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Brother Tom’s Miracle Book of Signs and Wonders (The Gospel of Thomas)

Posted by JVP on April 4, 2008

From John’s book:
Now Brother Tom wasn’t with everybody else when the teacher came in. So when they told him “We just saw the teacher!” he replied, “No way. I won’t believe it until he’s standing right here in front of me.” A week later the students were hanging out, and this time Tom was with them. Suddenly, even though the doors were locked, the teacher came in and said, “Peace be with you!” He looked over at Tom, and told him “Look at me, check it out. I’m real. You can touch me. See my hands? You can even stick your fingers into my wounds if you want. Stop doubting and believe.” Tom was amazed, and said “My lord!” Then the teacher said, “Sure, you believe when you actually see and touch me; congratulations to those who don’t need to see me to believe– they’re better off.” The teacher did all kinds of other wonderful things with his students, but they’re not recorded in this particular book.

BROTHER TOM’S MIRACLE BOOK OF SIGNS AND WONDERS

These are some things that our teacher said and that I, Brother Tom, wrote down. The teacher said all of these things to us.

1. He said, “Whoever gets what I’m saying won’t die.”

2. The teacher said, “If you’re looking for something but can’t find it, don’t give up. If you find it, it may surprise you. If you’re surprised, you’ll be amazed, and anything you want will be yours.”

3. The teacher said, “If those priests say, ‘Look, Paradise is in the sky,’ then wouldn’t the birds already be there? If they say, ‘It’s in the sea,’ then wouldn’t the fish already be swimming around in Paradise? Instead, Paradise is in you and outside you.

“When you know yourselves, then the priests will know it, and you’ll get that you’re all like God’s little kids. But if you don’t know yourselves, then you’re so poor that you are poverty.”

4. The teacher said, “An old man won’t wait to ask a little seven-day-old baby about the meaning of life. That old man knows what’s up. Many of the new are gonna be old, and they’ll be all alone.”

5. The teacher said, “You’d better figure out what’s right in front of you and what’s hidden. If you do, won’t you be able to find what’s missing? Nothing that’s missing can’t be found.”

6. We asked him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to the poor? What food should we stop eating?”

The teacher said, “Don’t tell lies, and don’t do what you don’t want to do, because everybody knows everything in Paradise. Like I said, nothing missing won’t be found, and nothing hidden will stay hidden.”

7. The teacher said, “If a human eats a lion, that’s great for the lion, because it gets to be in a human. But if it’s the other way around, too bad for the human.”

8. And he said, “The enlightened person reminds me of a smart fisherman. He went fishing and brought up tons of tiny fish. In the same net, he found a nice, big one, too. He threw back all of the tiny ones, but kept the big one. If you have ears you’d better listen up!”

9. The teacher said, “Look, this farmer went outside, grabbed a bunch of seeds, and tossed them around. Some of the seeds landed on the road, and got eaten by birds. Other seeds fell on some rock, and they couldn’t grow because they couldn’t get their roots in there. A bunch fell on thorns, and the thorns choked the seeds, and they got eaten by worms. Some, though, fell on good soil, and they grew into massive plants. The harvest that year was huge!”

10. The teacher said, “I set the world on fire, and check it out, I’m keeping an eye on the fire until it burns.”

11. The teacher said, “The sky will eventually disappear, and the upper atmosphere will disappear, and the dead won’t live, and the living won’t die. When you eat something dead, it turns into life inside you. When you should be in the light, what will you do then? The other day, when you were alone, you found someone to keep you company. But when you should be with someone, what will you do then?”

12. The students said to the teacher, “We know that you’re going to take off someday. Which of us will lead the rest when that happens?”

The teacher said to them, “Whenever I decide to leave, go to good old Jacob; everything exists for that guy.”

13. The teacher asked his students, “What do I remind you of?”

Pete replied, “You’re like an angel.”

Matt said, “You’re like a wise philosopher.”

I said, “Master, I can’t even get my mouth to say what you remind me of.”

The teacher said, “I’m not your master. Your mouth doesn’t work because my teachings are like wine that got you drunk.”

And he took me off to the side, and told me three sayings. When I came back to my friends they asked me, “What did he say?”

I replied, “If I tell you even one of the things he said, you’ll try to stone me to death, but fire will shoot from the stones and burn you up.”

14. The teacher said, “Don’t bother fasting, because fasting causes mistakes, and don’t pray unless you want to be attacked, and don’t give alms unless you want to injure your own spirits. No matter where you go and walk around, when people invite you in, eat any food they offer and take care of their sick. It’s not what goes into your mouth that’s bad for you; it’s what comes out of your mouth that messes you up.”

