Sunday, June 19, 2011


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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Job 38 a translation by David Breeden

Then GOD spoke to Job out of a whirlwind:

“Who is this who talks without knowing?
Get some clothes on, like a man.
I have some questions
And I expect you to answer.
Just where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you have any answers.

“Just who planned the earth? Do you know
Who stretched out the plumb line?

“What are the foundations of the world fastened to?
Who laid the cornerstone of the earth
On that day when the morning stars sang together,
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Who was it shut up the doors of the sea
When those broke open and the water
Rushed out, as if from a womb?

“Who was it made the clouds
Like clothing for the earth
And the darkness like swaddling clothes,
And set the outer boundaries
And set bars and doors?

“Who said to the waves,
‘You can come this far and farther?’
Have you commanded the morning in your lifetime
And made the daylight keep its place?

“Have you been to the springs of the sea?
Have you walked in the sea’s depths?
Have the gates of death been opened to you?
Have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
Have you seen the breadth of the earth?
Tell me if you know.

“Where does light dwell?
And as for darkness. . .where does it live?
Do you know the way to those houses?
Were you born when these things happened?
Are you that old?

“Have you ever visited the storehouse of the snow?
Have you seen the storehouse of the hail
That I keep in reserve for battles and wars?

“Which is the road to the place the light is parted
And the east wind is scattered on the earth?

“Who was it made the courses for the rain
Or a way for lightning and thunder
So that it falls upon the earth,
Even in the places no person lives
So that the tender buds of the herb can grow?

“Does the rain have a father?
Whose child is the drops of dew?
Who is the mother of the ice
And the frosts of heaven
That make water turn to stone
And freeze the face of the deep?

“Can you chain the Pleiades
Or free the shackles of Orion?
Can you bring out the constellations in their seasons?
Can you guide Arcturus with his sons?

“Do you know the laws of heaven?
Might you make the earth obey them?
Can you lift your voice to the clouds and bring down rain?
Can you send lightning bolts wherever you please?
Who has taught the rules to all things?
Who gave wisdom to the human heart?
Who is wise enough to number the clouds?
Who can open the jars of heaven
When the dust grows hard
And the clods stick together?

“Will you do the hunting for a lion
When her cubs are hungry
And they crouch in their dens
Lying quietly in wait?
Who feeds the raven
When his young ones
Cry to God, wandering in starvation?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Last Hours of Jesus a translation by David Breeden

Chapter 14: 17

In the evening Jesus came with the twelve. And as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, one of you eating with me will betray me.”

The disciples were dismayed, each asking, “Is it I? Is it I?”

Jesus answered, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips bread into the dish with me. The Child of Humanity goes as it has been written of him. But woe to that man by whom the Child of Humanity is betrayed! It would have been better for that man had he never been born.”

The disciples were dismayed, each asking, “Is it I? Is it I?”

Jesus answered, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips bread into the dish with me. The Child of Humanity goes as it has been written of him. But woe to that man by whom the Child of Humanity is betrayed! It would have been better for that man had he never been born.”

As they continued eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat: this is my body.”
And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.

And he said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many. Truly I say to you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the Sovereignty of God.”

After they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. There, Jesus said to his disciples, “All of you will desert me tonight. For it is written,

‘I will smite the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.’
But after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”

Peter said to Jesus, “Even if all the others desert you, I will not.”

Jesus said to Peter, “Truly I say to you that on this day, even in this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

Peter spoke more vehemently, “Even if I have die with you, I will not deny you in any way.”

All the disciples said the same.

They came to a place called Gethsemane. There, Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him. As he walked, Jesus became distressed and full of anguish. He said to them, “My soul is sad, deathly sad. Wait here and watch.”

Jesus went a little distance farther off, then fell to the ground, praying that, if it were possible, this trial might pass from him. Jesus said, “Abba—Father—all things are possible for you. Take away this cup from me! Nevertheless, it is not what I will, but what you will.”

When he came back, Jesus found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you watch with me one hour? Watch you and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus again went away and prayed, speaking the same words as before.

When he returned, Jesus found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. They did not know how to excuse themselves.

Jesus prayed a third time, and when he came back, finding them asleep, he said, “Sleep on now, and take your rest. It is all done. The hour has come. See: the Child of Humanity has been betrayed into the hands of those who do not understand. Get up. Let us go. He who betrayed me is near.”

Even as Jesus spoke, Judas, one of the twelve, came with a large crowd carrying swords and staves from the religious leaders and the scholars and the elders.

