First of all, it’s worth saying that sometimes proposed similarities between the Gospel of Thomas (GTh) and the Bible are actually, in fact, not very similar. For example, I have seen the suggestion that there is a parallel between GTh 2 and 1 Corinthians 1:2:

GTh 2 1 Cor. 1:3
Jesus said, “Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.” Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The parallel was suggested between the word trouble in GTh 2 and the word peace in 1 Cor. 1:2.

Similarly, I’ve seen it suggested that there is a parallel between GTh 8 and 1 Cor. 1:13-16:

GTh 8 1 Cor. 1:13-16
And he said, “The man is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of small fish. Among them the wise fisherman found a fine large fish. He threw all the small fish back into the sea and chose the large fish without difficulty. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? {14} I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, {15} so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. {16} (I did baptize also the household of Stephanas. Beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized anyone else.)

The proposed parallel is between the phrase drew it up from the sea in GTh 8 and the word baptised in 1 Cor. 1. These types of parallels are, in my opinion, not very convincing. When it comes specifically to connections between the GTh and 1 Corinthians, I’m not sure I know of more than one actual parallel (see below).

Some parallels between the GTh and the Bible are more exact, however. See the following example:

GTh 17 1 Cor. 2:9
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.” But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

The reason for these similarities is because the GTh is copying from the Bible. We know this is the case (as opposed to the Bible copying from the GTh) because the GTh was composed over a period of time starting in the second century, after the completion of books now known as the New Testament (for more on this, see ‘Should the Gospel of Thomas be included in the Bible?‘).

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5 Responses to Why do you think there are so many similarities and connections between the Gospel of Thomas and 1 Corinthians?

  1. Dean says:

    You are quoting from the site at

    This seems to be is a complete side by side comparison of both texts. In most cases these are not direct parallels like you said, but do appear to be extensive and entirely sequential similarities in thought, word, and rhetoric, throughout both the gospel and letter.

    Are you suggesting that the author had and used 1 Corinthians, and perhaps Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the creation of the Gospel of Thomas? This would be interesting.

  2. Dean says:

    I am still not convinced that Thomas was written subsequent to 1 Corinthians.

    Don’t you think it would be difficult to create a list of sayings from Jesus’ teachings in Matthew, Mark and Luke etc. that sequentially followed 1 Corinthians in thought word and Rhetoric? I think this would be difficult.

    Granted, it might be possible.

    However, how much more difficult do you think this would become, if one tried to create Thomas from the Rhetoric of 1 Corinthians, and also at the same time maintain the loose chiastic structures in Thomas suggested by the related sites And

    It almost seems easier to believe that Paul was working from The Gospel of Thomas, and not the other way around?

    Otherwise, are we suggesting that the Thomas author was able to create the complex Thomas chiastic structures, while simultaneously building sequentially on the Corinthians Rhetoric, while simultaneously using the quotes of Jesus from the Gospels. If this is even possible Thomas is an even more incredible and complex document than anyone has ever previously suggested!

    What do you think?

  3. Dean says:

    The connection between The Gospel of Thomas and 1 Corinthians has already been discussed.

    Similar connections in thought word and rhetoric can also
    be viewed online between The Gospel of Thomas and Galatians.

  4. Dean says:

    It’s almost like Jesus and the apostles left us a cross reference study bible.

    There are convincing sequential similarities in thought, word, and rhetoric between The Gospel of Thomas and several canonical writings.

    Evidence is mounting. It is becoming more difficult to think that Thomas is a later document build from all these different documents. Examining The Key Word Connections might provide insight into Jesus and the writings of the Apostles.

    Here is the lastest finding.
    View the Gospel of Thomas – James Connection

  5. Dean Johnson says:

    So many New Testament writings are being found that align with the Gospel of Thomas.

    This is amazing.

    Check it out. Discover and meditate on the the deeper meaning behind the writings of the apostles.

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