The Parables of Jesus: A Commentary

By Arland J. Hultgren | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10

Parables in the Gospel of Thomas

The Coptic Gospel of Thomas contains fourteen units that can clearly be classified as parables. 1. Ten of them have parallels in the Synoptic Gospels. Four are distinctive to the Gospel of Thomas, having no parallels. The data are as follows:

Thomas Parables with Synoptic Parallels

The Sower, Thomas 9//Mark 4:3-8//Matthew 13:3-8//Luke 8:5-8

The Mustard Seed, Thomas 20//Mark 4:30-32//Matthew 13:31-32//Luke 13:18-19

The Weeds in the Wheat, Thomas 57//Matthew 13:24-30

The Rich Fool, Thomas 63//Luke 12:16-21

The Great Banquet, Thomas 64//Luke 14:16-24; cf. Matthew 22:1-10 (the Wedding Feast)

The Wicked Tenants, Thomas 65//Mark 12:1-12//Matthew 21:33-46// Luke 20:9-19

The Pearl of Great Price, Thomas 76//Matthew 13:45-46

The Leaven, Thomas 96//Matthew 13:33//Luke 13:20-21

The Lost Sheep, Thomas 107//Matthew 18:12-14//Luke 15:4-7

The Treasure in the Field, Thomas 109//Matthew 13:44

____________________
1.
The number of parables in the Gospel of Thomas differs widely among scholars, depending on what is classified as such. On the one hand, for example, G. Jones, Art and Truth of the Parables, 230, says that "about 30" logia can be considered parables; on the other, C. Blomberg, "Tradition and Redaction in the Parables of the Gospel of Thomas," 177, counts 13, as does B. Scott, Parable, 33, who omits the Parable of the Disciples as Little Children (Gos. Thom. 21). R. McL. Wilson, Studies in the Gospel of Thomas, 89-90, enumerates the 14 listed above as parables in the Gospel of Thomas Cf. also B. Gärtner, Theology of the Gospel according to Thomas, 18.

-430-

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