Joseph Salvatore Aversano

Selected Verses from The Gospel of Longeinos
or The Compiled Sayings of Jesus


These are the sayings of Jesus as compiled by Longeinos, son of Alexandros, of Dorylaion, during his travels as a merchant in Syria.

On Listening

A crowd from a nearby village followed Jesus into a grove. And Jesus addressed the crowd by saying, “You have come to hear my words. But I have come to hear the words of the Father. Come, sit close, so that those with ears to hear can hear with me."

On Belief

A scribe approached Jesus and asked, "From some, I have heard wondrous accounts regarding you. And from others, I have heard that you are leading many astray. But tell me, do you believe in the God of Abraham and David?" And Jesus said, "If I say, 'Yes, I believe in the God of Abraham and David,' would you be satisfied? Is not the god one believes in but cramped in the narrow crevice of belief? For truly I say to you, even the demons cast from heaven believe."

               . . .

And when Jesus was alone with his disciples, he asked, "And who do you say I am?" And at once, before any could answer, Jesus covered his ears and left.

Signs, Names, and Outer Clothing

And some of his disciples asked him, “Tell us, by what signs will we know the Kingdom of Heaven has arrived?” And Jesus answered, “Why are you still looking for signs?”

               . . .

When it was evening, Jesus overheard the disciples discussing who among them had made the greatest sacrifice up until then. And Jesus said, "There is one among you who will sacrifice far more than all the rest, and he will be despised in all the earth until the end of time." And fearing this, one disciple asked, "What kind of sacrifice is this, that one is despised until the end of time?" And Jesus replied, "The sacrifice of one's own good name."

               . . .

And Jesus said, "Truth came to us with numerous names, so that the one can be praised with so many words."

               . . .

And his disciples asked him, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" And he said, "When you remove your garments without shame."

               . . .

And Jesus said, "If an armed robber on the road asks for your outer garment, give also your inner one. For when did the spirit need cloth?"

As Children

And Jesus said to a crowd seated around him, "Why do you even pronounce you are the children of God? When the dye of God is completely absorbed, the fabric is its color."

               . . .

When Jesus appeared to his disciples around noon, the disciple named Thomas asked, "Where have you been, Master? We have been looking for you all morning!" And Jesus answered, "Yes, you walked past me on several occasions near the well in the square." And Thomas said, "But there we saw only children playing." "What you say is true", said Jesus, "and still, you kept looking for me."

               . . .

When it was evening, Jesus and his closest disciples were sitting in a garden. And he said, "When you clearly see, you are nowhere to be seen, except for in the realm of the Father."

On Fear and Desire

And Jesus said, "It is by exposing the roots to the light and the air that they can be said to have been uprooted. However, it is by leaving the roots unseen in the ground that they can anchor an entire tree. The same can be said regarding the root of your fears."

               . . .

And while passing several graves, Jesus said, "Many now living will never die, as they have never truly lived."

               . . .

After having walked a great distance, Jesus and his disciples stopped by a popular well. And Jesus said to them, “This well may now be full. But do not think it can ever quench your thirst.”

               . . .

And the disciple named James inquired, "Tell me, how I am to enter the Paradise?" And Jesus replied, "By recalling you have never set foot outside it."

Joseph Salvatore Aversano currently lives with his wife Asu in the Aegean port city of Izmir (ancient Smyrna). He has recently completed a master’s thesis study of local Meter/Cybele cults during the Roman Imperial Period in Central Asia Minor. His poetry has been published in numerous journals including Bones, E-ratio, Modern Haiku, and in previous issues of Otoliths.

He writes: "...(these are) passages from a "lost" or apocryphal Gnostic gospel I've begun working on. It features the compiled sayings of a Jewish Mystic / Cynic philosopher from Galilee, what some scholars believe the historic Jesus to have been.

"I encountered the name I've adopted for the book's author, Longeinos, son of Alexandros, in connection with a 2nd century dedication I recently cataloged. This was made to a local goddess on behalf of a caravan; and it was discovered in the general vicinity of Eskisehir (Dorylaion), Turkey. Also, the verse on removing garments without shame is my translation of a Greek fragment of the Gospel of Thomas; but I have included it as the gospels, whether or not of the canon, contain close variations of verses found elsewhere. I also wanted to make all of this both familiar and uncanny."
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