Testimonia to the Gospel According to Thomas (1-2)

(by Harold W. Attridge in Layton, Bentley, Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2-7, 1989, pp 103-104)

1. Hippolytus, Refutatio 5.7.20 (ed. P. Wendland, GCS 26).
Date: between A.D. 222-235.

They (the Naassenes) say that not only the mysteries of the Assyrians and Phrygians, but also
those of the Egyptians support their account of the blessed nature of the things which were, are,
and are yet to be, a nature which is both hidden and revealed at the same time, and which he [the
Naassene] calls the sought-for kingdom of heaven which is within man. They transmit a tradition
concerning this in the Gospel entitled According to Thomas, which states expressly,
"The one who seeks me will find me in children from seven years of age and onwards.
For there, hiding in the fourteenth aeon, I am revealed."

This saying shows some similarities to saying 4 of the GTh, yet the differences are also apparent.
Interpretation of these differences is controversial. On the one hand, they may indicate that the
Naassenes' text of the GTh represented a very different recension from that of both the Coptic and
P.Oxy. 654. However, caution is required in drawing text-critical inferences from this testimonium.
For on the other hand, it may well be that the citation in Hippolytus is but a garbled form of saying 4,
distorted either by Naassene exegesis or by Hippolytus or perhaps by both.

2. Hippolytus, Refutatio 5.8.32 (ed. P. Wendland, GCS 26).

Thus they (the Naassenes) say, "If you eat the dead and make them living,
what will you do if you eat the living?"

This saying is presumably from the Naassenes' Gospel According to Thomas, cited above (1).
The saying represents a simpler and more elegant form of its counterpart, saying 11b, in the Coptic
GTh and it may represent a more original text. But caution is required, since it is also possible
that this saying was transmitted quite independently.


Partial Transcription by Mike Grondin, May 2016