http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GospelofThomas/

The following document is considered public domain and is free to distribute with blessings by the author. His only stipulation is, if you use it commercially please donate money profits to charity.

 

 

Please note the author confuses the Ginza Rba with the canonical Prayer book of the Mandaeans (Qlasta)

 

The author of this text is Rick Van Vliet

 

 

Seek & You Will Find Mandaean Parallels to Thomas

Introduction

The term “Seek and You Will Find” is central to the Mandaean
followers of John the Baptist, and their most important book, the
Ginza Rba, (the author cites Qlasta not the Ginza, in his error) mentions it repeatedly. If you go to a Mandaean Website,
it’s likely to be on the first page prominently. It’s also in the
Gospel of Thomas, and to a lesser extent, the Christian Gospels and
other misc. places. They are all related, and this gives us evidence
on how they are related.

There are several related pairs, often found alongside the Seek and
You will Find pair, that are also found in most of the above. For
those able to see this in color, they are color coded throughout so
they can be spotted in context at a glance, which is part of the
design.

The Five Seek and Find Related Pairs

• Seek and you will find.

• Find and you will reign/rest

• Speak and you will be heard.

• Ask and you will receive.

• Knock and you will enter.

Mandaean Qulasta (here the author incorrectly cites the Ginza Rba, instead of Qulasta, a common error that could be corrected if the aurthor had bothered to do his research fully)

The Mandaeans have 4 of the 5 pairs, leaving out “Find and you will
reign/rest” It has “Knock and you will enter” only once, and that one
is paralleled in Thomas, Matthew and Luke.

30 And they shall say “Seek and find, speak and be heard!” and kiss
their hands.

33 “Is there (not?) room for us in the Place of Light? For those that
seek (ask) of it find, and those who speak of it are heard”.

35 I sought to lift my eyes, shoulders and arms towards the Place
which is all life, radiance and glory, the place where which is all
life, radiance, light and glory; a place where they who seek of it
find, those who speak of it are heard and to those who ask of it, it
is given them, day by day and hour by hour.

35 The first (generations) sought and found: let those that come
after seek, and they will find. Seek and find for yourselves, for
your friends, for your friends’ friends and for those who love the
great Family of Life.

35 Those who seek of Him find, and to those who ask of Him it will be
given. For to him that standeth at a closed door Thou wilt open the
closed door.

35 “Is there no place for me in the Place of Light, since those who
seek therefrom find, and ask thereof and it is given them?”

41 It praiseth and speaketh, “Every Nasoraean who reciteth these
secret sayings will seek and find, will speak and be heard seven
times daily. And seven sins will be forgiven him in the great Place
of Light and Eternal Abode.”

We will seek and find, speak and be heard. We have sought and found,
have spoken and been heard in thy presence

And those who seek from Him shall find, and to those who ask of Him
It will be given.

my chosen, ye sought and ye found,
moreover ye shall seek and ye shall find.
ye sought and found, my chosen ones,
as the first (souls?) sought and found.

He will seek but will not find,
And ask, but nought will be given him,
Because he had in his hand and gave not,
He will search there in his bosom and will find nothing.”

Etc. etc. etc.

Gospel of Thomas

Thomas has “Seek and you will Find” three times, while the Synoptics
only have it once each. An indication it’s closer to the Mandaean
original idea…

P.Oxy. 654.5-9:
[Jesus said,] “Let the one seek[ing] not stop [seeking until] he
finds. And when he finds he will marvel, and marveling he will reign,
and reigning he will rest.

Thomas 2
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.”

Thomas 92
Jesus said, “Seek and you will find. Yet, what you asked me about in
former times and which I did not tell you then, now I do desire to
tell, but you do not inquire after it.”

Thomas 94
Jesus said, “He who seeks will find, and he who knocks will be let
in.”

Synoptics

…But the Synoptics match that one common with all, “Seek and
Find/Knock and Enter” saying of the Mandaeans better, because it also
has the Ask and Receive part.

Matthew 7: 7-8
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock,
and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he
who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Luke 11:9-10
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you
will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who
asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it
will be opened.

Mark 11:24
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask,
believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.

Matthew 21:22
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

Gospel of the Hebrews

This particular reference to the Gospel of the Hebrews is clearly
talking about Thomas. It has the same reigning and resting attached
to it.

Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis i. 9. 45).
Even (or also, in the Gospel according to the Hebrews is written the
saying, ‘he that wondereth shall reign, and he that reigneth shall
rest’.

id. (Strom.) v.14.96.
For those words have the same force as these: He shall not cease from
seeking until he find, and having found, he will be amazed, and
having been amazed will reign, and having reigned will rest.

Dialog of the Savior (9-12, 20, 79-80 …)

And traces of it are in the Dialog of the Savior. No doubt from the
same common source, but more distorted.

His disciples said, “Lord, who is it who seeks, and […] reveals?”
The Lord said to them, “He who seeks […] reveals […].”
Matthew said, “Lord, when I […] and when I speak, who is it who
[…] and who listens?”
The Lord said, “It is the one who speaks who also listens, and it is
the one who can see who also reveals.”

[…] what you seek after […] inquire after […] within you […]

I say to you, let him who possesses power renounce it and repent. And
let him who […] seek and find and rejoice.”

But when you see the Eternal Existent, that is the great vision.”
They all said to him, “Tell us about it!”
He said to them, “How do you wish to see it? By means of a transient
vision or an eternal vision?” He went on and said, “Strive to save
that which can follow you, and to seek it out, and to speak from
within it, so that, as you seek it out, everything might be in
harmony with you.

The Gospel of John

John, the anti-Thomas only has the one missing from Thomas, the greed
one, “Ask and Receive”.

John 14:13-14
Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may
be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do
it.

John 15:7
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish,
and it will be done for you.

John 15:16
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you
would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that
whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

John 16:23-24,26
In that day you will not question Me about anything Truly, truly, I
say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will
give it to you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask
and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full…In that day
you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request
of the Father on your behalf;

Summary & Conclusions

One of, if not the most common/important phrases in the Mandaean
(followers of John the Baptist) religion, “Seen and you will Find” is
found in the sayings of Jesus. Not surprising, since at one time,
Jesus was one of them.

It is found several forms in Thomas, but only one in the Synoptics,
which is expected, since Thomas is far closer to the original than
anything else. One more case of close parallels between Thomas and
the Mandaeans.

But, that one phrase all have in common, the “Knock and Enter” one is
different in Thomas, the Ask and Receive part is missing. That could
be because it was edited out somewhere down the line. We can tell
from the Greek/Coptic versions that it happened. Who knows why,
perhaps because Thomas repeatedly saying you shouldn’t pray, which is
like asking. It’s also possible late Mandaeans altered it to match
the Christians they were well familiar with, but since it’s also
found in several other places not paralleled by the Christians, it’s
unlikely.

So, we have one more confirmation, that there really was a Jesus, who
really was a follower, at least to some extent, of someone named John
the Baptist, and that there is genuine information about Jesus in the
Synoptic Gospels, and the Gospel of Thomas. Some of the words of the
historical Jesus, in this case, the ideas of John, survive.

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