Gospel of Thomas Saying 2

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This Gospel of Thomas Commentary is part of the Gospel of Thomas page at Early Christian Writings.

Nag Hammadi Coptic Text

Gospel of Thomas Coptic Text


(2) Jesus said: He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and when he is troubled he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All.


(2) Jesus said, "Let one who seeks not stop seeking until that person finds; and upon finding, the person will be disturbed; and being disturbed, will be astounded; and will reign over the entirety."


1 [2]. Jesus says: "Let him who seeks cease not to seek until he finds: when he finds he will be astonished; and when he is astonished he will wonder, and will reign over the universe!"

Oxyrhynchus Greek Fragment

Gospel of Thomas Greek Text

DORESSE - Oxyrhynchus

[Jesus says:] "Let him who see[ks] cease not [to seek until he] finds: when he finds, [he will wonder; and when he wond]ers, he will reign, and [reigning, he will have r]est!"

ATTRIDGE - Oxyrhynchus

(2) [Jesus said], "Let him who seeks continue [seeking until] he finds. When he finds, [he will be amazed. And] when he becomes [amazed], he will rule. And [once he has ruled], he will [attain rest]."

Funk's Parallels

POxy654 2, GThom 92:1, GThom 94, Luke 11:9-13, Matt 7:7-11, Matt 21:18-22, John 14:12-14, John 15:16-17, John 16:20-28, Mark 11:20-25, GHeb 4a, GHeb 4b, DialSav 9-12, DialSav 20, DialSav 79-80.

Visitor Comments

When you speak (pray) to God~Ultimate Reality, never cease to listen for the answer coming back. You are all capable of hearing (or otherwise realizing) this answer upon truly listening. You will be amazed at what you are told. Eventually when you learn your true place in the scheme of things you will have a degree of control over your reality by virtue of understanding its true nature. This will enable you to follow your planned path of life in a more peaceful and accepting manner. You will have learned that life is verily a dream and God is the dreamer, dreaming you.
- active-mystic

One who strives for the best above all else will one day learn that all he has strived for has in the end rotted away. When he realizes this he is disgusted that he hasn't spend more time with his family or had more fun. Then he is astounded that he can still do all these things. So he does. The moral of the story is, love and be loved in return, lay your heart out on the line for a gamble. When you can learn to do this then life will be happy.
- puzzled, but clearer

When you seek and find the child within, you will be most profoundly disturbed by the horror of your upbringing. You will marvel at the beauty of your innate self and, in time you will become lord and servant of yourself.
- Rodney

I have noticed that quite a few of the interpretations of these sayings which seem to make sense include a reference to the Gospel of Thomas itself. Applying this idea to this saying, I get: Let one who seeks the meaning of the Gospel of Thomas not stop seeking until one finds. When one finds, one will be disturbed. When one is disturbed, one will marvel, and will reign over all.
- Ruthie

The minds of men have been temporarily lost from God (the "fall"), but when we seek to rejoin from that which we think we separated from (the Mind of God)Jesus tells us to persevere, and that by doing so we will come to see that the world that we thought was real isn't (an initially disturbing, troubling event for us), but as we reunite with God we will be truely amazed, and being One once again with All That Is we will "rule" All That Is.
- A Brother

Continue in your quest until you find. When you find [succeed] you will be changed [reborn] and see everything differently. A technical injunction
- Thief37

There is an old saying in science that "The more I know, the more I learn I don't know." The Gospel writer is telling us that Jesus understood eternity in this way. Seek an answer, don't give up; you will find one. However, when you do, you will be astonished to learn that the answer you seek is not an end in and of itself; it only leads you to ten more questions; seek those answers; for each answer there is ten more questions and on and on and on. Eventually, you will get it--there is no end to questions, to life, to God. To know this truly inspires wonder.
- Crimson731

Rhizoid is correct. Also as you seek to destroy the ego, realizations of how the world is and how many people are blind to truth will be "disturbed" then as you further seek you understand the nature of duality then you reign.
- bravenewmind

Never stop seeking because you will find the answers, but the answers will trouble you because they will show you the illusions under which you have conducted your life in the past. Once the veil lifts off your eyes you will begin to see the wonder of the universe and be angry that so many things had been hidden from us by individuals in the past who destroyed the keys. But the messages still resound loudly to anyone who wishes to listen. And then you will reign over the world because the world is an illusion.
- daisy

