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Thomas Sayings

What is called the Gospel of Thomas, consists of noncanonical sayings. Several scholars believe some of them may be older than the Biblical gospels.

On 27 September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave out a speech in the Vatican. In it he recalled an ancient tradition claiming that Thomas reached Southern India. [◦More on Thomas]

In the sayings below, points put in round brackets are from the translation, and words in square brackets [ ] are added by me. Numbers in square brackets refers to passages (loggions) in the Gospel of Thomas, which is on-line.

1. Tell of the wholeness no toiling worm is said to have found

Be prepared before the rebels arrive [103].

"Is circumcision useful or not?" - If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother [51].

2. The wise people of the coast learnt to store up much fish, and so they become easily greater

A wise fisherman . . . cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. [8] ◊.

3. Congratulations to you who have become so wealthy that you can disclose mysteries of kings

Whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy [80]

Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world [110].

Let one who has become wealthy reign [81].

Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being [19].


We could learn to store food and keep them for long, if needs be, as part of the house-keeping.

Professor melancholy

ANECDOTE A certain university professor was about to depart on his sabbatical and addressed a few parting words to his students. "This parting is very melancholy to me. I wish there might be a window in my breast that you might see the innermost recesses of my heart."

"Professor," called a young man from the class, "would a pane in the stomach do?"


Gospel of Thomas extracts, Literature  

Davies, Stevan L. The Gospel of Thomas and Christian Wisdom. New York: The Seabury Press, 1983.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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