Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 003

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Saying 1

(1) And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death." - GOT

The nature of the riddle (double entendre) is the confusion of cause and effect.. The reader misinterprets it. In order to find the secrets hidden in the scripture one must ask God (Mt 7:7, Lu 11:9) which God answers by opening the eyes to understanding (Jas 1:5). The act of acknowledging God as God and asking him for wisdom is the position of one who has life from God. The one who finds the hidden wisdom has found it because of his life-giving relationship with God.

If one misreads it and believes that by the act of searching the scriptures he will find life, he is motivated to read God's word. (Joh 5:39) But he will not find the interpretation without asking God for it. It is the relationship with God which gives life, not the act of looking for or finding hidden interpretations.

In the end, not all people who have life will find the hidden interpretations, but all people who find the hidden interpretations already have life.

The same confusion applies to the interpretation of faith vs. works. It is intentional on God's part that there should be a double meaning. Those who misunderstand that works produces salvation will do good works and attempt to avoid bad works. This makes the world a better place. Those who correctly understand that all good works that we do are produced by God in us, still do good works. The double entendre is intentional.

This saying of Thomas is mirrored in the Bible:

Ec 7:12 For wisdom [is] a defence, [and] money [is] a defence: but the excellency of knowledge [is, that] wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Lost in translation is that in this verse תחיה which is translated 'life' actually is the form 'is keeping alive' which supports the interpretation given to Thomas. Those who have life get wisdom which 'keeps them alive' since they will never die. (Joh 11:26).

There is also a simple solution: Jesus is the truth or the interpretation of these sayings, therefor if you find Jesus you will have life.

Thomas included his riddle in the list to remind himself of the nature of this kind of riddle in scripture.


Go to Ch. 4



To put your reference from John in context...

Joh 11:20-27 (KJV)

Joh 11:20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Joh 11:21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Joh 11:22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Joh 11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Joh 11:24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. Joh 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Joh 11:27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

The section above seems to say the same kind of thing... Pay attention to Jesus (and what he has to say)... :)

(1) And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not experience death."