About The Gospel of Thomas According to Jessika

This Gospel of Thomas According to Jessika, is found here only on Gnostic.Org; it is a little different than most renditions. The text has been adapted by myself, using what I will call spiritual intuition and spiritual experience, therefore the following may or may not be accurate or even of any real use to the academic, as it is purely conjectural, unless of course such an academic is able to substantiate the changes I have made using other historical materials.

According to scholars, the original Gospel of Thomas, was initially written in Greek, most likely in Syria (possibly at Edessa: click on map) between the liberal date of 50 CE - and the conservative date of 100 CE . The Coptic version, found at Nag Hammadi is the only complete text that we have and was transcribed circa 340 AD. The variations between the Greek Fragments of which only three were found (and these are of various dates it seems) and compared to the Coptic text indicate that The Gospel of Thomas was changed a number of times prior to both the Greek and the Coptic texts and certainly means that we may never be able to discern what the original text actually said. (sources listed below).

This Gospel of Thomas According to Jessika is an adapted version, made in the light of considering the fact that truth does not change; the Ancient Wisdom Teachings do not change; the Initiatory Path does not change; the True Oral Tradition does not change. On such a note, we may consider that the Gospel of Thomas must have originally reflected a truer read in the earlier years of Christianity, prior to the establishment of dogmas and closer to the time in which Jesus Christ was alive. Why? Because The True Oral Tradition is not written; rather, it is transmitted. It is passage of consciousness from teacher to student.

In regards to the Oral Transmission, texts are only an outline and while the written word is wonderful, it cannot express fully actual teachings. While written materials may be used in teaching, the deeper meanings of any texts may only be arrived at through either hearing the word in the Oral Tradition with commentary and/or followed by meditation, contemplation and study. In that light The Gospel of Thomas needs revision so that it may at the least reflect more accurately a part of the Oral Tradition from which it was obviously taken.

With that said, I should tell you that I am not literate in any language other than English. In spite of that fact, I have felt for some time now, even impelled you might say, to make some changes to the text (that scholars may or may not take issue with). I have done so because none of the variety of translations completely ring true with me when I meditate on the verses, nor do some of the verses as they have been translated reflect what I know of the Oral Transmission.
What comes to mind for me in some places of the text is that Jesus would not have said this or that, not if he were truly enlightened, and I believe he was. While I make no claim to understand perfectly or to any equal degree the depth of his understanding, it seems to me that that Jesus would not have taught dogmas that conflict with basic spiritual principles. Now, it is possible that his disciples did not understand him and it is even more possible that those who recorded these sayings did not understand him; but, it seems definite that those who transcribed these sayings at a later date and era, truly did not understand the basics of what Jesus taught, rather, the passages seem to have been adapted to accommodate dogmas of the developing orthodox vein of early Christianity.
Now, I do find all of the translations wonderful and I mean to offend no one; it is the historian's work, the scholar's domain to be as accurate and as objective as possible and our scholars certainly have strived for accuracy and objectivity; my changes are not about the translators having it wrong. The sheer volume of quality material available to us is certainly evidence of the sincerity with which our scholars pursue their craft. I am a trained historian with an M.A., but I have no great works of credit to my name, so I am not about to criticize translations; remember, I cannot translate. But, I also keep up with current affairs and watch with great interest the ever unfolding story of our past through the work of these many scholars. As for my credentials, as well as a historian, I am also a visionary, a mystic and one of those who has been exposed to the Oral Tradition; I am one who has spent significant years, over 30 now, in study, meditation and contemplation. I also have used a number of these texts for meditation.

