The Nag Hammadi Library, Part 2

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Baked and Awake

Episode 56

Host: Stephen Cominski

The Nag Hammadi Library, PART TWO

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The Nag Hammadi Library

The Gospel of Thomas

Translated by Thomas O. Lambdin

(Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for additional information and other translations)

_____________________________________

(23) Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one out of a thousand, and two out of ten thousand, and they shall stand as a single one."

(24) His disciples said to him, "Show us the place where you are, since it is necessary for us to seek it."

He said to them, "Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness."

(25) Jesus said, "Love your brother like your soul, guard him like the pupil of your eye."

(26) Jesus said, "You see the mote in your brother's eye, but you do not see the beam in your own eye. When you cast the beam out of your own eye, then you will see clearly to cast the mote from your brother's eye."

(27) "If you do not fast as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, you will not see the father."

(28) Jesus said, "I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent."

(29) Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder. But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders. Indeed, I am amazed at how this great wealth has made its home in this poverty."

(30) Jesus said, "Where there are three gods, they are gods. Where there are two or one, I am with him."

(31) Jesus said, "No prophet is accepted in his own village; no physician heals those who know him."

(32) Jesus said, "A city being built on a high mountain and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."

(33) Jesus said, "Preach from your housetops that which you will hear in your ear. For no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place, but rather he sets it on a lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will see its light."

We will end our recitation of The Gospel of Thomas here for the purposes of brevity and because I believe the introduction has been made at this point. I am considering taking the audio from this episode and last, and recording the full text of the book and releasing it at some later point in time as special content, if there appears to be some interest in it.

When considering the impact of the Nag Hammadi Library, it is crucial to have some appreciation for not only how amazing it is that we even have these books at all, but also how much cultural, technological, and even political insight they provide into this incredibly important era of Human history, where and when so much of the world’s core values systems draw their roots back to. I found an erudite summary of the historical gestalt in which we find the Nag Hammadi texts on a website called CatholicIreland.net. We will read an excerpt from that summary of an in depth analysis of the texts in the form of a book called “The Gnostic Discoveries”. The section we will review is focused on Codicology at the Museum of Cairo, for some perspective on the texts physical construction..

Thoughts on the Nag Hammadi after studying for presenting this content:

Books that inspired my desire to share this topic include those listed below among many others. Things I can’t help but observe in reading the first few chapters of The Gospel of Thomas are that this Jesus was not the same in tenor as the “Turn the other cheek, render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” Jesus of the canonical bible. This prophet also seems to speak, when confronted with banal or short sighted queries from his disciples- in riddles or thought puzzles, challenging the audience with his words, to set with them, make meaning out of them based on their own direct experience, before returning to the teacher with more unproductive questions. This exploration barely scratches the surface of the significance of the Nag Hammadi Library however. Interested listeners will want to explore the incredible trove of resources that is Gnosis.org for their own self driven research into these fascinating and impactful texts.

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