Gospel of Thomas Saying 54

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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


(54) Jesus said: Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.


(54) Jesus said, "Blessed are the poor, for yours (plur.) is the kingdom of heavens."


59 [54]. Jesus says: "Blessed are the poor, for the Kingdom of heaven is yours!"

Funk's Parallels

Luke 6:20, Matt 5:3.

Visitor Comments

Cf. my Case Against Q, Chapter 7 for a dicussion of this beatitude in Matthew, Luke and Thomas, arguing that the Lucan (=Thomas) version may well be secondary, on redaction-critical and narrative-critical grounds.
- Mark Goodacre

Simple encouragement of the "poor" as they will not be left out. We all are of the kingdom of heaven. The downtrodden in this world fear that this may not be true.
- active mystic

Technical again. Nafs again. Be impoverished of those lower forces tghat drive you. Be not the driven one. Instead be the driver. Throw away your handcuffs & blindfold and take control of the runaway horse. Do not kill the horse! Control it. Use it. Make it your servant, not your master.
- Thief37

Scholarly Quotes

R. McL. Wilson writes: "On logion 54: 'Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven,' Grant and Freedman say that it combines Luke vi. 20 with Matthew v. 3, but it may, perhaps, be doubted if Matthew comes into question at all. The only difference between Luke and Thomas lies in the use of the phrase 'kingdom of heaven,' and Thomas, as already noted, habitually avoids the name of God. It is at least possible that Thomas here preserves the original form, which Luke has altered by substituting 'God' and Matthew interpreted by adding 'in spirit' after 'the poor.' There are, however, other possibilities: deliberate alteration of Luke by Thomas, or the transmission of the saying from Luke to Thomas through a Jewish-Christian milieu in which the change was made." (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, pp. 55-56)

Funk and Hoover write: "There is no question about Jesus' consorting with the poor, the hungry, and the persecuted. He announced that God's domain belonged to the poor, not because they wre righteous, but because they were poor. This reverses a common view that God blesses the righteous with riches and curses the immoral with poverty." (The Five Gospels, p. 504)

Gerd Ludemann writes: "The logion corresponds to Luke 6.20 and Matt. 5.3, but derives from Luke 6.20, because 'yours' corresponds to Lukan redaction. This conclusion is all the more compelling as in Luke 6.20 the Coptic translation of the New Testament reads 'their' instead of 'yours' - no doubt an assimilation to Matt. 5.3." (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 617)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 54

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