To date, I find Jean-Yves Leloup's
Stevan L. Davies translations the most satisfying, spiritually; these are the most poetic and they have included teachings reminiscent of the Western Oral Tradition. Still, other translations,are certainly to be admired, especially that of Marvin Meyer whose revised and newest translations of the Nag Hammadi find may be found in The International Edition of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. I find all of the work of these great scholars astounding and very wonderful and useful; please make no mistake about that. My thanks goes to the many scholars, all of whom I know have worked on giving us the best translations possible.
With that said, The Gospel of Thomas on Gnostic.Org is a "I think the original may have said something like this" text. It really is a Gospel of Thomas according to Jessika. Hopefully, if you cannot accept it as accurate , perhaps at least it will be of inspirational value, for I think it is useful as a spiritual reading and as guide for contemplation of spiritual ideas and principles according to contemporary times.
In the adapting of this text, I have used mainly the translations of Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer; Jean-Yves Leloup; Thomas O. Lambdin; Stevan L. Davies and Andrew Harvey and the Gospel of Thomas Comparisons as they appear on Gnostic.Org; nevertheless, my rendition is not entirely faithful or primarily indebted to any one translation made to date. I have made some minor changes for readability and have made two other changes that may be considered major as the changes make the text inconsistent with all of the translations.
The minor changes were made to identify more clearly who is speaking and in some cases a word was selected from the various translations as a best choice, meaning according to my own personal preference. For example, in place of Father, I have used either "God" or "The Living One" as I saw fit, in order to degenderize the text as much as possible. This was done in light of my own personal spiritual experiences and according to what I thought was the best meaning.
In light of the fact that Truth doesn't change over time, I suspect that The Gospel of Thomas was originally devoid of dogmatic concepts; those concepts we may suspect and we can attribute to the rise of orthodoxy, however that of course is admittedly conjecture. While those of the Jesus Seminar pride themselves on being conservative in their assessments as to what may have been original Jesus, the seminar members do not seem to consider the Ancient Teachings as a consistent whole. The study of the ancient documents would be better understood, I believe, were scholars to recognize the common thread that runs through all of them, namely the Oral Tradition. In any event, I have made two changes which may be considered major changes, if one is a strict adherent to the historical process. If one holds to the common thread theory then the changes are not so monumental, rather they can be seen as simply taking out the dogma to arrive at a "truer" version.
The first change occurs with the verse in section 61, where Jesus said, ... "For this reason I say, if disciples are empty, they will be filled with Light, but if disciples are divided, they will be filled with darkness."
In Note number 116, pg.147 of the newest translation of The International Edition of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures edited by Marvin Meyer, it is stated, that in this verse the Coptic reads desolate instead of whole; Meyer changed desolate to read whole. Since initiates need to be empty in order to receive, I think that empty is an even a better fit, than either desolate or whole; if one is desolate one is empty.

The real departure that I made from the various translations, however, may be found in the verses of section 77; I made a change in consideration of the verses of section 30. The surrounding larger context generally speaks of God as the One God, but the verses of section 30 assert that Jesus said,
"Where there are three gods, they are gods. Where there are two or One, I am with that One."
I have not changed the text of 30 significantly as I do think the text reflects the idea that where two or more are gathered there I AM; there is the I AM. The idea of I AM mirrors an Ancient Teaching going back to the Old Testament. Exodus 3:14,
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
Jesus was Jewish; he was not a Christian. The idea of a Trinity is a concept relating to the three faces of God that is actually ancient in origin; the idea of the trinity did not and does not reflect three persons in God; rather the trinity is a means of discussing three aspects of God: the Unknowable Infinite Source, the Logos or Manifested, and the Holy Spirit, the Living Breath: the Manifesting. I really doubt that such a concept as "I AM the only Son of God" as it is stated in the Coptic was a teaching of Jesus. In other words, I do not think the verse was originally speaking about the Trinity of dogma, nor about Jesus having been a part of any Trinity as an equal member or as himself as an aspect of God.
I think that verse 77 was changed at some point to reflect the notion that Jesus was a part of the Trinity by those with orthodox leanings and so I have elected to edit Verse 77 to reflect the I AM as relating to the idea of One God: the I AM as in Exodus, reflecting the notion of "in God we live, move and have our being"; an idea that pervades all of the teachings of Jesus and which is attested to over and over again in context in The Gospel of Thomas in One way or another. When Jesus speaks over and over again about the Kingdom of Heaven being both inside of of us and outside of us, and when Jesus speaks of the flesh as in verse 29 he is speaking of the spiritual truth that God is everywhere; in the following verse Jesus seems pretty clear that the totality of God cannot incarnate into a body. My rendition of verse 29:
"If the flesh came into being
because of Spirit,
it is a wonder,
but if Spirit came into Being
because of the flesh,
that is the wonder of wonders.
The greatest wonder is this:
How is it that this being, that is
inhabits this nothingness?"
As for the verses of 77, I have providedvarious translations below next to mine for comparative purposes, so that one may readily see how I have changed the verse in my rendition of The Gospel of Thomas. If any scholar should run across this page I would be most interested in your opinion. In any event I hope my text is of some use to someone other than myself.
Academic Source information regarding The Gospel of Thomas follows the verse comparisons.