When the seeker has at last attained unto a better understanding of God, he will be troubled. What he finds in God will not be what he had been expecting, what he had been taught to look for. By seeking for God on his own he found the truth, and from that truth comes power, and, at least according to the Greek texts, to spiritual peace.
- Kevin

Answer: Jesus meant that you must be persistent in your meditation, fasting, and prayer. You then stumble into experiences that are beyond explanation with words. Jesus does not speak to the higher states of consciousness that present themselves with such diligent persistent work. Jesus speaks to the astounded surprises, etched with question and disbelief. How continued persistence study and practice brings eventual communion with your spiritual essence. Continued work leads to your discovering spiritual essence is inside you, outside you, and all around you. That you are spiritually connected with everything. The end portion of this statement of "Reign over everything, universe" was a misunderstanding that Jesus had of achieving the Unity consciousness with his inner spiritual essence. Without a teacher to point out that unity consciousness was not being god and that he was still a physical being experiencing this astounding state. He misunderstood this state. Everyone back then was expecting the messiah and this unity consciousness under these Jewish expectations would certainly bewilder and confuse Jesus as to who he really was.
- AG

When you understand the truth about why you experience your own existence, you become astonished because you realize that death is not absolute. At the same time you become disturbed because the truth also threatens the preconceptions of your ego. When you transcend these preconceptions, liberation of the spirit occurs.
- Rhizoid

Scholarly Quotes

Marvin Meyer quotes two parallel passages in the Book of Thomas the Contender (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, pp. 68-69). The first: "[Fortunate is] the wise person who has [sought truth, and] when it has been found, has rested upon it for ever, and has not been afraid of those who wish to trouble the wise person." (Book of Thomas 140,41 - 141,2) The second: "Watch and pray. . . . And when you pray, you will find rest. . . . For when you leave the pains and the passions of the body, you will receive rest from the Good One, and you will rule with the king, you united with him and he united with you, from now on, for ever and ever." (Book of Thomas 145,8-16)

A somewhat similar statement is found from Clement of Alexandria: "Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal." (Instructor,

Funk and Hoover write: "Thom 2:2-4 is a gnostic expansion: the gnostic quest leads to being disturbed, which causes one to marvel, and that ends in reigning. The Greek fragment of this same verse adds a fifth stage: the reign of the gnostic results in 'rest,' which is the gnostic catchword for salvation. Gnostic insight into the 'real world,' as opposed to the world of appearances, is what brings all this about. The term 'rest' is employed in the book of Revelation, on the other hand, for future salvation: those who die in the Lord 'may rest from their labors' (Rev 14:13)." (The Five Gospels, p. 471)

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "'Rest' is mentioned not in the Coptic text but in the Greek fragment; but 'rest' or 'repose' occurs in Sayings 51, 52, 60, 61, 86, and 90. It is found in the Gospel of the Hebrews (Clement of Alexandria, Strom., 2, 45, 5; 5, 96, 3), from which this saying is taken; presumably the author of Thomas changed the saying in order to lay emphasis on the idea of becoming a king. Compare 2 Timothy 2:11-12: 'Trustworthy is the saying, "If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we have endured, we shall reign with him.' The difference, once more, is between the action of the Christian and the knowing of the Gnostic." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 120)

J. D. Crossan writes: "The restoration of the Greek text in Oxy P 654, of which only the first half of each line is extant, is relatively secure due to its citation by Clement of Alexandria (Fitzmyer, 1974:372-373; Hofius: 27; Marcovich: 56). In form it is a quadruple-stich saying climactically word-linked from one stich to the next: seeks/finds//finds/astounded//astounded/reign//reigned/rest (see Hennecke and Schneemelcher: 1.164)." (In Fragments, pp. 99-100)

J. D. Crossan writes: "On the other hand, the version in Gos. Thom. 2 breaks both the form and content of that Greek version: seeks/finds//finds/troubled//troubled/astonished// -- / reign. The result is that the Coptic version climaxes with "rule" while the Greek text climaxes with "rest" (see Bammel, 1969). It is fairly certain that the Greek version is more original, but it is difficult to explain the Coptic deviation since 'rest' is one of Thomas's major themes (Vielhauer, 1964:297). The best explanation is probably some form of misreading of his Greek original by the Coptic translator (see Marcovich: 57; or Menard, 1975:79)." (In Fragments, p. 100)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 2

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