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The Idiomatic Translation

of the New Testament

prepublication edition
June 28, 2006

William Graham MacDonald

Introduction 2

Introduction to The Idiomatic Translation

The sublime composite of the final biblical revelation known as the New Testament is
presented here in faithful adherence to the ancient Greek manuscripts, all the while preserving a
literary style of translation appropriate for educated readers in the twenty-first century.

Major Criteria Governing This Translation

1. The Idiomatic Translation is based wholly on the Greek text without comparison of any
English translations. While this translator has been studying the Greek New Testament for five
decades, and while he acknowledges that a modicum of the antique KJV and modern translations
may be residual in his memory, he has stringently disciplined himself not to compare any
translation of a given text lest he have to decide its relative merits. This means that the translator
had only to quest, in any given instance, for the best way of expressing the original meaning in
English without the nagging constraints that many of the later translations have imposed upon
themselves, that is, the obligation to word sentences differently solely for the sake of difference
and at the same time to say things traditionally the same—even in those cases of perpetuating
translational errors—so as not to set off the alarms of the reactionaries. This Idiomatic
Translation, therefore, is freestanding verbally from other English translations and is oriented to
the literate, intelligent readers (> Acts 13:7; 18:24; 1 Sam 25:3) such as those mentioned by the
apostle Paul as one of the groups to whom he recognized his ministerial obligations (Rom 1:14).
The holy mission of this translation consists of conveying faithfully the content of the Greek
New Testament, “the word of Christ” (Col 3:16), in language familiar to adept readers
throughout the English-speaking world.
2. Most modern translations in English cater to infrequent, barely literate readers and
gravitate toward the lower linguistic end of the general readership. The most popular translation at
the beginning of the twenty-first century, for instance, was geared to a seventh-grade, middle-school
reading level. The Greek New Testament has books within it written on an easy-reading level but
also books, like Hebrews, Luke-Acts, and Ephesians, written in a style equivalent to college or
graduate levels today. If, for instance, the analytic fog index used to determine reading level is
applied to the Greek text of Paul’s encyclical letter on the nature of the church, first delivered to
the Ephesians, the reading level has to be high, indeed, because of Paul’s long sentences [verses
3-14 of chapter one compose one sentence in Greek, and similarly also: 1:15-23; 2:1-7; 3:1-7;
3:14-19; 4:11-16]. Moreover, there are hundreds more Greek words in the New Testament than
English words used in most contemporary translations of it. English (or arguably German) is the
richest language in the world in terms of vocabulary, of which as many as 70 percent of the
English words are loanwords. But translations are standardly made today from a diminished
word bank of English that does not reflect the wealth of vocabulary of the original text of the
New Testament although such is readily available in English. Every well read person and serious
university student deserves to have a translation that draws on the wealth of the English language
while avoiding reconditeness and polysyllabic concatenations. An avid reader deserves access to
the biblical text in a translation comparable to the English level of the other books he or she
studies if such a competent translation is justified by the ancient texts that the translation
Introduction 3

preserves. Consequently, this translation opts for the most apt word in the English language,
however low or high it may be on the frequency lists if it meets the other criteria of this
translation. For instance, instead of always translating hýdÐr as water as is proper in most
contexts, the more precise rendering of hýdÐr in John 19:34 is lymph. Infrequent words found in
an unabridged English dictionary occur rarely but wherever needed, as for example,
thanatophobia (Heb 2:15), necrobiosis (Rom 4:19).
3. The screen for the readership’s requisite literate level is handily placed within the
translation’s title. Anyone who can comprehend “Idiomatic” in the title also will be able to
handle the multi-level texts within. This Idiomatic Translation attempts to preserve the varieties
of style—ranging from the simplicity of John’s Hebraic gospel, apocalypse, and three letters, all
the way up to the high, Hellenistic-style prologue of the sublime Christological exhortation
called “Hebrews” and Luke’s scholarly introduction of his account of the good news.
4. This translation gives careful attention to the idioms that denote the internal signature
of the English language. Contrast the opposite approach that altogether ignores or eliminates the
idioms. Robert Bratcher, having once made a deliberately non-idiomatic translation of the
Scriptures into Portuguese (to keep from breeding confusion by misconstruing idioms in a
language not his mother tongue), also subsequently for English readers eliminated the idioms he
found and dubbed his expurgated text The Good News Bible [alias, Today’s English Version]. To
compensate for such a decolorizing and diluting of the language resultant from stripping away
the obvious idioms, someone felt it necessary to insert line drawings on the finished pages of
English to put some life back into the now pallid text. The fact that millions of people have been
blessed by the GNB [TEV] is a testimony, above all else, to the insuperable power of the word of
God—even after it has been denuded of certain vibrant expressions. Idioms by their linguistic
color and cadences convince us that God knows us and speaks to us in the language in which we
think. Idioms touch us at a level individual word studies do not reach. They get next to us before
we realize it. The Idiomatic Translation conserves and cherishes those special configurations of
words that characterize the English language. But no idiom is forced on any segment of text. The
presence of idioms in a translation must be natural; their use is always ancillary to the thought
being communicated. They contain and clarify the message or they give way to language that
does. The persistent criterion of choice is always clarity of concept for the attentive reader.
5. The Idiomatic Translation is precisely a translation. Based upon valid hermeneutical
principles, a hundred thousand decisions have been weighed and finalized. For instance: There
are Hebrew idioms (2 Sam 16:10; 19:22 [23 Heb.]; 2 Kings 3:13) that are preserved in Greek
(John 2:4). There are also Greek idioms that must be interpreted: (Acts 5:1—literally, “a man
. . . Ananias in name/for a name”). Furthermore, there are Hebrew-into-Greek and Greek-only
idioms that are best rendered in English without an idiom, because to create one by literalizing
the Hebrew or Greek produces affected language in English. There are, compensatorily, times
when a phrase, verb, or clause is best rendered by an English idiom when one was not present in
the original; for example: “blessed is anyone who is not put out with me” (Matt 11:6). The
presence of idioms in The Idiomatic Translation is exclusively determined by the nature of the
English language and not by the presence or absence of Hebrew and Greek idioms. The Greek
idiom, “speaking into air” is best rendered in English not in that form but as soliloquize (1 Cor
14:9). The presence of idioms in the original biblical texts tests the translator’s comprehension
Introduction 4

that must be exegetically competent before he can accurately convey the meaning in another
language. A word-for-word translation of an idiom will not suffice for lucidity.
Indeed, much contention for a “literal” translation originates from inadequate
presuppositions about the nature of the translating task. English, having comparatively few
inflections, is heavily dependent on word order to indicate meaning, making it subtly idiomatic
at its most foundational level. It is sensible to speak of paraphrasing an English translation
already done, by placing beside it another attempt to say the same thing in different words; but it
is sophomoric to decide the value of a translation by describing it as literal or paraphrastic.
Virtually every consistently metaphrase translation will be a comedown from the original in
clarity and style. And if by “paraphrastic” one means “conceptual,” one should use the latter
word. Moreover, any translation that tries to ignore concepts and just translates the individual
words serially will be pleated with 10,000 crisscrossing wrinkles that frustrate the English reader
by irregular tagmemics. Finally, because The Idiomatic Translation is free to use as many or as
few words as needed for a good translation of a given text, the unwary should not mistake it as
having any “amplified” genes. An amplified translation by its polysemous design dangerously
postpones decisions about word meanings until the reader picks up the text, violates the most
fundamental principle of all word comprehension (that context determines denotation), and
makes for the exclusion of idioms because idioms cannot be amplified without distortion and
almost never would one ascertain synonymous cognate idioms.
6. The language throughout, although formal, is current—as up to date as feasible without
slipping into untested avant-garde expressions or using any word not in keeping with the biblical
norms, and therefore, not in good literary taste. Most modern translations, feeling the massive
influence of tradition, prefer to recede from the present into the safety zone of the English of at
least three to five decades past. However much this translation endeavors to preserve the best of
the thought-forms now current, verbal precision rather than novelty of language is valued above
all else. The most incisive language that is contemporarily in use by intelligent speakers and
authors at the nose cone of refined English has been the ideal. In this regard The Encarta World
English Dictionary (NY: St. Marten’s Press, 1999) has been consulted often. Observing that
“idioms are underrepresented in dictionaries” (p. xviii), this dictionary astutely includes many.
That greatest twentieth-century orator of the U.S. Senate, Everett M. Dirksen, once divulged one
of his verbal secrets: “I choose my words not just for what they mean, but for how they taste in
my mouth.” Great sensitivity, therefore, to word connotations in a given context has been a
primary criterion of this translation as well.
7. The Idiomatic Translation faithfully conserves the univocal genderal perspective of the
New Testament itself, the generic masculine—without dying any of those ancient texts pink or
purple to achieve ephemeral political correctness. On the basis of Genesis 1:26,27 man is
properly understood in certain texts as a synecdoche for human beings.

The Key Role of Idioms in Translation

Derived from the Greek adjective, idios, ‘one’s own’, an idiom denotes a fixed form of
expression that developed within a language and ordinarily is peculiar to that language—a form
whose meaning is not immediately self-evident and must be acquired from familiarity with how
it is used by recognized speakers and writers. Its meaning cannot be deduced merely from the
constituent lexemes. Speakers of that language know well what a particular idiom means and
Introduction 5

outsiders have to guess at it, for its meaning is more than the sum of the bare words. An idiom's
culture-conditioned meaning is linguistically esoteric and resistant to the prevalent but fallacious
notion that translation involves word-for-word substitution of vocabulary from one language into
another, as a computer might attempt but without idiomatic success. In other words, each idiom
in a language consists of a special combination of words (or rarely, a solitary word) whose
meaning is derived from the acquired connotation of the expression’s fixed word-order in
context, not from the expected aggregate of the denotations of its individual words.
Every language has a multiplicity of idioms, each of which is distinctive in its own way.
Accurate and clear translation of the idiomatic components of the biblical text into the target
language affords the greatest challenge of translation.
Every specialist in the field of translation readily acknowledges that seldom does one
find even in cognates a word in one language that has an exact equivalent in another language.
Through continual usage, word histories develop that differ and sometimes spawn colonies of
meaning for a given word. For instance, English has three words, “house,” “household,” and
“home” available to translate the only comparable Greek word, oîkos. Consequently, the
determination of which to use in each English context is decisively idiomatic (house—Acts 9:11;
household—Acts 7:42; home—Luke 10:5). As illustrated here, a single word like home with a
perceived connotation can have in this most subtle sense the character of an idiom, although it
consists of only one word plus its syntactic context that shapes how it is to be understood.
Because structural English has very few variations in word endings (i.e., inflections) in
contrast to those ancient and modern languages that inflect almost all their nouns, adjectives, and
pronouns and that conjugate their verbs with multiple inflections for tense, mood, voice, person,
and number, English early on became dependent on syntactic word order to establish precise
meaning. This structural characteristic of English tagmemics creates the conditions in which
thousands of idioms proliferate and thrive, however inconspicuous many of them may be to the
casual reader or listener. The paucity of inflections makes English easier to learn at first, but the
multiplicity of idioms makes English difficult for infrequent users to master.
English is also prone to the development of idioms because of the facile possibilities of
coupling verbs with prepositions. For example, a classic English idiom is “to put up with” (Eph
4:2). In spite of its literal awkwardness with two prepositions virtually compounding the verb by
the vertical (“up”) and horizontal (“with”) indicia, this idiom is far more pungent than a flat,
literal rendering, “tolerate with restraint,” or “endure the duress of . . . patiently.” Change but
one of the prepositions, from “with” to “to” (i.e., “put up to”), and a completely different idiom
emerges meaning to instigate or coach in deception or dirty tricks against someone (John 18:34;
Acts 6:11). Eliminate the preposition following “put up,” and this verb-preposition combination
demonstrates yet another idiom, meaning to provide hospitality in supplying temporary housing
and meals (Acts 28:7). Similar in form, the idiom “put out” means extinguish (John 1:5), but the
addition of a second preposition “with” and the passive voice of the verb (i.e., “to be put out with
someone”) refers to feeling frustration and possibly anger toward someone (Luke 7:23).
Sometimes the use of a figure of speech that was explicit in biblical times can be
rendered in a safer manner today by straight language because that figure, not in use currently, is
susceptible to ambiguous interpretations. One such figure of speech meant to have only a
temporal denotation occurs in successive verses of Matthew 24:32,33 in Greek: “near the door”;
Introduction 6

“near upon [the] doors.” The plural, doors, intensifies the figure in the second instance. Because
the sayings specify neither a person nor animal having legs, but a season and a series of events
respectively, the figure can be handled with the greatest clarity by using precise, nonfigurative
English: “summer is imminent” (Matt 24:32), and “all these events are imminent” (Matt 24:33).
If the idiomatic figure of speech is retained, a naive reader or an eager allegorizer can get carried
away with the quaintness of the noncurrent way of speaking and escape into unintended
mysteries of the “door”/“doors,” wanting either to name them or to mystically intuit what lies
behind them, and all the while miss the simple, decisively temporal meaning of the text
preserved best in this instance by a straight translation of a foreign figurative idiom.
Because New Testament Greek is a highly inflected language, the biblical authors could
choose to begin a clause or sentence (in company with any transitional particles) by featuring
the most important content first. The Greek inflections of words keep the clause—regardless of
word order—from becoming a grammatical riddle, as can happen in English if one tampers much
with customary word order. Ordinarily, an English sentence begins with what is known and then
moves on to what is new. English at the highest level tends to construct words progressively in
what is called the periodic sentence, working toward a climax of importance at the end. While
recognition of this difference between the original language and the target language is a matter
of tagmemics in conflict in certain texts, the resolution of these structural differences is
idiomatic in the comprehensive sense. This latent idiomatic component remains because
excellent translation conveys the meaning not just by understanding words and phrases, but by
expressing the expected syntactic word-order peculiar to the target language, all the while
seeking to preserve the emphasis implicit, in this case, in the Greek syntax. For example, below
in the Greek text of 1 Corinthians 14:20, after the term of address, the negative is featured,
followed by the object or complement of the verb, and then the verb. Similarly with reference to
the two succeeding clauses, all the verbs come last. The idiomatic rendering is as follows:
Brothers, do not continue to be childish in your reasoning.
Rather, let your immaturity be in evil. Grow up into mature thinking .
Another stellar example is found in Romans 1:14, represented by following the
descending line-sequence below: 1. the transliteration, 2. the interlinear, 3. the idiomatic text:
1. sophoîs te kaì anoétois opheilétes eimí
2. to wise ones and also to ignorant ones debtor I am
3.“I am under obligation to those who have developed their minds and also to the uneducated.”
The challenge of translation requires mastery of the idioms of both the source text and
the target text. In the source text (the Greek NT), the translator in each case has to determine if
the text is:
(1) simple/straight/literal;
(2) figurative;
(3) idiomatic.
If the original text is figurative, the translation normally will preserve the figure of
speech with all the color it provides. When Paul spoke of the world’s valuation of his apostolic
worth, he used the twin metaphors of: “dirty dishwater” and “plate-scrapings” (1 Cor 4:13). Or
observe John the baptizer’s synecdoche in his comparison, “My successor, of whom I am
Introduction 7

unworthy to untie the thong of his sandal” (John 1:27). The identifying part, “untie the thong
of his sandal,” was put figuratively for the whole—the role of being his household servant, his
The main similarity when comparing figures of speech and the idioms of the New
Testament is that both forms of speech add color and verve to the black and white of ordinary
statement. Difficulty comes when figurative language can be translated best by a precise idiom
replete with its own connotations and implied images. The figure in 1 Corinthians 15:25, “to put
. . . under his feet,” while roughly understandable in English, is better translated idiomatically:
“until such time as he achieves the unconditional surrender of all his enemies .” Another
comparable example involves “feet” as well. The textual figure used in Acts 4:35 says that the
believers were putting their land-sales income at the feet of the apostles. This figure of speech
comes over best in the English idiom: they placed their funds at the apostles’ disposal.
Because of the complexity of any transition from one language to another, no universal
quid pro quo rules are applicable for determining how to handle the translation of straight text,
or the more difficult idiomatic text that has the look of straight language, as to which form is
required in the target language. That is, the notion that straight Greek always should be
translated by straight English and that idiomatic Greek (or its underlying Hebrew idioms) always
should be translated by idiomatic English is a formula that assures a mediocre or often fallacious
translation. A blatant example of this incorrect method can be illustrated by a straight and
therefore obtuse translation of a Hebrew idiom in the Aaronic blessing, now calcified by
centuries of tradition, “the LORD make his face shine upon you” (Num 6:25). No one speaks or
writes that way today unless actually quoting this halfway translation. The Hebrew idiom here
should not be rendered literally, English word for Hebrew word as above, and not by an English
idiom (of which there is none), but by perceptively translating the ancient idiom by simple,
non-idiomatic prose. “May Yahveh smile at you.” Now consider this comparable New Testament
example of an idiom that also smoothes itself out in comprehension by a straight translation:
literal Greek idiom: “Why did you put in your heart this deed?” (Acts 5:4)
straight English: “What motivated you to do this?” (Acts 5:4)

The principle that must be followed is this: Every text of holy Scripture has to be first
understood in the original language by following sound principles of exegesis, hermeneutics, and
a prayerful mindset of spiritual affinity with the truth taught there. Then whether the Greek text
is ordinary or idiomatic, the translator, having grasped the meaning, provides the best way to
express it in the English language, indiscriminately of whether the rendition is normal or
idiomatic. This means that the same depth of care in analyzing the Greek text must also be
extended to finding commensurate English, always choosing the superior expression according
to a criterion of conformity to the original message, striving always for clarity, suitability of the
diction for representing the original, and sensitivity even to the phonology of vocalization so as
to facilitate assimilation and memory.
Complicating the complexity by one more level, Hebrew idioms from the Old
Testament are occasionally imported into the New Testament. This transfer creates three tiers of
language—Hebrew, Greek, English—to be climbed to the summit. For instance, 1 Rock 3:12c
quotes Psalm 34:16, which says literally, “Yahveh’s face is upon those doing evil” and is best
rendered in English as, “Yahveh scowls at those doing evil.” Some of the traditional English
Introduction 8

renderings most plagued with misunderstanding go back in this way through Greek to Hebrew
idioms not well understood four centuries ago or even today. One such misunderstanding is an
idiom of relationship based on the interplay of the speaker's threatened freedom and the
authority of the person addressed, with the first party questioning the right the second party has
to exercise authority over him. What makes it arcane is that the Hebrew idiom is embedded in
verbal simplicity: “What to me and to you?” Structurally, these six words appear to be a sentence
of interrogation, but logically the content of meaning is unavailable just on the basis of the words
and their phraseology that in this form is always idiomatic. This idiom must be ascertained from
the context in the nine respective biblical passages all using the same idiom (2 Sam 16:10; 19:22;
1 Kgs 17:18; Matt 5:7; Mark 1:24; 5:7; Luke 4:34; 8:28; John 2:4), for each context has elements
of similarity that suggest the inferential meaning in any such passage.
Jesus used this Hebraic idiom of relationship in a dialogue with his mother just prior to
performing his first miracle. When a crisis developed at a wedding festival for which she
obviously had some responsibility and Jesus also was in attendance, Mary reported the problem
to him and in so doing she implied that he should do something about it. He responded by saying
[literally]: What to me and you, lady? (John 2:4), which if translated this way would be unclear
and confusing. Honoring the Semitic idiom, one translates as follows: “Lady, what right do you
have to exercise authority over me?” She wisely made no reply, because he was not asking for
information but pointing out a relational disconnect. Mary, who nevertheless had some delegated
authority over the servants, told them to do whatever Jesus said to do, acknowledging in effect
his position to be independent of her.
Sometimes an English idiom is required to translate a biblical idiom. For instance, in
John 10:24 the Greek text says literally, “Until when do you lift up our soul?” That strange
question resolves into transparent English, “For how long will you keep us in suspense?”
There are certain Hebraic idioms that turn out to be redundancies. It is best to pare them
down in English to accord with contemporary canons of style that (except for rhetorical effect in
anadiplosis and anaphora) dislike redundancy and circumlocution. The most notorious of these is
the narrative Hebraic idiom, “answered and said” (John 1:48,50; 2:19; 3:3,9,10,27; 4:10,13,17;
5:19), or the variation, “answered saying” (John 1:26). In Hebrew or Aramaic this duplication of
verbs often alternates with merely, “he said,” in the flow of text that is a deeply set form for
recitation of conversation within ancient storytelling. Hebrew redundancy is used to slow down
the narration, to heighten suspense for a moment longer, and to set up the listener for the reply to
be rendered. This idiom of answering and saying is handled best in English not by verbal
duplication (as in the KJV) but by using only one verb that indicates the transition in speakers
and simultaneously introduces the reply: “he answered” or “he replied.” It is interesting to note
in the Elizabethan English of the King James Version of the Bible (AD 1611) a contrasting idiom
of narrational redundancy. The original Greek text in certain narrations simply says: “It
occurred,” that is, “It happened.” As a story preface the single verb was expanded idiomatically
in the KJV to read: “It came to pass” (Luke 11:1). Four centuries later that Elizabethan narrative
idiom is no longer in use in standard English and illustrates the need for new translations as
language changes. In a different mode of redundancy, compare the literal statement in Galatians
2:5, “we yielded in submission” to the preferred, succinct idiom, “we gave in to.”
When idioms are used, they must be accorded full precision. But idioms do not try to
avoid saying something directly by taking the long route around as do circumlocutions. For this
Introduction 9

translation, equally sensitive to idioms, figures of speech, and ordinary text, Adrienne Koch's
principle of conserving verbal brevity, namely, “using not a word to spare, leave not a moment
for inattention,” has been the ideal for determining the length of every phrase or clause.

Elements of Style
The basic design of this translation is constructed to provide full transparency to the
word of God in English: “The greatest possible merit of style is, of course, to make the words
absolutely disappear into the thought.” —Nathaniel Hawthorne. Susan Denzer’s concordant
counsel in this matter has been conserved as the ideal: “Style should be the servant of clarity and
understanding—supportive, but unobtrusive, so that the reader doesn’t really know it’s there.” 1

Capitalization Conforming to Contemporary Style

Conservative use of capitalization according to concurrent norms is a noticeable feature
of The Idiomatic Translation, as contrasted with the majority of other translations that lean back
to colonial days. Benjamin Franklin already in 1789 in his letter to Noah Webster rued the
passing of what he called the age of noun capitalization. But the trend he thought had passed
away has continued ever since, although diminished, especially in religious texts. When frequent
capitalizations within sentences are made, for instance, as seen in America in the historic
Declaration of Independence, the modern reader’s attention is drawn away from the message in
the words to the quaintness of an old-time style in which the reader has to climb over mountain
ranges of capital letters to get to the meaning. Therefore, readers of capitals-heavy translations
done in an old-English tradition that relied on profuse capitalization, ostensibly to show
reverence, to attempt emphases, or to influence dogmatic formulations, will notice the difference
in this translation that uses initial capital letters sparingly and only when required. For example,
Romans 1:9 has “the gospel of his son,” not—however well meaning—the antiquarian
affectation, “the Gospel of His Son.” Use of a plethora of capitals depicts quaintness, peculiarity,
and eccentricity, distracting from the accessibility of the word meanings.
Pronouns for deity have not been capitalized unless placement of the pronoun as the
first word in the sentence necessitates the capital. Compare the idiomatic translation of John
15:26-27 where ten internal words [four titles, six pronouns] in just two verses conform to
regular prose style without loading this text with superimposed capitals:
When your companion arrives, whom I will send to you from the father, the
spirit of truth who proceeds from the father, he will authenticate me. You also
will authenticate me because you have been with me from the beginning.
All but two of the many titles of Jesus have been presented without the artificial boost
of a capital letter (e.g., “forerunner Jesus”—Heb 6:20). Thereby, one’s attention is focused on
the meaning, whether literal or metaphorical, explicit in the title itself. An editor’s imposition of
an initial capital has the effect of distracting momentarily from the idea expressed by the word.
That is, one feels the impact of the capital before that of the concept itself. A capital always has

U.S. News & World Report Stylebook for Writers and Editors. Ed. by R. O. Grover. seventh
edition, 1994. p. 45.
Introduction 10

been used for the title, Christ (‘anointed one’), because it is clear in many instances that this title
is normally linked with the name Jesus, coming first or second in word order to specify his
personal identity. Thus the most frequently used title, “Christ,” in most instances functions like a
proper name that accordingly always takes capitalization. Also the characteristic title, Lord,
when linked with Jesus has been capitalized because as the second most frequently used
appellation for Jesus, it has personal implications when he is referred to in the third person with
the definite article, (Luke 18:6; John 6:23; 11:2; Cor 3:17), when it is used as a form of direct
address (Matt 16:22; Luke 5:8; John 11:12), and when it is a component of his formal title (Rom
1:7;5:1,11; 13:14; 14:14; 15:6, 30; 16:20; 1 Cor. 1:1:2,3, 7,8,10; 2 Cor 13:14; Gal 1:3; 6:14; Eph
1:2,3), and for uniformity also in every other place.
The inappropriateness of making capitalization an issue of theological significance in
translation becomes apparent when one follows the mandated ministerial practice of reading the
Scriptures to congregations (1 Tim 4:13). None of the hearers of the read Scriptures can detect
from the oral reading any of the adjustments editors wanting to be theologically correct have
made supposedly to upgrade a text by their stylistic enhancements. The authority, however, lies
entirely in the words themselves, regardless of the literary style of the host languages into which
international translations are made. Furthermore, convincing proof of the validity of this
principle that the words themselves bear all the theological weight can be demonstrated by the
uniformity of letter size in the most ancient Greek codices of the New Testament, the uncials,
handwritten entirely in capital letters. That is, these earliest compiled manuscripts, using
comparable English lettering to illustrate them, looked approximately like this:
at the ends of the lines, where the break can and often does come anywhere, even within a word
so as to conserve space. When quotations of the Old Testament are made in the New Testament,
the same uniformity of letter case is apparent in the Old Testament text being quoted, for Hebrew
characters are all of one size without any possible distinction as in English between lower case
and upper case. In ancient Hebrew texts there is only one alphabet, one set of hand-drawn letters,
one “case” or font for all writing. Conclusion: There are no inspired guidelines (given, implied,
or intended) in the original sources to justify initial capitalization of selected words. Every
capital represents a downline editorial decision. This idiomatic translation, therefore, by its
conformity to accepted prose style makes possible a fresh apprehension of the biblical text
without importing dogmatic containers in the cargo hold of capitalization. Whatever of tradition
is lost in the acquisition of biblical truth, none was listed in the original biblical bill of lading.
The analogical terms, “father” and “son,” when used in reference to God and his human
son have not been capitalized except in those cases where the translation has the conjoined term,
“Father God,” (Eph 5:20) of which capitalization of Father in the ascriptive position accords
with contemporary style. It would be redundant to capitalize son in “God’s son” (1 John 5:5)
because “son” is clearly modified by “God.” Often one finds “God the father of . . ." or “the
father” where the article in the Greek text sets the divine frame of reference (John 6:27) to
differentiate “the father” from all human fathers. “Where is your father?” (John 8:19) inquired
Jesus’ enemies. By following current norms of English style one does not need to insert an
awkward capital “F” as “Father” to make a capital letter bear the weight of the determination of
Jesus’ paternity, especially because these critics of Jesus claimed for themselves “we have one
father, God” (John 8:41). Arbitrary decisions about capitalization are avoided by using the
Introduction 11

expected English form, even if that procedure at first seems to traditional eyes to result in literary
understatement—an effective technique in which less is more, as good writers know, indicating
that the truth stands on its own stable feet without need for editorial puffing. Note the following
example where father is being used generically but with obvious meaning without
superimposing a capital letter:
In their view he not only had violated the sabbath, but also by speaking of God
intimately as his father, he was putting himself on a par with God. (John 5:18)
In the next illustration the adjective, heavenly, makes clear which father is meant:
Therefore, if you—although unregenerate—know how to give good gifts to your
children, how much more will the heavenly father give holy spirit to those who
ask him! (Luke 11:13)
Likewise, lower case simplicity of reference to “the spirit of God” has been maintained.
The prepositional phrase, “of God,” makes it unmistakable that “the spirit” in the complete
phrase, “the spirit of God,” is God’s spirit for which a capitalized “S” would create a mysterious
redundancy whose emphasis must then be subtracted from the internal phrase, “of God.” The
same principle holds for “the spirit of Jesus” (Acts 16:7). A restrained use of capitals perfectly
accords with Jesus’ foundational saying about the spiritual nature of God and how to worship
But the future has arrived in which true devotees will adore the father
in spirit and truth. For the father desires that kind of approach by those
worshiping him. God is spirit. Worshipers should revere him in spirit
and truth. (John 4:23-24)
This conservatism in style displayed in the use of capitals has the advantage of not
deciding the interpretation of a given passage such as James 4:5, which mentions “the spirit
dwelling in us.” But if a translator retains as here the lower case “spirit” within a full translation
of the New Testament otherwise peppered with “the Spirit,” he thereby has fully decided that
James here refers to the human spirit that all people have, not to God’s spirit that only believers
in Jesus have. By his capitalization such a translator affords no slack to the careful English
reader, interpreter, or expositor, which means the user will have to take his fisherman’s knife
and cut the translator’s line if he would pull in a different understanding of James 4:5 in view of
the context of the whole Bible. In 2 Timothy 1:7 the same kind of ambiguity exists in the second
mention of “spirit” for any consistent capitalizer of “Spirit,” or in the only mention of "spirit" in
1 Corinthians 15:45 that describes Christ.
There are contexts in the New Testament in which references to to pneûma, “the spirit,”
are such that the lower case is always appropriate and the upper case stilted:
(1) They unmistakably allude (in the larger context) to God (e.g., 1 Tim 4:1).
(2) They are elliptical in that “of God” is implied in each case. Because the reader can
be sure from the context that not some other spirit, but “the spirit of God”
is meant, the shortened form, “the spirit,” introduced by the definite article, suffices
to provide clear reference.
When “holy” is used with “spirit” as in 2 Corinthians 6:6 (en pneúmati hagío), “in holy
spirit,” whether anarthrous as here and also in other instances when preceded by a preposition
Introduction 12

(dià pneúmatos hagíou—Acts 1:2) and in all passages that speak of filling or being full of “holy
spirit” or of immersing or being baptized in “holy spirit” (Matt 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:15,41,67;
3:16; 4:1; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 2:4; 4:8,31; 6:3,5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:16,24; 13:9,52; Eph 5:18), or
when the expression is articular as in Acts 10:47 (tò pneûma tò hágion), “the holy spirit,” all
such expressions using “holy” as an adjective modifying “spirit” have been so rendered in this
translation without arbitrary capitalization of the adjective or the noun, understanding “[the] holy
spirit” as a synonym for “the spirit of God.” Tendentious capitalization to accommodate the
dogmatic accretions of the philosopher-theologians of the fourth and fifth centuries, familiar as it
is today in the term, Holy Spirit, as if capitalization created per se a First-name + Surname
indication of a solitary individual, (like Holly Spires or Hobart Spencer), has been avoided as
unwarranted and without scriptural precedent. For instance: “the disciples kept being filled with
joy and holy spirit” (Acts 13:52). Likewise it would be top heavy to put a capital letter on the
first noun in the phrase, “the spirit of grace” (Heb 10:29). One more example is appropriate:
God did not give us a spirit that is faint-hearted, but dynamic, loving, and
controlled by wisdom. (2 Tim 1:7)
Similar principles have been followed with reference to God's word, glory, and hand in
their many occurrences. Whenever “the word of God” occurs, whether it refers to the oral
message, the written message, the eternal word, the planted seed, or the Christ of the apocalypse,
it appears in that lower case form, or following God (in the possessive)—“God’s word”—in
analogy to “the spirit of God,” “the glory of God,” and “the hand of God.”
In conforming to the modern practice of primary use of the lower case, it is interesting
to recall that historic John Wycliffe, maker of the first translation of the Bible into English, did
not use capitals for proper nouns, like “god” (or emperrour august, galile, nazareth, bethleem,
iudee, davith [i.e., David]).2

Holy Onomastics—Inclusion of God's Revealed Personal Name

God's holy name, Yahveh, (pronounced, YAH-vay), his exclusive personal name
revealed in Scripture to identify the only true God (Psa 135:13), has been concealed and
effectively purged from many familiar translations. But The Idiomatic Translation restores the
revelation of his proper name wherever appropriate in demonstrating continuity with the Old
Testament (Exod 33:19). Therefore, when God's only personal name is indicated, as
differentiated from the generic term (God) and all his many titles, his revealed name has been
retained as it should be.
Most of the traditional translations, striving to avoid use of the personal name of God,
have substituted LORD (note the initial capital plus three final small capitals), fabricating an
antonomasia for the personal name of God in the Old Testament, much as King Charles in his
day might be called, “Your Highness,” or “His Majesty,” instead of by his given name. When it
is obvious in a New Testament quotation of the Old Testament that the personal name of God
rather than the generic term for God (Elohim) is found in the Hebrew text, the proper equivalent
in transliteration, following correct Hebrew lettering (having no “j” or “w” among the 22 letters

See the quotation of Luke 2:1-14 found in David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the
English Language. (Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 48.
Introduction 13

of the Hebrew alphabet), i.e., Yahveh [Heb., hw<h.y: , as contrasted with the altered form, hw"ïhy>]
has been used—as for instance, in Luke 20:42 and Hebrews 1:10 as the recognized spelling.3
In ancient Israel the generic term for God was Elohim and the personal name of God
was revealed as Yahveh. The prophet Micah made this distinction clear, using both the generic
terms (Elohim: gods, God) and the only personal name of God (Yahveh):
All the nations may walk in the name of their gods [Elohim]; we will walk in the
name of Yahveh [Yahveh] our God [Elohim] for ever and ever. (Mic 4:5)
Comparable in some sense to the duplicitous Islamic use of Allah, a contraction of al
ilah, [“the god”], hovers the indistinct image of God's personal name among Christians whose
study is limited to English translations of the Bible that omit his real name, even when the
biblical text uses the term, name, and then spells out that unique name. In the 6,007 biblical
occurrences of the one divine name, hwhy, the traditional translators in evading the holy name
have represented it as “the LORD.” Although this adventitious term is augmented by the definite
article [the] (without any literal basis) and magnified by capital letters (without any literal basis)
to form an antonomasia, “the LORD,” this contrived reconstruction is nothing more than a
replacement title, standing in for a proper noun that would be required to represent accurately
the biblical text. The literal rendering in English of the Hebrew hw<h.y: is Yahveh (by
transliteration), or in French, Yahvé (French Bible Jerusalem). The translational downgrade
from his name to an arbitrary title, i.e., from Yahveh to the LORD may have been made on the
basis of the Jewish scribal superstition or fear of misusing his name (Psa 139:20) that after the
fall of Jerusalem caused the Jews to avoid using Yahveh altogether (substituting Adonai—‘my
Lord’ and putting under the radicals its different vowels represented obliquely as hw"ïhy> instead of
hw<h.y,: that has the proper vowels. It is also defended on the basis of the Septuagint’s timid
substitution, thousands of times, of ku,rioj, Lord, for Yahveh. Such an unconscionable deletion of
God's personal name, exalted as it is with his word above all things (Psa 138:2), leaving behind
in the textual vacancy an ash residue, a title not even etymologically related, conditions
English-language believers to think that their God—like Islamic Allah—must not have a distinct
personal name, that is, until they read Romans 8:15 that supports intimate address of God as the
privilege of his children.
That God's revealed name is holy does not mean it is sacrosanct to the point it must be
avoided in identifying or fellowshiping with God (1 John 1:3) or when accurately quoting what
the prophets said in revealing God's name. Whereas the generic term for God(s), Elohim, used of
the true God occurs in the Old Testament slightly over 2,000 times. These include its use also for
idols, judges, and named false gods like Amon, Baal, Chemosh, and Dagon. But the personal
name of God occurs there over 6,000 times, always in the singular, always anarthrous, and
always a proper noun, naming the only true God personally, and asserting in this manner the
acknowledged value afforded by having a name. Yahveh, the personal name of God, occurs three
times for every generic term for God used in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Jesus
was the special bearer of the divine name as a gift to him from the “holy father,” to whom he

Peter Limburg, Stories Behind Words: The Origins and Histories Behind 285 English Words.
H. W. Wilson, 1986. p.104.
Introduction 14

addressed his life-summary prayer, mentioning twice he had been entrusted with God's name:
“your name—the name you gave me” (John 17:11,12).
Most English readers, however, either cannot or do not differentiate between the LORD
and the Lord when reading the Old Testament, as for example in one of Jesus' favorite
messianic passages that remained inexplicable to his enemies: “The LORD says to my Lord:
‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’” (Psa 110:1 NIV). To
bring the English, obscured by editorial revision, up to the level of clarity of the Hebrew, the first
clause should read instead: “Yahveh says to my Lord” (Luke 20:42). In addition, note that the
original text of Moses’ proclamation of Yahveh’s superiority over all gods preserves the name of
God from being obscured by a title (in a context also plentiful with generic terms for God):
For Yahveh your God [Elohim] is God [Elohim] of gods [Elohim] and Lord
[’AdÐnL] of lords [’adÐnTm], the great God [’–l], mighty and awe-inspiring,
who does not show favoritism and does not accept a bribe.
(Deut 10:17—WGM’s translation).
It is confusing at the least and irresponsibly misleading for a translator to omit the
personal name of God and to substitute an antonomasia when he is being identified in his
supreme position and unique personal nature in contrast with all other named deities and idols, or
in any other identity situation. Note again the unnecessary obscurity produced when Hebrew
texts that clearly state the name of God are ignored or suppressed in translation. The practice
denies the reader access to his sacred name, as for instance, in the declaration of Amos about the
identity of the creator, “The LORD is his name” (Amos 5:8 NIV). The prophet would have used
other words had he meant to say that; he actually said without nominal equivocation, “Yahveh
is his name.” The prophet Isaiah, voicing God's self-identification, likewise said, "I am
Yahveh; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isa 42:8).
Baal means Lord. In Old Testament times if one merely said, “the Lord,” that
designation was also parallel in expression with the Canaanite term, the Baal [l[;Bö;h—
; article +
noun = “the Lord” (1 Sam 22:53—Heb. = 22:54)]. Were one to back translate from the NIV’s
English version of 2 Kings 10:23 into Hebrew (substituting literally “the Lord” for Baal each
time), the command of Jehu would become meaningless to the original hearers. The NIV has
everywhere excluded Yahveh’s name and thereby introduced literal ambiguity in this Baalistic
Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Recab went into the temple of Baal [i.e., “the
Lord”]. Jehu said to the ministers of Baal [i.e., “the Lord”], "Look around and
see that no servants of the LORD [i.e., Yahveh] are here with you—only
ministers of Baal [i.e., “the Lord”]."

Quotation Marks
Words obviously used not in their normal denotation but with a special application in
the text, as “law” (1 Cor 9:21), and “baptized” (1 Cor 10:2), have been enclosed in quotes as per
modern usage. Also all quotes from nonbiblical sources (e.g., the Greek poets, a secular proverb,
the Corinthian congregation in dialogue) have been treated the same way.
Introduction 15

Quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament have not been set in quotation
marks but in a distinctive font [Gill Sans]. Longer quotations begin in indented block format
with wide margins and do not need quotation marks.

Anachronism Avoidance
In general, a true translation will be free of concrete anachronisms. An idiomatic
translation must be true to the historical-cultural context that forms the setting for every text. It
would be improper, therefore, to allude to newspaper headlines in translating Luke 8:17 like this:
“and nothing covered up that will not make the headlines.”
Use of certain neutral—that is, harmless but helpful—anachronistic expressions is
possible within the limits of idiomatic translation. Today the English word city denotes a large
population. This means there are few “cities” (Acts 14:6) in the New Testament and many
towns/villages (Acts 8:40) if one applies the current city concept without regard for the much
smaller world-population in biblical times. Another verbal anachronism justified by idiomatic
translation is illustrated in John 4:52 by the phrase, “1 p.m.,” instead of the literal Roman-culture
time, “the seventh hour,” that could be mistaken in contemporary culture as 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., six
hours early or late in either case. Use of “psychotic” in John 10:20, while a mild anachronism as
a term, constitutes a useful idiomatic rendering that conveys well the present meaning of the
Greek word.

Transliterating with Care and Rarely

It is necessary to transliterate proper nouns that are names and locations, but few other
words unless the transliteration has already acquired an accepted denotation in the English
language. Examples of the latter are: cataclysm < kataklusmòs (Luke 17:27b); gangrene
<gángraina (2 Tim 2:17); abyss < ábyssos Rom 10:7); proselyte < prosélytos (Acts 6:5);
logomachy < logomachRa (1 Tim 6:4); dysentery < dysentérion (Acts 28:8). In order to avoid a
stark anachronism in Acts 12:10, automát— (“of its own accord”) was translated rather than
transliterated (“automatically”—that suggests an electric-eye mechanism). Also in Mary’s
prophetic song, the rendering of dynástas in Luke 1:52 should be monarchs, not dynasties.
Because Jesus gave Simon, one of his first disciples, a positive title by which he would
become known, that significant meaning has been preserved in the translation, Rock, rather than
by transliterating sideways from the Greek translation into English as the transliteration, Peter.
God's unique personal name, used 6,007 times in the Old Testament, was brought over
97 times into the New Testament, retaining the proper Old Testament transliteration, Yahveh.

The translator’s understanding of what constitutes coherent blocks of thought
determines the configuration of paragraphs. Use of paragraphs set off by leading between them
rather than verses as the primary unit of organization helps the reader by sorting out the
immediate context of each segment of text. Many, but by no means all, of the paragraph
divisions of this translation accord with those of the fourth revised edition of The Greek New
Testament (ed. by B. & K. Aland, Karavidopoulos, Martini, and Metzger).
Introduction 16

Italics, Bolding, and Bullets

In accord with the trends in literary format generated by word-processing software this
translation utilizes (sparingly) italics, bolding, and bullets where these assist in focusing on the
text itself without being intrusive. If anything, these three focalizers are underused, lest key
words, phrases, or clauses be overemphasized at the expense of the inspired text around them.

The following sentence ends more powerfully by requiring the reader to supply by
anaphora the verb needed to complete the last clause: “The sky and earth will disintegrate, but
my words will not.” (Mark 13:31). The Greek text repeats disintegrate after the negative. By
omitting the second recording of the verb, redundancy in English is avoided, and the whole
statement is more likely to stick in the mind of the reader because of the way it terminates with
the negative at the heavy end of the sentence. Another similar example is found in Luke 17:22.
There are other places where an ellipsis is found in the Greek text but in each case it is
best to fill out the ellipsis for the clarity of the English translation: This clause occurs in John
7:39—odpÐ gBr —n pneòma, and has been rendered without ambiguity, “for his spirit was not
yet received”; the final word was supplied by implication from the context. Otherwise, the
amphibology would remain, with the reader’s not knowing whether the spirit had not yet existed
or reception of the spirit had not yet occurred. A second example of this kind of filled-in ellipsis
follows: Mark 6:17—Autbs gBr ho H—rÐd—s aposteRlas ekr<t—sen tbn IÐ<nn—n, translated so as
to tell what was sent: “For Herod himself, having sent deputies, arrested John.”
Other times in an extended inference in which gBr is supplied more than once in
successive Greek sentences (Gal 5:5,6), this conjunction need not be translated the second time.
It would cheapen the quality of the English to begin each of the two coordinate sentences with
“For,” even if it is proper for the Greek construction to signal by this means only that the
argument is continuing in such repetitions.
Also there are inclusions in the Lukan narrative style that in the best English would
sometimes be elliptical. For instance, the Greek verb, “It happened” opens the story of the
healing of Aeneas, where it can be translated, “The following incident occurred” (Acts 9:32), but
it is better to omit it when it occurs again in the story that follows—the fatal sickness of Dorcas
and her resuscitation after death (Acts 9:37). Luke sometimes uses the indefinite relative
pronoun in such a way that the best English is clear without it (except as a, an) as in Acts 9:33:
“He found there a man named Aeneas.” Luke’s narrative style also includes many occurrences
of the particle de (e.g., Acts 9:32,33,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43) that often cannot be recognized as
requiring an English word for translation.

Parentheses and Brackets

Parentheses have been utilized very sparingly to indicate soft interpolation of elliptical
elements abstracted from the context (Matt 7:7) . Brackets are infrequently used to provide hard
interpolations of helpful explanations where the need for them is immediate and unavailable in
the context as in a difficult allusion (John 1:21) or for the identification of a pronoun.
Introduction 17

Footnote Avoidance
Once one begins to introduce alternatives, clarifications, and exegetical comments by
way of footnotes, there is no logical delimiting principle to keep such from expanding
almost endlessly. Therefore, in only two places (Matt 28:19; Mark 10:51) has a footnote asterisk
been included.

Chapter and Verse Numbering

Headers on each page mark the chapter(s) and all the verses that begin on that page,
whatever the carryover portion of a verse to the next page. Chapters are indicated by boldfaced
numbers. Superscript verse numbers have been inserted within the flow of the text at the
beginning of the reference.
The traditional verse numbering has been retained rather than renumbering a sequence
when the Greek text does not support text of a traditional verse number. This means that in rare
instances a verse number was omitted, for example, Mark 11:25 is followed by 11:27; and Mark
15:27 by 15:29.

The Greek Base for Translation

This translation is based on the most recognized scholarly compilation available of the
oldest known Greek text of the New Testament:
The Greek New Testament. Fourth revised edition. Edited by Barbara Aland,
Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger.
D-Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: United Bible Societies, 1994.
Exactly the same Greek text is found in:
Novum Testamentum Graece. Twenty-seventh revised edition from the original work of
Eberhard and Erwin Nestle. Edited by Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes
Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, and Bruce M. Metzger. Stuttgart: Deutsche
Bibelgesellschaft, 1993.
While the Greek text above has been carefully followed,4 the punctuation in the Greek
text produced by the editors has not always been accepted. For instance, it is preferable to render
Romans 10:19 in the indicative, although set up in the texts above as an interrogative. John 7:38
is a classic instance of misplaced versification based on Origen’s faulty punctuation, leading to a
mistranslation at odds with the context.

Tag Questions
A tag question expects either a negative or positive reply after an indicative clause and
leads the responder in the direction of the answer it expects, both in Greek and English. In Greek
questions that include a negative in the clause, the negative ou anticipates “yes” for an answer,
The one exception is Matthew 28:19b where the longer UBS text has been placed in a footnote.
This questionable text at the end of Matthew, where the exposed edge of the scroll was most
vulnerable to being worn away, has a serious internal contradiction, and external contrarieties in
the inspired biblical history of the church (Acts 2:38; 8:12-16; 10:48; 19:5).
Introduction 18

and conversely the negative m—, a “no.” This grammatical precision has been represented in
English by the use of tag questions: “Two sparrows are sold for the value of the smallest coin;
are they not?” (Matt 10:29). “Boys, you do not have anything to make a meal on, do you?”
(John 21:5)

Spelling of Names and Locations

The spelling of proper nouns conforms with those of William F. Arndt and F. W.
Gingrich in A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian
Literature, second edition (1979). For uniformity this includes the spelling, Judaea, while most
modern spellings have Judea. Sometimes “the southern province” substitutes for Judaea.

Formal Style
As appropriate to the formal character of this nonfiction ancient writing, there are no
contractions used.
The temptation to cutesiness in order to make the message hot or cool has been resisted,
while conserving the enduring character of the word of God.

Idiomatic Binomials
In English idiom the binomial, “flesh and blood” (1 Cor 15:50; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14) is
idiomatically irreversible and occurs like that, but in the Greek text the cognate binomial is also
idiomatically irreversible in the opposite order (except in Gal 1:16). Another example of an
idiomatically irreversible (Hebrew) binomial is “night and day” (1 Thes 2:9; 3:10; 2 Thes 3:8; 1
Tim 5:5; 2 Tim 1:3), used to describe ongoing labors and prayers; its Hebraic order has been
retained in the texts above. Once the Greek text has “day and night” (Rev 7:15).

Uninterrupted Text
The intrusive but common contemporary practice of interspersing editorial headings
before a block of text within a textual column (e.g., Eutychus’ Defenestration before Acts
20:7-12) has been rejected to maintain the indivisible character and sanctity of the inspired text.

Distinctive Nomenclature
∼ Yahveh, the personal name of God has been restored to the readership. The quaint
omission of God's name by translators who either feared to disclose it to the public or
could not continue the fallacious KJV hybrid, Jehovah, used only 10 times (Gen 22:14;
Exod 6:3; 17:15; Jdg 6:24; Psa 83:18; Isa 12:2; 26:4; Jer 23:6; 33:16; Ezek 48:35) in the
KJV Bible, has been corrected by the restoration of the proper vowels with the
tetragrammaton. In biblical times or post-biblically one either said Yahveh or used the
arbitrary substitution, Adonai (yn"©doa÷] 'my lords'—Psa 2:4), but never Jehovah, which
combined the Hebrew vowels of Adonai with the four consonants of YHVH (hw<h.y: ).
Back in the nineteenth century during the hiatus while Hebrew was still dormant [i.e.,
unspoken], some Christian scholars recognized the need to talk about the God of the
Bible by his proper name. They for the most part transliterated the biblical name as
Introduction 19

Yahweh. This rendering of the medial vav as a waw (i.e., v as w—a strange phoneme not
found among the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet), produced a transliteration both hard
to say and hard to sing—a form in disharmony with the transliteration of living Hebrew
into English today. It is important to remember in vocalizing Hebrew that Hebrew (like
Spanish and Czech) is nearly phonetic. Also back in the nineteenth century the Old
Testament scholar, Charles A. Briggs, perceptively stated in reference to God's name
that “any translation [of it] misses the sense” (Messianic Prophecy, 1886, Hendrickson
reprint, 1988) p. x [bold italics added].
∼ John the baptizer is the vocational identifier that differentiates the great prophet from
John the apostle—without introducing the traditional anachronism that when capitalized
seems to give John a denominational affiliation.
∼ The daughter Zion [not daughter of Zion as if there were in addition to God and Zion a
third, unknown party] has been used as when Matthew 21:5 and John 12:15 quote from
the Old Testament. The concept is that just as Israel collectively was God's son, so Zion
was his daughter.
∼ The term, microbeliever(s), has been coined (e.g., Matt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8) to
translate olig\pistos, a concise term describing those with puny faith who because of the
presence of Jesus with them should have had much faith.
∼ Olive Grove Mountain replaces the traditional rendering, “Mount of Olives,” which
would suggest to some minds a colossal mound of ripe olives rather than a mountain site
noted for cultivated olive orchards (Matt 26:30).
∼ The Hebrews spoke of non-Jews as the nations (Rom 3:29; 11:13; 15:9,10,11,12) or as
expressed via Yiddish transliteration in English as goyim (Luke18:32; Rom 1:5;2:14;
10:19; 11:13; 15:9) or alternatively, gentiles, a word meaning of the same [non-Jewish]
clan (Matt 10:33; Mark 10:33).
∼ “Simon, called Rock” (Matt 10:2). Because Jesus made a point of giving a
characterizing title to the apostle whose original name meant reed and thereby made a
play on words between the Aramaic words, Simon and Cephas (John 1:42), it is best
always to translate the Greek translation, Petros, rather than transliterate it.
∼ Always scholar(s) occurs as the proper translation of grammateds, grammate´s (pl),
rendered etymologically in the KJV and most subsequent translations as scribe(s) (Mark
3:22; 7:5; 9:11,14; 11:18,27; 12:35; 14:1,53).
∼ The adjective, supersinful, was coined to render hyperbol—n hamartÐlbs (Rom 7:13).
∼ The frequent term, the holy ones, reflects the biblical doctrine of sanctification and was
consistently used to translate hoi h<gioi all 45 times the term (in its various inflections)
occurs in the New Testament (Acts 9:13,32; 26:10; Rom 1:7; 8:27; 15:25,26,31;
16:2,15; 1 Cor 6:1,2; 14:33; 16:15; 2 Cor 1:1; 8:4; 9:1; 13:13; Eph 1:1,15,18; 3:18;
6:18; Phil 1:1; 4:21,22; Col 1:4,12,26; 1 Tim 5:10; Phlm 1:5,7; Jude 1:3; Rev 5:8; 8:3,4;
11:18; 13:7,10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20,24; 19:8). The translation, saints, has become so
tainted by the false (to the New Testament) particularization of individuals by pontifical
canonization to become terminals of prayer and supposed sources of miracles that this
Introduction 20

term has not been used. [The preview edition of the TNIV (2002) distorts the term, hoi
h<gioi, with sociological definitions (e.g., “believers” and “the people of God”),
occluding the truth about the holy nature of the true church. Such a substitution of terms
by the TNIV is cavalier and misleading rather than idiomatic.]
∼ The human one or the human being, a Semitic idiom, was Jesus' favorite way of
referring to himself in 49 instances (recorded 82 times in the Gospels) as ho huiòs toû
anthrÐpou. This title has been translated traditionally in the English language without
recognition of its idiomatic status, as “the Son of Man” (KJV, NIV). Removal of the
awkward, unjustified capitalization in English places the weight where it should be, on
the idiom for man, “the son of man.” Yet in spite of that simplicity of form, the phrase is
not self-clarifying either in English or in other non-Semitic languages. English uses the
“son of . . .” phrase to show paternity in the biological sense, to identify a son or sons of
a named father or mother. Seldom is it used in the figurative paternal sense in English to
refer to spiritual or intellectual sons of a man. While Hebrew, like all other languages,
will name the father whose son is being accorded filial identification, as for instance,
“Ithamar son of Aaron” (Exod 38:21), or the mother, “Shaul the son of a Canaanite
woman” (Exod 6:15), Hebrew also uses “son of . . .” by extension beyond specifying
paternity or maternity to indicate a special, derived qualitative sense, attributing a nature
or character as contained in the common noun that closes the phrase. For example, a son
of worthlessness was a scoundrel, a good-for-nothing (1 Sam 25:17); a son of
might/strength was a brave soldier (1 Sam 14:52; 2 Sam 17:10); a son of death was a
person certain to die soon, one marked for death (1 Sam 20:31); a son of oil was an
olive-oil producing grove (Isa 5:1 [Heb. text]); a son of slaying was a murderer (2 Kgs
6:32); a son of dawn was a glorious one (Isa 14:12); a son of a year was a yearling (Exod
12:5); sons of foreignness were aliens (Isa 60:10; 62:8); sons of fornication were
offspring born out of wedlock (Hos 2:4); sons of the fresh oil were anointed ministers
(Zec 4:14); sons of the East were eastern peoples (Gen 29:1; Jdg 8:10). The “son of . . .”
idiom [singular or plural] carries over into the New Testament as a Hebraism because
the teachings and conversations in the Gospels originated orally in the Hebrew dialect,
Aramaic; that is, the Hebrew idiom was expressed literally in Greek, for example: a son
of peace was a peaceful person (Luke 10:6); a son of the smoldering garbage dump was
an abhorrent person of nefarious character (Matt 23:15); sons of disobedience were
rebels (Eph 5:6; Col 3:6); a son of a devil was a diabolical person (Acts 13:10); a son of
destruction was a destructive person (John 17:12; 2 Thes 2:3); sons of this age were
worldlings, secular people (Luke 16:8; 20:34); sons of the kingdom were people living
under God’s rule (Matt 8:12; 13:38); sons of thunder were denunciators rumbling out
threats of judgment (Mark 3:17 > Luke 9:54); sons of light were enlightened people
having God's perspective (Luke 16:8; John 12:36; 1 Thes 5:5); sons of the bridegroom
were wedding guests (Matt 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34). To differentiate usage:
Introduction 21

Determine whether the phrase is standard, that is, stating paternity, or idiomatic, stating a
characteristic or quality that is then used as a substantive: If the object of the preposition is a
proper noun, the son of phrase reveals paternity (or maternity) from the named person. If
the object of the preposition is a common noun—concrete or abstract—the son of phrase
denotes an attribute represented by the featured noun and types the person so characterized.

What can be said in Hebrew literally with full comprehensibility, using son [!B,—ben]
in the construct state, followed by man as, ~d'a'-!B,—ben adam, loses its full degree of
comprehensibility for western readers when rendered literally, and often causes the reader to
imagine he understands it because he knows the three simple words. All the while, the Semitic
idiom eludes him even as he retains the simple phrase in his mind. Therefore, the key
Christological idiom under examination, huiòs toû anthrÐpou, has the following meaning in
consonance with all of those many examples given above:
• one having the characteristics of a human being;
• one expressing the nature, qualities, or attributes of human life and nature;
• a genuine person;
• a specimen of humanity, homo sapiens, man.
Combined with the article, the term in the third person, ho huiòs toû anthrÐpou, that
Jesus most often used in referring to himself, has been rendered most often as “the human one,”
conserving his emphasis on his humanity—the touchstone of true Christology (1 John 4:2-3).
Prayerful Translating
This idiomatic translation, designed to be readily accessible for all literate people,
including those who never pray, is interlaced with the prayers of the translator, as it were
between every line, that all the biblical text will be totally transparent to the word of God in the
hands of every sincere seeker and all bona fide believers.
Matthew 1:1-25 22

1:1 This is the genealogical record of Jesus Christ, descendant of David and of Abraham:
Abraham fathered Isaac, who fathered Jacob, who fathered Judah and his brothers.
Judah fathered both Perez and Zerah by Tamar.
Perez fathered Hezron, who fathered Aram, who fathered Amminadab, 4 who fathered
Nahshon, who fathered Salmon, 5 who fathered Boaz by Rahab.
Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth. Obed fathered Jesse, 6 father of King David.
David fathered Solomon by the widow of Uriah.
Solomon fathered Rehoboam, who fathered Abijah, who fathered Asaph, 8 who
fathered Jehoshaphat, who fathered Joram, who fathered Uzziah, 9 who fathered
Jotham, who fathered Ahaz, who fathered Hezekiah, 10 who fathered Manasseh,
who fathered Amos, who fathered Josiah, 11 who fathered Jechoniah and his
brothers at the time of deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon, Jechoniah fathered Salathiel, who fathered
Zerubbabel, 13 who fathered Abiud, who fathered Eliakim, who fathered Azor,
who fathered Zadok, who fathered Achim, who fathered Eliud, 15 who fathered
Eleazar, who fathered Matthan, who fathered Jacob, 16 father of Joseph—the
husband of Mary.
From Mary was born Jesus who bears the appellation, Christ.
From Abraham to David there were 14 generations in all; and 14 generations from
David until the deportation to Babylon. There were also 14 generations from the Babylonian
deportation until Christ.
The birth of Jesus Christ occurred as follows: While his mother to be, Mary, was
engaged to Joseph and before the marriage was consummated, she was found to have conceived
by the holy spirit. 19 Then Joseph, her husband [by legally binding engagement], a man of
integrity who did not want to stigmatize her, had just about made up his mind to terminate
quietly his marital commitment to her. 20 While he was mulling over the whole situation,
Yahveh’s messenger surprised him by appearing and speaking in a dream:
Joseph, descendant of David, do not be apprehensive about accepting Mary as
your wife, for that which is spirit generated is holy. 21 She will give birth to a
son. You are to call his name Jesus, for in keeping with the meaning of his
name, ‘he will save’ his people from their sins.
All this occurred that Yahveh’s word through his prophet might be fulfilled:
Notice: The virgin will conceive and bear a son. His identity will be Immanuel. That
designator means literally: with us [is] God.
When Joseph got up after sleep, he did as Yahveh’s messenger directed. He took his
wife as his companion, 25 yet he did not have intimate relations with her until her son was born.
He named him Jesus.
Matthew 2:1-18 23

2:1 Jesus was born in Bethlehem, located in the southern province (i.e., Judaea) during the
reign of King Herod.
In Jerusalem there arrived star scholars from the East. 2 They said, “Where is the one
born destined to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the East and have come to revere him.”
This news excited King Herod along with the whole city of Jerusalem. 4 He convened
all the upper-echelon priests and Jewish scholars and put to them the question: “Where will the
messiah be born?”
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of the southern province. For in this regard it was
inscribed by the prophet:
And as for you, Bethlehem, in the southern province,
By no means are you least among Judaea’s pacesetters.
From you indeed a leader will emerge,
One who will shepherd my people, Israel.”
Then Herod, having covertly called in the star experts, ascertained from them the time
the star appeared. 8 He sent them on to Bethlehem with this order: “Go, get exactly the whole
story on the child. When you have found him, report back to me that I too might come and pay
my respects to him.”
After their audience with the king, they traveled on. Look! The star they had seen in
the East led them forward until it came and positioned itself right over the location of the child.
The sighting of the star made them jubilant with immense joy. 11 When they came inside the
house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother. There they prostrated themselves in reverence
to him. They opened their treasure chests and presented him gifts of gold, frankincense, and
Advised in a dream not to report back to Herod, they slipped away homeward by
another route.
After their return, observe the sequel: To Joseph Yahveh’s messenger appeared in a
dream. He said,
Move out, take along the child and his mother, and escape to Egypt. Stay there
until such time as I notify you, for Herod is intent on destroying him.
Therefore, Joseph got ready and during the night took the child and his mother and
escaped into Egypt. 15 He stayed there until the demise of Herod that Yahveh’s statement, given
through his prophet, might be fulfilled: “I called my son out of Egypt.”
Then Herod, realizing he had been stood up by the star scholars, became livid with
anger. He sent his deputies to do away with all the infants two years old and under in Bethlehem
and in all its outlying areas, in accordance with the time of the star’s appearance as ascertained
from the star scholars.
On that occasion the declaration through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
A commotion in Rama was heard—crying and great mourning.
Rachel was weeping for her children.
Matthew 2:19-3:15 24

She would not be consoled,

because her children were no more.
After Herod came to his end, see this: Yahveh’s messenger appeared in a dream to
Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying:
Get ready, take along the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
for those who sought the child’s life are deceased.
He packed up, took the child and his mother, and entered the land of Israel.
After Joseph heard that Archelaus reigned over the southern province in succession to
his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Warned about this situation in a dream, he returned
to the region of Galilee. 23 Upon arriving, he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the
word of the prophets was fulfilled: He will be called a Nazarene.
3:1 At the time when John the baptizer came on the scene, he began preaching in the
Judaean wilderness. 2 His message was this: Have a change of heart and mind, for the kingdom
of heaven is positioned to appear soon. 3 John is the one mentioned in the declaration of the
prophet Isaiah:
A voice shouting in the wilderness:
Prepare Yahveh’s roadway.
Make straight the lanes.
John, himself, was clothed in camel’s hide, held in place by a leather belt around his
waist. Locusts and wild honey were his sustenance. 5 At that time Jerusalem, all the southern
province, and all those in the vicinity of the Jordan went out to meet John. 6 They were being
dip-washed by him in the Jordan River upon confession of their sins.
When he observed many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to the site of his baptizing,
he said to them:
Progeny of poisonous snakes, who informed you to flee from the imminent
wrath? 8 Produce evidences of genuine repentance. 9 Do not presume to say
among yourselves, “We have Father Abraham in our ancestry.” For I declare to
you that God is able to raise up from these stones descendants of Abraham.
Already the ax is leaning against the trunk of the trees. Therefore, every tree
not bearing good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
As for me, I immerse you in water to depict repentance. On the other hand,
my successor is superior to me. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He will
immerse you in holy spirit and fire. 12 He grips his winnowing fork and will
clean up his threshing workplace by gathering his grain into the granary, and
by consuming the chaff completely with inextinguishable fire.
At that time Jesus came from Galilee to John’s station alongside the Jordan River to
be immersed by him. 14 But John offered resistance to his proposal: “I ought to be baptized by
you, yet you come to me!”
Jesus replied to him, “Let it be done now, for this is a positive action for us so as to
fulfill comprehensive righteousness.”
Matthew 3:16-4:16 25

At this point John gave in to him.

