The Nag Hammadi Library

He went to another and said to him, 'My master invites you.' He said to him, 'I have just

bought a farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused.'

The servant returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his servant, 'Go outside to the streets and bring

back those whom you happen to meet, so that they may dine.' Businessmen and merchants will not enter the places of my father."

  • He said, "There was a good man who owned a vineyard. He leased it to tenant farmers so that they might work it and he might collect the produce from them. He sent his servant so that the tenants might give him the produce of the vineyard. They seized his servant and beat him, all but killing him. The servant went back and told his master. The master said, 'Perhaps he did not recognize them.' He sent another servant. The tenants beat this one as well. Then the owner sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they will show respect to my son.' Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear."
  • Jesus said, "Show me the stone which the builders have rejected. That one is the cornerstone."
  • Jesus said, "If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient."
  • Jesus said, "Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted. Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no place."
  • Jesus said, "Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled."
  • 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."
  • Jesus said, "I shall destroy this house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."
  • A man said to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me." He said to him, "O man, who has made me a divider?"He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I am not a divider, am I?"
  • Jesus said, "The harvest is great but the laborers are few. Beseech the Lord, therefore, to send out laborers to the harvest."
  • He said, "O Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the cistern."
  • Jesus said, "Many are standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a merchant who had a consignment of merchandise and who discovered a pearl. That merchant was shrewd. He sold themerchandise and bought the pearl alone for himself. You too, seek his unfailing and enduring treasure where no moth comes near to devour and no worm destroys."
  • 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."
  • Jesus said, "Why have you come out into the desert? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in fine garments like your kings and your great men? Upon them are the fine garments, and they are unable to discern the truth."
  • A woman from the crowd said to him, "Blessed are the womb which bore you and the breasts which nourished you."He said to her, "Blessed are those who have heard the word of the father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Blessed are the womb which has notconceived and the breasts which have not given milk.'"
  • Jesus said, "He who has recognized the world has found the body, but he who has found the body is superior to the world."
  • Jesus said, "Let him who has grown rich be king, and let him who possesses power renounce it."
  • Jesus said, "He who is near me is near the fire, and he who is far from me is far from the kingdom."
  • Jesus said, "The images are manifest to man, but the light in them remains concealed in the image of the light of the father. He will become manifest, but his image will remain concealed by his light."
  • Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you rejoice. But when you see your images which came into being before you, and which neither die not become manifest, how much you will have to bear!"
  • Jesus said, "Adam came into being from a great power and a great wealth, but he did not become worthy of you. For had he been worthy, he would not have experienced death."
  • Jesus said, "The foxes have their holes and the birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head and rest."
  • Jesus said, "Wretched is the body that is dependant upon a body, and wretched is the soul that is dependent on these two."
  • Jesus said, "The angels and the prophets will come to you and give to you those things you (already) have. And you too, give them those things which you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what is theirs?'"
  • Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not realize that he who made the inside is the same one who made the outside?"
  • Jesus said, "Come unto me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves."
  • They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."He said to them, "You read the face of the sky and of the earth, but you have not recognized the one who is before you, and you do not know how to read this moment."
  • Jesus said, "Seek and you will find. Yet, what you asked me about in former times and which I did not tell you then, now I do desire to tell, but you do not inquire after it."
  • <Jesus said,> "Do not give what is holy to dogs, lest they throw them on the dung- heap. Do not throw the pearls to swine, lest they [...] it [...]."
  • Jesus said, "He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in."
  • Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman. She took a little leaven, concealed it in some dough, and made it into large loaves. Let him who has ears hear."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking on the road, still some distance from home, the handle of the jar broke and the meal emptied out behind her on the road. She did not realize it; she had noticed no accident. When she reached her house, she set the jar down and found it empty."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain man who wanted to kill a powerful man. In his own house he drew his sword and stuck it into the wall in order to find out whether his hand could carry through. Then he slew the powerful man."
  • The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside." He said to them, "Those here who do the will of my father are my brothers and my mother. It is they who will enter the kingdom of my father."
  • They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "Caesar's men demand taxes from us."He said to them, "Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."
  • <Jesus said,> "Whoever does not hate his father and his mother as I do cannot become a disciple to me. And whoever does not love his father and his mother as I do cannot become a disciple to me. For my mother [...], but my true mother gave me life."
  • Jesus said, "Woe to the pharisees, for they are like a dog sleeping in the manger of oxen, for neither does he eat nor does he let the oxen eat."
  • Jesus said, "Fortunate is the man who knows where the brigands will enter, so that he may get up, muster his domain, and arm himself before they invade."
  • They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today and let us fast."Jesus said, "What is the sin that I have committed, or wherein have I been defeated? Butwhen the bridegroom leaves the bridal chamber, then let them fast and pray."
  • Jesus said, "He who knows the father and the mother will be called the son of a harlot."
  • Jesus said, "When you make the two one, you will become the sons of man, and when you say, 'Mountain, move away,' it will move away."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine sheep and looked for that one until he found it. When he had gone to such trouble, he said to the sheep, 'I care for you more than the ninety-nine.'"
  • Jesus said, "He who will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him."
  • Jesus said, "The kingdom is like a man who had a hidden treasure in his field without knowing it. And after he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know (about the treasure). He inherited the field and sold it. And the one who bought it went plowing and found the treasure. He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."
  • Jesus said, "Whoever finds the world and becomes rich, let him renounce the world."
  • Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in your presence. And the one who lives from the living one will not see death." Does not Jesus say, "Whoever finds himself is superior to the world?"
  • Jesus said, "Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh."
  • His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"<Jesus said,> "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying 'here itis' or 'there it is.' Rather, the kingdom of the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
  • Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven."
  • The Gospel According to Thomas

