Here we review the quotations of Jewish Scripture in each of four gospels that are sometimes classified as Gnostic: the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Philip, the Coptic Gospel of Thomas, and the Gospel of Truth.
The Gospel of Mary and the Gospel of Truth are mentioned here simply because I've included them each time we discuss the Gnostic gospels. However, they contain no quotations of Jewish Scripture, and we can proceed to the remaining Gnostic gospels.
The Gospel of Philip contains one quotation that traces to the Jewish Scriptures:
"My God, my God, why, O Lord, have you forsaken me?". It was on the cross that he said these words, for he had departed from that place.
The Coptic Gospel of Thomas also contains one quotation that traces to the Jewish Scriptures:
Jesus said, "I shall give you what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard and what no hand has touched and what has never occurred to the human mind."
From the four Gnostic gospels, those are the sum total of quotations that trace to the Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures. There are some points of interest that both items share:
- Both quotations occur in Jesus' sayings
- Neither quotation is identified by the author as a quotation from Jewish Scripture
- There are no instances where the author independently applies a perspective or expectation from Jewish Scripture
I'd caution any readers not to draw premature conclusions from the simple scarcity of quotations, by itself. As we move forward with other areas, we will see a more complete picture that allows us to draw better-rounded conclusions.
One other feature of interest to me is that the second quote ("what no eye has seen and what no ear has heard", etc from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas) is not attributed directly to Jesus anywhere in the New Testament. Leaving all possibilities open at this point, we could imagine that either Jesus had quoted that Scripture also and the New Testament gospels didn't record it though Paul brings up the quotation (1 Corinthians 2:9, quoting Isaiah 64:4), or that the author of the Gospel of Thomas may have heard the quotation of Paul or Isaiah and attributed it to Jesus.