Evidence of the Relationship between 1 Corinthians and The Gospel of Thomas

This Page Compares Thomas 17 to 1 Corinthians 2:9.

It then examines the logia in the Thomas chiasms that correspond to Thomas 17, and in like manner it also examines the verses in the 1 Corinthians chiasms that corresponds to 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Then the similarities between the Chiasmic structures of both the Thomas and the 1 Corinthian passages are revealed. These similarities may suggest a relationship and/or interdependency between Thomas and 1 Corinthians. Color coding is often used to emphasize reoccurring themes.



The Similar Sayings found in Both Paul and The Gospel of Thomas

The Living Jesus Gives  to the Eye, Ear, and Mind what God has Prepared:

Paul declares, "As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Corinthians 2:9

This quote is not an original Pauline thought. It is from an established authority. This is emphasized by Paul's phrase, "As it is written." Is Paul quoting Isaiah 64:4, an unknown source, or is Paul quoting Jesus from the Gospel of Thomas?

Isaiah proclaims, "Since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him," Isaiah 64:4.

Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind," Thomas 17.

Paul appears to be drawing on the phraseology found in both Isaiah and Thomas. The following chart illustrates this.


Isaiah 64:4

Jesus: Thomas 17

Paul : 1 Corinthians 2:9


Since the beginning of the world

men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear,

neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee,



(Isaiah has the eye and ear phrases appearing in reverse order to both Thomas and Paul which are both consistent with each other in this respect) 



(The reference to the human mind or heart is left out by Isaiah - This may suggest that Paul may also have been referencing Thomas in his creation of 1 Corinthians)





what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him



I shall give you

what no eye has seen and


what no ear has heard and




what no hand has touched and



what has never occurred to the human mind




The word "prepared" is left out of the Gospel of Thomas consistent with its emphasis on realized eschatology.

As it is written,

Eye hath not seen,


nor ear heard,


(The reference to hand touching is unique to Thomas, and is left out by both Paul and Isaiah. This is significant as both the entended hand and giving is an important image in Thomas, and also seen later in the Corinthians Chiasms 2:12, 14, and 14:1,8,14,17) 


neither have entered into the heart of man,




the things which God hath prepared for them that love him


Paul's use of the word order consistent with Thomas rather than the word order of Isaiah, and his use of the phraseologies unique to Thomas and left out by Isaiah may suggest that Thomas was written prior to the creation of 1 Corinthians. It may be worth considering whether Thomas was used in the construction of 1 Corinthians.

By viewing and comparing the Chiastic structures in both books the possibilities are considered.




Taken from both the Male and Female Chiasms in Thomas


(Thomas 17) Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind." 


Give you

(Thomas 95) Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back." 


Give it




Taken From 1 Corinthians Chiastic Structures

The First Secondary Chiasm: 1 Corinthians 1.1-3.11a x 3.11b-6.12
 
http://www.newtestamentresearch.com/NTResearch-Mk2/1_corinthians_chiastic_structures.htm




2.6-9

God's Wisdom in a mystery ... things God prepared for those that love him.
 
4.8a

 

You are filled, rich and reign



2:6.  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:



We speak wisdom


           
7.  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

            
8.  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.


9.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.



The princes


The Wisdom of God... things God prepared for those that love him.

 

4:7.  For who maketh thee to differ [from another]? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive [it], why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received [it]?


[Thou] received [it]
          


8.  Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you.









Ye have reigned


Ye are full,...

Ye are rich
 




Combining and Comparing the Corresponding Verses of the
The Gospel of Thomas Chiasm to the 1 Corinthians Chiasm



The Gospel of Thomas


1 Corinthians

Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind," Thomas 17.


No eye has seen and what no ear has heard

What has never occurred to the human mind


"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Corinthians 2:9


Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard

Neither have entered into the heart of man

Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back,." Thomas 95.


If you have money
(C.f. Roman 11:33)





Give it


Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you," 1 Corinthians 4:8.


Now ye are rich


For who maketh thee to differ [from another]? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive [it], why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received [it]?  1 Corinthians
4:7.  



Thou didst receive [it]
(i.e. God's Wisdom - 1 Corinthians 2:7 )




The Message Behind the Chiasms of Both Texts Agree

Paul's quote of Jesus, taken from the Gospel of Thomas, speaks of the hidden Wisdom (or Sophia) of God revealed in the mystery, prepared for those who have waited and love him. And so, now ye are full. The Chiasms of both texts taken together suggest that though ye are rich, and though ye have reigned, it is still the gift of God. And so, in like manner, it must be given to those who can not give back.

The next section considers how this can be accomplished:
The giving and receiving of the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding
through the gifts of the Spirit and the assembling of the church.

(1 Corinthians 2:12, 14, and 14:1,8,14,17, with Thomas 17, 95, and 18, 94. C.f. Ephesians 3:10)



A Second Chiasm in Corinthians Referencing Paul's Quote of Jesus
 

The Bridal Chamber alignments containing the Thomas 17 saying are now considered. They are then compared with the corresponding primary chiasmic verses in 1 Corinthians. Together these structures reveal that it is through the church, the unified corporate body of Christ, that the Wisdom of God is revealed. It is through the church that Jesus
gives "what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind,"



Taken from both the Bridal Chamber Chiasmic Alignments in Thomas



Sayings 17 / 95

The Down Movement on the 17 / 95 Alignment.

[10]




(17) Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind."


Give you



(18) The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be."
Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."

Have you discovered 


He who will take his place






(94) Jesus said, "He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in."











Seeks will find


He who knocks will be let in





(95) Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back."




Give it

17, 95 above connects with 17, 95 below.


The Up Movement on the 17 / 95 Alignment.

