Ask, seek, knock.

Matthew 7.7-12 = Luke 11.9-13  (John 16.23-24).

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Notes and quotes.

§ The phrase πονηροι οντες in Matthew 7.11 or πονηροι υπαρχοντες in Luke 11.13 (both translated as being evil) is repeated and transposed in Matthew 12.34. The phrase οι νομος και οι προφηται (the law and the prophets) in Matthew 7.12 is repeated and transposed in Matthew 11.13 = Luke 16.16; Matthew 5.17; 22.40.

§ Didache 1.2b:

Παντα δε οσα εαν θελησης μη γινηεσθαι σοι, και συ αλλω μη ποιει.

And as many things, if you should wish them not to happen to you, also you do not do to another.

§ Clement in 1 Clement 13.2:

Ουτως γαρ ειπεν· Ελεατε ινα ελεηθητε. αφιετε ινα αφεθη υμιν. ως ποιειτε, ουτω ποιηθησεται υμιν. ως διδοτε, ουτως δοθησεται υμιν. ως κρινετε, ουτως κριθησεσθε. ως χρηστευεσθε, ουτως χρηστευθησεται υμιν. ω μετρω μετρειτε, εν αυτω μετρηθησεται υμιν.

For thus he said: Show mercy that you might be shown mercy. Forgive that it might be forgiven you. As you do, so it will be done to you. As you give, so it will be given to you. As you judge, so you will be judged. As you show kindness, so kindness will be shown to you. With what measure you measure, by the same will it be measured to you.

§ Thomas 2:


Jesus said: Let him who seeks not cease to seek until he finds, and when he finds he shall be troubled, and when he is troubled he shall be amazed, and he shall be king over the all.

This same saying is found in papyrus Oxyrhynchus 654, lines 5-9:

[Λεγει Ιη{σου}ς· ...] μη παυσασθω ο ζη[των του ζητειν εως αν] ευρη, και οταν ευρ[η θαμβηθησεται και θαμ]βηθεις βασιλευσει κα[ι βασιλευσας αναπα]ησεται.

[Says Je{su}s: ...] Let him who se[eks] not cease [to seek until he should] find, and when he find[s he shall marvel, and having mar]veled he shall reign, an[d having reigned he shall re]st.

Thomas 92:


Jesus said: Seek and you shall find. But what you asked me about in those days I did not tell you on that day; now it pleases me to tell you, yet do not seek after them.

Thomas 94:


Jesus [sai]d: He who seeks shall find, [and he who knocks], they will open up for him.

§ From Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 2.9, writing of the gospel according to the Hebrews:

Η καν τω καθ Εβραιους ευαγγελιω, Ο θαυμασας βασιλευσει, γεγραπται, και ο βασιλευσας αναπαυθησεται.

Which also is written in the gospel according to the Hebrews: He who marveled shall reign, and he who reigned shall rest.

From Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 5.14:

Ισον γαρ τουτοις εκεινα δυναται· Ου παυσεται ο ζητων, εως αν ευρη· ευρων δε, θαμβηθησεται· θαμβηθεις δε, βασιλευσει· βασιλευσας δε, επαναπαυσεται.

For those things can be the same as these: He who seeks shall not cease until he finds, and finding he shall marvel, and having marveled he shall reign, and having reigned he shall rest.

This repeated saying finds a parallel in the apocryphal oracle that Eusebius attributes to the cult of Simon Magus. From Eusebius, History of the Church 2.13.7, writing of his followers:

Τα δε τουτων αυτοις απορρητοτερα, ων φασι τον πρωτον επακουσαντα εκπλαγησεσθαι, και κατα τι παρ αυτοις λογιον εγγραφον θαμβωθησεσθαι, θαμβους ως αληθως και φρενων εκστασεως και μανιας εμπλεα τυγχανει....

And the most unspoken of these [rites] of theirs, of which they say that the one hearing them for the first time will be astonished, and according to a certain written oracle among them will be made to marvel, happen of a truth to be full of marvel and ecstatic thoughts and mania....

It also finds a parallel in the traditions of Matthias. From Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 2.9:

Η δε αρχη το θαυμασαι τα πραγματα, ως Πλατων εν Θεαιτητω λεγει, και Ματθιας εν ταις παραδοσεσι παραινων· Θαυμασον τα παροντα· βαθμον τουτον πρωτον της επεκεινα γνωσεως υποτιθεμενος. η καν τω καθ Εβραιους ευαγγελιω· Ο θαυμασας βασιλευσει, γεγραπται, και ο βασιλευσας αναπαυθησεται.

But the beginning is to marvel at matters, as Plato says in the Theaetetus and Matthias in the traditions, exhorting: Marvel at things present, placing this down as the first degree of the knowledge of the beyond. Which also is written in the gospel according to the Hebrews: He who marveled shall reign, and he who reigned shall rest.

§ The Shepherd of Hermas, Mandate 9.1.4:

Συ ουν καθαρισον σου την καρδιαν απο παντων των ματαιωματων του αιωνος τουτου και των προειρημενων σοι ρηματων, και αιτου παρα του κυριου, και αποληψη παντα και απο παντων των αιτηματων σου ανυστερητος εση, εαν αδιστακτως αιτηση παρα του κυριου.

You therefore cleanse your heart from all the vanities of this age, and from the words mentioned before to you, and ask of the Lord, and you shall take in all things and be lacking in nothing of all that you have asked, if you ask of the Lord not wavering.

The Shepherd of Hermas, Similitude 6.3.6b:

Τα δε λοιπα δουλευσουσι τω κυριω εν καθαρα καρδια αυτων και ευοδουνται εν παση πραξει αυτων, λαμβανοντες παντα παρα του κυριου οσα αιτουνται· και τοτε δοξαζουσι τον κυριον, οτι εμοι παρεδοθησαν, και ουκετι ουδεν πασχουσι των πονηρων.

And they serve the Lord thenceforward with their clean heart and have a clear path in all their actions, receiving from the Lord all things, as many as they ask. And then they glorify the Lord because they were delivered over unto me, and they no longer suffer anything of what is evil.