saying-31; therapeutic teachings.



if you want to experience what he meant

saying- 31; therapeutic teachings.


(latest update: 25-11-2018)


Jesus says,

No prophet is accepted in his own village;

no physician heals those who know him.


a Pap. Oxyrh. text is similar.





Proximity detracts from authority.

Especially people who knew Jesus personally were the ones most opposed to his

outlandish teachings. In comments on saying-16, referring to the gospel of Mark, we already

mentioned the intentions of his own family to try and silence him, because they thought he

was out of his mind. Maybe this lament followed that particular event.

Hedrick (2010) states that both statements reflect disappointment of the living Jesus over

how the people around him reacted to his teachings.

As opposed to the canonical gospels Thomas does not suggest a major interest by large

crowds of people in Jesus' teachings, on the contrary. Thomas reports various

sayings as a lament by Jesus just because so few were actually interested in his message,

whereas those who were, misunderstood him.


The fact that Jesus mentioned the word prophet does not necessarily mean that he

saw himself as one in line with the prophets of the Hebrew tradition. He rather may have used

a similarity between himself and a situation his hearers all were familiar with:

a teacher of old to whom no one listens. He may also have suggested

that he, just as the prophets of the tradition while trying to deliver a supreme message,

and just as they did, speaking on behalf of the oppressed and destitute, was not accepted.

The second sentence of the saying may suggest his message to be something

beneficial to their health - likely their spiritual health. Vermes (2004) explains that in Judaism

in Jesus' times there was the idea of sin, Satan as the cause of sin, and sickness as the

consequence of sin, whereas these three were closely wind up with each other. This explains

why forgiveness of sin, casting out evil spirits, and healing came under the same heading.

Vermes explains further that it were the charismatic holy men, rather than the priests, scholars

or rabbi who counted these activities to their domain. As we may assume that Jesus denounced

the religious "logic" of Hebrew faith, he did not cast out the devil, but resisted the whole idea

about such agent; he did not forgive sins, but considered sins already forgiven as he opposed

the whole idea of sin; he was not a miraculous healer, but considered man healed already as he

denounced the idea of sickness as a consequence of sin. However, he cared about and cared for

the sick out of great compassion for them. That Jesus seriously questioned a causal

relationship between sin and suffering can also be seen in Luke 13:2, where he says:

do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because

they suffered thus? I tell you, No. Or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and

killed them, do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who dwelt in Jerusalem?

I tell you, No.

The Buddha was also a teacher who saw himself as someone aiming at easing the pain

of existence. Buddhism is seen by some as just a therapeutic approach to the

sufferings of life, rather than as a religion. Just as Buddhism, Thomas lacks the idea of sin.



Also in:

Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24; John 4:44; but all three gospels mention

“in his own country”, whereas Thomas mentions “in his own village” or literally, “homeland” which signifies not a country but the place where one lives (Crossan, 1983). Obviously, the gospel writers saw Jesus’ message as something of national importance, whereas Thomas restricted it to one’ direct environment, and is, therefore, more original.