Gospel of Thomas Commentary
Saying 48 - The Power Of Unity
Nag Hammadi Coptic Text
(48) Jesus said: If two make peace with one another in this one house, they will say to the mountain: Be removed, and it will be removed.
(48) Jesus said, "If two make peace with one another within a single house they will say to a mountain 'go elsewhere' and it will go elsewhere."
53 . Jesus says: "If two people are with each other in peace in the same house, they will say to the mountain: 'Move!' and it will move."
Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of humankind, and when you say, Mountain, move from here! it will move."
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
1 Cor 13:2
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Ign Eph 5.2
Let no man be deceived. If any one be not within the precinct of the altar, he lacketh the bread [of God]. For, if the prayer of one and another hath so great force, how much more that of the bishop and of the whole Church.
Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write:
"In form this saying is quite similar to Saying 103, where two, becoming one, become sons of men; they say, 'Mountain, be removed!' and it moves. We should infer that making peace with one another is the same thing as becoming one, and it also means becoming 'sons of men.' Doresse (page 175) notes that the combination then resembles Matthew 5:9; 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.' (Thomas as usual removes a mention of God.) There is another way of viewing Saying 49 by itself. It clearly begins with something like Matthew 18:19 ('if two of you agree on earth'), and this verse is parallel to Mark 11:24; but the second part of the saying is parallel to the preceding verse in Mark. One must suppose that the author of Thomas gave close study to gospel parallels, or that he relied on an earlier document in which the parallels had been combined - such as the Diatessaron of Tatian, probably written between 150 and 170."
(The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 160)
R. McL. Wilson writes:
"In point of fact, Matthew xviii. 19 is not parallel to Mark xi. 24, and Quispel has claimed that neither Thomas nor the Diatessaron is dependent on the other; both rather go back to a common tradition. A pre-Tatianic harmony, if one existed, might have been used by Thomas, but the Diatessaron itself would in fact appear to be too late, considering the general character of the sayings in this gospel. Moreover, account must be taken of the point made by Puech, that this saying might appear to be no more than a combination of Matthew xviii. 19 and xxi. 21, but for the fact that it occurs also in the Syriac Didascalia, and therefore seems to belong to a distinct tradition. Quispel ascribes this form of the saying to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and a variant form which appears in logion 106 to the Gospel of the Egyptians: 'When you make the two one, you shall become sons of man, and when you say: "Mountain, be moved," it will be moved.'"
(Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, p. 79)
F. F. Bruce writes:
"This is reminiscent of the promise of an affirmative answer to the prayer of any two who 'agree on earth about anything they ask' (Matthew 18.19). A similar promise in Mark 11.24, which does not specify 'two', is preceded by the words: 'whoever says to this mountain, "Be taken up and cast into the sea", and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him' (Mark 11.23). The Gospel of Thomas either conflates the two passages, or depends on an earlier compilation or Gospel harmony which conflated them."
(Jesus and Christian Origens Outside the New Testament, p. 132)
J. D. Crossan writes:
"Both Gos. Thom. 48 and 106 retain the apodosis concerning moving the mountain, but each has changed the protasis in different ways. My hypothesis is that the original protasis was about combined (double) prayer but (a) in 48 it now concerns peaceful coexistence and (b) in 106 it now concerns primordial undifferentiation, both of which are hermeneutical variations on that original theme. Neither text has any mention of the mountain being cast into the sea, which was also omitted from Matthew's conflation of Aphorism 122 (Q/Matt. 17:20b = Luke 17:5-6) and Aphorism 23 (Mark 11:23 = Matt. 21:21) in Matt. 17:20. I do not see any direct contact between Matt. 17:20 and Gos. Thom. 48 or 106, but simply a common tendency to mute just a little the startling hyperbole of the aphorism's promise."
(In Fragments, pp. 107-108)
If the masculine and feminine that exists in all mankind will make piece in this one house (soul) then will the mountain (barrier) be moved as to be able to see the other side, where wisdom and light reside.
If the house is our soul, the "two" is the two halfs of our soul. We live in one half, but if we accept and share with the other half we become whole. It's not about finding god but accepting who we are.
To become aware of the innate self one must both think and feel at the same time. When one is "fielnking" [feeling and thinking], the self-destructive attitudes can be sent packing.
We must find balance in our life and within our souls. Good and evil, silence and noise, emotion and rational thought, even faith and doubt. When we find our balance then we are truly ourselves, and we can conquer any mountain that life places in our path.
aha, the true verse i suspect (not faith can move a mountain into the sea)means i think, what an enourmous obstical is removed within a house hold by making peace therin.
If the mind and the flesh unite within the 'house' they share - the self - the matter will be as malleable as the mind, because it is the mind.
Article published on