032 Commentary

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This page forms part of the resources for 032 Hidden Made Manifest in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 032 Literature | 032 Parallels | 032 Commentary | 032 Poetry | 032 Images


John Dominic Crossan

Crossan relates this saying to the cluster of material on the theme of "The Message of an Open Secret" [Historical Jesus] (348ff):

Related clusters, although less likely to come from Jesus in Crossan's view, are:

He proposes that:

Jesus' serene assertion of open and unmediated access to God has been developed and interpreted as a secret and eternally hidden wisdom now revealed to the simple and the humble.

The same process is identified in 032 Hidden Made Manifest

It could be

read apocalyptically, as in Mark 4:22, to indicate that what is hidden now will be made manifest at an imminent future consummation. It could be read sapientially, as in Gospel of Thomas 5:2 and 6:4, to indicate that what has been hidden since creation is revealed at the present time. It could also be taken commensensically, as with Jesus and maybe even in Q/Luke 12:2, to indicate that his message is of something that should be open and obvious to all. I take it in that last understanding as coming from the historical

Jesus. (p. 350)

Jesus Seminar

As the voting results indicate, this cluster provides a glimpse into the dynamics of the Jesus Seminar process. This saying was originally considered at the Spring 1989 meeting at Sonoma. While there was a strong Red vote on each version of the saying, the overall result was Gray in each case. The saying was reconsidered at the Fall 1989 meeting held at the University of Toronto, with a dramatic decline in the Red votes in each case but an "improvement" in the weighted average result in several cases. The cluster was considered for a third time at the Fall 1990 meeting at Sonoma, at which time not a single Red vote was cast but almost every version scored a Pink result. Notably, Thom 6:4 was unanimously given a Black result while the version in Mark 4:22 was given a Gray.

The editors of [The Five Gospels] observe that the core saying appears in four variations:

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. (Thom 5:2)

There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,
and nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed. (Thom 6:5-6)

There is nothing veiled that won't be unveiled,
or hidden that won't be made known. (Luke 12:2)

There is nothing hidden except to be brought to light,

nor anything secreted away that won't be exposed. (Mark 4:22)

The version in Thom 5:2 is identified as the simplest form of the saying and, therefore, probably the earliest. The variations within the tradition is taken as evidence that the followers of Jesus remembered the gist of what he had said, rather than the precise words. [p. 475]

Since the saying always occurs in combination with some other text that provides its interpretation, the meaning given to this saying varies from one context to another:

In Mark 4:22

it refers to Mark's theory about the enigmatic character of the parables. In Luke 12:2 and Thom 6:54 it cautions against hypocrisy or speaking falsely. In Matt 10:26, which is parallel to Luke 12:2 ... from Q, it enjoins the disciples to preach boldly. Luke also records a version in 8:17, which he has taken from Mark; in its context in Luke 8, it legitimizes the mission

of the Christian movement. [p. 475f]

Gerd Lüdemann

Lüdemann [Jesus] (30) suggests:

... these words might very well go back to Jesus. He clearly thought that the seed had to be scattered everywhere and that the light had to shine everywhere. This stands in strong opposition to the Markan interpretation of 4.11-12. The nearness of the kingdom of God announced by Jesus is to be scattered everywhere, its light will shine everywhere -- this is the meaning which Jesus probably attached to the saying.

John P. Meier

In the first three volumes of his work, Meier comments on this cluster only to cite it as evidence for Thomas being dependent on the Synoptic traditions-- and specifically reflecting Lukan redactional features [see [Marginal Jew] (I,135f and n.133 on p. 163f)]. Drawing on the work of Christopher Tuckett, [Thomas and the Synoptics] (NovT 1988, 132-57), Meier suggests that the fragmentary Greek text of Thom 5 (POxy 654) demonstrates that the pre-Coptic Greek recension of Thomas was already dependent on the later Lukan version of the saying in 8:17 rather than the earlier text in Mark 4:22:

ou gar estin ti krypton, ean me hina phanerothe (Mark 4:22)

ou gar estin krypton ho ou phaneron genesetai (Luke 8:17)

[ou gar est]in krypton ho ou phane[ron genesetai] (POxy 654)

Despite the fragmentary state of POxy at this point, it is clear that the Greek text of Thomas lacks the ti found in Mark, and follows Luke's ho ou instead of Mark's ean me hina