Gospel of Thomas Saying 59

Previous - Gospel of Thomas Home - Next

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


(59) Jesus said: Look upon the Living One so long as you live, that you may not die and seek to see him, and be unable to see him.


(59) Jesus said, "Consider the one who is alive while you (plur.) are alive, lest you die and then seek to behold that one - and you will not be able to behold."


64 [59]. Jesus says: "Seek to see Him who is living, while you are living; rather than to die and to seek to see Him <only> when you can no longer see Him!"

Funk's Parallels

John 7:33-34, John 8:21, John 13:33, John 14:8-11.

Visitor Comments

Or perhaps the "living one" is not self-referential at all. . . . Pay proper respect to those around you in life; to dwell only on what is to come is to reject the value of those who live now.
- en passant

In the highest state of consciousness (perception of reality) man can reach, Life exists in Unity. With the spiritual eye open, one can percieve beneath the duality of life, the Oneness of all life - that is the Divine life itself; the Creator who stepped into his own creation. This state of consciousness is available to all man and is the goal of life. "If Thine eye be single, Thy whole body will be filled with light." This is the Living One(ness), which is the goal of life. Evolution of the Soul will continue until That Oneness is seen as God Itself, within myself and outside myself, both. No two are present, only One.
- Vidya

The living is a state of mind. Death is a state of mind. When you are living you can see the living one. When you are dead, you cannot. Stay in the living state of mind.
- anonymous

Hmm... to me it mirrors the overtones of all the works in that the end goal should not be to meet your maker, but to appreciate that makers creations, all around you, your entire life. That that respect and appreciation is your key in the end?
- Jewelz

You might die and go to hell. Then what? Learn now, and do not taste death.
- Random

This is similar to what in Buddhism is referred to as the 5th Bardo. After death, there is a period that one can become fully enlightened if only one will recognize it for what it is.
- pm

This is one of the greatest sayings that I have read. It refers to the fact that Now is the time to find God in our hearts, for that's where he is fully alive. It's not something to leave for after death because we may never have this opportunity again.
- Unknown

Scholarly Quotes

Funk and Hoover write: "The 'living one' in this saying can refer only to Jesus himself (compare Thom 52:2 and the prologue). Here Jesus speaks of himself as the revealer who has the power to save from death those who seek him (Thomas 49-50 reflect this same notion). This language is that of Thomean Christianity, not Jesus." (The Five Gospels, p. 506)

Gerd Ludemann writes: "The key word 'living' links the present logion with the previous one ('found life'). Jesus is speaking of himself as the living one (cf. Prologue; 52.2) and emphasizing the either-or between (spiritual) life and (spiritual) death." (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 619)

If you like the site, please buy the CD to support its work and get bonus stuff!
Copyright 2012 Peter Kirby <E-Mail>. See the Gospel of Thomas Bibliography & Credits.

Gospel of Thomas Saying 59

Previous - Gospel of Thomas Home - Next