Gospel of Thomas Saying 48

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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


(48) Jesus said: If two make peace with one another in this one house, they will say to the mountain: Be removed, and it will be removed.


(48) Jesus said, "If two make peace with one another within a single house they will say to a mountain 'go elsewhere' and it will go elsewhere."


53 [48]. Jesus says: "If two people are with each other in peace in the same house, they will say to the mountain: 'Move!' and it will move."

Funk's Parallels

GThom 106, Luke 17:5-6, Matt 17:19-20, Matt 21:18-22, Mark 11:20-25, 1 Cor 13:2, Ign Eph 5.2.

Visitor Comments

If the masculine and feminine that exists in all mankind will make piece in this one house (soul) then will the mountain (barrier) be moved as to be able to see the other side, where wisdom and light reside.
- whacky

If the house is our soul, the "two" is the two halfs of our soul. We live in one half, but if we accept and share with the other half we become whole. It's not about finding god but accepting who we are.
- anonymous

To become aware of the innate self one must both think and feel at the same time. When one is "fielnking" [feeling and thinking], the self-destructive attitudes can be sent packing.
- Rodney

We must find balance in our life and within our souls. Good and evil, silence and noise, emotion and rational thought, even faith and doubt. When we find our balance then we are truly ourselves, and we can conquer any mountain that life places in our path.
- Hermes

aha, the true verse i suspect (not faith can move a mountain into the sea)means i think, what an enourmous obstical is removed within a house hold by making peace therin.
- keeef

If the mind and the flesh unite within the 'house' they share - the self - the matter will be as malleable as the mind, because it is the mind.
- Z

Scholarly Quotes

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "In form this saying is quite similar to Saying 103, where two, becoming one, become sons of men; they say, 'Mountain, be removed!' and it moves. We should infer that making peace with one another is the same thing as becoming one, and it also means becoming 'sons of men.' Doresse (page 175) notes that the combination then resembles Matthew 5:9; 'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.' (Thomas as usual removes a mention of God.) There is another way of viewing Saying 49 by itself. It clearly begins with something like Matthew 18:19 ('if two of you agree on earth'), and this verse is parallel to Mark 11:24; but the second part of the saying is parallel to the preceding verse in Mark. One must suppose that the author of Thomas gave close study to gospel parallels, or that he relied on an earlier document in which the parallels had been combined - such as the Diatessaron of Tatian, probably written between 150 and 170." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 160)

R. McL. Wilson writes: "In point of fact, Matthew xviii. 19 is not parallel to Mark xi. 24, and Quispel has claimed that neither Thomas nor the Diatessaron is dependent on the other; both rather go back to a common tradition. A pre-Tatianic harmony, if one existed, might have been used by Thomas, but the Diatessaron itself would in fact appear to be too late, considering the general character of the sayings in this gospel. Moreover, account must be taken of the point made by Puech, that this saying might appear to be no more than a combination of Matthew xviii. 19 and xxi. 21, but for the fact that it occurs also in the Syriac Didascalia, and therefore seems to belong to a distinct tradition. Quispel ascribes this form of the saying to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, and a variant form which appears in logion 106 to the Gospel of the Egyptians: 'When you make the two one, you shall become sons of man, and when you say: "Mountain, be moved," it will be moved.'" (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, p. 79)

F. F. Bruce writes: "This is reminiscent of the promise of an affirmative answer to the prayer of any two who 'agree on earth about anything they ask' (Matthew 18.19). A similar promise in Mark 11.24, which does not specify 'two', is preceded by the words: 'whoever says to this mountain, "Be taken up and cast into the sea", and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him' (Mark 11.23). The Gospel of Thomas either conflates the two passages, or depends on an earlier compilation or Gospel harmony which conflated them." (Jesus and Christian Origens Outside the New Testament, p. 132)

J. D. Crossan writes: "Both Gos. Thom. 48 and 106 retain the apodosis concerning moving the mountain, but each has changed the protasis in different ways. My hypothesis is that the original protasis was about combined (double) prayer but (a) in 48 it now concerns peaceful coexistence and (b) in 106 it now concerns primordial undifferentiation, both of which are hermeneutical variations on that original theme. Neither text has any mention of the mountain being cast into the sea, which was also omitted from Matthew's conflation of Aphorism 122 (Q/Matt. 17:20b = Luke 17:5-6) and Aphorism 23 (Mark 11:23 = Matt. 21:21) in Matt. 17:20. I do not see any direct contact between Matt. 17:20 and Gos. Thom. 48 or 106, but simply a common tendency to mute just a little the startling hyperbole of the aphorism's promise." (In Fragments, pp. 107-108)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 48

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