INNER CIRCLE: The Solitary One

INNER CIRCLE: The Solitary One September 22, 2023

IMAGE: Keith Giles


Jesus said, “There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitary one who will enter the bridal chamber.”

By now, the meaning behind these sayings of Jesus from the Gospel of Thomas should begin to become more apparent to you. As in this saying where Jesus, once again, contrasts for us the foolishness and emptiness of “the many” as compared to the success and the wisdom of “the solitary one.”

Over and over again in these sayings we see Jesus referring to the Kingdom as being accessible only to the one and not to the many. As when he speaks of the “wise fisherman” [saying 8] who discards all of the many little fish in favor of the one large fish, or when he speaks of how entering the Kingdom of God hinges on understanding how the two must become one [saying 24], Jesus here, once again, tells us that the many will stand at the door of the bridal chamber but only the one, single, solitary, integrated, whole person may enter in.

The metaphor used here – the bridal chamber – is a common reference for the Kingdom of God in the New Testament writings, and it suggests that ultimate intimacy with God – as when a husband knows his wife on their wedding night and they become one flesh. This metaphor, alluded to in the Gospel of John, is about our scandalous union with the Divine as when Jesus says:

“Now this is eternal life: to know [ginosko] God and His Son…” [John 17:3]

That word “Ginosko” in the Greek is the same word used for the kind of “knowing” that only comes when two people – say a husband and a wife – engage in sexual intercourse and fully experience one another in the most intimate and vulnerable union of body and soul.

This is why the Bridal Chamber metaphor works so well in this case. It’s a vivid image of the sort of scandalous intimacy experienced between flesh and spirit – The human and the Divine, or God and mankind – when we fully encounter God in the most transformative way possible.

As F.F. Bruce says:

“The ‘bridal chamber’ figures in several Gnostic texts as the place where the soul is reunited with its proper element; it is accessible only to the ‘single’ (in the sense of Saying 4, and 49). The Valentinian Gnostics observed a sacrament of the bridal chamber, through which light was received. According to the Gospel of Philip (a Valentinian collection of sayings identified, like the Gospel of Thomas, among the Nag Hammadi papyri), ‘if any one becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light; if any one does not receive it while he is in this place, he will not receive it in the other place’ (Saying 127).] There is a superficial resemblance to the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25.1-13), but it is to the wedding feast, not to the bridal chamber, that the wise virgins are admitted.[1]

So, for anyone to “enter the bridal chamber” they must be single or solitary. Not “single” in the sense that they are not yet married – although one could make a case that being single is, itself, another metaphor to describe someone who is devoted only to God – but “single” in the sense that they are not divided within themselves. In other words, as long as we embrace this notion of separation from God or from others, we remain outside the bridal chamber.

Until we can fully embrace the reality of our Oneness with God and with all things and all people, our entry into the bridal chamber is granted and we experience the rapturous ecstasy of Divine union with God first-hand.

[1] Jesus and Christian Origins Outside the New Testament, F.F. Bruce, pp. 141-142


My son, David Giles, just published his very first novel – THERE ONCE WERE ORANGE GROVES – and it’s available right now on Amazon.

There Once Were Orange Groves is an autofiction meta-novel about two siblings, Audrey and Jacob, who are both grieving the sudden passing of their father. It’s all about stories, finding beauty in the little things, and the places those moments inhabit.

In addition to winning the William Shanebeck Award for Excellence in Creative Writing [2020], David Giles lives in Portland, Oregon and creates original music in his spare time.

His new novel has been praised by authors and readers alike.


Available now on AMAZON>


Keith Giles is the best-selling author of the Jesus Un series. He has appeared on CNN, USA Today, BuzzFeed, and John Fugelsang’s “Tell Me Everything.” He hosts the Second Cup with Keith podcast, and co-hosts the Apostates Anonymous podcast, and the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast.

His latest book, SOLA DEUS: What If God Is All Of Us? is available now on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle HERE>


Find out more about online courses HERE>

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