This compilation explores modern interpretations of the Gospel according to Thomas, an ancient text preserved in a Coptic translation at Nag Hammadi and Greek fragments at Oxyrhynchus. With no particular slant, this commentary gathers together quotations from various scholars in order to elucidate the meaning of the sayings, many of which are right...
Nag Hammadi Coptic Text
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..."
Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."
Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you hvae come from it, and you will return there again."
Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the wedding chamber."
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."
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.
Bentley Layton writes of the phrase "sons of man":
"Perhaps extending to all Christians of either sex. 'Son of man' or 'child of the human being' was a traditional eschatological title applied to Jesus in some early Christian circles; the arrival of the heavenly 'son of man' would signal the arival of god's kingdom."
(The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 398)
J. D. Crossan writes:
"Turner has suggested that the 'spirituality implid in the Gospel of Thomas is a type of unitive mysticism. The theme of unity runs through the document as a whole. In two sayings it replaces the synoptic "faith" as the force which removes mountains (Sayings 48 and 106). The second saying has a more distinctively gnostic ring than the first' (Turner and Montefiore: 105). Quispel has even said that 106 has 'targumized' 48 by 'hinting at the reunion of opposites, male and female, above and below, inner and outer' (1958-1959:288). But it is probably also true that Thomas now reads 48 in light of 106 (Menard, 1976: 150), since there is already a thematic complex in 46-49 on this subject (see Turner and Montefiore: 80)."
(In Fragments, p. 207)
This reflects the Buddhist vision of life that our concepts of the world as separate from ourselves are illusions of duality. When the object and subject are one, you are enlightenned and you can move mountains. This idea is similar to that expressed in "the kingdom of heaven is laid upon the earth but men do not see it." Eternity is now. Heaven is now.
Anything is possible when everyone becomes a whole.
- seeker of truth
The two become one are the synthesis of thinking and feeling. When in Zen meditation you reach "sartori" you achieve a state of being beyond both. I call it "fielnking". In this state you can tell the "mountains" of fear that hide the divine to go elsewhere AND they go!
Every act of creation seems to have been a division of one thing from another. Adam was both male and female (female was in him) until the female was removed from him and given a separate identity in Eve. It seems (in reflection on this) that neither male nor female even existed until the separation took place...in the same way that there was no night or day, indeed these words had no meaning, until light was separated from darkness. Now I consider "Making the two one" in the context of Saying 18; "For where the beginning is, there will the end be." Seems to me that Jesus is implying that what G-d has 'put asunder', we are destined to make one. In His plan, we are to seek the unity and wholeness of state that is represented by G-d. The notions of the "female becoming male" make more sense in this context (for me anyway).
I believe that the two becoming one are our conscious mind and our subconscious mind. There are times in your life that your subconscious meets your conscious and you say to yourself that you felt bad because something reminded you of a bad experience from the past. Your sub conscious met your conscious. We use 5% of our brain they say the other 95% of our brain is doing things we don't know about. We have this supercomputer on our shoulders but nobody gave us an owner's manual. If we were able to point both conciousnesses in the same direction long enough we can move mountains and we have. Aristotle, Plato, Archemides, Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison. I feel that the Gospel of Thomas has shown us that Jesus wanted to inspire people and he did, why else did so many follow. He preached of the power within. We are the sons of man, heaven is here on earth if we listen to the words and live by them. I don't want to die with my music still in me, I want to sing and dance while here.
Once we see the illusions that surround us on this plane, we begin to see that the problems we see as mountains are actually of our own making and we can very easily move them.