15. The teacher said, “When you meet somebody who doesn’t have a mother, worship that person. That person is your Father.”

16. The teacher said, “People think I’m bringing peace, but they’re wrong. They don’t get that my message is going to cause trouble and fighting: fire, sword, war. There’ll be five in a house: three will fight against two, and two against three, father will fight son and son will fight father, but, mark my words, eventually they’ll all be one.”

17. The teacher said, “You can’t see my gift to you, you can’t hear it, or touch it, or even think about it.”

18. The students asked him, “How will everything end?”

The teacher said, “You don’t even know how everything began and you want to know how it’ll end? The end and the beginning are in the same place. It’s great for you if you’re there at the beginning; if you can do that, you’ll know how things are gonna end, and you won’t die.”

19. The teacher said, “You’re blessed if you existed before you existed. If you listen to me, you can even learn from these rocks. Paradise has five trees that are always green and leafy. If you know what these trees are, you won’t die.”

20. The students asked him, “What’s Paradise like?”

He said, “It’s like a tiny mustard seed that falls on healthy soil and grows big enough to shelter the birds.”

21. Mary asked him, “What’s with your students?”

He said, “You’re like little kids squatting in a field. When the field’s owners find out, they’ll say, ‘You can’t live here– get out of here!’ So the kids strip naked in front of them, and they return their field, their clothes, everything to the owners. It’s like I say, if somebody knows a robber is around, he’ll watch out for the robber and keep him from breaking in to steal his stuff. But you’ve been watching since the beginning of time. You’d better be ready and on guard, so the robbers can’t figure out the best way to get you, because nobody’s going to be able to help you. I hope at least one of you gets what I’m saying. When the fruit ripens, it gets harvested. Anyone here with ears had better listen!”

22. The teacher saw some babies nursing. He said to his students, “These nursing babies remind me of those who get into Paradise.”

The students asked him, “Since we’re like babies, will we get into Paradise?”

He replied, “When you bring things together, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and up like down, and when you stop making distinctions based on gender, when you have eyes instead of an eye, hands instead of a hand, feet instead of a foot, a real thing instead of an image, then you’ll get into Paradise.”

23. The teacher said, “I’ll pick a few of you, one out of a thousand and two out of ten thousand, but those picked are actually all one.”

24. His students said, “Where exactly are you? We’d like to find you.”

He said to them, “Listen up! The light is inside the enlightened person, who enlightens the whole world. If you don’t get enlightened, you’re just in the dark.”

25. The teacher said, “Love your brother like you love yourself, protect him like you protect your own eyes.”

26. The teacher said, “You’re quick to point out the tiny splinter in your friend’s eye, but you can’t see that your eye has a huge log in it. When you take the massive log out of your own eye, then you’ll be able to see well enough to get the splinter out of your friend’s eye.”

27. He said, “If you don’t take a break from reality, you’ll never find Paradise. If you don’t rest on the day of rest, you’ll never get enlightened.”

28. The teacher said, “I stood up in front of everybody, looking just like everybody else. But they were all so trashed, they didn’t want to keep drinking. Humankind really hurts me, because they’re totally oblivious to the most obvious things. They came into the world with nothing, and now they’ll leave with nothing. Of course, that’s because they’re drunk. If they sober up, they’ll feel sorry about their mistakes.”

29. The teacher said, “The idea that flesh came from spirit is pretty crazy, but it’s crazier to say that spirit came from flesh. It’s pretty amazing that something so incredible lives in something so poor.”

30. The teacher said, “The place that has three gods is in god. Where there are two or one, I’m with that one.”

31. The teacher said, “Nobody likes a prophet in his own hometown; no doctor heals his own friends and family.”

32. The teacher said, “They’re building a city on top of a mountain and building a defensive wall around it. There’s no way that city can fall, but it can’t hide, either.”

33. The teacher said, “If you hear something good, yell it from your rooftops. After all, nobody tries to hear using a lamp, and nobody hides a lamp, either. Instead, you put the lamp somewhere on your bedstand where you can use it to see.”

34. The teacher said, “If a blindman leads a blindman, they’ll both fall into a hole.”

35. The teacher said, “You can’t overpower a strong guy without tying him up. But if you tie him up, you could even kick him out of his own house.”

36. The teacher said, “Worrying about clothes and such is pointless. Don’t.”

37. His students said, “When are we going to see what you really are?”

The teacher said, “When you get rid of everything, including your clothes, and you take your stuff and throw it on the ground like little kids and walk all over it, then you’ll be able to look at me without freaking out.”