Once immersed, Jesus immediately went up (the bank) away from the water.
See this: The skies were opened, and John saw God’s spirit as if a dove descending and
alighting upon Jesus.
Observe: A voice from heaven exclaimed,
“This is my dearly loved son who pleases me well.”
4:1 Then Jesus was brought by the spirit into the desert where he would be tempted by the
devil. After having gone without food 40 days and 40 nights, he became famished. 3 Then the

tempter approached him and said, “If you are God’s son, speak such that these stones might
become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It has been written:
Man will not survive on bread exclusively,
but on every word emanating from God’s mouth.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and caused him to perch on the peak of the
temple. He said to him, “If you are God’s son, dive down, for ‘it has been written’:
The angels have orders from him concerning you,
and upon their appendages they will support you,
in any case where you might trip over a stone.”
Jesus responded: “Again it stands written:
Do not force a test on Yahveh, your God!”
Once more, the devil took him along to a spectacularly high mountain. He presented to
him a panorama of all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. 9 He said to him, “I will give all
these to you, if prostrating yourself in submission, you will reverence me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Retreat, opponent, for it has been written:
It is Yahveh, your God, you must reverence, and you will offer worship only to him.”
Then the devil left him. And look! Angels arrived and were taking care of his needs.
Jesus, having heard that John had been arrested, pulled back to Galilee. 13 He left
Nazareth behind and went to stay at Capernaum, located by the lake in the region of Zebulun and
Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled the proclamation of the prophet Isaiah:
Regarding the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, located on the lake road
opposite the Jordan, called international Galilee, 16 a brilliant light shined to benefit
the people sitting in darkness; for those situated in the countryside in morbid gloom,
light has dawned.
Matthew 4:17-5:13 26

From that time onward Jesus began to preach this message: Repent, because heaven’s
kingdom has come close to realization.
While walking the shoreline of Lake Galilee, he noticed two brothers, Reed [i.e.,
Simon], called Rock, and Andrew his brother. They were spreading a net in the lake because
fishing was their occupation.
Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will retrain you to fish for men.”
At once, leaving their fishing gear, they followed with him.
After he had gone further down the shore, he saw two other brothers, James, the son
of Zebedee, and John, his brother. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father, preparing their
nets for use. He called them too. 22 Without delay, leaving the boat and their father, they followed
with him.
Jesus circulated throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the
good news of the kingdom. He also healed every disease and sickness among the people.
His reputation spread into all of Syria. Consequently, they brought to him everyone
who was seriously sick. Many kinds of diseases were represented, including all those people in
the throes of severe pain, those demented by demons, epileptics, and paralytics—and he healed
them. 25 Many crowds accompanied him. They came from Galilee, Ten-Cities, Jerusalem, Judaea,
and Transjordania.
5:1 After seeing the crowds, he went up the mountain. When he took his seat, his students
came to him. 2 He began his presentation by teaching them the following truths:
Blessed are those not full of themselves, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
Blessed are those who are grieving, for they will be renewed in spirit.
Blessed are the teachable, for they will be given possession of the earth.
Blessed are those hungering and thirsting to be righteous, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who have a heart, for they will be treated with compassion.
Blessed are those with pure motives, for they will see God.
Blessed are those who bring about peace, for they will be called God’s progeny.
Blessed are those persecuted for taking a stand for what is right, for they possess
the kingdom of heaven.
You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and make all kinds of evil
remarks against you because of your association with me. 12 Take joy in that and be cheerful,
because you have a sizable reward reserved in the heavens, for in the same way they persecuted
the prophets who lived before your time.
You are the salt on earth. If [impure] salt is insipid, for what will it be used? It no
longer is useful and will be thrown out and trampled by people.
Matthew 5:14-33 27

You are light for the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 One does not
light a lamp and place it under an inverted grain basket, but upon a lamp pedestal. There it
illuminates all the contents of the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine in society so
your beneficial service will be evident, and by it people will glorify your father in the heavens.
Do not think I have come to put down the law or the prophets. I have not come to
rescind but to fulfill them. 18 For I assure you that until such time as heaven and earth pass off the
scene, not one smallest letter or stroke of the pen will drop out of the law until every aspect is
fulfilled. 19 Whoever violates one of the least of these commands and teaches people to do
likewise will be called least in heaven’s kingdom. But whoever would practice and teach these
precepts will be called great in heaven’s kingdom.
I declare to you this: Unless your righteousness is superior to that practiced by the
scholars and Pharisees, you for sure will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard what has been said by the leaders: “Do not murder; whoever
murders will be subject to punishment.” 22 In addition, I say to you that everyone who stays mad
at his brother will be subject to punishment. And whoever would call his brother “scum” will be
subjected to the highest judicial council. Whoever would call him an outright fool deserves a
place in the smoldering trash dump (i.e., gehenna).
Therefore, if at the time you bring your gift to place it on the altar, you remember
your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar. Go first and
make things right with your brother, and then come and present your gift.
Be quick to get on friendly terms with your accuser, even while you meet up with him
on the way to court, lest he hand you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the
warden, who would throw you into prison. 26 I tell you assuredly you will not emerge from prison
until you repay the last small coin.
You have heard that it has been stated: “Do not have affairs.” 28 In addition I say to
you that anyone fantasizing sexual acts with a woman, has already raped her in his heart. 29 So if
your right eye gets you into trouble, gouge it out and throw it away from you. For it is better for
you that one of your faculties be destroyed than for your whole body to be thrown into the
infernal garbage dump. 30 Also if your right hand gets you into trouble, chop it off, and throw it
away from you. For it is better for you that one of your faculties be destroyed than for your
whole body to be tossed into the infernal garbage dump.
It has been officially stated:
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a document of divorce.
Nevertheless, I say to you: Every man who divorces his wife for any reason other than
adultery makes her out to be an adulteress, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits
Again, you have heard what was stated by the leaders:
You must not lie under oath, but you must make good your oaths to Yahveh.
Matthew 5:34-6:10 28

But I say to you: Do not make oaths at all. Do not swear by heaven, because it is the
throne of God; 35 neither by the earth, because it is his hassock; neither by implicating Jerusalem,
because it is the city of the great king. 36 Nor should you swear by your own head, because you
are not able to make one hair white or black. 37 When you give your word, let it be a plain yes or
no. Going beyond these responses introduces evil.
You have heard it stated: “An eye in exchange for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.”
I say to you: Do not fight back when harm is done to you. On the contrary, if someone slaps
your right cheek, turn toward him the other cheek too. 40 If someone wants to legally take the
shirt off your back, let him have your coat also. 41 If someone forces you to be his porter for a
mile, double the distance. 42 Give to one who implores you, and do not turn your back on the one
wanting to borrow from you.
You have heard the saying, “Love those close to you, and hate your enemies.”
But I say to you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who put pressure on you. 45 In
so doing you all will be family members of your father in heaven. Indeed, he causes his sun to
rise on bad and good people; he causes rain to fall upon righteous and unrighteous people.
For if you love those who love you, how is that a credit to you? Do not even
tax-takers do this? 47 If you have friendly relations with only your extended family, what do you
accomplish more than anyone else? Do not people all over the world do the same? 48 Therefore,
you—in your love—be complete, even as your father in heaven is perfect in his love.
6:1 Make sure the right things you do in public are not done to show off. If you do not
follow my counsel in this, you will forfeit a reward from your father in the heavens. 2 Therefore,
when you contribute to a good cause, do not blow a trumpet to signal the event. Hypocrites are
notorious for doing such in the synagogues and out on the streets. They do it to be celebrated in
public opinion. Indeed, I tell you: They have their full compensation. 3 When you contribute to
the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4 Be secretive about your
kindhearted giving, and your father, who does not miss a secret, will compensate you.
When you pray, do not model yourself after hypocrites. They like to position
themselves for prayer in the synagogues and at street intersections to be observed by the public.
Indeed, I tell you: They have their compensation. 6 Now when you pray, enter your hideaway,
and when you have shut the door, pray to your father secretly. Your father, who does not miss a
secret practice, will compensate you.
When you pray, do not prattle on repetitiously as do heathen, for they think their
prayers will be heard on the basis of how much they say. 8 Do not imitate them. For your father
knows your needs before you ask him for anything.
You, then, are to pray in this manner:
Our father in the heavens,
May your name be held in holy awe.
May your kingdom arrive.
May your will be implemented on earth just as in heaven.
Matthew 6:11-34 29

Supply for us today our daily bread.
Cancel our debts just as we also have canceled debts of those obligated to us.
Do not lead us to enter temptation, but rescue us from evil.
If you forgive people their transgressions, your heavenly father will also forgive you.
But if you are not forgiving toward others, neither will your father pardon your transgressions.
When you fast, do not take on the style of down-at-the-mouth hypocrites. For they
alter their appearance negatively in such a manner that everyone will surmise they are fasting.
Indeed, I tell you they have their reward. 17 In the case of your fasting, appear in public with your
hair properly groomed and your face washed clean. 18 Accordingly, do not let the public know
you are fasting; do it secretly before your heavenly father. Your father, who does not miss a
secret practice, will reward you.
Stop amassing on earth treasures for yourselves, where moths and oxidation bring
deterioration, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Accumulate treasures in heaven, where
neither moths nor oxidation bring deterioration and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21
For wherever your treasure is stashed away, your heart will be there too.
Your body has a lamp—the eye. Therefore, if your eye functions properly, your entire
body has the advantage of light. 23 If your eye is dysfunctional, your entire body experiences
darkness. If your internal illumination consists of darkness, how somber that darkness!
No one can be fully committed to work for two bosses. For he will prefer one over the
other; in other words, he will be loyal to one and think less of the other. You cannot be fully
committed to God and to possessions.
For this reason I say to you not to worry about survival—as to what you will eat, nor
about your body as to what clothes you will wear. Is not life more than food, and your body more
than your clothes? 26 Notice the birds in the sky. They neither sow, nor reap, nor store up food in
barns, yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they?
Who of you by stewing about it is capable of increasing his height by the length of his
Why do you worry about clothing? Learn well the lesson of how field-lilies grow.
They do not engage in hard labor, nor do they spin threads. 29 But I tell you that even
best-dressed Solomon was never decked out like one of them. 30 If God so gloriously clothes the
flora of the field that is here today and incinerated tomorrow [to heat primitive clay ovens], will
he not all the more clothe you, microbelievers?
Consequently, do not begin to fret, wondering: Will we have food? Will we have
something to drink? Will we have something to wear? 32 All these are people’s concerns
universally. Your heavenly father knows you need all these provisions. 33 Seek first God’s
kingdom and his right way of doing things, and all these will be supplied for you. 34 Do not be
anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. There is enough trouble as it is
when we take life one day at a time.
Matthew 7:1-27 30

7:1 Stop being judgmental if you want to avoid being criticized. 2 You will be evaluated the
same way you evaluate. The standard you use to make your judgments will be applied to you.
How is it you detect the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and do not notice the
board wedged between your eyelids? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, “Permit me to extract
the speck from your eye,” when—look at you—you have a board blocking your eye? 5
Hypocrite, first remove the board blocking your sight, and then you will see clearly to remove
the speck from your brother’s eye.
Do not give meat consecrated on the altar to dogs, nor project your pearls before boars,
lest they trample them underfoot and then spin around and stampede over you.
Ask (for what you need), and it will be given to you. Search and you will find. Knock
and the door will be opened for you. 8 For every requester becomes a recipient; and seeker, a
finder; and one who knocks—one admitted. Let me put it another way. 9 Is there any person
among you who when his son asks for bread will give him a stone? 10 If also he would ask for a
fish, he would not give him a snake, would he? 11 Therefore, if you, though degenerate, know
how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good
gifts to those asking him.
Therefore, in every way you want people to treat you, treat them accordingly as you
would yourself. For this principle conserves the meaning of the law and the prophets.
Enter through the narrow gateway. Here is the reason: The road leading to destruction
is broad, accessed by an enormous entrance. Many people are streaming in through it. 14 How
narrow the gateway and restrictive the road that leads to life! Few actually find it.
Be alert for false prophets; they come to you disguised as sheep, but inside they are
insatiable wolves. 16 You will recognize them by what they produce. Harvesters do not gather
grapes from thorn bushes, nor figs from briars, do they? 17 By the same principle every healthy
fruit tree produces wholesome fruit, and a blighted tree produces bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree
cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree make good fruit. 19 Every tree not producing
wholesome fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, you will recognize false
prophets with certainty by what they produce.
Not everyone who mouths the words to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father in the heavens. 22 In that future day many
will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name expel demons,
and in your name perform many miracles?” 23 At that time I shall say to them bluntly, “Never did
I recognize you. Get out of my presence, perpetrators of unrighteousness.”
Everyone who listens to these words of mine and implements them will be like an
intelligent man who built his house on rock ledge. 25 Rainstorms, flash floods, and high winds
battered the house, but it did not collapse because its foundation was secure upon rock.
In contrast, all who hear my words and do not carry them out will be like someone
stupid who constructed his house on sand. 27 Rainstorms, flash floods, and high winds battered
that house, and it collapsed. It was totaled.
Matthew 7:28-8:20 31

As Jesus completed these verbal pictures, the crowds were carried away with his
teaching, for he was teaching them as an authority—not in the customary manner of their
8:1 When he descended the mountain, immense crowds followed him.
See this: A leper approaching and prostrating himself before him, said, “Lord, if you
are willing, you are able to clean me up.”
In responding, Jesus extended his hand so as to touch him, and said, “I want that;
become clean.”
At once his system was cleansed from the leprosy. 4 Jesus said to him, “Make sure you
do not tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift Moses directed. This
will be a testimony to the priests.”
As he came into Capernaum a centurion approached him, imploring him for help. 6 He
said, “Lord, my servant is down in bed at home with paralysis and is really in bad shape.”
Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
The centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come inside my
residence, but only give the order and my servant will be healed. 9 For I am a man under the
chain of command, having troops under me as well. I say to one, ‘Proceed,’ and he goes; and to
another I say, ‘Report for duty,’ and he does. To my servant I say, ‘Do such and such,’ and he
does it.”
As he listened to the centurion’s response, Jesus was astonished. He said to those
following him, 11 “I tell you, that from no Israeli have I found such faith as this. I tell you, many
will come from east and west and dine in repose with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom
of heaven. 12 Yet the kingdom regulars will be bounced to the darkness outside, where there will
be crying and grimacing with clenched teeth.”
Jesus then said to the centurion, “Proceed. Just as you believed, so will it be for you.”
His servant was healed simultaneously.
When Jesus came to Rock’s home, he found his mother-in-law in bed, brought low by
a fever. He grasped her hand and the fever left her. She got up and served him.
At sunset they brought to him many demoniacs. He exorcised the spirits by his word,
and he healed all those who had something wrong with them. 17 This fulfilled the prophet Isaiah’s
He himself took away our sicknesses,
and he removed our diseases.
Upon seeing a crowd surrounding him, Jesus gave orders to depart to the other side of
the lake. Just then one scholar approached him and said, “Teacher, I volunteer to follow you
wherever you go.”
Jesus replied to him, “Foxes have lairs, the birds of the sky have perches, but the

human one has no place to rest his head.”

Matthew 8:21-9:8 32

Another of his followers said to him, “Lord, permit me first to be furloughed until
such time as I conduct my father’s funeral.”
Jesus responded to him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
When he boarded a boat, his disciples shoved off with him. 24 Now look: A
devastating squall swept over the lake so that their boat was being swamped by waves while he
was taking a nap. 25 Coming up to him, they roused him, saying, “Lord, rescue us, we are going
He replied, “Why do you give in to fear, microbelievers?”
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. A great calm settled over the scene.
Astounded by what happened, the men said, “What kind of man is this whom the winds and the
sea obey?”
When he reached shore across the lake in the territory of the Gadarenes, two
demoniacs encountered him. They came from the area where tombs are located. They were
extremely violent—so fierce nobody was able to pass down the cemetery road. 29 See how they
reacted to Jesus: They yelled, “What subjection do we have to you, son of God? Have you come
here ahead of schedule to harass us?”
In the distance from them a herd of many hogs was feeding. 31 The demons were
pleading with him saying, “If you expel us, send us into the herd of hogs.”
He replied, “Get out!”
After they emerged, they transferred into the hogs. Watch! All the herd stampeded
down the steep bank into the lake and drowned in the waters.
The herd-tenders fled into the town and reported everything that affected them, and
they told also about the demoniacs. 34 Now look again: All the town went out to meet Jesus.
When they saw him, they pled with him to get off their regional turf.
9:1 After boarding a boat, he crossed the lake and came to his own town [i.e., Capernaum].
See this: They brought to him a paralytic confined to a pallet. When Jesus saw their faith, he
said to the paralytic, “Be encouraged, son, your sins are forgiven.”
Note the reaction. Certain of the scholars said to themselves, “This man blasphemes!”
Jesus, seeing through to their surmises said, “Why do you conjure up evil in your
hearts? For which is easier to say: Your sins are forgiven, or Get up and get going? 6 What I am

about to do is being done that you might know that this human being has authority to forgive
Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, gather up your bedroll, and go home.”
He stood up and started out homeward bound.
Upon seeing this event, the massive crowd became frightened and glorified God, the
one who granted such authority in the human realm.
Matthew 9:9-28 33

As Jesus was on his way out of town, he observed a revenue agent busy at his job.
Jesus said to Matthew, for that was his name, “Follow me.”
He disengaged himself and followed him—just like that.
The next incident happened while Jesus was reclining as a dinner guest in a home. See
the picture! Many tax-takers and sinners had come and were reclining at dinner with Jesus and
his disciples. 11 The Pharisees, having noted what was going on, kept saying to his disciples,
“Why does your teacher dine with tax-takers and sinners?"
When Jesus heard the question, he replied, “Healthy people do not need a physician,
but only those who are ill. 13 Research and learn what this text means: I want compassion, not a
sacrifice. For I did not come to call righteous people, but sinners.”
At that time John’s disciples came to Jesus saying: “We fast as do the Pharisees, but
your disciples are not into fasting. Why is that?”
Jesus replied to them, “The groomsmen are not able to mourn as long as the
bridegroom is among them. But the time will arrive when the bridegroom will be taken away
from them; then they will fast.
No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old fabric. For it eventually shrinks from
full size, separating from the garment and making the split become worse than before.
Neither do people put new wine into old leather wineskins. Indeed, were they to do that, the
leather would eventually crack open, the wine would leak out, and the wineskins would be
discarded. But they put new wine into new leather pouches, and both are preserved.
While he was saying these things to them, note what happened: One of the leaders
came to him, prostrated himself before him, and said, “My daughter right now is on the verge of
death. But if you will come and lay your hand upon her, she will live.”
Jesus got up, and with his disciples he followed the man.
See this: Coming up behind him, a woman whose menstrual flow had not ceased for
12 years touched the tassel on his garment. 21 For she thought to herself, “If only I touch his
clothes, I shall be delivered.”
Jesus turned around, and looking right at her said, “Be encouraged, daughter, your
faith delivered you.” She was healed instantaneously.
Arriving at the leader’s house and seeing the players of wind instruments and the
seething crowd, 24 Jesus said: “Clear out, for the little girl did not die, but fell asleep.” They
scoffed at him. 25 When finally the mob had been put outside, he went inside. He grasped her
hand, and raised up the little girl. 26 The news of this was reported all over the region.
As Jesus was leaving there, two blind men followed, imploring him, “Have mercy on
us, David’s son!”
After Jesus went indoors, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, “Do you
believe I am able to do this?”
They replied, “Yes, Lord.”
Matthew 9:29-10:17 34

Then he touched their eyes, saying, “Just as your faith envisions, let it be for you.”
Sight was restored to their eyes.
Jesus sternly warned them, “See to it that no one is informed about this.” 31 But when
they went out, they spread the news of him all over that region.
Following their departure, see this: A deaf-mute under demoniacal control was
brought to him. 33 After the demon was expelled, the deaf-mute spoke. Amazed by this, the
crowds were exclaiming, “Never has anything like this appeared in Israel!”
But the Pharisees kept carping, “By liaison with the leader of demons he expels
Jesus made a circuit to all the cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues, and
preaching the good news of the kingdom. He healed people of every disease and every sickness.
When he saw the crowds, he was moved deeply with feelings for them because they
were harassed and lying helpless like sheep not having a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is bounteous, but so few are the laborers.
Therefore, ask the harvest manager to send out field hands into his harvest.”
10:1 After having called together his twelve disciples, he conferred on them authority over
sordid spirits so they could expel them, and to heal every disease and every weakness.
The register of the twelve apostles is as follows:
First, Simon called Rock, and Andrew his brother,
James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother,
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the revenue agent,
James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus,
Simon the right-wing partisan, and Judas from Kerioth, who also betrayed him.
Jesus commissioned these twelve and gave them orders: Do not fan out to the nations,
nor enter a Samaritan city. 6 But go to the lost sheep of the enclosure of Israel’s household.
When you arrive, preach this: The kingdom of heaven is imminent. 8 Heal sick people;
resuscitate those who die; cleanse lepers of their leprosy; expel demons. You received this
ministry as a gift; give generously. 9 Do not acquire gold, silver, or brass coins for your money
belt. 10 Do not take a pack, nor two long shirts, sandals, nor a staff. For the worker is worthy of
his maintenance.
In whatever town or village you enter, inquire as to who living there is reputable.
Remain at his place until the time comes to leave. 12 When you enter a household, greet
everyone. If the home is worthy of your presence, give your peace-blessing to it. 13 If the
household is unworthy, let your peace return to you. 14 As to anyone who will not welcome you
nor listen to your messages, exit from their house or that town, shaking off the dust that clings to
your feet. I assure you it will go easier for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on judgment
day than for that city.
Understand: I am sending you as sheep among wolves. Hence, be as smart as snakes
and as tame as doves. 17 You must watch out for men. For they will hand you over to councils,
Matthew 10:18-11:1 35

and they will give you whippings at their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before both
governors and kings for my sake as a witness to them and to the nations. 19 When they hand you
over, do not be anxious as to how or what you should answer, for at the hour of your testimony
what you should speak will be given to you. 20 In reality, it will not be you talking, but your
father’s spirit will be speaking by means of you.
Brother will betray brother to his death, and a father his child. Children will rise up
against parents to have them executed. 22 You will be detested by people everywhere because of
my name. Yet one who holds on until the end will be rescued. 23 When they persecute you in a
given town, escape to another. For indeed, I declare to you that you will not have completed your
coverage of the cities of Israel before the human one arrives there.
A student is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 For a student to
become like his teacher is sufficient, and for a slave to become like his master. If they have
dubbed the estate owner, Beelzebub, how much worse will be their epithets for members of his
Therefore, do not fear them. For nothing is concealed that will not be exposed, nor
secret that will not be revealed. 27 What I say to you after dark, speak out in daylight. What you
hear whispered in the ear, proclaim from roofs.
Stop being afraid of those who kill the body, but cannot kill one’s whole self. But
rather fear the one who can destroy one’s entire self, inclusive of the body—in hell.
Two sparrows are sold for the value of the smallest coin—are they not? None of them
falls to earth without your father’s awareness of it. 30 As for you, even the count of the hairs on
your head is known. 31 Therefore, stop worrying. Your worth exceeds that of many sparrows!
Everyone who will confess publicly his association with me will receive my
recognition before my father in the heavens. 33 Conversely, as for anyone who denies me
publicly, I will disown him before my father in the heavens.
Do not surmise I came to put peace into effect on the earth. My coming does not mean
peace—but an active sword. 35 For I came to divide families: a man against his father, and a
daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law. 36 Indeed, a person’s
enemies will be those of one’s family.
The one affectionately attached to father or mother more than to me is not worthy of
me. Also one so attached to a son or daughter more than to me is not worthy of me. 38 In addition,
the one who does not take his cross and continue to follow me is not worthy of me. 39 The one
who gets a life for himself will lose it, and the one who forfeits his life for my sake will find it.
One who receives you, welcomes me. One who receives me welcomes the one who
commissioned me. 41 The one who takes in a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s
reward. Also one who takes in a righteous person because he is righteous will receive a righteous
person’s reward. 42 Whoever provides only a container of cold water to one of the lowliest
disciples, I assure you will certainly not lose his reward.
11:1 When Jesus completed issuing orders to his twelve disciples, he moved on from there to
teach and to preach in their towns.
Matthew 11:2-24 36

Now while John was incarcerated, he received word about the activities of the messiah.
John dispatched his disciples to represent him 3 by saying to Jesus: “Are you the one expected to
come, or should we await someone else?”
Jesus gave them this answer: “Go and report to John what you hear and observe:
Blind people now see. Lame walk. Lepers are now purified. Deaf people are now hearing. Dead
ones are resuscitated. Good news is being proclaimed to the poor. 6 Moreover, blessed is anyone
who is not put out with me."
After these men left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. What did you go
out to the desert to scrutinize? Was it a reed blown back and forth by the wind? 8 On the
contrary! What did you go there to see? Was it a man clothed in soft clothing? Note: Those who
wear expensive clothes frequent kings’ palaces. 9 But what did you actually go out to see? A
prophet? Affirmative. I declare to you his role exceeds that of a prophet. 10 He is the one
concerning whom it has been written:
Look. I am sending my messenger out as your advance agent.
He will prepare the road ahead of you.
I declare to you emphatically that there has not appeared among the offspring of
women a greater person than John the baptizer. Yet the least person in the kingdom of heaven is
greater than he. 12 From the days of John the baptizer until right now the kingdom of heaven is
being forcibly resisted, and violent men put the squeeze on it. 13 All the prophets, as well as the
law, prophesied right up to John. 14 And if you will accept the revelation, he is that Elijah
expected to arrive on the scene! 15 One who has ears must listen to get it.
What analogy is appropriate to describe this generation? It is comparable to children
sitting in the open-air markets, chanting back and forth among the groups of children:
We played the flute for you, but you did not do the wedding dance.
We wailed out funeral laments, but you did not mourn.
For John came along without engaging in social eating and drinking, and they say he
is demonic. 19 The human one came on the scene eating and drinking, and they say, “Look here.
This man is a glutton and an alcoholic, a friend of tax-takers and sinners.” Yet wisdom is
authenticated by its accomplishments.
Then he began to censure the cities in which he had done the majority of his miracles.
Why? They did not have a responsive change of heart and mind:
Anguish for you, Chorazin!
Anguish for you, Bethsaida!
For if the miracles done among you had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, those cities long
ago would have repented, garbed in burlap and covered with ashes. 22 Nevertheless, I
tell you, on judgment day it will go easier for Tyre and Sidon than for you.
As for you, Capernaum, are you not elevated to the sky? You will be lowered to the
grave. Here is the reason: If miracles had happened in Sodom such as those that
occurred among you, Sodom would have remained until today. 24 Nevertheless, I tell
you, it will go easier for the land of Sodom on judgment day than for you.
Matthew 11:25-12:20 37

On that occasion Jesus expressed himself in these words:
I sincerely praise you, father, sovereign of heaven and earth,
because you concealed these concepts from sophisticates and intellectuals,
and revealed them to novices. 26 Yes, father, such strategy pleased you well.
All ( I possess) was given to me by my father. No one knows the son intimately except
the father. Neither does anyone know the father intimately, except the son, and anyone to whom
the son decides to reveal him.
Come to me all you who are struggling and oppressed, and I will give you rest.
Place your neck in the adjoining collar of my yoke. Learn from me, because I am gentle and
humble in heart, and you will experience rest in your souls, 30 for my yoke wears well, and my
load is light to pull.
12:1 During that time Jesus was passing through the grain fields on a sabbath. His hungry
disciples began to pull off heads of grain and to eat them. 2 When Pharisees saw his disciples
doing this, they said to him, “Look here, what your disciples are doing breaks the sabbath law.”
He answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his men were
hungry? He entered God’s house and obtained the loaves of bread presented to God. They ate
that which was not lawful either for him or for those with him. Only priests were permitted to eat
that bread. 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in their temple duties
profane the sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, one superior to the temple is here. 7 But if you
had known what the text means—I prefer compassion more than a sacrifice—you would not
have condemned the guiltless. 8 The human one is the regulator of the sabbath.”
After having left there, he came into the local synagogue. 10 See this: A man having a
dysfunctional hand was present. They interrogated Jesus: “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?”
Their intent was to condemn him.
He answered them, “Who among you having one sheep that fell into a pit on the
sabbath would not grasp it and lift it out? 12 How much more value, therefore, does a human
being have than a sheep? My answer is this: Doing good on sabbath days is legitimate.”
Then he said to the man, “Extend your hand.” He did, and it was restored completely
just like his other hand. 14 But after the Pharisees departed, they connived against him that they
might do away with him.
When Jesus knew what they were up to, he left that locale. Many people followed
him, and he healed them all. 16 He put restrictions on them, lest they stage demonstrations for
him. This took place in order that the message of the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Focus on my servant whom I chose,
My loved one, the pleasure of my life.
I will put my spirit on him,
And he will proclaim right norms for the nations.
He will neither wrangle nor yell out excitedly,
Nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
He will not break off a smashed-over reed,
Matthew 12:21-44 38

Nor will he extinguish a smoldering wick,

Until such time as he causes justice to prevail,
And nations will base their hopes on his name.
Then a blind and mute demoniac was brought to him, and he healed him. The result?
The man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds became very excited and kept saying, “This is not
David’s son, is it?”
But when the Pharisees heard, they muttered: “He expels demons only by Beelzebub,
the dictator of demons.”
Perceiving their rationalizations, Jesus said to them: Every kingdom split into
opposing factions will be devastated. Every city or family divided into opposite sides will not
endure. 26 If Satan expels Satan, he has taken sides against himself. Therefore, how will his
kingdom persist? 27 If I by Beelzebub expel demons, by whom do your sons expel them? In this
regard they will be your evaluators. 28 But if I by God’s spirit expel demons, then God’s kingdom
has confronted you. 29 Or how can anyone go into the house of a burly man and steal his
possessions, unless first he ties him up? Once he has been bound, the intruder can carry away his
One who is not with me is against me; and he who does not round up (the sheep) with
me scatters them. 31 For this reason, I tell you, every sin and slander is forgivable to people, but
slandering the spirit of God is the exception for which there is no forgiveness. 32 Whoever says
something against the human one can be forgiven. But whoever says something against the holy
spirit will not be forgiven—either in this epoch or in the coming one.
Either make the tree healthy with good fruit, or let the tree be diseased with spoiled
fruit, for you will know the nature of the tree by its fruit. 34 Viper’s brood—how can you speak
pious platitudes—when all along you are poisonous? For out of heart-overflow one’s mouth
speaks. 35 A good person from the treasure of goodness brings forth good things. A bad person
from his evil treasure disgorges evils. 36 But I declare to you that on judgment day the speaker
will be held responsible for every unproductive word. 37 For by your speech you will be
exonerated, and by your speech you will be condemned.
Then certain of the scholars and Pharisees reacted to him with a request: “Teacher, we
want to view a miraculous sign from you.”
He replied to them: A degenerate, adulterous generation hankers for a miraculous
sign. None will be given to it, except the miraculous sign of Jonah the prophet. 40 For just as
Jonah was in the gut of the sea monster for three days and three nights, so will the human one be
in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. 41 Men of Ninevah will come forward in the
judgment with this generation and castigate it, because they repented under the influence of
Jonah’s preaching. Think on this: One superior to Jonah is here!
A southern queen will be brought in to testify against this generation at the judgment.
She will condemn it because she came from an extremely remote place to listen to Solomon’s
wisdom. Consider this: One superior to Solomon is here!
When an unclean spirit departs from a man, it passes through waterless places seeking
somewhere to hunker down. Not finding such, 44 it then says, “I shall return to my old haunt.”
Matthew 12:45-13:17 39

Upon arrival it finds that space standing empty, swept out, and ready to live in. 45 Then it goes
and takes with itself seven other spirits more reprehensible than itself. They enter and settle in.
The subsequent state of that person’s life becomes worse than his former condition. What
happens to such an individual is analogous to what will become of this wicked generation.
While he was still speaking to the crowds, the scene shifts to his mother and his
brothers, who stood outside, wanting to talk to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your attention,
please: Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to speak with you.”
He replied to the one who announced this to him: “Who is my mother and who are my
brothers?” 49 He stretched out his hand in the direction of his disciples and said, “Take a look at
my mother, and my brothers. 50 For whoever would do the will of my heavenly father is my
brother, my sister, my mother!”
13:1 On that day Jesus went outdoors and was sitting beside the lake. 2 An extremely large
crowd gathered around him so that he pushed offshore in a boat and seated himself. All the
people found places on the shore. 3 He spoke many principles to them in parables.
He said: Picture a planter who went out to plant a field. 4 In the process of sowing, some
seed fell right on the path, and birds came and helped themselves to the seed. 5 Other seed fell on
a thin layer of earth that covered stones. Its germination was fast in the shallow earth. 6 But when
the sun arose and hit it with intense rays, it withered away because it had no developed root
system. 7 Other seed fell where thorny weeds were present. The weeds grew faster and choked
out the planted seed. 8 But other seed fell into good soil and was productive, yielding a crop of
100 kernels for each one planted, or 60, or 30. 9 One who has ears must listen.
When his disciples gathered around him afterward, they asked: “Why do you speak to
them in parables?”
He replied: To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of
heaven, but not to them. 12 For whoever is receptive will be given more, so that he has an
abundance. But whoever is not receptive will lose out on what he has. 13 This is the reason I
speak to them in parables, because although sighted, they do not see, and though hearing, they do
not actually listen or comprehend. 14 The prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in them:
You will hear what is to be heard, but never comprehend it.
In looking you will see, but never understand the meaning.
The people’s heart has become insensitive.
Their ears are hard of hearing.
They shut their eyelids,
Lest they should see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And perceive with their heart,
And turn around that I might restore them.
Blessed are your perceptive eyes, and your listening ears! 17 For I assure you that
many prophets and righteous folk yearned to glimpse what you see, but did not; and to tune in on
what you hear, but did not have the opportunity.
Matthew 13:18-40 40

Therefore, understand the parable of the planter. 19 Everyone who hears the message
of the kingdom but does not understand it has what was sown in his heart snatched away by the
evil one, as illustrated by the seed sown on the path. 20 The seed sown in shallow soil over rocks
represents the case in which a person joyfully receives the message when he hears it. 21 His
experience, however, lasts only for a short time because there is nothing in him analogous to the
root of a plant. When pressure or persecution on account of the message comes along, he all of a
sudden takes offense. 22 The seed sown in weed-seed saturated soil corresponds to the experience
of a person who listens to the message, but contemporary cares and the deception of having
wealth choke out the message and make it unproductive. 23 As for the seed planted in good soil,
this represents one who listens and understands the message, one who without fail produces
fruit—some at the rate of 100%, some at 60%, and some at 30%.
He provided another parable for them:
The kingdom of heaven corresponds to a man who planted quality seeds in his field.
After everybody had gone to bed, his enemy came and planted noxious weeds in among the
grain and then left. 26 After the crop sprouted and grew to fruition, the identity of the noxious
weeds became apparent. 27 The farm hands of the estate came to the owner and said, “Sir, did you
not plant quality seed in your field? Where, then, did the noxious weeds come from?”
He answered, “An enemy agent did this!”
His farm hands said to him, “Do you, therefore, want us to go and weed them out?”
He replied, “No, lest while removing the weeds you might uproot the grain together
with the weeds. 30 Let them alone; let them grow together until harvest time, and at harvest I will
tell the reapers to gather first the noxious weeds and tie them in bundles for burning, but gather
the grain and store it in my granary.”
He offered them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is analogous to a single
grain of mustard that a man obtained and planted in his field. 32 Although the smallest of all
seeds, when full grown, it is greater in size than plants, actually becoming tree-size so that the
birds of the sky settle among its branches.
He spoke to them another parable: The kingdom of heaven is analogous to yeast a
homemaker obtained and concealed in three oversized scoops of flour until the whole batch was
All this teaching Jesus spoke in parables for the crowds. He spoke to them exclusively
in parables 35 so that the prophetic saying might be fulfilled:
I shall open my mouth speaking analogies;
I shall divulge secrets hidden since earliest times.
Then having left the crowds, he went indoors. His disciples gathered around him
saying, “Clarify for us the parable of the noxious weeds in the field.”
He answered: He who planted the quality seeds is the human one. 38 The field is the
world. The quality seeds are those committed to the kingdom, but the poisonous weeds are those
committed to evil. 39 The enemy who planted them is the devil. Harvest time arrives at the end of
the era. The harvesters are angels. 40 The noxious weeds are rounded up and incinerated at the
Matthew 13:41-14:8 41

end of the age. 41 The human one will send his emissaries and they will gather out of his
kingdom everything offensive and all who behave without moral restraints. 42 They will throw
them into a superheated kiln. At that site there will be crying and clenching of teeth. 43 Then
righteous people will shine like the sun in their father’s kingdom. If you have ears, listen
The kingdom of heaven is comparable to a treasure concealed in a field. When a man
happened to discover it, he covered it over. Then in sheer joy he went and sold all he owned and
bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is comparable to a buyer interested in quality pearls.
When he found a pearl of incomparable value, he went and sold all he owned, and bought it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is comparable to a fishnet spread out in a lake, where
all kinds of catch are brought together. 48 When the net is full, fishermen haul it to shore, and
having seated themselves, they sort the good fish into containers, but they throw out the
worthless ones.
Here is a preview of the end of the epoch. Angels will come on the scene and will
separate evil people from among the righteous. 50 Then they will throw the evil ones into the
superheated kiln. There will be crying and clenching of teeth.
“Have you comprehended all these things?”
They answered him, “Affirmative.”
He said to them, “For this reason every scholar educated in the discipline of the
kingdom of heaven is comparable to a household manager who from his storeroom brings out
new and old supplies.”
When Jesus completed these parables, he left the area 54 and came to the place of his
upbringing. He taught them in their synagogue in such a way they were awed. They said, “Where
did he get this wisdom and these powers? 55 Is not this the woodworker's son? Is not his mother
named Mary, and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters
living among us? Therefore, what makes him so special?” 57 They were put out with him.
Jesus responded to them: “A prophet is not dishonored except in his neighborhood and
at home.” 58 So he did not do many miracles there because of their skepticism.
14:1 About that time Herod the tetrarch heard a report about Jesus. 2 He said to his
subordinates, “This is John the baptizer. He has been raised from the dead, and because of this,
miracles are done by him!”
Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him away in prison for the sake of
Herodias, the wife of Philip, his brother. 4 John had declared to Herod more than once: “Your
having her is immoral.” 5 Although Herod wanted to assassinate him, he was afraid of the
populace, because they regarded John as a prophet.
During a celebration of Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter at the center of activities
performed a dance that pleased Herod so much 7 he promised by an oath to give her whatever
she wanted. 8 Coached by her mother, she said, “Give me, right here upon a platter, the head of
John the baptizer.”
Matthew 14:9-33 42

Although it upset the king to do that, he gave the order to grant her request, because he
felt the pressure of his oath made before the guests. 10 He sent a deputy who decapitated John in
the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the young girl, who brought it to her
John’s disciples assembled, claimed his corpse, and buried it. Then they came and
told Jesus all about it.
Upon hearing the news, Jesus left the area by boat and headed privately for a deserted
place. But after the crowds received news of it, they streamed out of the towns to follow him
overland. 14 As he disembarked, he saw a large gathering, and his heart went out to them; he
healed their sick.
As evening approached, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place
and mealtime is already past. Dismiss the crowds that they might go away to the villages to buy
some food for themselves.”
But Jesus said to them, “They need not leave. You give them something to eat.”
They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
He said, “Bring them here to me.”
After directing the crowds to get comfortable on the meadow, he took the five loaves
and two fish, and looking up to heaven, he offered thanks. Then he broke the loaves and
distributed the bread to his disciples. They passed the food out to the crowds. 20 All ate and were
satisfied. Of the leftover pieces of bread, the disciples picked up twelve full baskets. 21 There
were about 5,000 men—not counting women and children—who had eaten the meal.
Right away he compelled his disciples to embark in the boat and to precede him to the
other side, while he dismissed the people. 23 After he had sent the crowds home, he went up the
mountain by himself to pray. It was now dark and he was there alone.
The boat, already a great distance from shore, was being bounced around by the
waves because they were bucking a headwind. 25 During the last quarter of the night, Jesus came
to them, walking upon the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him sea-walking, they became
terrified. They shrieked out in fear: “a phantom!”
Right away Jesus spoke: “Keep your composure. It is I. Stop being afraid.”
Rock replied to him, “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the waters.”
He said, “Proceed!”
After having stepped down from the boat, Rock walked on the waters and went toward
Jesus. But when he focused his attention on the wind, he became scared. Beginning to go
under, he yelled, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately reaching out his hand, Jesus grabbed him, and said to him,
“Microbeliever, what made you doubt?”
When they stepped on board the boat, the gale turned calm. 33 Those in the boat bowed
to him reverently and said, “You are truly God’s son!”
Matthew 14:34-15:25 43

Having crossed the lake, they came to the land of Gennesaret. 35 As soon as the local
residents recognized him, they sent word into all that surrounding territory. The people brought
to him everybody that had something wrong with them. 36 They kept after him that they just
might touch the tassel on his clothes; and as many as made contact were made well.
15:1 At that time Pharisees and scholars from Jerusalem accosted Jesus with a question:
“Why do your disciples not conform to the tradition maintained by the elders? Your disciples
do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”
He replied to them: Why do you repudiate God’s command in deference to your
tradition? 4 God said: Honor your father and your mother, and The one who insults father or
mother must surely be put to death. 5 But you say: Whoever disclaims his responsibilities to his
father or his mother by claiming his money is dedicated to God is 6 under no obligation to honor
his father. You invalidate the word of God by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied
concerning you with precision:
This people honors me from their lips,
But their hearts are far removed from me.
Their worship of me is futile,
Because they teach as dogma the mandates of men.
Raising his voice to reach the crowd, he said to them: Listen and understand. 11 Not
what enters one’s mouth pollutes a person. To the contrary, what contaminates a person is what
exits from one’s mouth.
Then when his disciples gathered around him, they said to him, “Do you know that
the Pharisees were quite perturbed with you when they heard what you had to say?”
He gave this reply: Every plant my heavenly father did not plant will be extirpated.
Release your attachment to them. They are blind guides. If a blind man directs a blind person,
they both will fall into the gully.
Rock continued the conversation with him: “Explain this conundrum to us.”
He replied, Do you still not get it? 17 Do you not understand that everything that enters
one’s mouth makes its way through the digestive canal and is expelled into the latrine? 18 But
words that exit one’s mouth come from one’s heart, and such are personal pollutants. 19 For from
the heart originate disputes, evil acts, murders, adulteries, sexual misconduct, thefts, falsified
statements, and insults. 20 These are the personal contaminators, and not unwashed hands while
When Jesus left there, he withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 See this: A
Canaanite woman from that vicinity came out and shouted, “Have pity on me, Lord, descendant
of David! My daughter is badly demonized.” 23 But he did not answer her a word.
His disciples came to him and kept imploring him, “Deliver her, because she is
screaming after us.”
He replied, “I was sent to find only the lost sheep from Israel’s fold.”
But she came up and bowed before him with honor, saying, “Lord, help me!”
Matthew 15:26-16:7 44

He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s food and throw it to pet dogs.”
But she said, “Yes, Lord, yet the pets also eat from the scraps that fall from the table
of their masters.”
Then Jesus replied to her: “Oh, woman, you are something special! Your faith is
super. You may have what you want.” Her daughter was healed at that very moment.
Leaving there, Jesus traveled back to the shore of Lake Galilee. He went up the
mountain and seated himself. 30 Many groups of people assembled around him. They had with
them lame people, blind, deformed, deaf, and many others. They discharged them right at his
feet, and he healed them. 31 The result was that the crowd rippled with awe, as they saw
deaf-mutes speaking, handicapped people restored, lame walking, and blind seeing. They
glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus, having called in his disciples, said, “I am deeply concerned about the large
gathering of people because it is already the third day they have camped out with me and they do
not have anything to eat. I do not want to dismiss them in a famished condition, lest they
collapse on the road.”
Then his disciples said to him, “Where in this desert would there be enough bread for
us to take care of such a great crowd?”
Jesus replied to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They replied, “Seven and a few small fish.”
Jesus ordered the throng to recline on the ground. 36 He took the seven loaves and the
fish and gave thanks. He broke them and kept giving them to his disciples. They in turn passed
them out to the crowds. 37 Everybody ate and had plenty. Of the broken pieces left over, the
disciples retrieved seven full baskets. 38 The number of those eating was 4,000 men, not counting
women and children.
After having dismissed the crowd, he boarded the boat and came into the precincts of
16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees approached him, determined to put him in a no-win
position. They requested him to show them a miraculous sign displayed from the sky.
He responded to them: “When the sky is fiery red in the late afternoon, you say that
fair weather is on the way. 3 In the morning if the sky is fiery red and overcast with dark clouds,
you forecast stormy weather. You know how to analyze the appearance of the sky, but you are
not able to assess the signs of the times. 4 An evil, unfaithful generation preoccupies itself with a
search for a spectacular sign. No sign will be supplied for it—except the sign of Jonah!”
Walking out on them, he went away.
When the disciples reached the far side of the lake, they realized they had forgotten to
take food along. 6 Jesus said to them: “Watch out and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and
Sadducees.” 7 The disciples were assuming among themselves his statement alluded to their not
bringing along food.
Matthew 16:8-17:2 45

But Jesus, knowing this, said: “Why do you, microbelievers, surmise I refer to the
missing food? 9 Do you no longer consider nor remember the five loaves that fed the 5,000 and
how many baskets of it you picked up afterward? 10 Or have you forgotten the seven loaves that
fed the 4,000 and how many baskets of it you picked up afterward? 11 How is it you do not
understand I was not speaking to you about natural bread? But I did say you should guard
against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Then they understood he did not mean yeast in its natural state, but yeast as a
metaphor for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
After Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he quizzed his disciples: “What
is the public’s perception of the human one?”
They said, “Some think you are John the baptizer, others say Elijah, others Jeremiah,
or one of the prophets.”
He put it right to them: “As for you, how do you identify me?”
Simon Rock said, “You are the messiah, son of the living God.”
Jesus answered him, “You are blessed, Simon BenJonah, because your source of
revelation was not human, i.e., flesh and blood, but my father in the heavens. 18 I declare to you
that you are Rock, and on this boulder I will construct my church. The [opening and closing]
gates of the grave will not bring it down. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven as well, and whatever you unlock on earth
will be unlocked in heaven.
Then he required his disciples not to tell anyone his identity as the messiah.
From that time on Jesus began to divulge to his disciples that it was necessary for him
to go on to Jerusalem. There, he would experience great suffering inflicted by the councilmen,
administrative priests, and scholars. There, he would be executed and on the third day be
restored to life.
Rock took him to task for talking this way: “Mercy on you, Lord! This will never
happen to you.”
Turning around, Jesus said to Rock, “Fall in line behind me, opponent. You are an
obstacle in my way because you do not think as God does, but as men do.”
Right then Jesus said to his disciples: If anyone wants to follow me, let him give up
all rights to himself, carry his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will
ruin it. But whoever “ruins” his life for my sake will discover it. 26 For how would a person be
better off if he gains the whole world at the cost of his life? Or what is of such value one would
give his life to get it? 27 For the human one is going to come in his father’s glory with his angels,
and then he will reward each one as his accomplishments deserve.
Indeed, I say to you that there are some standing right here who will not experience
death until they see the human one coming in his kingdom.
17:1 Six days later Jesus took along Rock, James, and John his brother, and he brought them
up a high mountain, where they were all alone. 2 He was transformed right before them. His face
Matthew 17:3-25 46

glowed like the sun. His clothes became as brilliant as light. 3 See this: Moses and Elijah
appeared with them, conversing with him.
Rock responded by saying to Jesus, “Lord, to be here is good for us! If you so desire, I
will pitch three pavilions here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking—get the picture—a radiant cloud hovered over them,
and—hear this—a voice from the cloud, “This is my dearly loved son, who pleases me well.
Listen to him!”
After the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate, paralyzed by fear. 7 Jesus came over
to them, and touching them said, “On your feet, and cease cringing.”
When they raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
While they were descending the mountain, Jesus issued orders to them, “Make no
reference to this phenomenon until the human one has been raised from the dead.”
His disciples questioned him: “So why do the scholars say that Elijah must arrive
He answered, “Indeed, Elijah does come and will restore everything. On the other

hand, I tell you that Elijah has already arrived, and they did not recognize him. Rather, they
did to him whatever they felt like doing. In the same way the human one is about to experience
suffering inflicted by them.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he alluded to John the baptizer.
Just as he came into contact with a crowd, a man came up, knelt before him 15 and
said, “Lord, have mercy on me—on my son because he is epileptic and suffers much. Often he
falls into fire, and often into water. 16 I brought him to your disciples and they could not heal
Jesus replied: “Alas for this generation, faithless and disoriented as it is, how long
shall I still be around with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to me.”
Jesus rebuked the demon and it departed from him. The boy was healed at that
Then, coming to Jesus privately, the disciples said, “Why were we not able to expel
He replied to them, “The reason is the deficiency of your faith. Indeed, I assure you
that if you have faith equivalent to a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain: Transfer from
here to there, and it will move the distance. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
While they were in conference in Galilee, Jesus said to them: “The human one is

about to be handed over to human authorities. 23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will
be raised.” They experienced much grief over this.
When they entered Capernaum, some men stuck the large Roman coin under Rock’s
nose and said, “Your teacher does not pay the double drachma, does he?”
He said, “That is correct.”
Matthew 17:26-18:18 47

Rock then came inside. Jesus got the jump on him by saying, “Give me your opinion,
Simon. The kings of the earth take taxes or fees from certain people. Do they collect them from
their citizens or from resident aliens?”
He replied, “From those who are not citizens.”
Jesus said to him, “Therefore, the citizens are exempt from the tax. 27 But so as not to
rub them the wrong way, go to the lake and fish with your hook line. Then take the first fish you
catch, open its mouth, and you will find a silver coin (equal to two double drachmas). Take that
and give it to them for me and you.”
18:1 At that time his disciples gathered around Jesus and had a question for him:
“Everything considered, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Jesus called a little child to come over to him and had him stand there within their
circle. He spoke: “I assure you that unless you regress to become as children, you will never
enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Consequently, whoever will humble himself to become as
this child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Moreover, whoever receives one child
such as this in my name, receives me. 6 As to whoever trips up one of the least of those who
believe in me, it would be better for him were a large upper millstone hung around his neck and
he were drowned in the deep waters of the lake.
Too bad for the world—for producing disillusioning influences that cause people to
fall. For it is inevitable that detrimental influences will occur. But alas for the person responsible
for producing such a scandal.
If your hand or your foot has a scandalous influence on you, chop it off and throw it
away from you. Better it is to live your life handicapped or disabled than to have two hands or
two feet that will be thrown into inextinguishable fire.
If your eye has a baneful influence on you, gouge it out and throw it away from you.
Better it is for you to live a monocular life than to have two eyes to be thrown into the
ever-burning garbage dump.
See to it that you do not have contempt for even one of the little people. For you have
it on my authority that their angels in heaven always have access to the presence of my father in
What is your attitude in the following situation? If a man became owner of one
hundred sheep and one wandered away from them, would he not leave the 99 on the mountain
and go search for the one that wandered off? 13 If he finds it, I assure you, he is going to rejoice
over it more than over the 99 who were not lost. 14 In the same way it is not the will of your
heavenly father that one of these little ones should perish.
If your brother sins against you, go and confront him with it privately. 16 If he listens
to you, you gained your brother back. 17 But if he does not listen, revisit him with one or two
others, for: “By the testimonies of two or three witnesses every statement will stand.” If he
ignores them, air the matter before the congregation. But if he rejects the congregation’s counsel,
let him as far as you are concerned be like a heathen and a tax-taker. 18 I tell you that everything
you settle on earth will be settled in heaven, and everything you sever on earth will be severed in
Matthew 18:19-19:8 48

Again, I assure you that if two of you on earth are in agreement concerning any matter about
which you make a petition, it will be granted them by my heavenly father. 20 For where two or
three are convened in my name, I am there within their circle.
Then coming up to him, Rock said, “Lord, how many times am I expected to forgive
my brother if he sins against me? Seven times?”
Jesus replied, “My answer is not seven, but 77 times.”
In this regard the kingdom of heaven is like an executive who wanted to close loan
accounts with his employees. 24 When he began to settle up, one debtor was called in who owed
10,000 large units of silver. 25 Because he could not pay up, the executive ordered that he, his
wife, his children, and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26 The worker, prostrating himself
in respect before him said, “Be patient with me and I will repay you everything.”
That executive, feeling deep compassion for that servant, released him and forgave
the loan as well.
But when that worker went out, he found one of his fellow workers who owed him
100 small units of silver. He seized him and kept choking him, saying, “Repay what you owe!”
His coworker then fell at his feet and kept pleading with him, “Be patient with me,
and I will repay you.” 30 But the man who was owed made up his mind not to relent. He went to
the authorities and threw him into jail until he should repay what he owed.
Then his colleagues, having observed all that happened, became quite upset by the
incident. So they went and reported to their boss all that occurred. 32 He in turn called in the first
laborer and said to him, “Wicked workman, I forgave all your indebtedness because you begged
me to do it. 33 Did you not feel the obligation to go easy on your coworker just as I was easy on
you?” 34 The manager became infuriated with him and handed him over to the prison guards until
such time as he repaid all he originally owed. 35 My heavenly father will handle you in the same
manner unless each of you forgives his brother with genuine cordiality.
19:1 When Jesus had completed these teachings, he departed from Galilee and traveled to the
high ground of the Judaean hills parallel to the Jordan River. 2 Crowds in droves followed along
with him, and he healed them.
The Pharisees confronted him at that location with something up their sleeve, saying:
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause?”
He replied: “You have read these texts, have you not? The creator from the beginning
made them male and female. 5 And he said, For this reason a man will leave his father and
mother and will be attached to his wife, and the two will be physically one. 6 The result is that
they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, a human must not split up what God has yoked
They answered him, “Why then did Moses direct that a document of divorce be given
her to send her packing?”
He replied to them, “Moses, accommodating himself to your hardheartedness,
permitted you to run your wives off. But there is no precedent for such actions in the beginning.
Matthew 19:9-27 49

I declare to you that whoever forces his wife out by a divorce [when she has not been
sexually unfaithful], and marries another woman is thereby committing adultery.”
His disciples asked him, “If this is the case of a husband with his wife, is it better not
to get married?”
But he answered, “What I am about to say does not apply to everyone but only to
those to whom it is given. 12 There are some eunuchs who come forth from their mother’s womb
celibate. Then there are those who are eunuchs because their sexual organs have been altered by
men. Additionally, there are those who have chosen the celibate life for the sake of the kingdom
of heaven. Let him who has the capacity to apply this principle, apply it.”
Then children were brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and
offer prayer. But his disciples rebuked those doing this.
Jesus responded, “Permit the children to come to me, and do not block them out for
they are the right type for the kingdom of heaven.” 15 After he had laid his hands on them, he left
the area.
See this: Someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do that I
might have eternal life?”
He responded to him, “Why do you quiz me on ‘the good’? One there is who is good!
And if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
The man inquired, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, Do not murder. Do not participate in adultery. Do not steal. Do not lie
when you give your word. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your fellow man as yourself.”
The young man said to him, “I have kept all of these things. What do I lack yet?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be complete, go sell your assets and give the
proceeds to poor people—and you will have a treasure in the heavens—and come along, follow
When the young man heard this stipulation, he went away dejected because he had
many properties.
Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you that it will be difficult for a wealthy person
to enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again, I assure you it is easier for a camel to pass through
a needle’s eye [a slender door within a city gate] than for a wealthy person to get into God’s
When the disciples heard this, they were completely astounded saying, “Who
therefore can be saved?”
Looking them in the eye, Jesus said: “From man’s standpoint, it is impossible for
anyone to be saved. With God all is possible.”
Then Rock responded, “Consider our commitment. We left everything and followed
you. So what will be in it for us?”
Matthew 19:28-20:22 50

Jesus replied to them: “You can count on what I say to you, my followers. In the
restoration, when the human one will sit on his glorious throne, you also will be seated on
twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 All who left homes or brothers or sisters, or
father or mother, or children, or lands for the sake of my name will receive a 100% return and
will inherit eternal life. 30 But many of those now first will be last, and the last will be first.
20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like an estate manager who went out at the light of dawn
to hire laborers to work in his vineyard. 2 Having agreed with some to work for a denarius a day,
he sent them into his vineyard. 3 Then at about 9 a.m. having come back, he saw other laborers at
the market square standing around without work. 4 To them he said, “You also go to work in the
vineyard, and I shall give you whatever is right.” 5 They left for the job.
Again he came there around noon, and at 3 p.m., and followed the same procedure.
Then about 5 p.m. having returned, he found other laborers standing there, and he said to them,
“Why are you standing around here all day long unemployed?”
They replied, “Because no one hired us.”
He said to them, “You go also into my vineyard.”
As the sun went down, the vineyard owner said to his field boss, “Call the laborers and
give them their wages beginning with the last hired, working your way back to the first.”
Those who started work about 5 p.m. came, and each one received a denarius. 10 When
those hired earlier came for their pay, they expected to receive more. They each one received a
denarius the same as the others. 11 Taking it, they were fuming against the owner, 12 muttering,
“These last hired workers put in only one hour. You made their wages equal to ours. We carried
the load of a full day’s work and endured the day’s hottest weather.”
But in answer to one of them he said, “Buddy, I am not being unfair with you. Did
you not agree with me on a denarius to be your pay? 14 Take what is yours and be on your way.
My choice is to give to these hired last the same amount as I also pay you. 15 Is it not my
prerogative to do as I please with my resources? Or do you view matters in a bad light simply
because I am free-hearted?” 16 This episode illustrates how the last will be first and the first last.
As Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem, he isolated the twelve privately on the way there
and said to them: 18 “Pay attention. We are on our way to Jerusalem where the human one will be
taken into the custody of the administrative priests and scholars. They will condemn him to die
and hand him over to the pagans to ridicule him, beat him with a whip, and crucify him; and on
the third day he will be raised up.
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee, with her sons present, approached him,
bowing before him in deep respect, and asked him for a favor. 21 So he said to her, “What would
you like?” She said to him, “Decree that these two sons of mine might be stationed directly at
your right hand and at your left hand in your kingdom.”
Jesus replied, “You do not comprehend what you are requesting. Can you all drink the
cup that I am about to drink?”
They replied, “We can.”
Matthew 20:23-21:10 51

He said to them, “In effect, you will drink my cup. The privilege of sitting on either
side of me is not mine to grant. Instead those positions will go to those groomed for such by my
When that news got around to the other ten apostles, they became hot under the collar
about what the two brothers were up to. 25 So Jesus called everybody together and said, “You
know how worldly leadership functions. When leaders have dominion over people, the greater
their power, the more control they exercise over their subjects. 26 It will not be like that among
you. 27 On the contrary, whoever among you who has ambition for greatness will become your
servant. In other words, whoever among you wants to be number one will make himself your
slave. 28 Take the human one as your model. He did not come to be catered to, but to serve and to
expend his life as a ransom in behalf of multitudes.
As they were leaving Jericho a thronging crowd was following along with him. 30 View
this: Two blind men were seated at the roadside because they heard Jesus was on his way
through. They shouted, “Have a heart for us, David’s son!”
The mob rebuked them in an effort to shut them up. But all the more they yelled,
“Have a heart for us, sovereign, David’s son!”
Jesus stopped the procession, called them over to him, and said to them, “What do
you want me to do for you?”
They replied, “Sovereign, we want our eyes to see.”
Jesus, empathizing with them, touched their eyes. Immediately they were enabled to
see, and they followed along with him.
21:1 Jesus’ traveling party came near Jerusalem, arriving at Bethphage on Olive Grove
Mountain. Then Jesus dispatched two disciples 2 with these instructions: “Go into the village
straight ahead, and right away you will find a donkey tied and her foal with her. Loose them and
bring them to me. 3 If anyone questions what you are doing, say: Their master needs them and
presently he will send them back.” 4 This happened to fulfill the statement of the prophet:
Say to daughter Zion:
Look! Your king is coming to you,
low key, mounted upon a donkey,
even upon a foal, the offspring of a beast of burden.
When the disciples arrived, they did just as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought
the donkey and the foal and placed coverings on them, and he sat upon them.
The immense crowd spread their garments on the road, and others were cutting palm
fronds from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9 There were throngs preceding him and
following him, chanting:
Save us please— David’s son!
Blessed is the one who arrives in Yahveh’s name!
Save us please—in the highest heavens!
As he entered Jerusalem all the city became excited, saying, “Who is this?”
Matthew 21:11-29 52

