Document Type


Publication Date



"In a note published in Harvard Theological Review in 1995, Gregory J. Riley suggests a new reading for a damaged portion of Gospel of Thomas 37...Riley questions the translation of the portion of the saying in Nag Hammadi Codex II, p. 39, at the end of line 34 (the last line), where the papyrus is damaged, and proposes that the reading "the[n yo]u [w]ill come" is preferable to "then [you] will see." The proposed reading, if adopted, would significantly change the traditional interpretation of this saying, which has been understood to refer to enlightenment that comes from ritual participation in baptism or unction..Here I argue that Riley is mistaken in his interpretation of the evidence of the Coptic text, and that the reading that refers to seeing the child of the living one remains the more likely one. I base my argument on my own examination of the relevant photographs and the Coptic manuscript, as well as my assessment of the ink traces and the space available on the manuscript."


This article was originally published in Harvard Theological Review, volume 91, issue 4, in 1998. DOI: 10.1017/S0017816000016321

Peer Reviewed



Harvard Divinity School