Gospel of Thomas Saying 69

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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


(69) Jesus said: Blessed are those who have been persecuted in their heart; these are they who have known the Father in truth. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled.


(69) Jesus said, "Blessed are those who have been persecuted in their hearts. It is they who have truly come to be acquainted with the father. Blessed are they who hunger for the belly of the needy to be satisfied."


73 [69]. Jesus says: "Blessed are those who are persecuted in their hearts. They are those who have known (?) the Father in truth! Blessed are those who are hungry, because they will satisfy their bellies to <their> content!"

Funk's Parallels

Luke 6:22-23, Luke 6:21a, Matt 5:10-12, Matt 5:6.

Visitor Comments

When you grow up knowing your whole life that you desparately need to find God (the Father of the Universe) because something is very wrong with the world, then you will know what the persecution and torment in the heart is all about. I have spent a good part of 25 years searching. I was very hungry. But now I have found Him, and my belly is getting more full by the minute. Having the faith "of" (key preposition here) Jesus (pbuh) is easy now (including abstinence). Peace be upon you.
- whacky

Scholarly Quotes

Marvin Meyer writes: "In Who Is the Rich Man? 25, Clement of Alexandria asserts that 'the most difficult persecution is from within,' from pleasures and passions: 'The one being persecuted cannot escape it, for he carries the enemy around within himself everywhere.'" (The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, p. 96)

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "Like Saying 69 [68], this one is based on gospel Beatitudes. From the blessing on those who are persecuted (Matthew 5:10), Thomas turns to add materials taken from Matthew 5:8: 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God'; for him the vision of God is equivalent to knwing 'the Father in truth' (knowing and worshiping the Father in truth, John 4:22-23). Then he goes back to Matthew 5:6 (hungering for righteousness, being filled), though with the parallel verse in Luke (6:21) he omits 'for righteousness.'" (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 174)

R. McL. Wilson writes: "In both cases [68 and 69] Grant and Freedman see only development from our Gospels; if they are right it is interesting, in view of the Naassene tendency to reversal of order, to note that we have in logion 69 elements from Matthew v. 10, 8 and 6 in that sequence. Bartsch sees in logion 68 a type of expansion which has already begun in Matthew, adn notes further development in 1 Peter iv. 14-16. Quispel, however, finds parallels in the Clementines and in Polycarp, which may point to a common tradition, but these must be closely scrutinized." (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, p. 81)

Funk and Hoover write: "There were probably at least four beatitudes in Jesus' repertoire (poor, hungry, weeping, persecuted: Luke 6:20-22). The formulation of the fourth in Q, which has been preserved here in Thomas in slightly different forms (Thom 68, 69:1), has been influenced by the persecution of the members of the Christian community after Jesus' death. In both its Thomean versions, the saying has been modified to suit the perspectives of Thomas. Scholars have not determined whta 'and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted' means, and so cannot determine whether it could have originated with Jesus. The term 'place,' however, appears elsewhere in Thomas with special significance (for example, Thom 4:1; 24:1; 60:6; and 64:12, where Jesus is made to say, 'Buyers and merchants will not enter the places of my Father'). The wording in 69:1 is clearly Thomean, since knowing the Father is the goal of Christians for Thomas." (The Five Gospels, p. 512)

Gerd Ludemann writes: "The statement about persecution in the heart is unclear; perhaps the Coptic translator has mistranslated the text 'Blessed are the persecuted who are of a pure heart' (cf. Matt 5.8). Thomas has here introduced the key word 'persecute' from Logion 68. The second part of v. 1 certainly comes from him since to attain the 'knowledge of the Father' is one of the goals of Thomas (cf. 50.2-3)." (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 625)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 69

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