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Early Christian Writings Gospel of Thomas Saying 99 Previous - Gospel of Thomas Home - Next

You can view this web page along with Grondin's Coptic/English Interlinear in frames.
Nag Hammadi Coptic Text Funk's Parallels
Luke 8:19-21, Matt
12:46-50, Mark 3:20-22,
Mark 3:31-35, GEbi 5.


(99) The disciples said to (99) The disciples said to 103 [99]. The disciples said
him: Your brothers and your him, "Your brothers and to him: "Thy brethren and
mother are standing outside. your mother are standing thy mother are there
He said to them: Those here outside." He said to them, outside." He said to them:
who do the will of my "It is those who are here and "You and (?) those (?) who
Father, these are my who do the will of my do the will of my Father,
brothers and my mother; father that are my siblings they are my brethren and
they are the ones who will and my mother. It is they my mother; it is they who
enter into the kingdom of who will enter the kingdom will enter the Kingdom of
my Father. of my father." my Father."

Visitor Comments Scholarly Quotes

Spirit is thicker than blood. Marvin Meyer quotes from Gospel of the Ebionites 5: "Furthermore, they (that is, the
- 1of2 Ebionites) deny that he (that is, Christ) was a human being, apparently from the
(99) We of this world are one saying that the savior spoke when it was reported to him, 'Look, your mother and
when we are not of this your brothers are standing outside': 'Who are my mother and brothers?' And
world. extending his hand toward the followers, he said, 'These are my brothers and mothers
- Ardele and sisters, who do the will of my father.'" (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden
Sayings of Jesus, p. 99)
Intended for effect. An
admonition to pupils by a R. McL. Wilson writes: "Quispel claims a parallel in the Gospel of the Ebionites, but
teacher of an esoteric school to this Bauer objects. Comparing the whole saying, he concludes that there is nothing
& intended to be viewed in which could not have come from the canonical Gospels. Nevertheless there are
perspective. Literalists will differences: Jesus' informants, anonymous in the Synoptics, are here the disciples; the
of course take it literally.... saying as a whole is shortened, a process already begun in Luke; there is no reference
- Thief37 to sisters, again as in Luke, and 'brethren' are mentioned first, against all our Gospels;
finally Thomas reads the plural with Luke ('those who do the will'), but retains the
Marvin Meyer quotes a order of Matthew and Mark; the closing words may be no more than explanatory
church father describing the expansion. Here, as elsewhere, it would probably be wrong to think of direct literary
Ebionites denying that Christ dependence; for an author to piece together the Synoptic material in this way, for no
was human, but the apparent purpose, would be a monumental waste of time and trouble. The most
Ebionites believed that probable explanations once again are either the use of a Gospel harmoney of some
Christ was fully human (and kind, free quotation from memory, or independent tradition." (Studies in the Gospel
not divine). of Thomas, pp. 115-116)
- passerby
Helmut Koester writes: "As in the previous example, Thomas's text is a brief chria,
99 lacking any of Mark's elaborate introductory setting of the stage and discourse.
Thomas also does not share Mark's peculiarity of stating the answer in the form of a
rhetorical question. Thus Thomas's version of this pericope, except for the secondary
conclusion, corresponds to its more original form." (Ancient Christian Gospels, p.
Funk and Hoover write: "'Mother and brothers' may refer to the gentiles, who became
Jesus' true relatives, in contrast to the Judeans, who rejected him and thus became
outsiders. Or, Jesus' true relatives may reflect the competition in the early movement
between Jesus' blood relatives, such as his brother James, who became leaders of the
group, and those who were not blood relatives, who claimed direct commission from
the risen Jesus. The apostle Paul would be an example of the latter. Finally, the
contrast may point to an actual incident during Jesus' life. On one occasion his family
may have attempted to take him away because they thought he had lost his mind (in
Post the Note
Mark 3:20 we are told that his family thought he was demented). The Fellows were
divided on which of these three scenarios should be used to interpret the saying. A
Discuss it now at AMC healthy majority chose the third, which produced a pink vote here, as in the
forums! corresponding version in Matthew (12:46-50)."
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Early Christian Writings Gospel of Thomas Saying 99 Previous - Gospel of Thomas Home - Next