The crowds responded, “This is the prophet, Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus entered the temple and threw out the merchants, all those who were doing
business in the temple. He toppled the tables of the money changers and benches of those selling
doves. 13 He said to them, “It has been written:
My house will be noted as a place of prayer.
But you have turned it into a den of thieves!”
Blind people and lame ones came to him in the temple, and he restored them.
The administrative priests and the scholars observed the wonders he performed and
heard the boys and girls in the temple cheering for him, “Save us please, David’s son!” The
officials were indignant, 16 and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?”
Jesus answered them, “Of course. You have never read—have you?—the text that says:
From the mouths of minors, even the very young, you [Yahveh God] restored praise.
When he left them, he went out of the city to Bethany and spent the night there.
Early in the morning while returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 When he
noticed a solitary fig tree by the road, he went over to it. He found no fruit on it—only leaves. So
he said to it: “You must never again produce fruit.” The fig tree became desiccated at once.
When the disciples saw this, they were impressed saying, “How is it that the fig tree
immediately shriveled up?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you that if you have faith and do not waver, not only can you
do such to the fig tree, but if you should say to this mountain: Be removed and shoved into the
lake, it will happen. 22 You will receive all you request in believing prayer.”
After he came to the temple, the upper echelon priests and elders of the nation came to
him while he was teaching. They had this to say: “By what authority do you do these things?
Who authorized you?”
Jesus replied, “I also have one matter about which to question you. If you respond to
my question, I in turn will tell you by whose authority I do what I do: 25 Where did John’s
baptism originate—in heaven, or was it humanly contrived?”
They talked this over among themselves, saying: 26 “If we say, ‘from heaven’, he will
say to us, ‘What is your reason for not believing him?’ But if we say, ‘It was humanly
contrived’, we have reason to be fearful of the masses, because all the people consider John to be
a prophet.”
Therefore, they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”
He retorted, “Neither will I tell you my credentials authenticating my actions.”
What is your opinion in this situation? There was a man with two children. He
approached the first and said, “My child, go today to work in the vineyard.”
He answered, “I will not!”
But later on he had a change of heart and went.
Matthew 21:30-22:3 53

The man approached his other child and said the same thing. He replied, “Yes, sir! I
will.” But he did not go.
Who of the two actually carried out his father’s will?
They replied, “The first one.”
Jesus said, “I assure you that tax-takers and streetwalkers will make it into God’s
kingdom ahead of you. 32 For John came to you championing the way of righteousness, but you
did not trust him. On the other hand, tax-takers and prostitutes did believe him. Although you
scrutinized him, you afterward did not have a change of heart to place confidence in him.
Listen to another analogy: There was an estate owner who planted a vineyard, fenced
it all around, hollowed out a winepress in it, and constructed an observation tower. Then he
leased it out to tenant farmers and took off for a long trip.
When harvest came, he sent his servants to the farmers to receive his share of the
yield. But the farmers took control of them, beating up some, killing some, and stoning some.
Again he sent other servants in addition to the earlier ones, and they were subjected to the
same treatment. 37 Finally, he sent to them his son, saying to himself, “They will surely show
respect to my son.”
But the farmers upon seeing the son, conferred and concluded: “This is the heir. Come
on now, let us kill him that we might take over his inheritance.”
Seizing him, they threw him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.
“When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenant farmers?”
They answered him, “He will exterminate those extremely evil men, and he will lease
the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will turn over to him the produce at the appropriate
Jesus said to them: “You have not read—have you?—in the Scriptures:
A stone the masons judged to be a misfit—
that stone became the keystone of the arch.
This was prearranged by Yahveh,
and from our perspective it is splendid.
This is why I declare to you that God’s kingdom will be wrested from you and given
to a people who will implement it. Moreover, whoever falls against this stone will be broken. 44
But as for the one on whom that stone comes smashing down—it will pulverize him.”
When the ruling priests and the Pharisees heard his parable, they knew he was
alluding to them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared public opinion because he was
esteemed as a prophet.
22:1 Jesus responded again with a parable for them: 2 The kingdom of heaven is analogous to
a king who gave a marriage feast for his son. 3 He sent his couriers to rally those who had been
previously invited to the festivities. The invited guests, however, were not interested.
Matthew 22:4-25 54

Once again he sent other couriers to tell the invitees, “Be informed: My first meal in
the series is ready. My steers and fattened animals have been slaughtered, and everything is
prepared. Come on up to the marriage feast."
But disinterested, they backed off. For instance, one went out into his own field and
another to his business. 6 The rest, having seized his couriers, humiliated them, even to the point
of killing them.
Then the king, having become furious, sent his militia, executed those murderers, and
set their city ablaze.
Then he said to his agents, “The marriage banquet is ready, but those with invitations
were not worthy to attend. 9 Go, therefore, to the secondary roads and back lanes. Call people to
come to the wedding feast wherever you can find them.”
His agents fanned out into the streets. They gathered all they could find—both bad
and good people. They filled the marriage banquet hall with guests.
When the king came in to look the guests over, he saw a guest not wearing clothes
proper for a wedding. 12 He said to him, “Fellow, how did you get in here not wearing wedding
But the man remained speechless.
Then the king said to his servants, “Tie him up feet and hands and eject him into the
exterior darkness, where there will be crying and grimacing with clenched teeth.”
Many are invited but few are chosen.
Then the Pharisees conferred and concocted a scam by which they would entrap him
in something he would say. 16 They sent to him their students together with the Herodians. This
was their line: “Teacher, we know you are authentic, and that you teach God’s way accurately.
Furthermore, you are not swayed by anything, for you do not base your actions on popular
approval. 17 Therefore, render to us your judgment: Is it right to pay a head tax to Caesar, or
But Jesus saw through their nefarious scheme. He said, “Why do you phonies try to
trip me? Show me the coin required for the tax.”
They brought to him a denarius.
Then he said to them, “Whose image and inscription are struck on the coin?”
They replied, "Caesar’s."
Then he said to them, “Therefore, give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God
God’s possessions!"
When they heard that, they experienced such consternation that they gave up on him
and went away.
On that day the Sadducees, who expect no resurrection of the dead, approached him.
They interrogated him this way: “Teacher, Moses said, If anyone dies childless, his brother
should marry his wife and perpetuate seed for his brother. 25 There were among us seven
Matthew 22:26-23:9 55

brothers. The oldest died after he was married. Not having seed (i.e., children), he left his wife to
his brother. 26 The same sequence of events transpired with the second brother, the third, and all
of them including the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection
whose wife of the seven will she be, for they all had her?”
Jesus replied to them: “Your error derives from your neither knowing the Scriptures
nor God’s power. 30 For in the resurrection epoch no man marries nor is a woman given in
marriage, but everyone resembles the angels of heaven [as singles]. 31 Now as far as the
resurrection of the dead, have you not read what God says to you? — 32 I am the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not God of the dead, but God of the
The crowds who listened to him were astounded by his teaching.
The Pharisees, hearing that the Sadducees were dumbfounded, congregated at the
same place. 35 One of them, trying to provoke him into saying something they could put a spin
on, questioned him: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
He replied to him: “Love Yahveh your God completely in your heart, with all your
vitality, and in all your thinking. 38 This commandment is paramount and primary. 39 The second is
similar: Love your fellow human being as you love yourself. 40 The full application of the law and
prophets derives from these two commands!”
Because the Pharisees were gathered around, Jesus raised a question for them:
“What do you think about the messiah—specifically, whose son is he?”
They said, “David’s son.”
“How is it,” he said, “that David was spiritually inspired to call him Lord ? David
Yahveh said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I relegate your enemies under your control.
If then David called him Lord, how can he be David’s son?”
No one was able to answer him a word. Neither did anyone dare to interrogate him
any more from that day forward.
23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 The scholars and Pharisees sit on
Moses’ bench. 3 Do all they tell you to do and to keep, but do not do as they do. For they make
pronouncements, but do not implement them. 4 For instance, they impose heavy, unwieldy
burdens upon people’s shoulders, but they opt not to move so much as their finger to bear those
loads. 5 All their activities are performed to polish their image in the public perception. They
increase the width of the pendant scroll cases they wear and lengthen the tassels on their
clothing. 6 They love the head-table seats at banquets, the platform seats in the synagogues, 7 the
deferential greetings in the markets, and to be addressed by men as “rabbi.”
As for you, do not let yourself be called rabbi, for you have one master-teacher, and all
of you are brothers. 9 Also you are not to be called “father” on the earth, for you have one
Matthew 23:10-35 56

heavenly father. 10 Neither are you to be called an “expert” because you have one expert, the
messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be the one who serves you all. 12 Whoever acclaims
himself will be humiliated, but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees—hypocrites all—because you
effect a lockout on the kingdom of heaven just as people get to the entrance. For you neither
enter yourselves, nor do you permit those about to enter to get inside.
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees—pretenders all—because you
travel over sea and land to make one proselyte, and once he is yours, you make him over into a
decaying, smoldering, garbage dump of a person—your double.
How horrible your destiny, you blind counselors who say, “It means nothing to swear
on the basis of the temple, but it is binding if one swears on the gold of the temple.”
Ignoramuses and unenlightened, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that consecrates the
gold?” 18 Also you say: “It means nothing to swear on the basis of the altar, but if one swears on
the basis of the gift on the altar, it is binding.” 19 Irrational men, which is greater, the gift, or the
altar that consecrates the gift? 20 So one who swears on the basis of the altar swears by it and by
all upon it. 21 One who swears by the temple swears by it and the one who dwells in it. 22 One
who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and the one who sits upon it.
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees—hypocrites that you are—because
you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect the important issues of the law: justice, mercy,
and faithfulness. These are the priorities of the law you should practice, while not neglecting
those other elements. 24 Blind counselors that you are, you strain out the gnat (that gets in the
milk) but drink down the camel.
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees, charlatans all, because you wash
the outside of your cup and dish, but the interior remains untouched—full of plunder and greed.
Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of your cup, so its interior may be clean as well as the
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees, imposters all. You are comparable
to whitewashed tomb vaults, which externally appear to be attractive, but inside they are full of
the bones of dead people and all kinds of uncleanness. 28 In the same manner you put on a
sanctimonious façade to the public, but internally you are full of hypocrisy and noncompliance
to the law.
How horrible your destiny, scholars and Pharisees—phonies all—because you
construct the tombs of the prophets and beautify the monuments of the righteous. 30 You also say:
“Had we lived in the times of our ancestors, we would not have participated with them in
causing the prophets to bleed. 31 Right there you testify against yourselves. For you have
conceded you are the offspring of those who murdered the prophets, 32 and you fit the profile of
your fathers. Snakes! Brood of poisonous vipers! How will you escape getting what you
deserve in hell?
For this reason—scan the history—I am sending to you prophets, wise men, and
scholars. Some of them you will murder, even crucify; some you will whip in your synagogues
and chase out of town on to the next town. 35 Consequently, you are liable for all the blood of the
righteous soaking the ground from the blood of that righteous man, Abel, to the blood of
Matthew 23:36-24:22 57

Zechariah, son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the sacrificial altar.
I assure you that responsibility for all these actions will devolve to this generation.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, assassinator of the prophets and pelter of those sent there! How
often I wanted to gather your children as a hen does her chicks under her wings, but you did not
want that. 38 Pay attention! Your house is abandoned to you as an empty shell. 39 For I declare to
you: You will never again see me until the time you say:
Blessed is he who comes in Yahveh’s name.
24:1 After Jesus had left the temple and was on his way, his disciples approached him to
point out to him the buildings in the temple complex. 2 He responded to them this way: “You see,
do you not, all this architecture? I assure you emphatically that not one stone will be left here
upon another; all will be torn down.”
When he seated himself on Olive Grove Mountain, his disciples approached him
privately. They said: “Tell us when this will happen, what will be the sign of your coming and
that of the culmination of the age.”
Jesus answered them: Watch out lest anyone deceive you. 5 For many will come in my
name saying, “I am the anointed one.” They will delude many people.
You will continually hear about wars and rumors of such. Make sure you do not
become terrified by these. 7 For conflicts must arise, but the end will not have been reached. For
nation will become aggressive against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be
famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these phenomena are the beginning of
They also will hand you over for rough treatment, and assassinate you. You will be
hated by all nations because of your association with my name. 10 At that time many will cave in,
betraying one another, even hating one another.
In addition, many false prophets will come into prominence and deceive many people.
Because criminal behavior will become so widespread, the love many have will cool
down. 13 But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
Moreover, this evangel of the kingdom will be proclaimed all over the inhabited
world as a witness to all nations; and then comes the end.
Therefore, to use a phrase from the prophet Daniel, when you see “the detestable
result of desolation,” situated in the holy place—let the reader understand—16 then let those who
live in Judaea flee to the mountains. 17 Let whoever is up on his flat roof not go inside to the
ground floor to carry his possessions out of the house. 18 Whoever is in the field must not go back
to get his clothes. 19 And alas for pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days.
Pray that your escape will be neither in cold weather nor on the sabbath. 21 For at that
time there will be compounded trouble such as has not occurred from the beginning of the world
until now, nor will there be such in the future. 22 Unless those days were reduced, no human
being would survive. But for the sake of the select ones, those days will be reduced.
Matthew 24:23-50 58

At that time if anyone says to you, “Look this way; the messiah is here—or he is over
there—do not believe it.” 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will become prominent. They
will exhibit great miracles and wonders to deceive if it were possible even the select people.
Take notice. I have predicted the future for you. 26 Therefore, if they say to you, “Look for him
in the desert,” do not go there; or, “See him in the inner sanctums,” do not believe it. 27 For just
as lightning streaks from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the human one’s arrival.
Wherever carrion is located, there the vultures will congregate.
Immediately after the ordeal of those days:
The sun will be obscured,
The moon will not provide its glow,
Stars will fall from the sky,
The powers of the heavens will become disorganized.
Moreover, at that time the human one’s sign will be manifested in the sky, and all the
peoples of the earth will go into mourning. They will see the human one coming on the clouds
of the sky in a display of power and tremendous glory. 31 Accompanied by a great trumpet blast,
he will dispatch his angels. They will gather his select ones from all over, from the four winds,
even from the extremities under the sky.
Now learn this fig-tree analogy. As soon as the fig puts forth tender branches and
leaves, you are aware that summer is approaching. 33 In the same way when you see all these
happenings, you will recognize that the event is imminent. 34 I assure you that this generation will
not pass off the scene until all these are actualized. 35 Sky and earth will disintegrate, but my
pronouncements will never pass away.
But concerning those days and the exact time, no one knows—neither the heavenly
angels, nor the son—no one, except the father alone.
Just as daily life went on normally in Noah’s day, so will it be in the time of the
human one’s arrival. 38 In the days before the cataclysm, people were dining and drinking,
marrying and being married, until the day Noah entered the ark. 39 Not until the cataclysm
actually struck, did they know it would happen, and they were all swept away by it. The coming
of the human one will be like that. 40 At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken
away, and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at a millstone; one will be taken away,
and one will be left.
Stand watch, therefore, because you do not know what time your Lord is coming.
You should know that if the homeowner had known what time during the night the thief was
coming, he would have stayed awake to be on the lookout; he would not have permitted his
house to be ransacked. 44 For this reason, you must be ready because when you least expect it,
the human one will arrive.
Who, therefore, is a faithful servant—and sensible—whom the boss will put in charge
over his domestic help to issue them provisions at the proper time? 46 That servant who when his
boss arrives, will be found performing his duties will indeed be delighted. 47 I assure you the boss
will place him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that servant is evil and says to himself,
“My manager is putting off his return,” 49 and begins to whip his fellow servants, to party, and to
drink with the intoxicated, 50 that servant’s boss will arrive on a day when he was not expecting
Matthew 24:51-25:23 59

him and at an hour he had not anticipated. 51 He will cut him down and relegate him to a position
among the hypocrites. Crying and clenching of teeth are there.
25:1 The kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten pure unmarried young women who
took their small clay lamps and departed to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were
shortsighted, and five were thoughtful. 3 The happy-go-lucky ones took along their lamps, but
they did not take a supply of olive oil with them. 4 But the smart young women took along with
their lamps oil in flasks.
Because the bridegroom’s procession was delayed, they all nodded off and were
sleeping. At midnight a stentorian call was made: “Behold the bridegroom! Proceed to meet
Then all those young women got up and fiddled with their lamps to trim them. 8 The
shortsighted ones said to those who were foresighted, “Give us some of your oil because our
lamps have burned out.”
But the thoughtful young women said, “Most certainly there is not enough for us and
for you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.”
While they were away to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready
entered with him to the marriage feast, and the door was bolted. 11 Later, the rest of the young
women arrived saying, “Sir, sir, open up for us!”
But his answer came: “Indeed, I declare to you that I do not recognize you.”
Keep alert, therefore, because you know neither his arrival day nor the hour!
Here is another analogy: A man about to go abroad called his servants and put his
assets under their control. 15 Into the hands of one of them he put five large bars of silver; another
received two bars of silver; and another received one bar. The amount entrusted to each one was
determined by his ability. The man began his trip right away.
As soon as the owner left, the servant receiving the five units of silver put them to
work in the community, and by doing so he gained five more units. 17 In a similar fashion the
servant with two units doubled their value. 18 But the servant who received one unit went out and
dug a hole in the ground where he cached away his master’s silver.
After a very long time had elapsed, the master of those servants returned, and he had
an accounting with them. 20 The servant came who received five units of silver. He brought with
him five more, saying, “Master, you entrusted me with five units. Look! I have gained an
additional five.”
His boss said to him, “Fine work, conscientious and dependable servant. You were
faithful with a little; I will position you to handle much. Enjoy the good graces of your master!”
Then the one who had received two units of silver approached and reported, “Master,
you entrusted me with two units of silver. Look! I have gained an additional two units.”
His boss said to him, “Fine work, conscientious and dependable servant. You were
faithful with a little; I will position you to handle much. Enjoy the good graces of your master!”
Matthew 25:24-26:2 60

Also the one who had received one unit of silver approached him and said, “Master, I
knew that you are hard to satisfy, harvesting where you have not planted, and gathering where
you have not scattered seed. 25 So being afraid, I went and hid your unit of silver in the ground.
Look! You have here what is yours.
But his master replied, “You good-for-nothing, lazy servant; you knew, did you, that ‘I
harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter seed’? 27 You ought, therefore, to
have invested my silver with the financiers. Then when I returned I would have recovered my
principal with interest.”
To his servants he said, “Therefore, take away the unit of silver from him and give it to
the one now having ten units. 29 For to everyone having gains, more will be given, and his capital
will be increased. 30 But to the one not having increase, what he has been entrusted with will be
taken from him. Shove that useless servant into the exterior darkness. Crying and grimacing with
clenched teeth will occur there.”
When the human one comes in his glory accompanied by all the angels, he will sit at
that time on his glorious throne. 32 All nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate
them from one another just as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. 33 He will station the sheep
on his right side and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, “Come,
you who are blessed by my father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the origin of the
universe. 35 For I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger and you made friends with me. 36 I was without clothes and you clothed me. I
was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.”
Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and provided
food for you, or thirsty and provided something to drink for you? 38 At what time did we
recognize you as a stranger and became a friend to you, or naked and clothed you? 39 When did
we ever know you to be sick or in prison and came to you?”
The king will say to them in reply, “I assure you that whatever you did to one of the
least of these my brothers, you did for me.”
Then he will say to those on his left, “Move away from me, you who are under the
curse of inextinguishable fire prepared for the devil and his agents. 42 For I was hungry and you
did not feed me. I was thirsty and you did not give me something to drink. 43 I was a stranger and
you did not make friends with me. I was naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and
you did not help me.”
Then these people will reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or
displaced, or unclothed, or sick, or in prison, and we did not help you?”
At that time he will reply to them, “I assure you that whatever you did not do to one of
the least of these, you did not do for me.” 46 These will march off into the punishment whose
effect is permanent, and the righteous into life eternal.
26:1 When Jesus had completed all these teachings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that
after two days the Passover will be here, and the human one will be handed over to be
Matthew 26:3-29 61

At that time the top echelon priests and the councilmen of the nation held a meeting in
the courtyard of the high priest, Caiaphas. 4 They had a brainstorming session to try to figure out
how by some underhanded means they might arrest and execute Jesus. 5 But they kept saying,
“Not during the feast, lest there be a riot among the people.”
While Jesus was staying in Bethany at Simon the leper’s home, 7 a woman approached
him having with her an alabaster vial of very expensive perfume. As he reclined at the table, she
poured it upon his head. 8 When the disciples observed this, they became indignant, saying,
“Why was it wasted? 9 For the perfume could have been sold for much money and the proceeds
given to the poor.”
But Jesus, knowing what was going on, said to them, “Why are you causing the lady
consternation? She performed a magnificent service for me. 11 You always have the poor around,
but you will not always have me. 12 For she made this application of perfume on my body in
preparation for my burial. 13 I assure you that wherever the evangel is preached all over the
world, this act of hers will be mentioned in memory of her.”
Then one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, slipped away to the top echelon priests and
said to them, 15 “What would it be worth to you in return for my handing him over to you?”
They weighed for him 30 shekels of silver.
From then on he was looking for an opportunity to betray him.
At the outset of the feast of flat bread the disciples approached Jesus saying, “Where
do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”
He answered: Go into the city to such and such a person and say to him, “The teacher
says, ‘My special time is almost here. I will observe the Passover at your place, along with my
The disciples did as Jesus ordered them. They prepared the Passover meal. 20 When it
became evening, he reclined at the table with the twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I
assure you that one of you will betray me.”
Being very upset about this, each one began to say to him, “You are not referring to
me, are you, Lord?”
He replied, “He who dipped his hand with me into the bowl is the betrayer. 24 The

human one departs just as it has been written about him, but how horrible the destiny of that man
by whom the human one is betrayed. It would have been better for him had he not been born.”
Judas, the betrayer, replied to him, “It is not me, is it, rabbi?”
He answered, “That is what you said.”
During their meal Jesus took (flat) bread, consecrated it, broke it into pieces, and gave
the bread to his disciples. These were his words: “Receive and eat this, for it is my body.”
After he had taken a cup, he gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “All of you drink
from it, for this is my covenantal blood that is being poured out for multitudes for forgiveness
of sins. 29 But I declare to you that from now on I certainly shall not drink from that which grows
Matthew 26:30-48 62

on the grapevine until the day I drink it with you under new conditions in the kingdom of my
They sang a hymn and left for Olive Grove Mountain.
Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will become disillusioned over me this very
night. For it has been written:
I shall strike down the shepherd,
and the flock of sheep will be scattered.
But after I am raised up, I will lead you forth into Galilee.”
Rock replied to him, “If everyone else abandons his allegiance to you, I shall never
renege on my commitment to you.”
Jesus said to him, “I assure you that this very night before the rooster call, you will
deny me three times.”
Rock said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I certainly will not disown you!” All
the disciples said the same.
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. He said to his disciples, “Be
seated here while I go over there to pray.” 37 Taking along Rock and Zebedee’s two sons, he
began to experience anguish and heartbreak.
Then he said to them, “My soul is saturated with sorrows so as to be on the verge of
death. Remain here, and stay awake with me.”
After going forward a little way, he lay prone, praying these words, “My father, if it is
possible, cause this cup to be cleared away from before me. Nevertheless, I accept not what I
want, but what you want.”
Upon returning to his disciples, he found them sleeping. He said to Rock, “Is the
situation such that you all cannot keep awake with me for one hour? 41 Stay alert all of you and
keep praying, lest you give in to temptation. One’s spirit is eager, but physical capacity is weak.”
Again for a second time he went away and prayed these words, “My father, if this cup
cannot be cleared away unless I drink it, your will be done.”
When he came back again, he found them sleeping, for their eyes were drowsy.
Leaving them, he went away again a third time and prayed the same prayer once more.
Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “You are still sleeping and getting
your rest. Pay attention! The time has arrived for the human one to be betrayed into the hands of
sinners. 46 Get up! Let us go! Look, my betrayer has moved in close.”
While he was yet speaking—see this—Judas, one of his twelve, came up with a
massive mob carrying swords and cudgels. The upper echelon priests and the elders of the nation
were the instigators of that mob. 48 The betrayer had prearranged with them a signal, saying,
“Whomever I kiss is the man; arrest him.”
Matthew 26:49-68 63

At once he approached Jesus and said, “Hi, rabbi,” and he kissed him demonstrably.
Jesus replied to him, “Companion, why are you here?”
Then they closed in and grabbed Jesus with their hands and arrested him.
Look: One of those with Jesus cocked his arm and wielded his sword, which struck
the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, “Return your sword into its scabbard. All who take the sword
will be done in by the sword. 53 Or do you think I am unable to send a distress signal to my father
and have him station by me right now more than twelve legions of angels? 54 Were I to do that,
however, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that require such an event as this?”
At that time Jesus said to the throng, “As if you were after a thief you have come out
with swords and cudgels to take me in. I daily sat and taught in the temple, and you did not arrest
This whole incident happened that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.
Then all his disciples, leaving him, made their escape.
Those who seized Jesus brought him to Caiaphas, the high priest, at whose place the
scholars and councilmen were assembled. 58 But Rock was following him from a distance all the
way to the courtyard of the high priest. Once he was on the inside, he sat with the servants to see
this thing through to the end.
Now the ruling priests and the whole council were seeking an allegation of perjury
against Jesus so they might have a case to execute him. 60 They did not find what they wanted,
although many notorious liars came in. Finally, two characters came forward with this statement:
“He said: ‘I am able to demolish God’s temple and rebuild it during a three day period’."
The high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no response to what these men
have testified against you?”
But Jesus remained silent. So the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath to the
living God to tell us if you are the messiah, God’s son.”
Jesus said to him, “You made the declaration to that effect. Nevertheless, I declare to
you that in the future you all will see the human one seated at the supreme position of power and
coming on the clouds of the sky.”
Then the high priest ripped his robes into rags saying, “He slandered (God)! What
further need do we have of witnesses? Look now, you heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your
They responded, “He deserves death!”
Then they spit on his face and roughed him up, and those punching him were 68 saying,
“Prophesy to us, messiah: Who is battering you?”
Matthew 26:69-27:13 64

Rock was sitting outside in the courtyard, and one slave girl approached him saying,
“You also were with Jesus the Galilean!”
But he denied it before everybody saying, “I do not know what you are talking about.”
When he went out by the gateway, another female slave saw him and said to those
who were there, “This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
And again he denied it—this time with an oath backing his statement, “I do not know
the man!”
Shortly thereafter those standing around approached and said to Rock, “For certain,
you are from their group; your accent is evidence enough.”
Then he began to call down a curse on himself if he lied, and to swear, “I do not know
the man!” And immediately the rooster call rang out.
Rock remembered the statement Jesus had made, “Before the rooster call sounds off,
you will deny me three times.” He went outside and broke down in bitter weeping.
27:1 At dawn all the upper echelon priests and councilmen of the nation put their heads
together in opposition to Jesus and called for his execution. 2 They tied him up, led him away,
and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.
Then Judas, his betrayer, perceived that he was condemned. Ashamed of what he had
done, he returned the 30 silver pieces to the administrative priests and councilmen. 4 He told
them: “I sinned, betraying the blood of an innocent man.”
But they said, “What do we care? That is your business!”
So he threw down the silver coins in the temple and headed out. After departure, he
hanged himself.
The administrative priests picked up the silver coins and commented, “It is unlawful to
put these in the temple treasury because they represent blood money.” 7 After conferring, they
bought with the money a potter’s dumping grounds to be a graveyard for foreigners. 8 Therefore,
that field is referred to as the bloody field right up until this writing. 9 In that episode the
statement of Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
And I brought a price of 30 silver coins,
the assessed value by Israel’s descendants;
And they spent the money for purchasing a potter’s yard
just as Yahveh instructed me.
Jesus was made to stand trial before the governor, who interrogated him, “You—are
the king of Israel?”
Jesus replied, “You so stated.”
To the accusations of the administrative priests and councilmen Jesus addressed no
answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are alleging against
Matthew 27:14-37 65

Yet Jesus did not answer him even one word to any accusation. The upshot was that
the governor was greatly impressed by him.
Customarily, at the feast the governor would release to the crowd one prisoner whom
they selected. 16 They had at that time a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 Therefore, when
they assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you—Barabbas, or
Jesus, called Christ?” 18 He mentioned Jesus because he knew it was on account of spitefulness
they had handed him over.
While Pilate was seated officially at judgment, his wife passed a message to him that
said: “Do nothing against that righteous man. For in a dream today I experienced many agonies
relative to him.”
But the administrative priests and the councilmen persuaded the crowds they should
ask for Barabbas in order to destroy Jesus.
The governor made this response to them: “Which of these two do you want me to
release to you?”
They said, “Barabbas.”
Pilate said to them, “What do you want me to do with Jesus called Christ?"
They all said, “Crucify him!”
But he said, “What is the reason—what crime has he committed?”
Yet all the more they kept chanting, “Crucify him!”
But Pilate, perceiving that it was of no use to go on because bedlam was breaking out,
took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, “I am guiltless of spilling this
man’s blood. You will be responsible!”
All the people answered, “We take responsibility for his blood—we and our children.”
Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus was given a (Roman) beating; after that, Pilate
turned Jesus over to be crucified.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus aside into the official quarters of the
governor. They assembled around him all the cohort. 28 They undressed Jesus and they put a
scarlet robe on him. 29 After platting a crown from thorns, they put it upon his head. They put a
reed in his right hand, genuflected before him, making fun of him, saying, “Felicitations, king of
the Jews!” 30 They spit on him. They took the reed and kept beating with it upon his head.
After they had humiliated him, they took off the robe and dressed him in his own
clothes, and led him away to crucify him.
As they were coming out they found a Cyrenian named Simon, whom they impressed
into service to carry his cross.
They arrived at a place called Golgotha, which means skull site. 34 They gave him
wine spiked with gall, which when he tasted what it was, he would not drink. 35 Once he was on
the cross, they divided up his clothes by a lottery. 36 Then they seated themselves and guarded
him there. 37 They posted over his head his crime:
Matthew 27:38-64 66

Simultaneously they crucified two thieves, one on each side of him. 39 The mob that
had come out to watch kept insulting him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy
the temple and in three days, rebuild it; save yourself. If you are God’s son, come down from the
Likewise also the administrative priests along with the scholars and councilmen kept
ridiculing him, 42 “He set others free but he is not able to free himself. As Israel’s king, let him
come down from the cross—right now—and we shall believe in him. 43 He trusted in God. Let
God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am God’s son.’”
In the same way the criminals crucified with him jeered at him.
Darkness overshadowed all the land from noon until 3 p.m. 46 Around three, Jesus
called out in a loud voice: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? which means: ‘My God, my God, why
did you abandon me?’
Certain ones of those standing around, when they heard this, were saying that he was
calling Elijah. 48 At once one of them ran over, and taking a sponge, filled it with soldier’s cheap
wine. He affixed the sponge to a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest were saying,
“Leave him alone. Let us see if Elijah will come to deliver him.”
Jesus, after having called out again in a loud voice, dismissed his spirit.
See! The veil of the temple was split open from top to bottom into two sections. The
earth also quaked, and rocks were split apart. 52 Tombs were opened, and many bodies of the
holy ones who were sleeping were awakened. 53 Coming out of their graves after his resurrection,
they entered the sacred city and appeared to many people.
Now the centurion and those who were with him guarding Jesus, when they saw the
earthquake and the things that happened, became very frightened and exclaimed, “He was truly
God’s son!”
Many women were there who were watching from far back. These were women who
had followed with Jesus from Galilee and were serving him. 56 Among them was Mary from
Magdala, and Mary the wife of James and mother of Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Late in the afternoon a wealthy man from Arimathaea came to the site. His name was
Joseph, and he, too, was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He approached Pilate and requested the body of
Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took his body and wrapped it in clean
linen. 60 He placed it in his new tomb that had been hollowed out of a rock formation. After
having rolled a massive stone against the door of the tomb, he left. 61 But Mary from Magdala
and the other Mary were there and sat down in front of the tomb.
On the next day, which was after the preparation day, the administrative priests and
Pharisees trooped back to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sovereign, we remember that this deceiver said
while he was yet living, ‘After three days I will be raised’. 64 Give orders, therefore, that the
grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people,
‘He was raised from the dead’. In such a case the latter deception would be worse than the first.”
Matthew 27:65-28:20 67

Pilate said to them, “You have a squad for standing watch. Go make it as secure as
you know how to make it.”
So they went and made the grave secure. They placed a seal on the stone in addition to
placing the guard.
28:1 After the sabbath at dawn of the first day of the week, Mary from Magdala and the other
Mary came to see the grave. 2 See this: A great earthquake had occurred. For an angel of Yahveh
came down from heaven, approached the grave, rolled the stone back, and was sitting upon it.
His appearance was resplendent like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. 4 Those
securing the tomb were so shaken by their fear of him they became like dead men.
The angel responded to the women, “Stop being afraid. I know you are looking for
Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here. He was raised just as he said. Come, see the place
where he was laid out. 7 Proceed quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the
dead, and note this: He is going before you into Galilee. You will see him there; note that I told
The women, awed and exhilarated with great joy, set out quickly from the tomb. They
ran to announce the news to his disciples. 9 See this: Jesus met them saying, “Rejoice!”
When they approached him, they grabbed his feet and prostrated themselves before him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not continue to be frightened. Go and announce to my
brothers that they go away to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
While they were on their way, the scene shifts: Certain ones of the grave guards went
into the city and announced to the administrative priests everything that happened. 12 They
conferred with the councilmen and reached a decision as to what they would do. They took out
enough silver to bribe the soldiers, 13 saying to them, “Say that his disciples came at night and
stole him from us while we were sleeping.”
They promised them, “If the governor gets wind of it, we will influence him so that
you have nothing to worry about.” 15 The soldiers took the silver and did as they were coached.
This spiel has been reiterated by the Jews right up to the time this is written.
The eleven disciples went into Galilee to the mountain where Jesus directed them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but some had doubts. 18 Jesus approached and said to
them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Consequently, when you go,
disciple all nationalities in my name.* 20 Teach them to keep everything I commanded you to do.
Understand this: I am with you every day until the consummation of the age!”

* This is the patristic short form. The traditional long form replaces “in my name” with
“immersing them in the name of the father, and the son, and the holy spirit.”
Mark 1:1-22 68

1:1 The good news of Jesus Christ 2 opens with the prophet Isaiah’s inscription:
Focus on this:
I am sending my messenger as your advance agent.
He will make the arrangements for your expedition.
His stentorian voice reverberates in the desert:
Prepare Yahveh’s roadway.
Straighten out the curves.
Stationed in the desert was his agent, John the baptizer. He preached, advocating a
baptism conditioned on repentance and resulting in the forgiveness of sins. 5 Everybody came out
there to hear him, that is, all those in the region of the southern province and all the residents of
Jerusalem. They were being immersed by him in the river Jordan on the basis of confession of
their sins.
John was dressed in a camel’s hairy hide, held in at the waist by a leather belt. His diet
consisted of locusts and wild honey.
He announced this message: On his way as my successor, there is coming one more
dynamic than I. By comparison, I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thongs of his
sandals. 8 I immersed you in water. He will immerse you in holy spirit.
This is what happened in those days: Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee came and was
immersed in the Jordan by John. 10 Right away he went up (on the bank) out of the water. He saw
the skies severing, and the spirit (of God) descending dove-like to him. 11 A voice from the
heavens resounded: “You are my son, my loved one. I am delighted with you!”
At once the spirit thrust him out into the desert. 13 For 40 days he was in the wasteland
being tempted by the adversary. What is more—he was there among the wild beasts; and angels
ministered to him.
After the incarceration of John, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming good news about
God. His message was this: The time has elapsed. God’s kingdom is near. Repent, and believe
the good news.
As he walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, Jesus saw Simon and Andrew, his
brother, casting their nets into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17 Jesus said to them, “Come
with me and I will retrain you to fish for men.”
Immediately leaving their fishing gear, they followed him.
When he had gone a little farther down the shore, he saw James, son of Zebedee, and
John, his brother, in a boat reconditioning their nets. 20 Right away he called them, too. They left
their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired help, and they went along with him.
Jesus traveled to Capernaum, arriving just as the sabbath began. After entering the
synagogue, he began teaching. 22 That teaching astounded them, for unlike the scholars, he was
teaching them as an authority.
Mark 1:23-45 69

Suddenly while he was in their synagogue, a man impelled by a sordid spirit shrieked,
“What are your superior claims on us, Jesus of Nazareth? Are you here to destroy us?
I know who you are—God’s holy one.”
Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Muzzle your mouth, and come out of him.” 26 The filthy
spirit convulsed him and let out an intense scream as it left him.
Everyone was amazed, and they had quite a discussion as a result. People kept saying:
“What does this mean? We have heard him give new teaching with the voice of authority. He
also issues commands to contemptible spirits and they obey him.”
The news about him spread at once everywhere into the whole surrounding region of
Right after that, he departed from the synagogue and came to the home of Simon and
Andrew. James and John were there, too. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was down in bed with a
fever. As soon as he arrived, they told Jesus about her. 31 Coming to her, he grasped her hand and
raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.
Late in the afternoon when the sun set, they kept bringing to him everyone who was in
serious condition, and also demoniacs. 33 The whole town had been accumulating at the door.
He healed the many people who had something wrong with them. Various kinds of diseases
disappeared. He expelled many demons. Because demons knew his identity, he would not allow
them to speak.
Next morning when it was very early—still dark—he got up and escaped to an
isolated place. He spent time there praying. 36 Simon and those with him pursued him. 37 When
they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!”
He said to them, “Let us go elsewhere to neighboring villages to preach there as well,
for I set out with that purpose.”
He went on a preaching mission in the synagogues in all of Galilee and expelled
A leper came to him, pleading with him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus compassionately stretched out his hand and touched him. He said, “I will do
that. Be clean.”
Immediately the leprosy left him, and he became clean.
At once Jesus took him aside and gave him a stern warning: 44 “See to it that you say
nothing to anyone. But go show yourself to a priest, and offer for your purification what Moses
specified. This will be evidence to them (of divine acts).”
When Jesus left there, he began to preach in many places and to spread the message
everywhere. As a result, no longer was he able to enter a town in plain view. He would stay in
the country in deserted places, but people kept coming to him from everywhere.
Mark 2:1-22 70

2:1 After he returned to Capernaum for some days, word got around that he was at
someone’s house. 2 Many people piled in so that there was no longer room for anyone else, even
outside the door. He kept presenting to them the word (of God).
Four men carrying a paralytic came on the scene with the intention of bringing him to
Jesus. 4 Not being able to get him in because of the packed house, they unroofed the (flat) roof
over where Jesus was located. Having made the opening, they lowered the stretcher with the
paralytic lying on it.
When Jesus observed their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Some scholars were sitting there saying to themselves, 7 “Why does he speak like this?
He blasphemes. Who can forgive sins except God exclusively?”
Right away Jesus, sensing in his spirit they were thinking this to themselves, said to
them: “Why do you ponder such notions in your hearts? 9 Which is easier to say to this paralytic?
Your sins are forgiven, or to say, Get up, take your pallet, and get going. 10 Here is the evidence
that you might know the human one has authority to forgive sins on the earth.” He spoke to the
“I say to you: Get up, take your pallet, and go to your home.”
He at once got up, grabbed his bedroll, and in the presence of everybody went out.
The effect of this left all of them ecstatic, glorifying God, and saying, “We have never seen
anything like it!”
Jesus again went out to the lakeshore. All the crowd was coming to him, and he kept
on teaching them.
As he passed by he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, seated at his revenue booth. He said to
him, “Follow me.”
Levi rose to his feet and followed with him.
Jesus went to dine at Levi’s home. Many tax-takers and sinners were reclining at the
table with Jesus and his disciples, for many of them were following him. 16 Scholars among the
Pharisees, observing that he was eating with sinners and tax-takers, kept saying to his disciples:
“He eats with revenue agents and sinners!”
As he listened in, Jesus said to them, “The well and strong do not need a physician,
but his clientele are those who have something wrong with them. I did not come to call righteous
people, but sinners.”
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees practiced fasting. They came and said to
him, “Why do John’s disciples and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples do not?”
Jesus said to them, “Wedding attendants are not able to fast so long as the bridegroom
is present with them. As long as they have him with them, they cannot fast. 20 The time is coming
when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and during that time they will fast.
No one sews new cloth as a patch on old clothing. If that were done, when the new
piece shrank, it would tear the old, and the split would become worse. 22 Also no one pours new
Mark 2:23-3:15 71

wine into old skins. Were that done, the wine would eventually rip the skins, and both the wine
and the skins would be wasted; but new wine goes into new skins.”
One sabbath while he was traveling beside the grain fields, his disciples began to step
aside into the field and pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees kept saying to him, “Look at
them! Why do they do what is illegal on the sabbath?”
He replied to them, “Have you never read what David did when he had a need for
food at a time when he and his men were hungry? 26 This is how it was: He entered the house of
God during the administration of Abiathar, the high priest, and he ate from the loaves presented
before God though it was illegal for anyone but priests to consume them. Furthermore, he gave
some also to his companions.”
Jesus went on to say to them: “The sabbath came into existence for man’s sake, and
not the other way around—man for the sabbath.” 28 Consequently, the human one sets the
standards for the sabbath.”
3:1 Again he went into the synagogue. A man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 They kept
looking over their shoulder at Jesus to see if he would heal him on the sabbath. Their motive was
to find grounds to condemn him.
So he said to the man with the incapacitated hand, “Come over here to the center.”
Then he said to them, “Is it legal on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life
or to waste it?”
Nobody said a word.
After looking around the circle at them with anger, he was heartsick over the callus
condition of their hearts. He said to the man, “Stretch forth your hand.”
He did, and his hand was restored.
Immediately, the Pharisees stormed out. They along with the Herodians began
consultations against Jesus with the explicit purpose of destroying him.
Jesus with his disciples departed for the lake. A tremendous crowd began to cluster
there. They were coming from Galilee, from Judaea, from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, from
Transjordania, and from the regions around Tyre and Sidon. Those who had heard about all he
was doing came to him in a great gathering.
He told his disciples to put a small boat at his disposal because of the crowd, lest they
crush him. 10 For he healed many, and as many as were physically suffering were lunging at him
so that they might touch him. 11 Sordid spirits, when they would see him, would fall down before
him, screaming, “You are God’s son.” 12 Yet he repeatedly rebuked them lest they advocate him.

He climbed a mountain and called along with him those whom he desired, and they
followed him. 14 He appointed twelve whom he named apostles. He commissioned them to preach
and to have the authority to expel demons.
Mark 3:16-4:9 72

He gave to Simon the epithet, rock, 17 and James, Zebedee’s son, and John the brother
of James, he called boanerges, meaning, thunder boys. 18 Also there were Andrew and Philip, and
Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James—Alphaeus’ son—and Thaddaeus, and
Simon the right-wing patriot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
He entered a home and again a crowd gathered. As a result they were not able to eat
their meals. 21 When his close relations heard what was going on, they went out to take him in,
for they were saying, “he has become unhinged.”
Also the scholars who came down from Jerusalem kept saying, “He has Beelzebub in
his corner, and by the dictator of demons he expels demons.”
Jesus called a meeting with them and spoke to them using analogies: How can Satan
expel Satan? 24 If a kingdom takes sides against itself, that kingdom cannot endure. 25 If a
household splits into factions, that household cannot persist. 26 If the adversary takes aggressive
action against himself and splits into opposing camps, he cannot survive. He is ruined.
But here is the situation: No one is able to enter a strong man’s house and steal his
valuables unless first the intruder ties him up. Then he can thoroughly ransack his house.
I assure you that every sinful deed and as many insults as human beings make will be
forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes the holy spirit will never have this forgiven as long as
time stands. He is guilty of an everlasting sin. 30 This statement was directed at those who were
saying, “He has a sordid spirit.”
His mother and his brothers arrived and stood outside. They passed a message to him,
calling him to meet with them. 32 A crowd was seated around him. They relayed this message to
him, “Attention! Your mother and your brothers are outside and want you.”
He responded to them, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”
Looking around at those sitting encircled about him, he said, “See right here my
mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does God’s will is my brother, my sister, my mother.”
4:1 Once again he began to teach beside the lake, and a dense crowd wedged in around him.
As a result he had to board a boat and position himself on the lake. All the crowd was on the
shore. Using parables, he kept teaching them many principles. 2 Jesus continued to speak to them
with the following teaching:
Listen carefully. See the planter who went out to sow seed. 4 In planting, some seed fell
on the path. Birds came and gulped it down.
Other seed fell where not much earth covers rocks. Right away it sprouted, but it did
not have depth of soil. 6 When the sun shined hot upon it, it dehydrated. Because it could not get
a root down, it wilted.
Other seed fell among thorns; they grew up and choked it so as not to have fruition.
Yet other seed fell in good soil and produced a crop—sprouting, growing, bearing. The
seed multiplied in one case by 30%, in another by 60%, and in another by 100%.
He kept saying: Ears are for hearing, so listen!
Mark 4:10-32 73

When he became alone, his companions along with the twelve were questioning him
about the parables.
He continued to say to them: “The mystery of God’s kingdom is granted to you. But
to outsiders, everything must be expressed in parables 12 in order that:
Looking, they would indeed gaze but not see,
and hearing, they would hear and not comprehend,
lest they turn around and be forgiven.
He said to them, “You do not get this parable; how will you grasp the meaning of all
the others?”
The planter plants the message. 15 The seed falling on the path illustrates how quickly,
as soon as it is heard, the adversary snatches away the message sown among such people.
Now as for that seed planted over underlying rocks, the meaning is this: When some
people hear the message, they immediately accept it enthusiastically. 17 Yet because they have no
root in themselves—but are temporizers—when trouble comes, or persecution connected with
the message, they are done in right away.
Then there are those others, the seed planted among the thorn-plants. 19 They also
listen to the message, but worldly anxieties, the delusion of wealth, and the rest of one’s cravings
intrude and choke the message so as to become unproductive in them.
There are also those comparable to the seed planted in good soil. These people listen
to the message, accept it thoroughly, and become producers—some at a rate of 30%, some 60%,
some 100%.
Jesus continued speaking to them: One would not light a lamp to place it under a
basket, or under a bed. Is not a lamp placed on a lampstand? 22 For there is no secret that will not
be brought out into the open. Neither is there any cover-up but what will come to light.
23 24
Ears are for using; so listen. He continued to say to them: Examine what you are
The standard of measurement you use will be used also in compensating you with an
increase. 25 For whoever has such and such standard will get that standard applied to himself. As
to whoever does not have (a willingness to give), what he seemingly has will be taken from him.
He kept right on speaking. God’s realm is like a man who planted seed in the ground.
He would sleep and he would get up, in night-and-day cycles. The seed sprouted and grew. He
knew not how. 28 All by itself the earth produces, first the green shoot, then the head formation,
then the grain kernels filling out the head. 29 When the crop is ripe, right then, the farmer wields
his sickle because harvest time has come.
Also he said: To what should we compare God’s realm? Or by what parable should
we set it forth? 31 A mustard seed illustrates this: When planted in the earth, it is smallest of all
the earth’s seeds. 32 Yet after it is planted, it comes up and becomes larger than all plants. It
makes branches to such long lengths that the birds of the sky are able to roost under its shade.
Mark 4:33-5:19 74

By many such analogies he continued speaking the message to them in proportion to
their readiness to listen. 34 He would not speak to them any other way except by a parable. But
privately to his own disciples he elucidated everything.
He said to them late in that day, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the
crowd, they shoved off with him in the boat, and other boats were with him. 37 A squall having
high winds arose and the waves were piling into the boat and already were swamping it. 38 He
was in the stern sacked out on a cushion, sleeping. So they awoke him saying, “Teacher, do you
not care that we are going under?”
After he got up, he rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush. Keep quiet.” The
wind ceased and a great calm ensued.
He said to them, “Why are you frightened? Have you yet no faith?”
They were overcome by great fear and kept saying to one another: “Who, then, is this
that the wind and the sea submit to him?”
5:1 They arrived at the other side of the lake in the territory of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as
he stepped out on shore a man coming from among the tombs and who was under the sway of a
filthy spirit accosted him. 3 A squatter among the cave-tombs, this man could not be held down
by restraints; no one could tie him up securely. 4 Many times he was bound by the feet with
chains, only for the chains to be torn apart by him, badly injuring his ankles. No one was able to
tame him. 5 All through the night and day among the tombs and in the mountains he was
screaming and lacerating himself with stones.
Yet when he caught a glimpse of Jesus from far away, he ran and prostrated himself
before him. 7 Yelling in a very loud voice, he said, “What right do you have to make me your
subject, Jesus, son of the highest God? Give me your oath before God that you will not torture
me.” 8 For Jesus was in the process of speaking to him, ordering the sordid spirit to come out of
the man.
So Jesus asked him “What is your name?”
He replied to him, “My name is legion because we are many.” 10 He pled with Jesus
many times that he not send them outside the territory.
Now a large herd of hogs was there on the mountain feeding. 12 The demonic spirits
made a plea to Jesus: “Send us to the hogs that we might enter them.”
He gave his permission to them. So the foul spirits departed and entered the hogs. The
herd—about 2,000 in all—stampeded down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
Their feeders fled and spread the news in town and in the fields. People came out to
see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the former demoniac seated, dressed, and
sensible. Because this was the same man who once had a legion within him, the sightseers
became scared. 16 Eyewitnesses gave an account of what happened to the demoniac and to the
hogs. 17 The local people began to beg Jesus to leave their areas.
When he went aboard the boat, the once demonized man implored him that he might
be with him. 19 Jesus did not permit him, but said, “Go to your home and your people and report
Mark 5:20-43 75

to them all that Yahveh did for you in being merciful to you.” 20 That man left and began to
proclaim in the Ten Cities area everything Jesus had done for him, and everybody was awed by
When Jesus crossed back again to the other side of the lake, many people crowded
around him on the shore. 22 Jairus, one of the leaders of the synagogue, came up. When he saw
Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and urged him with many words, stating: “My young daughter is at
death’s door. So come, lay your hands on her in order that she might be restored and live.”
Jesus set out with Jairus. A large crowd followed along with him, thronging him. 25 In
the crowd was a woman who had a continuous flow of blood for twelve years. 26 She had
suffered many things while under the treatment of numerous physicians. Although she had spent
all the money she had, she was no better; rather, she became worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus.
Moving up in the crowd behind Jesus, she touched his garment. 28 For she said to herself, “If I
can just touch his garment, I shall be delivered!”
At once the flow of her blood ceased, and she knew in her body that she was healed of
that disorder.
Immediately also Jesus, knowing in himself that power emanated from him, turned
around to the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothing?”
His disciples began saying to him, “Look at the crowd jostling you, and you say,
‘Who touched me?’”
He glanced around to see who had done this. 33 The woman, scared and shaking,
knowing what had happened to her, came forward and fell before him and told him the whole
truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith delivered you. Go in health, and be fully recovered
from your disorder.”
While he was yet speaking, messengers came from the home of the leader of the
synagogue, saying, “Your daughter died. Why bother the teacher any longer?”
Overhearing the report, Jesus said to the synagogue superintendent, “Stop being
afraid; just trust.”
He did not allow anyone to file in with him except Rock, James, and John the brother
of James, as they entered the home of the superintendent of the synagogue. There he saw a
commotion—weeping, and much wailing.
When inside, he said to them, “Why all this fuss you are making, and the crying? The
child is not dead; she is asleep.”
They reacted by making fun of him. But after he had bounced everybody out, he took
the father of the child and the mother and those (three) who were with him and he went in where
the child was. 41 He grasped the child’s hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which translated
[from Aramaic] means, Little girl, I say to you—get up!
Immediately the girl got up and walked around, for she was twelve years old. Those
there were breathlessly ecstatic. 43 He gave emphatic orders to them that no one should know
what went on. Also he said, “Give her something to eat.”
Mark 6:1-24 76

6:1 He left there and came to his hometown with his disciples. 2 As the sabbath arrived he
began to teach in the synagogue. Many of those who heard him were amazed, saying, “Where
did he get this content he presents? Who gave wisdom to him? What is the source of the miracles
such as these created by his hands? Is he not the carpenter, Mary’s son? 3 Is he not the brother of
James, Joseph, Jude, and Simon? Are not all his sisters here with us?” In this manner they wrote
him off.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet does not go unhonored except in his hometown, and
among his relatives and those in his household.”
Moreover, he could not do anything miraculous there, except that he did lay his hands
on a few sick people and healed them. 6 Their faithlessness made a deep impression on him.
He made the rounds from village to village, teaching.
Jesus called the twelve together and began to send them out in teams of two. He gave
them authority over sordid spirits. 8 He required them to take nothing with them on the road, with
the possible exception of a walking stick—no food, no leather pouch, no money for the coin belt.
But wearing sandals, they were not even to take a second tunic.
He told them, “Whenever you enter into a home, remain there until you leave town.
Whatever place neither welcomes you nor listens to you should become the object of a
demonstration against them: As you leave, wipe off the dust that clings to your feet.
When they went out, they preached, requiring repentance. 13 They expelled many
demons; they anointed with oil many sick people and were healing them.
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his name stood out in the news. Some were saying
John the baptizer had been raised from the dead, and for this reason miracles were performed by
him. 15 Others kept saying he was Elijah. Still others opined he was a prophet like one of the
(ancient) prophets. 16 After hearing the reports, Herod kept remarking, “John whom I decapitated
has been raised.”
For Herod himself, having sent deputies, arrested John and held him in prison because
of Herodias, the wife of Philip his brother. Herod had married her. 18 Indeed, John would say to
Herod, “It is wrong for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 Consequently, Herodias had it in for
John and wanted him assassinated, but could not bring it off. 20 For Herod was edgy about John,
knowing he was a righteous, holy man. So he was protecting him from her. Having heard John
many times, Herod was at a loss (to know what to do with him), yet he would gladly listen to
When the appropriate time came for celebration of Herod’s birthday, he put on a state
dinner for his top officials, his high ranking militia officers, and the prominent people of Galilee.
His daughter by Herodias entered and did a dance that pleased Herod and those laid
back with him.
The king said to the young girl, “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to
you.” 23 So he made oaths promising her carte blanche up to half of his kingdom. 24 She exited
and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?”
And she retorted, “The head of John the baptizer.”
Mark 6:25-48 77

So with dispatch the girl entered at once before the king with her request: “I want you
to give me right away upon a platter the head of John the baptizer.”
The king was depressed by this. But because of the oaths he had affirmed and the
presence of the feasters, he could not afford to break faith with her. 27 So at once the king sent an
executioner with an order to bring John’s head. He went out and decapitated him in the prison.
Then he brought his head on a platter and he gave it to the young girl. She gave it to her
When John’s disciples heard about it, they came and took his corpse and placed it in a
The apostles had a debriefing in Jesus’ presence, reporting to him all they had done,
and the extent of their teaching. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a wilderness
location and rest up a little while.” For there was such continual coming and going, they were
not eating regularly. 32 So they went away by boat to go to a deserted place by themselves. 33 But
they were seen leaving, and many knew where they were headed. Going by land on foot, people
from all the (regional) towns ran there and preceded them.
When he came ashore, he saw a huge crowd. His heart went out to them because they
were as sheep not having a shepherd. He began to teach them many truths. 35 After many hours
had elapsed already, his disciples came to him and said, “This is wilderness country and already
they have been here for quite some time. 36 Dismiss them that they might go to the nearest farms
and villages to buy for themselves something to eat.”
But he answered them, “It is your responsibility to feed them.”
They said to him, “Should we go away and buy loaves of bread costing the equivalent
of 200 days’ wages so as to feed them?”
He replied to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go, find out.”
When they knew, they said, “Five, and two fish.”
Then he ordered them to cause everyone to get comfortable on the meadow in groups.
So they reclined row by row, some containing 100, and some 50.
He picked up the five loaves and the two fish. With his eyes looking toward the sky,
he gave thanks. Then he broke the bread and gave portions to his disciples that they might
distribute them. The two fish he distributed for all of them.
Everybody ate and had plenty.
They carried away twelve full baskets of leftovers, including the fish. 44 Those who ate
numbered 5,000 men.
At once he compelled his disciples to get into the boat and to cross to the other side,
to Bethsaida, until he dismissed the crowd. 46 After he said farewell to them, he departed up the
mountain to pray.
Once it had become late, the boat was half way across the lake. He was alone on land.
He observed them under much stress in handling the boat, for they were rowing into a
Mark 6:49-7:13 78

headwind. It was the fourth quarter of the night when Jesus came to them walking on the lake.
When they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a phantom, and they
shrieked, 50 because everyone saw him, and they were all shook up.
Immediately, he spoke with them and said, “Courage! It is I, stop being scared.” 51 He
boarded the boat with them. As he did, the wind ceased, and they became extremely bewildered
among themselves. 52 For they had not understood what took place with the loaves of bread. But
their heart had become calloused.
Having crossed over, they reached the shore at Gennesaret and moored their boat.
As they disembarked, he was recognized at once by the local folks. 55 The people of that whole
region scurried, beginning to bring on bedrolls those who were ill to whatever place they heard
he was currently, wherever he entered—whether villages, or cities, or rural areas. In the market
squares they placed the sick, and they would call him over that they might touch the tassel of his
garment. As many as touched him were restored to health.
7:1 The Pharisees and some of the scholars coming from Jerusalem ganged up on him.
They saw some of his disciples eating food with what they called common hands, that is, hands
not washed. 3 The Pharisees and all the (practicing) Jews do not eat without first washing their
hands up to the elbows. They do this in observing the traditions of the elders. 4 When they come
from the market, they do not eat unless they have their ritual washing. There are also many
things received from tradition that they observe, such as washings of cups, jugs, and kettles.
The Pharisees and scholars interrogated him: “Why do your disciples not conform to
the tradition of the elders? Why instead do they eat their meals with common hands?"
He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied very well concerning the likes of you hypocrites;
he wrote:
This people honors me with their lips.
But their hearts are far removed from me.
Their worship of me is futile.
They teach as doctrines the directives of men .
Having forsaken God’s command, they cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say to them, “Ironically, you cancel God’s command to instantiate your
tradition. 10 For Moses said:
Honor your father and your mother.
The one denouncing father or mother must surely die.
“But you say: ‘If a person says to his father or mother, korban (i.e., gift to the temple),
he will no longer be obligated to do anything for his father and his mother’. 13 In such a manner
those who do that are revoking God’s word on the basis of your transmitted tradition. You do
many comparable things.”
Mark 7:14-37 79

He again called together the crowd and was speaking to them: All of you listen to me
and understand: 15 There is nothing external to a person that by entering him is capable of making
him common. But the things that proceed out of the person are the contaminants.
When he came indoors away from the crowd, his disciples asked him to explain the
He said to them: Do you likewise lack comprehension? Do you not perceive that
everything entering a person from the exterior cannot contaminate him 19 because it does not
enter one’s heart. But going into the digestive canal, it proceeds through to the latrine. This
principle causes all foods to be rated clean.
He further stated: Whatever proceeds from a person makes him common. 21 For from
within, from a person’s heart, evil decisions emerge, namely: sexual misconduct, thefts, murders,
adulteries, deeds of greed, malicious acts, deception, sensuality, grimacing by looking daggers
at someone, insulting acts, arrogance, foolishness. 23 All these evils spring from within. They
make a person common.
Moving on from there, he went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and
wanted no one to know anything about it. But his presence could not be concealed. 25 Right away
a woman heard about him. Her daughter had a sordid spirit. The mother came and prostrated
herself at his feet. 26 She was Greek, a Syrophoenician in nationality. She asked him to expel the
demon from her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the
children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
She replied to him, “Lord, it is also true the little dogs under the table eat from the
children’s crumbs.”
He said to her, “Because of what you just said, go; the demon has departed from your
When she arrived home, she found her daughter sprawled on a bed, and the demon
had departed.
The story continues again as he left the region of Tyre. He passed through Sidon and
returned to Lake Galilee, to an area right in the middle of the Ten-Cities. 32 They brought to him
a deaf mute and called on him to lay his hand on him. 33 Taking him away from the crowd to a
private place, he put his fingers into his ears, and he applied his saliva to the man’s tongue.
Then, looking up to the sky, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” which means, Be
His ears were opened to hear, and the binder on his tongue was broken so that he
began speaking properly.
He commanded them to tell no one. His command notwithstanding, they all that much
more spread the news. 37 Their astonishment knew no bounds. They said, “He has done
everything so very well. He makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Mark 8:1-21 80

