The parable of the Wicked Tenants can be found not only in all three synoptic gospels (Mt 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12; Lk 20:9-19), but also in the Coptic apocryphal Gospel of Thomas (logion 65; cf. also the following logion 66). Many questions about this text are controversial, especially the tradition history of the pericope. This study argues that the parable of the Wicked Tenants - in a simple form - may have its origin in the preaching of Jesus of Nazareth. The text in the Gospel of Thomas, although simple and without allegorical elements, represents a secondary development (the logion 66 being a sign of this process). The oldest of the synoptics is Mark. Matthew and Luke are depending on Mark. The text in the Gospel of Matthew is theologically the most eloquent, especially in vs. 41b and 43. The evangelist very probably thinks of the (ideal) Church as a new people of God (vs. 43), but the final dismissal of the Jews is not expressed. On the other hand, the parenesis of the Matthean pericope says: the real Church in history should produce fruits.