The Gospel of Thomas, Part 10: The Dissection, Part 1

This is the dissection of The Gospel of Thomas. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series.

This translation of portions of the Gospel of Thomas is based on an ultraviolet collation of the Coptic text, by Marvin Meyer, at the Coptic Museum in 1988. Papyrus 654.8-9 adds “and having reigned, one will rest.” For the sayings, in general, Gospel of the Hebrews 4a, 4b; Book of Thomas 140-41; 145; Matt. 7;7-8.

“Know yourself” was among the Greek inscriptions at Delphi. One of the most important religious sanctuaries of the Ancient Greek world, dedicated to Apollo,situated on lower southern slopes of Mount Parnassus (In central Greece, north of Delphi. Held sacred to ancient Greeks. Associated with Apollo & Muses. Regarded as symbol of poetry. Greek name: Parnassos.) above the Gulf of Corinth (An inlet of the Ioian Sea that extends between the Peloponnese & central Greece. Also called ‘Gulf of Lepanto’.). Thought of as the navel of the earth, it was the seat of the Delphic Oracle, whose riddling response to questions where given by the Pythia (The priestess of Apollo at Delphi in Ancient Greece. Origin from ‘Putho,’ former name of Delphi.).

On knowing & being known, check out Gal. 4:8-9; I Cor. 8:1-3, 13:12; the Gospel of Truth 19.

On the 7 day-old kid, place in life, Probably talking about an uncircumcised child Jewish boys were circumcised on the 8th day of life. A saying said to derive from the Gosple of Thomas (also see Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 5.7.20): “One who seeks will find me in children from 7 years, for there, hidden in the 14th age, I’m reveled.”

On first becoming last, see Matthew 20:16; Luke 13:30; Matthew 19:30; Mark 10:31; Barnabas 6:13 (Saint Barnabas, who died circa 61, was a Cypriot Levite & apostle. The traditional founder of the Cypriot Church, said to have been martyrdom in Cyprus. His feast day, June 11th.) & in the Pistis Sophia 87. Here Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654.25-26 reads: “For many of the first will last, and the last first.”

On what is “hidden will be reveled,” see Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17, 12:2; & Matthew 10:26. On the last portion of the saying, see Gospel of Thomas 6. The Papyrus Oxyhynchus 654.31 adds: “and nothing buried that will not be raised.”

On the disciples asking about their diets, see Matthew 6:1-18; Didache 8L1-3. Saying 14 provides a more direct answer to these questions.

On no lie, no hate, this is the negative formulation of the golden rule. The lion seems to symbolize what’s passionate & bestial in human experience. A person may consume the lion or be consumed by it. See Plato’s ‘Republic‘ 588E-589B.

On when in light, you do, see Hippolytus, ‘Refutation of All Heresies‘ 5.8.32: “So they say, ‘If you ate dead things & made them living, what will you do if you eat living things?'”

Spoke 3 sayings to Phillip in #13 or spoke “three words.” The 3 sayings or words are unknown, & they may be mentioned as a device to provoke the creative reflection of the reader.

On the fire coming from rocks &will consume you, see. The Gospel of Bartholomew 2:5 (Saint Bartholomew was an apostle, regarded as the patron saint of tanners. His feast day is August. 24.).

On giving to charity, harm your spirit, see the questions in the Gospel of Thomas 6. 5 trees in paradise are mentioned in gnostic & Manichaean literature. See Genesis 2:9.

On 21, It could be Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, or some other Mary asking Jessu the question. For another saying on transformation that employs gender categories in a rather different way, see the Gospel of Thomas 114; Galatians 3:27-28; the Gospel of the Egyptians 5; 2 Clement 12:2-6; the Martyrdom of Peter 9; & the Acts of Phillip 120.

On motion & rest, this saying recalls the accounts of the career of the soul or of the person in the Secret Book of John, the Hymn of the Pearl, & the Exegesis on the Soul. On the soul being interrogated by the cosmic powers & ascending to the realm above, see the Gospel of Mary 15-17.

On 51,See Luke 17:20-21; the Gospel of Thomas 113; John 3: 18-19; 2 Timothy 2:17-18; the Treatise on Resurrection 49. Salome is a disciple of Jesus describe as being present at the crucifixion in Mark 15:40 & at the tomb in Mark 16:1. She’s also featured throughout the Pistis Sophia & Manichaean texts. Sayings 73-75 most likely constitute a small dialogue. See “Heavenly Dialogue,” in Origen (circa 185- circa 254, a Christian scholar & theologian, probably born in Alexandria, Egypt. Most well known work was the ‘Hexapla,‘ an edition of the Old Testament (also known as the Jewish bible.) with 6 or more parallel versions.), ‘Against Celsus‘ 8:15.

For saying 75, see Matthew 25; 1-13. The wedding chamber or bridal chamber is discussed extensively in the Gospel of Phillip.

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