8:1 In those days once again a large crowd was in attendance, and they had nothing to eat.
Jesus, having called in his disciples, said to them, 2 “I have the crowd on my heart because
already for three days they have been lingering with me, and they have nothing to eat. 3 If I
dismiss them to go to their homes famished, they will pass out on the road with exhaustion.
Some have come from far away.”
His disciples replied to him, “From where would anyone here in this uninhabited
region be able to supply them with meals?”
So he asked them, “How many bread portions do you have?”
They said, “Seven.”
He ordered the crowd to get comfortable on the ground. He took the seven bread
hunks, offered thanks for them, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute. They
passed them out to the crowd.
They also had a few small fish. He blessed these and told the disciples to distribute the
fish also.
Everybody enjoyed a satisfying meal, and they picked up seven baskets full of
leftovers. 9 There were approximately 4,000 who had been served. Then he dismissed them.
Right after that he boarded a boat with his disciples and went to the region of
The Pharisees set out and began to track him down. What they were after was to put
pressure on him to validate himself by producing a miraculous sign originating in the sky. 12 He
sighed in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? I assure you emphatically
that this generation will not get a sign such as you want.”
Therefore, he left them again, boarded a boat, and crossed to the other side of the lake.
They had neglected to bring along food, except for one hunk of bread they had with
them in the boat. 15 He directed them saying, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. Beware of
Pharisaic yeast and Herodian yeast.”
They assumed among themselves he was alluding to the missing bread. 17 He,
however, knowing the situation, said to them: “Why do you surmise that I am talking about your
lack of bread? Are you not yet mentally awake? Do you not understand? Has your heart become
fibrous? 18 Although you have eyes, you do not see, do you? And although you have ears, you do
not listen, do you? 19 Do you not recall the time when I broke five bread portions for feeding
5,000? How many baskets full of leftovers did you carry away?”
They answered, “Twelve.”
“When the same was done with seven bread hunks for 4,000, how many baskets full
of leftovers did you pick up?”
They said, ”Seven."
So he said to them, “Do you still not get the point?”
Mark 8:22-9:6 81

They came to Bethsaida, where some people brought to him a blind person and
begged him to touch him. 23 Taking the hand of the blind man, he conducted him outside the
town. Jesus put his saliva on his eyes and placed his hands upon him. He questioned him as to
whether he saw anything.
Looking up, the man said, “I see people that look like trees moving about.”
Then again he put his hands on his eyes, and the man could see well; his ability to
focus clearly on everything at a distance returned. 26 Jesus sent him home and told him not to
enter the town.
Jesus and his disciples traveled up to the town of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he
asked his disciples, “What is the public perception of me?”
They responded, “There are those who say you are John the baptizer. Others identify
you as Elijah; and some say you are one of the prophets.”
Then he asked them: “As for you, how do you identify me?”
Rock replied to him, “You are the messiah.” 30 Jesus then warned them to tell no one
about his identity.
Also he began to teach them that it is imperative for the human one to suffer much

and to be repudiated by the elders, executive priests, and scholars, and to be killed, and—after
three days—to rise. 32 He made this statement resolutely. Yet Rock, taking him to task, began to
rebuke him for it.
Jesus, turning around and looking right at his disciples, rebuked Rock by saying, “Go
get in line behind me, opponent, because you are not thinking God’s thoughts—but doing human
Inviting the crowd together with his disciples, he said to them: If anyone wants to
follow after me, let him say no to autonomy, shoulder his cross, and follow me. 35 For whoever
wants to preserve his life will lose it. Conversely, whoever forfeits his life on my account and the
gospel’s will save it. 36 What value would it be for a man to gain the whole world at the cost of
his life? 37 For what exchange value will a person put on his life?
If anyone is ashamed of me and my pronouncements in this adulterous, sinful
generation, there will be consequences: The human one also will be ashamed of him when he
comes in the glory of his father with the holy angels.
9:1 He continued speaking to them: I assure you that there are some standing here who will
not experience death until they see the kingdom of God arrive dynamically.
Six days later Jesus took along Rock, James, and John and led them up a high mountain
to be all by themselves. He was transformed in appearance before them. 3 His clothes became
radiant, gleaming white, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 Elijah along with
Moses appeared with them, and these two individuals were conversing with Jesus.
Rock responded to all this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is a good experience for us to
be here. Let us put up three pavilions—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He
blurted out this because he did not know what to say, for they were frightened.
Mark 9:7-29 82

Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice rang out from the cloud: “This is my son,
my loved one; listen to him.” 8 Suddenly as they gawked in all directions, they no longer saw
anyone with them except Jesus alone.
As they descended the mountain, he commanded them not to narrate to anyone what
they had seen until after the human one was raised from the dead. 10 They retained this
prohibition to themselves, grappling with the meaning of the phrase, to rise from the dead.
Then they questioned him this way: “Scholars say Elijah must arrive on the scene
first; do you concur?”
He answered them: Elijah, indeed, is the pioneer to reestablish everything. You
should understand how it is written that the human one must suffer many things and be treated
with contempt. 13 But I declare to you that Elijah has come on the scene, and they did to him
whatever they wanted to do, just as it has been written about him.
As they came to his [nine] disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, including
scholars who were having a discussion with them. 15 At once all the crowd became very excited
when they saw him, and they ran over to meet and greet him.
He questioned them, “What are you discussing with them?”
One of the crowd replied, “Teacher, I brought to you my son who has a mute spirit.
Wherever it overcomes him, it batters him. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and then he
loses consciousness. I requested your disciples to expel it, but they were not able to do it.”
In reply to them he said, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? For
how long will I put up with you? Bring him to me.”
They carried the son to him. Upon seeing him, the spirit immediately convulsed him.
He fell to the ground rolling and foaming.
Jesus inquired of his father, “For how long has he been subject to spells like this?”
He replied, “From childhood. 22 Many times it thrusts him into fire and into water so as
to harm him. But if you can do anything, help us. Be compassionate toward us.”
Jesus said to him, “What do you mean—if I am able? All is possible to the believer.”
At once the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe! Help me to get over unbelief.”
Observing that the crowd was packing in on them, Jesus commanded the sordid spirit,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I order you to leave him and never reenter him.”
The spirit yelled out and convulsed him severely as it came out of him. He became
like a dead person, so that many said, “He is dead!” 27 But Jesus grasped his hand, raised him
upright, and he stood.
When he went indoors and was alone with his disciples, they questioned him about
their experience, “Why were we not able to expel it?”
He said to them, “Nothing but prayer can expel this kind.”
Mark 9:30-10:3 83

Leaving there, he traveled through Galilee and did not want anyone to recognize him.
For he was teaching his disciples and saying to them that the human one would be betrayed
into the custody of men, that they would kill him, and three days after his murder he would rise
again. 32 But they did not understand his statement and were apprehensive of questioning him
about it.
Then they came to Capernaum. Once inside the house, he put a question to them:
“What were you arguing about on the road?”
. But they kept silent. For they had been arguing in transit about their pecking order.
He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, If anyone wants to be first, he will
take the last position—as servant of everyone. 36 Taking a child, he set him in their circle. He
hugged the child and said to them, 37 Whoever welcomes in my name one of such little people as
these, receives me. Whoever welcomes me receives not only me, but the one who sent me.
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone expelling demons in your name, and we
forbade him, because he was not following with us.”
But Jesus said: Stop forbidding such a one. For no one who does a miracle in my
name also can quickly turn around and disparage me. 40 Whoever is not lined up against us is on
our side. 41 Whoever will give you a cup of water to drink because you are associated with Christ,
indeed, I declare to you, that one will surely not lose his reward.
Whoever causes one of the least of those who believe to stumble would have been
better off if an upper millstone were placed to encircle his neck and he had been dumped into the
If your hand gets you into trouble, chop it off. Better it is for you to go through life as
an amputee than to have two hands to discard in the infernal garbage dump, in inextinguishable
If your foot causes you to fall on your face (morally), chop it off. For it is better for
you to enter life lame than to have two feet to be thrown into the infernal garbage dump.
If your eye causes you to lose out (morally), gouge it out. For it is better for you to
enter with one eye into God’s kingdom than to have two eyes to be cast into the infernal garbage
dump, 48 where their consuming maggot does not die off, nor does the fire burn out. 49 For
everyone will be salted with fire!
Salt is beneficial. But if salt becomes chemically contaminated, by what will it be
reconstituted? Have salt among yourselves, and live at peace with one another.
10:1 Then he departed from there and went to the region of the southern province and to the
district across the Jordan to the east, and again crowds gathered about him. As he customarily
did, he continued to teach them.
The Pharisees came and posed a question to him: “Is it all right for a man to divorce
his wife?” They were out to entrap him.
He replied to them, “What did Moses stipulate for you?”
Mark 10:4-26 84

They said, “Moses permitted him to write a divorce certificate and turn her away.”
But Jesus said to them: Your insensitive hardheartedness was the deciding factor in
Moses’ writing that regulation. 6 When one goes back to the primal creation, one reads:
He made them male and female.
For that reason a man will leave father and mother and bond with his wife.
The two of them will be one flesh.
The result of marriage is that they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore, let no
human being separate what God has yoked together.
Again when they were inside, his disciples continued to question him about this. 11 He
said to them: Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against
her. 12 Also if a divorcée marries another, she commits adultery.
Folks kept bringing to him children that he might touch them. But his disciples
rebuked them. 14 When Jesus noticed what was going on, he became indignant and said to them,
“Permit the children to come to me. Do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God is made up of
such as these. 15 I assure you that whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as would a child
will not gain admission.” 16 He hugged them and blessed them as he laid his hands upon them.
After Jesus took to the road again, a man ran up to him. He fell to his knees and fired
off a question: “Good teacher, what should I do that I might inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “Why do you say that I am good? None is good except one, and that
one is God. 19 You know the commandments:
Never murder.
Never commit adultery.
Never steal.
Never tell lies.
Never defraud.
Honor your father and mother.”
He responded, “Teacher, I kept these all the time I was growing up.”
As Jesus looked at him, he loved him, and said to him, “You are deficient in just one
aspect. Go sell all your holdings and give to the poor. By so doing you will have treasure in
heaven. Then come along and follow me.”
He grimaced sadly upon hearing this, and backed out dejectedly because he held
much real estate.
Looking his disciples right in the eye, Jesus said, “How difficult it is for wealthy
people to get into God’s kingdom!”
These words of his caught his disciples completely off guard. So again Jesus
responded by saying to them, “Children, how hard it is to get into God’s kingdom! 25 It is easier
for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.”
But they were all the more overwhelmed by this, saying among themselves, “Then
who can safely make it?”
Mark 10:27-47 85

Making eye contact with them, Jesus said, “It is a human impossibility, but not so
with God, for God can do everything.”
Rock began to say to him, “Look at our situation. We left everything and followed
Jesus answered, “I assure you, there is no one who has forsaken home or brothers or
sisters or mother or father or children or farms for my sake and for the sake of the gospel 30 who
will not receive now in this lifetime 100%: homes, and brothers and sisters, and mothers, and
children, and farms—with persecutions—and in the coming age, life that never ends. 31 For many
who are first in status will be last, and the last will be first.”
They were on the way traveling up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was leading the climb.
Those following were confused and afraid. Thus again he took the twelve into his confidence and
began to tell them the things that were about to happen to him: 33 “Pay attention. We are on the
way to Jerusalem. The human one will be betrayed to the administrative priests and scholars.
They will condemn him as deserving the death penalty. Then they will hand him over to the
gentiles. They will ridicule him, spit on him, beat him with whips, and kill him. After three days
he will be raised up.”
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said, “Teacher, we want
you to do for us whatever favor we ask.”
He said to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”
They answered him, “Give us the seats at your right and at your left when your glory
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink
the cup that I shall drink, or to be immersed in the baptism that I shall experience?”
They said to him, “We can!”
Jesus replied to them, “The cup that I drink, you will drink. The baptism in which I am
immersed, you too will experience. 40 Yet to sit on my right or my left is not mine to grant. It is
reserved for those for whom it was prepared.”
When the ten heard about this, they began to be put out with James and John.
Therefore, Jesus called them in for a meeting and said, “You know how leadership works
among the nations. Those who appear to lead are notorious for bearing down on their
subordinates. Their great men control them. 43 That style must not be yours. 44 Rather, whoever
desires to be great among you will become your servant. Whoever wants to be first will be the
slave of all. 45 For the human one did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a
ransom for many.
They came to Jericho. Then as he was going out of town, he was accompanied by his
disciples and a huge crowd. At that point they encountered Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus.
Bartimaeus was a blind beggar seated beside the road. 47 When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth
was the one all the fuss was about, he shouted out these words,
“Son of David, Jesus, show mercy to me!”
Mark 10:48-11:17 86

Many people were rebuking him, telling him to keep quiet. But with all the more
intensity he kept yelling, “Son of David, show me mercy!”
Coming to a halt, Jesus then said, “Call him.”
So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be encouraged. Get up. He is calling
He threw off his garment, sprang to his feet, and came to Jesus.
In response to him, Jesus said, “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind man said to him, “Your majesty,* I want to see again.”
Jesus said to him, “Granted. Your faith freed you.”
Immediately his sight was restored, and he followed with him on the road.
11:1 When they made the approach to Jerusalem on the route going through Bethphage,
Bethany, and Olive Grove Mountain, he sent two of his disciples on ahead. 2 He told them, “Go
into the small town directly ahead of you. Just as soon as you enter it, you will find a young
donkey tethered, one upon which no person has ever sat. Loose it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to
you, ‘Why do you do that?’ say, ‘Its master needs it and will return it here right away.’”
They left and found such a foal tied outside a door by the road, and they loosed it.
Some people standing there said to them, “What are you doing, loosing the foal?”
The two related to them just what Jesus had said, and they allowed them to take it to Jesus.
They brought the young donkey to Jesus and draped it with their robes. He mounted it.
On the road many people spread out their garments. Others cut leafy fronds from the fields.
There was a procession leading forth, and one following him, shouting:
Save (us), please!
Blessed is the one who comes in Yahveh’s name!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor, David!
Save (us), please—in the highest heavens!
He entered Jerusalem, went to the temple, and looked everything over. Because it was
already getting late, he departed to Bethany with the twelve.
On the next day as they were leaving Bethany, he became hungry. 13 When he saw far
away a fig tree having foliage, he went over to it to see if he could find anything on it. Once
there, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 Yet he responded to it by
saying, “No one any longer for all time will eat your fruit.” His disciples heard him say it.
They came into Jerusalem. After entering the temple, he began to throw out the
salesmen and customers doing business in the temple. He upset the tables of the money changers
and the stands of those selling doves. 16 He did not allow anyone to transport a container through
the temple. 17 He taught them and said to them, “Has it not been written: My house will be called
a house of prayer for all nations, but you have turned it into a hangout for thieves.”
* literally, ‘my great one’ (the Hebrew etymology behind this Aramaic form).
Mark 11:18-12:10 87

The executive priests and scholars heard about this; therefore, they were seeking
ways to destroy him. They feared him because all the crowd was carried away with his teaching.
When evening came, he went outside the city.
As they were coming in early the next morning, they saw the fig tree desiccated from
the roots up. 21 Rock was reminded of what happened and said to him, “Rabbi, take a look at the
fig tree you cursed. It has dried up.”
Jesus in reply said to them: “Have faith in God. 23 I assure you that whoever says to
this mountain, ‘Be removed and dumped into the sea’, and does not equivocate in his heart—but
believes that what he speaks occurs—it will happen for him. 24 This is why I say to you to believe
you will receive everything you request in prayer, and you will.”
When you stand praying, forgive whatever you have against anyone so that your
heavenly father might forgive you your transgressions.
They came again to Jerusalem. While he was walking along in the temple, the
executive priests, scholars, and elders accosted him. 28 They asked, “By what authority do you do
these things? Who commissioned you with credentials to take over as you have done?”
Jesus said to them, “I will question you about one issue. Answer me, and I will tell
you by what authority I do these things. 30 Did John’s baptism originate in heaven, or did it come
from men? Give me an answer.”
They discussed this among themselves: “If we say ‘from heaven’, he will say, ‘Why
did you not believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘from men’, that will not work either.” They feared
the crowd, for all held John in high regard as an authentic prophet.
They answered Jesus in these words, “We just do not know.”
So Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
12:1 Then he began to speak to them in parables. A man planted a vineyard. He fenced it. He
chiseled out a stone trough for the pressed juices. He built an observation tower. Then he leased
it out to tenant farmers and took a trip. 2 At harvest time he sent a servant to the farmers that from
them he might receive some yield from the vineyard. 3 Instead, they took control of him, beat him
up, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 But again he sent to them another servant. As for that
one, they beat him over the head and insulted him. 5 He sent another and they killed that one.
Indeed, he sent many others, some of whom they beat up, and some they murdered. 6 He still had
one much loved son. He sent him last of all, thinking, “They will respect my son.”
But those tenant farmers said among themselves, “This is the heir. Come on, let us do
away with him and the inheritance will be ours!”
So they seized and killed him, and dumped him outside the vineyard.
What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those farmers, and
he will give the vineyard to others.
You obviously did not read this Scripture:
A building stone rejected by the masons has become the keystone!
Mark 12:11-31 88

Yahveh set it in place.
This construction is splendid in our appraisal.
They were still anxious to arrest him, but they feared public opinion. For they
understood that he had made this analogy with them in mind. So leaving him, they walked out.
Their next tactic was to send to him certain representatives of the Pharisees and
Herodians to entrap him by something he would say. 14 Therefore, they came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are genuine and completely objective about everything. For you are
not swayed by human influences, but you teach God’s way truthfully. Is it obligatory to pay the
tax to Caesar? Should we pay it, or not?”
But he, perceiving their subterfuge, said to them, “Why do you test me? Bring me a
denarius that I might inspect it.”
They brought it. He said to them, “Whose image is this, and whose inscription?”
They said to him, "Caesar’s."
Jesus replied to them, “Give over to Caesar’s control what belongs to Caesar; and
give over to God what belongs to God.”
Thus they were astounded by him.
Then the Sadducees surrounded him. They take the position there is to be no
resurrection. So they put a question to him: 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if any brother
should die and leave a wife but not a child, his brother should take his wife and produce seed
for his brother. 20 Now consider the case of seven brothers. The first took a wife and died
without leaving seed. 21 The second took her also and died not leaving seed. The third had the
same experience. 22 Indeed, all seven did not leave seed. Last of all the woman died. 23 In the
resurrection, she will be the wife of which of these, for she was wife to all seven?”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are deceived? You neither know the
Scriptures, nor God’s power. 25 For in that future, subsequent to the resurrection from the dead,
neither will men marry nor women be given in marriage, but they will be just like the angels in
heaven. 26 Now concerning the reality of the resurrection of the dead, have you not read in
Moses’ scroll, in the passage about the thorn-bush, how God spoke to him? God said, ‘I am the
God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 27 God is not the God of the dead but
of the living. You are deeply mired in error.”
Then one of the scholars who had listened to the previous confrontation came to him.
Taking account of the fact that Jesus had answered his critics outstandingly, the scholar
interrogated Jesus this way: “Of them all, which commandment is most important?”
Jesus answered him, “The preeminent command is this: Listen, Israel, Yahveh our
God is one sovereign. 30 You must love Yahveh your God wholeheartedly, enthusiastically,
intelligently, and vigorously with all that is in you. 31 The second most important command is
this: Love your fellow human being just as you do yourself. No other commandment is greater
than these.”
Mark 12:32-13:8 89

The scholar said to him, “High honors for you, teacher, because you so correctly said:
He is one and has no rivals. 33 And to love him wholeheartedly, wisely, and vigorously and to
love your fellow human being as yourself transcend all holy offerings and sacrifices.”
Jesus, perceiving that he answered him thoughtfully, said to him, “You are not far
from God’s kingdom.”
From then on, no one dared to launch questions at him.
Jesus, taking the initiative while teaching in the temple, said: How is it the scholars
say the messiah is David’s son? 36 David, himself, testified by the holy spirit:
Yahveh said to my sovereign,
‘Sit at my right side,
until such time as I make your enemies your footrest’.
David, himself, called him “sovereign,” so how can he be his son?
A large crowd continued to listen to him with delight.
Also in the course of teaching he said: Beware of the scholars. They are ambitious to
parade around in their flowing robes, and for greetings at the markets, 39 and for the seats of
honor at the synagogues, and for the head tables at banquets. 40 These men are consuming the
estates of widows and as a cover-up they grandstand with lengthy public prayers. They will
receive greater punishment than others.
While he was seated in the vicinity of the monetary offering receptacle, he was
observing how ordinary people deposited brass coins into the receptacle. Also there were many
wealthy people who made large donations. 42 Then a poor widow came by. She deposited two
tiny brass coins, equivalent to one-fourth of a Roman cent.
He called together his disciples and said to them, “Indeed, I declare to you that this
poor widow put into the offering receptacle more than all the other contributors! 44 For they all
contributed out of their abundance. But she contributed out of her poverty the full amount she
had to live on.”
13:1 As he was leaving the temple one of his students said to him, “Teacher, take a look at
the wonderful stonework and elegant buildings!”
Jesus replied to him, “You are impressed by these magnificent buildings, are you? Not
a stone fitted upon a stone will be left standing here that will not be torn down.”
While he was sitting on Olive Grove Mountain overlooking the temple, Rock, James,
John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us when these changes will occur. What is the sign
as to the time all these events are going to be fulfilled?”
Jesus began to say to them: See to it that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come on the
scene assuming my role, saying, “I am the one,” and many will be taken in by their deceptions.
When you hear about wars and rumblings of wars, do not be alarmed. These things
must happen, but they are not a sign of the end. 8 Nation will attack nation, and kingdom attack
Mark 13:9-34 90

kingdom. Earthquakes will occur in various places, and there will be famines. These events are
like the early contractions of a woman in childbirth.
Watch out for yourselves. They will betray you to the sanhedrin, and at synagogues
they will beat you with whips. You will stand before governors and kings on account of me as a
witness to them. 10 Moreover, the good news must first be proclaimed to all the nations. 11 When
they lead you away to hand you over to the authorities, do not worry about what you should say.
On the contrary, state whatever is given to you at that hour. For you are not the one speaking, but
it actually will be the holy spirit.
A brother will hand over his brother for death, and a father his child. Children will
even rise up against their parents and put them to death. 13 All will hate you because of your
allegiance to my authority. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
When you see the detestable sacrilege of desolation standing where it should not, let
the one who reads consider this, then those in the southern province should escape to the
mountains. 15 Those up on their flat roofs, having come down, should not go inside to take
anything out of their homes. 16 Also the one in the field should not turn around to what is behind
him to get his garment. 17 Too bad for the pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days. 18
Pray that it would not be in wintertime.
For those days will mean trouble such as has never occurred from the beginning of
God’s creation until now, and such as will never happen again. 20 Unless Yahveh would shorten
those days, not a single human being would make it. But because of God’s select ones whom he
chose, the duration will be shortened.
So at that time if anyone says to you, “Look, the messiah is here,” or “See him, there,”
do not fall for their line. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and produce signs and
wonders that would mislead if it were possible, even the select people. 23 Be alert. I have foretold
everything for you.
But in those days in the period following that trouble,
The sun will become dark,
The moon will not provide its radiance.
Stars will be falling from the sky,
The powers of the heavens will be shaken.
At that time they will see the human one coming, surrounded by clouds and having
much power and glory. 27 Then he will send the angels and he will assemble his select ones from
the four points of the compass, from the farthest reaches of earth and sky.
Learn the analogy derived from the fig tree. When the branch is tender and it sprouts
leaves, you know summer is on the way. 29 It will be the same for you when you see these events
happen, you will know the time is so near as to be imminent. 30 I assure you that this generation
will not pass away until all these events occur. 31 The sky and earth will disintegrate, but not my
No one knows the exact time as to day and hour of that event, neither the angels in
heaven, nor the son. Only my father knows. 33 Remain alert and watchful, for you do not know
when the time will arrive. 34 The situation is comparable to a man leaving his homestead to
Mark 13:35-14:21 91

take a trip. He gave responsibilities to each of his servants in reference to his work, and he
commanded the doorman to stand watch. 35 In such a manner, therefore, should you be attentive,
for you do not know when the estate owner will arrive—whether at 9 p.m., midnight, 3 a.m., or
dawn. 36 Otherwise, he might arrive suddenly and find you dozing. What I say to you, I say to
everyone, stay alert!
14:1 The Passover and feast of flat-bread were coming up in just two days. Bent on pulling
off a surreptitious arrest of him, the executive priests and scholars were intent on achieving his
assassination. 2 Yet they kept saying, “Not during the feast, lest we have a riot of the people.”
While Jesus was reclining at a dinner in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, a
woman came to him. She had an alabaster flask of sweet smelling oil of genuine spikenard that
was expensive. She broke open the alabaster flask and poured its contents on his head.
But some present were indignant, thinking to themselves, “What good did it do to
waste this perfume? 5 Could not this fragrant oil have been sold for more than the equivalent of
300 days’ wages, and the proceeds given to the poor?” So they censured her.
Jesus’ response on the other hand was this: “Leave her alone. Why are you giving her
a difficult time? She has accomplished a beautiful deed for me. For you have the poor in society
always; 7 and whenever you want to, you have an opportunity to do something good for them.
But with me, it is different. You will not always have me. 8 That which she had, she used. By her
anointing my body with perfume she anticipated my preparation for burial. 9 I assure you that
wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, that which she did will be mentioned as a
memorial to her.
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, departed to go to the administrative priests that he
might betray Jesus to their purposes. 11 When they heard his story, they were elated; they
promised to pay him in silver. So he sought how he could pull off this treachery at the best time.
On the first day of the flat-bread festival when the Passover was sacrificed, his
disciples said to him, “Where shall we go and make arrangements so that you might eat the
He sent two of his disciples on an errand, telling them: Go into the city and you will
meet a man transporting an earthenware jar of water. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to
the house manager, the teacher says, “Where is the guest room for me and my disciples to
partake of the Passover?” 15 He will show you into a large furnished room on the second floor
that is ready. Make preparations there for us.
His disciples left, entered the city, and found things just as he had indicated to them.
They prepared the Passover. 17 At evening he came with the twelve. 18 While they were reclining
at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Surely, I declare to you that one of you who dines with me
will betray me.” 19 At this they began to be down in the mouth and to say to him, one after
another, “You are not referring to me, are you?”
He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips his hand with me in the same
bowl. The reason for this is that the human one is leaving your presence just as the Scriptures
Mark 14:22-43 92

say in reference to him. But how horrible for that man by whom the human one is betrayed. That
man would have been better off not having been born.”
While they were eating, having taken (flat) bread, he said a blessing of thanksgiving
over it, broke it, and gave it to them. He said, “Receive this, my body.”
Also having taken a cup, he pronounced a blessing of thanksgiving over it, and he
gave it to them. They all drank from the cup. 24 He said to them: “This is my covenantal blood
poured out on behalf of multitudes of people. 25 I assure you that I will surely no longer drink
what is produced by the vine until that day arrives when I drink of a new vintage in the kingdom
of God.”
After having sung a hymn, they went out to Olive Grove Mountain.
Jesus said to them, “You all will experience disillusionment, because it is written:
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be dispersed. 28 But after I am raised up again, I shall
precede you into Galilee.”
Rock said to him, “Everybody else may back off, but not me!”
Jesus responded to him, “Indeed, I declare to you that today—this night—before two
signals for the changing of the Roman guard sound out, you will deny me three times.”
But he kept protesting relentlessly, “Even if it should be necessary for me to die with
you, I certainly will not deny you!” All the others were saying the same thing.
They went to a tract of land called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here
as long as I am at prayer.” 33 He took with him Rock, James, and John and began to be distressed
and in anguish. 34 He said to them, “My soul is deeply distressed on all sides to the point of
death. Remain here and stay alert.”
After he had gone ahead a short distance, he fell prostrate on the ground. He was
praying that if possible the experience of that hour might pass from him. 36 Here was the prayer
he was making: “Abba, my father, all is possible for you to do. Remove this cup from me; yet not
what I want, but what you want.”
He came and found them sleeping. To Rock he said, “Simon are you asleep? Are you
not able to stand watch for one hour? 38 All of you keep alert and keep praying lest you enter into
temptation. One’s spirit consents readily (to pray), but one’s flesh is weak.”
Again he went away and prayed the same prayer. 40 Then coming back to them, he
found them sleeping. For their eyes drooped heavily with sleep, and they did not know what to
say in response to him.
The third time he came to them and said, “Sleep on for the time being and get your
rest. Time is up. The hour (of destiny) has arrived. Look! The human one has been betrayed into
the hands of sinners. 42 Get up. Let us go. See this: The one betraying me has moved in close.”
At once as he was speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, showed up with a crowd
carrying swords and clubs; they had been dispatched by the administrative priests, scholars, and.
Mark 14:44-67 93

elders. 44 His betrayer had given them a signal, “Whoever I kiss is the one. Seize him and lead
him away securely.”
Immediately, Judas came over, stepped up to him, and said, “Rabbi,” and kissed him.
The men who came with him grabbed hold of Jesus and arrested him. 47 One of those standing
beside him drew his sword, and he struck the servant of the high priest so as to cut off his ear.
Jesus responded by saying to them, “As if after a thief did you come out with swords
and clubs to take me prisoner? 49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and you did not
arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Also, having abandoned him, everybody of his group fled. 51 One young man who was
following with him had wrapped himself with a single linen covering over his nakedness. 52 As
they nabbed him, he wiggled out of the linen wraparound and streaked away naked.
The arresting squad dragged Jesus away to the high priest. All the administrative
priests, elders, and scholars held a conclave. 54 Rock was following him at a distance until he
came inside the courtyard of the high priest. He settled down with the servants and was warming
himself at the fire. 55 The administrative priests and all the council were seeking a witness who
could justify a sentence of capital punishment against Jesus. But they were not able to find one.
For many were fabricating false reports against him, but their testimonies were not in
Some stood up and told stories against him, saying: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will
destroy this temple custom-built by hand, and during a period of three days I will build another
without the use of hands.’” 59 Yet neither did their testimony match the others.
Then the high priest took the floor in the center of the group and addressed his
question to Jesus, “Do you have no response to make? What is the meaning of these things of
which they are accusing you?”
He kept silent and made no reply.
Again the high priest interrogated him, “You are the messiah, the son of the praised
[God], are you?”
Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the human one seated in the administrative seat of

power, and coming enveloped with the clouds of heaven.”

Then the high priest ripped his robes into tatters, and exclaimed: “Why do we need to
have any more witnesses? 64 You heard his blasphemy. How do you interpret it?”
To a man they condemned him as deserving the death sentence.
Some of them began to spit on him. They blindfolded him and hit him with their fists
and would say, “Prophesy.” Then the servants took over by slapping him around.
While Rock was below in the courtyard, one of the female slaves of the high priest
came on the scene. 67 She saw Rock warming himself. Looking straight at him, she blurted out,
“You, too, were with Jesus the Nazarene!”
Mark 14:68-15:14 94

But he denied it, asserting, “Neither do I know him, nor do I understand what you are
saying.” Then he went outside into the outer courtyard, [and the signal to change the watch
The female slave, when she saw him out there again began to say to those standing
around, “This guy is one of them!”
Again he denied it.
After a little while again those standing with him were saying to Rock, “Truly you are
one of them for you are a Galilean.”
But he began to call curses upon himself (if what he was saying was not factual) and
to swear that he did not know this man they were talking about. 72 Immediately, the second
watch-call was sounded.
Then Rock remembered the remark Jesus made to him, “Before the watch-signal sounds
out twice, you will deny me three times.” As soon as it hit him, he dissolved into tears.
15:1 Right away at daybreak the administrative priests with the elders, scholars, and all the
sanhedrin held a meeting to make a decision. The upshot was that Jesus was brought bound
before Pilate, and handed over to his jurisdiction.
Pilate interrogated him: “You are the king of the Jews, are you?”
“You are saying that,” Jesus answered him.
The administrative priests fired a barrage of accusations against him.
Again Pilate pressed him: “Are you not going to answer anything? Just listen to how
many things of which they accuse you.”
But Jesus would no longer answer anything. As a result Pilate was astounded.
At the feast it was customary for him to release to them one prisoner whom they
selected. There was one named Barabbas, who was locked up with the insurrectionists who had
committed murder in the insurrection. 8 The crowd came forward and began to ask that Pilate do
for them what he customarily did.
Pilate responded by saying, “Do you desire that I should release to you the king of the
Jews?” He knew, of course, that because of spite the administrative priests had handed him
The leading priests manipulated the mob so they asked for Barabbas to be given to
them instead.
Pilate again responded to them: “What, therefore, shall I do with the king of the
Again they cried out, “Crucify him!”
But Pilate kept saying to them, “What crime did he commit?”
They chanted incessantly, “Crucify him!”
Mark 15:15-39 95

Pilate, wanting to satisfy the crowd, set Barabbas free. After having Jesus whipped,
Pilate turned him over to be crucified. 16 The soldiers led Jesus away inside their courtyard,
which is in a praetorium, and they called together all the cohort. 17 They put on him a purple
robe; and when they had twisted together thorns, they crowned him. 18 They began to salute him:
“Be happy, king of the Jews!” 19 They struck him on the head with a cane. They spit upon him.
Going down on their knees, they were paying homage to him.
After they had mocked him, they removed from him the purple robe and dressed him
in his own clothes. They led him out (of the city) to crucify him.
They also commandeered a man coming toward them from the country to carry his
cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
They brought him to a location called Golgotha, meaning skull-site. 23 They offered
him wine drugged with myrrh, which he would not accept.
They crucified him.
They also separated the pieces of his clothing and cast lots to see who received what.
It was 9 a.m. when they crucified him. 26 The placard of the charge against him
With him they crucified two thieves, one on his right and one on his left.
Those passing by were insulting him, bowing their heads and saying, “Oh me—oh
my, for the one who destroys the temple and rebuilds it in three days. 30 Save yourself by coming
down from the cross.”
Likewise the administrative priests, ridiculing him to one another with the scholars,
kept saying, “He delivered others. He is not able to deliver himself. 32 Let the messiah, the king
of Israel, now come down from the cross in order that we might see and believe.”
Those co-crucified with him were insulting him too.
When it became noon, darkness overshadowed all the land and lasted until 3 p.m.
At three, Jesus exclaimed in a loud voice, El-Ð-ee, El-Ð-ee, leh-mah sa-bach-thah-nee? This is
translated: My God, my God, what caused you to abandon me?
Having heard his outcry, certain ones of those milling around were saying, “See here,
he is calling Elijah.”
Someone else dashed over, having filled a sponge with sour wine, lifted it up to him
on a reed for him to drink, saying, “Back off, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down from
the cross.”
But Jesus, having called out in a loud voice, breathed out his last breath. 38 Then the
veil of the temple was ripped down from top to bottom into two pieces.
When the centurion who had stationed himself opposite him saw that he had expired,
he exclaimed: “This man truly was God’s son!”
Mark 15:40-16:11 96

There were also women there observing from a distance. These included Mary
Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome. 41 When they were in
Galilee, they used to follow him around and serve him. There were present many other women
who went up together with him to Jerusalem.
It was already becoming late in the day, and because it was the preparation day before
the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a well-off councilman, came on the scene. He, himself, also
was waiting for the kingdom of God and dared to approach Pilate to ask for the body of Jesus.
Pilate was surprised he was already dead. So he called in the centurion and asked him
to verify the death. 45 When he knew for sure of his death from the centurion, he made a present
of the corpse to Joseph.
Having bought a wrapping linen for a shroud, Joseph took him down from the cross,
wrapped him in the linen, and placed him in a tomb hewn out of rock, and rolled a stone upon its
Mary Magdalene and Mary the (mother) of Joses were taking note of where they
placed him.
16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the (wife) of James, and Salome
bought aromatics that upon arrival they might anoint him.
Very early on the first day of the week at sunrise they came to the tomb. 3 They were
saying to themselves, “Who will roll back for us the stone from the entrance of the tomb?”
Looking up, they observed that the enormous stone had been rolled back. 5 When they
entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe, seated to their right, and they
were astounded.
He said to them, “Stop being startled. Jesus the Nazarene for whom you are looking—
the one crucified—was raised! He is not here. Take a look at the place where they laid him. 7 But
go and say to his disciples and to Rock, ‘He goes before you into Galilee. You will see him there
just as he told you’.”
When they came out, they fled from the tomb, for they were both shocked and ecstatic.
They said nothing to anyone for they were afraid.

The Shorter Ending of Mark

They promptly reported to those associated with Rock all the things announced to them.
After these events, Jesus himself sent out through them, east to west, the holy and
incorruptible message of eternal salvation. Amen.
The Longer Ending of Mark
Having risen at dawn on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first to Mary
Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who
had been with him the events that had happened. They were mourning and weeping. 11 When
they heard he was alive and was seen by her, they did not believe her.
Mark 16:12-20 97

After these events and while two of them were walking, he was manifested in a
changed form as they were proceeding through the countryside. 13 They came and reported to the
rest of the group what had happened. But neither did they believe these two.
Later he appeared to the eleven as they were dining. He reprimanded their unbelief
and obtuseness, because they did not believe those who had seen him alive.
He told them this: Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to every human
being. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved. Unbelievers will be condemned.
These supernatural signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will expel
demons. They will speak in new languages. 18 Should they pick up snakes or even if they drink a
deadly poison, they will not be harmed. They will lay their hands on incapacitated people and
they will get well.
Then after conversing with them, the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven, and he sat
at the right hand of God.
They who went out from there preached everywhere. The Lord was their colleague.
He confirmed the message through accompanying signs.
Luke 1:1-25 98

1:1 Inasmuch as many took on the task of compiling a narrative of the events that ran their
full course among us, 2 just as they were transmitted to us by the original eyewitnesses and
ministers of the word, 3 it seemed appropriate that I, too, having checked out everything from the
beginning, should record accurately in historical sequence this account for you, esteemed
Theophilus, 4 that you might attest the solid basis of the data you were taught.
In the era of Herod, king over the Jewish realm, there was a priest named Zechariah,
belonging to the Abijah sector of priests. His wife, a descendant of the Aaronic line, was named
Elizabeth. 6 Righteous before God, they were living blamelessly by carrying out all of Yahveh’s
commands and sacred requirements. 7 This couple was childless because Elizabeth was sterile,
and both of them had passed into senior maturity.
While Zechariah’s sector served on duty before God, 9 he was selected by lot,
according to the priestly custom, to enter the sanctuary of Yahveh and offer incense. 10
Meanwhile, the whole throng of people was praying outside at the time of the incense offering.
Yahveh’s messenger took a stance at the right side of the incense altar and appeared
to Zechariah as he offered incense. 12 Upon seeing the angel, Zechariah became unsettled,
reacting with trepidation.
The messenger said to him, “Do not be intimidated, Zechariah, because your request
was heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son for you. Name him John. 14 He will be joy and
exultation to you, and many people will be elated because he was born. 15 He will be illustrious
vis-à-vis Yahveh. He must not drink wine or intoxicants. He also will be filled with holy spirit
while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will cause many of Israel’s descendants to turn around to
face Yahveh their God. 17 As his advance man, he will function in the dynamic spirit of Elijah.
His task will be to cause fathers to take an avid interest in their children and to get rebels to
reform their thinking to conform to the righteous way. His mission is to produce a people ready
and prepared for Yahveh.”
Zechariah said to the messenger, “How can I be sure of this, for I am an older man
and my wife is postmenopausal?”
The messenger replied, “I am Gabriel. While stationed in God’s presence, I was sent
to announce this good news to you. 20 Listen: You will be reduced to silence, unable to speak
until the time these events transpire—because you did not believe my message that will be
fulfilled in due course.”
The people kept waiting for Zechariah, wondering why he was staying so long inside
the sanctuary. 22 After he did emerge unable to speak to them, they surmised he was preoccupied
with a vision seen inside because he was using nonverbal communication with them and
remained mute.
When the [15] days of his service were up, he returned home. 24 Afterward, Elizabeth
his wife conceived. She secluded herself five months, saying: 25 “In this manner at this time
Yahveh has done something special for me. He smiled on me and removed my social stigma.”
Luke 1:26-51 99

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the messenger Gabriel was dispatched
from God to a Galilean town called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, who
was of the Davidic dynasty. The untouched young woman’s name was Miriam [i.e., Mary].
He approached her and said, “Be glad, because you have been selected for blessing!
Yahveh is with you.”
She felt consternation upon hearing this, trying to decipher what this greeting was all
The messenger said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you are in God’s good graces.
Understand this: You will become a mother and bear a son, whose name you will call Joshua
[i.e., Jesus]. 32 He will be distinguished, called son of the highest [God]. Yahveh Elohim will
grant him the throne of David, his ancestral father. 33 He will reign over the clan of Jacob far into
the future. Indeed, his kingdom will be unending.”
Mary said to the messenger, “How is this going to work, because I am not intimate
with a husband?”
The messenger replied: “Holy spirit will envelop you; the highest one's power will
overshadow you. Consequently, your offspring will be holy; he will be called God’s son. 36 Also
note this: Elizabeth your relative is also pregnant with a son. This is the sixth month for one who
was called barren. 37 For with God nothing is impossible.”
Mary said, “You are looking at Yahveh’s servant. May it happen to me just as you
said.” Then the messenger left her.
At that time Mary, not losing any time, got ready and went to a mountain town in the
southern province. 40 She entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 As soon as
Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, her fetus leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with
holy spirit. 42 Then Elizabeth exclaimed in a resounding voice:
Blessed are you among women.
Blessed is the fruit of your womb.
How did this happen to me that there would come to me the mother of my Lord?
See what happened: As the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the baby in my womb leaped in exultation.
Blessed is she who believed what was spoken to her by Yahveh will reach full term.
And Mary exclaimed:
My whole being honors Yahveh
My spirit rejoiced in my savior-God,
because he has smiled upon the humbleness of his servant girl.
For note: From now on, all generations will consider me to have been blessed,
because for me the mighty one has done great deeds.
His name is holy!
His mercy extends generation after generation to those who revere him.
He has wielded his arm with dynamic force;
Those high and mighty in their self-esteem he has scattered.
Luke 1:52-78 100

He has dethroned monarchs.
and he exalted humble people.
He satisfied the hungry with good foods.
The wealthy elite he has sent away empty.
He helped Israel, his young servant,
by remembering compassion,
just as he gave his word to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his descendants of future generations.
Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months before returning home. 57 When
Elizabeth reached full term, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that
Yahveh had multiplied his kindness to her, and they shared in her joy.
On the infant’s eighth day, men came to circumcise him. They were going to name
him Zechariah, Jr. 60 But his mother said, “No, indeed! Rather, his name will be John.”
They said to her, “None in your family tree is called by that name.” 62 So they deferred
with a nod to his father to determine what he would call the infant. 63 Having asked for a writing
board, he wrote, “His name is John.” Everyone was surprised.
At that moment Zechariah’s mouth was opened and his tongue set free. He blurted out
praises to God. 65 As a result, a reverent awe settled upon all their neighbors. In all the
mountainous region of Judaea all these events were the topic of conversation. 66 All those who
heard the news took it to heart saying, “What, indeed, will this infant grow up to be?” and
“Yahveh’s hand is upon him!”
Zechariah, his father, was filled with holy spirit and prophesied:
Worthy of praise is Yahveh, God of Israel,
because he has cared for and redeemed his people.
[Like a bucking bull] he has raised a horn of salvation for us,
in the dynasty of David, his servant,
just as he said through the mouth of his holy prophets of long ago:
There will be salvation from our enemies,
from the hand of all who have animosity toward us,
in order to express compassion and to keep faith with our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant,
an oath he swore to our father Abraham,
for the purpose of 74 giving us freedom from fear,
deliverance from the grip of our enemies,
that we might serve him 75 in holiness and righteousness
in his presence all our days.
As for you, child, you will be called a prophet of the highest one.
For you will precede the presence of Yahveh,
to prepare his roadways,
to bring salvific experience to his people by forgiveness of their sins,
through the deep-seated compassion of our God,
by whose mercies heaven’s dawn will rise over us,
Luke 1:79-2:23 101

to bring light to those situated in gloom and the shadow cast by death,
to direct our feet into the way of peace.
The child, John, grew and developed into a dynamic personality. He lived in the
desert until his introduction to Israel.
2:1 During the time of these events the great caesar issued a census decree applicable to
the whole territory. 2 This census was prior to the one conducted while Quirinius governed Syria.
Everyone was going out to register, each one to his city of record.
Therefore, Joseph also set out from the province of Galilee, from the city of Nazareth,
to travel to the southern province, to David’s city, Bethlehem. 5 He went there to register because
he was from the dynasty and family of David. With him was Mary, who was engaged to him and
While there, her pregnancy came full term. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son, and
wrapped him in long strips of cloth. She put him to bed in an animal’s feeding trough, because
there was no vacancy in a guest room.
Now shepherds were together out in the open air that night. These outdoorsmen were
standing night watches over their flock 9 when a messenger from Yahveh surprised them.
Yahveh’s glory engulfed them in a flood of light, and they became very frightened.
The messenger said, “Stop being afraid. Understand this: I have good news for you,
bringing great joy for all the people. 11 Today a savior, Christ the sovereign, was born among you
in David’s town. 12 This will be the identifier for finding him—an infant enfolded in windings of
cloth and resting in an animal’s feeding trough.”
Suddenly the messenger was accompanied by a vast army of heaven, praising God in
these words:
Glory in the highest places to God,
Also on earth—peace among people pleasing him well!
After the messengers departed from them into heaven, the shepherds kept saying to
one another, “Onward into Bethlehem! Let us see what occurred, the event Yahveh let us in on.”
They went in a hurry and found both Mary and Joseph, and the infant resting in an
animal’s feeding trough. 17 After they saw this, the shepherds made known the news
communicated to them about this child. 18 Everyone who heard was astounded by what the
shepherds told them. 19 Mary cherished all these words, repeating them over and over in her
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they heard and saw while
there. What they found matched the details given to them.
Eight days later at the time of circumcision, the infant was called Jesus, the name
assigned him by the messenger before he was conceived in Mary’s womb.
When according to the law of Moses the [40] days of their purification were
completed, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to Yahveh. 23 The law of Yahveh has
this stipulation:
Luke 2:24-45 102

Every male who opens the womb (as firstborn) will be treated as holy to Yahveh.
You are to give a sacrifice according to what is written in the law of Yahveh:
a pair of turtledoves or two young doves.
Look in on this scene: In Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon, a righteous,
devout person, who awaited Israel’s consolation; and holy spirit was present upon him. 26 It had
been revealed to him by the holy spirit that he would not experience death before he would see
Yahveh’s anointed.
By the spirit’s direction Simeon came into the temple. When the parents brought in
infant Jesus to carry out the legal regulation for him, 28 he welcomed the baby into his arms and
praised God in these words:
Sovereign, now you are releasing your servant,
according to your word—in peace,
because my eyes have seen your salvation,
that you prepared in full view of all peoples.
He is light to be revealed to the nations,
and glory to be experienced by your people Israel.
His father and mother were deeply impressed by what was being said about him.
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother:
Understand: He is destined to topple and to raise up many people in Israel,
and to be a deplored enigma.
As for you, your soul will feel the thrust of a heavy sword.
These events will occur that the motives of many hearts might be exposed.
Also present was Anna, a prophetess, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher.
She was superannuated, having been married for seven years, 37 and now she was a widow 84
years old. She did not leave the temple environs, spending her time fasting and praying, serving
night and day. 38 At that time she stepped up and expressed gratitude to God and kept speaking
about the child to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
After the parents had completed everything required by the law of Yahveh, they
returned to Galilee to their city of Nazareth.
The boy grew and became strong, having a personality filled with wisdom. God’s
grace was evident upon him.
Jesus’ parents made an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover. 42 When he
was twelve years old, he went up with them to the feast according to custom. 43 After the festival
was over, the pilgrims started for home, while the preteen Jesus remained in Jerusalem without
his parents being aware of that. 44 Assuming he was along in the group, they traveled for a day
before they went looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 Not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
Luke 2:46-3:12 103

After three days they did find him—in the temple. Seated among the teachers, he was
listening to them, and asking them questions. 47 All who heard him were astonished at his
understanding and responses.
When his parents located him, they were at their wit’s end. His mother said to him,
“Child, why did you do this to us? Now see here, your father and I were frantic as we looked for
He replied to them, “Why were you searching for me elsewhere? Did you not know
that necessarily I had to be in the precincts of my father?”
They did not understand the allusion he was making in saying this to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth and submitted himself to them. His
mother cherished all these words in her heart.
Jesus progressed in wisdom as his body developed to full stature. God liked him and
people did too.
3:1 In the fifteenth year of the emperorship of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was
procurator of Judaea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother was
tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during
the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God’s word came to John, son of Zechariah, while
he was in the desert.
He went into all the territories surrounding the Jordan River, preaching baptism based
on repentance—for the forgiveness of sins. 4 He cited the text in the scroll of Isaiah the prophet:
A voice calls out in the desert:
Prepare Yahveh’s highway.
Make straight roads for him.
Every ravine is to be filled in,
and every mountain and hill leveled.
Every curve will be straightened out.
Rough roads will be smoothed.
All humanity will see God’s salvation.
John kept saying to the crowds that came out to be immersed by him: “Brood of
vipers, who alerted you to escape from the rage on the way? 8 Therefore, produce the effects
certifying repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father (and
that is all that matters).’ For I declare to you that from these stones God can raise up children for
“Already an ax is leaning against the trunk of the trees. Consequently, every tree not
bearing good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
The crowds responded to him by asking, “What, then, should we do?”
John replied: “He who has two tunics should share with the one who does not have
any. Let the person having foodstuffs do the same.”
The revenue agents came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?"
Luke 3:13-28 104

He replied: “Collect no more than the amount legally specified.”
The security men questioned him, “What must we do?”
He replied: “Do not give anyone a shakedown to take his money, or practice extortion.
Be satisfied with your pay.”
The people were expectant and all were wondering in their hearts about John—
whether he might be the messiah.
In response, John said to everyone: “I immerse you in water. One superior to me is
coming. For him I am not worthy to untie the thongs of his sandals. He will immerse you in holy
spirit and fire. 17 He holds his winnowing shovel in his hand to clean up his threshing floor and to
gather the grain into his granary. He will burn up the chaff with inextinguishable fire.” 18 Also on
many other subjects he exhorted and preached good news to the people.
But Herod the tetrarch was convicted by him for taking his brother’s wife, Herodias,
and for all the other evils Herod did. 20 Yet he added this to all the rest: He incarcerated John.
The following happened when all the people were being baptized. After Jesus had
been immersed and was praying, the sky opened. 22 Like a dove, the holy spirit in physical
manifestation descended upon him. There was also a voice from heaven:
“You are my son, my loved one. I am delighted with you.”
Now Jesus himself began his mission when he was about thirty years old. He was a
son—as was supposed—of Joseph,
the son of Heli
the son of Matthat
the son of Levi
the son of Melchi
the son of Jannai
the son of Joseph
the son of Mattathias
the son of Amos
the son of Nahum
the son of Esli
the son of Naggai
the son of Maath
the son of Mattathias
the son of Semein
the son of Josech
the son of Joda
the son of Joanan
the son of Rhesa
the son of Zerubbabel
the son of Shealtiel
the son of Ner
the son of Melchi
Luke 3:29-36 105

the son of Addi

the son of Cosam
the son of Elmadam
the son of Eart
the son of Joshua
the son of Eliezer
the son of Jorim
the son of Matthat
the son of Levi
the son of Symeon
the son of Judas
the son of Joseph
the son of Jonam
the son of Eliakim
the son of Melea
the son of Menna
the son of Mattatha
the son of Nathan
the son of David
the son of Jesse
the son of Obed
the son of Boaz
the son of Shelah
the son of Nahshon
the son of Amminadab
the son of Admin
the son of Arni
the son of Hezron
the son of Perez
the son of Juda
the son of Jacob
the son of Isaac
the son of Abraham
the son of Terah
the son of Naho
the son of Serug
the son of Reu
the son of Peleg
the son of Eber
the son of Shelah
the son of Cainan
the son of Arphaxad
the son of Shem
the son of Noah
Luke 3:37-4:19 106

the son of Lamech

the son of Methuselah
the son of Enoch
the son of Jared
the son of Maleleel
the son of Cainan
the son of Enos
the son of Seth
the son of Adam
the son of God.
4:1 Full of holy spirit, Jesus turned away from the Jordan River and was led by the spirit
into the desert. 2 For forty days he stayed there undergoing temptation by the devil.
He ate nothing during that time, and when the days came to an end, he was famished.
The devil said to him, “Assuming you are God’s son, tell this rock to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It stands on record: A person does not live by food alone.”
Having led him up on a mountain peak, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the
world instantaneously. 6 Then the devil said to him, “I will give you authority over all this and all
their associated glory. This prerogative is mine to grant to whomever I want to have it. 7 As for
you, therefore, if you will bow down before me, you will have it all.”
Jesus replied, “It stands on record, You are to worship Yahveh your God, and him

alone are you to serve with adoration.”

The devil brought him to Jerusalem and caused him to stand on the highest peak of the
temple, and said to him, “Assuming you are God’s son, jump off from here in mid air. 10 For it
stands on record, He will assign to you his angels to protect you. 11 And again: Upon their
appendages they will lift you up should your foot stumble on a rock.”
Jesus replied to him, “It has been stated, You must not test Yahveh your God."
When all temptation was concluded, the devil backed off from him for awhile.
But Jesus returned to Galilee having the spirit’s dynamic. News about him spread to
all the surrounding area. 15 He taught in the local synagogues and was honored all around.
He came to Nazareth where he grew up, and as he customarily did, he entered the
synagogue on the sabbath. He stood to read aloud 17 from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah given to
him. He unrolled the scroll and found the following text:
Yahveh’s spirit is upon me.
He anointed me to announce good news to the underclass.
He commissioned me:
to proclaim release to those held captive,
to restore vision to the blind,
to set free those oppressed,
to announce the arrival of Yahveh’s favorable time frame.
Luke 4:20-41 107

Jesus rolled up the scroll, presented it to the curator, and sat down. All eyes in the
synagogue were focused on him. 21 He introduced his presentation with these words:
Today this text is fulfilled right as you listen.
Everyone kept affirming him. The people were deeply impressed by the gracious
words that cascaded over his lips. They also kept raising the question: “Is not this Joseph’s son?”
He responded to them, “Over and over you quote to me this proverb, Physician, heal
yourself. We have heard about all the special feats done in Capernaum. Do here in your
hometown the same works!”
He continued: “I assure you no prophet is accepted in his home territory. 25 In stating
the objective truth, I say to you there were many widows in Israel in the era of Elijah, when it
did not rain for three years and six months. A great famine prevailed throughout the land, 26 but
Elijah was sent to none of Israel’s widows. On the other hand, he was sent to a widow in
Zarephath, in the vicinity of Sidon.
“Moreover, there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha. Yet
none was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
Everyone in the synagogue became infuriated when they heard these remarks. 29 The
people stormed out to the outskirts of the city with Jesus in tow. They pushed him as far as the
ridge of the plateau on which their city was built, intending to force him off the precipice. 30 But
he passed right through the middle of them and kept on going.
He transferred to the Galilean city, Capernaum, and was teaching the people on the
sabbath. They were impressed by his teaching because his message was with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a spirit, a dirty demon. He shrieked in
a loud voice: 34 “Leave us alone! What is our subservient relationship to you, Jesus of Nazareth?
Did you come to devastate us? I know who you are—God’s holy one.”
Then Jesus rebuked him, “Hush—and come out of him.”
When the demon had thrown him sprawling in the center of the group, it exited from
him without harming him.
Awesome astonishment gripped everyone. Those present kept discussing with one
another what happened, saying, “What is this message, for with authoritative power he gives
directives to the sordid spirits and they depart!”
News about him was spreading to every place in the vicinity.
When he left the synagogue, he entered Simon’s home. The mother-in-law of Simon
was running a high fever. Those there asked Jesus about her. 39 As he stood over her, he rebuked
the fever and it left her. Immediately, she got up and began serving them.
At sunset they brought to him all who were incapacitated and those with various
diseases. On each of them he placed his hands and healed them. 41 Demons departed from many,
yelling, “You are God’s son!” But he rebuked them, not permitting them to have their say
because they knew he was the messiah.
Luke 4:42-5:17 108

After daybreak, he departed and made his way to a deserted place. But the crowds,
intent on finding him, came where he was. They were trying to hold on to him for themselves so
that he would not go anywhere.
He said to them, “Also in other cities I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom,
because I was commissioned to do that.” 44 He would preach in the synagogues of the southern
province as well.
5:1 As he stood on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, a crowd gathered and was pressing in
upon him to hear the word of God. 2 He saw two boats, each with the bow beached on the shore.
The fishermen had disembarked from them and were cleaning up their nets. 3 He boarded one of
the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and requested him to shove off a little way from the
shore. Taking his seat there, he taught the crowds from the skiff.
When he was through speaking, he said to Simon, “Shove off into deep water and let
down your nets for a catch.”
Simon responded to him, “Master, all night long we worked hard, not taking a thing.
Yet because you say so, I will lower the nets.”
When they did this, they enclosed such a large school of fish their nets were bursting.
They signaled their partners in another boat to come and help out. They came and filled both
boats, submerging them to the gunwales.
After Simon, alias Rock, observed this, he fell before the knees of Jesus and said,
“Leave me, Lord, for I am a man with a sinful nature.” 9 Fright had engulfed him and all his crew
as a result of the catch of fish they hauled in. 10 The same reaction set in for James and John,
Zebedee’s sons, Simon’s partners.
Jesus said to Simon, “Stop being afraid. From now on you will catch men.”
After securing the boats on the shore, they left everything and followed with him.
The following incident took place in one of the towns. Picture this: A man full of
leprosy saw Jesus, prostrated himself—face down—and pleaded with him, “Lord, if you would,
you can purify me!”
Jesus reached out his hand and touched him as he said, “I want that. Be clean.”
At once the man’s leprosy disappeared.
Jesus ordered him, “Do not tell anyone, but depart and show yourself to the priest on
duty. Then offer for your ritual cleansing what Moses required. This act will be testimonial
evidence for those there.”
The word about Jesus kept spreading even more. Many throngs of people kept
gathering to listen and to be healed of their sicknesses.
He would slip away to deserted places and spend time praying.
The next incident occurred one day while he was teaching. Sitting there before him
were Pharisees, and teachers of the law, and people who had come from every village of Galilee,
the southern province, and Jerusalem. Yahveh’s power was manifested in his healing activity.
Luke 5:18-6:2 109

See this: men carrying a paralyzed man on a stretcher. They were attempting to get
him in and to place him in front of Jesus. 19 Not finding any way to bring him in through the
crowd, they went up on the flat roof. Removing tiles, they lowered him on his pallet right in the
center in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith expressed, he said, “Mister, your sins are forgiven.”
Then the scholars and Pharisees began to question his declaration, “Who is this who
speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sin except God alone?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking and questioned them: “Why do you surmise such
conclusions in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say: Your sins are forgiven, or Get up and walk?
Yet in order that you might know the human one has authority on earth to forgive
sins,” he said to the paralytic, “I say to you: Get up, pick up your bedroll, and go to your home."
Immediately, having stood up in their presence, he picked up his pallet, and praising
God, he went home. 26 Exhilaration overtook everyone, and they were glorifying God. Filled with
awe, they kept saying, “We saw strange things today!”
After these events Jesus left there and saw a revenue agent named Levi seated at his
collection station. He said to him, “Follow me.”
Leaving everything, Levi got up and followed him. 29 At home, Levi held a big
reception for Jesus. A large group of tax-takers and others were reclining altogether at Levi’s
The Pharisees and their scholars got huffy about this, saying to his disciples, “Why do
you eat and drink with tax-takers and sinners?”
Jesus replied to them: “Healthy people do not need a physician, but sick people need
him. My mission is not to call righteous people, but sinners to repentance.”
They said to him, “John’s disciples fast frequently as they say their prayers, as do also
the disciples of the Pharisees, but your disciples enjoy food and beverages.”
Jesus replied, “You cannot make those in the wedding party fast as long as the groom
is with them, can you? 35 The time will come when the groom will be removed from them. In that
future period they will fast.”
He gave them this analogy: No one cuts a swatch of new material to patch an old
garment. Were one to attempt that, the new piece (when it shrinks) would tear something, and
also the patch of new material would not harmonize with the old.
Moreover, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Were one to attempt that, the
new wine (when it ferments) would burst the wineskins and leak out; the containers would be
ruined. 38 But new wine is meant to be poured into new wineskins. 39 No one who has drunk the
old cares for the new, for he says, “The old is preferable.”
6:1 The following incident happened one sabbath as Jesus was passing through the standing
grain. His disciples were stripping heads of grain, rubbing them together in their hands, and
eating the kernels. 2 Certain Pharisees complained, “Why do you break the sabbath law by what
you are doing?”
Luke 6:3-22 110

Jesus replied, “Have you not read the passage about how David and his men handled
their hunger? 4 He entered the house of God, took some of the bread of presentation, ate it, and
shared it with his companions. Now this was unlawful food for just anyone to eat. It was for the
priests exclusively.”
Jesus told them, “The human one holds executive rights over the sabbath.”
On another sabbath he entered a synagogue to teach. A man was there whose right
hand was dysfunctional. 7 The scholars and Pharisees were keeping an eye on Jesus to see if he
would heal on the sabbath—to afford them grounds to denounce him. 8 But aware of their
subterfuge, he said to the man having the useless hand, “Stand up and move to the center.”
He rose and stood there.
Jesus said to them: “I ask you whether it is lawful on the sabbath to do positive deeds
or negative ones, to deliver life or to destroy it?”
After looking everyone in the eye, he said to him, “Extend your hand.”
As he did, his hand was completely restored.
The scholars and Pharisees became infuriated, and they kept conferring among
themselves what they would do with Jesus.
During that time he went out to a mountain to pray. He remained there praying to God
throughout the night. 13 When daylight appeared, he called his disciples together and chose
twelve of them, whom he designated apostles. 14 They were: Simon, to whom he gave the epithet,
Rock, Andrew his brother, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James the
son of Alphaeus, Simon the right-wing patriot, 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who
became a betrayer.
After descending the mountain with them, Jesus stationed himself on a level place. A
large crowd of his disciples was there, and very many people were coming from all over the
southern province, Jerusalem, and the coastland of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him
and to be healed of their maladies. Also those victimized by sordid spirits were being restored.
All the crowd was attempting to make contact with him because power was emanating from
him, and he was healing everyone.
As he lifted his eyes to view his students, he would say to them:
Blessed are those who are poor, because you possess the kingdom of God.
Blessed are those experiencing hunger now, because you will be fed to the full.
Blessed are those weeping now, because you will smile.
Blessed are you when people hate you, exclude you, insult you, and denigrate your
reputation on account of your association with the human one. 23 Rejoice on
that day and go skipping along. For—make a note of it—your reward in heaven
is great. Their fathers used to treat the prophets the same way.
Luke 6:24-42 111