38. The teacher said, “I’m the only one who can tell you what you always wanted to hear. Some days, though, you won’t be able to find me.”

39. The teacher said, “The priests and lawyers have covered up the truth. They’re keeping themselves and everybody else out of Paradise. But you, you should be as slick as snakes and as docile as doves.”

40. The teacher said, “There’s a grapevine outside of Paradise. If it isn’t strengthened, it’ll be pulled up and destroyed.”

41. The teacher said, “Whoever has it will get more, and whoever doesn’t have it will get everything taken away from them.”

42. The teacher said, “Just walk on by.”

43. His students said to him, “What gives you the right to tell us all this?”

“You don’t get who I am or what I mean. You’re just like the mixed-up Judeans, who love the tree but hate its fruit, or love the fruit but hate the tree.”

44. The teacher said, “Whoever mouths off to the Father will be forgiven, and whoever mouths off to the son will be forgiven, but whoever mouths off to the holy spirit won’t be forgiven, either on earth or in Paradise.”

45. The teacher said, “You don’t get grapes from thorn trees, or figs from thistles. Good people do good with what they have; evil people do and say evil things because of the evil they’ve got all bottled up in their minds. There’s so much evil in their minds that it overflows.”

46. The teacher said, “From Adam to John the Baptist, among all of humankind, nobody is so much greater than John the Baptist that he shouldn’t look away. But hey, I’ve also said that any of you who become little kids will be enlightened and will be even greater than John.”

47. The teacher said, “You can’t mount two horses or bend two bows. And you can’t serve two masters without having to play power games, honoring one so much that the other despises you. Nobody drinks a good vintage wine and immediately wants young wine. Young wine isn’t poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and good wine isn’t poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil. An old patch isn’t sewn onto new clothes, since it would split the clothes.”

48. The teacher said, “If you make peace with one another, you can move a mountain by telling it to move.”

49. The teacher said, “Congratulations to the lonesome chosen ones; you’ll find Paradise. You came from there, and you’ll get to go back.”

50. The teacher said, “If they ask you, ‘Where’d you come from?’ say, ‘We came from the light, where the light created itself, stood to its feet, and its image appeared.’

If they ask you, ‘Are you the light?’ say, ‘We’re its kids, and we’re the Father’s favorites.’

If they ask you for proof, say, ‘The proof is in movement and meditation.'”

51. His students asked him, “When will the dead get to rest, and when exactly do we get into Paradise?”

He answered, “That day’s already come and gone, but you just don’t realize it.”

52. His students said, “Twenty-four prophets predicted you.”

He replied, “Why are you talking about a bunch of dead guys instead of the alive guy who’s right here?”

53. His students asked him, “What’s the deal with circumcision?”

He answered, “Hey, if circumcision was really all that important, we’d be born already clipped. You should worry about the circumcision of the spirit.”

54. The teacher said, “If you’re poor, congratulations! You’ll get into Paradise.”

55. The teacher said, “You can’t be my student if you don’t hate your parents and siblings and won’t struggle along with me.”

56. The teacher said, “If you know what’s up, you know that the world is dead. And if you know that the world’s dead, you’re way better than the world.”

57. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of a farmer with some quality seed. One night his enemy came along and sowed weeds along with the good stuff. The farmer didn’t let his fieldhands get rid of the weeds; he told them ‘If you do that, you might accidentally kill the good plants. When harvest time comes along, you can recognize the weeds and destroy them.’”

58. The teacher said, “If you’re concerned about things, congratulations to you; you know how to live.”

59. The teacher said, “If you don’t look to the Living One while you’re alive, there’s no way you’ll get to see him after you die.”

60. He saw a guy carrying a lamb. He said to his students, “Why is that guy carrying that lamb around?” They said, “He’s going to kill it and eat it.” He said to them, “So he’s not gonna eat it while it’s alive, but only after it’s dead?” They said, “How else could he do it?”
He said to them, “You should learn from that. You’d better meditate, or you’ll turn into corpses and be eaten up.”

61. The teacher said, “Two guys are resting on a bed; one will die, one will live. Why is that?”

Sally said, “Who do you think you are, man? You’re here in my room, eating my food like you belong here.”

The teacher replied, “I’m around because of the one who makes everyone equal. I was given everything that came from my Father.”

“I am your student.”

“See, that’s why I say that you have to be destroyed to fill up with life; if you’re divided, though, you’re still full of darkness.”

