesus said: Foxes have holes and birds have nests but the son of man has no place to lay down his head and rest.

87. Jesus said: Wretched is a body depending on a body and wretched is a soul depending on these two.

88. Jesus said: The messengers are coming to you with the prophets and they will give you what is properly yours. You then should give them what you have. Say to yourselves: "When will they come and take what is theirs?"

89. Jesus said: Why wash the outside of the cup? Don't you know that the one who made the inside also made the outside?

90. Jesus said: Come to me. My yoke is easy. My lordship is gentle and you will find rest for yourselves.

91. They said to him: "Tell us who you are so that we can believe in you." He replied, "You analyze the appearance of the sky and the earth, but you don't recognize what is in front of you, and you don't know the nature of the present time."

92a. Jesus said: "Seek and you will find."
92b. He said: "In the past I did not answer the questions you asked. Now I am willing to answer, but you do not ask."

93. Jesus said: "Do not give holy things to dogs, for they might carry them off to the dung heap. Do not give pearls to pigs, for they might….

94. Jesus said: "Whoever seeks will find. Whoever knocks, it will be opened.

95. Jesus said: If you have some money, don't lend it out at interest but give it to someone who will not return it to you.

96. Jesus said: The kingdom of the father is like a woman who took a little yeast and concealed it in dough. She made large loaves of bread. He who has ears let him hear.

97. Jesus said: The kingdom of the father is like a woman who was carrying a jar full of grain. As she walked along a handle of her jar broke off and grain trickled out but she didn't notice. When she arrived in her house she put the jar down and found it empty.

98. Jesus said: The kingdom of the father is like a man who intended to kill a powerful man. He drew out his sword in his own house and stabbed it into the wall to test his strength. Then he killed the powerful man.

99. His disciples told him: "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside." He responded, "These here who do the will of my father are my brothers and my mother. These are the ones who will enter the kingdom of my father."

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said: "Ceasar's agents demand that we pay his taxes." He replied, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Give to God what is God's. And give me what is mine."

101a. Jesus said: Anyone who doesn't hate his father and mother as I do cannot be a disciple of mine. And anyone who doesn't love his father and mother as I do cannot be a disciple of mine. 101b. My mother has ….but true she gave me life.

102. Jesus said: Woe to the pharisees. Like a dog dozing in a food trough for cattle, they neither eat nor do they let the cattle eat.

103. Jesus said: Blessed is one who knows where (or when) bandits are going to attack, so that he can prepare, assemble his forces, and arm himself before the bandits enter.

104. They said to Jesus: Come, let's pray today, let's fast. Jesus responded, "What sin have I committed? How have I been overcome? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then they should fast and pray.

105. Jesus said: One who knows his father and his mother will be called the son of a whore.

106. Jesus said: When you make the two into one you will be called sons of men. When you say "Move, mountain!" It will move.

107. Jesus said: The kingdom is like a shepherd with one hundred sheep. One of those sheep, the largest, wandered off. He left the ninety-nine others behind and went looking for the other one until he found it. Having exhausted himself he said to the sheep, "I love you more than the other ninety-nine."

108. Jesus said: He who drinks from my mouth will become like I am, and I will become he. And the hidden things will be revealed to him.

109. Jesus said: The kingdom is like a man with a treasure of which he is unaware hidden in his field. He died and left the field to his son. His son knew nothing about it and , having received the field, sold it. The new owner came and, while plowing, found the treasure. He began to lend money at interest to anybody he wished.

110. Jesus said: Whoever has found the world and become rich should renounce the world.

111. Jesus said: The earth and sky will roll up right in front of you. Anyone living from the living will not die. Doesn't Jesus say that the world is not worthy of one who finds himself?

112. Jesus said: Woe to the flesh dependent on the soul; woe to the soul dependent on the flesh.

113. They asked him: When is the kingdom coming? He replied, It is not coming in an easily observable manner. People will not be saying, "Look, it's over here" or "Look, it's over there." Rather, the kingdom of the father is already spread out on the earth and people aren't aware of it.

114. Simon Peter said to them: Mary should leave us because women are not worthy of the life. Jesus responded, Look, I'll lead her in order to make her male so that she can become a living spirit like you males are. For each woman who makes herself male will enter into the kingdom of heaven.


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