Gospel of Thomas Saying 58

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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


(58) Jesus said: Blessed is the man who has suffered; he has found life.


(58) Jesus said, "Blessed is the person who has labored and found life."


63 [58]. Jesus says: "Blessed is the man who has laboured; he has found Life!"

Funk's Parallels

1 Pet 3:14a, Jas 1:12.

Visitor Comments

He who labors in the search for wisdom and truth, has found life. No symbolism required.
- whacky

The note to Saying 58 says that finding rest there is equivalent to finding life. Is life rest?
- george

It is bloody hard, painful work becoming truly human!
- Rodney

To suffer is to say a painful goodbye to bad things. Then we can say a joyful welcome to life.
- Peter T.

Dealing with the two lowermost nafs [of seven] will certainly produce suffering in the victor of that battle. You cannot control the Commanding Self, and its handmaiden the Accusing Self, without there being suffering for that is how you were created. In fact if you have not suffered you cannot bear the stigmata of ever being engaged in such a battle.....
- Thief37

When one loses one's identity, suffering is natural. On the spiritual path, one consciously or unconsciously detaches from personality, i.e. identity as a singular person/ego/body/mind complex. The suffering is the result of the detachment from who we think we are . That detachment can be experienced as a deep painful void of emptiness. When life loses it's former meaning, suffering ensues. When the spirit becomes more dominant in one's experience than the body, detachment from life begins. Finally, when the truth of Spirit awakens to perception, and we come to know who we really are, then the Kingdom of God is open to us from within our own Being. This is the end of Suffering.
- Vidya

He who suffers (in his fight to overcome his corrupt flesh) and succeeds has found truth. He shall not taste death.
- Random

Scholarly Quotes

Marvin Meyer writes: "If this is a saying about those who work hard, as is likely, mention may be made of Proverbs 8:34-36, with its commendation of a person who continually observes the ways of Wisdom, or Sirach 51:26-27, with its injunction that one labor under the yoke of Wisdom, or the Cynic author 'Crates,' Epistles 15 and 16, with the observation that a Cynic is one who works hard at philosophy." (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 92)

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "Here we find an equivalent, in the form of a blessing, to the invitation repeated in Saying 90 from Matthew 11:28-30; in that saying Matthew's reference to 'labor' is omitted, perhaps in order to be placed here. 'Finding rest' in Saying 90 is equivalent to 'finding life' here. See also Saying 10, on 'working together.'" (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 165)

Funk and Hoover write: "In form, this aphorism mimics the beatitudes found in Matthew (5:3-12) and Luke (6:20-22). But in content it recalls the 'labors' of Hercules. In early Christian times, Cynics and Stoics, two dominant schools of philosophy during the Greco-Roman period, 300 B.C.E. - 300 C.E., looked to Hercules as a kind of heroic founder. This sort of borrowing from popular culture was common in the early Christian movement as the followers of Jesus added to the legacy of their teacher. Also, the promise of life echoes the prologue to Thomas and related motifs elsewhere in this gospel (101:3; 114:1; further, 18:3; 19:4; 85:2; 111:2)." (The Five Gospels, p. 506)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 58

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