looking expectantly for the time when they will be met by the receivers (of the body). Such then
are worthy of the imperishable, eternal life and the calling. For they endure everything and bear
up under everything, that they may finish the good fight and inherit eternal life."
I said to him, "Lord, the souls of those who did not do these works (but) on whom the power and
Spirit descended, (will they be rejected?" He answered and said to me, "If) the Spirit (descended
upon them), they will in any case be saved, and they will change (for the better). For the power
will descend on every man, for without it no one can stand. And after they are born, then, when
the Spirit of life increases and the power comes and strengthens that soul, no one can lead it astray
with works of evil. But those on whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they
And I said, "Lord, where will the souls of these go when they have come out of their flesh?" And
he smiled and said to me, "The soul in which the power will become stronger than the counterfeit
spirit, is strong and it flees from evil and, through the intervention of the incorruptible one, it is
saved, and it is taken up to the rest of the aeons."
And I said, "Lord, those, however, who have not known to whom they belong, where will their
souls be?" And he said to me, "In those, the despicable spirit has gained strength when they went
astray. And he burdens the soul and draws it to the works of evil, and he casts it down into
forgetfulness. And after it comes out of (the body), it is handed over to the authorities, who came
into being through the archon, and they bind it with chains and cast it into prison, and consort
with it until it is liberated from the forgetfulness and acquires knowledge. And if thus it becomes
perfect, it is saved."
And I said, "Lord, how can the soul become smaller and return into the nature of its mother or into
man?" Then he rejoiced when I asked him this, and he said to me, "Truly, you are blessed, for you
have understood! That soul is made to follow another one (fem.), since the Spirit of life is in it. It is
saved through him. It is not again cast into another flesh."
And I said, "Lord, these also who did not know, but have turned away, where will their souls go?"
Then he said to me, "To that place where the angels of poverty go they will be taken, the place
where there is no repentance. And they will be kept for the day on which those who have
blasphemed the spirit will be tortured, and they will be punished with eternal punishment."
And I said, "Lord, from where did the counterfeit spirit come?" Then he said to me, "The Mother-
Father, who is rich in mercy, the holy Spirit in every way, the One who is merciful and who
sympathizes with you (pl.), i.e., the Epinoia of the foreknowledge of light, he raised up the
offspring of the perfect race and its thinking and the eternal light of man. When the chief archon
realized that they were exalted above him in the height - and they surpass him in thinking - then
he wanted to seize their thought, not knowing that they surpassed him in thinking, and that he
will not be able to seize them.
"He made a plan with his authorities, which are his powers, and they committed together adultery
with Sophia, and bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds.
And it is of a sort that is interchangeable. And it is harder and stronger than she with whom the
gods united, and the angels and the demons and all the generations until this day. For from that
fate came forth every sin and injustice and blasphemy, and the chain of forgetfulness and
ignorance and every severe command, and serious sins and great fears. And thus the whole
creation was made blind, in order that they may not know God, who is above all of them. And
because of the chain of forgetfulness, their sins were hidden. For they are bound with measures
and times and moments, since it (fate) is lord over everything.
"And he (the chief archon) repented for everything which had come into being through him. This
time he planned to bring a flood upon the work of man. But the greatness of the light of the
foreknowledge informed Noah, and he proclaimed (it) to all the offspring which are the sons of
men. But those who were strangers to him did not listen to him. It is not as Moses said, 'They hid
themselves in an ark' (Gn 7: 7), but they hid themselves in a place, not only Noah, but also many
other people from the immovable race. They went into a place and hid themselves in a luminous
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cloud. And he (Noah) recognized his authority, and she who belongs to the light was with him,
having shone on them because he (the chief archon) had brought darkness upon the whole earth.
"And he made a plan with his powers. He sent his angels to the daughters of men, that they might
take some of them for themselves and raise offspring for their enjoyment. And at first they did not
succeed. When they had no success, they gathered together again and they made a plan together.
