The Sayings and Deeds of Y'shua bar Yosef

There is a significant body of scholarly work dedicated to identifying the authentic sayings and deeds of Jesus.

By studying all the existing available sources (e.g. Christian canonical NT gospel sources, non-canonical sources such as Gnostic Christian sources, Ebionite sources recorded by antagonistic Christian Church fathers, etc.) we have assembled here what scholars understand as most closely reflecting the actual sayings and deeds of Jesus and the early (pre 70CE) Jesus Movement in Israel.

Without further ado, click HERE for the complete authentic Sayings and Deeds of Jesus (as recorded by the early Jesus Movement between 30CE and 75CE). For a more printable version, click HERE.

Methodology and Bibliography:

Our collection of authentic sayings has been prepared by bringing together the following:
1) The majority of the gospel known as "Mark". This is widely acknowledged as the oldest of the complete gospels that have survived to modern times. It took its current form shortly after 70 CE, and as such does not contain the later prejudices that developed as anti-Jewish communities overwhelmed the Jesus Movement starting around 80 or 90 CE. What is specifically excluded is the ending that exists in most NT version (Mark 16:9-20) because it is not part of the oldest manuscripts; i.e. it was a later addition, and is contradictory in style and ideas to the rest of Mark(for more on Mark 16:9-20 see
2) The sayings that are essentially identical between "Matthew" and "Luke". Those sayings are known as "Q" from the german word "Quelle", meaning "Source". The Q source is recognized as being a common sayings gospel that, although it has not survived as a document, it has been extensively quoted by the authors of "Matthew" and "Luke".
3) A few additional sayings from early Ebionite writings are known to us because they have been quoted by antagonistic Christian Church fathers.
4) A few additional sayings have been preserved by other groups such as Gnostic Christians when they included those sayings as part of their writings (for example the Gnostics' "Gospel of Thomas" is a main source of sayings, many of which are in common with Q and some are in common with Matthew only or Luke only, and some are found only in Thomas (but nevertheless deemed authentic by scholars).


The first collection of sayings presented here is known as "Q". The notation "Q" comes from the German word "Quelle" (meaning "Source"). Scholars over the last 100 years realized that the gospels of Matthew and Luke shared a large number of sayings in common (using practically exact wording in Greek). Many of those sayings can also be found in Mark (which is known to have been written before Matthew and Luke). HOWEVER, many of the sayings that Matthew and Luke have in common ARE NOT FOUND IN MARK. Hence, the authors of Mathew and Luke must have had ANOTHER SOURCE from which they both gathered these other sayings not found in Mark. That second source for Matthew and Luke is known as "Q".

When one looks at Q (i.e. at the sayings that Matthew and Luke have in common, but which are not coming from Mark), what we find is a very different Jesus movement than what Pauline Christianity is. Rather, what we find is a Jesus who is a teacher preparing people for the Kingdom of God. Here is a excerpt from :

Q1 covers the following topics:
-who will belong to the "Kingdom of God"
-treating others (the Ethic of Reciprocity; a.k.a. Golden Rule)
-do not judge others
-working for the Kingdom
-asking for God's help
-do not fear speaking out
-don't worry about food, clothing, possessions
-the Kingdom will soon arrive
-the cost of being a follower
-the cost of rejecting the message

What is remarkable about Q1 is that the original [followers] appeared to be centered totally on concerns about their relationships with God and with other people, and their preparation for the imminent arrival of Kingdom of God on earth. Totally absent from their spiritual life are almost all of the factors that we associate with Christianity today. There is absolutely no mention of (in alphabetic order): adultery, angels, apostles, baptism, church, clergy, confirmation, crucifixion, demons, disciples, divorce, Eucharist, great commission to convert the world, healing, heaven, hell, incarnation, infancy stories, John the Baptist, Last Supper, life after death, Mary and Joseph and the rest of Jesus' family, magi, miracles, Jewish laws concerning behavior, marriage, Messiah, restrictions on sexual behavior, resurrection, roles of men and women, Sabbath, salvation, Satan, second coming, signs of the end of the age, sin, speaking in tongues, temple, tomb, transfiguration, trial of Jesus, trinity, or the virgin birth.

