Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1

What is the “Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1” you may ask? It is a piece of papyri discovered by papyrologists Bernard Pyne Grenfell and Arthur Surridge Hunt on their second day of excavation, January 12, 1897, in the garbage mounds of the town of Oxyrhynchus, Egypt. Their total find amounted to 1,000s of various texts including some religious related material. This particular papyri I am highlighting today is a Greek version of the “Gospel of Thomas.” It is not complete, just a few sayings, but what is important is that the Greek language is more closer to the original source than the Coptic version that was found at Nag Hammadi. It is always good to have these alternate translations, so I present this particular version.

Below, the sayings that are ITALIC are from the Greek source. The BOLD sayings are from the Coptic source.

Saying 27:

Jesus saith: Except ye fast to the world, ye shall in no wise find the Kingdom of God; and except ye sabbatize the Sabbath, ye shall not see the Father.

Jesus said, “If you do not fast as regards the world, you will not find the kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath, you will not see the father.”

Saying 28:

Jesus saith: I stood in the midst of the world, and in flesh was I seen of them, and I found all drunken, and none found I athirst among them. And My soul grieveth over the souls of men, because they are blind in their heart and see not. . . .

Jesus said, “I took my place in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh. I found all of them intoxicated; I found none of them thirsty. And my soul became afflicted for the sons of men, because they are blind in their hearts and do not have sight; for empty they came into the world, and empty too they seek to leave the world. But for the moment they are intoxicated. When they shake off their wine, then they will repent.”

Saying 30 + part of 77:

Jesus saith: Wheresoever there be two, they are not without God; and wherever there is one alone, I say, I am with him. Raise the stone, and there thou shalt find Me; cleave the wood, and there am I.

Jesus said, “Where there are three gods, they are gods. Where there are two or one, I am with him.”

Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

Saying 31:

Jesus saith: A prophet is not acceptable in his own country, neither doth a physician work cures upon those that know him.

Jesus said, “No prophet is accepted in his own village; no physician heals those who know him.”

Saying 32:

Jesus saith: A city built on the top of a high hill and stablished can neither fall nor be hid.

Jesus said, “A city being built on a high mountain and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden.”

Saying 33:

Jesus saith: Thou hearest with one ear (but the other thou hast closed).

Jesus said, “Preach from your housetops that which you will hear in your ear. For no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel, nor does he put it in a hidden place, but rather he sets it on a lampstand so that everyone who enters and leaves will see its light.”

Sources: The Greek translations taken from “Fragments of a Faith Forgotten” by G.R.S. Mead; Coptic translations from gnosis.org. Also, more fragments of the “Gospel of Thomas” were found during that excavation but this post is in regards to this one particular fragment.

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