Gospel of Thomas - Chapter 074

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Saying 72

(72) A man said to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."

He said to him, "O man, who has made me a divider?" He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I am not a divider, am I?"

This saying, if it a true saying of Jesus and not merely 'class notes' then it shows a playfulness in the personality of Jesus.

The word בדל means a separated portion and is used in Amos for a separated ear.

A man says "Tell my brothers to separate my father's possessions" and Jesus picks up on the pun and says, "Who has made me a separated ear?" Though it is a very silly pun, it means that he only listens to the Father for instruction.

There is a parallel teaching when the mother of a couple disciples asks Jesus to let them sit on his left and right side. Jesus responded that the choice was that of his Father.

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