Gospel of Thomas Saying 43

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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


(43) His disciples said to him: Who are you, that you say these things to us? <Jesus said to them:> From what I say to you, do you not know who I am? But you have become like the Jews; for they love the tree (and) hate its fruit, and they love the fruit (and) hate the tree.


(43) His disciples said to him, "Who are you, since you say these things to us?" <Jesus said to them>, "Do you (plur.) not understand who I am from the things I am saying to you? Rather, you have come to be like Jews. For they love the tree, and hate its fruit. And they love the fruit, and hate the tree.


48 [43]. His disciples said to him: "Who art thou, who tellest us these things?" "By the things that I tell you, do you not recognise who I am? But you yourselves have become like the Jews: they like the tree and detest the fruit, they like the fruit and detest the tree!"

Funk's Parallels

Luke 6:43-45, Matt 7:15-20, Matt 12:33.

Visitor Comments

Jesus (pbuh) basically is saying..."From what I told you, you should clearly know who I am, but you don't. He (pbuh) was implying a severe lack of wisdom among his disciples. Here's the two-fold. Some will love the tree (God) and hate the fruit (Jesus), and some will love the fruit (Jesus) and hate the Tree (God). All comments are of my opinion, however.
- whacky

You ask me, "Who are you to say these things to us?" You do not understand who I am from what I say to you. Rather you have become like the people who live in Judea, for they love self righteousness and hate its consequences, and they love peace and hate what will bring it.
- Simon Magus

Here we can clearly see the fanatical viewpoints of the Pharisee and the layman. What do we mean by loving the tree and hating its fruit? We yearn and venerate Divinity but we reject that which brings us there (sex). Pharisee. What do we mean by loving the fruit and hating the tree? We care not about wisdom and only about fornication. Layman, those who arrive at the Wedding without a proper garment (see the wedding parable). The Tree of Knowledge represents sex. We know this because of statements such as: "Adam knew eve."
- Steve

Scholarly Quotes

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "In this saying we have a highly artificial construction. It takes its point of departure from John 8:25, where the Jews ask Jesus who he is; they know neither him nor his Father (John 8:19). Thomas has transferred the question to the disciples so that Jesus can say that they are 'like the Jews.' The Jews do not understand that the nature of the tree is identical with that of the fruit (Matthew 7:16-20; Luke 6:43-44). And in both Matthew and Luke the discussion of trees and fruits is followed by a rebuke to those who call Jesus 'Lord' but do not obey him. It looks as if Thomas has consciously tried to make his meaning more mysterious than that reflected in the gospels." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 156)

F. F. Bruce writes: "This disciples' question is like that of the Jews to Jesus in John 8.25; Jesus's answer, with its implied insistence that tree and fruit are of the same kind (cf. Saying 45), may be derived from the saying in Matthew 7.16-20 and Luke 6.43 f. The anti-Jewish sentiment recognizable in several places throughout the Gospel of Thomas becomes quite explicit here." (Jesus and Christian Origens Outside the New Testament, p. 130)

Funk and Hoover write: "This exchange between Jesus and his disciples is polemical, as the hostile question in v. 1 indicates. Jesus responds by comparing the disciples to Judeans. The figure of speech employed draws on a common proverb to the effect that there is no separating the fruit from the tree it grows on. A comparable figure of speech is employed in Thom 45:1-4 and its many parallels." (The Five Gospels, p. 497)

Gerd Ludemann writes: "With an image corresponding to 45.1, in v. 3 Jesus compares the disciples with Jews who want to separate tree and fruit or fruit and tree. However, for the disciples it is a matter of knowing Jesus exclusively from his words (v. 2) as they are to be found in the Gospel of Thomas." (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 611)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 43

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