Too bad, however, for you who are rich, because you have your consolation now.
Too bad for you who are fully satisfied now, because you will become hungry.
Too bad for you who are laughing now, because you will mourn and weep.
Too bad for you when all people speak of you approvingly. Their ancestors used to
treat false prophets the same way.
But I say to you who listen:
Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28 Bless those who curse you.
Pray for those who give you a rough time. 29 To someone who slaps you in the face, offer your
other cheek.
When one rips off your outer garment, do not withhold your inner garment. 30 To
everyone who asks you, give. If someone takes away what is yours, do not ask for it back again.
Whatever you would want people to do for you, do accordingly for them.
If you love those who love you, what gratitude do you deserve? Even sinners like
those who like them. 33 If you do good to the ones benefiting you, what gratitude do you deserve?
Sinners also do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you have a hope of return of the
goods, what gratitude do you deserve? Sinners also lend to sinners so they might be repaid the
full amount.
Nevertheless, love your enemies, do good, and lend without counting on repayment.
When you do such, your reward will be great and you will be sons of the highest one because he
is kind to the ungrateful and degenerates. 36 Be big-hearted, just as your father is generous.
Cease being judgmental, and you certainly will not be judged. Stop passing sentences
of condemnation on others, and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Give, and it will be given to you. Give a good measure that has been pressed down,
shaken down, and then filled to overflowing. Others in a similar manner will give into the big
fold in your garment (where grain is carried). For the same standard you use to dish out to others
will be the measure by which others reciprocate to you.
He gave them another illustration: A blind man is not able to serve as a guide to the
blind, is he? Will not both of them plunge into a pit?
A student is not superior to his professor. When each student has finished his
education, he will be comparable to his teacher.
Why do you focus on the speck in the eye of your brother, but do not notice the heavy
timber in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me remove the speck
from your eye,” when all the while you do not see the ceiling-joist in your own eye? Hypocrite,
first extricate the heavy board from your eye, and then you will see properly to remove the speck
from your brother’s eye.
Luke 6:43-7:14 112

A healthy tree cannot produce decayed fruit. Neither, for that matter, can a blighted
tree produce delicious fruit. 44 The quality of each tree is recognizable by its fruit. For instance,
one does not gather figs from thorn bushes. Nor from a briar patch does one harvest grapes.
A good person brings forth good from the good treasure in his heart. An evil person
brings out evil from the evil stored within. One’s mouth pours forth what is plentiful in one’s
Why do you acclaim me, “Lord, Lord,” but do not do what I say?
Everyone who comes to me listens to my instructions and implements them. 48 He is
like a house-builder who excavated deeply and laid the foundation on rock ledge. When a flash
flood came, causing a stream of water to surge against that house, the torrent was not able to
dislodge it because it was well founded.
But one who hears what I have to say and does not put my teaching into practice is
comparable to a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. When a flash flood
surged against it, at once it broke up, becoming a total loss.
7:1 After Jesus had completed all his words in the hearing of the people, he entered
Capernaum. 2 A centurion lived there whose slave was sick—very bad off, even at death’s door.
That servant meant a lot to him. 3 Because the centurion had heard about Jesus, he sent Jewish
elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they got in touch with Jesus, they
earnestly were urging him to do this. They said, “The centurion is worthy for you to grant his
request. 5 He appreciates our people; he even built our synagogue for us.” 6 Therefore, Jesus went
along with them.
When Jesus was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends with this message for
him: “Sir, do not bother, for I am not worthy of the honor that you should put in an appearance at
my residence. 7 By the same token, I am not worthy to come to you. But issue an order and my
servant will be healed. 8 For I am a man accustomed to command structures, having soldiers
under me. I tell this one, Proceed, and he goes; to another, Report, and he appears; and to my
slave, Do this, and he does it.”
On hearing this, Jesus was greatly impressed by the centurion. Turning around to the
large group following him, he exclaimed,
“I declare to you I have not found such faith as this in Israel.”
When the contact people returned to the centurion’s home, they found his slave in a
healthy condition.
Soon afterward, Jesus was traveling toward a town called Nain. His disciples and a
large crowd were proceeding along with him. 12 As they reached the city gate—look!—a funeral
procession was headed out to the burial place. The dead was the only son of his mother, a
widow. A large group from town was accompanying her.
When he noticed her, the Lord was deeply touched in his feelings for her. He said to
her, “Stop weeping.” 14 Moving right in close, he put his hands on the funeral stretcher so that the
pallbearers stood still. Then he said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”
Luke 7:15-38 113

The dead fellow sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 A
sense of reverential awe swept over everyone, and they glorified God saying:
“A great prophet has come on the scene among us” and “God has visited his people.”
A report of this event featuring Jesus spread to the whole Jewish community as well
as to all the surrounding territory. 18 John’s disciples also related to him all of these activities.
John called in two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to say: “You are the anticipated
one—or should we keep on waiting for another?”
When they arrived in Jesus’ presence, the men stated: “John the baptizer sent us to
you to inquire: You are the anticipated one—or should we keep on waiting for another?"
During that time he healed many people of their diseases, miseries, and evil spirits; he
gave vision to many who were blind. 22 Then he responded to John’s disciples: “Return and
report to John what you saw and heard. The blind are seeing again. The lame are walking. Lepers
are purified. The deaf are hearing. The dead are being raised. The poor are getting good news. 23
And tell him: Blessed is whoever is not put out with me!”
After John’s messengers had left, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John.
What did you go out in the desert to see? A reed trembling in the wind? 25 On the contrary. What
did you go out to view? A man dressed in soft clothes? Note that those adorned in gorgeous
garments and living in luxury belong to royal palaces. 26 Again, what did you go out to see? A
prophet? Yes, indeed, I assure you he is more than a prophet. 27 This is the one concerning whom
it has been written:
Look: I will send my messenger as your advance man.
He will prepare your way before you .
I declare to you that no one born of women is greater than John. But the least in the
kingdom of God is greater than he!
All the people who were listening—even the tax-takers—were taking up for God
because they had participated in the Johannine baptism. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers
declared nul and void God’s counsel applicable to them, as evidenced by their not having been
baptized by John.
How shall I characterize the people of this generation? What are they like? 32 They
resemble children sitting around in the market square who call out to one another, chanting:
We played the flute for you, and you did not do a (wedding) dance.
We made the (funereal) sounds of wailing, and you did not weep.
For John the baptizer came on the scene neither consuming bread nor drinking wine,
and you say, “He is demonic.” 34 The human one has come eating and drinking, and you say,
“See a man who is a glutton and a wino, a crony of tax-takers and sinners.” 35 But wisdom gets
authenticated by all its progeny.
One of the Pharisees invited him to have a meal with him. After entering the house of
the Pharisee, he reclined at the dinner table [on his side with feet out away from the table].
Now see what occurred: A woman in the city, a sinner, found out he was dining at the
Pharisee’s home. She brought an alabaster flask of perfume, 38 and having stationed herself out of
Luke 7:39-8:8 114

the way in the area of his feet, she was weeping. Her tears began to wet his feet, and she dried
them with the hair of her head. She kissed his feet and anointed them with perfume.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw what was going on, he said to himself: If
he were a prophet, he would have known what kind of woman this is who caresses him. He
should have known she is a sinner.
In response Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say specifically for you.”
He replied, “Teacher, out with it—speak.”
“Two men had loans outstanding from a lender. One owed him the monetary
equivalent of 500 days’ wages, and the other owed an amount comparable to 50 days’ wages.
Because neither man could repay his debt, he graciously canceled the debts of both. Which of
these men will have greater appreciation for him?”
Simon responded, “I assume the one for whom he forgave the most.”
Jesus replied, “You judged correctly.”
Then he turned to face the woman, and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I
entered your home and you did not provide any water to pour over my feet. But by her tears she
rinsed my feet and dried them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a welcoming kiss, but from
the time I entered, she has continually kissed my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with
(scented) oil, but she anointed my feet with perfume. 47 Consequently, I declare to you that her
many sins have been forgiven because of her deep love. But one who has been forgiven little
loves less.
Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The other guests at the dinner party began to say among themselves: “Who is this who
forgives sins?”
Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
8:1 He proceeded successively on a teaching mission throughout the cities and towns,
proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve accompanied him. 2 So did some
women who had been healed from evil spirits and diseases. They were: Mary who was called
Magdalene, from whom seven demons had departed; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, a manager in
Herod’s household; Susanna, and many others. These women were taking care of the material
needs of the traveling group, using their possessions for this.
When a large crowd was assembling with people pouring in city by city to hear him,
he spoke to them using a parable:
A planter went out to sow his seed. As he did, some seed fell along the path
and was trampled. The birds of the sky gulped down these seed. 6 Others fell on
soil mingled with rocks. After the seed sprouted, the plants dried up because of
insufficient moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and they grew together
until the thorns took over to stifle the growth. 8 Still other seed landed in good
soil and produced 100% more.
Luke 8:9-24 115

After saying these things, he called out more than once: “One who has ears for hearing
must listen.”
His disciples asked him for an explanation of the parable. 10 He told them: You are
given the privilege of knowing the secrets of God’s kingdom. With the rest of the people
parables are used because:
Although they look, they do not see;
and although they hear, they do not understand.
This is the explanation of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Seed that fell on
the path represents those who only hear the words. Then the opponent comes along and takes the
message away from their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
The seed planted in rock-filled soil represents people who hear and receive the
message enthusiastically. But they do not have the analogue of a plant’s root. So they believe for
a while, yet in the time of testing, they drop out.
The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear the message, but they
are done in by cares, wealth, and pleasures of life that come their way. These choke off their life,
and they do not attain maturation.
But as for that seed planted in good soil, these are conscientious people having good
motives. When they hear the message, they hold to it securely and bear fruit patiently.
No one having lighted an olive-oil lamp covers it with a crock or places it beneath a
bed. One places it on a lampstand so that those entering the dark place might see by the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not be brought out into the open—nothing
covered up that will not be made known and exposed.
Pay attention therefore as to how you listen. For whoever holds on to what he hears
will be given more. Correspondingly, whoever does not hold on to it will be stripped of that
which he seems to have.
His mother and brothers came to his meeting and were not able to have access to him
because of the crowd. 20 A message was announced to him: “Your mother and brothers are
standing outside, wanting to see you.”
This is how he answered them: “My mother and my brothers are those who pay
attention to the word of God and put it into practice.”
One day this incident occurred: He and his disciples shoved off in a boat, and he said
to them, “Let us head for the opposite side of the lake.” They got underway. 23 As they sailed, he
took a nap. During this time a squall hit the lake with high winds. The boat was being swamped
to the point their lives were in jeopardy.
They came and roused him with these words: “Teacher, teacher, we are going under!”
He got up and issued commands to the wind and the surging water. Their velocity abated, and
calm came.
Luke 8:25-45 116

Then he said to them, “Where is your faith?”
Fearful and full of consternation, they kept saying to one another, “Who then is this
who commands the winds and the water and they obey him?”
They sailed to the territory of the Gerasenes, located across from Galilee. 27 When
Jesus disembarked, a man from the town met him—a man who had been controlled by demons
for a long time. He neither wore clothes, nor did he live in a house, but among the cave-tombs.
Upon eyeing Jesus, he shrieked. Prostrating himself before him, he yelled out, “What
rights do you have over me, Jesus, son of the highest God? I beg you not to torture me.” 29 Jesus
commanded the sordid spirit to come out of the man. It had taken control of him many times
previously. He had been bound by chains and foot fetters while being guarded; but after his
having torn the shackles away, he would be driven by the demons into deserted places.
Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion” (i.e., army) because
many demons had entered into him. 31 They were begging Jesus not to order them to depart into
the abyss. 32 A large herd of hogs was feeding there on the mountainside. The demons implored
him to allow them to enter the hogs. He consented.
As the demons departed from the man, they entered the hogs. The herd stampeded
down the precipice into the lake and drowned.
When the hog-herders saw what had happened, they took to their heels and reported it
in town and in the countryside.
The local people went out to see what had happened. They came up to Jesus and
found the man from whom the demons had departed sitting down beside Jesus' feet. He was
clothed and in his right mind. It frightened them. 36 Those who had witnessed the event of how
the demonized man was delivered rehearsed the story for them. 37 All the many people of the
territory of the Gerasenes requested Jesus to leave them because they were gripped by great fear.
He went aboard the boat for the return trip. 38 The man from whom the demons had
departed kept asking to be with him. But he sent him away with these words: 39 “Return home,
and give your testimony of everything God did for you.” He departed, going throughout the town
proclaiming all that Jesus had done for him.
When Jesus returned, there was a welcoming crowd there for him because they were
all expecting him. 41 See this: A man named Jairus, an administrative elder of the synagogue,
came up and prostrated himself before Jesus. He urged him to come to his home 42 because his
only daughter, twelve years old, was dying.
As Jesus led the way, throngs of people were pressing up against him. 43 Among them
was a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years. She had spent all her life support on
physicians, none of whom was competent to cure her. 44 She made her way up behind him and
touched the tassel of his clothes. At once her bloody discharge ceased.
Then Jesus said, “Who made contact with me?”
When everybody denied it, Rock said, “Teacher, the crowd is surrounding you and
pressing in on you.”
Luke 8:46-9:12 117

But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I was conscious of power dispensed.”
The woman, surmising she could not escape notice, came trembling and prostrated
herself before him. She disclosed before all the people the reason she touched him and how she
was healed instantaneously. 48 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith restored you. Go in peace.”
While he was still speaking, someone from the chief administrative elder’s household
arrived, announcing, “Your daughter is dead. Do not further inconvenience the teacher.”
Jesus, having heard this, responded to Jairus, “Do not give in to fear. Just believe, and
she will be restored.”
When Jesus entered the home, he did not permit anyone to enter with him except
Rock, John, James, and the child’s father and mother.
All were crying and beating their breasts in mourning for her. He said to them: “Stop
the crying because she did not die—but fell asleep. 53 They ridiculed him, for they knew she had
Jesus grasped her hand and called to her, “Child, get up!”
Her spirit returned to her and she got up at once. He ordered that some food be given
to her. 56 Her parents were ecstatic, but he commanded them to tell no one what happened.
9:1 Jesus called together the twelve. He gave them power and authority over every demon,
and also to heal diseases. 2 He commissioned them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal
He gave them these instructions: Do not take along anything for the road—not a
traveler’s light club, not a traveler’s bag, not bread, not money, not a second change of clothes.
When you enter a home, remain there until you leave that locale. 5 As for those who do not
welcome you—when you leave that city, tap off the dust from your feet as a demonstration
against them.
When the twelve set out, they proceeded village by village, announcing good news and
healing everywhere.
Herod the tetrarch heard about all the things that had happened, and he was at a loss to
know what to make of it all. Some were saying John had been raised from the dead. 8 Some said
Elijah had come on the scene. Others thought one of the ancient prophets had reappeared. 9 But
Herod said, “I decapitated John. Who is this about whom I hear such things?” He yearned to see
After the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all they had done. Taking them on a
retreat privately, he set out in the direction of a town called Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds got wind
of it and followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed
those who needed healing.
When the sun became low on the horizon, the twelve came to him and said, “Dismiss
the crowd so they can go into the nearest villages and farms to get refreshment by finding
something to eat because we are in a desolate place.”
Luke 9:13-33 118

He said to them, “You provide them with food.”
They replied, “We can come up with no more than five loaves of bread and two fish,
unless we go out and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were approximately five
thousand men there.
He said to his disciples, “Have the people to get seated comfortably in groups of fifty
(in readiness for a meal).”
They did as he said, and everyone was reclining.
He took the five loaves and two fish, and having looked toward heaven, he blessed
them, broke them into portions and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the crowd. 17 They
ate and all were filled up. The disciples afterward collected twelve baskets of leftovers.
The next incident took place while Jesus was praying alone with his disciples. He
questioned them: “How do the crowds identify me?”
They answered: “John the baptizer. Others say, Elijah. Yet others identify you as one
of the ancient prophets now raised up.”
He said to them, “As for you, how do you identify me?”
Rock answered, “You are God’s messiah.”
Then Jesus strictly prohibited their announcing his identity to anyone. 22 He tied that
prohibition to the following declaration: “The human one must suffer many things. He will be
rejected after examination by the elders, administrative priests, and scholars. He will be killed
and raised up on the third day.”
He kept saying to them all, “If anyone desires to follow me, let him reject autonomy.
Let him take his cross day after day, and follow me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will
lose it. Whoever would lose his life on account of me will preserve it. 25 For what good is it if a
person gains the whole world and destroys or loses himself in the process?
“Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the human one will be ashamed of him

when he comes in his glory with the glory of his father and the holy angels. 27 I declare to you the
truth: Some of those standing here will not experience death before seeing the kingdom of God.”
About eight days after he had spoken these words, Jesus took Rock, John, and James
up on a mountain to pray. 29 As he prayed the appearance of his face changed, and his clothing
gleamed as bright as lightning. 30 See this: Two men, Moses and Elijah, were conversing with
him. 31 Those who appeared in glory were speaking about the exodus he was about to experience
in Jerusalem. 32 Rock and those with him had been in deep sleep. But fully awakened, they
observed his glory and the two men standing with him.
As those two were departing from them, Rock said to Jesus, “Master, it is a fine
situation for us to be here. Let us pitch three pavilions—one for you, one for Moses, and one for
Elijah. He did not know what he was talking about.
Luke 9:34-57 119

After Rock said these things, a cloud approached and overshadowed them. They
became afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 A voice spoke from the cloud: “This is my chosen
son; listen to him.” 36 As that voice resounded, Jesus alone was found there.
So the men kept quiet about this and reported nothing of what they had seen to anyone
in those days.
On the next day as they descended the mountain a large crowd met him. 38 Look at the
scene: A man from the crowd called out to him in distress: “Teacher, I beg you to focus attention
on my son, my only son. 39 See how a spirit takes hold of him so he suddenly shrieks; it
convulses him, causing foaming at his mouth, and scarcely lets up from crushing him. 40 I begged
your disciples to expel it, but they could not.”
Jesus answered: “What an unbelieving, distorted generation this is. How long will I be
with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
While the man’s son was coming forward, the demon threw him down and convulsed
him. Jesus rebuked the sordid spirit, healed the child, and turned him over to his father. 43 They
all were astonished at God’s magnificence.
While everyone was astounded at all the feats Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples:
“Store these words in memory: The human one is about to be betrayed into the control of
men.” 45 They had no idea what that statement meant. It was obscured from them lest they
perceive it. Furthermore, they were afraid to question him about it.
Some difference of opinion occurred in their group as to who would be the greatest
among them. 47 Jesus, who understood their aspirations motivating the discussion, selected a
child and had him stand next to himself. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever receives this child in
my name receives me. Moreover, whoever receives me receives the one who commissioned me.
Indeed, among all of you, the one of least standing is eminent.”
John responded, “Master, we saw someone expelling demons in your name, and we
forbade him because he was not on our team.”
Jesus replied, “Stop disallowing such people, for whoever is not against you is on
your side.”
As the days of his ascent came closer to fulfillment, his resolve to go up to Jerusalem
showed on his face. 52 In advance of himself, he sent messengers who entered a village of
Samaria with the intention of preparing for his arrival. 53 The Samaritans, however, would not
accept him because he was headed for Jerusalem.
When the disciples, James and John, got the picture of what was going on, they said,
“Lord, do you want us to order fire down from the sky to wipe them off the map?”
Jesus turned to face them and rebuked them. 56 So they proceeded on to another
As they were traveling down the road, someone came to him and said, “I will follow
you wherever you go.”
Luke 9:58-10:19 120

Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens; birds of the sky have nests—but the human one

has nowhere to lay his head.”

To another person he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Sir, permit me first to go back (waiting) until I have conducted my
father’s funeral.”
Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But as for you, go out and announce
the kingdom of God.”
Someone else said, “I will follow you, Lord. But permit me first to say my good-byes
at home.”
Jesus replied, “No one who grips the plow handles and then looks over his shoulder is
suitable to serve in the kingdom of God.”
10:1 After these events, the Lord designated seventy others and sent them out in pairs in
advance of his appearance in every city and place he was about to go. 2 He said to them, The
harvest is abundant, but laborers are hard to get. Therefore, ask the harvest-boss to thrust out
workers into his harvest.
Get going. Understand that I am sending you as lambs, encircled by wolves. 4 Do not
carry a money bag, a traveler’s bag, or (reserve) sandals, and do not stop to make newsy
exchanges with anyone along the way. 5 Into whichever house you enter, say first of all, “Peace
be upon this home.” 6 If a peaceful person resides there, your peace-blessing will rest on him. But
if he is not that kind of person, it will return to you. 7 Stay put in that home, eating and drinking
what they provide. For the worker is worthy of his compensation. Do not move about from house
to house. 8 Into whatever city you enter and are welcomed, eat whatever is set before you. 9 Heal
the sick in that city, and say to them, “the kingdom of God has come close to you.”
When you enter a city and its people do not accept you, go out into the main streets
and say this: 11 “The dust of your city that clings to our feet we rub off to return to you. But be
assured of this—the kingdom of God has come near you.” 12 I declare to you that on that day (of
judgment), the sentence against Sodom will be more bearable than the one leveled against that
Too bad for you, Chorazin! Too bad for you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that took place
among you had occurred in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in rags
on ashes. 14 It will go easier for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. 15 As for you,
Capernaum: Are you not elevated to the sky? Down to the realm of the dead you will slide.
Whoever listens to you hears me. The one who gives a cold shoulder to you rebuffs
me. The one who rebuffs me rejects the one who sent me.
The seventy returned elated, having this report, “Lord, even the demons are subject to
us in your name.”
He responded to them, “I watched the opponent [i.e., Satan] falling from the sky like a
bolt of lightning. 19 Note: I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and
Luke 10:20-35 121

all the power of the enemy, that nothing should be able to do you in. 20 The fact, however, that
the spirits are subject to you should not be the basis of your rejoicing. Rejoice because your
names are listed in the heavens.
At that time Jesus exulted in the holy spirit. He exclaimed,
I extol you, father, sovereign of heaven and earth,
because you concealed these concepts from sophisticates and intellectuals,
and you revealed them to those of a childlike disposition.
Father, I concur with your doing what pleased you well.
Everything was given to me by my father. No one perceives the identity of the son
except his father—and the identity of the father except his son, and anyone to whom his son
desires to reveal him.
Then having turned toward his disciples, he said privately, “The eyes witnessing what
you see have been blessed. 24 For I declare to you that many prophets and kings have wanted to
see what you are witnessing, and did not, and to listen to what you hear, but did not.”
In the next scene an expert in the law stood up to examine Jesus with a question:
“Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
He replied, “What has been specified in the law? How do you interpret it?”
The lawyer answered: “Love Yahveh your God wholeheartedly, that is, totally with
your life, fully with your strength, and completely with your mind. Also love your fellow human
being as you would yourself.”
Jesus said to him, “Your answer is right. Do this and you will live.”
But wanting to vindicate himself, he said to Jesus, “Who is my fellow human being?”
Continuing the dialogue, Jesus said:
A man traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho was ambushed by thieves.
They stripped him of everything, beat him up severely, and then absconded,
leaving him semiconscious.
It just so happened a priest was traveling down that same road. When he saw
the man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and passed by.
Likewise, when a Levite came down to that place and saw him, he crossed the
road and went on.
But when a Samaritan traveler came on the scene and saw him, he felt very
sorry for him. 34 Coming over to him, he bandaged his wounds after first
pouring oil and wine upon them. 35 After setting him on his own riding animal,
he brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out silver
equivalent to two days’ wages and gave it to the manager of the inn. He said,
“Take good care of him, and whatever it might cost more, I will repay you on
my return trip.”
Luke 10:36-11:15 122

Which of these three do you think became a fellow human being to the one mugged by
the thieves?
The lawyer said, “The one who expressed compassion toward him.”
Jesus replied, “Go and do as he did.”
While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha
welcomed him. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat as a disciple before the Lord and listened to his message.
But Martha was preoccupied with preparing a meal. Intruding, she said, “Lord, is it no concern
of yours that my sister left me to serve alone? Speak to her, therefore, so she will give me a
The Lord responded to her, “Martha, Martha, you are concerned and distressed over
many things. 42 One thing is a necessity. Indeed, Mary made the better choice, which will not be
denied her.
11:1 Jesus was praying somewhere. When he was finished, one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, here is the way:
Father, cause your name to be held in holy honor.
Cause your kingdom to arrive.
Give us today our daily bread;
And forgive our sins, for we ourselves forgive all who are indebted to us;
And do not position us for testing.”
He said to them: Who among you would respond as follows? A man had a friend who
came over at midnight with this request, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread 6 because my
friend has just come off the road to my place, and I do not have food to set before him.”
But from inside he answered, “Do not make it difficult for me. The door has already
been barred for the night and my children are all bedded down with me. I cannot get up and
supply you.”
I tell you, even if he will not get up and give it to him on the basis of friendship alone,
on the basis of the man’s undaunted persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he
Moreover, I say to you: Ask, and (what you need) will be given. Seek, and you will
find. Knock, and you will get an opening. 10 For everyone asking receives, the seeker finds, and
the one who knocks gets entry. 11 What father among you whose son asks for a fish will instead
give him a snake? 12 Or if he would ask for an egg, will he give him a scorpion? 13 Therefore, if
you—although unregenerate—know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more
will the heavenly father give holy spirit to those who ask him!
Once Jesus was expelling a mute demon. When it had gone, the mute person spoke.
The crowd was astounded. 15 But some of them said, “He expels demons by Beelzebub, the
Luke 11:16-38 123

dictator over demons.” 16 Others were endeavoring to put pressure on him, goading him for a sign
from heaven.
But he, understanding their rationalizing, said to them: Every kingdom split into
opposing factions will self-destruct. The same holds true for households; if the home is at odds
internally, it will split apart. 18 If, indeed, Satan takes sides against himself, how will his kingdom
stand? I ask this because you say I expel demons by Beelzebub. 19 If I expel demons by
Beelzebub, tell me by whom do your protégés expel them? For that reason they will be your
judges. 20 If I expel demons by God’s finger, then the kingdom of God has encountered you.
When an armed strong man guards his courtyard, his possessions are undisturbed.
When someone stronger comes on the scene and overpowers him, that stronger one takes away
his protective gear in which he trusted and plunders the man’s goods.
Whoever is not with me is in opposition to me; one not gathering with me scatters.
When a sordid spirit departs from a person, it passes through waterless places in
search of a resting place. If none is found, it says, “I will return to my house I left.” 25 Once there,
it finds the place swept and spruced up. 26 Then it goes and procures seven other spirits more evil
than itself, and they move in to settle there. That person’s latter plight becomes worse than his
previous condition.
While he was saying these things, a woman’s voice was directed toward him from out
in the crowd, “Blessed is the womb that carried you, and the bosom that nursed you!”
He replied, “Au contraire, blessed are those who listen to the word of God and keep
what it says.”
As the crowds were mobbing him, he began to speak: This is an evil generation. It
seeks a miraculous sign, and no sign will be supplied to it except that of Jonah. 30 As Jonah
became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the human one will be a sign to this generation.
The queen from the south will be raised at the final judgment with the men of this generation,
and she will condemn them because she came from the far reaches of the earth to listen to
Solomon’s wisdom, and—get this—one greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh
will arise in the judgment with this generation and condemn it because they repented in response
to Jonah’s message, and—get this—one greater than Jonah is here.
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a cover or under a grain basket, but he puts it
upon a lamp holder so people entering the room would benefit from its light.
Your body has a lamp—your eye. When your vision is clear, your entire being
experiences illumination. When your eye does not see properly, your body experiences darkness.
See to it, therefore, that the illumination in you is not actually darkness. 36 If, therefore, your
whole being experiences the brilliance of light—not having any part darkened—it will be fully
bright as when a flash of lightning illuminates you.
While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him over for the midmorning meal. He
went and reclined at the table. 38 The Pharisee was aghast as he scrutinized Jesus because he did
not first wash his hands before brunch.
Luke 11:39-12:7 124

The Lord said to him: “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of your cup and dish, but
you leave your interior full of greed and malice. 40 Irrational ones, did not the craftsman who
formed the exterior also form the interior? 41 Give attention, rather, to inner motives such as
compassion, and—understand this—for you everything will be clean.
“But brace yourselves for judgment, Pharisees, because you tithe right down to mint,
rue, and every herb, but you bypass justice and God’s love. These values are the most important,
without your neglecting other things.
“Judgment hangs over you, Pharisees, because you set your affections on the
prominent seats in the synagogue and respectful greetings in the markets.
“Judgment hangs over you, because you are unmarked graves that people walk over
[thereby being made unclean] and do not know it.”
In response, one of the law experts said to him, “Teacher, when you say these things,
you reflect disparagingly on us as well.”
He replied, “As for you experts in the law—judgment awaits you, because you load
people down with heavy burdens, and you, yourselves, do not reach out so much as a finger to
help them support their loads.
“Judgment awaits you because you build the memorials to the prophets when it was
your ancestors who assassinated them. 48 Therefore, you give evidence you approve of your
forefathers’ actions, for they killed them and you memorialize them. 49 For this reason the
wisdom of God said: I sent them prophets and emissaries, yet they murdered some and
persecuted others. 50 This is why the blood of all the prophets poured out since the beginning of
the world will be exacted from this generation—51 all the blood from Abel to the blood of
Zechariah who was wasted between the altar of sacrifice and the sanctuary. Indeed, I declare to
you, judgment for this blood will be exacted from this generation.
“Judgment awaits you law experts because you take away the key to knowledge; you
yourselves do not use it to enter, and you inhibit others who are entering.”
When Jesus left there, the scholars and Pharisees had it in for him in the worst kind of
way. They intended to ambush him, by interrogating him on many subjects so as to entrap him
in something he would say.
12:1 In the meantime as crowds in tens of thousands were gathering, even jostling one
another, he began to speak first to his disciples: Protect yourselves from the Pharisaic yeast:
hypocrisy. 2 There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed—nothing secret that will not be
exposed. 3 Whatever you speak after dark will be heard in the daylight. Moreover, what you
whisper in someone’s ear in back rooms will be shouted from roof balconies.
I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill your body but afterward
can do nothing more. 5 I am telling you precisely whom to fear: Be afraid of the one who after
putting you to death, has punitive power to throw you into hell. I thus declare to you: Fear him.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small brass coins? Not one of them is overlooked in
the presence of God. 7 But as for you, all the hairs of your head are accounted for. Stop being
worried; you are superior to many sparrows.
Luke 12:8-30 125

I declare to you that everyone who acknowledges before the public his relationship to
me will be reciprocated. The human one will acknowledge before God’s angels his relationship
to such a one. 9 But he who denies me before human beings will be denied before God’s angels.
Whoever speaks a word against the human one can be forgiven. But whoever

slanders the holy spirit will not be forgiven.

When they bring you in before synagogues, their officials, and the authorities, do not
be anxious about how to defend yourselves or what you should answer. 12 For in that hour the
holy spirit will teach you what you must say.
A man from the crowd said, “Teacher, speak to my brother to insist on his dividing
the inheritance with me.”
But Jesus replied, “Sir, who constituted me as a judge or probate official over you?”
He spoke further to them: “See to it that you keep yourself above all covetousness, because
one’s life is not derived from the abundance of his possessions.” 16 He illustrated with a parable
for them:
There was a man whose farm produced very well. 17 He thought to himself,
“What shall I do now, because I do not have space to store my crops?” 18 Then
he decided, “Here is what I shall do: I shall tear down my granaries and build
larger ones, and I shall store there all the grain and other valued foodstuffs.
Then I shall say to myself, ‘Man alive, you have many good things to eat
stored up for many years to come. Relax, eat, drink, and enjoy.’”
But God said to him, “Foolish person, this very night your life will be
demanded from you. 21 As for all you have stashed away—to whom will that
This is how it is with a person who hoards for himself but is not wealthy by God’s
He said to his disciples: This is the reason I told you not to worry about your life as to
what you will eat, or about your body as to what you will wear. 23 One’s life is more than food,
and one’s body is more than what clothes it.
Consider the crows. They neither plant nor harvest, and they have neither a storeroom
nor a barn. Yet God feeds them. How much more are you superior to the birds!
Who among you, by getting worked up about it can add to his height half a meter?
If, therefore, you are not able to do what is minor, why do you worry about the rest?
Consider lilies; think about how they grow. They do not labor nor do they spin
threads. Yet I tell you even Solomon in all his finery was not dressed as exquisitely as a lily. 28 If
today they are part of the flora of the field, and tomorrow they are discarded to heat an oven,
how much more will God clothe you, microbelievers that you are.
You must stop going overboard in your concern for what you will eat and drink.
Refrain from worrying. 30 For these needs are the primary concerns of people universally; but in
Luke 12:31-53 126

your case, your father knows you need these. 31 In contrast to the general trend, seek his
kingdom, and these staples will be supplied for you. 32 Stop being afraid, small flock, because
your father is pleased to give to you his kingdom.
Sell off your possessions and share with the needy. Provide for yourselves moneybags
that will not wear out. Put away an investment in the heavens, where a thief cannot get to it, nor
a moth eat holes in it. 34 For the location of your treasure will coincide with that of your heart.
Keep dressed unflappably (for service), and keep the lamps burning. 36 Be like those
live-in servants awaiting their employer at whatever time he might return from a multiple-days-
long wedding feast. Be ready that when he arrives and knocks, you can open the door for him at
once. 37 Those servants will be happy if their master upon arrival finds them alert. I tell you truly
that such a servant will belt in his garments, cause the returnees to recline at the table, and
coming by each one, he will serve them. 38 If the master’s arrival would be between 9 p.m. and
midnight or between midnight and 3 a.m. and he finds them alert, they will have cause to be
But understand this. If the estate owner had known the time of a thief’s arrival, he
would not have permitted the break-in of his house. 40 You be ready, for at a time you consider
unlikely the human one is coming.
Rock said to him, “Lord, do you mean this illustration for us or for everybody?”
The Lord replied: Who, then, is a faithful and intelligent manager whom the boss will
install over his domestic servants to distribute the food supplies at the appropriate time? 43 Happy
will be that servant who, upon his boss’s arrival, will be found by him doing precisely this.
I say to you truly that he will put him in charge of all of his possessions.
But if that servant should think to himself, “My boss will delay much longer before he
comes back,” and if he should begin to batter the servants and maids, and to party—eating,
drinking, and getting drunk—46 that servant’s boss will return on a day he does not expect, and at
an hour he does not know. He will rip him to pieces (with the sword) and dispose of him with the
infidels. 47 As for that servant who knew what his boss wanted, but did not prepare himself for
the task, nor carry out his will, he will take a heavy beating. 48 As for the servant who did not
know what he was supposed to do and who fouled up in what he did do, his beating will be light.
To everyone given much responsibility, much accomplishment is expected. To the one
allocated many resources, there will be required of him all the more productivity.
I came to ignite a fire on the earth, and how I wish that fire were already burning. 50 I
have a baptism to undergo, and how I feel the pressure until such time as it is accomplished.
Do you think I came to make peace on earth? Not so. I declare to you—not peace, but a rift.
From now on there will be five in one household divided three against two, and two against
three. 53 They will be split:
y father against son, and son against father,
y mother against daughter, and daughter against mother,
y mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law,
y and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Luke 12:54-13:17 127

He also said to the crowds: When you observe a cloud arising in the west, right away
you conclude, “Rain is on the way,” and it rains just as you forecasted. 55 When a south wind
blows, you say, “It will be hot,” and the heat comes. 56 Disingenuous people—you know how to
analyze the earth’s surface and the sky, but you do not know how to evaluate this historical
Why do you not judge objectively what is right? 58 As you leave with your antagonist
for a hearing, make every effort to settle up with him out of court, lest he drag you before a
judge, and the judge remand you over to his deputy, and the deputy throw you into prison. 59 I tell
you that you certainly will not be released from there until you repay the last brass coin owed.
13:1 Some of those who were present with him at that time brought up the incident of
Pilate’s mixing the blood of some Galileans with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus responded: “Do you
suppose those Galileans had become worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they
suffered this catastrophe? 3 Not at all. But I tell you this: Unless you repent, all of you will perish
as surely as they did. 4 Or, take those 18 on whom the tower at Siloam collapsed, killing them.
Do you think these people had become more deserving of this than all the other residents of
Jerusalem? 5 Not at all, I tell you, to the contrary. Unless you repent you all will perish likewise.”
He presented this parable:
A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came to it expecting to find
fruit and found none. 7 He said to his farmhand, “Look, this is the third year I
have come to this tree expecting figs, and I have not found any. Cut it down.
Why should it take up space unproductively?”
But the farmhand replied to him, “Sir, leave it for this year until I cultivate it
and spread manure around it 9 to see if it will bear fruit in the future.
Otherwise, then chop it down.”
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. See this: 11 A woman was
there who had been in a debilitated state for 18 years. She had a curvature of the spine and could
in no way straighten up to an erect position.
When Jesus saw her (in the women’s section), he called out to her, “Woman, you
have been freed from your disorder.” 13 He placed his hands upon her. Immediately she
straightened to an erect posture and glorified God.
The administrative elder of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus healed on the sabbath,
kept saying to the crowd, “Six days are designated for working. During those days, therefore,
come and be healed, but not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord retorted to him, “Hypocrites, does not each of you on the sabbath untie his
ox or donkey from its stall and lead it away to get a drink of water? 16 As for this daughter of
Abraham whom the adversary kept bound for—count them—18 years, was not it necessary to
loose her from this shackle on the sabbath?
After his response, all his antagonists were reduced to shame. All the crowd rejoiced
over all his glorious accomplishments.
Luke 13:18-14:4 128

Then he continued speaking: How is the kingdom of God to be illustrated, and what
analogy shall I use to compare it?
God's kingdom is comparable to a mustard seed a man picked up and threw
down in his garden. It grew so as to become a shrub of such size the birds of
the sky perched in its branches.
Again he said: To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
God's kingdom is like yeast a woman took and hid in three large quantities of
flour until the whole batch of dough was raised.
He kept making his itinerary in cities and villages, teaching and making his way
toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone said to him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”
He responded to those there: 24 Make every effort to enter through the narrow opening,
because many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able to get in. 25 After the head of the
household has gotten up and barred the door (for the night), it is too late. If you begin to stand
outside and knock on the door, saying, “Lord, open up for us,” he will answer you, “I do not
recognize you or where you are coming from.”
Then they will begin to say, “We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in
our town squares.”
But he will say to you, “I do not recognize you or where you are coming from. Stand
away from me, all who practice wickedness.” 28 At that place there will be weeping and
clenching of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God,
while you get bounced. 29 People will come from east and west, north and south, and recline at
the table in God’s kingdom. 30 Note this: There will be those who are last who will be first, and
conversely, the first who will be last.
At that time some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get a move on and clear out of
here, because Herod is eager to execute you.”
But he said to them, “When you have gone on your way, tell that fox for me: Look! I
expel demons, and I produce healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will be
finished. 33 Nevertheless, it is necessary for me to proceed on today, tomorrow, and the next day
because a prophet’s assassination anywhere but at Jerusalem does not fit the pattern.”
Jerusalem, Jerusalem—she who slays the prophets, stoning those sent to her—how
often I desired to gather your children as a hen gathers her baby chicks under her wings, and you
would have none of it. 35 Look out. Your house is abandoned to you. I declare to you that surely
you will not see me until such time as you say: “Blessed is he who comes in Yahveh’s name!”
14:1 The next incident happened on the sabbath when he went to dine at the home of a
leading Pharisee. The Pharisees were scrutinizing him. 2 See this: A man with edema was across
from him. 3 In response to this situation Jesus said to the lawyers and the Pharisees, “Is it in
accordance with the law to heal on the sabbath—or not?” 4 They were silent. So taking hold of
the man, he healed him and released him.
Luke 14:5-26 129

To them he said, “Who among you if your son or ox would fall into a well, would not
immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” 6 They were unable to offer a rejoinder.
He spoke a proverb to the invited guests because he noticed how they selected the
prime seats for themselves: 8 When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not
ensconce yourself in the most prominent seat lest someone more honorable than you may have
been invited by the host. 9 In such a case the host who also invited him might very well come to
you and say, “Give up your seat.” Then embarrassed, you would have to begin to step down to
the last seat in the house.
But when invited, upon arrival, take a back seat. Then when the host says to you,
“Friend, come forward for a better seat,” you will be honored before all your fellow diners. 11
The principle holds: Everyone who promotes himself will be humiliated; and everyone who
humbles himself will be honored.
He also spoke to the one who had invited him, “When you give a midmorning meal or
put on a dinner, do not call your friends, your brothers, your relatives, or your wealthy neighbors
—who might reciprocate, repaying your hospitality. 13 But when you offer a big spread, call the
poor, the disfigured, the lame, and the blind. 14 In so doing you will be blessed because they do
not have the means to reciprocate. You will receive your reward in the resurrection of the
When one of the reclining guests heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed will be
anyone who gets to dine in the kingdom of God!”
Jesus replied to him:
A man made a great banquet and invited many people. 17 At the designated
time he sent his servant to say to those invited, “Come, because everything is
ready.” 18 They all to a man began to beg off. The first one said to him, “I
bought a field and I need to go out and look it over. Let me be excused.” 19
Another said, “I bought five pairs of oxen and I am going to prove their worth.
I request you count me out.” 20 Still another said: “I just took a wife and
because of this I cannot come.”
When the servant returned, he reported these responses to his master. Then
the estate owner became furious and said to his servant, “Go out quickly into
the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor, the disabled, the
blind, and the lame.”
The servant said, “Sir, what you ordered has been done, and yet there is room
for more.”
The master said to the servant, “Go out to the alleys and hedgerows and urge
those there to come in so my house may be full. 24 For I tell you that none of
those heads of households originally invited will enjoy my banquet.”
Many crowds assembled around Jesus. Turning to face them, he said: 26 If anyone
comes to me and does not give me the preferential place over his father, his mother, his wife, his
children, his brothers, his sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:27-15:15 130

Whoever does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
For who among you with an intention to build an observation tower does not first sit
down and calculate the cost of construction to see if he has funds sufficient to complete it?
Otherwise, having laid the foundation but not being able to complete all the job, the observers
will snicker at him. 30 Their refrain will be, “This man started to build, but could not complete
Or what king, rushing out to engage another king in battle, does not first sit down to
contemplate if he is able with 10,000 soldiers to meet on the battlefield the other king who is
coming against him with 20,000? 32 If he does not think he can win, he sends a delegation to
them. While the other force is still far away, he solicits terms of peace.
Therefore, comparably as it applies to all of you, know that anyone who does not give
up all his possessions, cannot be my disciple.
Salt is useful. But if the salt you obtain is a low-percentage admixture, what will you
use for seasoning? 35 It is neither fit for the soil nor the compost heap. People will just trash it.
One who has ears for hearing should listen.
15:1 All the tax-takers and sinners were coming close in to listen to him. 2 The Pharisees and
scholars kept carping about this: “He receives sinners and has table fellowship with them.”
As his response, Jesus told the following parable:
Who among you would not follow the same course of action as a man who
had 100 sheep, one of which became lost? He left the 99 in the wilderness and
went searching for the lost sheep until he found it. 5 Once he found it, he placed
it across his shoulders, all the while rejoicing. 6 Upon arrival at home he called
together his friends and neighbors. “Celebrate with me,” he said, “because I
have found my lost sheep!” 7 I declare to you there will be comparable joy in
heaven over one sinner who repents, even more than for 99 righteous people
who do not need to repent.
Or take the case of the woman who had 10 silver coins [of dowry]. If she
loses one such dracma, would she not light a lamp and sweep her house,
searching carefully until she finds it? 9 After it is found, she will call together
her friends and neighbors saying, “Celebrate with me over the recovery of my
lost silver coin!” 10 I declare to you there is comparable joy among God’s
angels over one sinner who repents.
He continued:
A man had two sons. 12 The younger one spoke to his father, “Father, give me
my share of the property.” So he divided for them the means of livelihood.
Not very long afterward, the younger son gathered together all that was his
and headed for a distant land. There he squandered his funds, living fast and
After he had spent all he had, a severe famine occurred in that land, and he
began to experience poverty. 15 So he went and got a job with a citizen of that
Luke 15:16-16:2 131

place, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs. 16 He was driven by hunger to
satisfy himself with the carob tree pods the hogs ate. No one would give him
When he began to think objectively, he said to himself: How many hired
hands work for my father and have plenty to eat, and here I am starving in this
famine. 18 I shall get up and go to my father, and I shall say to him, “Father, I
sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called
your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.”
So he got up and went in the direction of his father. While he was still at
quite a distance, his father saw him, and his father’s heart welled up within
him. Running to meet him, he hugged his neck and kissed him.
His son said to him, “Father, I sinned against heaven and your interests. I am
no longer worthy to be called your son.”
His father said to his help, “Quickly bring the best robe and dress him. Put a
signet ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. 23 Get the grain-fed calf,
butcher it, and let us feast and have a party, 24 because this my son who was as
good as dead lives again. A missing person, he has been found.” So they began
to celebrate.
The father’s older son was in the field. As he came close to the house he
heard music and (circular) dancing. 26 He called one of the servants and
inquired what it was all about. 27 He was told, “Your brother has arrived, and
your father killed the fattened calf, because he received him back safe and
Outraged, he did not want to go inside. But his father, coming out, called him
He replied to his dad, “See my side of this. For so many years I have worked
like a slave for you and never crossed your will. But you never gave me so
much as a young goat that I might have a party with my friends. 30 When this
son of yours who consumed your resources with prostitutes arrived, you
slaughtered the grain-fed calf for him.”
But his father said to him, “Son, you are always at my side, and everything
that is mine is yours. 32 The party and celebration had to be because this brother
of yours who was dead now lives. A missing person, he has been found!”
16:1 Jesus said to his disciples:
There was a wealthy man who had a business manager against whom serious
accusations were made. The manager was charged with wasting the owner’s
assets. 2 So he called him in and said, “What is this I hear about you? Give an
accounting of your transactions, for you cannot continue in your managerial
Luke 16:3-20 132

The manager thought to himself: What shall I do now, for my boss is
relieving me of my position as manager? I am unable to dig as a laborer. I am
ashamed to beg. 4 Say, I know what to do to provide security after my
departure from management. My plan will open the door to people’s homes for
So he got in contact one by one with each of his boss’s debtors. He said to the
first, “How much do you owe my boss?”
He replied, “100 units of olive oil.”
He said to him, “Take your invoices, have a seat quickly, and change the
amount to 50.”
The process kept being repeated. He asked another how much he owed, and
the response was 100 units of grain. He said to him, “Take your invoices and
adjust the amount to 80.”
Yet his boss commended the immoral manager because he had acted astutely.
In that respect secular people are keener as a whole, in their contemporary
frame of reference, than are those who are enlightened.
I instruct you to make friends for yourselves by using the material goods tarnished by
injustice so that when such runs out, the friends made might welcome you into everlasting
One who is faithful in small matters is also faithful in great responsibilities. One who
is dishonest in small stuff is also dishonest with great obligations. 11 If, therefore, you are not
faithful with respect to the wealth tarnished by injustice, who will entrust to you true wealth? 12 If
you are not reliable in managing someone else’s assets, who will grant to you your own?
No household servant can serve two bosses successfully. He will prefer one over the
other every time, respecting the wishes of one and disregarding the other. One cannot serve God
and wealth simultaneously.
The Pharisees, notorious for being avaricious, were listening to all these things and
were turning up their noses at him. 15 He said to them, “You are intent on validating yourselves
by public opinion, but God detects what is in your hearts. What is held in high regard by human
values is repudiated as stench in the presence of God.
The law and prophets characterized the epoch until John. From then on the kingdom
of God is being announced as good news, but everyone offers resistance against it.
It would be easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one small pen mark of
the law to become invalid.
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery. Likewise, the
divorcée who remarries commits adultery.
There was a rich man who dressed in (royal) purple and fine linen, who daily
was enjoying life to the full. 20 A homeless man, named Lazarus, had been
dropped off at the entrance of his estate, and Lazarus was covered with sores.
Luke 16:21-17:8 133

His desperate desire was to survive on the scraps from the rich man’s table.
His care came from dogs who licked his sores.
The poor man died and he was transported by the angels to a place where he
could be hugged by Abraham.
The rich man also died and was entombed.
In the grave he lifted his eyes upward—while he experienced great
agony—and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus right next to him. 24 So he
called out: “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus so he might
dip the tip of his finger in water and cool down my tongue because I am in
severe pain in this flame.”
Abraham said, “Descendent, remember you received your good times during
your life, and conversely, Lazarus had a rough time. Now he is soothed here
and you suffer pain. 26 Moreover, between us and you a vast chasm has been
set so that those wanting to proceed from here over to you cannot, nor can they
transfer from there to us.”
He said, “I ask you then, father, to send him to my father’s house, 28 for I
have five brothers. Send him that he might give an eyewitness account to them,
lest they come to this place of anguish.”
But Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets. They must listen to them.”
He replied, “Oh no, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the
dead, they will change their mind.”
He said to him, “If they do not pay attention to Moses and the prophets,
neither would they be persuaded if someone would be raised from the dead.”
17:1 Jesus said to his disciples: Demoralizing influences inevitably will occur. Nevertheless,
too bad for the one responsible for them. 2 He would be better off if a millstone encircled his
neck and he was thrown into the lake, than that he should be the cause for the moral failure of
one of these little ones.
Pay attention to what is going on among yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him.
If he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day and comes back to you
seven times saying, “I am repentant,” forgive him.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Enlarge our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a grain of mustard, you would be able
to say to a mulberry tree: Be uprooted and be set down in the lake, and it would obey you."
Which of you who has a slave plowing or tending sheep says to him when he comes
from the field, “Go ahead at once and take your place at the table?” 8 But rather do you not speak
to him as follows? “Prepare the meal I shall eat, and then, dressed waiter’s style, serve me while
I dine and drink; and afterward you will eat and drink.”
Luke 17:9-37 134

Gratitude does not accrue to a slave because he did what he was ordered to do, does it?
Nor should you expect it. When you have done all you were told to do, say, “We servants are
unworthy of commendations; we were obligated to do what we did.”
The next incident happened as he was traveling toward Jerusalem. He took the road
bordering between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was entering a small town, ten leprous men met
him. Standing at a distance, 13 they projected their voices, “Jesus, teacher, have pity on us!”
Upon seeing them, he said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they
went, their system was purified of the disease.
One of them, realizing he was healed, returned. In a loud voice he glorified God.
Then he did reverential prostration at Jesus’ feet, all the while thanking him. He was a
Jesus said in response: “Ten were purified, were they not? Where are the nine? 18
Were none of them found returning to give praise to God—except this foreigner?
He said to the Samaritan, “Arise and go. Your faith delivered you.”
Jesus was being questioned by the Pharisees about the introduction of the kingdom of
God. He answered: The kingdom of God does not emerge into one’s line of vision. 21 Neither will
it be said, “See it here!” or “There it is!” Understand: God’s kingdom is set up within you.
He said to his disciples: Times will come when you will yearn to see one of the
human one’s days, but will not. 23 They will say to you, “Look over there,” or “Observe here.”
Do not follow up on these or chase such leads. 24 For just as lightning flashes, illuminating the
sky from one place to another, so will be the phenomenon of the human one’s arrival. 25 But first
he must experience extreme excruciation and rejection by this generation.
Just as conditions were in Noah’s epoch, so it will be when the human one’s time

comes around. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and giving daughters in marriage, until
the day Noah entered the ark. Then came the cataclysm and everyone perished.
There was a comparable situation in the days of Lot. People were eating, drinking,
buying, selling, planting, and building 29 until the time of Lot’s departure from Sodom. After that,
fire and sulfur rained down from the sky and destroyed everyone.
It will be the very same at the time the human one is revealed. 31 On that day one
upstairs on the (flat) roof should not go down and inside to get his personal effects. Likewise,
one in the field should not go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife.
Whoever would seek to take special care of his life will wreck it. Whoever ruins his
life will preserve it.
I declare to you that in that night two will be sharing one bed. One will be taken along
and the other left. 35 Two will be grinding grain at the same location. One woman will be taken
along; the other will be left.
They responded by saying, “Where, Lord?”
He replied, “Where the carrion is, there the vultures will gather around.”
Luke 18:1-22 135

18:1 He put a parable before them on the necessity of praying persistently, never giving up.
In a certain city there was an atheistic judge who did not care about people.
There also was in that city a widow who kept coming to him saying, “Get my
opponent off my back!” 4 But he did not want to do it for a while. Afterward,
he mused to himself: Although I am an atheist and no humanitarian, 5 yet
because this widow is driving me up the wall, I will adjudicate her case. If I do
not, in the end her appearances here will get the best of me.
The Lord said: Listen to what was said by that judge who is a moral zero.
Nevertheless, will not God surely make things right for his chosen ones who call to him day
and night—while being ever so patient with them? 8 I declare to you he will make a righteous
judgment on their behalf and do so speedily. However, when the human one arrives, will he find
on the earth those who have kept the faith?
He spoke the following parable to those persuaded by their own prejudices that they
exclusively are righteous, and consequently they have only disdain for everyone else.
Two men went up to the temple for prayers. One was a Pharisee, and the
other a tax-taker. 11 The Pharisee stood aloof and prayed this way: “O God, I
thank you I am not like the rest of humanity: swindlers, wicked, adulterers, or
even like this tax-taker. 12 I fast twice a week. I tithe everything I acquire.”
But the tax-taker standing far back, did not even want to lift his eyes up to
heaven. He slapped his chest repeatedly saying, “O God, have mercy on me,
a sinner.”
I declare to you this tax-taker went home justified—but not the other man. This is the
reason: Everyone who brags on himself will be humiliated, and the one who humbles himself
will be respected.
People kept bringing to him little ones for him to touch. When the disciples observed
what was going on, they would rebuke them. 16 But Jesus called for the little ones to come to
him: “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. For the kingdom of God consists of such
as these. 17 I assure you: Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as would a child will not
get in.”
A leader was putting a question to him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit
eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “Why do you categorize me as good? No one is good, except
one—God. 20 You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery. Do not murder. Do not
steal. Do not tell lies. Honor your father and mother.”
He replied, “All these I have kept from the time I was a youth.”
After listening to him, Jesus said, “Still one thing more you do not possess. Sell
everything you own, and share with the poor—and you will have a treasure in heaven; and come,
follow me.”
Luke 18:23-19:7 136

Upon hearing that, he became dejected, for he was extremely wealthy.
As Jesus observed him, he said: How difficult it is for those having riches to enter the
kingdom of God. 25 It is easier for a camel to enter through a needle’s eye [a trap door in the city
gate] than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.
Those who were listening said, “Just who can be saved?”
He replied, “Things humanly impossible are possible with God.”
Rock said, “Review our situation. We forsook our own involvements, and we
followed you.”
He replied to them: I assure you that every single one—excluding no one—who left
home, or wife, or brothers, or parents, or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will
receive not only many times more in this age, and eternal life in the coming age.
Jesus took the twelve aside for a retreat and said to them, “I put you on notice: We are
going up to Jerusalem, and all that has been written in the prophets, destined for fulfillment in
the human one, will be culminated. 32 He will be turned over to the goyim, ridiculed, abused, and
spit upon. 33 They will whip him and kill him; and on the third day he will be raised up again.” 34
They understood none of this. This matter was concealed from them so that they did not
comprehend the events mentioned.
As Jesus reached Jericho, a blind man was sitting along the roadside begging. 36 When
that man heard the crowd surging along, he inquired what it all meant. 37 They related the news to
him that Jesus of Nazareth was coming through. 38 He then yelled out, “Jesus, son of David, have
pity on me!”
Those on the front wave of the crowd rebuked him, telling him to keep quiet. But all
the more vociferously he yelled, “Son of David, have pity on me!”
Jesus came to a standstill and ordered him to be led to him. When the man came close,
Jesus put the question to him: 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
He said, “Sovereign, I want to regain my sight!”
Jesus replied, “See! Your faith has delivered you.”
Immediately his vision was restored, and he followed with him, glorifying God. All
the people who watched what happened gave praise to God.
19:1 Having entered Jericho, Jesus was on his way through. 2 The scene shifts to a man
named Zacchaeus who lived there. He was a top-echelon tax-taker who was rich. 3 He wanted to
get a look at Jesus, but because he was a short fellow, he could not see over the crowd. 4 So
because Jesus was about to pass that way, Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree
in order to glimpse him.
When Jesus came precisely to that spot, he looked upward and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, get a move on and come down, for today I must stay at your home.”
At once he hurried down and welcomed Jesus enthusiastically. 7 But all who saw this
became censorious, blurting out, “He went in to be entertained at a sinner’s house.”
Luke 19:8-29 137

Nevertheless, while standing there, Zacchaeus said to the Lord, “Witness (my
promise): Half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor. If I have defrauded anyone of
anything, I shall return to them 400% of the value.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this home, because he too is
Abraham’s son. 10 As for my motives—the human one came to seek and save the lost.”
As they listened to these things, he again told a parable, because he was near
Jerusalem, and they were thinking the kingdom of God was to appear momentarily.
A man of the aristocracy went to a distant land to receive a kingdom for
himself and to return. 13 He called his ten slaves and entrusted to each of the ten
a unit of money. He said to them, “Do business with this until I return.”
But his fellow citizens hated him. They sent a delegation after him to say to
the authorities, “We do not want this man to rule over us.”
After receiving the kingdom, he returned and ordered his slaves who had
been entrusted with the silver to be called in so he might know how they had
managed their business transactions. 16 The first came and reported, “Sir, your
unit of money gained ten more units.”
He said to him, “Excellent, good slave, because you were faithful with this
very small amount, you will be put in charge of ten towns.”
The second one came and said, “Your unit of money, sir, multiplied to five units.”
He said to this one, “You will be placed over five towns.”
Another came saying, “Sir, voilB! Here is your unit of silver. I stored it away
wrapped in a cloth all the while. 21 For I was apprehensive about you, because
you drive a hard bargain, carrying away what you did not deposit, and reaping
what you did not sow.”
The governor said to him, “By the words of your mouth I will judge you,
despicable slave. You knew, did you, that I drive a hard bargain, carrying off
what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then did you not
put my silver into the trading system? And when I came, I would have
collected it with a profit.”
To his assistants he said, “Take the unit of money from him and give it to the
one who has ten.”
They said to him, “Sir, he already has ten!”
“I declare to you that all who possess assets will be given more. From the
one who does not have anything, even what he seemingly has will be taken
away. Now, however, as for those enemies of mine who did not want
to submit to my sovereignty, bring them here and slaughter them before me!”
After he had spoken these insights, he proceeded on, leading the way as he traveled
up to Jerusalem. 29 When he came near to Bethphage and Bethany on Olive Grove Mountain, he
Luke 19:30-20:6 138

two disciples 30 with these instructions: Go to the town just ahead. When you have entered it, you
will find a young donkey tied, one on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 31 If
anyone inquires why you are untying it, tell him the Lord needs it.
Those having been sent found circumstances to be just as he told them. 33 As they
were loosing the foal the owners said to them, “Why do you untie the animal?”
They said, “Its master needs it.”
They brought it to Jesus, and having draped their garments on the young donkey, they
mounted Jesus upon it. 36 As he went along, people spread their garments on the road.
When he came near, already at the descent of Olive Grove Mountain, all the crowd of
disciples began to rejoice, praising God in loud jubilation for all the miracles they had witnessed,
Blessed is the one arriving,
the king coming in Yahveh’s name.
In heaven there is peace,
and glory in the highest places!
Some of the Pharisees in the throng said to him, “Teacher, forbid your disciples to do
He replied, “I tell you: Were these people to keep silent, the rocks would shout out.”
As he came close and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 exclaiming:
If you had known on this day the conditions for obtaining your peace—but now that is
hidden from your vision. 43 For in your future, your enemies will stake out a wall of
palisades to surround you, and press hard against you from every direction. 44 They will
smash you into the ground, together with your children. Not one building stone
will be left in place in consequence of your not knowing the time of your visitation.
When Jesus entered the temple, he began to throw out those making sales. 46 He said
to them, “It has been written: My house will be a house of prayer, but you made it a hangout for
He was teaching daily in the temple. All the while the administrative priests and
scholars were seeking how to destroy him, and also the leaders of the people were in collusion
with them. 48 But they could not find a way to do what they wanted done with him because all the
people were enthralled as they listened to him.
20:1 On one of those days as he was teaching the people in the temple and proclaiming good
news, the administrative priests, scholars, and elders barged in on him. 2 They accosted him with
questions: “Tell us who authorized you to do as you do? Who credentialed you?”
He replied to them, “I, too, have a question for you relative to this matter. Tell me your
answer: Was John’s baptism authorized in heaven, or was there a human agency behind it?”
They put their heads together, saying among themselves, “If we say, from heaven, he
will say: Why did you not believe him? 6 If we say, from men, all the people will stone us for
Luke 20:7-25 139

are persuaded John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered, “We do not know the source of his
Jesus replied, “Neither will I tell you by whose authority I do these things.”
He began to speak to the people this parable:
A man who planted a vineyard put it under the care of tenant farmers. He then
traveled for a long time. 10 At the proper season he sent a slave to the farmers
so they might give him some of the produce of the vineyard. But they beat him
up and sent him away empty-handed. 11 He repeated the process by sending
another slave. That one also, beaten up and humiliated, they sent away with
nothing. 12 He made a third try by sending again. They also wounded this one
and threw him out.
The owner of the vineyard said to himself: What shall I do? I will send my
son, my loved one. I presume they will respect him.
When the farmhands saw him, they schemed among themselves, “He is the
heir. Let us put an end to him that the inheritance might be ours.” 15 They threw
him outside the vineyard and murdered him.
Consequently, what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and
destroy those farmhands, and he will turn the vineyard over to other farmers.
They responded, “May that never be!”
Having fixed his gaze on them, he said, “What, then, is the meaning of this Scripture?
A stone the craftsmen rejected has become the keystone of the arch.
All who fall on that stone will be broken. But the one on whom the stone falls will be
The scholars and administrative priests were eager to lay their hands on him at that
time. But they were afraid of public opinion because they knew he presented that parable with
them in mind.
They scrutinized the situation carefully and sent plants who pretended to be pious
men. Their purpose was to spin something Jesus would say so they could betray him to the ruler,
the governmental authority. 21 They interrogated him this way: “Teacher, we know what you say
and teach is right, and you do not shape your teaching by the audience before you, but you teach
God’s way truthfully. 22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute money to Caesar or not?”
Because he was aware of their duplicity, he said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius.
Whose image and inscription are on it?”
They said, "Caesar’s."
He replied to them, “Therefore, give Caesar what belongs to Caesar; also give God
what belongs to him.”
Luke 20:26-21:7 140