Judas had explained to them, “Whoever I kiss, that is he. You may take him and lead him away in safety.”

As soon as he saw Jesus, Judas went to him, saying, “Rabbi, Rabbi.” And Judas kissed him.

The crowd laid their hands on Jesus and took him.

One of those nearby drew a sword and struck a servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves to take me? I was there in the temple daily, teaching. You did not take me then. Yet, the scriptures must be fulfilled.”

All of his followers forsook Jesus and fled, including a certain young man who had a linen cloth tied about his naked body. Men in the crowd grabbed him, and he left the linen cloth, running away naked.

They took Jesus away to the high priest. The religious leaders, elders, and scholars had assembled with him.

Peter followed, far off, to the palace of the high priest. He sat outside with the servants, warming himself by a fire.

The religious leaders and the council sought witnesses against Jesus in order to put him to death. They found none. Many bore false witness against Jesus, but their testimony was contradictory. Some bore false witness against Jesus saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’” Yet none of the witnesses agreed with each other.

So the high priest stood up and asked Jesus, “Don’t you have anything to say? What is it these people are saying about you?”

But Jesus held his peace, saying nothing.

The high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?”

Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Child of Humanity sitting at the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need further witnesses? You have heard blasphemy. What do you think?”

And they all agreed that Jesus should be condemned to death.

Then some spat on him. Then they blindfolded him and beat him, saying, Prophesy!” The servants slapped him.

Peter was outside, and there came one of the maids of the high priest. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You were with Jesus of Nazareth.”

Peter said, “I don’t understand what you are saying.” Peter went onto the porch of the palace. And a rooster crowed.

The maid found Peter and said to those who were standing around, “This is one of them.”

But Peter denied it again, going off into the crowd. Someone said, “Surely you are one of them, for your speech is like a Galilean.”

Peter began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know this man you are talking about!”

Then the rooster crowed a second time.

Peter called to mind the words that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me thrice.” When Peter thought of that, he wept.

Chapter Fifteen: Execution

Early in the morning the religious leaders held a consultation with the elders and scholars and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, delivering him to Pilate.

Pilate asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “You say that.”

Then the religious leaders accused Jesus of many things, but Jesus answered nothing.

Pilate asked Jesus again, “You say nothing? Look how many things they are saying against you.”

Jesus said not a word, and Pilate marveled.

Now it was the custom at the festival time to release one prisoner, whoever the crowd desired. At that time there was a man named Barabbas in custody, a man who had plotted insurrection and had committed murder in the insurrection.

The crowd began crying for the customary release. So Pilate said to them, “Do you wish for me to release the King of the Jews?” For Pilate knew that the religious leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy.

But the religious leaders moved the people, convincing them to cry for the release of Barabbas.

Pilate said to the crowd, “What, then, do you wish for me to do with the one you call the King of the Jews?”

The crowd screamed, “Crucify him!”

Pilate said to the crowd, “Why? What evil has he done?”

The crowd cried all the louder, “Crucify him!”

And so Pilate, wishing to appease the mob, released Barabbas to them and delivered Jesus, after he had been beaten, to be crucified.

Soldiers led Jesus away into a hall, called the Praetorium, and they called together the entire cohort. Then the soldiers clothed Jesus in purple and wove a crown made of thorns, putting it on his head. The soldiers began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they beat him with a reed and spat on him, bowing as if they were worshipping him. After they had mocked him, they took off the purple and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

Along the way, the soldiers compelled a man named Simon, a Cyrenian, who happened to be passing by, a peasant from the country, to bear the cross of Jesus. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus.

So they brought Jesus to Golgotha, which translates, “The Place of a Skull.” There the soldiers offered wine mixed with myrrh, but Jesus would not take it. When they had crucified him, the soldiers took his garments, casting lots for them, deciding what every man should take. It was at nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.

The inscription of his accusation said, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

With him was crucified two thieves, one at his right hand, the other at his left. So it was that the scripture was fulfilled which said, “And he was numbered with the criminals.”

Those who passed by railed at him, wagging their heads, saying, “Ah, you who would destroy the temple and build it in three days! Save yourself. Come down from the cross.”

Likewise, the religious leaders and scholars mocked him, saying, “He saved others, yet he cannot save himself! Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross so that we may see and follow.”

Those who were crucified with him mocked him as well.

