To continue with the chat GPT experiment, I decided to cross check the Gospel of Mark with the Gospel of Thomas. Yes, I realize Mark’s Gospel is pretty much told in Matthew and Luke. That being said, this post will be set up similar to the last one with OpenAI’s chatGPT entries in big bold letters while the ESV version of Mark and the Stephen Patterson & Marvin Meyer’s translation of Thomas will follow.

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear”: This phrase appears in both Mark 4:9 and Thomas 8.

Mark 4:9: Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Thomas 8: And he said, “The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”

ChatGPT also had a second entry that mimic this saying and said it also appears in Mark 4:23 and Thomas 21.

Mark 4:23: If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.

Mary said to Jesus, “What are your disciples like?” He said, “They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, ‘Give us back our field.’ They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them. For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions. As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can’t find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come. Let there be among you a person who understands. When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”

Now in both these instances, the Thomas phrases have much more detail and the “phrase” only appears after the story.

“For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him”: This phrase appears in both Mark 4:25 and Thomas 41.

Mark 4:25: For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

Thomas 41: Jesus said, “Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have.”

“Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness”: This phrase appears in both Mark 3:29 and Thomas 44.

Mark 3:29: but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

Thomas 44: Jesus said, “Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven.”

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”: This phrase appears in both Mark 12:17 and Thomas 100.

Mark 12:17: Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at him.

Thomas 100: They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, “The Roman emperor’s people demand taxes from us.” He said to them, “Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine.”

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”: This phrase appears in both Mark 2:27 and Thomas 27.

Mark 2:27: And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

Thomas 27: “If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father’s) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father.”

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all”: This phrase appears in both Mark 10:15 and Thomas 22.

Mark 10:15: Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Thomas 22: Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father’s) kingdom.” They said to him, “Then shall we enter the (Father’s) kingdom as babies?” Jesus said to them, “When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom].”

Once again, I believe the A.I. did a fairly good job of providing examples of similar phrases. Are there more? Probably. I am by no means an expert. Now looking at these similarities, it shows us that Mark is indeed older than Thomas, as Thomas has more “detail” in its sayings than what Mark provides. Usually that is the consensus in the academic community when it comes to dating these texts, but really, who knows for sure.

And no, I will not be doing a post on the Gospel of John and Thomas A.I. comparisons. John is quite different in its style and does not present itself as an easy comparison to Thomas, at least in terms of a quick chatbot query.

Gospel of Thomas can be read here:

Featured artwork is the 1657 painting by Emmanuel Tzanes. If you are unfamiliar with him, check out the wiki page. Great stuff!


Published by bP

A gnostic wanderer

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