They were not able to entrap him by a statement made in the presence of the people.
Stunned by his answer, they kept quiet.
Some of the Sadducees—who were in denial of a resurrection—moved in close and
questioned him: 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us as follows: If a brother dies without children,
his brother should take his wife and raise up seed [i.e., children] for his brother. 29 There were
seven brothers, the oldest of whom took a wife and died childless. 30 The second also did the
same. 31 Then the third took her, as did also all seven, leaving no child before each died. 32
Finally, the woman died. 33 Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife will she be, for all seven
were married to her?”
Jesus said to them, “Men of the present age marry and women are given in marriage.
But those considered worthy to participate in that age and the resurrection from the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 Nor can they die; they resemble the angels in that
respect. They are God’s sons by virtue of being resurrected. 37 That the dead are raised, Moses
also indicated. When he was at the thorn bush, he mentioned Yahveh, the God of Abraham, and
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 God is not associated with the dead—but the living.
For all (of them) are alive in reference to him.”
Some of the scholars answered, “Teacher, you spoke superbly.”
After that no one dared to ask him anything.
He said to them, “How do they say the messiah is David’s son? 42 For David himself
says in the scroll of Psalms:
Yahveh said to my sovereign:
Sit at my right side,
until I subdue your enemies under your feet.
David, therefore, calls him ‘Lord’, so how could he be David’s son?”
While all the people were listening, he said to his disciples: 46 Beware of the example
set by the scholars. They hanker after parading around in vestments, love (reverential) greetings
in the market squares, the honored seats in synagogues, and the head tables at banquets. 47 These
are the men who gobble up the houses of widows, and pretend to be pious by making long
prayers. They will get what is coming to them—more severe judgment than others.
21:1 After he observed wealthy people placing their gifts into the contribution receptacles,
he also saw an indigent widow putting in two small brass coins. 3 He commented, “I declare to
you truly that this poor widow has put in more than all the rest. 4 For all of them donated out of
their abundance. But she, out of her poverty, put in all she had to live on.”
While some were “oo”-ing and “ah”-ing over the temple because of its beautiful stones
and the votive offerings (of gold) that embellished it, he said, 6 “As for all these phenomena you
see, the time will come when a stone will not be left in place upon a stone that will not be
loosened and fall.”
They asked him about this: “Teacher, when will these things happen, and what is the
sign of their onset?”
Luke 21:8-36 141

He said, “Watch out, lest you become deceived. For many will come on the scene in
my name declaring: I am the one, and The right time has come. Do not get carried away with
them. 9 When you hear of battles and uprisings, do not be alarmed. For these must occur first,
but it is not yet the end.”
Then he said to them: Nation will become aggressive against nation and kingdom
against kingdom. 11 There will be tremendous earthquakes, famines from place to place,
epidemics, horrors, and great signs from heaven.
Before all these things occur, they will nab and persecute you, turning you over to the
synagogues and prisons, dragging you away before kings and governing agents on account of my
name. 13 It will turn out as an opportunity for you to testify. 14 Determine, therefore, in your heart
not to premeditate how you will make your defense. 15 For I will give you speech permeated with
wisdom that all your enemies will be unable to withstand or refute.
You will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and acquaintances. They will put
some of you to death. 17 You will be hated by all people on account of your identification with
me. 18 Yet not a hair of your head will be destroyed. 19 In your patient endurance you will possess
your lives.
When you see Jerusalem surrounded by army encampments, then know its devastation
is near. Then those in the southern province must flee to the mountains. Those inside the city
must evacuate it, and those in the rural areas must not enter Jerusalem. 22 For these are days of
retribution to fulfill all the things that have been written. 23 Too bad for those who are pregnant
and those breast-feeding in those days. Great calamity is ahead for this locale, and wrath against
this people. 24 They will fall, consumed by swords, and they will be taken captive to all nations.
Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until their times are up.
Signs will appear in the sun, moon, and stars. Upon the earth there will be anguish
worldwide and confusion due to the roaring of the sea and its surging. 26 Human beings will be
expiring from terror and from anticipating what is coming on the whole world, for the powers of
space will be disrupted. 27 Then they will see the human one coming in a cloud resplendent with
power and spectacular glory.
When these events begin to transpire, stand up and raise your heads, because your
rescue is near. 29 He presented an illustration to them: Notice the fig tree, and all trees. 30 When
you see for yourselves that they already have sprouted leaves, you know that summer is near.
By the same process when you see these things happening, you also will know the kingdom of
God is near. 32 I assure you this generation will not pass off the scene until all these things
(pertaining to it) occur. 33 The sky and earth will disintegrate—but not my word.
Be concerned about yourselves lest your hearts get depressed by partying,
drunkenness, and the pressures of coping with worldly survival, and suddenly that day overtakes
you 35 like a trap springing shut on all people located all over the earth. 36 Keep on your toes in
every season, praying you might be able to escape all the things about to happen and to be
prepared to stand before the human one.
Luke 21:37-22:27 142

During those days he was in the temple teaching, and in the evening he would go out
and overnight on Olive Grove Mountain. 38 All the people would rise early, meeting in the
temple, to hear him.
22:1 When the feast of flat bread, called the Passover, was near, 2 the administrative priests
and the scholars were seeking some means to do away with him, but they were afraid of the
general public reaction. 3 Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, 4 who went out and
conferred with the administrative priests and the security officials as to how he might betray him
to them. 5 Gleefully, they agreed to pay him off in silver. 6 He promised to do the job and sought
the right moment to hand him over to them when a crowd was not around.
The time arrived for the feast of flat bread in which the Passover sacrifice was made.
Jesus sent Rock and John with these instructions: “Go prepare the Passover meal for us that we
might eat it.”
They said to him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
He replied, “When you enter the city, take note of a man who will meet you carrying a
jug of water. Follow him into the building into which he enters. 11 Say to the person in charge of
the place: The teacher says to you: Where is the function room in which I might eat the Passover
with my disciples? 12 He will show you a large room upstairs that is furnished. Prepare there.”
After they went, they found things just as he had told them, and they made
preparations for the Passover.
When the hour arrived, he reclined at the table accompanied by the apostles. 15 He said
to them, “I have intensely desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I declare to
you I shall not eat it again until it has fulfillment in the kingdom of God.”
After receiving a cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and share it among
yourselves. 18 For I declare to you that from now on I shall not drink again from the fruit of the
vine until the kingdom of God arrives.”
Taking bread, he gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them as he spoke these words,
“This is my body given in your behalf. Do this as a reminder of me.”
Also coordinately with the cup after the meal, he said, “This cup is the new covenant
in my blood, poured out for your sake.”
“Nevertheless, notice that the hand of my betrayer is with me upon the table. 22 The

human one is going on just as it has been determined. It will be too bad, however, for that person
by whom he has been betrayed.” 23 They began to argue among themselves as to which one of
them it would be.
Then a dispute occurred among them as to which of them seemed to be top man in
their lineup. 25 In opposing this, Jesus said to them, “Kings of nations exercise control over their
people, and leaders who have authority over them are accorded distinction. 26 With you it must
not be like that. Let one who is greater conduct himself among you with the demeanor of a
younger person, and the leader as one who is serving the others. 27 For who is greater—the one
reclining, or the one serving him? Is it not the one reclining? But I relate within this group as one
who serves.
Luke 22:28-51 143

“You are those who remained with me during my trials. 29 I allocate to you a kingdom,
just as my father allocated such for me, 30 that you might dine and drink at my table in my
kingdom, and sit upon thrones evaluating the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Simon, Simon, pay attention. The opponent asked for you, to sift you as one does
wheat. 32 But I interceded in your behalf lest your faith be utterly terminated. When you have had
a turnaround, strengthen your brothers.”
He replied to Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you and to death!”
Jesus said, “I tell you, Rock, the rooster call will not sound off today until you deny
three times that you know me.”
Then he asked them, “When I sent you without a money bag, traveler’s bag, or (extra)
sandals, you did not lack for anything, did you?”
They said, “Nothing."
He said to them, “But now one who has a money bag should take it, and likewise a
traveler’s bag. He who does not have a sword should sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I tell
you that what has been written in reference to me—‘and he was classed with criminals’—must
come to a climax. Indeed, that text refers to me.”
They said, “Lord, look! We have two swords here.”
He replied to them, “That is enough.”
Leaving there, he went as he customarily did to Olive Grove Mountain, and his
disciples followed along with him. 40 When they came to the site, he said to them, “Pray that you
will not give in to temptation.”
He withdrew from them about as far as one can throw a stone. There he knelt as he
kept praying: 42 “Father, if you would, remove this cup from me. Yet not my will but yours be
An angel from heaven appeared with him, strengthening him. 44 Under agonizing
stress, he continued praying with more passion. His sweat, like globules of blood, was dripping
upon the ground.
When he was done praying, he came to his disciples and found them sleeping from
nervous exhaustion. 46 He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray—lest you give in
to temptation.”
While he was still speaking, a crowd could be seen approaching. One of the twelve
called Judas was at the forefront. He came up close to Jesus to kiss him. 48 Jesus said to him,
“Judas, do you by a kiss betray the human one?”
When those around him saw what was about to happen, they said, “Lord, should we
strike with the sword?” 50 One of them struck the servant of the administrative priest and cut off
his right ear.
Jesus replied, “This has gone far enough.” And he touched the ear and healed him.
Luke 22:52-23:3 144

Jesus then said to the administrative priests, temple guards, and elders who mobbed
him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a thief? 53 I was daily with
you in the temple and you did not lay a hand upon me. But this occasion belongs to you and to
the domain of darkness.
They arrested him, took control of him, and brought him in—to the house of the high
priest. Rock was following far back. 55 A fire had been started in the center of the courtyard and
people were sitting around it. Rock was settling down right in the middle of them.
By the light of the fire a female slave saw him sitting there. She looked intently at him
and exclaimed, “This man also was with him!”
But he denied it in these words, “I do not know him, woman.”
After a brief interval, another person who saw him said, “You also are from that
But Rock said, “Man, I am not!”
About an hour later another person insisted he recognized him, saying, “Truly this
man was his associate because he is a Galilean.”
Rock replied, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while
he was still speaking, the rooster call sounded off.
The Lord turned and looked right at Rock. He then remembered the word of the Lord,
that he had spoken to him: “Before the rooster call sounds off today, you will deny me three
times.” 62 He went outside the premises and cried brokenheartedly.
The men who held Jesus in custody were ridiculing him as they roughed him up.
They blindfolded him and kept questioning him: “Prophesy and tell who it is that punched
you.” 65 They also kept showing contempt for him with many other insults.
As day broke, the leaders of the people, including the administrative priests and
scholars, assembled and brought him into their sanhedrin. 67 They said to him, “If you are the
messiah, tell us.”
He replied, “Were I to tell you, you would not believe. 68 If I would question you, you
surely would not answer me. 69 From now on the human one will be seated at the powerful right
hand of God.”
They all said, “Are you, therefore, God’s son?”
He said to them, “You have indicated as much by your question.”
They said, “What need do we yet have for witnesses? For we ourselves heard it from
his own lips.”
23:1 All their assembly stood up and brought him to Pilate. 2 They began to accuse him: “We
found him subverting our nation, forbidding people to pay tribute money to Caesar, and making
himself out to be someone special—an anointed king.”
Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Luke 23:4-29 145

He replied, “You are saying so.”

Pilate said to the administrative priests and the crowds, “I find no reason to indict this
But they became more insistent: “He incites the people, teaching throughout all the
Jewish lands, beginning from Galilee and extending down here.”
When Pilate heard this, he inquired if the man was a Galilean. 7 After he ascertained he
was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who also was in Jerusalem at the
Getting to meet Jesus occasioned intense gratification for Herod. For a long time
Herod had been hankering to see him because of what he had heard about him. He was hoping to
see some miraculous sign performed by him. 9 So he interrogated him with many questions.
Jesus, however, would not utter a word for him.
The administrative priests and scholars had taken the stand, vehemently condemning
him. Herod also expressed contempt toward him. With his soldiers he mocked him, and having
draped him in a bright robe, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 On that day Herod and Pilate began to
relate on good terms, for prior to that time they were antagonistic to each other.
Pilate summoned the administrative priests, the leaders, and the people. 14 He said to
them, “You brought to me this man as one who is leading the people into rebellion. See here
now. In your presence I found no grounds for indictment of this man on the charges you leveled
against him. 15 Neither did Herod who returned him to us. Take notice: Nothing worthy of death
has been perpetrated by him. 16 Therefore, after I have taught him a lesson with a beating, I will
let him go.”
But they yelled out in unison, “Take this one, and free Barabbas for us.” 19 He had
been involved in a rebellion in the city and murder, having been imprisoned for that reason.
Again Pilate, wanting to free Jesus, shouted back to them.
But they kept yelling, “Crucify, crucify him!”
Yet a third time he spoke to them: “What evil has he done? I found no evidence
warranting the death penalty for him. After whipping him, I shall release him.”
But in deafening screams, they kept urging him to crucify Jesus. They won the
shouting match, 24 so Pilate acceded to their demand. 25 He freed the jailed revolutionary
murderer whom they requested, and he betrayed Jesus according to their will.
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene [in Libya] as he was
coming into the city from the countryside. They laid upon him the cross and forced him to carry
it behind Jesus.
A large number of the populace was following along with him, including women who
were wailing and mourning for him. 28 Jesus turned toward them and said:
Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for me. Rather, weep over yourselves
and your children 29 because—get the picture—the days are coming when people
Luke 23:30-54 146

will say,“Blessed are the sterile, the wombs that did not bear, and the breasts
that did not nurse!” 30 At that time they will begin to say to the mountains,
“Fall over us,” and to the hills, “Cover us.” 31 For if they do these things with
green wood, what will they do after it has dried out?
They were bringing two other criminals to be executed with him. 33 When they came
to a place called “Skull,” they crucified him there along with the criminals—one on his right, and
one on his left.
Jesus kept saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
By casting lots they distributed his clothes among themselves. 35 The people stood
around as spectators, while the leaders were ridiculing him. They said, “He delivered others. Let
him save himself if he is God’s chosen messiah.”
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up to him and offering him sour wine, 37 and
saying, “If you are the king of the Jews, rescue yourself.” 38 Posted over him was a placard:
One of the criminals hanging beside him slandered him with these words: “Are you
not the messiah? Save yourself and us!”
The other man on the cross rebuked him by saying, “Do you not have any fear of
God—you who are experiencing the same punishment? 41 For we rightly are getting what is
coming to us for what we did, but he did nothing out of order.”
Also he said, “Jesus, think of me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied, “I assure you: You will be with me today in paradise.”
Already it was about noon, and it became dark over all the land until 3 p.m. 45 After
the sun became occluded, the veil of the temple was torn open down the middle.
After he had called out in a loud voice, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit
my spirit.” Once he uttered this, he expired.
When the centurion saw what happened, he honestly confessed before God, “This was
really a righteous man!”
All the crowds that had collected at this spectacle, when they saw the developments,
beat upon their breasts and returned (into the city). 49 All those who knew him, as well as the
Galilean women who were following him, had stationed themselves far back, and they also
witnessed these events.
Now observe: There was a councilman named Joseph, a good and righteous man
who had not consented to the sanhedrin’s decision and action. He was from Arimathaea, a city
of the southern province, and he was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Joseph went to Pilate
and requested the body of Jesus. 53 He took it down from the cross, wrapped it in linen, and
placed it in a tomb hewn in rock in which no one as yet had been buried. 54 The day was the
preparation day, and a sabbath was approaching.
Luke 23:55-24:24 147

The women followers who had accompanied Jesus out of Galilee, observed where the
tomb was and how his body was placed there. 56 They returned to the city and prepared ointments
containing spices and embalming perfumes. During the sabbath they were resting according to
the regulation.
24:1 At early dawn on the first day of the week they came to the tomb, carrying the aromatic
ointments they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled back from the entrance of the tomb.
Upon entering, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
As they were in quandary about these things—see this—two men in lightning-bright
clothing stood beside them. 5 The women became afraid and bowed their faces to the earth.
The men said to them, “Why do you seek at the gravesite one who lives? 6 He is not
here. On the contrary, he has been raised. Remember how he said to you while he was yet in
Galilee, 7 the human one must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and on the
third day be resurrected.”
They then did remember his words.
When they returned from the tomb, they announced all these details to the eleven and
to all the rest of the group. 10 The women were Mary from Magdala, Joanna, Mary the wife of
James, and the others who were with them. They reported their experiences to the apostles. 11 The
women’s account seemed nonsensical to them, and they did not believe them.
But Rock got up and ran to the tomb. He bent over and saw only the linen shroud and
left wondering to himself what had happened.
Observe this: Two from their group on that same day were walking to a town about 10
kilometers from Jerusalem—a town called Emmaus. 14 They were conversing about all these
events that had transpired.
As they were dialoguing and striving for answers, Jesus himself came up and walked
along with them. 16 Their eyes were restrained so they would not recognize him. 17 He said to
them, “What are these statements you are tossing back and forth between yourselves as you walk
They, looking downhearted, stopped in their tracks. 18 The one named Cleopas said to
him, “Are you the only resident of Jerusalem who does not know what happened there recently?”
He said to them, “What events?”
They replied—“those involving Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was dynamic in work
and word, a prophet before God and all the people, 20 and how the administrative priests and our
leaders handed him over (to the Romans) with a death sentence on him, and they crucified him.
We had hoped he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. But as to all these events, this is
the third day after their occurrence. 22 Ironically, some women in our group excited us after
having gone early this morning to the tomb 23 and did not find his body. They came back saying
they had seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive. 24 Some of our group went out to the
tomb and found the situation just as the women had said. But they did not see him.”
Luke 24:25-51 148

He said to them, “Oh how you are deficient in understanding and how slow your
heart’s response to believe all that the prophets have spoken. 26 Was it not necessary for messiah
to suffer and to enter his glory?” 27 He began in the writings of Moses, and then passing through
all the prophets, he interpreted for them throughout all the Scriptures the data concerning
As they came close to the town that was their destination, he acted as though he was
going farther. 29 But they tenaciously urged him to stay: “Remain with us, because it is toward
evening, and the day is almost done.”
So he went inside to stay with them. 30 As he reclined with them at the table, he took the
bread, gave thanks, and having broken it, gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and
they recognized him, but he vanished from them.
They said to each other, “Did not our hearts glow when he spoke with us on the road
as he opened for us the meaning of the Scriptures!”
Rising from the table at the same hour, they returned to Jerusalem. They found the
eleven and those gathered with them, 34 who were saying the Lord was raised and appeared to
Simon. 35 Then the two explained the things that happened on the road, and how he was made
known to them by his breaking of bread.
After they had narrated these things, Jesus stood in the center of their gathering and
said to them, “Peace to you!”
Apprehensive and frightened, they assumed they were gazing at a ghost.
But he said to them, “Why are you unhinged, and why do perplexities arise in your
heart? Take a look at my hands and my feet to be sure it is I myself. Take hold of me and
examine me, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 After saying
this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous, reeling from joy and amazement, he said to them,
“Do you have any food on hand?” 42 They gave him a serving of broiled fish. 43 Having received
it, he ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “Recall my statements to you while I was still with you: All that was
written concerning me in the law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.
Also he said to them: “Accordingly, it has been written that the messiah must suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance as a condition for the forgiveness
of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses
to attest these events.”
“I also will send my father’s promise (in fulfillment) upon you. As for you—stay put
in the city until you are clothed with power from above.”
He led them out as far as toward Bethany. He lifted up his hands and blessed them.
As he blessed them, he departed from them and was being taken up into the sky.
Luke 24:52 149

They prostrated themselves before him and returned to Jerusalem with tremendous
joy. Moreover, they were continually at the temple praising God.
John 1:1-25 150


1:1 In the beginning the word intrinsic to God was active, identifying God.
This word, expressed in the beginning, belonged to God. 3 Through his word
all creation originated; not one existing component was created apart from his word.
Life inhered in the word, and life was humanity’s light. 5 The light shines in the
darkness, and darkness did not put it out.
A man commissioned by God came on the scene; his name was John. 7 His role was to
advocate the light by his testimony, that through the light everyone might believe. 8 Not that light
himself, John came to authenticate the light. 9 This true light that enlightens all humanity was
arriving in the world. 10 He was in the world—the world created through him—yet the world did
not recognize him. 11 He came into his own created realm, and his own people did not accept
him. 12 But to all those who did receive him, those believing in his name, he gave the right to
become God’s offspring. 13 They were fathered neither by blood lines, nor by biological drives,
nor by a husband’s insistence, but by God.
The word became a human being and made his home among us. We had a good look
at his glory—glory as of an only son representing his father, glory permeated with grace and
John testified about him and exclaimed: “This is the one I meant when I said: My
successor has superseded me because he was my superior."
There is a cause for this: Out of his full capaciousness we all received grace facing us
from every direction.
Through Moses the law was given. Through Jesus Christ grace and truth emerged.
God has never been seen by anyone. God divulged himself in the one uniquely born,
the one embraced by the father.
This is the testimony John gave when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and
Levites to him in quest of his identity. 20 He confessed candidly without equivocating, “I am not
the messiah.”
They pressed the question on him further, “Who, then, are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “No, I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?” He replied, “No.”
Next they said to him, “Identify yourself so we can file a report with those who sent
us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am a voice resounding in the desert: Straighten out Yahveh’s roadway
just as the prophet Isaiah said.”
That delegation was from the Pharisees. 25 They kept up their interrogation of him:
“Then why do you baptize if you are neither the messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
John 1:26-51 151

John gave his answer: “I immerse in water. One stands in the community whom you
do not know. 27 He is my successor, of whom I am unworthy to untie the thong of his sandal.”
These events occurred at Bethany on the east bank (of the Jordan River), where John
was baptizing. 29 The day after that, John sees Jesus coming toward him and exclaims, “Look!
God’s lamb—he who removes the sin of the world. 30 He is the one about whom I said: My
successor has superseded me because of his superiority. 31 I had not known him before this, but
the purpose of my baptizing in water was to introduce him to Israel.”
John gave this testimony: “I observed the spirit (of God) descending like a dove from
heaven to remain on him. 33 I had not known him, but the one who commissioned me to immerse
in water told me this: Upon whomever you see the spirit descending and remaining, he is the one
who immerses in holy spirit. 34 I observed this and certify that he is God’s son.”
On the next day, John again took his stance, and two of his disciples were lined up
with him. 36 When John saw Jesus walking by, he said, “Look! God’s lamb.” 37 These two
disciples heard him speaking, and they followed along with Jesus. 38 Having turned, Jesus noticed
them following, and said to them, “What would you like (to know)?”
They responded, “Rabbi, i.e., teacher, where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come along and you will see.”
Therefore, they came, saw where he was staying, and remained with him that day, for it
was about 4 p.m. 40 One of these two who heard about him from John and followed him was
Andrew, the brother of Simon Rock. 41 Right after that, Andrew found his own brother, Simon,
and said to him, “We have discovered the messiah”—which term means anointed. 42 He brought
him to Jesus.
Looking right at him, Jesus said, “You are Simon, John’s son. You will be called
Cephas”—signifying Rock.
The day following, Jesus left for Galilee. There Jesus finds Philip and says to him,
“Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Rock. 45 Philip finds
Nathanael and says to him, “We have discovered the one Moses wrote about in the law, the one
the prophets specified, Jesus, Joseph’s son from Nazareth.”
Nathanael said to him, “Nazareth? Can anything good originate there?”
Philip says to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus noticed Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “See here. This is
truly an Israeli in whom there is nothing phony.”
Nathanael says to him, “From where do you know me?”
Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, while you were under the fig tree, I saw
Nathanael responded to him, “Rabbi, you are God’s son, you are Israel’s king.”
Jesus answered him, “Because I said I saw you under the fig tree, you believe on that
basis. You will see even greater events.” 51 He went on to say: “This is memorable truth I declare
John 2:1-24 152

to you. You will see the sky opened and God’s messengers ascending and descending upon the
human one.”
2:1 On the third day, a marriage took place at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was
there. Jesus also and his disciples were invited to the marriage celebration. 3 After the wine ran

out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They are out of wine.”

Jesus says to her, “Lady, what right do you have to exercise authority over me? My
time has not yet arrived.”
His mother says to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Six stone water containers used for Jewish purification rites were standing there. They
held up to two or three standard liquid quantities each.
Jesus says to them, “Fill the containers with water.” They filled them to the brim.
He said to them, “Dip out some now and deliver it to the master of ceremonies.”
They brought it to him. 9 When the master of ceremonies tasted the water transformed
into wine, he did not know where it originated, yet the servants who obtained the water knew.
The master of ceremonies called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Every host puts out the good
wine first, and when the guests have drunk that, the lesser quality vintage; but you have kept the
best wine until now.”
Jesus did this beginning of miracles at Cana in Galilee, demonstrating his glory. His
disciples believed in him.
After this he went down to Capernaum—he, his mother, his brothers, and his
disciples, and they remained there for a short duration.
The Jewish Passover was approaching, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple
he discovered those selling oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as moneychangers ensconced there.
When he had fabricated a whip from twisted rushes, he drove out of the temple both the sheep
and the oxen. He also dispersed the moneychangers' coins by upsetting their tables. 16 To those
selling doves he said, “Take these cages out of here. Stop making my father’s house into a
His disciples remembered it had been written: Enthusiasm for your house consumed
Then the Jews responded to Jesus, “What miraculous proof do you show us to justify
your actions?”
Jesus replied, “Demolish this temple, and in three days I will reconstruct it.”
The Jews then said, “For 46 years this temple has been under construction, and you, in
three days will erect it?” 21 He was alluding to his body as the temple. 22 When he was raised from
the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and Jesus’
While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover feast, many believed in his name as
they saw the miracles he was doing. 24 Yet Jesus did not entrust himself to them because he knew
John 2:25-3:26 153

everyone. 25 He did not depend upon anyone’s testimony about another human being, for he
understood human nature.
3:1 One of the Pharisees, Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews, 2 came to him at night and said,
“Rabbi, we know you are a God-ordained teacher, for no one can do the miraculous signs you do
unless he has God with him.”
Jesus replied to him, “This is basic truth I tell you: Unless one is born from above, he
cannot participate in God's kingdom.”
Nicodemus said to him, “How can a mature person be born again? He cannot enter his
mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?”
Jesus replied, “This is basic truth I tell you: Unless one is born from water and spirit,
he cannot enter God's kingdom. 6 What is born from the physical process is flesh, and what is
born from the spiritual source is spirit. 7 Do not be perplexed because I said to you, You must be
born from above. 8 The wind blows in whatever direction it would take. You hear it gusting, but
you know neither its derivation nor its destination. This analogy fits everyone whose birth
derives from the spirit.”
Nicodemus responded, “How can these principles be possible?”
Jesus answered, “You are Israel’s teacher—and you do not comprehend these
precepts? 11 I am telling you basic truth: We speak what we know, and we testify to what we
have seen. But our testimony is not accepted by your group. 12 Although I stated earthly
analogies, you do not believe. How would you believe if I spoke abstractly of heavenly realities?
No one has ascended to heaven. The exception is the one who descended from heaven—the
human one.
“Just as Moses elevated the snake (on a pole) in the desert, the human one must

comparably be lifted up 15 so that all who believe in him might have eternal life. 16 This is the
consequence of God’s love for the world: He gave his unique son that all who believe in him
might not perish, but have eternal life.”
Indeed, God did not send his son out into the world to condemn it, but to rescue the
world through him. 18 One who believes in him is not condemned, but the nonbeliever stands
condemned already, because he has not put his faith in the name of God’s unique son. 19 This is
the reason for condemnation: Light has come into the world, but human beings preferred
darkness to light. Their evil acts demonstrate this. 20 Everyone engaged in wicked practices
detests light and does not approach the light, lest his actions be critically exposed for what they
are. 21 One doing what is right, however, comes to the light that his deeds might be revealed as
accomplished with God’s strength.
After these incidents, Jesus and his disciples came into the countryside of the southern
province. Jesus spent some time there with them, and he was baptizing.
John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because plenty of water was there.
People were coming and being baptized, 24 for John had not yet been incarcerated.
At that time a disagreement arose between John’s disciples and the Jews concerning
purification. 26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you is on the
John 3:27-4:17 154

east bank of the Jordan, the one to whom you gave your endorsement—observe him! He is
baptizing, and everybody is attracted to him.”
John responded, “A human being can receive nothing unless it is granted him from
heaven. You yourselves can substantiate my announced disclaimer: I am not the messiah, but I
was commissioned to be his advance agent. 29 He who holds the bride is the bridegroom, but his
best man, who stands and listens to him, thrills with satisfaction when he hears the bridegroom’s
voice. That is my privilege, therefore, and the basis for rounding out my joy. 30 He necessarily
must increase in recognition—and I decrease.”
One who comes from above is supreme. One who originated from the earth is
mundane and speaks with an earthly orientation. The one who originated in heaven 32 testifies to
that which he has seen and heard, but his attestation is not accepted. 33 The one who has received
his testimony certifies God’s authenticity. 34 He whom God commissioned speaks God’s words,
for God gives his spirit to him in immeasurable quantity. 35 The father loves his son and has put
everything at his disposal.
One believing in God’s son has eternal life, but one who does not believe in his son
will not experience life. Instead, the wrath of God hovers over him.
4:1 After Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples
than John, 2 although not Jesus himself but his disciples actually did the baptizing, 3 he left
Judaea and traveled again to Galilee. 4 It was necessary for him to take the road through Samaria.
On the way he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the tract of land Jacob gave to
Joseph, his son. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Weary from walking, Jesus was sitting on the rim of the
well about noon.
A Samaritan woman came up to draw some water. Jesus said to her, “Give me (please)
some water to drink.” 8 His disciples had gone into town to buy some food.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that a Jew like yourself would ask me, a
Samaritan woman, for a drink of water? Jews do not share utensils with Samaritans.”
Jesus replied to her, “If you knew about God’s gift, and the identity of the one who
asked you for a drink, you would ask him and he would give you living water.”
She said to him, “Mister, you do not have a bucket and the well is deep. Where do you
have the living water? 12 You are not greater than our father, Jacob, are you? He gave us the well,
and he himself used to drink from it, along with his sons and his livestock.”
Jesus responded, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again. 14 But
whoever drinks the water I shall provide him will never thirst forever. On the contrary, the water
I will give will become an artesian well in him, supplying him with a spring of eternal life.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so I will no longer get thirsty nor
have to come here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.”
She answered him, “I have no husband.”
John 4:18-42 155

Jesus said to her, “You are right about having no husband. 18 You have had five
husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. You have honestly stated this.”
The woman said to him, “Mister, my intuition tells me you are a prophet. 20 Our
fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say Jerusalem is the mandated place of worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Trust me, woman, the time is coming when neither on this
mountain nor in Jerusalem will all of you worship the father. 22 You Samaritans are uninformed
in your worship. We worship in accordance with knowledge, for salvation issues from a Jewish
“But the time is coming and is now present in which true worshipers will adore the
father in spirit and truth. For the father desires that kind of approach by those worshiping him.
God is spirit. Those worshiping him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The woman said to him, “I know that the messiah, the one called anointed, will come.
When he gets here, he will inform us about everything.”
Jesus said to her, “I am that one—he who now speaks to you.”
At that point his disciples came back. They were amazed he was talking with a
woman. No one, however, questioned what he wanted with her or why he was speaking with her.
The woman left her water jar and went away into town. She said to the men, 29 “Come
on and see a man who told me all the many things I have done. This could not be the messiah,
could it?” 30 They left town and were coming to him.
In the meantime his disciples were putting pressure on him, saying, “Rabbi, have a
bite to eat.”
But he said to them, “I have food to consume of which you are unaware.”
The disciples kept saying to one another, “It is not that someone brought him
something to eat, is it?”
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who commissioned me and to
complete his work.
“Stop saying: There are yet four months before harvest is here. See what I am telling
you. Lift your eyes and observe fields that are harvest-ready right now. 36 One who gathers in the
harvest receives pay. That one gathers produce for eternal life so the planter might rejoice
together with the harvester. 37 In this way the truth of the maxim is realized: One plants and
another harvests. 38 I sent you to reap that for which you had not invested your labor. Others did
the hard work, and you participated in their labor.”
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s statement,
“He told me everything I had done!” 40 As the Samaritans came to him, they kept imploring him
to remain with them, so he stayed two days. 41 Many more believed because of his message. 42
They were saying to the woman, “We believe no longer just because of your word, for we have
heard him ourselves, and we know that he is truly the savior of the world.”
John 4:43-5:16 156

After two days, he departed from there for Galilee. 44 Jesus himself acknowledged that
a prophet is not respected on his own home turf. 45 When he came into Galilee, all the Galileans
welcomed him, having seen all the things he had done in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also
were there.
He traveled again into Cana in Galilee, where he had transformed water into wine.
Present in Cana was a governmental official whose son was sick in Capernaum. 47 When he heard
Jesus had come to Galilee from the southern province, he tracked him down and asked that he
would come down and heal his son who was on the verge of death.
Jesus said to him, “Unless you see miracles and wonders, you never would believe.”
The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my son dies.”
Jesus said to him, “Go, your boy is all right.” The man believed what Jesus said to
him and left. 51 Already as he was on the way home, his servants met him with the report that the
boy was well. 52 He inquired from them when he became well. They replied, “The fever left him
yesterday at 1 p.m.” 53 The father knew it was at that very time Jesus said his son would live. He
believed, as well as his entire household. 54 This was the second miracle-sign Jesus did after he
came from the southern province into Galilee.
5:1 Later on there was a Jewish feast, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 In the city in the
vicinity of the Sheep Gate, there is as it is called in Aramaic, the Bethzatha Pool, having five
colonnades. 3 Lying around on these porches were a great many incapacitated people—blind,
lame, and paralyzed. 5 One man had been there for 38 years in his weakened state. 6 When Jesus
saw him lying down, and knew he had been there for a long time already, he said to him, “Do
you want to become well and strong?”
The disabled man replied, “Sir, when the water is bubbling up, I do not have a person
to throw me into the pool. In the time it takes for me to get there, someone else plunges in before
Jesus said to him, “Get up, pick up your bedroll, and walk.” 9 Immediately, the man
was restored, picked up his bedroll, and walked.
That day was a sabbath. 10 The Jews, therefore, kept saying to the healed man, “It is the
sabbath; carrying your pallet is impermissible for you.”
He replied, “The one who made me whole said to me: take your bedroll and move
They questioned him, “Who is the person who told you to take it and move on?"
The one restored did not know his identity, for Jesus had ducked out because a crowd was at
that location.
Later on Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are healthy now.
Do not continue to sin lest something worse happen to you.”
The man went and notified the Jews that Jesus was the one responsible for his
restoration. 16 Consequently, the Jews had it in for Jesus for doing this on a sabbath.
John 5:17-40 157

But Jesus responded to them, “Up until now my father has been at work; I too am
working.” Because of this situation, therefore, the Jews were striving all the more to
assassinate him. In their view he not only had violated the sabbath, but also by speaking of God
intimately as his father, he was putting himself on a par with God.
Jesus responded to them, “This is basic truth: The son is unable to do anything all by
himself, being dependent exclusively on whatever he sees his father doing. Whatever his father
does, the son—following the paternal model—does the same 20 because the father loves his son
and reveals to him everything he himself is doing. Indeed, he will show him greater works than
these to your consternation. 21 Just as the father raises the dead and restores life, his son in
comparable manner also will make alive those whom he wants to live.”
Indeed, the father does not judge anyone. Instead, he has turned over all judgment to
his son in order that everyone might respect the son just as they respect the father. One who
does not honor the son does not honor the father who commissioned him.
This is memorable truth I declare to you: One who listens to my message and believes
in the one who commissioned me has eternal life. Such a person will never experience
condemnation. Far from it, he has transferred out of death’s domain into life.
This is memorable truth I declare to you: The time is imminent—even already
present—when the dead will hear the voice of God’s son, and those who hear will live. 26 For just
as the father in and of himself is the source of life, he has endowed his son in a similar manner to
be a repository of life.
Also he granted him authority to make judicial evaluations because he is human. 28 Do
not be surprised at this aspect because there will be a future moment in which all in their graves
will hear his voice. 29 Those who have been productive of what is good, will be raised to
experience life. Those who have practiced despicable things will have a raising for judgment.
I am capable of doing nothing all by myself. Just as I hear, I decide with objectivity.
My evaluation is right because I do not pursue my own interests, but the will of the one who
commissioned me.
If I (alone) testify concerning myself, my testimony is invalid. 32 There is another who
testifies about me, and I know the recommendation he renders for me is accurate. 33 You sent to
check out John. He reported out the truth. 34 I, indeed, do not receive testimony from a human
being. Yet I say these things in order that you might be saved. 35 John was a brightly glowing
lamp, and you wanted for a brief time to be thrilled by his light. 36 But I have a greater mode of
authentication than John’s testimony. The works the father assigned me to complete, the very
works I do, validate me as one commissioned by my father.
Also the father who sent me has gone on record in my behalf. Neither have you ever
heard his voice, nor have you seen his image. 38 Moreover, you do not have his word remaining
in you. This is evident because you do not trust his emissary.
Scrutinize the Scriptures because you suppose you have eternal life in them. They
authenticate me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me in order to have life.
John 5:41-6:22 158

I do not accept human glory. 42 On the contrary, as for you—I have known you, that
you do not have God’s love within yourselves. 43I have come in my father’s name, and you do
not accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you
believe, you who flatter one another, and do not seek the glory granted by the only God?
Do not imagine I will condemn you to the father. Your prosecutor is Moses, in whom
you have placed your hopes. 46 For were you believing Moses, you would believe me. Indeed, he
wrote about me. 47 If you do not believe his writings, how would you trust my pronouncements?
6:1 Afterward, Jesus went across Lake Galilee, i.e., the lake at Tiberius. 2 A huge crowd
followed along with him because they were seeing the miraculous signs he was doing in healing
those who were sick. 3 Jesus climbed a mountain and took his seat there to be with his disciples.
The time for the Jewish feast, the Passover, was near.
When Jesus lifted his gaze and saw a great crowd coming his way, he said to Philip,
“From where could we purchase food so these people might eat?” 6 He said this to test him, for
he knew what he was about to do.
Philip answered him, “A supply of bread costing the equivalent of 200 days’ wages
would be insufficient to feed each of them.”
One of his disciples, Andrew, brother of Simon Rock, said, 9 “There is a young man
here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what is that for so many people?”
Jesus said, “Cause the people to get comfortable in a reclining position.” There was
much grass in that place. Then they reclined—the number being about 5,000 men.
Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and passed them out to those reclining. Likewise,
he also distributed the fish, as many as they wanted. 12 When they had all they could eat, he said
to his disciples, “Collect the leftovers so nothing is wasted.” 13 They did that, and from the five
barley loaves that increased to feed them all, they filled 12 baskets with leftovers.
Then the people who had seen the miraculous sign he had done kept saying, “He is
truly the prophet expected to come into the world.”
Therefore, Jesus, perceiving they were about to come and seize him to install him as
king, departed again into a mountain by himself—all alone.
When evening came on, his disciples went down to the lake. 17 After shoving off in a
skiff, they were on their way across the lake to Capernaum. It had already become dark, and
Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A gale force wind blowing over the lake was piling up high
After they had rowed about 4,500 to 5,500 meters, they saw Jesus walking on the
lake. As he was nearing the boat they became afraid. 20 He said to them, “It is I; do not be
frightened.” 21 They then wanted to receive him into the boat, but immediately the boat touched
shore at their destination.
On the next day the crowd that had taken a position on the other side of the lake saw
that only one small boat was there and knew that Jesus had not boarded the boat with his
disciples, who had departed by themselves.
John 6:23-52 159

A flotilla of small boats came from Tiberius near the place where they ate the bread
blessed by the Lord. 24 When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they
shoved off in the small boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him
across the lake, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “Most certainly, I declare to you that you are on my trail not because
you saw miracles, but because you ate the bread and became filled. 27 Struggle not for perishable
food, but for the food that retains eternal vitality, the food the human one will give you. For he
is the one on whom the father, that is, God, placed his seal of approval.”
They said to him, “What is the formula for our doing God’s works?”
Jesus replied, “This is what God expects you to do: Believe the one he sent.”
Then they said to him, “What miraculous sign do you do that we might see it and
believe in you? What would you do? 31 Our fathers continued to eat manna in the desert, just as it
has been written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus said to them, “This is basic truth I declare to you: Moses has not supplied you
with the bread from heaven. On the contrary, it is my father who gives you the true bread from
heaven. 33 For God’s bread is the one coming down from heaven and giving life to the world.”
They said to him, “Leader, give us this bread continually.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread that supports life. One who comes to me surely
will not go hungry, and one who believes in me surely will not get thirsty—ever. 36 Nevertheless,
I spoke to you because you have looked me over and do not believe. 37 All that the father gives
me will be with me. I certainly will not reject anyone who comes to me 38 because I have come
down from heaven not to implement my will, but the will of the one who commissioned me.
“In regard to all he has given me, the will of the one who commissioned me is that I
should not lose any of it, but raise up such on the last day. 40 For this is my father’s will that all
who see his son and believe in him might have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last
As a consequence the Jews were contesting his identity because he said, “I am the
bread descended from heaven.” 42 But they kept saying, “Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, one
whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, I came down from heaven?"
Jesus replied, “Stop disputing with one another over this. 44 No one can come to me
unless the father who sent me attracts him. I will resurrect such a one on the last day. 45 It has
been recorded in the prophets: They all will be God’s students. All who listen to the father and
learn from him come to me. 46 No one has seen the father. The exception is the one who is from
the father; he has seen the father.
This is foundational truth I declare to you: One who believes has eternal life. 48 I am
the bread supportive of life. 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and yet died. 50 This bread
to which I refer is the bread that descends from heaven; anyone eating it will not die. 51 I am the
living bread descended from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. The bread I
will provide is my flesh given in behalf of the world to provide life.”
The Jews were contending with one another: “How can he give us his flesh to eat?”
John 6:53-7:12 160

Then Jesus said, “This is memorable truth I declare to you: Unless you ingest the flesh
of the human one and drink his blood you will not have life in yourselves. 54 One who eats my
flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will resurrect him on the last day. 55 For my flesh
truly is food, and my blood truly is beverage. 56 One who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me—and I also in him. 57 This mutuality is comparable to my paternal relationship.
My living father sent me, and I live through the father. Comparably, one who ingests me will
live through me. 58 This bread that descended from heaven is not like that our ancestors ate—and
died. One who eats this bread will live forever.”
He said these things in a synagogue while teaching in Capernaum. 60 Many of his
disciples after hearing the foregoing teaching, said, “This is a perplexing message. Who can take
it in?”
Because Jesus knew within himself that his disciples were disgruntled about it, he said
to them, “Does this shock you? 62 Then what would it do to you if you would see the human one
ascend where he was before? 63 The spirit gives life. The flesh provides no benefit at all. The
words I have spoken to you are spirit, expressing life. 64 But some among you do not believe.”
Jesus, indeed, knew from the beginning who the nonbelievers were and the identity of his
betrayer. 65 He continued, “This is the reason I said to you that no one is able to come to me
unless that privilege is granted him by the father.”
As a result of this interchange many of his disciples dropped out and no longer
traveled around with him. 67 Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away, too, do you?”
Simon Rock replied, “Lord, to whom would we turn? You possess words of eternal
life. We have believed and know you are God’s holy one.”
Jesus responded to them, “Did not I choose twelve of you? Yet one in the group is an
adversary.” 71 He was speaking about Judas, son of Simon from Kerioth, the one of the twelve
who was about to betray him.
7:1 Afterward Jesus was traveling around in Galilee, for he wanted to avoid the southern
province where the Jews kept seeking to assassinate him. 2 The Jewish festival of booths was
coming up shortly. 3 His brothers said to him, “Move on out from here, and go to the southern
province so your disciples might see the works you do. 4 For no one does anything important in
seclusion, but he seeks public exposure for himself. If you are going to continue to take these
actions, manifest yourself to the world.” 5 The fact was that neither did his brothers believe in
Jesus said to them, “The right time for me has not yet presented itself. But your right
time is always available. 7 The world cannot hate you, but—me—it hates, because I state for the
record that its actions are evil. 8 You go ahead to the feast. I am not going up to this feast (right
now), because the right time for me has not come full cycle. 9 Subsequent to saying these things,
he remained in Galilee.
After his brothers had gone to the feast, he also went—not openly, but covertly. 11 The
Jewish leaders were on the lookout for him at the feast and were saying, “Where is he?” 12 There
was also much contention about him among the crowds. Some were saying, “He is a good
John 7:13-38 161

leader.” Others were saying, “No, on the contrary, he deceives the masses.” 13 Actually, no one
would openly express an opinion about him because they were intimidated by the Jewish leaders.
Already it was the middle of the feast when Jesus turned up at the temple and began
teaching. The Jews were deeply impressed by him; they said, “How does he have such a
command of language in consideration of the fact that he has not been to rabbinic school?”
Jesus responded to them, “My teaching is not mine, but it belongs to the one who
commissioned me. 17 If anyone wants to implement his will, he will know about this teaching
—whether it is from God, or if I speak on my own. 18 He who speaks on his own authority is
concerned with personal glory. But he who seeks the glory of the one who commissioned him is
authentic, and no unrighteousness inheres in him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law? But none of
you meets its demands. Why do you seek to murder me?”
The crowd replied, “You are crazy. Who is trying to kill you?”
Jesus answered them, “I did one work and everyone was astounded by it. 22 Look at it
this way: Moses gave you circumcision, not that it originated with Moses but with the patriarchs,
and on the sabbath you circumcise a human being. 23 If a person receives circumcision on the
sabbath so as not to violate the law of Moses, why are you in consternation over my restoration
of an entire man on the sabbath? 24 Do not judge by superficial appearances, but make critical
evaluation accurately.
Some of those from Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the one they were seeking to
assassinate? 26 Just look here. He speaks out in the open, and they are not saying anything to him!
Perhaps the leaders know for sure that he is the messiah. Could that be? 27 But we are cognizant
of this man’s origin. When the messiah arrives, no one will know where he originates.”
Jesus exclaimed in the temple as he was teaching: “You know me—do you?—and
you know my origin? I did not come on my own accord. But the one who is true is responsible
for my being here, one whom you do not know. 29 I know him because I represent him; he
commissioned me.”
They were eager to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him because his time had not
yet arrived. 31 From that crowd many believed in him and would say, “When the messiah comes
on the scene, he will not do more miracles than Jesus does, will he?”
The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things concerning him. Therefore, the
executive priests and Pharisees sent their deputies to arrest him.
For this reason Jesus said, “For a little while yet will I be with you before I go away to
the one who sent me. 34 You will search for me and you will not find me. Furthermore, where I
am going you cannot come. 35 The Jews said to themselves, “Where is he about to go that we
shall not be able to find him? He is not going to the Hellenistic diaspora to teach the Greeks, is
he? 36 What does his statement mean?—You will search for me and not find me; and where I am,
you cannot come."
On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus took a stance and shouted:
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me.
Let one who believes in me drink.
John 7:39-8:13 162

Just as the Scripture stated:

Streams will flow with living water from its interior.
He spoke this concerning the spirit that those who believed in him would receive. For
his spirit was not yet received, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Comments were overheard in the crowd that listened to Jesus making his declarations:
He is truly “the prophet.” 41 Others were saying: He is “the messiah.” Others contradicted, “Does
the messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not the Scripture say the messiah is a descendant of
David and from David’s hometown, Bethlehem?” 43 The crowd was divided over him. 44 Some
wanted to arrest him, but no one laid their hands on him.
The deputies returned to the executive priests and Pharisees, who wanted to know
why they had not brought him in. 46 They replied, “Never has anyone spoken as does this man!”
Then the Pharisees replied, “You also have not been deceived, have you? 48 Not any of
the leaders believe in him, or any of the Pharisees, do they? 49 But this crowd that does not know
the law is under a divine curse.”
Nicodemus, the one of their group who formerly had come to Jesus, said to them,
“Our law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he is up to, does
They replied to him, “You are not also from Galilee, are you? Investigate and see that
a prophet does not originate in Galilee.” 53 They filed out each to his own home.
8:1 Jesus went to Olive Grove Mountain. 2 At daybreak he came again into the temple, and
all the people kept coming to him. He took his seat and was teaching them. 3 The scholars and
Pharisees brought in their custody a woman seized while committing adultery and plunked her
right in the middle of the group. 4 They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act
of adultery. 5 In our law Moses commanded that such as she is to be stoned. What, therefore, do
you say about it?” 6 They were saying this for entrapment so as to have an issue they could use to
needle him.
But Jesus stooped down and with his finger wrote in the dust. 7 As they remained
questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “Let the sinless one among you hurl the first
stone upon her.”
Again he stooped down and wrote in the dust. 9 But those who got the message began
to slink away one by one, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone in the center.
Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Does no one
condemn you?” She said, “Nobody, mister.”
Jesus said, “Nor will I condemn you. Go, and from now on sin no more.”
Again Jesus spoke to them: “I am the light of the world. One who follows me will
never walk around in darkness, but he will have the light permeated with life.”
The Pharisees then said to him, “You are testifying about yourself. Your testimony is
John 8:14-39 163

Jesus responded to them, “Even if I do testify concerning myself, my testimony is true
because I know my origin and my destination, neither of which you discern. 15 You judge
according to natural considerations. I do not judge anything that way. 16 If I do judge, my critique
is true because I am not alone. On the contrary, I have as my companion the father who sent me.
In your law it has been written that the testimony of two is valid. 18 I am one reporting about
myself, and there is also my father who commissioned me who testifies concerning me.”
They kept questioning him, “Where is your father?”
Jesus answered, “You neither know me nor my father. Had you known me, you also
would have known my father.” 20 He made these statements while teaching in the treasury area of
the temple. No one arrested him because his crisis had not yet come.
Then he said again to them, “I am going away and you will search for me; yet in your
sinful condition you will die. Where I am going you cannot come.”
The Jews kept saying: Surely his statement that where I am going, you cannot come
does not imply he will commit suicide, does it?
He continued speaking to them, “You are from below. I am from above. You are from
this world. I did not originate from this world. 24 Therefore, I said to you that you will die in your
sins, for if you do not believe that I am who I am, you will die in your sins.”
They kept on saying to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “My answer remains the same as I expressed at the beginning. 26 I
have many things to declare concerning you and critical evaluations to make. But first you must
comprehend that the one who commissioned me is altogether true, and the truths I heard from
him are what I speak in the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was referring to the father.
Therefore, Jesus said, “When you have lifted up [i.e., crucified] the human one, then

you will know who I am, and that on my own I do nothing. But I speak messages exactly as the
father taught me. 29 The one who sent me also accompanies me; he has not left me alone because
I do always what pleases him.”
After his saying these things, many believed in him.
Jesus said to those Jews who had put their faith in him, “If you stay within my
message, you are truly my disciples. 32 Furthermore, you will experience truth, and the truth will
release you.”
There were those who answered him, “We are Abraham’s posterity and by no one
have we ever been enslaved. How can you say: You will become free?"
Jesus responded to them, “This is basic truth I declare to you: Every sinner is a slave
to sin. A slave does not remain permanently in a household; the son remains always. 36 If, then,

the son sets you free, you will really be free. 37 I know you are Abraham’s seed. But you have a
mindset to murder me because my message does not meet with your approval. 38 What I have
experienced with my father—these matters are what I speak about. You also, therefore, do what
you heard from your father.”
They replied to him, “Our father is Abraham!”
John 8:40-9:2 164

Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s offspring, act as would Abraham. 40 Right
now you are attempting to murder me—a man who has spoken the truth to you that I heard in
contact with God. That is not the kind of action reminiscent of Abraham. 41 You are replicating
the deeds of your father.”
They said to him, “We were not born out of wedlock. We have one father, and that one
is God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your father, you would love me because I came out
from God and have arrived here. Nor have I come on my own initiative, but he sent me. 43 Why
do you not understand my assertions? The reason lies in your inability to obey my message. 44
You descended from your diabolical father, and your father’s cravings you want to carry out. He
was a killer of human beings from the beginning. He has no standing in the truth because no
truth inheres in him. When he speaks deception, he expresses his own traits in that he is a
liar—the founder of falsehood.
“As for me, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Who among you
convicts me of sin? If I declare the truth, why do you not believe in me? 47 One who is from God
is attentive to the words of God. The reason you do not listen is this: you are not from God.”
The Jews answered him, “Oh, did we not speak correctly when we said you are a
Samaritan and have gone out of your mind!”
Jesus replied, “I am not deranged, but I honor my father and you dishonor me. 50 I am
not questing for my glory; there is one who seeks that and evaluates.
This is basic truth I declare to you: If anyone keeps my message, he surely will
never—for eternity—experience death.”
The Jews said to him, “Now we know for sure you are demented. Abraham died. The
prophets died. You say: If anyone keeps my word he will never experience death on into
eternity. 53 You are not greater than our father Abraham—who died!—are you? The prophets also
died. Who do you pass yourself off to be?”
Jesus replied, “If I honor myself, my self-congratulations amount to nothing. My
father, the very one you call our God, is the one who acclaims me. 55 You are unacquainted with
him, yet I know him. Were I to state that I do not know him, I would be disingenuous like you.
But I understand him and conserve his word. 56 Abraham, your ancestor, became enthusiastic
anticipating my day. And he enjoyed actually seeing it.”
The Jews said to him, “You are under 50 years old, and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “This is basic truth I declare to you: Before Abraham appeared on
the scene, I am (the one anticipated).”
At that point they picked up stones to pelt him. But Jesus concealed himself and left
the temple.
9:1 As he was passing by, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 His disciples
wanted to know about him. They inquired, “Rabbi, who sinned, causing his natal blindness—he
or his parents?”
John 9:3-25 165

Jesus replied, “Neither one—not he, not his parents. Nevertheless, this is an
opportunity for God’s acts to be exhibited in him. 4 We must do the works of my commissioner
during daylight. When nightfall comes, no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light
of the world.”
After making these statements, he spat on the ground, made clay from the mixture, and
smeared the clay on the man’s eye sockets. 7 Then he said to him, “Go, wash up in the pool of
Siloam,” a place name meaning, sent.
He went, washed, and returned seeing.
His companions and those who recognized him from his former condition as a beggar
kept saying, “Is not this the one who sits and begs?” Some contended that it was the very man,
but others said, “No, but he resembles him.” The man himself kept repeating, “I am that man!”
Therefore, they kept saying to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He replied, “The man called Jesus produced clay and applied it upon my eye sockets
and said, Go to Siloam and wash. I then went, washed, and began to see.”
They said to him, “Where is he?”
He replied, “I do not know.”
His companions brought the former blind man to the Pharisees. 14 The day Jesus made
clay and opened his eyes was a sabbath. 15 Again they, with the Pharisees joining in, kept
interrogating him as to how he became sighted.
He said to them, “He put clay upon my eye sockets, I washed, and I see.”
Some of the Pharisees were saying, “He who did this is not God’s man because he
does not keep the sabbath.” Others would say, “How can a sinner do such miracles?” So there
was a parting of the ways among them on this issue. 17 Therefore, they said to the once-blind man
again, “What do you say about him, because it was your eyes he opened?”
The man said, “He is a prophet.”
The Jews did not believe that he was blind and had become sighted until they called in
the parents of the sighted man 19 and questioned them: “Is this your son, and do you attest he was
born blind? How, consequently, does he now see?”
His parents replied, “We know he is our once-blind son. 21 How he now sees we do
not know. The opener of his eyes is unknown to us. Ask our son who is of legal age. He will
speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were intimidated by the Jews. For
already the Jewish authorities had agreed on a policy that anyone who confessed Jesus as
messiah would be excommunicated from the synagogue. 23 That accounts for his parents’
statement, “He is of legal age, question him.”
They called, therefore, the once-blind man for a second round and said to him, “Make
a full confession to God. We know that this man is a sinner.”
He then answered, “If he is a sinner, I do not know about that. One thing I do know: I
was blind, but now I see!”
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They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he restore your vision?”
He replied to them, “I told you already and you would not listen. Why do you want to
hear my story again? You do not want to become his disciples, do you?”
They put him down by saying, “You are his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples.
We know that God spoke to Moses, but we do not know where this fellow got his start.”
He responded to them, “This is indeed remarkable. You do not know where he is
coming from—and he gave vision to my eyes! 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners.
But if one reveres God and does his will, he listens to that person. 32 From time immemorial it
has never been heard that anyone brought vision to one born blind. 33 Were he not from God, he
would be able to do nothing!”
They replied to him, “You are an illegitimate offspring—all told—and would you
teach us?” So they expelled him.
Jesus heard that they had excommunicated him and when he found him, he said to
him, “Do you believe in the human one?”
He replied, “Who is he, sir, that I might believe in him?”
Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and he is the one who speaks with you.”
He said, “I believe, Lord,” and he assumed a posture of deep reverence before him.
Jesus said, “I came into this world to decide critical cases, that those not seeing might
see, and that the sighted might be blinded.”
Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these comments. They said to him,
“You are not implying that we too are blind, are you?”
Jesus replied, “Were you blind, you would not be implicated in sin. But now that you
claim to see, your sin remains.”
10:1 This is basic truth I declare to you: One who does not enter through the gate of the
sheepfold but slips in some other way is a poacher and rustler. 2 But the one who enters through
the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens for him. The sheep listen for his
voice. He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out. 4 When he takes all his own sheep
to pasture, he proceeds ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they recognize his
voice. 5 They will not follow an unknown person, but flee from him because they are
unfamiliar with the stranger’s voice. 6 This analogy Jesus shared with them, but they did not
understand what he was saying to them.
Again Jesus said, This is a basic truth I declare to you: I am the gateway for the sheep.
All those others who came (over the wall) are poachers and rustlers, but the sheep did not listen
to them. 9 I am the gateway through which if anyone enters, he will be safe. He also will go in
and out and find pasture. 10 The poacher comes only to steal, slay, and spoil. I have come that
believers might have life in overflowing abundance.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd puts his life on the line for the sheep.
The hired hand, not being the shepherd and not owning the sheep, sees the wolf on the prowl,
John 10:13-42 167

abandons the sheep, and deserts. So the wolf snatches and scatters them. 13 This occurs because
the hired hand is only hired; he does not care what happens to the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. I recognize my own. My sheep also know me. 15 Just as the
father knows me, I also know my father, and I put my life on the line for the sheep.
Other sheep I also have that are not from this fold. These others I must lead as well.
They will listen to my voice. There will be one fold, one shepherd.
This is the reason my father loves me: I expend my life that I might receive it. 18 No
one commandeers it from me, but I place it on the line voluntarily. I have authority to expend it,
and I have the right to hold on to it. This prerogative I received from my father.
These statements produced another rift among the Jews. 20 Many of them were saying,
“He has a demon that is making him psychotic. Why do we listen to him?” 21 Others kept saying,
“These words do not belong to a demented man. A demon-driven man cannot give sight to blind
men, can he?”
Then came the festival of (temple) rededication in Jerusalem during the rainy season.
Jesus was moving about in Solomon’s colonnade of the temple. 24 The Jews cornered him and
kept saying, “For how long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the messiah, tell us
Jesus replied to them, “I have informed you, and you do not believe. The works I do
in the name of my father certify my identity. 26 But you do not believe because you are not my
sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. 28 I give eternal life to
them, and surely they will never be destroyed for all time to come. Nor will anyone grab them
out of my control. 29 My father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one can extricate
them from the father’s hand. 30 I and the father are one.”
Again the Jews snatched up stones ready to pelt him.
Jesus replied to them, “I have demonstrated for you many beneficial accomplishments
from the father. For which of these in particular are you going to stone me?”
The Jews answered, “For a good deed we would not stone you, but for blasphemy,
because you—a human being—make yourself out to be a god.”
Jesus answered them, “Has not it been written in your law: I said: You are gods?”
Because he used the term ‘gods‘ for those to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture is
irrefutable—36 how can you say that the one whom the father consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes, because I said I am God’s son? 37 If I do not perform my father’s works, do not
believe me. 38 But if I do—even if you would not trust me—believe on the basis of the works so
that you might begin to perceive and continue to know that the father and I are mutually
Again they sought to arrest him, but he slipped out of their control.
So he went away again to the east bank of the Jordan, to the place where John at first
was baptizing, and he remained there. 41 Many came to him and would say, “John did not do a
miracle, but everything John said about him is true.” 42 As a result, many believed in him there.
John 11:1-31 168

11:1 A man by the name of Lazarus became sick. He was from Bethany, the town of Mary
and Martha her sister. 2 This Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped
his feet with her hair. It was her brother who was ill. 3 The sisters sent a message to Jesus: “Lord,
take note, he whom you love is sick.”
When Jesus got word, he said, “This illness is not for death’s triumph but for the glory
of God, that God’s son might be glorified through it.”
Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 After hearing he was sick, Jesus stayed
put two days more. 7 Then after that, he said to his disciples, “Let us take to the road to Judaea
The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, so recently the Jews there were intent on stoning
you. Are you going to lead the way there again?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? If anyone moves about in
daylight, he does not stumble because he sees by natural light. 10 If anyone walks about at night,
he stumbles because he lacks light.”
He made those remarks, and after that, he said to them: “Lazarus our friend has fallen
asleep. But I am going to arouse him.”
The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he gets his rest, he will get better.” 13 But Jesus had
alluded to his death. They thought he had spoken about natural rest one gets when asleep.
Then Jesus said to them bluntly, “Lazarus died, 15 and for your sake it makes me glad I
was not there, for you must (learn to) believe. But let us go to him. 16 Thomas, the twin, then said
to his colleague-disciples, “Let us also go so we might die with him!”
When Jesus came on the scene, he found that already Lazarus had been entombed four
days. Bethany was near Jerusalem—about 2,775 meters away. 19 Many of the Jews had come to

Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.