At noon, a darkness came over the whole land. The darkness lasted until three in the afternoon. Then Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Translated, this means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Those standing nearby, hearing this, said, “Listen! He is calling Elijah.” One of them ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to Jesus to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down.”
Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the spirit.

At that moment, the veil of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.

When the centurion who stood nearby saw how Jesus cried out and gave up the spirit, he said, “Truly this man was the Child of God.”

There were women watching from far off, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, who followed Jesus in Galilee and took care of him. There were many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.

At evening, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable member of the council, and one who expected the arrival of the Sovereignty of God, came, going in boldly to Pilate and asking for the body of Jesus.

Pilate could not believe that Jesus was already dead. He called the centurion and asked if Jesus was dead. When the centurion said that Jesus was dead, Pilate gave the body to Joseph.

And Joseph bought fine linen and took Jesus down. He wrapped Jesus in the linen and laid him in a tomb that had been cut into rock. Then he rolled a stone to the door of the tomb.

Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses watched, to see where Jesus was buried.

Chapter Sixteen: Prophecy Fulfilled

When the Sabbath had past, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought sweet spices in order to anoint the body. Thus, very early in the morning on first day of the week, they came to the tomb at the time of sunrise. As they walked, they discussed who would roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for them because the stone was very large.

When the women got there, they saw that the stone had already been rolled away. Entering into the tomb, they saw a certain young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment. This frightened them.

But the young man said, “Don’t be frightened. You are searching for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has raised up; he is not here. See, there is the place where they laid him. Go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he went before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he predicted to you.”

The women hurried out, fleeing from the tomb, for they were trembling in amazement. They said nothing to anyone, because they were very afraid.

(Here ends the early text of Mark.)


Why—or if—the Gospel According to Mark ended here is unknown. If the original did end here, “a certain young man” looms even larger, and more mysterious, in the narrative. If the original did end here, Jesus, having become the Child of Humanity, has gone back to Galilee. The women will have to lead the men to the truth.

What would it mean to have the ending be, “They said nothing to anyone, because they were very afraid”? Certainly, such an ending underlines the incomprehension of the disciples. It also underlines the importance of the text we are reading, The Gospel According to Mark, since it is saying something and is not afraid.

If this is the original ending, it also underlines the extreme danger of following Jesus, perhaps challenging the audience of this book to get past fear and go tell everyone.

The Longer Ending of the Gospel According to Mark

After Jesus was raised, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons. She went and told the disciples as they mourned and wept. Yet, when they had heard that Jesus was alive and that Mary Magdalene had seen him, they would not believe it.

After that, Jesus appeared in another form to two of them, as they walked out in the country. These two went and told what they had seen to the group, but no one would listen to them either.

Afterward Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at a meal, and upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they would not listen to those who had seen him after he was raised up.

Jesus said to them, “Go out into all the world and preach the good news to every creature. Those who follow and are baptized shall be saved, but those who will not listen will be damned. Here are the signs that will occur to those who follow: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and, if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and the sick will recover.”

So it was that after God had spoken to them, Jesus was received up into heaven, and he sat at the right hand of God.

Thus it was that they went out, preaching everywhere, God working with them, and confirming the word with signs.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Gospel According to Thomas


This translation was constructed by the use of the original Coptic and Greek, directly consulting Michael Grondin's Coptic/English interlinear translation, Revised November 22, 2002, Copyright 1997, 2002 by Michael W. Grondin. All rights reserved. http://gospel

The author refered to translations by Willis Barnstone in The Other Bible: Ancient Esoteric Texts, HarperSanFrancisco, 1984 and The Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and Explained by Stevan Davies, Skylight Paths Publishing, 2002.

The Gospel of Thomas is one of the texts discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945.

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


Jesus said: Whoever realizes the meaning of these words, that person will not experience death.


Jesus said: Do not stop until you find, and when you find, you will be troubled. Yet, having been troubled, you will become amazed, and then you will be a master over the All.


Jesus said: If those who lead you say, "Look, the Kingdom is inthe sky," then notice how the birds get there before you. If they should say to you, “Look, the Kingdom is in the sea," then notice how the fish get there before you.” No—rather, the Kingdom is within you and also outside you. When you know yourselves, then they will know that you are children of the Parent. If, however, you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are poverty.


Jesus said: An old man will not hesitate to ask a baby about the source of life, and he will live. There are many who are first who will become last, and the two will become one and the same.


Jesus said: See what is in front of your face, then what is hidden will be revealed. Nothing hidden will fail to appear.