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


    The Nag Hammadi Library

    The Gospel of Thomas


    Translated by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson

    (Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for additional information)

    These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke. And Didymos Judas Thomas wrote them down.

    1. And he said: "Whoever finds the meaning of these words will not taste death."
    2. Jesus says:
    1. "The one who seeks should not cease seeking until he finds.
    2. And when he finds, he will be dismayed.
    3. And when he is dismayed, he will be astonished.
    4. And he will be king over the All."

    (03) Jesus says:

    1. "If those who lead you say to you: ‘Look, the kingdom is in the sky!’ then the birds of the sky will precede you.
    2. If they say to you: ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fishes will precede you.
    3. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and outside of you."
    4. "When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the children of the living Father.
    5. But if you do not come to know yourselves, then you exist in poverty, and you are poverty."

    (04) Jesus says:

    1. "The person old in his days will not hesitate to ask a child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live.
    2. For many who are first will become last, (3) and they will become a single one."

    (05) Jesus says:

    1. "Come to know what is in front of you,and that which is hidden from you will become clear to you.
    2. For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest."


    1. His disciples questioned him, (and) they said to him:" Do you want us to fast?And how should we pray and give alms?And what diet should we observe?"---------------------------------------
    2. Jesus says: "Do not lie. (3) And do not do what you hate.
    1. For everything is disclosed in view of <the truth>.
    2. For there is nothing hidden that will not become revealed.
    3. And there is nothing covered that will remain undisclosed."
    4. Jesus says:
    1. "Blessed is the lion that a person will eat and the lion will become human.
    2. And anathema is the person whom a lion will eat and the lion will become human."


    1. And he says: "The human being is like a sensible fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea filled with little fish.
    2. Among them the sensible fisherman found a large, fine fish.
    3. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, (and) he chose the large fish effortlessly.
    4. Whoever has ears to hear should hear."

    (09) Jesus says:

    1. "Look, a sower went out. He filled his hands (with seeds), (and) he scattered (them).
    2. Some fell on the path, and the birds came and pecked them up.
    3. Others fell on the rock, and did not take root in the soil, and they did not put forth ears.
    4. And others fell among the thorns, they choked the seeds, and worms ate them.
    5. And others fell on good soil, and it produced good fruit.

    It yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."

    1. Jesus says: "I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes."
    2. Jesus says:
    1. "This heaven will pass away, and the (heaven) above it will pass away.
    2. And the dead are not alive, and the living will not died.
    3. In the days when you consumed what was dead, you made it alive.When you are in the light, what will you do?
    4. On the day when you were one, you became two.

    But when you become two, what will you do?


    1. The disciples said to Jesus: "We know that you will depart from us. Who (then) will rule [lit., ‘be great’] over us?"
    2. Jesus said to them: "No matter where you came from, you should go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."


    1. Jesus said to his disciples: "Compare me, and tell me whom I am like."
    2. Simon Peter said to him: "You are like a just messenger."
    3. Matthew said to him: "You are like an (especially) wise philosopher."
    4. Thomas said to him:"Teacher, my mouth will not bear at all to say whom you are like."
    5. Jesus said: "I am not your teacher. For you have drunk, you have become intoxicated at the bubbling spring that I have measured out."
    6. And he took him, (and) withdrew, (and) he said three words to him.
    7. But when Thomas came back to his companions, they asked him:"What did Jesus say to you?"
    8. Thomas said to them: "If I tell you one of the words he said to me,

    you will pick up stones and throw them at me,

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