v.1 Mary said to Jesus,

     “Whom are your disciples like?”
v.2 He said,
“They are like children

      who have settled in a field which is not theirs.
v.3 When the owners of the field come,

      they will say, ‘Let us have back our field.’
v.4 They will undress in their presence

      in order to let them have back their field,

      and to give it back to them.
v.5 Therefore I say,

      if the owner of a house

      knows that the thief is coming,

      he will begin his vigil before he comes

      and will not let him dig through into his house

      of his domain to carry away his goods.
v.6 You (pl.), then, be on your guard against the world.
v.7 Arm yourselves with great strength

      lest the robbers find a way to come to you,

      for the difficulty which you expect will (surely)

v.8 Let there be among you a man of understanding.
v.9 When the grain ripened, he came quickly

      with his sickle in his hand and reaped it.

v.10 Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”

translation by Lambdin

division into verses ala “The Jesus Seminar”


Verses 1-4 seem to be part of a lost parable,

possibly a more original version of

“The Wicked Tenants”, Saying (65).
This new parable would go something like this:

Some young children (the Gnostics) settle in a field

(a vineyard?)  which is not their own (this world).

The owner of the field (Yaldabaoth) sends representatives (archons) to collect his due.
These collection agents attempt to seize the children, but they are only able to take what already belongs to them, the empty shells of body and soul, which the children leave behind.  They cannot harm the children’s eternal Spirits.

In this Gnostic parable, rather than identifying

“the owner” as God, and the owner’s “son” with Jesus, as in the traditional interpretation of

“The Wicked Tenants”, we would identify the squatters as the Gnostics and the owners of the

field as Yaldabaoth and his archons.

Within this context, Yaldabaoth also corresponds

to the “thief” (verse 5) and “robber” (verse 7)

trying to overpower the unarmed weakling.


Yaldabaoth could also be “The Grim Reaper”(verse 9) trying to steal some unfortunate’s soul who was caught unprepared.