The disciples asked Jesus: Do you wish us tofast? How should we go about praying? Should we give to charity? Should we abstain from certain types of foods?

Jesus said: Do not tell lies. If there is something that you hate, do not do it, for everything is revealed to the sky. Nothing hidden will fail to appear, and nothing covered will fail to be revealed.


Jesus said: Blessed is the lion that a human eats, because that lion becomes human. Cursed is the human that a lion eats, because that human becomes a lion.


Jesus said: A wise fisherman cast his net into the sea. He pulled it up full of little fish. Yet among them the wise fisherman found a good, large fish. So, he threw the small fish back into the sea, keeping the large one. Those with ears, let them hear.


Jesus said: Listen—there was a man who came out to sow seeds. He filled his hands with seeds and cast them. Some seeds fell upon the road; the birds came and ate those. Othere seeds fell onto rocks, and those seeds did not send roots down into the earth and did not send shafts rising into the sky. And some seeds fell into thorns, which choked the seeds, and the worms ate them. And other seeds fell upon the good earth, and those gave fruit up to the good sky. And the sower got 60 bushels from some and 120 from others.


Jesus said: I have cast fire upon the world, and, look, I watch as it burns.


Jesus said: This sky will pass away, and the sky above that will pass away. Those who are dead do not live, and those who live will not die. When you eat what is dead, you are making it alive. When you come to be in the light, what will you do? When you were one, you became two; when, however, you become two, what will you do?


The disciples said to Jesus: We know that you will leave us. Who will lead us then?

Jesus answered: The place where you are, there turn to James the Just, for whose sake the sky and the earth came into being.


Jesus said: Think of comparisons. What am I like?

Simon Peter said: You are like an angelic messenger.

Matthew said: You are like a philosopher.

Thomas said: Teacher, my tongue cannot tell what you are like.

Jesus said: Thomas, I am not your teacher. You have gotten drunk on the bubbling spring which I measured out.

Then Jesus took Thomas aside and spoke three things to him. When Thomas returned to the group, they asked him what Jesus had told him.

Thomas said: If I spoke to you even one of the words he spoke, you would take stones and throw them at me and a fire would come out of the stones and burn you.


Jesus said to them: If you fast, you will bring sin to yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned by others, and if you should give to charity, you will be doing damage to your spirits. When you go out into the world, when people accept you, eat what is put in front of you and heal the sick among those people. For what goes in your mouth does not defile you; rather it is what comes out of your mouth that defiles you.


Jesus said: When you see someone not born of woman, bow down and worship that one. He is your Father.


Jesus said: Perhaps people think that I have come to throw peace upon the world. They do not understand that I have come to throw divisions upon the earth—fire, sword, and war. There will be five in a house. There will be three opposing two and two against three. Father will oppose son and son oppose father. Each will stand and stand alone.


Jesus said: I will give you what eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, hands have not touched, and minds have not thought.


The disciples said: tell us about our end. How will it happen?

Jesus said: Have you found the beginning? Is that why you are now looking for the end? Where the beginning is, there is the end. The blessed will stand on twofeet at the beginning and will therefore know the end, never experiencing death.


Jesus said: The blessed is one who came into being at the beginning. If you become my disciple and listen to my words, these stones will serve you. There are five trees in paradise that do not change from summer to winter and do not lose their leaves. Those who know them will not experience death.


The disciples said to Jesus: Tell us what the Kingdom of Heaven is like.

Jesus said to them: It is like a mustard seed, smallest of them all. However, when it falls on the earth it sends out branchs and becomes a shelter for the birds of the sky.

Mary asked Jesus: What are your disciples like?

Jesus said: They are like small children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, "Give us our field back." They will strip naked in the presence of the owners and give the field back to them. Therefore, I tell you this: If the owner of a house knows a theif is coming, the owner will keep an eye open so that the theif does not sneak in and steal things. You must always keep watch on the world. Arm yourselves with strength so that thieves will not ambush you, though the defense you have will be the defense that is attacked. Keep one with understanding in your midst always. When the grain was ripe, he hurried out with his sickle in his hand, in order to reap. Those with ears, let them hear.


Jesus saw little ones nursing. He said to his disciples: These little ones having milk, they are like those who enter into the Kingdom.

They said to Jesus: Then we will enter into the Kingdom if we are little ones?