Blessings, Under the One Light Over All, Jessika

You can reach me, Jessika at: kl@gnostic.org

Comparisons Example

Various Renditions of Verse 77

Verse 77 According to Jessika

Jesus said: I am the light that is above them all. I am the all; the all came forth from me, and the all attained to me. Cleave a (piece of) wood; I am there. Raise up a stone, and you will find me there.

Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the all. From me did the all come forth, and unto me did the all extend. Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
Jesus said, "It is I who am the light (that presides) over all. It is I who am the entirety: it is from me that the entirety has come, and to me that the entirety goes. Split a piece of wood: I am there. Lift a stone, and you (plur.) will find me there."
Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
Jesus says: "I am the light which is on them all. I am the All, and the All has gone out from me and the All has come back to me. Cleave the wood: I am there; lift the stone and thou shalt find me there!"
(Funk's Parallels)

Jesus said,
"I Am
Is a Light over All.
I Am
Is the All.
The I Am goes out from me
and unto me the I Am returns.
Split a piece of wood
and the I Am is there.
Lift up a stone and you will find
The I Am is there."

Academic Info:

Written between 50 CE (liberal date) - 100 CE (conservative date)

Most likely The Gospel of Thomas was composed in Greek, probably in Syria, perhaps at Edessa. Although the Coptic version is not quite identical to any of the Greek fragments, it is believed that the Coptic version was translated from an earlier Greek version due to the inclusion of some Greek words. The Coptic Version is the only complete version.

Historical Sources:
Three Greek Fragments
(partial text)

Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1,654 and 655
Koine Greek: Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, found circa 1898 (Dated to 200 AD)
* P.Oxy. 1: fragments of logia 26 through 33.(dated at around 200 AD)
* P.Oxy. 654: fragments of the beginning through logion 7, logion 24 and logion 36 on the flip side of a papyrus containing surveying data.(dated to the late third century)
* P.Oxy. 655: fragments of logia 36 through 39, comprised of 8 fragments named a through h, whereof f and h have since been lost. (dated to around 250)
(... these fragments are older than the Coptic text found at Nag Hammadi. These fragments consist of the preamble, and sayings 1-6, 26-28, 30-32, 36-38, and 39, as well as a saying not found in the Coptic version, which follows 32. Generally, the sayings are essentially the same in both versions. However, the equivalent of saying 30 adds the end of the Coptic version's saying 77. Cited from: Online web site translations: The Gospel of Thomas: http://www.murple.net/thomas/)

Coptic: Second Tractate in Codex II of the Nag Hamaddi Library
(a complete text)

(Coptic Museum in Old Cairo Egypt)
Found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945 (Dated to 340 AD)
Original: Egypt's Department of Antiquities
Papyrus: Coptic binding.

Other Info
All the texts have been available to the general public since 1975 and have been translated, published and annotated in several languages.
The first photographic edition was published in 1956, and its first critical analysis appeared in 1959.
Prior to the Nag Hammadi library discovery, the sayings of Jesus found in Oxyrhynchus were known simply as Logia Iesu: Wisdom sayings of Jesus

Scholars conjecture that the Thomas-collection seems to be an anthology made from texts disparate both in age & contents. The text is a compilation gleaned from previously written apocrypha (Doresse, 1958). The textual order of these 144 sayings contains no clusters.
The 144 sayings of Jesus recorded by the Thomas-people (ca. AD 75 - 100) can be divided in :
(1) Q1-parallels (1 - 18) : 17%
(2) // canonical gospels (19 - 64) : 41%
(3) // other classical sources (65 - 76) : 9%
(4) sayings according to Thomas (77 - 114) : 33%

Other Gospels of Thomas
(list) http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/thomas.html
(contents and about The Nag Hammadi Manuscripts ) http://www.nag-hammadi.com/manuscripts.html

Go to: The Gospel of Thomas According to Jessika

See: The Map of Locations