Gospel of Thomas Saying 112

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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


(112) Jesus said: Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul; woe to the soul that depends on the flesh.


(112) Jesus said, "Woe to the flesh that depends upon a soul. Woe to the soul that depends upon flesh."


116 [112]. Jesus says: "Cursed is the flesh that depends on the soul, and cursed is the soul that depends on the flesh!"

Funk's Parallels

GThom 87, GThom 29.

Visitor Comments

The dictionary definition for "depend" is "to be controlled by something else." The body and soul are in a symbiotic relationship and the ultimate goal in life is to have both working in harmony. This is most difficult to achieve and only the throughly enlightened person has reached that goal. None of us are always at our peak of physical health, neither are our souls, whether through a broken heart or depression, any emotional imbalance can be due to an imbalance in the soul. For one to be controlled by the other can lead to ultimate woe, or curse and it's in these deepest darkest moments that that evil deeds are done, suicide being one. We create our own afterlife within our souls and conscience. And it's how healthy our soul's are on an overall level at the time of death decides whether we exist in an afterlife of harmony and understanding or painful torture. These opposing exsistences have been given an idea of substance in our minds in the concept of heaven and hell.
- Jamie

I think it's more the soul and body are linked for a period of time, symbiotic by all means, but unique and with different paths. It's suggestive of the soul having eternal life and that the soul needs to move on - to the next stage?
- Anthony

If one is physically ill, and their soul does not thrive regardless, it is a sad thing. The light of the soul should not be dependent upon the health of the body. If one's body is dependent on soul, and sits idle unless moved to do otherwise; that is also a poor existence. One's body should be free and move in the blessings that abound all around us. We should not sit idly, but do and be. The kingdom of heaven is all around us. We are to participate with body and soul, with each regardless of the other. If we are plagued with demons, we should push forward and persevere. If we are struck with illness, we should illuminate the world in spite of it. If we were to do anything else, we would disregard the seperate and very distinct blessings of either.
- Foomanchu

Scholarly Quotes

Helmut Koester writes: "Flesh and spirit, body and soul, are two different components in a human being, joined in an unholy mix which spells doom for both" (Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 126).

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 112

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