Jesus said to them: When you make two one, and when you make the inside like the outsid, and the outside like the inside, and the top like the bottom, and the male like the female, so that there is no male or female. When you make eyes that replace eyes, hands that replace hands, feet thatreplace feet, images that replace images, then you will enter the Kingdom.


Jesus said: I will choose you, one out of a thousand and two out of ten thousand. You will stand on you feet as if you were one.


His disciples said to Jesus: Show us the place where you are, since we must get there too.

Jesus said to them: Those with ears, let them hear. There is light inside a person of light that becomes light to the world. Those who have no light are darkness.


Jesus said: Love your brother like your soul. Guard him as if he were the pupil of your eye.


Jesus said: You see the mote in your brother’s eye, but you do not see the beam in your own. If you first get the beam out of your eye, then you will see well enough get the mote out of your brother’s eye.


Jesus said: If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the Kingdom; if you do not treat the Sabbath as Sabbath, you will not see the Father.


Jesus said: I have taken my stand in the world; I have appeared in the flesh. And I found everyone drunk; no one was thirsty. My soul was pained for the children of the earth, for they are blind in their minds. They do not look outside themselves. They came into the world empty and they seek to leave the world empty. For now, they are drunk; when they quite their drinking, then they will see.


Jesus said: If the flesh comes into being because of spirit, that is a wonder; if spirit, however, comes into being because of the body, that is a wonderous wonder. What amazes me is that this great richness has grown in this poverty.


Jesus said: Wherever there are three gods, they are gods; wherever there are two or one, I am with them.


Jesus said: No prophet is accepted in his own village; no physician heals those who know him.


Jesus said: A city built and fortified on a mountain cannot be hidden.


Jesus said: What you hear, preach that from the housetops; for is there anyone who lights a lamp and puts it under a basket? No, we put it on a lampstand so that everyone can use the light.


Jesus said: When the blind lead the blind, they all fall into a pit.


Jesus said: It is not possible to go into the house of a strong man and steal his goods unless he is bound first. Then his things can be stolen.


Jesus said: Do not worry from morning until evening and evening until morning about what you will wear.


His disciples said: When will you appear to us? Which day will we see you?

Jesus said: When you strip yourselves naked without being ashamed, and you take your garments and stand on them like little children, trampling them, then you will look upon the Son of He Who Lives and you will not be afraid.


Jesus said: You have many times desired to hear these words which I am saying to you, and you have no one else to say them to you. There will be some days that you seek for me and will not find me.


Jesus said: The Religious authorities and the scholars have taken the keys to knowledge and hidden them. They have not entered, nor do they allow those who desire knowledge to enter. You, however, will be cunning like snakes and innocent like doves.


Jesus said: They have planted a grapevine outside of the Father, but it will have no nourishment and it will be uprooted and destroyed.


Jesus said: He who has, he will get more; he who has not, even what little he was will be taken.


Jesus said: Be by passing by.


The disciples said to Jesus: Who are you, that you say these things to us?
Jesus said: When I speak these things, you do not realize who I am. Rather, you are like those Judeans who love the tree yet hate the fruit or love the fruit yet hate the tree.


Jesus said: Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven; and whoever blasphemes against to the son, will be forgiven; whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, however, will not be forgiven on the earth nor in the sky.


Jesus said: They do not harvest grapes out of thorns. Nor do they gather figs out of thistles. Those do not produce fruit. A good man brings good things from his treasure; an evil man brings evil and wicked things out of his treasure, which is in his mind. Out of the excesses of his mind he brings evil things.


Jesus said: From Adam up to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one has been more worthy of respect than John the Baptist. Still, as I have said, any of you who becomes like a little child will know the Kingdom and be more worthy of respect than John.


Jesus said: No way can anyone climb onto two horses or stretch two bows. No way can a servant serve two masters. He will honor one and despise the other. No one drinks old wine and immediately desires new wine. No one pours new wine into old wine skins because they would split open. Nor does anyone pour old wine into new wineskins because that would ruin the wine. No one sews old patches to new garments because that would split them.


Jesus said: Should two make peace with each other in this house, they will be able to speak to a mountain saying, "Move away," and the mountain will move.


Jesus said: Blessed are those alone and chosen, for you will find the Kingdom, since you are from it and are going back there.


Jesus said: If they should ask you, "Where have you come from?" say this to them— "We have come from the light, the place where the light came into being, made by its own hand, standing forth in their image." If they should ask you, "Are you him?” say this—“We are his children, chosen by the living Father." If they should ask you, "What is the sign that your Father is in you?" say this to them—"It is movement and repose."


