The Gospel of Thomas

Found in Coptic translated into Greek, this sayings gospel claims to be the work of the apostle Thomas. Possible dates of composition are disputed, but the most commonly given date is c. 150 AD. The work appears to be connected with the body of gnostic writings that was beginning to develop in the middle of the second century. Three early fragmentary Greek manuscripts found in Oxyrynchus survive (from c. 200). In addition, a complete copy survives in the Nag Hammadi Library (in Codex II), found in 1945. The complete manuscript is in Coptic. Below, portions of the work are cited, divided into three categories:

Synoptic Sayings

These appear in identical or slightly different form in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.

# 9: Jesus said, "Now the sower went out, took a handful [of seeds], and scattered them. Some fell on the road; the birds came and gathered them up. Some fell on rock, did not take root in soil, and did not produce ears [of corn]. And others fell on thorns; they choked the seed, and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil and produced good fruit: sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.

#31: Jesus said, "No prophet is accepted in his own village; no doctor heals those who know him."

#32: Jesus said, "A city which is built on a high mountain and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."

Johannine Sayings

These appear in identical or similar form to sayings in John's account.

# 1: "Whoever finds the meaning of these things will not taste death."

#38b: "There will be days when you will seek me and will not find me."

Gnostic Sayings

These sayings appear to have been constructed later in their entirety.

#61: Jesus said, "Two will rest on a bed; then one will die; the other will live."
Salome said, "Who are you, human, that you have come to my couch and have eaten from my table, as though you are from the One?"
Jesus told her, "I am the one who exists from the Undivided. I was given some of my Father's things."
"I am your student."
"Therefore I say, if [someone] is [undivided], he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness."

#114: Simon Peter said to them, "Mary should leave us, for women are not worthy of life."
Jesus said, "I myself will lead her, in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."

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