When Martha heard that Jesus was on the way, she met him. Mary was sitting at
home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, had you been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And

now I know that as much as you request from God, he will give you.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know he will
rise in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and life. One who believes in me—even if he
dies—will live. 26 All who live and believe in me will never die for eternity. Do you believe
She said, “Yes, Lord. I have believed that you are the messiah, God’s son, the one
expected to come into the world.”
After she said this, she slipped away and secretly called her sister Mary, “The teacher
is here and he is calling for you.”
When she heard that, she got up quickly and came to him. 30 He had not yet come into
the village but was still at the place where Martha met him. 31 Those Jews who were with Mary at
John 11:32-56 169

her home comforting her, when they saw that she got up quickly and went out, followed her,
supposing she returned to the tomb to weep there.
As Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet exclaiming, “Lord,
had you been here my brother would not have died.”
When he saw her weeping and the Jews who came along with her weeping, Jesus
sighed ever so deeply in his spirit and was emotionally stirred. 34 He said, “Where did you put
They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.
Therefore the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 Some of them said, “Could
not this one who opened blind eyes have done something so that he might not have died?”
Jesus again sighed ever so deeply in himself as he came to the tomb. It was a
cave-type tomb with a stone closing its entrance.
Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
Martha, the sister of the deceased, said, “Lord, already he is giving off an offensive
odor, for it has been four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?”
They rolled away the stone.
Jesus lifted his eyes upward and spoke, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. 42 I have
known all along that you always listen to me, but for the crowd’s sake standing around, I spoke
aloud that they might believe you commissioned me.”
After saying this, he shouted with full voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead exited,
bound feet and hands by linen windings, his face covered by a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose
him and let him go free.”
Of those Jews who came with Mary and saw what he did, many believed in him.
Some of them, however, went away to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 The
executive priests and Pharisees convened a council and kept saying, “What shall we do, because
this man does many miraculous signs? 48 If we let him go on this way, everyone will believe in
him. Then the Romans will come and remove from us both our place and our national identity.”
One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said to them, “You do not understand
at all. Do you not think it is to your advantage that one person should die on behalf of the
people so that the whole nation not be ruined?” 51 He did not say this merely by his own
motivation, but as the high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die on behalf of
the nation. 52 Jesus’ death would not be for the nation alone, but that he might bring together
God’s scattered children. 53 From that day forward they were plotting to assassinate him.
So Jesus no longer moved about in plain view among the Jews, but he left there for
open country near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and he remained there with his disciples.
The Jewish Passover was near, and many from the outlying areas went up to
Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 All the while, they were seeking Jesus
John 11:57-12:22 170

and kept discussing the subject as they stood with one another in the temple. Conversations went
like this: “What do you think? Surely he will not come to the festival?” 57 The executive priests
and Pharisees had issued an order that if anyone knew his whereabouts, he was to report it so
they might arrest him.
12:1 Six days before the Passover Jesus went to Bethany, the hometown of Lazarus whom he
had raised from the dead. 2 Local people made a dinner for Jesus there. Martha prepared the food,
and Lazarus was one of those who reclined at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took twelve
ounces of genuine oil of nard, an expensive perfume, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped them
with her hair. The building was filled with the aroma of the perfume.
Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples—the one about to betray him—said, 5 “Why was
this perfume not sold for the equivalent of three hundred days’ wages and the proceeds given to
the poor?” 6 He said this not because he had any compassion for the poor. He was an embezzler
from the bag he carried that held the group’s money.
Jesus said, “Get off her back. She saved this for the day of my burial. 8 You always
have the poor among yourselves, but you will not always have me around.”
A large group of the Jews then knew he was there. They came on the scene not on
account of Jesus alone, but so they might get a look at Lazarus who was raised from the dead. 10
The executive priests were conspiring to murder Lazarus too 11 because on account of him many
Jews were withdrawing from their influence and were believing in Jesus.
On the next day the large crowd present for the festival heard that Jesus was on the
way to Jerusalem. 13 They took fronds from palm trees and went out to meet him, chanting:
Blessed is he who arrives in Yahveh’s name,
The king of Israel!
When Jesus found at his disposal a young donkey, he sat upon it, just as it is written:
Do not be afraid, daughter Zion.
Look! Your king is coming seated on a foal of a donkey.
His disciples did not understand these allusions at the time, but when Jesus was
glorified, they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had
implemented them for him.
The group who had been with him when he called Lazarus from his tomb and raised
him from the dead was testifying about him. 18 For this reason a crowd that had heard about his
doing this miraculous sign met up with him.
Within the Pharisaic cabal, they said, “You see nothing does any good in stopping
him. Take a good look. The world has gone wild over him.”
Some Greeks were among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 These
people came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They were asking him, “Sir, we want
Jesus to be introduced to us.” 22 Philip conferred with Andrew, and the two of them told Jesus.
John 12:23-43 171

Jesus replied to them, “The time has arrived for the human one to be glorified. 24 This
is a basic truth I declare to you: Unless a kernel of grain falls into the soil and dies, it remains
solitary. But if it dies, it produces much yield.
“The one who loves his life is ruining it, and the one who disregards his life in this
world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone would serve me, let him follow me. Then where I
am my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, the father will honor him.
“Now my soul is undergoing deep stress, and what shall I say in response? Father,
spare me from this crisis? But for this mission I have come all the way to this hour. 28 Father,
glorify your name.”
Then came a voice from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will again glorify it.”
The crowd milling around who heard the sound said it had thundered. Others were
saying an angel had addressed him.
Jesus responded to them, “Not on my account did the voice come, but for your sake.
Judgment of this world is scheduled momentarily. The leader of this world will be deposed
right away. 32 As for me: If I am lifted up from the earth, I will attract all people to myself.” 33 He
said this indicating what kind of death he was about to experience.
The crowd replied to him, “We heard from the law that the messiah remains forever.
How do you say it is imperative that the human one is to be lifted up? Who is this human one?”
Jesus said to them, “For only a little longer will the light be among you. Walk in the
light while you have it, lest darkness overtake you. One who moves about in darkness does not
know where he is going. 36 While you have light, believe in the light, so that you might be
Once he had said these things, Jesus went out and was concealed from them.
Although he had done so many miraculous signs in their presence, they were not trusting in
him. 38 This correlated with the fulfillment of the utterance of the prophet Isaiah, who said:
Yahveh, who believed our report?
To whom was Yahveh’s arm revealed?
For this reason they could not believe, because again Isaiah said:
He blinded their eyes.
And he made their heart a callous,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart,
and turn around,
that I might heal them.
Isaiah made these statements because he saw his glory, and he spoke concerning him.
Nevertheless, many of the leaders actually believed in Jesus, but because of the Pharisees they
did not confess allegiance to him lest they would be excommunicated. 43 For they loved human
approval more than honor from God.
John 12:44-13:19 172

Jesus exclaimed, “The faith of one who believes in me does not terminate on me, but
ultimately reaches the one who sent me. 45 Correspondingly, one who inspects me sees the one
who commissioned me. 46 I have come into the world as light, that all who believe in me might
no longer remain in the dark.
“If anyone hears my words and does not conserve them, I will not judge him. For I
did not come to judge the world, but to rescue the world. 48 One who sets me aside and does not
receive my words has the following criterion for judging him—the message I spoke. That
message will judge him on the last day 49 because I did not say anything on my own. On the
contrary, the father himself, who sent me, commanded me as to what I would declare and what I
should speak. 50 I know his command is infused with eternal life. Therefore, I make these
statements; I present them in conformity with what my father has spoken to me.”
13:1 This incident happened before the Passover festival, when Jesus knew his time had
come to transfer from this world to the father. He had loved his own people in the world, and he
loved them right up to the end. 2 After dinner, and after Judas, son of Simon from Kerioth, had
already been motivated by the devil to betray him, 3 Jesus being fully conscious that his father
had put all things under his control and that he had originated from God and was on his way to
God, took the following actions: 4 He got up from the dinner table, removed his street clothes,
and took a long towel and wrapped it around himself. 5 Then he poured water in a basin and
began to wash the feet of his disciples. He dried them with the towel tied around him.
When it was Simon Rock’s turn, he said, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied to him, “What I am doing, you do not comprehend now, but later on you
will see the purpose of it.”
Rock replied, “No, you will never wash my feet!”
Jesus retorted, “Unless I wash you, you will have nothing more to do with me.”
Simon Rock said to him, “Lord, wash not just my feet, but my hands, and my head.”
Jesus replied, “One who has been bathed needs only his feet to be washed; he is clean
all over. The group of you is clean, but not all.” 11 For he knew who was betraying him. That is
why he said that not everyone is clean.
Then after he had washed their feet, he put his street clothes back on and reclined
again at the table. He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You
correctly call me teacher and leader, for I am such. 14 Therefore, if I, your leader and teacher,
washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you a model;
follow my lead and do as I have done. 16 This is basic truth I declare to you: A slave is not greater
than his master; neither is a representative greater than the one he represents. 17 If you understand
these principles, you will be blessed if you practice them.
“I am not speaking about all of you, for I know those whom I chose. But it is
imperative that the Scripture would be fulfilled: My dinner guest turned his back on me, kicking
me with his heel. 19 Now I am telling you before it occurs that when it happens, you might
believe that I am who I am.
John 13:20-14:7 173

“This is a basic truth I tell you: One who receives my representative, whoever that
one may be, receives me. One who receives me, receives the one who commissioned me.”
After having said these things, Jesus was deeply stirred in his spirit and testified. “So
be it as confirmed: I say to you that one of you will betray me.”
His disciples, at a loss to know about whom he was speaking, kept glancing at one
another. One of them was reclining in closest proximity to Jesus—one whom Jesus loved.
Simon Rock nodded to him to inquire as to whom he referred by his statement. 25 So he leaned
back, turned to face Jesus, and said, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus replied, “The one for whom I shall dip the piece of bread and shall give it to
him.” 27 Thus having dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon from Kerioth. Right after Judas
took the piece of bread, the adversary entered into him.
Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do—get it over with fast.” 28 None of those
reclining with him knew for what purpose he spoke to him. 29 For some were thinking that
because Judas kept the funds, Jesus ordered him to buy things needed for the festival, or to go to
the poor to give them something. 30 Then after he took the piece of bread, he went out at once
into the night.
After Judas left, Jesus said: Now the time is here for the human one to be glorified,

and God has been glorified in him. 32 Moreover, God will glorify him within himself, and
immediately he will glorify him. 33 Children, for just a little longer will I be with you. You will
seek me, but just as I said to the Jews—where I am going you cannot come—I am saying to you
A new command I am giving to you to love one another. The model for how you are
to love one another is the way I loved you. 35 By so doing, everyone will know you are my
disciples if you love one another.”
Simon Rock said to him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus answered, “Where I am going you will not be able to follow now—but later.”
Rock said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will put my life on the line
in your behalf.”
Jesus replied, “Will you risk your life for my sake? With full certainty I tell you: The
rooster-call will not sound off until you deny me three times.”
14:1 Do not let your heart become traumatized. Trust in God—trust also in me. 2 In my
father’s home are many accommodations. Were it otherwise, I would have told you. I am on my
way to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go to make a place ready for you, I will return to bring you
to my side that you might share my companionship there. 4 You know the way to my destination.
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How could we know
the route to get there?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one approaches the father
except through me. 7 Had you known me, you would have known my father also. From now on
you know him and you have seen him.”
John 14:8-31 174

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the father and we will be content.” 9 Jesus said to
him, “Philip, have I been for such a long time with you and you have not known me? The person
who has seen me has seen the father. How can you say: Show us the father? 10 Do you not believe
I am in the father and the father is in me? The words I say to you I speak not as originating from
myself, but from the father who remains in me; he is the one who accomplishes his works
through me. 11 Believe in me that I am in the father, and the father is in me. If you cannot believe
on that basis, believe because of these works I do.
This is basic truth about which I assure you: The believer in me will carry onward the
works I do, and he will do more numerous works than these because I am going to the father.
Whatever you would ask in my name I will do in order that the father might be
glorified in his son. 14 If you ask me anything in keeping with who I am, I will do it.
If you love me, follow my orders. 16 Also I will ask the father, and he will give you
another companion to be with you always in the future. 17 I mean the spirit of truth that the world
cannot accept because the world neither sees nor perceives the spirit. You know the spirit,
because he remains beside you and will be in you—that is, 18 I will not desert you so you would
become orphans; I will come to you.
Yet in just a little while, the world no longer will see me, but you will see me.
Because I live, you too will live. 20 On that day you will understand that I am in my father, you
are in me, and I am in you.
One who has my commands and implements them loves me. One who loves me will
be loved by my father. I too will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas—not the one from Kerioth—said to him, “Lord, what is going on here that you
are about to manifest yourself to us yet not to the world?”
Jesus replied to him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My father will love
him and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 One who does not love me does
not follow my directives. The message you hear is not mine, but the father’s who sent me.”
I have spoken these things to you while remaining at your side. 26 Your companion,
the holy spirit whom my father will send bearing my name will teach you everything and cause
you to remember all I have said to you.
Peace is my heritage for you. My own peace I give to you quite unlike the way the
world makes peace. Do not let your heart be perturbed or intimidated. 28 You heard me say to you
that I will leave and return to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the
father because the father is superior to me. 29 Now I have told you before the event that when it
occurs, you might believe.
No longer will I have much to say in your presence because the leader of the world is
coming on the scene. He has nothing in me (he can lay claim to as his own). 31 Nevertheless, in
order that the world might know I love the father, I do exactly as the father commanded me to
Arise and let us leave here.
John 15:1-16:4 175

15:1 I am the true grapevine, and my father is the farmer. 2 Every branch associated with me
that does not bear fruit he lops off. Also each fruit-bearing branch he prunes clean so it can
produce a more bountiful crop. 3 You have already been pruned by the message I have spoken to
Remain in me and I in you. Just as a branch cannot produce a yield by itself, if it does
not remain in the trunk, so you will be unfruitful unless you remain in me. 5 I have with you a
vine-and-branches relationship. One who remains mutually in me, and I in him, yields much
fruit. Apart from me, you are not able to accomplish anything. 6 If anyone does not remain in me,
he is thrown out like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered as fuel for fires and are
burned. 7 If you remain in me and my precepts remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will
become yours. 8 This is the way my father is glorified—by you, my disciples, becoming
prolifically fruitful.
Just as the father loved me, I also loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my
directives, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my father’s orders and remain in his
love. 11 I have spoken these things to you that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be
at capacity.
This is my directive: Love one another just as I loved you. 13 No one has greater love
than the person who would expend his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I
command you. 15 I no longer speak of you as slaves because a slave does not comprehend his
master’s strategy. But I have called you friends because all I heard from my father I divulged to
you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and positioned you to go forth and bear fruit that
remains. As a consequence, the father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is the
content of my command to you: Love one another.
If the world hates you, understand that it first hated me. 19 If you were the product of
the world, it would like its own. You do not represent the world; on the contrary, I chose you out
of the world. This is why the world detests you. 20 Remember the message I presented to you: A
servant is no greater than his boss. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they
have kept my message, they will also keep yours. 21 But they will take all sorts of actions against
you because of my name and because they are unacquainted with the one who commissioned me.
Had I not come and spoken to them, they would not be implicated in sin. But now
they have no excuse for their sin. 23 One who detests me, also hates my father. 24 Had I not done
among them works such as no one else ever did, they would not have accrued sin. Concurrently,
they have seen and abhorred both me and my father. 25 Their condition therefore fulfills the
statement written in their law: “They hated me without grounds for such.”
When your companion arrives, whom I shall send to you from the father, the spirit of
truth who proceeds from the father, he will authenticate me. 27 You also will authenticate me
because you have been with me from the beginning.
16:1 I have spoken these things to you so you will not become disillusioned. 2 They will
excommunicate you. Beyond that, a time is coming when all who kill you will think that in so
doing they are performing a service for God. 3 They will perpetrate such acts because they know
neither the father nor me. 4 But I have apprised you of these matters that when they occur, you
John 16:5-30 176

will remember I foretold them for you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning because
I was with you.
Now I am going to the one who commissioned me, and none of you continues to ask
me where I am going. 6 Because I have spoken this way, however, your heart floods with sorrow.
Nevertheless, I am stating the truth for you: It is to your advantage that I should leave. For if I
do not depart, your companion will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
When your companion comes, he will convict the world with regard to sin,
righteousness; and judgment. 9 He will feature: the sin of their not believing in me; 10 and
righteousness, because my going to the father means you will no longer see me around; 11 and
judgment, because the leader of this world has been judged.
Many things I have yet to say to you, but you are not able to grasp and retain those
teachings now. 13 When your companion arrives—the spirit of truth—he will direct you in the
way of comprehensive truth. 14 For he will not expound on his own; but he will speak as much as
he will hear, and he will announce to you future events. 15 The spirit will champion me, because
he will take what is mine and expound it to you. Everything the father has is mine. That is the
reason I said he will take what is mine and expound it to you.
After a little while you no longer will see me, and once again in a little while you will
see me. Therefore, some of his disciples said to one another: What does he mean by this he
spoke to us?—After a little while you will not see me, and again in a little while you will see me,
and I am going away to the father. 18 They kept saying, consequently, what is this “little while”?
We do not know what he is talking about.
Jesus knew they were desirous of asking him, and he said to them: You were
discussing among yourselves my statement, “After a little while you will not see me, and again
in a little while you will see me.” 20 This is confirmed that I declare to you: You will weep and
mourn, but the world will be gleeful. You will be depressed, but your sorrow will be replaced by
joy. 21 When a woman goes into labor, she has pain. But after her child is born, she no longer
remembers her distress because of the joy that a human being was born into the world. 22 You
also, therefore, now have pain. But I will see you again, your heart will rejoice, and no one will
take away your joy.
In that day you will not ask me for anything. This is a basic truth I declare to you:
Whatever you ask the father to do in my name he will grant to you. 24 Until now you did not ask
for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive that your joy might be at capacity.
I have spoken these things to you in analogies. A time is coming when I will no
longer speak to you analogously, but I will plainly inform you about the father. 26 In that day you
will ask in my name. I am not saying I will ask the father for you. 27 For the father himself loves
you because you have loved me and have believed I came forth from God. 28 For I came from the
father, and I have entered the world. Again, I say, I am leaving the world, and I am proceeding to
my father.
His disciples said to him, “See—now you are speaking plainly, not saying anything in
figurative speech. 30 Now we know you know everything, and you do not need anyone to draw
you out with questions to develop your viewpoint. This we believe: You have come from God.”
John 16:31-17:21 177

Jesus replied to them, “Do you now believe? 32 Pay attention: A time is coming and
has arrived when you will be scattered each one to his own place, and you will leave me alone.
Yet I am not alone, because the father is with me. 33 I have spoken these things to you in order
that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be cheerful—I have
conquered the world.”
17:1 After Jesus said these things, he lifted up his gaze toward heaven and said:
Father, my zero hour has come. Glorify your son that your son might glorify
you. 2 This request accords with your having given him authority over all
humanity to give eternal life to all those you gave him. 3 This is eternal
life—the experience of knowing you, the only true God, and the one you
sent—Jesus Christ.
I glorified you upon earth by accomplishing completely the work you assigned
me. 5 Father, glorify me now in your presence by my participating in the glory
I had with you before the universe existed.
I have manifested your name to human beings you gave me out of the world.
They were yours, and you gave them to me. They have kept your word. 7 Now
they understand that all you gave me originates with you, 8 and that the words
you have given me I have given to them. They received them and knew truly
that I proceeded from you. They also believed that you sent me.
I am interceding for them, not for the world, but for the ones you have given
me, because they are yours. 10 All that is mine is yours, and all that is yours is
mine; moreover, I have been glorified among them. 11 No longer will I be in the
world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy father, keep
them in your name, the name you have given to me, so that they may be
one, just as we are.
When I was with them, I kept in your name—the name you gave to me—
those you have given me. I kept watch over them, and none became a casualty
except the destructive one, in fulfillment of Scripture.
Now I am on my way to you. I speak these things in the world that they might
have my joy replete among themselves. 14 I have given them your word. The
world hated them because they are not the world’s product, just as I am not
produced by the world. 15 I am not asking you to lift them out of the world, but
that you keep them from its evil. 16 They do not represent the world, just as I am
not representative of the world.
Sanctify them by the truth. Your word is truth. 18 In the same manner you sent
me into the world I also sent them into the world. 19 On their behalf I consecrate
myself that they also might be made holy by truth.
I do not intercede for these disciples alone, but also for those who believe in
me through their message. 21 I pray that they all might be unified just as you,
father, are in me, and I am in you. May these believers be united in us in order
John 17:22-18:16 178

that the world might believe you sent me. 22 I also have shared with them the
glory you have given to me in order that they may be united just as we are
one—23 I in them, and you in me, that they might be perfected in unity.
This will cause the world to know that you sent me, and that you loved
them just as you loved me.
Father, as to your gift to me, I desire that these believers might be with
me where I am that they might see my glory. You have given glory to me
because you loved me before the beginning of the universe.
Righteous father, the world did not know you—but I did—and these
believers knew that you commissioned me. 26 I have made known to
them your name, and I will make it known, so that the love with which
you loved me might be in them, and I in them.”
18:1 After Jesus spoke these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to a garden, which he entered with his disciples.
Judas who betrayed him also knew the place because Jesus often brought his disciples
there. Then Judas took a squad of the temple guard and servants from the executive priests and
from the Pharisees and came there with torches, lanterns, and weapons.
Being fully aware of everything coming upon him, Jesus stepped out and said to them,
“Who do you want?”
They answered him, “Jesus, the Nazarene.”
He said to them, “I am the man.”
Judas, his betrayer, was standing with them.
When Jesus said, “I am the man,” they retreated backward and fell to the ground.
Again, therefore, he questioned them, “Who do you want?”
And they said, “Jesus, the Nazarene.”
Jesus replied, “I said to you that I am he. If you are seeking me, then let these others
go away.” 9 This occurred in fulfillment of his pronouncement, “I lost none of those you have
given to me.”
Then Simon Rock, who had a sword, drew it and slashed at the servant of the high
priest, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Rock, “Put your sword into its scabbard. As for the cup the father has
given me, should not I surely drink it?”
Then the squad, its commander, and the servants of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound
him. They brought him first to Annas, for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest
that year, 14 who counseled the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the
Simon Rock was following along with Jesus, and another disciple also. That other
disciple was known to the high priest and entered with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard.
Rock was standing around at the door outside. That other disciple, known by the high priest,
John 18:17-34 179

went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and thereby brought Rock in. 17 The maidservant who kept
the door said to Rock, “You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
The slaves and servants had taken positions around a charcoal fire they made because
it was cold, and they were warming themselves. Rock had positioned himself right in there with
them and was getting warm.
The high priest interrogated Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine. 20 Jesus
answered him, “I have spoken openly out in the world. I taught right along in synagogues and in
the temple where all the Jews congregate. I spoke nothing to be kept as a secret. 21 Why do you
question me? Ask those who heard as to what I said to them. Look in their direction; they know
what I said.”
After he had said these things, one of the servants standing near him slapped Jesus
and said, “Is that any way to answer the high priest?”
Jesus replied to him, “If I spoke something wrong, indicate what was wrong. If I
spoke on the level, why did you strike me?”
Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.
While Simon Rock was standing there getting warm, they said to him, “You are not
one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it, saying, “I am not!”
One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Rock slashed
off, said, “Did not I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Rock countered with a denial. Right then, the rooster-call sounded.
They brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium. It was early in the morning.
The Jews did not enter the praetorium because that would defile them, making them unfit to
partake of the Passover.
Pilate went out to them and said, “What indictment do you bring against this man?”
They answered him, “Were he not a criminal we would not have handed him over to
Pilate said to them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to execute anyone.” 32 This transpired in
order to fulfill Jesus’ statement stipulating the means by which he was about to die.
Pilate entered again into the praetorium, called Jesus, and said to him, “You are the
king of the Jews, are you?”
Jesus answered, “Do you ask on your own initiative, or did others tell you this
concerning me?
John 18:35-19:12 180

Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your nation and the executive priests have
handed you over to me. What did you do?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is apolitical. Were mine a worldly regime, my servants
would have put up a struggle against Jewish control. But my kingdom is not now based here.”
Pilate said to him, “Are you not, therefore, a king?”
Jesus replied, “You postulate I am a king. The purpose I was born, the reason I came
into the world is that I might affirm truth. All who come from a truth-orientation listen to my
Pilate said to him, “What is truth!”
After having said this, he went out again and said to the Jews, “I have found no
criminal offense committed by him. 39 It is your custom that I should release to you one prisoner
at the Passover. Would you like me to release to you the king of the Jews?”
They yelled out again, saying, “Not him—but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a
19:1 Then Pilate took Jesus and subjected him to a beating. 2 The troops also platted a crown
from thorns, plunked it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. 3 They kept coming up to
him and jeering, “Hello, king of the Jews!” as they were striking him.
Again Pilate went outside and said to them, “Look, I am bringing him out to you that
you might understand I find no offense committed by him.”
Then Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said
to them, “Just look at the man!”
When the executive priests and their servants saw him, they yelled, “Crucify!
Pilate said to them, “You take him, and you crucify him, for I have found him not
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law he should die
because he identified himself as God’s son.”
When Pilate heard this remark, he became more afraid. 9 He again entered the
praetorium and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?” But Jesus did not give him an
Pilate said to him, “Will you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority
to free you and I have authority to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over me were it not given to you from
above. That is why the party handing me over to you has greater sin.”
From then on Pilate was seeking to free him. But the Jews shouted him down: “If you
free him, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself king opposes Caesar.”
John 19:13-34 181

Therefore, when Pilate heard these statements, he brought Jesus outside, and he sat on
his judicial seat at the stone pavement, called in Aramaic, Gabbatha. 14 It was late morning of the
preparation day before the Passover. He said to the Jews, “Just look at your king!”
They yelled, “Get rid of him! Do away with him! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them, “Should I crucify your king?”
The executive priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”
Then Pilate gave in to their demand to crucify Jesus. Consequently, they took charge
of Jesus. Carrying his cross, he went out to Skull Site, called in Aramaic, Golgotha. 18 They

crucified him there, and two others with him—one on each side, with Jesus on the center cross.
Pilate also wrote a placard and placed it on the cross. It stated:
Many of the Jews read this epithet because the site where Jesus was crucified was near
the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. 21 The executive priests of the Jews
made an issue over this with Pilate, saying to him, “Do not write THE KING OF THE JEWS, but He
said: I am king of the Jews."
But Pilate replied, “What I have written, stands verbatim.”
The soldiers who crucified Jesus took his clothing and put it in four piles, each one
taking one. Also there was his tunic. It was seamless, woven from the top throughout. 24 They
said to one another, “Let us not split it but draw lots to see who gets it.” This occurred to fulfill
the Scripture: They divided my clothes among them. And for my garment they drew lots. The
soldiers then did these things.
Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, and Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary
Magdalene had stationed themselves by the cross of Jesus. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the
disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Lady, look on him as your
son.” Then he said to his disciple, “Regard her as your mother.” From that moment on the
disciple took her to his own home.
After these events when Jesus knew everything already had been completed, he said in
order to fulfill Scripture, “I thirst.” 29 A container full of diluted vinegary wine was there. Placing
a sponge soaked with wine on a hyssop, they brought it to his mouth.
After he took the wine, Jesus exclaimed, “Finished!”
He bowed his head and dismissed his spirit.
Because it was the preparation day, the Jews were anxious that bodies not be left on
the crosses on the sabbath, and that sabbath was a grand sabbath. They asked Pilate that his men
would break their legs and that they would be taken down. 32 The soldiers came and broke the
legs of the first man and of the other man who was crucified with him. 33 When they came to
Jesus, having observed that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the
soldiers with his spear pierced his side, and immediately blood and lymph drained out.
John 19:35-20:17 182

The one who saw this has testified to the fact, and his testimony is true. He also knows
he speaks truly in order that you might believe. 36 For these events happened that the Scripture
might be fulfilled: His bones will not be shattered. 37 And again, another Scripture says, They
will gaze at the one they pierced.
After it was all over, Joseph of Arimathaea, a closet-disciple of Jesus on account of
his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he might take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him a
permit. Joseph came and took custody of the body of Jesus. 39 Nicodemus, the one who came to
him at night in the beginning of his ministry, also came carrying about 100 Roman pounds of a
mixture of myrrh and aloes. 40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in linen with the
aromatics in the folds according to the normal Jewish custom for burial.
Near the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden there was
a new tomb in which no one had been placed. 42 Due to the constraint of its being the Jewish
preparation day and because the tomb was near, they placed Jesus there.
20:1 In the early morning before sunrise on day one of the week, Mary Magdalene arrives at
the tomb and sees the stone rolled back from the tomb. 2 Then, she dashes off and comes to
Simon Rock and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and says to them, “They removed the Lord
from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him.”
Then Rock and the other disciple went out to go to the tomb. 4 They were racing—the
two of them together. The other disciple outran Rock and reached the tomb first. 5 Stooping down
he sees the linen shroud lying there, though he did not enter. 6 Then Simon Rock also arrived
following him. He entered the tomb and took note of the linen shroud lying there, 7 and also the
cloth that had been over his head. That cloth was not with the linen shroud but apart, folded up in
one place.
Then the other disciple—the one who first arrived at the tomb—also entered. He saw
(the evidence) and believed. 9 For not yet had they understood the Scripture that it was necessary
for him to rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to their colleagues.
Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping. As she wept she bent over toward the
tomb. She saw two angels in their brilliance sitting there—one at the head, and one at the foot
where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 They said to her, “Lady, why are you weeping?”
She replied to them, “They took away my Lord, and I do not know where they put him.”
After she said these things, she turns around and sees Jesus standing there, and she did
not recognize him. 15 Jesus said to her, “Lady, why do you weep? For whom are you looking?”
Assuming he was the caretaker of the garden, she says to him, “Sir, if you carried him
off, tell me where you put him, and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!"
She turned and says to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni,” which means teacher.
Jesus says to her, “Stop hugging me, for I have not yet ascended to the father. Go to
my brothers, and tell them that I will ascend to my father, and your father—to my God, and your
John 20:18-21:6 183

Mary Magdalene went, announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and she
told what he said to her.
Then during the evening of that first day of the week, while the disciples were locked in
behind closed doors on account of their fear of the Jews, Jesus came and positioned himself in
the center. He says to them, “Peace to you.” 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and
his side. The disciples became elated when they saw the Lord.
Then he said to them again, “Peace to you. As the father commissioned me, I also am
sending you.” 22 After saying that, he breathed audibly and said to them, “Receive holy spirit.
Whose sins you would forgive, stand forgiven for them; whose sins you retain, remain.”
Thomas, the one of the twelve called a twin, was not with them when Jesus came.
The other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the holes left by the nails and put my
finger in them, and put my hand in his side, I surely will not believe it.”
Eight days later his disciples were inside, and Thomas was with them. Although the
doors were barred, Jesus came and stood in the center of them, and said, “Peace to you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Bring your finger here and examine my hands, and bring
your hand and thrust it into my side. Stop being faithless; be a believer instead.”
Thomas responded to him, “You are my Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “The basis for your believing was seeing. Blessed are those who
without having seen nevertheless believed.”
Jesus did many other miracles in the presence of his disciples, not recorded on this
scroll. The data included here have been recorded that you might believe Jesus is the messiah,
God’s son, and that by believing you might have life in his name.
21:1 After these events Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples by Lake Tiberius. This is
how he manifested himself. 2 This group was there: Simon Rock, Thomas the twin, Nathanael
from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Rock said to
them, “I am going fishing.”
They responded, “We are coming along with you.” They boarded the boat and set out.
During that night they caught nothing.
Already when morning broke Jesus was standing on the shore, yet the disciples did not
recognize him.
He said to them, “Boys, you do not have anything to make a meal, do you?”
They replied, “Negative.”
He said to them, “Throw your net on the starboard side of the boat, and you will find
They did that—and were not able to pull it in because of the accumulation of fish.
John 21:7-24 184

That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Rock, “It is the Lord!” Then upon hearing it
was the Lord, Simon Rock slipped into his outer garment, for he was stripped, and he jumped
overboard. 8 The other disciples came in the skiff, for it was not far to the shore—only about 100
meters. They were dragging the net loaded with fish.
When they reached shore, they saw hot coals and fish lying on them, and bread. 10 Jesus
said to them, “Bring now some of the fish you caught.”
Then Simon Rock went over and dragged the net on shore, a net full of 153 large fish.
Although the fish were so numerous, the net did not split.
Jesus says to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared to ask
him: Who are you? They knew it was the Lord.
As host Jesus takes charge, takes the bread and gives it to them, and he does the same
with the fish. 14 Already this was the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after he was
raised from the dead.
Then during breakfast, Jesus says to Simon Rock, “Simon, son of John, do you love
me more than these?”
He says to him, “Certainly, Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus says to him, “Nurture my lambs.”
Again a second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
He says to him, “Certainly, Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus says to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He says to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Rock was distressed that he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” He replied,
“Lord, you know everything. You know I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. 18 This is a certainty, a truth I declare to you:
When you were a young man, you clothed yourself, and you moved about wherever you wanted.
But when you become old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you, and lead
you where you do not want to go.” 19 He made this statement to indicate by what kind of death he
would glorify God. After this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Rock turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, the one who
reclined closest to him at the dinner and had said, “Lord, who is the one betraying you?” 21 When
Rock glimpsed him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “If I want him to remain until I come, is that any of your business?
You follow me.” 23 The rumor got around to all the brotherhood that this disciple would not die.
Jesus did not tell him he would not die, but “If I want him to remain until I come, what concern
is that of yours?”
He is the disciple who testifies about these events and wrote them down. We can
confirm his testimony.
John 21:25 185

Moreover, there are many other unrecorded accomplishments of Jesus. Had they been
written down serially, I suppose the world itself would not have room for the scrolls that could
be written.
Acts 1:1-20 186


1:1 Theophilus, I presented the first account to document everything Jesus began to do,
including his teaching, 2 up until the time of his ascension. He authoritatively directed his chosen
apostles through the holy spirit. 3 Subsequently to his cross, he presented himself alive, providing
many cogent proofs. Indeed, for 40 days he appeared to them and spoke about aspects of the
kingdom of God.
During that interim of fellowship with his apostles, he ordered them not to leave
Jerusalem. Instead, they were directed to wait there for the heavenly father’s promise that Jesus
said you heard from me. 5 It is this: John immersed in water, but you will be immersed in holy
spirit not long from now.
Then, as the apostles clustered around him, they kept raising the question: “Lord, is
this the time you will restore sovereignty to Israel?”
He replied, “Comprehension of chronologies and calendars is not your privilege; that
is the father’s exclusive prerogative. 8 Nevertheless, you will receive power coming upon you
from the holy spirit. You will be my representatives in Jerusalem, in all Judaea, and Samaria, and
as far as the extremities of the earth.”
After he spoke these words—while their eyes were focused on him—he was lifted up,
and a cloud obscured him from their vision.
As they stood gazing into the sky as he was going, see the sequel: Two men dressed in
white stood beside them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why have you stationed yourselves here
looking skyward? This Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in a manner
comparable to the way you observed him going into heaven.”
Then they returned to Jerusalem from Olive Grove Mountain, which is as close to it
as one can travel on a sabbath day. 13 When they entered the city, they went to the dormitory
upstairs where they were staying. The group comprised Rock, John, James, Andrew, Philip,
Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the right-wing patriot, and
Judas son of James. 14 All of these with one purpose were devoting themselves to prayer. In the
group were the women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
During that time, Rock stood in the center of the brotherhood of about 120, and
Men, brothers, it was necessary for Scripture to be fulfilled in terms of what was
foretold by the holy spirit speaking through David. This concerns Judas, the one who
became the pathfinder for those arresting Jesus, 17 because Judas has been counted as
one of us and had attained a share in this ministry. 18 He subsequently acquired a tract
of land purchased with the bribe received for his wicked act. After he had fallen head
first, he broke open in his midsection and all his viscera spilled out. 19 This event
became known to all the residents of Jerusalem, with the result that the site is called in
their own language, Akeldama, that is, field of blood. 20 For it has been written in the
scroll of Psalms:
Acts 1:21-2:17 187

Let his homestead be a deserted place,

Let none inhabit it;
Let another take his supervisory position.
Therefore, we must do this: Of those men associated with us during the whole time
the Lord Jesus moved in and out among us, 22 from the time of John’s baptism until
Jesus was taken up from us, one of these must be with us as a corroborator of his
They identified two: Joseph called Barsabbas and dubbed Justus, and Matthias.
They prayed this way: “You, Lord, perceiving the whole situation, reveal which of these two
you chose for this ministry 25 to take the apostolic role vacated by Judas, who went to his own
So they supplied lots for them, and the lot identified Matthias as the one chosen to
augment the eleven apostles.
2:1 When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together at the same site. 2 Suddenly
from heaven there came the roar of a ferocious wind that filled the whole building where they
were sitting. 3 With them also there appeared a fireball divided into tonguelike projections that
touched down on each one of them. 4 They were all filled with holy spirit and began to speak in
languages other than their own as the spirit enabled their articulation.
Devout Jews from every nation under the sky were lodging in Jerusalem. 6 After the
sound of this phenomenon reverberated, a large group of people gathered and became
disconcerted because each one was hearing them speaking his own dialect. 7 Those attracted were
exuberant but bewildered, saying:
Look at this! Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 How do we, each one, hear
the language of our birth? 9 Those listening were: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, residents
of Mesopotamia, Jews who lived in Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia,
Egypt, and regions of Libya down to Cyrene, and those who had migrated to Rome—
Jews and proselytes, people from Crete, and from the Arab lands. We hear them
speaking in our languages about the great acts of God.
They all were astounded and at a loss to account for it, saying one to another, “What
could this mean?” 13 Still others wrote them off disparagingly, saying they were intoxicated on
sweet wine.
But Rock stood up in formation with the eleven apostles and projecting his voice,
addressed them:
Gentlemen, Jews, and those staying in Jerusalem, one and all, be informed and listen to
my explanation. 15 These people are not intoxicated as you surmised; it is only 9 a.m.
Rather, this experience was anticipated by the prophet Joel:
This will occur in the last days, says God,
I will pour out my spirit on all humanity.
Acts 2:18-36 188

Your sons and daughters will prophesy;

Your younger men will see visions;
and your senior men will have dreams.
In those days even upon my servants of both genders
I will pour my spirit, and they will prophesy.
I will provide wonders in the sky above,
and signs on the earth below: blood, fire, and steaming smoke.
The sun will blacken and the moon become blood red,
before the arrival of the great and spectacular day of Yahveh.
Moreover, it will be that whoever calls on Yahveh’s name will be saved.
Gentlemen, Israelis, listen to these declarations:
The man, Jesus of Nazareth, God authenticated for you by miracles, wonders, and signs
done through him among you, just as you, yourselves, know. 23 By the designated
purpose and foreknowledge of God, he was done in by lawless men. By nailing him to
the cross, you killed him. 24 God resurrected him, relieving him of the agonies of death
because it was not possible for death to keep holding on to him. 25 For David said in
reference to him:
I have oriented myself to Yahveh—who is before me in every situation.
He is at my right hand lest I become rattled.
This is the reason my heart is joyful and my tongue rejoices.
My flesh will reside in hope on into the future,
because you will not abandon my life in a grave,
nor will you permit your holy one to experience decomposition.
You made known to me the means of life.
You will fill me with delight in your presence.
Gentlemen, brothers, with confidence I can appropriately speak to you about the
patriarch David. He died and was buried, and his tomb is still located among us.
Because he was prophetically gifted and knew God had sworn to him that one of his
descendants would sit upon his throne, 31 and because he saw that beforehand, he
spoke concerning the resurrection of Christ:
He was not abandoned in a grave;
Neither did his flesh experience decomposition.
God raised up this man, Jesus, and we all are witnesses of that fact. 33 Therefore, being
elevated to God’s right hand, and having received from the father the promised holy
spirit, he poured out this that you see and hear. 34 For David was not taken up to the
heavens, but he said:
Yahveh said to my sovereign,
Sit at my right,
until I make your enemies your footrest.
Therefore, let all the family of Israel know with assurance that God designated him as
sovereign and messiah—I specify this Jesus whom you crucified.”
Acts 2:37-3:13 189

When they heard this, it was as if they were stabbed in the heart. They said to Rock
and the rest of the apostles, “What should we do, gentlemen, brothers?”
Rock replied: “Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for
the forgiveness of your sins. You then will receive the holy spirit as a gift. 39 For the promise is
for you, and for your children, and for those far down the line—as many as Yahveh our God
would call.”
With many other explanations he filled them in on the details and urged them to be
saved from this devious generation. 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized. On that
day the increase to their group was about 3,000 people. 42 They were devoting themselves to the
apostolic doctrine, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayers.
A deep sense of awe impacted everyone. Many wonders and miraculous signs
occurred through the apostles. 44 All the believers were united, holding everything for the use of
all. 45 Properties and possessions were being sold, and they would distribute the proceeds to
everyone according as anyone was in need.
On a daily basis they were spending much time purposefully together—in the temple,
and in breaking bread in homes, sharing food gladly and with heartfelt simplicity 47 as they
praised God. They also were gracious toward all the populace. Day by day the Lord was
augmenting this community by integrating into it those being saved.
3:1 Rock and John were on their way up to the temple for the prayer hour at 3 p.m. 2 A man
all his life unable to walk was carried there and was placed daily at the Elegant Entrance, as it
was dubbed, so he might beg for compassionate donations from those entering the temple.
When he saw Rock and John about to make their way into the temple, he kept begging
to receive a donation. 4 Rock, having looked him right in the eye, together with John said, “Pay
attention to us.”
He was holding their gaze, expecting to receive something from them.
Rock said, “Yours truly has no silver or gold, but what I do have, I hereby give to you:
In the name of Jesus Christ from Nazareth, walk!”
Rock grasped him by the right hand and raised him. Immediately his feet and ankles
became stable. 8 He leaped to a standing position and walked around. With them he entered the
temple—walking, leaping, and praising God.
Everybody saw him striding around and offering praise to God. 10 They recognized him
as the one who used to sit at the Elegant Entrance of the temple begging donations. Profoundly
astonished, they were thrilled by what had happened to him.
In the colonnade named for Solomon, the restored man was holding on tenaciously to
Rock and John. All the people, wide-eyed and openmouthed, rushed toward them.
When Rock perceived the situation, he responded to the people:
Gentlemen, Israelis, why are you astonished by this? Or why do you look intently at us
as though by our own power or godlikeness we have made him walk? 13 The God of
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers glorified his servant, Jesus, whom
Acts 3:14-4:11 190

you handed over and denied in a hearing before Pilate, who decided he should be set
free. 14 You repudiated that holy and righteous man and asked for a murderer to be
released to you. 15 The champion of life you put to death. God raised him from the dead,
and we attest that as witnesses.
By faith in his name, this man you are looking at and know is now restored to
functionality. Yes, Jesus’ name, and the faith that connects through him, gave to this
man the wholeness evident to you all.
Now, brothers, I know that you did what you did in ignorance, just as was the case
with your leaders. 18 But God, who foretold by the speech of all the prophets the
suffering of his messiah, fulfilled these prophecies in this manner. 19 Change your mind,
therefore, and reverse course that the record of your sins might be expunged, 20 that like
cool breezes in an arid place, seasonal refreshing might come from the presence of
Yahveh, and that he might send to you his preselected messiah—Jesus.
Heaven must receive him until the times for the restoration of all God spoke about
through his holy ones, beginning in the age of his prophets. 22 Moses said:
Yahveh your God will establish for you from your brothers a prophet like me.
You will obey every word he speaks to you. 23 Every soul who will not obey that
prophet will be destroyed, removing him out of the community.
All the prophets in historical succession from Samuel on, as many as spoke, had
something to announce about these days. 25 The prophets are your family heritage, and
also the covenant God placed in effect with your fathers, saying to Abraham: “And in
your posterity all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
For you first, God raised up his servant and commissioned him to bless you by
turning each one of you away from your evil ways.
4:1 As they were speaking to the people, the executive priests along with the temple guard
and the Sadducees intruded upon them. 2 The intruders were all worked up because the apostles
were teaching the people and asserting in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 They forcibly
took them into custody until the next day, for it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the message believed, bringing the number of adult male
believers to 5,000.
On the next day their leaders, elders, and scholars convened in Jerusalem. 6 Featured
were Annas, the top executive priest, and his associates: Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and as many
as were from the high priest’s family. 7 Having situated the two apostles in the center, they began
interrogating them: “By what power, or under whose auspices did you do this?”
Then Rock, full of holy spirit, said to them:
Leaders of the people and senior officials, 9 if today we are being examined in regard to
the good work done on the walking-impaired man, if you want to know the means by
which he was restored, 10 let it be known to you all, and to all Israel, that in the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the one whom you crucified and God raised from the dead,
this man stands before you physically capacitated—by him. 11 This Jesus, the stone
Acts 4:12-31 191

shoved aside by you builders, has become the keystone of the arch. 12 Salvation
derives from no other source, for in all the realm below heaven, there is no other name
granted the human race for our salvation.
When they saw the boldness of Rock and John and perceived they had no higher
education, and were therefore deemed to be uneducated and ignorant, they were surprised, taking
note of the fact that they had been companions of Jesus. 14 Because they were looking right at the
restored man as he stood there among them, they had nothing they could plead in protest.
They ordered the men to step out of the sanhedrin hall while they conferred with one
another. They said, “What should we do with these men, for it has become general knowledge
that a miraculous sign has occurred through them? This is evident to all who live in Jerusalem,
and we cannot deny it. 17 But lest the news become more widespread among the people, let us
threaten them that they must no longer speak about this name to any human being.”
After calling them back in, they commanded them that under no conditions were they
to speak out or teach on the basis of the name of Jesus.
But Rock and John responded to them: “If it is right by God’s standard to listen to you
rather than to God, you be the judge. 20 For we cannot afford not to speak about what we have
seen and heard.”
After threatening the apostles further, they released them. They had found no grounds
for punishing them that would stand up to public scrutiny because all the people gave God the
acclaim for what had happened. 22 For the man who had experienced this miracle of healing was
over 40 years old.
After their release, they went to their own group and related all that the executive
priests and senior officials said to them. 24 When they heard the report, they unanimously began
to lift up their voice to God:
Sovereign, you are the one who created the sky, the earth, the sea, and all their
components. 25 Our ancestor, David your servant, through the holy spirit said:
Why did nations snort arrogantly,
and societies conspire to take futile actions?
The kings of the earth assembled.
The leaders gathered with identical resolve—
against Yahveh and against his messiah.
For these are the facts: Herod, Pontius Pilate, with the nations and the people of Israel
gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They were
intent on doing as much as your hand and will decided beforehand. 29 Therefore, in the
present circumstances, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to your servants what it
takes to speak your word with persistent boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and
cause signs and wonders to occur through the name of your holy servant, Jesus.
While their requests were being made, the place in which they had assembled was
shaken, and all were filled with holy spirit.
Acts 4:32-5:16 192

They kept right on speaking the word of God with boldness.

The large constituency of believers cohered, having one heart and soul. No one said
anything in his belongings was a private holding, but everything was shared within the group.
With great power the apostles were confirming the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great
grace was upon all the church. 34 For none among them was (any longer) impoverished. As many
as were owners of lands or buildings sold them and brought the funds from the sale 35 and placed
them at the apostles’ disposal. An amount was given to each of the needy commensurate with
their need.
Joseph was dubbed Barnabas by the apostles; his epithet means encourager. A Levite
born on Cyprus, 37 he owned a tract of land, sold it, brought the proceeds, and placed that money
at the disposal of the apostles.
5:1 A man named Ananias, together with his wife, Sapphira, sold a holding in real estate.
But he skimmed a portion of the price paid to him. His wife was in on what was going on. He
brought part of the proceeds and turned it over to the apostles.
Rock said to him, “Ananias, why did the opponent fill your heart so you would deceive
the holy spirit by pocketing a portion of the property sale? 4 While it remained in your
possession, was it not yours? Once sold, you still had control of the funds. What motivated you
to do this? You did not lie to men but to God.”
Upon hearing these words, Ananias slumped over and expired. A wave of dreadful
reverence engulfed all who heard about it. 6 The young assistants got up, wrapped him in a
shroud, took him out, and buried him.
After an interval of about three hours, his wife, not knowing what had happened,
entered. Rock confronted her, “Tell me, did you sell the property for such and such an
“Yes,” she said, “for so much.”
Rock said to her, “Why is it that you conspired with your husband to challenge the
spirit of Yahveh? See here: The feet of those who buried your husband are at the doorway; they
also will carry you out.”
She immediately toppled over right in front of him and stopped breathing. When the
young assistants entered, they found her dead. They carried her out and buried her alongside her
husband. 11 Deep reverence settled over all the church, and upon all who heard about these
Through the hands of the apostles many miraculous signs and wonders occurred
among the people. The apostles were together as a team at Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 As for the
rest of the people, none dared to invade the apostles’ space and they treated them with great
More believers in the Lord were accumulating, consisting of a large number of men
and also women. 15 The momentum was such that they carried the sick out into the streets and
placed them on makeshift beds and pallets so that when Rock came along his shadow might
make contact with some of them. 16 Also a large number of those in the towns surrounding
Acts 5:17-37 193

Jerusalem came into the city, bringing their sick ones and those tormented by unclean spirits.
They were all being healed.
The high priest and all his colleagues of the party of the Sadducees reacted. Permeated
with jealousy, 18 they nabbed the apostles and publicly took them into custody.
During the night Yahveh’s angel opened the doors of the prison and led them out. He
said, “Go, take your stand in the temple, and inform the people all about this life.”
After they heard this, they entered the temple at dawn and went right on teaching.
When the high priest and his associates gathered, they summoned the sanhedrin to
convene all the Israeli council of elders. They sent deputies to the prison to bring in the apostles.
But when the deputies arrived, they did not find them in the prison. They returned and
reported: “We found the prison securely locked and the guards in place at the doors. Once the
doors were opened, we found no one inside.”
After the captain of the temple security guards and the executive priests heard these
words, they became exasperated concerning them as to what would eventuate from this whole
At that moment someone arrived and announced to them: “Attention! The men you
put in prison are in the temple. They have taken their stance and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain of the security guards went out with his deputies and brought them in
not using force, for they were afraid the people might stone them if they did.
After they brought them, the apostles stood in the dock within the sanhedrin. The
top-echelon priest interrogated them: 28 “We commanded you absolutely not to teach in this
name. But—see—you have saturated Jerusalem with your doctrine. Moreover, you want to bring
on us the guilt for the blood of this man.”
Rock and the apostles replied,
When it is a matter of obedience to authority, God takes precedence over men. 30 The
God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you did away with by suspending him on a
wooden frame. 31 God exalted him as champion and savior to a position at his right hand
so as to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32 We are representatives of
these matters and so too is the holy spirit God gave to those who are obedient to him.”
Those who listened became infuriated and began conniving to assassinate them. 34 But
there stood up a member of the sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a distinguished teacher of
the law among all the people. He ordered the men to be put outside the chamber momentarily.
Then he said to the council:
Gentleman, Israelis, you had better watch out for yourselves as to what you are about to
do to these men. 36 For in earlier days Theudas rose up claiming to be somebody. About
400 men joined in with him. He was slain, and all who had been persuaded by him
disbanded; his movement came to nothing. 37 After this Judas the Galilean asserted
himself at the time of the census. He got a following to revolt with him. He also was
killed and all who had been trusting in him were scattered.
Acts 5:38-7:2 194

Now as for the present situation, I say to you: Back off from these men and release
them. If this counsel and this activity originates with men, it will collapse. 39 But if it has
its origin in God, you will not be able to bring them down, and you are liable to be
found as those in conflict with God.
They were persuaded by him.
After having called the apostles in, they had them whipped. They commanded them not
to speak any more about the name of Jesus, and released them.
The apostles consequently left the presence of the sanhedrin rejoicing because they
were counted worthy to experience dishonor in behalf of the name. 42 Every day in the temple,
and in homes, they did not cease to teach and preach the good news—Christ Jesus.
6:1 During that time as disciples were multiplying, a complaint of the Hellenists against the
Hebrews surfaced. The issue was that Hellenistic widows were being overlooked in the daily
The twelve called a meeting of the community of disciples and said, “It is not proper
for us to discontinue handling the word of God to serve at distribution tables. 3 Brothers,
critically select from among you seven reputable men who are full of (holy) spirit and wisdom,
whom we will appoint to take care of this exigency. 4 As for us, we will continue to concentrate
on prayer and ministry of the word.”
This solution satisfied all the community. They selected Stephen—a man full of faith
and holy spirit—Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte from
Antioch. 6 They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on
The word of God continued to grow in influence. The number of disciples in Jerusalem
increased enormously, including a large group of priests who were submissive to the faith.
Stephen, full of grace and power, did wonders and great miracles among the people.
Some opponents from the synagogue called Freedmen, and from the Cyrenians, Alexandrians,
Cilicians, and Asians asserted themselves and were calling Stephen into question. 10 But they
were not able to stand up to the wisdom and spirit by which he was speaking.
Then they put some men up to saying, “We have heard him speaking words insulting
to Moses and to God.” 12 They incited the people, the elders, and the scholars so that they rushed
upon him, seized him, and brought him to the sanhedrin. 13 They set up perjured witnesses
saying, “This man does not cease making accusations against this holy place and the law. 14 For
we have heard him saying: This Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and radicalize the
customs Moses instituted for us.”
As they stared at Stephen, all those sitting in the sanhedrin saw his face (glowing) like
the face of an angel.
7:1 The leading priest said, “Do these accusations have any foundation?”
He replied:
Gentlemen, brothers, and fathers, hear me out.
Acts 7:3-22 195

The glorious God appeared to our father Abraham while in Mesopotamia, before he
settled in Haran. 3 He said to him:
Leave your land and your family and come to the land I will show you.
Then, having left the country of the Chaldaeans, he settled in Haran. From there, after
the death of his father, he situated himself in this land in which you now live. 5 But God
did not give him an inheritance in it—not even a square meter. Indeed, he promised to
give it to him for his possession and to his posterity after him, although he was
God spoke this way: that his offspring would be a stranger in a foreign land, and they
would be enslaved there and mistreated for four centuries. 7 And I will judge whatever
nation enslaves them, God said, and after these things, they will go out and serve me in
this place.
He gave him a covenant of circumcision. In this manner Abraham fathered Isaac and
circumcised him on the eighth day. Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered the twelve
The patriarchs, having become jealous of Joseph, sold him away into Egypt. 10 But
God was with him and delivered him from all his troubles. He gave him acceptance and
skill before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who appointed him administrator over Egypt and
over all his house.
A famine came upon all Egypt and Canaan, and with it great hardship. Our ancestors
could not find food. 12 When Jacob heard there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers
there first. 13 On the second trip down, Joseph’s identity was disclosed to his brothers.
Joseph introduced his family to Pharaoh.
Joseph sent word and summoned to himself Jacob, his father, and all 75 relatives. 15 So
Jacob went down to Egypt. He died there and our patriarchs also. 16 They were removed
to Shechem and placed in the tomb sold for silver to Abraham by the sons of Hamor in
When the time for the fulfillment of the promise God confirmed to Abraham began to
roll around, the people had grown into a large population in Egypt. 18 This continued
until such time as another dynasty came to power in which the king did not
acknowledge Joseph. 19 This king exploited our clan by mistreating our fathers, making
them expose their newborns to the elements so that they would not survive.
During that time, Moses was born and was prepossessing to God. He had home care at
the family residence for three months. 21 When he was isolated, Pharaoh’s daughter
retrieved the exposed child for herself and brought him up as her son. 22 Moses was
educated in every field of knowledge of the Egyptians. He was quite influential in his
words and works.
Acts 7:23-43 196

When he turned 40, it occurred to him to check on his (ethnic) brothers, the
descendants of Israel. 24 Upon observing one of them suffering injustice, he helped him
by avenging the man; he delivered a punishing blow to his Egyptian oppressor. 25 He
assumed his brothers would understand that by his hand God would deliver them. But
they missed the point altogether.
On the next day some of them were seen fighting, and he stepped in to break it up and
to restore peace, saying, “Men, you are brothers. Why are you injuring one another?”
But the one who started the fight pushed him away, saying, “Who authorized you as a
leader and judge over us? 28 You do not want to kill me the same way you killed the
Egyptian yesterday, do you?”
Because of what was said, Moses fled, becoming a fugitive in the land of Midian,
where he fathered two sons.
Forty years later in the desert at Sinai Mountain a messenger appeared to him, as a
flame of fire engulfing a thorn-bush. 31 When Moses saw the spectacle, it took him by
surprise. As he came up to analyze it, a voice from Yahveh resounded: 32 “I am the God
of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Trembling, he did not dare to
Yahveh said to him, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which
you stand is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the cruel treatment of my people in
Egypt, and I heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come that I
might send you to Egypt.”
This was the same Moses whom they denied by their gibe, “Who commissioned you
as leader and judge?” God ordained him as leader and liberator. He commissioned him
with the support of an angel seen by him in the thorn-bush. 36 Moses led the people out,
having done wonders and miraculous signs in the land of Egypt—both in the Red Sea
and in the desert for 40 years.
This was the same Moses who said to the descendants of Israel, “God will raise up
for you from among your brothers a prophet like me.”
This was the same Moses who was with the community in the desert and with the
angel who spoke to him at Sinai Mountain, and who was with our ancestors—the man
who received a living message to give to us, 39 the one whom our fathers did not want to
obey. On the contrary, they repudiated him; and they returned in their fantasies to
Egypt. 40 They said to Aaron, “Make gods for us who will lead the way for us, because
as for this Moses who brought us out of Egypt, we do not know what has become of
They crafted a young bull in those days and brought sacrifices to their idol, getting
their thrills from what they had handcrafted. 42 But God relented and gave them leeway
to worship astral and planetary bodies, just as it is written in the scroll of the prophets:
It was not to me that you presented slaughtered animals and sacrifices
for 40 years in the desert, family of Israel, was it?
But you took up the cult at the tent of Moloch,
Acts 7:44-8:3 197

and that of the star of your god Saturn—

images you crafted so you could bow down to them.
So I will resettle you beyond here in Babylon.
There was also the tent of witness in the desert for our ancestors. It was constructed
just as the one who spoke to Moses specified, exactly as Moses had seen the model.
Handed down in succession by our ancestors, they brought it with Joshua as they took
possession of the land of the nations, which God drove from the presence of our fathers,
until the epoch of David.
David was in God’s good graces, and he asked for the task of finding God a dwelling
place in the family of Jacob. 47 Solomon built a house for him. 48 But the highest (God)
does not dwell in hand-crafted edifices, just as the prophet says:
Heaven is my throne; earth is my footrest.
What kind of house will you construct for me? says Yahveh.
Or what place is my place to settle down?
Has not my hand made all these things?
Having rigid necks and foreskin sheathing your hearts and ears, you continually resist
the holy spirit just as your ancestors did—and you no less than they. 52 Who of the
prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who announced
beforehand the coming of the righteous one, of whom you now have become betrayers
and murderers—53 you, who received the law as ordinances from angels but do not keep
When they heard these words, they were lacerated to their heart, and they grimaced at
him, grinding their teeth.
But full of holy spirit, Stephen fixed his gaze toward heaven. He saw God’s glory and
Jesus stationed at God’s right. 56 He exclaimed, “Look! I see open heavens and the human one
standing at God’s right.”
Screaming vociferously while placing their hands over their ears, they lunged upon
him as by one impulse. 58 They manhandled him out of the city and began pelting him with rocks.

