First page of "Gospel of Thomas" coptic manuscript. (Photo Courtesy of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University)

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(Above image of the Gospel of Thomas courtesy of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate University)

 


The Gnostic Society Library

The Nag Hammadi Library

The Prayer of Thanksgiving


Translated by James Brashler, Peter A. Dirkse and Douglas M. Parrott


This the prayer that they spoke:

"We give thanks to You! Every soul and heart is lifted up to You, undisturbed name, honored with the name 'God' and praised with the name 'Father', for to everyone and everything (comes) the fatherly kindness and affection and love, and any teaching there may be that is sweet and plain, giving us mind, speech, (and) knowledge: mind, so that we may understand You, speech, so that we may expound You, knowledge, so that we may know You. We rejoice, having been illuminated by Your knowledge. We rejoice because You have shown us Yourself. We rejoice because while we were in (the) body, You have made us divine through Your knowledge.

"The thanksgiving of the man who attains to You is one thing: that we know You. We have known You, intellectual light. Life of life, we have known You. Womb of every creature, we have known You. Womb pregnant with the nature of the Father, we have known You. Eternal permanence of the begetting Father, thus have we worshiped Your goodness. There is one petition that we ask: we would be preserved in knowledge. And there is one protection that we desire: that we not stumble in this kind of life."

When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.

Scribal Note

I have copied this one discourse of his. Indeed, very many have come to me. I have not copied them because I thought that they had come to you (pl.). Also, I hesitate to copy these for you because, perhaps they have (already) come to you, and the matter may burden you. Since the discourses of that one, which have come to me, are numerous ...

 

Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.

 

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