The Nag Hammadi Library

resembling the adulterer. Now you who live together with the Son of God, love not the world, but love the Lord, in order that those you will bring forth may not resemble the world, but may resemble the Lord.

The human being has intercourse with the human being. The horse has intercourse with the horse, the ass with the ass. Members of a race usually have associated with those of like race. So spirit mingles with spirit, and thought consorts with thought, and light shares with light. If you are born a human being, it is the human being who will love you. If you become a spirit, it is the spirit which will be joined to you. If you become thought, it is thought which will mingle with you. If you become light, it is the light which will share with you. If you become one of those who belong above, it is those who belong above who will rest upon you. If you become horse or ass or bull or dog or sheep, or another of the animals which are outside or below, then neither human being nor spirit nor thought nor light will be able to love you. Neither those who belong above nor those who belong within will be able to rest in you, and you have no part in them.

He who is a slave against his will, will be able to become free. He who has become free by favor of his master, and has sold himself into slavery, will no longer be able to be free.

Farming in the world requires the cooperation of four essential elements. A harvest is

gathered into the barn only as a result of the natural action of water, earth, wind and light.

God’s farming likewise has four elements – faith, hope, love, and knowledge. Faith is our earth, that in which we take root. And hope is the water through which we are nourished. Love is the wind through which we grow. Knowledge, then, is the light through which we ripen. Grace exists in four ways: it is earthborn; it is heavenly; […] the highest heaven; […] in […].

Blessed is the one who on no occasion caused a soul […]. That person is Jesus Christ. He came to the whole place and did not burden anyone. Therefore, blessed is the one who is like this, because he is a perfect man. For the Word tells us that this kind is difficult to define. How shall we be able to accomplish such a great thing? How will he give everyone comfort? Above all, it is not proper to cause anyone distress – whether the person is great or small, unbeliever or believer – and then give comfort only to those who take satisfaction in good deeds. Some find it advantageous to give comfort to the one who has fared well. He who does good deeds cannot give comfort to such people, for he does not seize whatever he likes. He is unable to cause distress, however, since he does not afflict them. To be sure, the one who fares well sometimes causes people distress – not that he intends to do so; rather, it is their own wickedness which is responsible for their distress. He who possesses the qualities (of the perfect man) bestows joy upon the good. Some, however, are terribly distressed by all this.

There was a householder who had every conceivable thing, be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig or corn or barley or chaff or grass or […] or meat and acorn. Now he was a sensible fellow, and he knew what the food of each one was. He served the children bread […]. He served the slaves […] and meal. And he threw barley and chaff and grass to the cattle. He threw bones to the dogs, and to the pigs he threw acorns and slop. Compare the

disciple of God: if he is a sensible fellow, he understands what discipleship is all about. The bodily forms will not deceive him, but he will look at the condition of the soul of each one and speak with him. There are many animals in the world which are in a human form. When he identifies them, to the swine he will throw acorns, to the cattle he will throw barley and chaff and grass, to the dogs he will throw bones. To the slaves he will give only the elementary lessons, to the children he will give the complete instruction.

There is the Son of Man and there is the son of the Son of Man. The Lord is the Son of Man, and the son of the Son of Man is he who creates through the Son of Man. The Son of Man received from God the capacity to create. He also has the ability to beget. He who has received the ability to create is a creature. He who has received the ability to beget is an offspring. He who creates cannot beget. He who begets also has power to create. Now they say, “He who creates begets”. But his so-called “offspring” is merely a creature. Because of […] of birth, they are not his offspring but […]. He who creates works openly, and he himself is visible. He who begets, begets in private, and he himself is hidden, since […] image. Also, he who creates, creates openly. But one who begets, begets children in private.

No one can know when the husband and the wife have intercourse with one another, except the two of them. Indeed, marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, how much more is the undefiled marriage a true mystery! It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will. It belongs not to the darkness or the night, but to the day and the light. If a marriage is open to the public, it has become prostitution, and the bride plays the harlot not only when she is impregnated by another man, but even if she slips out of her bedroom and is seen. Let her show herself only to her father and her mother, and to the friend of the bridegroom and the sons of the bridegroom. These are permitted to enter every day into the bridal chamber. But let the others yearn just to listen to her voice and to enjoy her ointment, and let them feed from the crumbs that fall from the table, like the dogs. Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one shall be able to see the bridegroom with the bride unless he become such a one.