His disciples said to Jesus: When will the repose of the dead occur? And which day will the world become new?

Jesus said to them: What you have been looking for has come. But you do not know it.


His disciples said to Jesus: Twenty four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they spoke about you.

Jesus said to them: Speaking only about the dead, you have left out the living one who is in your presence.


His disciples said to Jesus: Is circumcision beneficial to us or not?

Jesus said to them: Were it benificial, children would be born circumcized. Rather, circumcision of the spirit is what is beneficial.


Jesus said: Blessed are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven.


Jesus said: Whoever does not hate his father and his mother cannot become my disciple. Whoever does not hate his brothers and sisters; whoever does not take up his cross as I do, he is not deserving of me.


Jesus said: Whoever has discovered the world has discovered a corpse, and whoever has discovered a corpse, the world is not worthy of him.


Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a man who has sown good seed; but his enemy came in the night and sowed weeds over the good seed. The man did not allow anyone to pull up the weeds, saying, “You will go to pull up the weeds, but will pull up the good seeds as well. At the time of harvest, the weeds will be plain to see. Then we will pull them up and burn them.”


Jesus said: Blessed is he who is troubled; he has found Life.


Jesus said: Keep in mind He who lives while you are living lest, when you die, you begin seeking and cannot find.


There was a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea.

Jesus asked his disciples: Why is that man carrying a lamb?

The disciples said to Jesus: So that he can kill it and eat it.

Jesus said to them: While the lamb is alive, the man will not eat it; rather, he will eat it after the lamb has become a corpse.

The disciples said: That is the only way.

Jesus said to them: You yourselves must seek a place of repose, lest you be killed and eaten.


Jesus said: There will be two in one bed; one will die, the other will live.

Salome said: Who are you that climbed into my bed and ate off my table?

Jesus answered: I am he who came from he who is the same. I have received from the Father.

Salome said: I am your disciple.

Jesus said: If he is one, he is light. If, however, he should be divided, he will of darkness.


Jesus said: I speak of my mysteries to those worthy of my mysteries. Do not let your right hand know what your left is doing.


Jesus said: There was a rich man who said, "I will spend my riches in sowing and reaping, filling my storehouse with grain so that I need nothing." These were his thoughts. That night, he died. Those with ears, let them hear.


Jesus said: A man had some visitors. When dinner was ready, the man sent his servant to call the visitors.

The sevent went to the first and said, “My master calls you.”

The first one said, "I have to pay some traders and order some things. I cannot come to dinner."

The servent went to the second and said, “My master calls you."

The second said, “I have just bought a house and must complete the deal. I cannot come to dinner."

The servent went to the third, saying, "My master calls you."

The third one said, “My friend is getting married and there is a party. I cannot come tonight.”

The servent went to another, saying, “My master calls you.”

That one said, "I have just bought a farm and have to pay the taxes. I cannot come.”

The servent came back to the master and said, "Those you invited have all begged off."

The master said, "Go outside to the road and invite to my dinner anyone you meet.”

Buyers and traders will not meet my Father.


Jesus said: A just man owned a vineyard. He hired tenants to work the vineyard for a part of the crop. The just man sent a servent to collect his portion. The tenants grabbed the servent and beat him. Another went, and they nearly killed him. The just man thought, “Perhaps they did not know who he was.” He sent another servent, but the tenants beat that one too. Then the just man sent his son, saying, "Perhaps they will be ashamed when they see my son." But the tenants, knowing the son to be the heir of the vineyard, seized him and killed him. Those with ears, let them hear.


Jesus said: Show me the stone, the one the builders refused; that is the cornerstone.


Jesus said: One who knows it all but does not know himself doesn’t know anything.


Jesus said: Blessed are you when they hate you and persecute you. Those who persecute you will never find a place.


Jesus said: Blessed are those who have persecuted themselves, for they truly know the Father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of those who desire will be filled.


Jesus said: When you conceive for yourself, you save youself. That which you do not have in youself will kill you.


Jesus said: I will destroy this house, and no one will rebuild it, ever.


A man said to Jesus: Speak to my brothers so that they will divide my father’s estate with me.

Jesus said to the man: Who made me a divider?

Jesus turned to his disciples and said: Serioiusly—am I a divider?


Jesus said: The harvest indeed is plentiful; the laborers, however, are few; pray to the Lord to send laborers out to the harvest.


