Gospel of Thomas Saying 75

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


(75) Jesus said: There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber.


(75) Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitaries who will enter the bridal chamber."


79 [75]. Jesus says: "Many stand outside at the door, but it is only the solitaries who will enter into the bridal chamber."

Funk's Parallels

GThom 23, GThom 49, GThom 106, Matt 25:1-13, DialSav 49-50.

Visitor Comments

There are many trying to find me, but only the determined will.
- seeker of truth

You will enter the Kingdom of God only without worldly attachments.
- Simon Magus

Only when unified in consciousnes does one become truly sane.
- Rodney

Those who can find true unity with the souls of others will enter into knowlege of the Truth.
- Hermes

Could 'solitaries' refer to those who have shed their lesser/base/physical selves? -- The passage would then say that only those purified to be only spirit will enter the chamber and be unified. Those retaining their dual physical/spiritual nature will remain.
- lilah

Know yourself to be one, indivisible --- not a hotchpotch assemblage of many disputing lower selves. A technical admonition
- Thief37

Does this mean that to move closer to God you must do it yourself alone and not within the normal means of Christianity where it is the group perspective which is important?
- Seeker

The word 'solitary' seems to refer to those who wander off the beaten track and search for God when they cannot find him in our grand cathedrals, in our rituals and in our traditions. God will understand the searcher and reward him. Didn't Thomas himself start with doubt?
- basil

Could this be saying that we must follow our own path or "inner leading"? We must seek our own way and learn our individual lessons before we may enter the chamber. This also suggests that what is a correct path for one is not a correct path for another.
- R. Bowen

To me, this is very similar to the previous comment. Even as we discuss these ideas in this forum, we are only peering into the well, or loitering at the entrance to the bridal chamber. It is only by practicing can one become free of defilement and get closer to God. Only by one's own hand one has succumbed to the influences that lead to suffering. Only by one's efforts, can one become free.
- Zooie

Scholarly Quotes

R. McL. Wilson writes: "The use of the word MONACOS in logion 75 and other sayings has led some of the scholars who first discussed the new document to the conclusion that it must be a late work, at least in its present form, since this seemed to imply monasticism. This view, however, seems now generally abandoned, and the word is taken in the sense of 'solitary' or 'single one.'" (Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, p. 33)

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "The many who stood before the door are probably the foolish virgins of Matthew 25:1-13; they have no oil for their lamps, and hence no light. Only the wise virgins enter in with the Bridegroom." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 176)

F. F. Bruce writes: "This is another variation on the theme 'Many are called but few are chosen' (Matthew 22.14). The 'bridal chamber' figures in several Gnostic texts as the place where the soul is reunited with its proper element; it is accessible only to the 'single' (in the sense of 4, 49). [The Valentinian Gnostics observed a sacrament of the bridal chamber, through which light was received. According to the Gospel of Philip (a Velentinian collection of sayings identified, like the Gospel of Thomas, among the Nag Hammadi papyri), 'if any one becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light; if any one does not receive it while he is in this place, he will not receive it in the other place' (Saying 127).] There is a superficial resemblance to the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25.1-13), but it is to the wedding feast, not to the bridal chamber, that the wise virgins are admitted." (Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, pp. 141-142)

Funk and Hoover write: "In later practice among some gnostic groups, the 'wedding suite' appears to refer to an established ritual, although the procedures and significance attached to it are not known. In the Gospel of Philip, a Christian gnostic instruction manual of the third century C.E., the 'bridal suite' plays an important role. Only 'free men' and 'virgins' can enter it; 'animals' (in human form), 'slaves' (those who commit sin), 'and defiled women' (those who have participated in sexual intercourse), may not. Since the Gospel of Philip is oriented to sacremental practice, it is likely that the 'bridal suite' falls into this category. There is another reference to the bridal suite in Thom 104:3." (The Five Gospels, p. 514)

Stevan Davies writes: "The comments found in several sayings that advocate people 'make the two one' or celebrate the solitary monachos may refer to the union of the sexes characterizing humanity in Gen 1:27 and Gos. Thom. 22. References to a bridal chamber in sayings 75 and 104 may also be references to this primordial union of the sexes. There are no grounds in Thomas to presume that the references are to an actual bridal chamber ritual." (http://www.misericordia.edu/users/davies/thomas/jblprot.htm)

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 75

Previous - Gospel of Thomas Home - Next