[11]



(17) Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind."



Give you


(16) Jesus said, "Men think, perhaps, that it is peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary."

They do not know...it


Fire upon earth




(96) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman. She took a little leaven, concealed it in some dough, and made it into large loaves. Let him who has ears hear."









Concealed it


(Cooked) dough... loaves



(95) Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back."





Give it




The Living Jesus gives to the church through the gifts of the Spirit operating in the church.
See a Revelation. Hear a word of Prophecy. Hands giving gifts.
Understand the mysteries given to the heart and the mind.
Jesus speaks Wisdom.



Taken From 1 Corinthians – Chiastic Structures

http://www.newtestamentresearch.com/NTResearch-Mk2/1_corinthians_chiastic_structures.htm

THE PRIMARY CHIASM
(1.1-8.6a reversed in 8.6b-16.24)

          

1 Corinthians 2.6-16 x 13.12-14.40 (Speaking God's up-building wisdom among the mature x Prophecy, the Preaching of Prophets, is the true Power that builds up the Church; tongues do not)

2.6-8

2:6: wisdom of rulers [archontes - "order- makers"] of this age doomed to pass away
8: Archontes crucified Lord of Glory
   ["glory" // "image" - sign of order]

14.31-40

40: decently and in order


31: God of peace [= good order], all
      churches, saints [= renewed creation]
  .10-16 10: God revealed to us through Spirit
11: spirit of man knows man and

      Spirit of God knows God
12: we might know
16: know mind of Christ;
      we have mind of Christ.
13.12-14.30





13.12
16-30: a revelation
24 f.: unbeliever / outsider convicted by all,
         called to account by all; worship God
         and declare God is among you.
20: mature in thinking
1-2: utter mysteries in Spirit
I shall understand fully.

Relevant Passage in Full



2:6.  Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:

    
7.  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

            
8.  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known [it], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

   

      


9.  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


10.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:




for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.


11.  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

12.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14.  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15.  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16.  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Relevant Passage in Full


1 Corinthians 13

[12] For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
[13] And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 14

[1] Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
[2] For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
[3] But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
[4] He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
[5] I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
[6] Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
[7] And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
[8] For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
[9] So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
[10] There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
[11] Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
[12] Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
[13] Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
[14] For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
[15] What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
[16] Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
[17] For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
[18] I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
[19] Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
[20] Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
[21] In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
[22] Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
[23] If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
[24] But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
[25] And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
[26] How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
[27] If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
[28] But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
[29] Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.


[
30] If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.


[
31] For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
[32] And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
[33] For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
[34] Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
[35] And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
[36] What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
[37] If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
[38] But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
[39] Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
[40] Let all things be done decently and in order.




Combining and Comparing The Corresponding Ideas of the The Gospel of Thomas Bridal Chamber Chiasm to the 1 Corinthians Primary Chiasm





The Gospel of Thomas

(From the above Bridal chamber chiasm)

1 Corinthians

(From the above Primary Chiasm)

Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind," Thomas 17.


No eye has seen and what no ear has heard

What has never occurred to the human mind


"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," 1 Corinthians 2:9


Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard

Neither have entered into the heart of man

Jesus said, "If you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not 
get it back,." Thomas 95.


Give it (money)







Get it back


 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified, 1 Corinthians 14:17 (see also 14:7-8).


Givest thanks




Greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying,  1 Corinthians 14:5 (see also 14: 3-5, 11, 17, 27).


Receive edifying



(18) The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be." Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end be. Blessed is he who will take his place in the beginning; he will know the end and will not experience death."


Have you discovered 



If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace, 1 Corinthians 14:30, (see also 14:6, 26.





Be revealed
to another

(94) Jesus said, "He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let in."


Seeks will find


Follow after charity, and desire (seek) spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy, 1 Corinthians 14:1.


seek spiritual gifts


(16) Jesus said, "Men think, perhaps, that it is
peace which I have come to cast upon the world. They do not know that it is dissension which I have come to cast upon the earth: fire, sword, and war. For there will be five in a house: three will be against two, and two against three, the father against the son, and the son against the father. And they will stand solitary."

Cast... peace








They do not know... it




For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints, 1 Corinthians 14:33.




Author... peace


Be not children in understanding: ...  all that will they not hear me,...  to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe... If therefore...  there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?  1 Corinthians 14:20-23.

Those that are unlearned




(96) Jesus said, "The kingdom of the father is like a certain woman. She took a little leaven, concealed it in some dough, and made it into large loaves. Let him who has ears hear."

A certain woman...
Concealed it












Concealed


Ears hear







We speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world,...
 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [even] the hidden [wisdom], 1 Corinthians 2:6-7.

The wisdom (Sophia) of God,...
The hidden wisdom



Be not children in understanding:...  but in understanding be men.  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.... If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 14:21-22, 30.


Revealed

Hear me


(See also: Hear; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, Leaven; Matthew 13:33, 1 Corinthians 5:7-8)



This page has considered common themes relating to Thomas 17 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. The female, male, and bridle chamber chiasms from Thomas 17 and the primary and first secondary chiasms from 1 Corinthians have also been examined for commonalities.

The giving and receiving of the wealth of wisdom and revelation to bring understanding to the heart and mind is a reoccurring theme. Seeing and hearing spiritually, and passing along the gifts that are given is the primary message. 

The emphasis upon seeking and discovering that which is concealed and unknown is seen repeatedly within both the corresponding bridal chamber chiasms of Thomas and also within the corresponding verses of the primary chiasm in 1 Corinthians. This may suggest a common source or perhaps dependency of the one upon the other.

The repeated reoccurance of these common themes and key words may suggest that Paul used The Gospel of Thomas in the creation of the 1 Corinthians.

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