Jesus said: Oh, Lord, there are many around the well but no water inside.


Jesus said: There are many standing at the door, but only those alone will enter into the place of marriage.


Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a merchant who had a consignment. The merchant found a pearl. He was wise and so sold the consignment and bought the pearl for himself. You, also, should seek after treasure that does not perish, a place no moth approaches and no worms destroy.


Jesus said: I am the light above all lights. I am the All; the All comes from me and all goes back to me. Split timber and find me there; lift a stone and find me there.


Jesus said: Why did you come to the field? To watch a reed moving in the wind? And to watch rulers and powerful men in fancy clothes? Those in expensive garments will not know the truth.


A woman in the crowd said: Blessed is she who bore you, she whose breasts nourished you.

Jesus said to the woman: Blessed are they who have listened to the word of the Father and done it. The days will come when you will say, "Blessed is she who did not bear children, she whose breasts never nourished."


Jesus said: Whoever has known the world has found the body; whoever has found the body, however—the world is not worthy of him.


Jesus said: Whoever has become rich, let him become king, and he who has power, let him abdicate.


Jesus said: He who is close to me is close to the fire, and he who is far from me is far from the Kingdom.


Jesus said: People see images and the light in them. The light of the Father is hidden in the image, though it will be revealed. His image is hidden in his light.


Jesus said: You rejoice in your own likeness. However, when you look upon your likeness that came into being before your birth and that will not die, how much can you bear?


Jesus said: Adam came into being out of great power and great richness, yet he is not worthy of you. Otherwise, he would not have experienced death.


Jesus said: Foxes have their dens and birds have their nests; the Son of Man, however, has no place to lay his head and rest.


Jesus said: Wretched is body that depends upon body and soul that depends upon two.


Jesus said: The angels and the prophets come to you, giving you what you have already. You yourselves give them what you have, saying, "When will they come and take what is theirs?"


Jesus said: Why wash the outside of a cup? Do you not understand that whoever created the inside also created the outside?


Jesus said: Come to me, for my yoke is light and my lordship gentle. You will find rest.


They said to Jesus: Tell us who you are so that we may believe you.

Jesus said: You read the face of the sky and the earth, yet you do not see who is right here. You do not know how to read the time.


Jesus said: Seek and you will find. In the past I did not answer you when you asked me. Now, I wish to tell, but you do not ask.


Jesus said: Do not give what is holy to the dogs since it will end up in a dungheap; do not cast pearls to swine.


Jesus said: He who seeks, he will find; he who knocks, he will be let in.


Jesus said: If you have money, do not lend it at interest. Rather, give it to someone who you know will not return it.


Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman who took a little leaven and hid it in dough; with it, she made huge loaves of bread. Those with ears, let them hear.


Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a woman walking on a road carrying a jar full of meal. She did not hear the jar crack and did not know the meal was emptying out onto the road. When she got home, she put the jar down and only then saw that it was empty.


Jesus said: The Kingdom of the Father is like a man who wanted to kill a more powerful man. The man practiced with his sword at home, sticking it into the wall. Then he killed the more powerful man.


The disciples said: Your brothers and your mother are standing outside.

Jesus said to them: Those here who do the will of my Father are my brothers and my mother. They enter the Kingdom of my Father.


They showed a coin to Jesus and said: Caesar’s agents demand taxes from us.

Jesus said to them: Give Caesar what is Caesar’s, give God what is God’s. And give me what is mine.


Jesus said: Whoever does not hate his father and mother as I do cannot become my disciple; whoever does not love his father and mother as I do cannot become my disciple. My mother gave birth to me; she gave me life but not The Life.


Jesus said: Woe tothe religious authorities, for they are like a dog resting in a manger. The dog neither eats nor allows the oxen to eat.


Jesus said: Blessed is he who knows where the thieves come in so that he may prepare himself.


They said to Jesus: Come, pray and fast today.

Jesus said: What have I done wrong? How have I lost the battle? When the bridegroom is gone, then will be the time to fast and pray.


Jesus said: Those who know both father and mother will be called “child of a whore.”


Jesus said: When you make the two one, you will come to be the Sons of Man. Then, if you should say, "mountain, move away," it will move.


Jesus said: The Kingdom is like a shepherd with his sheep. The largest sheep wandered off. So, the shepherd left ninety nine sheep and went searching for the one until he found it. Then, the shepherd said, “I love you more than the ninety nine.”


Jesus said: Whoever drinks out of my mouth, that person will be as I am; also, I will come to be as that person is, and the hidden will be revealed.