When Abraham […] that he was to see what he was to see, he circumcised the flesh of the foreskin, teaching us that it is proper to destroy the flesh.

Most things in the world, as long as their inner parts are hidden, stand upright and live. If they are revealed, they die, as is illustrated by the visible man: as long as the intestines of the man are hidden, the man is alive; when his intestines are exposed and come out of him, the man will die. So also with the tree: while its root is hidden, it sprouts and grows. If its root is exposed, the tree dries up. So it is with every birth that is in the world, not only with the revealed but with the hidden. For so long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is strong. But when it is recognized, it is dissolved. When it is revealed, it perishes. That is why the Word says, “Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees” (Mt 3:10). It will not merely cut – what is cut sprouts again – but the ax penetrates deeply, until it brings up the root. Jesus pulled out the root of the whole place, while others did it only partially. As for ourselves, let each one of us dig down after the root of evil which is

within one, and let one pluck it out of one’s heart from the root. It will be plucked out if we recognize it. But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us and produces its fruit in our heart. It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive, to make us do what we do not want; and what we do want, we do not do. It is powerful because we have not recognized it. While it exists it is active. Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will result in death, because those who come from ignorance neither were nor are nor shall be. […] will be perfect when all the truth is revealed. For truth is like ignorance: while it is hidden, it rests in itself, but when it is revealed and is recognized, it is praised, inasmuch as it is stronger than ignorance and error. It gives freedom. The Word said, “If you know the truth, the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us. If we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfillment.

At the present time, we have the manifest things of creation. We say, “The strong who are held in high regard are great people. And the weak who are despised are the obscure.” Contrast the manifest things of truth: they are weak and despised, while the hidden things are strong and held in high regard. The mysteries of truth are revealed, though in type and image. The bridal chamber, however, remains hidden. It is the Holy in the Holy. The veil at first concealed how God controlled the creation, but when the veil is rent and the

things inside are revealed, this house will be left desolate, or rather will be destroyed.

And the whole (inferior) godhead will flee from here, but not into the holies of the holies, for it will not be able to mix with the unmixed light and the flawless fullness, but will be under the wings of the cross and under its arms. This ark will be their salvation when the flood of water surges over them. If some belong to the order of the priesthood, they will be able to go within the veil with the high priest. For this reason, the veil was not rent at the top only, since it would have been open only to those above; nor was it rent at the bottom only, since it would have been revealed only to those below. But it was rent from the top to bottom. Those above opened to us the things below, in order that we may go in to the secret of the truth. This truly is what is held in high regard, (and) what is strong! But we shall go in there by means of lowly types and forms of weakness. They are lowly indeed when compared with the perfect glory. There is glory which surpasses glory. There is power which surpasses power. Therefore, the perfect things have opened to us, together with the hidden things of truth. The holies of the holies were revealed, and the bridal chamber invited us in.

As long as it is hidden, wickedness is indeed ineffectual, but it has not been removed from the midst of the seed of the Holy Spirit. They are slaves of evil. But when it is revealed, then the perfect light will flow out on every one. And all those who are in it will receive the chrism. Then the slaves will be free and the captives ransomed. “Every plant which my father who is in heaven has not planted will be plucked out.” (Mt 15:13) Those who are separated will unite […] and will be filled. Every one who will enter the bridal chamber will kindle the light, for […] just as in the marriages which are […] happen at night. That fire […] only at night, and is put out. But the mysteries of that marriage are perfected rather in the day and the light. Neither that day nor its light ever sets. If anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light. If anyone does not receive it while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place. He who will receive

that light will not be seen, nor can he be detained. And none shall be able to torment a person like this, even while he dwells in the world. And again when he leaves the world, he has already received the truth in the images. The world has become the Aeon (eternal realm), for the Aeon is fullness for him. This is the way it is: it is revealed to him alone, not hidden in the darkness and the night, but hidden in a perfect day and a holy light.

The Gospel According to Philip

Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.

THE GNOSTIC SOCIETY LIBRARY

The Nag Hammadi Library

The Gospel of Thomas

image

Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer

(Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for additional information)

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.

