Gospel of Thomas Saying 90

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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


(90) Jesus said: Come to me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves.


(90) Jesus said, "Come (plur.) to me, for my yoke is easy (to use) and my lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves."


94 [90]. Jesus says: "Come to me, for my yoke is excellent and my authority is sweet, and you will find rest for yourselves!"

Funk's Parallels

Matt 11:25-30, DialSav 65-68.

Visitor Comments

When you understand the message, that the way is Love, God is Love, then you know inner peace.
- Kay

The right teacher for YOU --- follow his instructs, which are carefully prescribed byhim to be exactly right for YOU and no other, how can they not be an easy yoke. There is not a dervish who ever lived who testified that he found The Way to be hard. The term is inappropriate. Lengthy? Yes. Hard? Never
- Thief37

The converse is likewise true, He who tries to force oneself along the Way,only creates turbulence. To receive love, one must act like one who is receiving love. Even now, what a miraculous thing this life is!
- Zooie

Scholarly Quotes

Funk and Hoover quote Sir 51:26-27 as the basis of this saying: "You should put your neck into the yoke, and you should accept instruction, which you will find near at hand. See for yourself how little I have labored; rather, I have found a great deal of rest for myself." (The Five Gospels, p. 520)

Robert M. Grant and David Noel Freedman write: "Matthew 11:28-30, has a different order and some different implications. 'Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened [Thomas omits the italicized words], and I will give you rest [Thomas changes this to 'you will find rest for yourselves']. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart [omitted], and you will find rest for your souls [selves]; for my yoke is easy and my burden [Thomas substitutes 'rule'] is light.' Thomas wants the invitation to be addressed to Gnostics, not to those burdened by the world (he twice omits 'burden') and he wants the emphasis to be placed on the reward of rest, not on the yoke of Christ." (The Secret Sayings of Jesus, p. 184)

J. D. Crossan writes: "Thomas's version is not dependent on that of Matthew (Sieber:139, as against Schrage, 1964:173). Instead, 'both go back to wisdom traditions which have been subjected to gnosticizing transformations' (Betz, 1967:20). Koester has suggested that 'except for "lordship" instead of "burden" (Matt. 11:30) this shorter version could be more original than Matthew's' (1980b:246). Bauer would agree and even consider that 'lordship' could be more original (1961:105). I prefer to follow Koester rather than Bauer primarily because 'burden' reappears in Pist. Soph. 95 and Dial. Sav. 141:3-6. Indeed, the force of the aphorism seems intensified if there is some comparison made between heavy or difficult burdens (from elsewhere) and light or easy burdens (from Jesus). I propose, therefore, that, while Thomas's version is more original than that of Matt. 11:28-30, it is not more original than Matt. 11:28 + 30 since Thomas lacks any equivalent to Q's 'all who labor and are heavy laden (burdened).'" (In Fragments, pp. 257-258)

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Gospel of Thomas Saying 90

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