Jesus said: The Kingdom is like a man who had a treasure in his field that he did not know about. When the man died, he left the field to his son. The son did not know of the treasure either. He gave the field away. The new owner plowed the field and found the treasure. He became a rich man.


Jesus said: Whoever has found the world and become rich, let him abdicate from the world.


Jesus said: The heavens and the earth will be rolled up in front of you; those who live out of he who lives, those will not see death. As I have said, whoever discovers the world is superior to the world.


Jesus said: Woe to flesh that depends on the soul; woe to soul that depends on the flesh.


His disciples said to Jesus: Which day is the Kingdom coming?

Jesus said: It is not coming because of watching. No one can say, "Look, there!" or "Look, over there!" Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spreading upon the earth, though people are not looking at it.


Simon Peter said to them: Mary should leave us, for women are not worthy of The Life.

Jesus said: Look, I will lead her and make her male so that she herself will be a living spirit resembling you males, for any woman who makes herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Gospel According to Thomas

Thursday, March 3, 2011

An Adaptation of Ecclesiastes

These are the words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem:

The airiest of air, says the Teacher, airiest of air; all is empty air.

What is the product of all our labors under the sun? One generation passes away and another generation rises; but the earth abides on and on. The sun also rises and the sun goes down, hastening again to the place where it arose. The wind blows toward the south, then turns to the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again and again according to its circuits.

All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers came, there they return. Everything is full of trouble; the tongue cannot express how much trouble. The eye is not satisfied in its seeing; the ear is not filled with hearing.

That which has been, that is what shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done: there is no new thing under the sun.

Is there anything of which it can be said, Look, that is new? No—it has been seen before.

There is no remembrance of things past, nor shall there be remembrance of things to come.

I, the Teacher, was king of all Israel, in Jerusalem. And I gave all my heart to the search for wisdom concerning all the things done under heaven. God has given this sad work to the children of humanity. I have seen all the works that have been done under the sun; and, behold: all is air; all is vexation of the spirit.

That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is lacking cannot be counted.

I spoke with my heart, saying, Look, I have risen to a mighty place, and I have acquired more wisdom than all who have come before me in Jerusalem. Yes, I have great wisdom and knowledge. I dedicated myself to wisdom; I committed myself to learning madness and folly. Yet, I know this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief and those who increase in knowledge also grow in sorrow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

For God Then Apparently (Genesis 22: 1-12)

And it came to pass
that God did test Abraham,
and said unto him: “Abraham,”
and Abraham, patriarch,
madman, said: “Here am I.”

For God then apparently
knew not where
everyone was . .
“Take now thy son,
thine only son
(for some don't count
all that much),
whom thou lovest,
even Isaac, that son,

and get thee to Moriah;
and offer him there
for a burnt-offering
upon one of the mountains
which I will tell thee of.”

For God then apparently
spoke like that
or leastways apparently
humans heard like that;
And this is a story of obedience;
and this is a story of obsession;
and this is a story
that makes no sense
aside those mad for fervor.
And Abraham took the wood
and laid it upon Isaac his son;
for the low
do the carrying,
and he took in his hand the fire
and the knife
for the high
have the killing stuff;
and they went
both of them together.

For you must then
kill your pretty ones;
it is an obsession
drives artists mad.

And Abraham stretched forth his hand,
and took the knife to slay his son.
For God then apparently
had given us neither
firing squad,
chairs electric,
chambers of gas, nor
lethal injection.
And the angel of the LORD
out of heaven
called to that wretched father,
saying, “Abraham, Abraham."
And he said: "Here am I."
And that angel up there said:
“Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
neither do thou any thing unto him;
for now I know that thou art
a God-fearing man, seeing
thou hast not withheld thy son,
even thine only son,
at least the one that really matters,
from Me."

For God then
didn't know
the hearts of men,
how we do dream of killing
all our pretty ones . . .

apparently not.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Presidents' Days

In the old United States always
there were pictures on the wall
of presidents in oval
Washington and Lincoln
in the drear light of Winter
and we were given
we students of February
to know they were great
and we and our timelessness
second-best at best

our space race
our arms race
our mutually
assured destruction
our dominoes

our Vietnam
well, that was our Vietnam

in the old United States always
we were given to know
we students in February
that the winter of our discontent

was second best at best
to the wars of the men
in their oval portraits
defining moments
unlike our sour February

that it was our Vietnam