Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Saying 42


Jesus said, ‘Be passersby.’


The brevity in this passage makes it too ambiguous to reliably interpret. There are not many late additions in the lead-up to Saying 42, and such additions do not provide practical instruction so much as they reinterpret what they perceive as errant theology about Jesus or God’s kingdom. The blunt simplicity of Saying 42 may be taken to mean it comes from the earliest version of the book, found in a series of sayings on how to avoid the Pharisees and their pitfalls. If this is the case, the saying may intend for Jesus’ followers to ‘pass by’ rival sects and factions within wider Judaism.


Clementine Homilies 2.9

Whence a man ought to pass by all else, and commit himself to the prophet of the truth alone.

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