Gospel of Thomas Saying 66

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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


(66) Jesus said: Show me the stone which the builders rejected; it is the cornerstone.


(66) Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the building stone."


70 [66]. Jesus says: "Would that thou couldst tell me about the stone which the builders have rejected! It is that one, the cornerstone."

Funk's Parallels

Ps 118:22, Luke 20:9-19, Matt 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Acts 4:11, 1 Pet 2:4, 1 Pet 2:7.

Visitor Comments

Show me the gospel which the builders of traditional Christianity rejected; it is the cornerstone of the new Christianity.
- Simon Magus

Note that "Show me" is read as the reader is "being shown" the gospel. The literary device suggests identity of Jesus and reader. Jesus was a great literary genius, which I hope will soon be appreciated.
- Simon Magus

The stone is the innate child self, the basis of one's true self.
- Rodney

Those people who have become dis-satisfied with what the world has to offer may be suitable for instruction. Exaggerated by the speaker for dramatic effect
- Thief37

Humans are not disposable like faulty stones. When we horribly screw up and and suffer the extreme consequences, we will eventually get on our knees and beg forgiveness, to do God's will and to be of service to our fellow man. Through our failings, we are made stronger. Around these type of repentant sinners, God builds his church.
- Brother Otto

That which 'the builders', or merchants or others who are concerned with the objective rather than spiritual, are rejecting is that which is the basis of a new building, a new construct--that of enlightenment.
- Bones

Scholarly Quotes

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "Just as in the synoptic gospels (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17), the saying about the stone which the builders rejected is appended to the parable of the vineyard. (The Naassenes too were impressed by this mysterious saying; cf., Hippolytus, Ref., 5, 7, 35.) But Thomas deletes the synoptic reference to 'reading' this saying (Matthew, Mark) or to the fact that it is 'written' (Luke) - actually in Psalm 118 (117):22-23 - becuase he is avoiding mention of the Old Testament. See Sayings 53 and 66 and Commentaries." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 172)

F. F. Bruce writes: "In all three Synoptic Gospels the parable of the vineyard is followed by the quotation of Psalm 118.22: 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner' (i.e. top of the pediment). The point is that Christ, rejected by the leaders of Israel, is exalted by God (cf. Acts 4.11). Here no reference is made to its being an Old Testament quotation. Hippolytus tells us that the Naassenes spoke of the archetypal heavenly Man (whom they called Adamas) as 'the chief corner stone'. [Refutation v.7.35.]" (Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, p. 139)

Funk and Hoover write: "The fact that the allusion to Ps 118:22 follows on the parable of the leased vineyard in Thomas as it does in the synoptics, even though Thomas lacks the allegorical overlay of the synoptic edition, indicates that the connection may have been the first step in reading the parable as an allegory, since the rejected stone was probably understood to refer to Jesus in Christian circles: the rejected stone that has become the keystone stands for the rejected Jesus, who has become the centerpiece of the new movement." (The Five Gospels, p. 511)

Gerd Ludemann writes: "This piece also appears in Mark 12.10-11 par. and fits in well there, because the verses give the reason for the rejection of Israel. But as they do not fit with Thomas here, it follows that they have been taken over, together with Mark 12.1-9, from the Synoptics." (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 624)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 66

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