Jesus is described as a believer in God, but there are no indications that he was considered more than a gifted human being. His role was not as a Messiah or Lord but philosopher-teacher. The Gospel contains strong statements which are anti-family and which oppose Jewish religious rules. Rewards and punishments are described as occurring in this life, not after death. The "Kingdom of God" is described as a type of utopian society on earth which his followers were creating, not some future location in heaven after death. God is presented as a loving father with an intimate concern for the welfare of believers. The Holy Spirit is mentioned, but appears as a gift given by God, not as a separate person of the Trinity. There is no reference to Jesus' death having any redeeming function; in fact, there is no mention of the crucifixion or resurrection at all.

Here is the text of the "Q" sayings gospel (from the International Q Project - see or Sayings Gospel Q


Here is a link to text of the Thomas sayings gospel: Thomas Sayings Gospel (from the CRI/Voice Institute).

The Gospel of the Ebionites (as quoted by hostile Christian Church father Epiphanius, in approx 390CE): click here.
Sources: :
General information on Gospel of the Ebionites:

In his book The Other Gospels, Ron Cameron makes the following observations: "The Gospel of the Ebionites (Gos. Eb.) is a gospel harmony preserved in a few quotations in the writings of Epiphanius (a church writer who lived at the end of the fourth century C.E.). The original title of this gospel is unknown. The designation customary today is based on the fact that this was the gospel probably used by the Ebionites, a group of Greek-speaking Jewish Christians who were prominent throughout the second and third centuries. Epiphanius incorrectly entitles this the 'Hebrew' gospel, and alleges that it is an abridged, truncated version of the Gospel of Matthew. Whereas the Gospel of the Ebionites is indeed closely related to Matthew, examination of the extant fragments reveals that much of the text is a harmony, composed in Greek, of the Gospels Matthew and Luke (and, probably, the Gospel of Mark as well). Although Irenaeus (late in the second century) attests to the existence of this gospel, we are dependent solely upon the quotations given by Epiphanius for our knowledge of the contents of the text."

The Gospel of the Ebionites omits the infancy narratives. The gospel presents both John the Baptist and Jesus as vegetarians, and Jesus says that he has come to abolish sacrifices. Cameron says, "Together with the sayings about the passover, this intimates a polemic against the Jewish Temple." This indicates that the Gospel of the Ebionites, like the Gospel of Matthew, addresses the issue of "Jewish identity after the destruction of the Temple." The solution offered to this problem is "to believe in Jesus, the true interpreter of the Law." Cameron suggests that the Gospel of the Ebionites was written in the mid-second century in Syria or Palestine. :
Gospel of the Ebionites. Probable date of authorship: circa 100-150 C.E.

The only remaining fragments of the Gospel of the Ebionites are preserved in the form of citations by the church father Epiphanius in the latter part of the fourth century. Unfortunately, he is a rather hostile witness to the traditions contained therein, and his statements are at times confusing or contradictory.

The Ebionites were Greek-speaking Jewish-Christians who lived east of the Jordan, though Epiphanius oddly refers to the work as the "Hebrew" gospel and considers it to be a modified version of Matthew. More accurately, it appears to be a harmony of all the synoptic gospels, with some subtle changes to reflect the writers' theology. Most importantly, the Ebionites believed in an "adoptionist" Christology—that Jesus was fully human, but was chosen as the son of God at his baptism. However, Epiphanius also states that they believed Jesus to have been "created like one of the archangels." The gospel also makes vegetarians of Jesus and John the Baptist by modifying Luke 22:15, and changing the Baptist's diet from locusts (Greek=akris) to cake (egkris).

While Ebionites obviously postdates the canonical gospels, it was written prior to the late second century when it was referred to by Irenaeus

Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., translation by R. McL. Wilson, New Testament Apocrypha : Gospels and Related Writings (Louisville: John Knox Press, 1992), pp. 166-171.
Ron Cameron, ed., The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press 1982), pp. 103-106.

The Gospel of the Hebrews (as quoted by Christian Church fathers Jerome, Origen (ca.220CE), Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus, Eusebius (ca.325CE), Epiphanius (ca.390CE), Nicephorus): click here.

Additional sections will be added here (other sayings sources).