More Sayings of Jesus

In a recent issue of the Sentinel brief mention was made of the excavation of ancient papyri by Doctors Grenfell and Hunt who have been prosecuting such work in Egypt for a number of years. We have been requested to give fuller information on the subject, and therefore publish below the text of the news item as it appeared in the Boston Transcript.

Many hitherto unknown sayings of Jesus Christ have been discovered in Egypt by archæologists who have dug up papyri, buried since the second century, one hundred miles south of Cairo. Dr. Bernard P. Grenfell, who has been engaged in Egyptian excavations since 1894, at the general meeting of the Egypt Exploration Fund here, gave the following details: Accompanied by Dr. Hunt, Dr. Grenfell found a rich Ptolemaic necropolis at El-Khibeh. The bulk of the documents from one mound consisted of a collection of sayings of Jesus. They are all introduced with the words, "Jesus saith," and for the most part are new. The ends of the lines, unfortunately, are often obliterated. Apparently, all the sayings were addressed to St. Thomas. One of the most remarkable is, "Let not him that seeketh cease from his search until he find, and when he finds he shall wonder; wondering, he shall reach the kingdom; i.e., the kingdom of heaven, and when he reaches the kingdom he shall have rest."

Dr. Grenfell remarked that enormous interest would be aroused by the discoveries, on account of the variations they disclosed from accepted texts. One variant of the mystical saying, recorded in St. Luke, "the kingdom of God is within you," was of great value, as the saying in the papyrus appeared in quite different surroundings from those attributed to it by the evangelist, and extended far into another region. According to Dr. Grenfell, these sayings formed the new Gospel which is traditionally associated with St. Thomas. An interesting variation of the Gospel according to St. Luke, eleventh chapter and fifty-second verse ("woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered"), reads in the papyrus: "Ye have hidden the key of knowledge; ye entered not yourselves, and to them that were entering in ye did not open."

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What the Editors Say
January 16, 1904

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