Contemplating The Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas is a gnostic document that is part of the Nag Hammadi Library that was discovered in the middle of the last century. The Gospel consists of purported sayings by Jesus (Yeshua) the Christ.

Here are some of the more mystical passages from the Gospel as translated by Thomas O. Lambdin. They make excellent material for spiritual contemplation (contemplative meditation or passage meditation). Select one of the sayings that resonates in your heart or feeling level, and spend some time in silent contemplation of what the saying’s meaning is being communicated to you at a deeply felt soul level.

At the end of the post is a relevant video of Elaine Pagels’ lecture delivered at the Vanderbilt Divinity School Cole Lecture.

(2) Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.

(3) Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.

(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. Others fell on the rock, did not take root in the soil, and did not produce ears. And others fell on thorns; they choked the seed(s) and worms ate them. And others fell on the good soil and it produced good fruit: it bore sixty per measure and a hundred and twenty per measure.

(20) The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what the kingdom of heaven is like.”
He said to them, “It is like a mustard seed. It is the smallest of all seeds. But when it falls on tilled soil, it produces a great plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.

(70) Jesus said, “That which you have will save you if you bring it forth from yourselves. That which you do not have within you will kill you if you do not have it within you.

(77) Jesus said, “It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.

(113) His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”
It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying ‘here it is’ or ‘there it is.’ Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.

Below is the lecture given by religion scholar Elaine Pagels, titled “New Reflections on Gospel Traditions: the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Thomas” which sheds illumination on the preceding quotations from the Gospel of Thomas. There is, also, a video of an informative class lecture given by a Yale University professor, Dale B. Martin, on the Gospel of Thomas.

(Acknowledgement to the Vanderbilt University channel on YouTube for posting the video below.)

(Acknowledgement to the YaleCourses channel on YouTube for posting the video below.)

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