  1. And he said, “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.”
  2. Jesus said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]”
  3. Jesus said, “If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the (Father’s) 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 (Father’s) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.”
  4. Jesus said, “The person old in days won’t hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one.”
  5. Jesus said, “Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]”
  6. His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?”Jesus said, “Don’t lie, and don’t do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”
  7. Jesus said, “Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human.”
  8. And he said, “The person is like a wise fisherman who 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. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”
  9. Jesus said, “Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn’t take root in the soil and didn’t produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.”
  10. Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I’m guarding it until it blazes.”
  11. Jesus said, “This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?”
  12. The disciples said to Jesus, “We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?”Jesus said to them, “No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.”
  13. Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to something and tell me what I am like.” Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a just messenger.”Matthew said to him, “You are like a wise philosopher.”Thomas said to him, “Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like.” Jesus said, “I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicatedfrom the bubbling spring that I have tended.”And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you.”
  14. Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it’s what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.”
  15. Jesus said, “When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father.”
  16. Jesus said, “Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.For there will be five in a house: there’ll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.”
  17. Jesus said, “I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart.”
  18. The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us, how will our end come?”Jesus said, “Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death.”
  19. Jesus said, “Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you. For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, andtheir leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death.”
  20. The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what Heaven’s kingdom is like.”He said to them, “It’s like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.”
  21. Mary said to Jesus, “What are your disciples like?”He said, “They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, ‘Give us back our field.’ They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can’t find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.Let there be among you a person who understands.When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”
  22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father’s) kingdom.”They said to him, “Then shall we enter the (Father’s) kingdom as babies?”Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”
  23. Jesus said, “I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one.”
  24. His disciples said, “Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it.”He said to them, “Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark.”
  25. Jesus said, “Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye.”
  26. Jesus said, “You see the sliver in your friend’s eye, but you don’t see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend’s eye.”
  27. “If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father’s) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father.”
  28. Jesus said, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways.”
  29. Jesus said, “If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels.Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty.”
  30. Jesus said, “Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one.”
  31. Jesus said, “No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don’t cure those who know them.”
  32. Jesus said, “A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden.”
  33. Jesus said, “What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light.”
  34. Jesus said, “If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole.”
  35. Jesus said, “One can’t enter a strong person’s house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house.”
  36. Jesus said, “Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food–what you’re going to eat, or about your clothing–] what you are going to wear. [You’re much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]”
  37. His disciples said, “When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?”Jesus said, “When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid.”
  38. Jesus said, “Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me.”
  39. Jesus said, “The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves.”
  40. Jesus said, “A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish.”
  41. Jesus said, “Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have.”
  42. Jesus said, “Be passersby.”
  43. His disciples said to him, “Who are you to say these things to us?” “You don’t understand who I am from what I say to you.Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree.”
  44. Jesus said, “Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven.”
  45. Jesus said, “Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.Good persons produce good from what they’ve stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they’ve stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil.”
  46. Jesus said, “From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the (Father’s) kingdom and will become greater than John.”
  47. Jesus said, “A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear.”
  48. Jesus said, “If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, ‘Move from here!’ and it will move.”
  49. Jesus said, “Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again.”
  50. Jesus said, “If they say to you, ‘Where have you come from?’ say to them, ‘We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.’If they say to you, ‘Is it you?’ say, ‘We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.’If they ask you, ‘What is the evidence of your Father in you?’ say to them, ‘It is motion and rest.'”
  51. His disciples said to him, “When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?”He said to them, “What you are looking forward to has come, but you don’t know it.”
  52. His disciples said to him, “Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you.”He said to them, “You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead.”
  53. His disciples said to him, “Is circumcision useful or not?”He said to them, “If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect.”
  54. Jesus said, “Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven’s kingdom.”
  55. Jesus said, “Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me.”
  56. Jesus said, “Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy.”

57 Jesus said, “The Father’s kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, ‘No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.’ For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned.”

  1. Jesus said, “Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life.”
  2. Jesus said, “Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see.”
  3. He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea. He said to his disciples, “that person … around the lamb.” They said to him, “So that he may kill it and eat it.” He said to them, “He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass.”They said, “Otherwise he can’t do it.”He said to them, “So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten.”
  4. Jesus said, “Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live.”Salome said, “Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone.”Jesus said to her, “I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father.””I am your disciple.””For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.”
  5. Jesus said, “I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries. 63 Jesus said, “There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, ‘I shall

invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce,

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Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?