62. The teacher said, “I’ll only teach to the worthy. Don’t let your left know what your right is doing.”

63. The teacher said, “There was a really rich guy who said, ‘I’m going to invest everything so that I won’t have any needs later.’ The same night he thought abut that, he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen up!”

64. The teacher said, “A rich guy planned a dinner. When it was all ready, he sent his servant to invite the guests. The servant went to the first and said, ‘Hey, the food’s ready. Come on over.’ The guest replied, ‘I can’t do it– I have some traders coming by to collect some cash. I’ll need to take a rain-check.’ The servant went to the next guest and said, ‘Soup’s on.’ That guest replied, ‘Gee, sorry. I just bought a house and I’ll be away all day looking it over.’ The servant went to a third guest and said, ‘You’re invited to dinner.’ The third one replied, ‘Oh, I’m making dinner at a friend’s wedding. Sorry– I can’t attend.’ The servant went to one last guest. ‘Are you still on for dinner?’ ‘Oh, I can’t! I bought an estate and I have to go collect the taxes on it. I’m sorry– please excuse me.’ The servant returned and said to his master, ‘Not a single one of these people can make it! They all have other business and asked to be excused.’ The master replied, ‘Well, if that’s the case, then go out into the street and invite anyone you find.’ Buyers and traders won’t get into Paradise.”

65. He said, “A fair-minded man owned a vineyard and rented it out to some tenant farmers, so they could work it and he could collect the grapes. When harvest time came around, he sent his servant so the farmers would give him the grapes. They grabbed the servant and beat him up, and almost killed him. The poor servant returned and told his master. His master said, ‘Maybe they didn’t know who the servant was working for.’ He sent another servant, and the farmers beat up that guy, too. So the master decided to send his son, thinking, ‘They have to respect my son, for goodness sake!’ But because the farmers knew that the son was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. If you have ears, you’d better listen up!”

66. The teacher said, “I’ll use the stone that gets thrown away as my cornerstone.”

67. The teacher said, “I don’t care how much you think you know about the All. If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know anything.”

68. The teacher said, “You’re lucky if you’re hated and persecuted, and no place will be found where you’ve been persecuted.”

69. The teacher said, “Congratulations to you if you’ve been persecuted to the core: you’ve definitely known the Father. You’re also lucky if you go hungry, because that helps satisfy the needs of the Father.”

70. The teacher said, “You’ll be saved by bringing out what’s already in you. Of course, if you can’t bring that out, then keeping it inside will kill you.”

71. The teacher said, “I’ll tear this house down, and nobody’ll be able to rebuild it.”

72. A man said to him, “Hey, can’t you get my brothers to divvy up my dead father’s stuff with me?”

He said to the guy, “Man, who says I’m a divider?”

He turned to his students and asked them, “Hey, I’m not a divider, am I?”

73. The teacher said, “The harvest is great, but there aren’t enough workers; pray to the Lord to send more workers.”

74. He said, “Lord, plenty of people are gathering around the fountain, but the well is dry.”

75. The teacher said, “Even though a whole crowd wants to get in, only the solitary people will get into the bridal suite.”

76. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of a salesman who had a consignment but found a great deal on a pearl. That salesman knew what he was doing; he gave back the consignment and bought the single pearl for himself. You should do the same thing, find treasure that doesn’t waste away, that lasts, that won’t get eaten by moths or worms.”

77. The teacher said, “I’m the light that lights up everything. I’m the All: the All came out of me and it split open over me. Break open a piece of wood and you’ll see me there. Lift up a stone, and you’ll find me.”

78. The teacher said, “Why’d you come out to this field? Did you want to look at some reeds being blown around? Did you want to see someone dressed all fancy like your priests and politicians? They have nice, soft clothes, but they don’t have the truth.”

79. A woman in the crowd said to him, “Man, the womb that bore you and the breasts that gave you milk sure were lucky.”

He replied, “The people who listen to the Word are the lucky ones, and they’re the ones who took care of it. Someday you’re gonna say, ‘Man, the barren wombs and empty breasts are the lucky ones.'”

80. The teacher said, “If you know the world, you’ve discovered the body, and if you’ve discovered the body, nothing in the whole world is better than you.”

81. The teacher said, “Hey, if you’re that rich, why don’t you become king? Those in power should step down.”

82. The teacher said, “If you’re close to me, you’re on fire, but if you’re far from me, you won’t ever get into Paradise.”

83. The teacher said, “Sure, you can see images, but the light inside of the images is hidden by the Father’s light. You’ll eventually see him, but his light is so bright that you can’t make out his image.”