They created a counterfeit spirit, who resembles the Spirit who had descended, so as to pollute the
souls through it. And the angels changed themselves in their likeness into the likeness of their
mates (the daughters of men), filling them with the spirit of darkness, which they had mixed for
them, and with evil. They brought gold and silver and a gift and copper and iron and metal and
all kinds of things. And they steered the people who had followed them into great troubles, by
leading them astray with many deceptions. They (the people) became old without having
enjoyment. They died, not having found truth and without knowing the God of truth. And thus
the whole creation became enslaved forever, from the foundation of the world until now. And
they took women and begot children out of the darkness according to the likeness of their spirit.
And they closed their hearts, and they hardened themselves through the hardness of the
counterfeit spirit until now.
"I, therefore, the perfect Pronoia of the all, changed myself into my seed, for I existed first, going
on every road. For I am the richness of the light; I am the remembrance of the pleroma.
"And I went into the realm of darkness and I endured till I entered the middle of the prison. And
the foundations of chaos shook. And I hid myself from them because of their wickedness, and
they did not recognize me.
"Again I returned for the second time, and I went about. I came forth from those who belong to the
light, which is I, the remembrance of the Pronoia. I entered into the midst of darkness and the
inside of Hades, since I was seeking (to accomplish) my task. And the foundations of chaos shook,
that they might fall down upon those who are in chaos and might destroy them. And again I ran
up to my root of light, lest they be destroyed before the time.
"Still for a third time I went - I am the light which exists in the light, I am the remembrance of the
Pronoia - that I might enter into the midst of darkness and the inside of Hades. And I filled my
face with the light of the completion of their aeon. And I entered into the midst of their prison,
which is the prison of the body. And I said, 'He who hears, let him get up from the deep sleep.'
And he wept and shed tears. Bitter tears he wiped from himself and he said, 'Who is it that calls
my name, and from where has this hope come to me, while I am in the chains of the prison?' And I
said, 'I am the Pronoia of the pure light; I am the thinking of the virginal Spirit, who raised you up
to the honored place. Arise and remember that it is you who hearkened, and follow your root,
which is I, the merciful one, and guard yourself against the angels of poverty and the demons of
chaos and all those who ensnare you, and beware of the deep sleep and the enclosure of the inside
"And I raised him up, and sealed him in the light of the water with five seals, in order that death
might not have power over him from this time on.
"And behold, now I shall go up to the perfect aeon. I have completed everything for you in your
hearing. And I have said everything to you that you might write them down and give them
secretly to your fellow spirits, for this is the mystery of the immovable race."
And the savior presented these things to him that he might write them down and keep them
secure. And he said to him, "Cursed be everyone who will exchange these things for a gift or for
food or for drink or for clothing or for any other such thing." And these things were presented to
him in a mystery, and immediately he disappeared from him. And he went to his fellow disciples
and related to them what the savior had told him.
Jesus Christ, Amen.
The Apocryphon According to John
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The Gospel of Thomas
Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer
Selection from Robert J. Miller, ed., The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version. (Polebridge Press, 1992, 1994).
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
For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be
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."
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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 intoxicated from 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
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, and their 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
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!"
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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
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."
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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
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
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
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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."
58. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life."
59. 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."
60. 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."
61. 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
"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."
62. 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, that I may lack
nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone
here with two ears had better listen!"
64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave
to invite the guests.
The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some
merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions.
Please excuse me from dinner.'
The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the
slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.'
The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave,
'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please
excuse me from dinner.'
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The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave,
'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please
The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be
excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to
Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."
65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it
and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the
vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and
told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the
farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son
some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him
and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."
67. Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."
68. Jesus said, "Congratulations to you when you are hated and persecuted; and no place will be
found, wherever you have been persecuted."
69. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the
ones who have truly come to know the Father.
Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."
70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not
have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."
71. Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."
72. A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."
He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?"
He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"
73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch
workers to the fields."
74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."
75. Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal
76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and
found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl
So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat
and no worm destroys."
77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all
Split a piece of wood; I am there.
Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind?
And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are
dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."
79. A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed
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