One question is whether Thomas' inclusion of hands brings out meanings that
would not otherwise be apparent. If so then perhaps the 'hands' belong to
the original strata and have been removed in the gospels rather than added
The quotes of logion 41 show how 'something in his hand' is present in
Thomas and not in the gospel version -
> Luke 19, 26 ... "'I tell you, that to every one who has will more be
> given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
> Thomas # 41 ... "Jesus said, "Whoever has something IN HIS HAND will
> receive more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the
> little he has."
What is the 'something in his hand'? A meaning is suggested by Thomas'
version of the sower parable -
(9) Jesus said: Behold, the sower went forth, he filled his hand, he cast.
Some fell upon the road; the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on
the rock, and sent no root down to the earth nor did they sprout any ear up
to heaven. And others fell on the thorns; they choked the seed, and the worm
ate them. And others fell on the good earth, and brought forth good fruit
unto heaven, some sixty -fold and some an hundred and twenty -fold.
Perhaps the 'something in his hand' is grain seed! One who starts with seed
ends up with far more grain through the process of growth and harvest. And
in the parable of the sower the harvest is superabundant. But one who has
no seed to start with cannot benefit from the harvest and so will be
deprived of that little he has.
This interpretation also brings 41 into the constellation of sayings and
parables that relate to grain and bread. From the grain bread is made and
the bread is Christ himself. In (97) we have a parable representing the
loss of the kingdom of heaven by the metaphor of a woman losing meal from a
We would have been unlikely to have seen any connection between Luke 19,26
and the parable of the sower but for Thomas' inclusion of hands. Yet there
is a connection at least to the extent that both involve starting with
something and ending up with more. In both cases that more may be the
kingdom of heaven.
> Coincidence ??? ... What is it with Thomas and "hands"? ... Anyone ...
> Maurice Cormier