84. The teacher said, “You like looking at your own reflection. But when you have to look at the image of your true, eternal self, you won’t like it so much!”

85. The teacher said, “Adam came from a great power and had abundant riches, to be sure, but you’re way better than he was. If he was as good as you, he wouldn’t have died.”

86. The teacher said, “Foxes live in dens and birds live in nests, but humans don’t have any place to rest.”

87. The teacher said, “Depending on your body is pathetic, but it’s more pathetic if your soul depends on your love of your body.”

88. The teacher said, “The angels and the prophets have some things of yours that they’ll return. When they do, give them their stuff that you have and ask them, ‘When are you gonna take your stuff?'”

89. The teacher said, “How come you only wash the outside of the cup? Don’t you get that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?”

90. The teacher said, “Come on over, because I’m a nice guy and a fair leader, and I won’t wear you out– you’ll get to rest.”

91. The students asked him, “Hey, who the heck are you? Convince us.”

He answered, “Sure, you can check out the sky and the earth and say you see me there, but now I’m standing right in front of you and you don’t recognize me?”

92. The teacher said, “Look around and you’ll find it. Man, I didn’t used to tell you anything or answer any of your questions. Now I’m willing to answer them, but you won’t ask.”

93. “Don’t give nice things to dogs, because they’ll get them all dirty. Don’t give pearls to pigs; they’ll be worthless.”

94. The teacher said, “Look around and you’ll find it. If you’re invited in, you’ll get in.”

95. The teacher said, “If you have money, don’t lend it at interest. Instead, you should give it away to people who won’t be able to repay you.”

96 The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of this woman. She took a little yeast, mixed it in some dough, and it made the dough rise into huge loaves of bread. If you have ears, you’d better listen.”

97. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of this woman who was carrying a jar full of meal. While she was walking along, the jar’s handle broke and the meal started spilling behind her along the road. She didn’t even notice it; didn’t she realize there was trouble? When she reached her house, she put the jar down and found out that it was empty.”

98. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of this guy who wanted to kill a powerful man. To practice, he thrust his sword into the wall to make sure he could do it without freaking out. Then he killed the guy.”

99. The students said, “Hey, your family is outside waiting to see you.”

He replied, “My only family are the people work towards Paradise. They’re the ones who’ll find it.”

100. They showed The teacher a coin and said, “The government wants us to pay taxes.”

He said to them, “Give the government what belongs to them, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine.”

101. “To be my student, you have to both hate and love your parents. My mother gave me my body, but my true mother gave me Life.”

102. The teacher said, “Stupid Pharisees! They’re like a dog sleeping in the oxen manger: the dog won’t eat, but he won’t let the oxen eat, either.”

103. The teacher said, “Congratulations if you know where the thieves are going to break in. You can get ready to defend yourself and rally your friends to help before the thieves get there.”

104. They said to the teacher, “Today we should pray and fast.”

The teacher said, “Why? Did I do something wrong? Man, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then you can fast and pray all you want.”

105. The teacher said, “If you know the father and mother, you’ll be called a son of a bitch.”

106. The teacher said, “When you can make two into one, you’ll become children of Man, and when you tell a mountain to move, it will.”

107. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. The biggest sheep took off and got lost. The shepherd left the rest of them and went to find that lost one. He was really worried about the sheep, so when he found it, he said, ‘I love you better than all of the rest.’”

108. The teacher said, “If you drink from my mouth, you’ll be along my Way; I’ll become that person, and reveal all kinds of secrets to him.”

109. The teacher said, “Paradise reminds me of this guy who didn’t know that he had some buried treasure in his yard. When he died, he left the yard to his son, who didn’t know about it either, and sold the yard to someone. The buyer was doing some yard work, found the treasure, and started lending it at interest to his friends and family.”

110. The teacher said, “If you’ve found the world and gotten rich, you should give it all up.”

111. The teacher said, “The sky and the earth are gonna roll up right in front of you, and if you’re alive, you’ll never die.”

Doesn’t the teacher say, “If you’ve found yourself, the world doesn’t deserve you”?

112. The teacher said, “It’s bad news if your body depends on your soul. It’s worse if your soul depends on your body.”

113. His students asked him, “When is Paradise gonna get here?”

He replied, “You can’t just get it to come by watching out for it. You can’t say, ‘Hey, it’s over here!’ or ‘Hey, it’s over there!’ Instead, Paradise is already starting to spread out all around us, but nobody even notices it.”
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An illustrated edition of this text is available for purchase on Lulu.com.

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