When they took off their outer garments, the “witnesses” doing the stoning laid their
clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
On his knees he called out in a vehement voice, “Lord, do not put this sin on their account!”
After saying this, he fell unconscious.
8:1 Saul was in full agreement with the assassination of Stephen.
On that day a full-scale persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem. Everyone
was scattered to the outlying areas of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Godly men took
charge of burying the remains of Stephen. There was much mourning for him.
Saul kept devastating the church. Searching house by house, he was dragging out men
and women and confining them in prison.
Acts 8:4-30 198

Nevertheless, those who had been dispersed went on their way preaching the message.
Philip, for instance, went down to the city of Samaria. He proclaimed the messiah to them.
Crowds there were paying attention and giving united consent to what was being spoken by
Philip. They were listening to him and viewing the miraculous signs he was doing. 7 For there
were many cases of people having filthy spirits. As the spirits were expelled they would scream
with a shrill voice. Many who were disabled and incapacitated were being restored. 8 Much joy
was generated in that city.
An individual named Simon had previously been around town practicing the occult
and astounding the Samaritan populace. He promoted himself as a great somebody. 10 Everyone
up and down the social scale had deference for him, exclaiming, “He is God’s great power!”
They were mesmerized by him for a long time, being amazed by his occult practices.
When the Samaritans put their faith in Philip’s preaching about the kingdom of God
and the name of Jesus Christ, they—both men and women—were baptized. 13 Simon, himself,
also believed and was baptized. He was dogging the trail of Philip, and as he saw the signs and
great miracles occurring, he became ecstatic.
After the apostles in Jerusalem received the news that Samaria had accepted the word
of God, they sent to them Rock and John. 15 Upon their arrival, they prayed with them that they
might receive holy spirit. 16 For as yet the spirit had not fallen [in power] on any of them. They
had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then as they were placing their hands on
them, they would receive holy spirit.
When Simon saw that through the placement of the hands of the apostles the spirit
was given, he brought them money. 19 He said, “Give me also this capability that upon whomever
I place my hands, he will receive holy spirit.”
Rock said to him, “May your silver be devoted to destruction along with you because
you supposed you could acquire God’s gift with money. 21 You do not share in part or whole in
this, because your motive is not right in the presence of God. 22 Therefore, repent of this evil of
yours, and be in prayer to the Lord if indeed this scheme of your heart may be forgiven. 23 For I
perceive you are as bitter as bile and bound by unrighteousness.”
Simon replied, “You petition the Lord in my behalf that none of the things you
mentioned will overtake me.”
Then after the apostles had given extensive testimony and had spoken the word of the
Lord, they returned to Jerusalem. En route they were evangelizing many of the Samaritan towns.
A messenger of the Yahveh spoke to Philip: “Get ready, and at noon go down the
desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he got up and started out.
View the scene: On the road was an Ethiopian, a eunuch who was a court official for
Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians; he was her minister of finance. He had come to worship at
Jerusalem 28 and was returning. As he sat in his chariot he was reading from the prophet Isaiah.
The spirit said to Philip, “Go in his direction and make contact with his chariot.”
As Philip moved rapidly up beside him, he heard him reading aloud the prophecy of
Isaiah. So he said, “Do you readily understand what you are reading?”
Acts 8:31-9:10 199

“How would I be able to unless someone takes me through it?” he replied. He invited
Philip to climb on board and sit with him. 32 The pericope of Scripture he was reading was this:
As a sheep led to slaughter,
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
he too did not open his mouth.
While they humiliated him, justice for him was eliminated.
Who will narrate his family line,
because his life was taken away from the earth?
The eunuch responded to Philip, “Please tell me: About whom does the prophet say
this? Does he refer to himself or to someone else?”
Philip, in response, beginning with this passage of Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
As they were proceeding down the road, they came to a body of water. The eunuch
said, “Look—water! What hinders my being baptized?” 38 He ordered the chariot to pull over,
and they went down together into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water, the spirit of Yahveh snatched Philip away. The
eunuch saw him no longer, but he went on his way rejoicing.
Philip, on the other hand, was found at Azotus. So he passed through all the (western)
towns, evangelizing until he came to Caesarea.
9:1 While Saul was still venting a threatening policy, including murder, against the disciples
of the Lord, he came to the high priest, 2 requesting documents from him applicable to the
synagogues in Damascus. These stipulated that if anyone of this way was found—both men and
women—he would bring them in fetters to Jerusalem.
He traveled until he came close to Damascus. All of a sudden a light from heaven
beamed on him. 4 As he fell to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do
you persecute me?”
He said, “Who are you, sovereign?”
The reply came: “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! 6 But stand up, enter the city,
and it will be told you what is necessary for you to do.”
Deputies who accompanied him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no
Saul got up from the ground, and although his eyes were open, he could see nothing.
Leading him by the hand, they brought him to Damascus. 9 For three days he did not see
anything, eat anything, or drink anything.
In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias, to whom the Lord spoke in a
And he said, “Reporting in, Lord.”
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The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to Straight Street and seek out at the house of
Judah a man named Saul of Tarsus. For note this: He is praying. 12 He had a vision of a man
named Ananias coming in and laying his hands on him so that he might recover his sight.”
Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard reports from many people about this fellow in
terms of many wicked things he did to your holy ones in Jerusalem. 14 Also he has authority here
from the executive priests to shackle all who call upon your name.”
The Lord said to him, “Go, because he is my chosen instrument for conveying my
name before the internationals, kings, and descendants of Israel. 16 For I will indicate to him how
much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
So Ananias departed, entered the building, placed his hands on him, and said,
“Brother Saul, the Lord sent me. I refer to Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you
came. He sent me that you might see again and be filled with holy spirit.”
All at once there fell from his eyes something like scales. He could see again, got
ready, and was baptized. 19 After eating food, his strength was restored.
He was with the disciples in Damascus for a period of time. 20 Immediately, he preached
in the synagogues that Jesus is God’s son. 21 All who heard him were astounded. They kept
saying, “Is not this the Jerusalemean assassin, intent on doing away with those who invoke this
name? Did he not also come here for the purpose of arresting such people that he might bring
them back to the executive priests?”
But Saul was increasing more in his intensity, and he was causing consternation to the
Jews who lived in Damascus, by corroborating his claim that this one he preached is the messiah.
After a considerable time had elapsed, the Jews conspired to murder him. 24 Their plot
became known to Saul. They were watching the gates of the city day and night so that they might
do away with him. 25 But his disciples brought him out via the wall after dark by lowering him in
a basket.
Once back in Jerusalem, he attempted to join in with the disciples. But they all were
afraid of him, not believing he was really a disciple. 27 Yet Barnabas took it upon himself to bring
him to the apostles. He narrated to them how Saul was on the road when he saw the Lord
communicating with him. He also related how in Damascus he spoke out intrepidly in the name
of Jesus.
Thus Saul was with them going back and forth in Jerusalem, speaking courageously in
the name of the Lord. 29 He would dialogue and contend also with the Hellenists. But they kept
attempting to assassinate him. 30 When the disciples found out about it, they brought him down to
Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
Consequently, the church experienced peace in all Judaea, Galilee, and Samaria.
Being built up, and proceeding in deep reverence for the Lord, and in the encouragement of the
holy spirit, the church kept being multiplied.
The following incident occurred after Rock passed through all the communities on the
way down to the holy people who lived at Lydda. 33 He found there a man named Aeneas, who
for eight years had been lying upon a bedroll because he was paralyzed.
Acts 9:34-10:14 201

Rock said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ is healing you. Stand up and make yourself
Immediately he got up. 35 All the residents of Lydda and Sharon knew him. These
people turned to the Lord.
In Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, meaning gazelle. Her life was
full of good works and ministries of charity. 37 During that time she became sick and died. Her
body was washed and laid out in an upstairs room.
Because Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples had heard Rock was there. They sent
two men to him, urging him, “Do not delay to come to us.” 39 Rock got ready and accompanied
them. When he arrived, they led him to the upstairs room. All the widows were present. They
were weeping and displaying undergarments and outer garments Dorcas had made while she was
with them.
Rock put everyone out of the room, and dropping to his knees, he prayed. Then he
faced the corpse and said, “Tabitha, get up.”
She opened her eyes, and when she saw Rock, she sat up. 41 After he gave her a hand,
she stood up. Then he called the holy ones and widows and presented her alive.
What happened became known throughout all the region of Joppa. Many believed in
the Lord. 43 Rock remained for a good many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner.
10:1 In Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, the captain of 100 men of the Italian
cohort. 2 A devout man, he with all his household had deep reverence for God. He made many
charitable contributions to the people and kept praying to God in every situation.
In a daytime revelation around 3 p.m. he clearly saw a messenger of God coming to
him, saying, “Cornelius.”
He gazed fearfully at the messenger and said, “What is it, sovereign?”
He replied, “Your prayers and your compassionate donations ascended as an offering
remembered before God. 5 Now send some men to Joppa to get a certain Simon who goes by the
name, Rock. 6 He is a guest with Simon, a tanner, whose home is at the seashore.
After the messenger who spoke to him left, Cornelius called two of his household
servants and a devout soldier attached to his command. 8 Having explained everything to them,
he sent them to Joppa.
On the next day while those who were on their way were nearing the city, Rock went
up on the flat roof about noon to pray. 10 He became very hungry and wanted to eat. While they
were preparing the meal, a vision came to him. 11 He saw an opening in the sky and a container
like a large square of sailcloth being let down upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of quadrupeds
and reptiles of the earth, and birds of the sky.
A voice accosted him, “Get up, Rock, butcher and eat.”
Rock replied, “By no means, Lord, because I have never eaten anything common or
Acts 10:15-37 202

Again a second time a voice came to him, “For you, what God has purified is not
This happened a third time, and immediately the container was retracted into heaven.
As Rock was at a loss within himself to decipher the meaning of the vision, see this:
The men sent by Cornelius had asked about town for the home of Simon, and now they stood at
the entrance. 18 They called out inquiring if Simon, alias Rock, was a guest there.
While Rock was wondering about the vision, the spirit of God said, “Take note: Three
men are looking for you. 20 You had better get ready, go downstairs, and go with them. Do not
discriminate against them, because I sent them.”
When Rock came to ground level, he said to the men, “Take note, I am the one for
whom you are looking. What is the reason you are here?”
They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous, God-fearing man whose integrity is
attested by the whole nation of the Jews was instructed by a holy angel to send over for you to
come to his home so he could hear what you have to say.”
Rock invited them in as his guests.
On the next day he got ready and went out with them, accompanied by some of the
brothers from Joppa.
On the day following they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them. He had
assembled his relatives and close friends.
As Rock entered, Cornelius met him, prostrating himself at his feet to revere him. 26
But Rock raised him up saying, “Stand up, I myself am just a man.” 27 As he conversed with him,
he entered and found that many people had assembled.
Rock said to them, “You understand how it is taboo for a Jewish male to be associated
with or to visit in the home of a non-Jew. But in my case, God pointed out to me that no man
should be stereotyped common or unclean. 29 Therefore, I came along, raising no objections
when you sent for me. I inquire, therefore, as to what message you sent for me to deliver.”
Cornelius said, “Four days ago at 3 p.m., I was praying in my home. Now see this: A
figure stood in front of me in gleaming attire. 31 He said: 'Cornelius, your prayer was heard and
your charitable acts are remembered before God. 32 Send, therefore, to Joppa and call for Simon
called Rock. He is staying as a guest in the home of Simon, a tanner who lives by the seaside.'
So at once I sent for you, and you so graciously made your way here. Now, therefore, we all
are here in the presence of God to hear all the Lord commanded you.”
Rock began his presentation this way:
I have come to appreciate the truth that God shows no favoritism. 35 But in every nation
one who has deep respect for him and practices righteousness is acceptable to him.
God sent his word to the descendants of Israel by preaching the gospel of peace
through Jesus Christ. He is sovereign over everyone. 37 You know what occurred
throughout the whole of the Jewish territories, beginning in Galilee after the baptism
Acts 10:38-11:16 203

proclaimed by John. 38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the powerful holy spirit.
He made the rounds accomplishing beneficial works and healing all those dominated
by the devil, because God was with him. 39 We are witnesses of all he did in the
territories of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They also assassinated him, having suspended him upon wood. 40 God raised him
on the third day and he was revealed. 41 He did not appear to all the people,
but to witnesses preselected by God, to us who ate and drank with him after his
resurrection from the dead.
He commanded us to proclaim to the people and to confirm by our testimony that he
is the one appointed by God as judge of those living and dead. 43 All the prophets
testify that forgiveness of sins is received through his name by all who believe in him.
Simultaneously as Rock was still speaking these words, the holy spirit fell on all who
listened to the message. 45 Those from the circumcised faithful who had come along with Rock
were astounded that also on the nations the gift of holy spirit was poured out. 46 For they heard
them speaking in tongues and extolling God.
Then Rock responded, “Certainly no one can forbid water baptism for these who
received the holy spirit just as we did.” 48 He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus
Christ. Afterward they asked him to remain for a few days.
11:1 The Jewish apostles and brothers heard that the goyim had received the word of God.
When Rock went up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised made an issue of this with him,
asserting, “You entered the precincts of foreskinned men and dined with them.”
Therefore, Rock set out for them the whole story right from the beginning:
“I was in the town of Joppa. While enraptured in prayer, I saw a vision of a container
descending. It resembled a large square of sailcloth, lowered from heaven right where I was.
When I inspected it, I observed quadrupeds of the earth, wild game, reptiles, and birds of the
sky. 7 I also heard a voice saying to me: Get up, Rock, butcher and eat.
“But I said: By no means, Lord, because nothing common or unclean ever enters my
“A second time a voice from heaven responded: What God purified you must not
consider common.
“This happened a third time, and again everything was retracted into heaven. 11 The
scene changes: At once three men who were sent from Caesarea to me arrived at the house where
we were. 12 The spirit told me to go with them, and not to have scruples against them. With me
also went six of the brothers, and we entered the man’s home.
“He related to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, saying: Send to
Joppa and bring back Simon dubbed Rock, 14 who will explain matters to you by which you will
be saved and all your household.
“After I began to speak, the holy spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 I
remembered how the Lord had said: John baptized in water, but you will be baptized in holy
Acts 11:17-12:10 204

spirit. 17 If, therefore, God gave to them the identical gift he gave to us who believed in the Lord
Jesus Christ, who was I to think I could forbid God to do that?”
When they heard these things, they ceased opposition and glorified God, saying,
“Therefore, God also permitted the nations repentance leading to life.”
Those scattered because of the ordeal caused by Stephen’s martyrdom moved away as
far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the message exclusively to the Jews. 20 Certain
ones of the Cypriots and Cyrenians who came to Antioch were speaking also to the Greeks the
good news featuring the Lord Jesus. 21 Yahveh’s hand was with them. A large number of them,
having believed, turned to face the Lord.
The news about them was heard in the church in Jerusalem. They commissioned
Barnabas to go all the way to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw the grace of God in action, he
rejoiced, and he encouraged everyone to remain purposefully committed to the Lord. 24 He was
sent because he was a man of good character, full of holy spirit and faith. A large group of
people became bonded with the Lord.
Barnabas traveled to Tarsus to search out Saul’s whereabouts. 26 Once he found him,
he brought him to Antioch. They were associated with the church for a whole year, teaching a
large congregation. It was in Antioch that disciples were first identified as Christians.
In those days prophets from Jerusalem traveled to Antioch. 28 One of them named
Agabus stood up and foretold through the spirit that a great famine was about to spread over all
the Roman empire. It occurred during the reign of Claudius. 29 As for the disciples, they worked
out a plan by which anyone, as he was financially able, would send a contribution as a ministry
to the brothers who lived in Judaea. 30 This they did, sending the aid to the church elders by the
hands of Barnabas and Saul.
12:1 At that time King Herod initiated actions to harm some of the churchmen. 2 With a
sword he assassinated James, the brother of John. 3 When he surmised this pleased the Jews, he
proceeded further by arresting Rock. The season was the feast of flat bread. 4 After Rock’s arrest,
Herod put him in prison in the custody of four four-man squads of soldiers, guarding him around
the clock. His intention was to bring him up before the people after the Passover. 5 Therefore,
Rock was being held in prison, but earnest intercession was offered to God by the church in his
On the night before Herod was about to bring him out, Rock was sleeping between two
soldiers, bound by two chains; and guards at the door were keeping the prison secure.
But look! An angel of Yahveh presented himself. A light shined in the cell. The
messenger tapped Rock on his side and raised him, saying, “Get up quickly.”
The fetters fell away from his wrists. 8 The angel said to him, “Adjust your belted tunic,
and slip on your sandals.” He did that.
Then he said to him, “Put on your outer garment and follow me.”
Rock went out of the cell following him, not knowing what was happening. Though
the angelic intervention was real, he thought he was having a dream. 10 They passed through the
first and second prison enclosures and came to the iron gate leading into the city. Of its own
Acts 12:11-13:7 205

accord it opened for them. Passing through, they emerged on First Street. Immediately, the angel
left him.
When Rock was fully conscious of what he was doing, he said to himself, “Now I
truly know that Yahveh sent his emissary and rescued me from the hand of Herod and every
anticipation of the Jewish people.” 12 Once he got his bearings, he came to the home of Mary, the
mother of John who is called Mark, where many were meeting and praying.
After he had knocked at the exterior gateway, a female servant named Rose
responded. 14 When she recognized Rock’s voice, she became so exuberant she did not open the
gate, but ran inside and announced that Rock was standing at the entrance. 15 Those there said to
her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting it was this way. They were saying it was
his messenger. 16 Rock, nevertheless, remained there knocking. When they opened up, they saw
him and were elated. 17 He gestured with his hand to them to keep quiet, and he narrated to them
how the Lord brought him out of the prison. He also said, “Report these things to James and the
brothers.” He departed and went elsewhere.
At dawn there was not a little commotion among the soldiers as to what had become
of Rock. After Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he thoroughly examined
the prison guards. Then he gave orders for them to be executed.
Herod went down from the Jewish area to Caesarea and remained there. 20 He was
furious with the cities of Tyre and Sidon. Unitedly they presented themselves to him. They
persuaded Blastus, the keeper of the king’s bedroom, to represent them so they could ask for
peace, because their food supply came from the king’s holdings. 21 On a holiday Herod, decked
out in his royal apparel and seated on his throne, made an oration to them. 22 The people cheered,
chanting, “It is God’s voice, and not a man’s!”
Immediately a messenger of Yahveh struck him down because he did not confess
God’s exclusive glory. He became eaten up by worms and expired.
As for the word of God—its effectiveness increased and multiplied.
Barnabas and also Saul, who were in Jerusalem, returned after having fulfilled their
charitable ministry. They took along with them John, who is called Mark.
13:1 There were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon, called
Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen who was a foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were engaged in ministering to Yahveh and fasting, the holy spirit said, “Appoint
for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then having fasted and
prayed, they laid their hands on them and released them to go.
These men, therefore, having been sent out by the holy spirit, went down to Seleucia.
From there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 When they came to Salamis, they proclaimed the word of
God in the Jewish synagogues. And John Mark was their factotum.
When they had passed through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found an
occultist, a false prophet of Jewish extraction, whose name was Barjesus. 7 He had ensconced
himself with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intellectual. Sergius Paulus invited Barnabas and
Saul to his place, ardently desiring to hear the word of God.
Acts 13:8-33 206

Elymas, the ‘occultist’—that is the meaning of this name—opposed them. He was
seeking to mislead the proconsul away from the faith. 9 But Saul, alias Paul, full of holy spirit,
directed his gaze toward him 10 and said, “You are full of fraud and total treachery, you diabolical
person, you enemy of all that is right. Do you never cease perverting the straight ways of
Yahveh? 11 So now—look! Yahveh’s hand is on you; you will become blind, not seeing the sun
for awhile.”
At once a fog and darkness fell on him. Groping around, he was seeking guides to lead
him by the hand. 12 Then having observed what happened, the proconsul believed. He was
astonished at the teaching about Yahveh.
Having sailed from Paphos, Paul’s party came to Perga of Pamphylia. John deserted
them there and returned to Jerusalem. 14 They passed on from Perga and arrived at Pisidian
Antioch. They entered the synagogue on the sabbath day and took their seats. 15 After the reading
of the law and the prophets, the leaders of the synagogue said to them: “Gentlemen, brothers, if
any of you has a message of exhortation for the people, speak your piece.”
Paul got up, gestured with his hand, and said,
Gentleman, Israelis, and God-fearing men, listen to this: 17 The God of this people,
Israel, chose our fathers and he aggrandized them during their stay in the land of Egypt.
With an arm stretched high in victory he brought them out of Egypt. 18 For about 40
years he put up with them in the desert. 19 After he had struck down seven nations in the
land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance 20 for about four and one-half
centuries. Afterward, he provided deliverers until the prophet Samuel. 21 From then on
they asked for a king. God gave them Saul, son of Kish, a man from the tribe of
Benjamin, who was in place for 40 years. 22 God set him aside and elevated David as
their king. Of David he said in a testimonial, I have found David, the son of Jesse, to be
a man who conforms to the contours of my heart—one who will implement all my
decisions. 23 From David’s promised offspring God brought Jesus as savior to Israel.
Before Jesus entered the picture, John from the outset of his ministry proclaimed to all
the people of Israel a baptism demonstrating repentance. 25 As John neared the
termination of his course, he would ask: Who do you think I am? I am not the principal
one. But—see this—one is coming after me, and I am not worthy to remove a sandal
from his feet.
Gentlemen, brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and God-fearers among you, the
message of this salvation was sent to us. 27 As for the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their
leaders, they ignored him and the proclamations of the prophets read sabbath by
sabbath. They condemned him and in this way fulfilled the prophecies. 28 Although they
found no grounds for the death penalty, they asked Pilate to execute him. 29 When they
finished doing everything that had been written concerning him, he was lowered from
the cross and placed in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead. 31 He appeared over
a span of many days to those who went up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They
are his representatives to the people.
We preach good news to you—the promise given to our ancestors. 33 God has fulfilled
this promise for us, their children, by resurrecting Jesus as also recorded in the
Acts 13:34-50 207

second Psalm:
You are my son;
I have become your father today.
Because he raised him from the dead, it would not be possible for him to disintegrate
into dust, just as he said:
I shall transfer to you the holy and faithful features that pertained to David.
“Therefore, he says also in another text:
You will not allow your holy one to experience disintegration.
For David on the one hand, having served his own generation in accordance with
God’s purpose, fell asleep and was tucked away with his ancestors; he did experience
decomposition. 37 On the other hand, God raised Jesus up without his disintegration.
Consequently, let it be known to you, men and brothers, that through Jesus
forgiveness of sins is announced to you—a forgiveness covering all the things from
which, under the law of Moses, there was no clearance from guilt for you. 39 In him
everyone who believes is made righteous.
Watch out, therefore lest what was said in the prophets would apply to you:
Peer at this, you cynics!
Experience consternation, and be reduced to nothing,
because I shall do a special work in your time,
an accomplishment you certainly would not believe,
even if someone thoroughly explained it to you.
As the people were leaving, they were urging the speakers to discuss with them these
issues on the next sabbath. 43 After the synagogue meeting broke up, many of the Jews and
devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them, urging them to continue in
God’s grace.
When the sabbath arrived, almost all of the city was assembled to listen to the word of
the Lord. Upon seeing the crowds, the Jews were filled with jealousy. They began
contradicting the statements of Paul, while hurling insults at him. 46 Intrepidly, Paul and
Barnabas said: “It was necessary to speak the word of God first to you. Because you disdain it
and do not deem yourselves to be worthy of eternal life, note this, we are turning to the nations.
For in such a manner the Lord has commanded us:
I have placed you as a light for the nations,
that you might be useful for salvation as far as the extremity of the earth.
When the goyim heard this, they kept rejoicing and honoring the word of God. As
many as had positioned themselves for eternal life believed. 49 The Lord’s message was being
carried all over the region.
But the Jews incited the prominent God-fearing gentile women and the influential
citizens of the city. They instigated the persecution of Paul and Barnabas and thrust them out of
their territorial district.
Acts 13:51-14:22 208

The two men tapped the dust off their feet against them and went on to Iconium.
Even so, the disciples kept being filled with joy and holy spirit.
14:1 The sequel was the same in Iconium when they entered the Jewish synagogue and
spoke. The upshot was that Jews and a very large group of Greeks believed. 2 But the
unpersuaded Jews reacted, ruthlessly distorting the minds of the goyim against the brothers. 3 Yet
for quite some time Paul and Barnabas stayed there speaking out boldly about the Lord, who
corroborated his gracious message by providing through their hands evidential signs and
The population of the city was split. One group was with the Jews and the other with
the apostles. 5 An attempt by the goyim along with the Jews and their leaders to humiliate and
stone the visitors was in the works. 6 On becoming aware of it, they escaped to the cities of
Lycaonia—Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding territories. 7 They kept on preaching the good
news there.
In Lystra there lived a sedentary man, incapacitated in his feet. He had been like this
from birth and never walked. 9 He listened to Paul speaking. Paul made eye contact with him and
perceived he had faith to be restored. 10 He exclaimed in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your
He leaped up and walked around.
When the crowd saw what Paul did, they chanted in the Lycaonian language, “The
gods having taken on human likenesses have come down to us.” 12 They dubbed Barnabas Zeus
and Paul Hermes, because Paul was the dominant speaker.
The priest of Zeus, whose shrine was located at the entrance of the city, brought oxen
and garlands to the gateway. Accompanied by crowds, he came with the intention of making a
The missionaries, Barnabas and Paul, upon hearing this, ripped up their clothes and
rushed out into the crowd shouting:
Men, why are you doing these things? We are dependent human beings just like you,
preaching that you should turn away from such empty things as these and turn to the
living God. He created heaven, earth, the sea, and all that is in them. 16 In past
generations he allowed all nations to do their own thing. 17 Still he did not leave himself
without evidence of his presence. He did good for you, providing rain from heaven and
fruitful seasons, fulfilling your desires for food and natural joys.
Having said all that, they scarcely restrained the crowds from sacrificing to them.
Jews arrived on the scene from (Pisidian) Antioch and Iconium and won over the
mobs. After stoning Paul, they dragged him outside the city, assuming he was dead. 20 When the
disciples encircled him, he got up and went into the city. On the next day he departed with
Barnabas for Derbe.
After they had evangelized in Derbe and had made many disciples, they returned to
Lystra, Iconium, and (Pisidian) Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spiritual life of the disciples,
encouraging them to remain committed to the faith, and assured them that one necessarily goes
through many troubles in entering the kingdom of God.
Acts 14:23-15:16 209

In a setting of prayer with fasting, they appointed elders—church by church. These
they presented to the Lord in whom they had trusted.
When they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 After having
spoken the message in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed for Antioch,
where originally they had been dedicated to God’s grace for the work they now had completed.
Upon their arrival at Antioch, they met with the church and reported all God did
through them, especially how he opened a doorway of faith for the nations. 28 They spent not a
little time there with the disciples.
15:1 Some Jews were coming down to Antioch and teaching the brothers their position:
“Unless you undergo circumcision as prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Because there was not a little opposition and contention with them by Paul and
Barnabas, the church arranged for Paul, Barnabas, and certain others from them to go up to meet
with the apostles and elders in Jerusalem to deal with this controversy.
Then those delegated by the church traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, narrating
the conversion of the nations, causing great joy among all the brothers. 4 Upon their arrival in
Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders. They reported the
many ways God had used them. 5 But some from the sect of the Pharisees who had become
believers stood up and spoke out: “It is necessary to circumcise the goyim and command them to
keep the law of Moses.”
The apostles and elders assembled to investigate this issue. 7 After much disputing had
taken place, Rock took the floor and said to them:
Gentlemen, brothers, you are acquainted with the fact that in days long ago God
decided among you that through my mouth the nations would hear the message of the
gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the hearts of people, certified them by giving
them the holy spirit just as he did to us. 9 Having made their hearts pure by faith, he
made no distinction between us and them.
Now, therefore, why would you put God to the test by putting a yoke upon the neck of
the disciples that neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 On the contrary,
through the grace of our Lord Jesus we believe and as a result are saved; their salvation
is accomplished in the same way.”
After the whole group became silent again, they listened to Barnabas and Paul narrate
the miraculous signs and wonders God did through them among the nations.
Then after their voices became silent, James responded:
Gentlemen, brothers, listen to what I have to say. 14 Simeon explained how God first
visited the nations so as to acquire people from them for his name. 15 The messages of
the prophets harmonize with this, just as it has been recorded:
After these things I will return,
And I will build up again the fallen dynasty of David,
Acts 15:17-38 210

And I will build up again its ruins,

And I will restore it,
So that the remainder of the human race might seek Yahveh,
Even all the nations, under the auspices of my name,
Says Yahveh, the one doing these things 18 known from antiquity.
Therefore, I go on record in saying that no additional difficulties should be put in the
way of those from the nations who are turning to God. 20 But they should be sent
instructions to have nothing to do with the pollutions of idols, sexual immorality, meats
of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For generations going way back, Moses has had
those in city after city who are proclaiming him in the synagogues regularly on the
sabbath, as his writings are read.
Then it seemed to the apostles, elders, and all the church that the right procedure was
to send men chosen among them to go to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. These were: Judas
called Barsabbas and Silas, men who were leaders among the brothers. 23 By their hands a letter
was composed as follows:
From: the apostles, elders, brothers
To: the brothers among the nations in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
Because we heard that certain ones from among us upset you with words
disturbing your souls—statements not authorized by us—25 it seemed right for
us, having become unanimous on this matter, to send to you selected men with
our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have put their lives on the line for
the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore, we have sent Judas
and Silas with them that they might orally pronounce the same things.
For it was considered proper to the holy spirit and by us not to weigh you
down with any obligation except the essentials: 29 to have nothing to do with
idolatry, blood, animals killed by strangulation, and sexual immorality. If you
restrain yourselves from these practices, you will do well.
Be strong!
When these men were released, they went down to Antioch, gathered the community,
and shared the letter. 31 Once they read it, the encouragement it afforded caused the recipients to
rejoice. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, through their message about many
topics encouraged the brothers and strengthened them. 33 After some time had elapsed, they were
released with the brothers’ blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.
Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching along with many
others, the message of the Lord. 36 After some while, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return now
and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord to see how they
are doing.” 37 Barnabas was wanting to take along John called Mark. 38 Paul thought he was
Acts 15:39-16:18 211

unreliable because of his deserting them at Pamphylia, and that he should not accompany them
because he could not be counted on for the work. 39 They disagreed on this to such an extent they
split up the itinerary. Barnabas took Mark to sail for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed,
having been committed to the grace of the Lord by the brothers. He took the route through Syria
and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
16:1 Paul arrived at Derbe, and then it was on to Lystra. Note this: A disciple was there
named Timothy. He was the son of a Jewish woman of faith and of a Greek father. 2 He had a
good reputation among the brothers in Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany
him and took him along. Because of the Jews in those places, he circumcised him, for they all
knew that his father was a Greek.
As they made their itinerary through the cities, they transmitted to them the obligation
to keep the decrees decided by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. 5 In this way the churches
were strengthened in the faith. They were increasing in size on a daily basis.
They then passed through Phrygia and the Galatian territory, having been prevented
by the holy spirit from speaking the message in the Roman province of Asia. 7 When they came
to Mysia, they were attempting to proceed into Bithynia, but Jesus’ spirit would not allow them
to do that.
After passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision.
He saw a Macedonian man standing there and urging him, “Come over to Macedonia; help us!”
After his vision, we at once were seeking to depart for Macedonia, inferring that God had
called us to evangelize them.
We sailed out from Troas, making a beeline for Samothrace, and on the following day
reached Neapolis.
From there we traveled on to the city of Philippi, a city that is a Roman colony in the
first district of Macedonia. We remained in that city for some days.
On the sabbath we went outside the gate beside the river, where we supposed the
place of prayer was located. 14 Having sat down, we were speaking to the women coming there.
One of those listening was named Lydia, who sold purple cloth for a living. She was from the
city of Thyatira and was devoted to God. The Lord opened her heart to be impressed by the
things spoken by Paul.
When she and her household had been baptized, she made an offer: “If you consider
me to be faithful to the Lord, enter my home and stay there.” She insisted on this for us.
While we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl who had “a python’s spirit”
(for divination) met us. She was providing much profit to her handlers by her oracles. 17 She
would track the trail of Paul and kept on shrieking concerning us: “These men are slaves of the
highest God. They are announcing to us a way of salvation.” 18 For many days she carried on this
Finally, Paul became fed up with this. He turned around and said to the spirit: “I
command you in the name of Jesus Christ to leave her.”
It left her at that time.
Acts 16:19-17:3 212

When her handlers realized that their prospect for making money had been eliminated,
they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the city market place to stand before the powers
that be. 20 When they brought them before the officials, they said, “These Jewish men are
agitating our city, 21 proclaiming ways that are neither lawful for us to go along with nor to
practice because we are Romans.”
The mob also fell in with them against the missionaries. So the officials, having
stripped off the men’s clothes, commanded that they be beaten (with rods). 23 After many blows
had been laid upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the warden to put them under
heavy security. 24 He, in turn, having received such an order, threw them into the central dungeon
and secured their feet in wood.
When the middle of the night arrived, Paul and Silas, while praying, were singing
hymns to God as the prisoners listened in.
Suddenly a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. At once all the doors
jarred open and all the shackles fell free. 27 The warden awoke. When he saw that the doors of the
prison had been opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, surmising the prisoners
had fled.
Paul blurted out in a loud voice, “Do not do anything drastic to yourself for we are all
The warden called for a light, rushed in, and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
After he led them outside, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—both you and your
household as well.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all those in his
household. 33 The warden took them at that hour of the night to a suitable place and washed their
wounds. He and all those with him were baptized on the spot.
He brought them back home and set a table before them. Because they had believed in
God, all his household was joyful.
When it became day, the officials sent the lictors (who had beaten them), saying to
them, “Release these men.” 36 The warden passed the message on to Paul that the officials had
sent word they were to be released so that departing, they would now go in peace.
But Paul said to them, “Having skinned our backs publicly without a trial, although
we are Roman citizens, they threw us into prison, and now are they releasing us secretly? No
way! But instead they must come and escort us out.”
The lictors related the message to the officials, who became intimidated when they
heard they were Roman citizens. 39 So they came and apologized to them. As they led the way
out they were asking them to leave the city. 40 On the way from the prison they entered Lydia’s
home. Then after having seen them, they encouraged the brothers and left.
17:1 They took the road through Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where
there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As Paul customarily did, he entered in with them. For three
sabbaths he dialogued with them based on Scripture, 3 opening up the meaning and proving with
Acts 17:4-25 213

texts that the messiah had to suffer and to rise from the dead. He asserted: “The messiah is Jesus
whom I proclaim to you.”
Some of them were persuaded and joined a group around Paul and Silas. These
consisted of a large number of God-fearing Greeks, and not a few prominent women.
When the Jews became jealous, they rounded up from the market square some
good-for-nothing men, fomenting a mob that began to riot in the city. They surged to Jason’s
house, seeking Paul and Silas, to bring them into the throng. 6 Not finding them, they dragged
Jason and some brothers before the city councilmen, shouting, “Those who drove the world
crazy are now present here. 7 They have been put up as guests by Jason. All oppose practicing the
dictates of Caesar. They say there is another king—Jesus.”
Hearing all this agitated the crowd and the city officials. 9 They made Jason and the
rest of the brothers post bond, and they released them.
But immediately during the night, the brothers sent away Paul and Silas to Berea, who
upon arrival went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 These people were more conscientious than those
in Thessalonica. They received the message with unrestrained eagerness, daily and critically
examining the biblical texts to determine the authenticity of what they heard. 12 Many of them,
consequently, believed, both among the Greek educated women and not a few men.
When the Thessalonian Jews found out that Paul proclaimed the word of God also in
Berea, they made their way there and unsettled and incited the populace.
The brothers then at once sent Paul on to go as far as the sea, while Silas and Timothy
remained there. 15 Those escorting Paul brought him to Athens. As they were leaving, they
received Paul’s directive for Silas and Timothy that as soon as possible they should come to him.
During the time Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused in him as
he viewed a city dense with idols. 17 Therefore, he would reason with those in the Jewish
synagogue, with the God-fearers, and daily with those he came across in the marketplace.
Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. “What would this junk
scavenger have to say?” some of them were questioning. Also some surmised he was a
spokesman for foreign deities because he preached Jesus and his resurrection.
Having pounced upon him, they escorted him to the Areopagus, saying, “Can we
know what this new doctrine is you are propounding? 20 For you surprised us with things you
brought to our attention. We, therefore, are curious to know what all these things mean.” 21 All
the Athenians and transplants devoted their leisure to nothing other than speaking or hearing the
latest ideology making the rounds.
Paul, having taken his stand in the center of the Areopagus, said:
Gentlemen, Athenians, I notice that in every respect you are religiously sensitive. 23 For
as I was passing through, observing your objects of devotion, I found also an altar with
this inscription: FOR THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, that one you offer devotion to,
although you do not know him, is the one I am declaring to you. 24 God, the sovereign of
heaven and earth, who made the universe and everything in it, does not dwell in
hand-crafted temples. 25 Neither can human hands help him out,
Acts 17:26-18:13 214

as if he were deficient in anything. He, himself, is the one who gives to everyone life,
breath, and everything. 26 He made from one person every ethnic component of
humanity to live all over the surface of the earth. He determined the fixed seasons and
the boundaries of their places to live, to set the world up 27 for seeking God—if indeed
one might feel him and find him—even though his being is not far from each one of us.
“For in him we live, move, and exist” as also some of your poets have said, “For we
are his family.”
Therefore, existing as God’s family, we ought not to suppose the divine to be like
objects made of gold or silver or stone, configured by human art and design. 30 On the
one hand, those epochs of ignorance God overlooked (for judgment). Now he
commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because he has established a day in which
he is going to judge the world by a righteous standard, by the man whom he appointed.
He furnished everyone with trustworthy evidence for this coming event by raising him
from the dead.
When they heard about resurrection from the dead, some sneered, and some said, “We
will hear what you have to say on this again.” 33 On that note Paul left their circle. But some men,
clinging to him, believed, among whom are Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, a woman
named Damaris, and several others.
18:1 Afterward, having departed from Athens, Paul came to Corinth. 2 He found a Jew there
named Aquila, who originated in Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla,
because Claudius had ordered the expulsion of all Jews from Rome. Paul came to them, 3 and
because they had the same trade as tentmakers, he remained with them and worked with them.
Paul used rational arguments in the synagogue regularly on the sabbath, persuading
Jews and Greeks.
When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was urging acceptance of
the message, declaring solemnly to the Jewish people that Jesus is their messiah. 6 Because of
their resistance and slander, Paul shook out his garments in a demonstration against them and
said to them, “The responsibility for spilling your blood is your own. I am innocent in this
regard. From now on I am going to the goyim.”
Paul transferred out of there and entered the home of a man named Titius Justus, a
God-fearer, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the chief elder of the
synagogue, believed in the Lord, along with all his household. Many of the Corinthians, when
they heard, believed and were baptized.
In the night the Lord said to Paul through a vision, “Stop being afraid, but speak out
and do not be silent, 10 because I am with you. No one will attack you to harm you, because a
large group of people are to be mine in this city.” 11 He stayed for eighteen months teaching them
the word of God.
While Gallio was the proconsul of Achaia, the Jews unitedly ganged up against Paul
and brought him into court, 13 claiming, “This individual seduces men to devote themselves to
God apart from the law.”
Acts 18:14-19:9 215

When Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If this were some
crime or sinister fraud, Jews, I would tolerate your allegation. 15 But if there are controversial
issues concerning a message, names, and your law, you yourselves will have to see to them. I do
not desire to be a judge of such matters. 16 He forcibly showed them out the door of the court.
All the spectators, grabbing Sosthenes, the [new] chief elder of the synagogue, beat
him up right in front of the courthouse. Gallio made this none of his concerns.
Paul remained yet for some while with the brothers. Then having said farewell, he
sailed for Syria. Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He shaved his head at Cenchreae because he
had made a (Nazarite) vow. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where he left them. Paul entered the
synagogue and began discussions with the Jews. 20 After a considerable time, when they asked
him to remain, he did not nod his consent. 21 But as he spoke his goodbyes, he said, “I will return
again to you, God willing.” Then he put out to sea from Ephesus.
When he reached Caesarea, he went up (to Jerusalem) to greet the church, and from
there it was on to Antioch. 23 After spending some time, he went out from Antioch, traveling
successively through the Galatian territory and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
There arrived at Ephesus a highly educated Jew from Alexandria named Apollos. An
expert in the Scriptures, 25 he was inculcating the way of the Lord. Being keenly enthusiastic, he
was speaking and teaching accurately the things pertaining to Jesus, although he knew only
John’s baptism. 26 He began to speak fearlessly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila
heard him, they took him into their confidence, explaining to him a more exact view of the way.
Because Apollos was making plans to go over to Achaia, the brothers, encouraging
him in this, wrote a letter of introduction that the disciples there might welcome him. After
arriving in Achaia, he provided much help through featuring grace to those who had believed.
For with vigor he kept refuting the Jews publicly, demonstrating through use of the Scriptures
that Jesus is the messiah.
19:1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the hinterland and came down to
Ephesus. He found some disciples there 2 and asked them, “Did you receive holy spirit when you
They replied, “No, we did not hear anything about reception of the holy spirit.”
He said, “In what were you baptized?”
They responded, “John’s baptism.”
Paul said, “John had a baptism for the people featuring repentance, saying it was to
prepare them that they might believe in the one coming after him—Jesus.”
When they heard that, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 Then after
Paul placed his hands upon them, the holy spirit came upon them, and they were speaking in
tongues and prophesying. 7 In all about a dozen adult males were involved.
After Paul entered the synagogue, he continued to speak freely for about three months,
reasoning with them and persuading them concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But some were
Acts 19:10-29 216

becoming obstinate and would not be convinced. They denounced the way before the
Having withdrawn from them and having separated the disciples with him, Paul
continued on a daily basis to speak in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two
years so that all who lived in the Roman province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the
message of the Lord.
God was doing extraordinary miracles through the hands of Paul. 12 This led to the
removal of sweat bands and artisan aprons that had touched Paul’s skin to be placed upon the
sick. They were cured of their diseases, and evil spirits were expelled.
But also some attempted to do the same, as did Jewish exorcists who were going
around, pronouncing the name of the Lord Jesus over those having evil spirits, saying: “I put you
under the power of the name of Jesus whom Paul proclaims.” 14 Seven sons of Skeva, a Jewish
executive priest, were involved in this. 15 But the evil spirit responded to them: “Jesus I know,
and I am acquainted with Paul, but who are you?” 16 The man infested by the evil spirit jumped
them, and being able to subdue them two at a time, got the best of them. Naked and battered,
they fled from that building.
News of this spread to all the Jews and Greeks who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on
them all, and much was being made of the name of the Lord Jesus.
Many of those who believed came confessing and owning up to their practices. 19 An
impressive number of those involved in occult practices collected their books and burned them at
a public bonfire. They estimated the total cost of them and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver.
As the power of the Lord was expressed in such a manner, his word kept growing in
influence and prevailing.
Subsequent to these events, Paul resolved that he should make a swing through
Macedonia and Achaia, and proceed on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I get there, I must also see
Rome.” 22 He sent ahead two of those who were serving with him, Timothy and Erastus. Paul
stayed for awhile in [the Roman province] Asia.
At that time not a little commotion was aroused concerning the way. 24 For a man by
the name of Demetrius, a silversmith and artisan of silver shrines of Artemis, was producing a lot
of business for the craftsmen. 25 When he had assembled the fabricators of such shrines and their
associates, he said:
Gentlemen, you understand that from this trade we get our wealth. 26 You observe and
hear that not only in Ephesus but in nearly all of Roman Asia this fellow Paul, having
been persuasive, has misled a great crowd of people by saying there are no handcrafted
gods. 27 Not only that, but he poses a danger to us that this part of the business would
come into disrepute. But also there is a danger that the sanctuary of the great goddess,
Artemis, considered worthless, is about to be demolished, as well as her magnificence,
whom all of Asia and the world revere.
Upon hearing that, they became enflamed with anger, screaming, “Great is Artemis of
the Ephesians.” 29 The city exploded into confusion. People rushed as by one impulse into the
Acts 19:30-20:9 217

amphitheater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, who were Macedonians and traveling
companions with Paul.
Paul was planning to go in to the people, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Also
some of the Asian officials who were his friends sent word to him, admonishing him not to give
himself up to the theater.
Some were yelling one thing and some another. For the assembly was in an uproar.
Most of the people did not have the faintest idea why they had come together.
From the crowd emerged Alexander, who had been thrust forth by the Jews.
Alexander gestured with his hand, wanting to make a defense to the people. 34 When they
recognized that he was a Jew, one chant was voiced from all of them for about two hours,
shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
After the city secretary had quieted the crowd, he said,
Gentlemen, Ephesians, who of mankind does not know that Ephesus is the
temple-guardian city of the great Artemis and the image of her that fell from heaven?
Therefore, while these things are incontestable, it is necessary for you to calm down
and not do anything rash. 37 For you brought these men here who are neither
temple-robbers nor blasphemers against our god.
If, on the one hand, Demetrius and the artisans associated with him have a case
against anyone, court days are coming up and there are proconsuls before whom they
can accuse one another. 39 If there is anything further you want, let it be decided in a
legal assembly. 40 For we are at risk of being called into question for today’s hullabaloo,
because there is no reason we can give to account for this disorderly gathering.
After he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.
20:1 When the disturbance cleared from the air, Paul sent for the disciples and encouraged
them. He embraced them in farewell and left, headed for Macedonia. 2 Paul passed through the
Asian provincial area, encouraging them with much exhortation. Then he came to Greece (i.e.,
Achaia) 3 and was active there for three months.
A plot by the Jews was concocted against him as he was about to sail for Syria. When
this was known, he decided to return through Macedonia.
Those who accompanied him were Sopater, son of Pyrrhus, who was a Berean, the
Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus, Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and the Asians, Tychicus
and Trophimus. 5 These men went on ahead and were waiting for us at Troas.
We sailed from Philippi after the feast of flat bread, and we came to them in Troas
within five days and remained there for seven days.
On the first day of the week as we were gathered to break bread, Paul was instructing
them, being ready to depart on the next day. He went on and on with his message until midnight.
There were numerous lanterns in the balcony of the building where we had assembled. 9 A
young man named Eutychus was sitting in the windowsill. He was slumping down in deep sleep
Acts 20:10-31 218

as Paul kept expounding more. Becoming unconscious in sleep, he fell from the third story all
the way down. He was dead when they picked him up.
When Paul got down to where he was, he bent over him and having embraced him,
said to the others, “Do not be frantic; his life is in him!”
Then Paul got up, broke bread, ate for some while, conversed until morning, and then
They brought along the young person alive, and their encouragement was not what
one could call moderate.
After we went in advance to the ship, we sailed to Assos, where we expected to take
Paul on board. He had prearranged for that because he planned to go by land. 14 When he met up
with us at Assos, they took him on board, and we came to Mitylene.
From there we sailed away on the following day, reaching a destination across from
Chios. Another day more and we docked at Samos. On the following day we arrived at Miletus.
For Paul decided to sail by Ephesus so he would not be delayed in Asia. He shortened the time
to make it possible for him to be in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost.
From Miletus he sent word to Ephesus, calling over the elders of the church. 18 When
they arrived, he said to them:
You are aware of my lifestyle the whole time I was with you since I set foot in Asia,
serving as the Lord’s slave with complete humility and tears. You are aware of the
testings that confronted me by the conspiracies of the Jews. 20 Yet I did not in the least
hesitate to declare to you what was beneficial for you, teaching you publicly and in
homes. 21 To Jews and Greeks I testified thoroughly about repentance directed toward
God, and faith placed in our Lord Jesus.
Now see this: Bound in my spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what
circumstances will meet me there. 23 Nevertheless, the holy spirit alerts me in city after
city, telling me that fetters and troubles await me. 24 But I set no stated value on my own
life. My determination is to complete my race and the ministry that I received from the
Lord Jesus, thoroughly certifying the good news of God’s grace.
Now also observe this: I know that all of you among whom I came proclaiming the
kingdom will not see my face again. 26 Consequently, I attest to you on today’s date that
I am innocent of the blood of all of you. 27 For I did not hold back on disclosing all of
God’s purpose for you.
Be responsible for yourselves and for all the flock among whom the holy spirit placed
you as caretakers to nurture the church of God, which he acquired with the blood of his
own (son). 29 For I know that after my departure rapacious wolves will get in among
you, not going easy on the flock. 30 Furthermore, right from among you individuals will
gain prominence by speaking distortions so as to attract disciples to themselves. 31
Therefore, stand guard, remembering that for three years night and day with tears I did
not cease to warn each one of you.
Acts 20:32-21:16 219

So in reference to these matters I now commit you to God and to his gracious
word—to him who is able to build up and to give his inheritance to all those made holy.
I hankered for no one’s silver, gold, or wardrobe. 34 You, yourselves, know that these
hands of mine provided for my expenses and those also of my colleagues. 35 I
demonstrated to you that in every instance one must be hard working like this so as to
be able to help those who are weak. Remember the maxim spoken by the Lord Jesus
himself: The blessing of giving is greater than that of receiving.
Having said all this, he knelt down with them all and he prayed. 37 Much weeping was
taking place all around. They hugged Paul and kissed him. 38 They were especially grieved by his
word that they could never expect to see his face again. They escorted him to the ship.
21:1 We put out to sea after tearing ourselves away from them. The ship sailed a straight
course so that we arrived at Cos. Then it was on to Rhodes the next day, and from there to
When we found a ship there making the crossing to Phoenicia, we boarded and sailed.
We sighted Cyprus and left it behind on the port side, sailing on to Syria, where we came into
port at Tyre, for the ship was unloading cargo there.
We looked up the disciples and remained there seven days. They kept saying to Paul
through the spirit not to travel to Jerusalem. 5 When the time was up, having started out, we
proceeded with all of them, including women and children, who escorted us until we were
outside the city. Everyone knelt on the beach, praying. 6 We then said farewell to one another and
boarded the ship, and they returned to their own homes.
After completing the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais. We greeted the
brothers and remained a day with them.
On the next day after we shoved off, we came to Caesarea and entered Philip’s home.
An evangelist, he was one of the seven. We stayed with him. 9 He had four unmarried daughters
who prophesied.
After we had stayed there quite a few days, a prophet from Judaea named Agabus
came our way. 11 Upon approaching us he took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands, and
said, “This is what the holy spirit says: In this manner the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man
who owns this belt. They also will betray him into the hands of the goyim.” 12 When we heard
these predictions, both we and those in residence urged him not to go up to Jerusalem.
Then Paul replied, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not
only to be bound, but to die in Jerusalem in behalf of the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Because he could not be persuaded, we became quiescent, having said, “The Lord’s
will—let that occur!”
After these days of preparation, we went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples
from Caesarea went along with us, bringing us to the home of Mnason for hospitality. He was an
early disciple from Cyprus.
Acts 21:17-37 220

Upon our arrival in Jerusalem, the brothers cheerfully welcomed us. 18 The next day
Paul went in with us to visit James; all the elders were present. 19 Having greeted them, he
explained in detail what God had done among the nations through his ministry.
When they heard this report, they glorified God, and said to him,
You are noticing, brother, how many tens of thousands of Jews there are who have
believed, and all are avid for the law. 21 They were informed concerning you that you
are teaching a departure from Moses to all the Jews who live among the nations, telling
them not to circumcise their children nor to live according to the customs. 22 What,
therefore, will eventuate? They will in all likelihood hear that you have come.
Therefore, do this that we say. There are four men under the constraints of a vow.
Take them with you, purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses that they
might shave their head. Then all will know that there is nothing to what they have been
informed about you, but you keep the regulations of the law. 25 Concerning those who
have believed among the nations, we wrote them our ruling to keep themselves from
meat offered to an idol, blood, meat killed by strangulation, and sexual immorality.
Then Paul took the men on the following day and began to be purified ritually with
them. He was present in the temple to announce the time of the fulfillment of the purification, at
which occasion he would present the offering for each one of them.
As the seven days were coming to completion, Jews from the Roman province of
Asia, on seeing him in the temple, incited all the crowd and physically restrained him. 28 They
“Men, Israelis, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against the
people, the law, and this place. He even brought in Greeks into the temple and contaminated this
holy place.” 29 For earlier they had seen Trophimus, an Ephesian, with Paul in the city; they
presumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
The whole city, now agitated, fomented a mob. They seized Paul and proceeded to
drag him outside the temple; immediately, the temple doors were shut.
While they were striving to kill him, a report reached the military tribune of the cohort
that all Jerusalem was pouring into the streets. 32 He immediately took along soldiers with a
centurion and rushed down to them. At sight of the military tribune and soldiers, they ceased
slugging Paul.
Then the tribune came up to him, took him into custody, and ordered that he be bound
by two chains. He inquired as to who he might be, and what he had done. 34 Some in the crowd
were calling out one thing and some another. Because he was not able to ascertain the
information with certainty due to the commotion, he gave an order to bring him into the
When Paul got as far as the steps, he was carried by the soldiers because of the
violence of the crowd. 36 The mob of people was following, shouting, “Get rid of him!” 37 As Paul
was about to be brought into the barracks he said to the tribune, “May I have permission to speak
to you?”
Acts 21:38-22:20 221

And he said, “Do you know the Greek language? 38 Then you are not the Egyptian who
got his start some time ago and led 4,000 dagger-men into the desert, are you?”
Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of a not insignificant city. I
implore you, allow me to speak to the people.”
With his permission Paul, as he stood on the steps, gestured with his hand to the
people. After it became mostly quiet, he addressed them in the Aramaic dialect:
22:1 “Gentlemen, brothers, and fathers, listen to my defense to you now.” 2 When they heard
that he addressed them in Aramaic, they paid attention to him with even more quietness. He
went on to say:
I am a Jew born in Tarsus in Cilicia, brought up in this city. With Gamaliel as my
mentor I was educated to be a reactionary, conserving the law derived from the
forefathers. I was God’s fanatic just as all of you are today. 4 I persecuted this way even
to the point of putting people to death, binding and handing over for imprisonment both
men and women. 5 The high priest also and all the council will corroborate my story.
From them I received documents addressed to the brothers in Damascus, and I was on
my way there expecting that I also would lead people back in fetters to Jerusalem that
they might be punished.
This is what happened to me as I was traveling and came near Damascus. Around noon
suddenly from the sky a brilliant light spotlighted me all around. 7 Having fallen to the
ground, I also heard a voice saying to me: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
I answered: “Who are you, sovereign?”
He replied, “I am Jesus, the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.” 9 Those who were
with me noticed the light, but they did not hear the one speaking to me.
I said: “What shall I do, sovereign?”
The Lord said to me, “Get up, go into Damascus, and there it will be communicated to
you concerning everything you are appointed to do.” 11 Because I was blinded by the
brilliance of that light, I had to be led to Damascus by the hands of my companions.
But Ananias, a godly man according to the law, and certified genuine by all the
Jewish residents, 13 came to me. On arrival he said to me: “Brother Saul, receive your
vision again.” At that very moment I was able to see him.
Ananias said: “The God of our ancestors planned for you to know his will, see his
righteous one, and listen to the voice of his mouth 15 because you will be his witness to
all humanity of what you have seen and heard. 16 So now why dillydally? Get up,
immerse yourself and wash away your sin by calling upon his name.”
When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I became enraptured in a
vision. 18 I saw him saying to me: “Hurry and leave Jerusalem with dispatch because
they will not accept your testimony concerning me.”
I said: “Lord, these people know full well that I was imprisoning and whipping
believers in you in one synagogue after another, 20 and that when the blood of your
Acts 22:21-23:6 222

representative, Stephen, was being poured out, I myself was at the scene, was pleased
by it, and took care of the clothes of the ones killing him.”
But he said to me: “Go—because I am sending you far away to the nations.”
They listened to him until this statement, and then they ranted, “Rid the earth of such
a one as this, for he is not fit to live!” 23 They kept screaming, stripping off their clothes, and
throwing dust into the air.
The tribune commanded them to bring Paul into the barracks, saying he should be
examined by giving him a beating to find out the reason they were sounding off in such a manner
against him. 25 But as they stretched him out for fastening the straps, Paul said to the centurion
who was standing there, “If a man is a Roman citizen—and uncondemned—is it legal for you to
whip him?”
When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune with this report: “What should
we do? For this man is a Roman.”
So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”
He replied, “Yes.”
The tribune answered, “It cost me much money to obtain this citizenship.”
But Paul replied, “I was so born.”
Immediately, therefore, those who were about to examine him with a whip backed off
from him, and the tribune became afraid, being aware that Paul was a Roman and that he had
been bound.
On the next day because he wanted to know for certain the reason Paul was accused
by the Jews, the tribune loosed him; and he ordered all the executive priests and all the sanhedrin
to come together. After having brought down Paul, he had him stand before them.
23:1 Paul gestured with his hand to the sanhedrin, and said:
“Gentlemen, brothers, I have lived my life as a citizen with a perfectly clear conscience
before God up to this day.”
But the high priest, Ananias, ordered those standing beside him to slap him on the
mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is about to strike you, whitewashed wall (of a tomb) that
you are! Are you sitting in judgment of me according to the law, but in violation of the law you
order me to be hit?”
Those standing beside him said, “Do you censure God’s high priest?”
Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he is a high priest. For it has been written:
‘Do not say evil things of the leader of your people’.”
Because Paul knew that one contingent was composed of Sadducees and the other of
Pharisees, he exclaimed in the sanhedrin, “Gentlemen, brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a
Pharisee. I am on trial concerning hope, and the resurrection of the dead.”
Acts 23:7-27 223

By his having said this, antagonism flared up between the Pharisees and Sadducees;
the group was split. 8 For the Sadducees deny a future resurrection, the existence of an angel, or
even a spirit; but the Pharisees hold creedally to all these.
So there was a great commotion, and some of the scholars of the Pharisaic party stood
up and were taking up the fight, saying, “We have found nothing evil in this man. So what if a
spirit spoke to him, or an angel!”
Because much conflict had been generated, the tribune became apprehensive that Paul
would be torn in two by them. He ordered his squad of soldiers to go down and seize him out of
their encirclement and to bring him into the barracks.
The following night the Lord stood by Paul and said, “Keep your chin up, for as you
represented my interests in Jerusalem, in the same manner it is necessary for you to testify in
After it became day the Jews hatched a conspiracy involving a vow by which they
invoked a curse on themselves if they permitted themselves to eat or drink before they
assassinated Paul. 13 There were more than 40 conspirators. 14 They came to the executive priests
and elders and said, “By an anathema we placed ourselves under oath to taste nothing until such
time as we execute Paul. 15 Now, therefore, you along with the sanhedrin notify the tribune that
you want him to bring Paul down to you, as you are about to determine more accurately the
matters pertaining to him. But before he gets near, we will lie in ambush to kill him in transit.”
The son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, and came over and entered the
barracks to report it to Paul. 17 Then Paul called in one of the centurions and said, “Bring this
young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.”
Thus he took him to the tribune and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and requested
I bring this young man to you. He has something to say to you.” 19 The tribune took his hand and
went back into his private quarters and inquired, “What is this you have to report to me?”
He said, “The Jews put a plan together to ask you to bring down Paul tomorrow to the
sanhedrin as if they intended to investigate more accurately something in reference to him. 21
You should not be persuaded by them. For more than 40 men will be waiting to ambush him.
They bound themselves by an oath of anathema neither to eat nor drink until such time as they
have murdered him. Even now they are ready to receive your promise.”
Then the tribune released the young man, after he was ordered to tell no one he had
reported these things to him.
After calling two of the centurions, the tribune said, “Make 200 soldiers ready so they
might proceed to Caesarea and also 70 horsemen in addition to the 200 spearmen. Departure is at
9 p.m. 24 Provide a horse as Paul’s mount so as to bring him through safely to Felix the governor.
He wrote a letter worded this way:
Claudius Lysias to his excellency, Procurator Felix, greetings!
I rescued this man when I learned he is a Roman. He had been seized by the
Jews and was about to be killed by them when I arrived on the scene with the
Acts 23:28-24:21 224

military. 28 Wanting to know the cause for which they had it in for him, I
brought him down to their sanhedrin. 29 I found their accusations concerned
issues of their law, but there was no accusation worthy of the death penalty or
placing him in fetters. 30 A conspiracy against the man was reported to me as
being in the works, so at once I sent him to you, having promised his accusers
a chance to speak against him in your presence.
Consequently, the soldiers, as they had been commanded, picked up Paul and brought
him through the night to Antipatris. 32 On the next day they allowed the horsemen who had come
out with him to return to their barracks. 33 The military party entered Caesarea and turned over
the letter to the governor and presented Paul to him.
After he read it, he questioned him as to what province he was from and learned that it
was Cilicia. 35 “I will listen to what you have to say,” he said, “when your accusers get here.” He
gave an order that he be kept in custody in Herod’s praetorium.
24:1 Five days later the high priest, Ananias, traveled with some of the elders and an
attorney, Tertullus, to fill the procurator in on their case against Paul. 2 After Paul was called in,
Tertullus began to accuse him:
Much peace has come about during your administration and reforms have come to this
nation because of your oversight. 3 In every way and in every place we accept you
favorably with profuse thanksgiving, esteemed Felix. 4 So as not to take up any more of
your time, I urge you to listen to our brief presentation, made with your indulgence. 5
For we have found this man to be vermin. He incites factions among all the Jews all
over the Roman empire. He is the ringleader for the sect of the Nazarenes. 6 He also
tried to desecrate the temple, so we arrested him. 8 You yourself are able to examine him
concerning all these things to get the facts on the basis of which we condemn him.”
Then the Jews reinforced the attack, insisting that these things were just as he said.
After the procurator made a go-ahead gesture to him, Paul made his response:
Because for many years you have been a judge familiar with this nation, I cheerfully
defend my actions. 11 You can know that it was not more than twelve days ago I went up
to Jerusalem to worship. 12 They neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone,
nor putting pressure on the crowd—neither in the synagogues nor throughout the city.
Neither are they able to substantiate to you the charges concerning which they now
accuse me. 14 Yet I confess this to you: According to the way, which they denominate a
sect, I serve our ancestral God, believing in all that has been written in the law and the
prophets. 15 I have a hope in God they themselves also await—a future resurrection of
the righteous and the unrighteous.
Therefore, in this hope I, myself, take pains to maintain a blameless conscience before
God and man in every situation. 17 Making charitable gifts to my nation, I came here
after many years with offerings. 18 In the situation in which they found me in the temple
purified, there was neither a crowd around me nor a commotion. 19 Those who found me
were some Jews from the Roman province of Asia, who should appear before you and
make their accusations if they have anything against me. 20 Or cause those who put me
Acts 24:22-25:12 225

on trial before the sanhedrin to say, themselves, what they found of criminal behavior.
Or let them speak about this one outcry that I made while standing among them, “I am
on trial today before you concerning the resurrection of the dead!”
Felix put them off in making any judgment, because certainly he understood well the
factors pertinent to the way. He said, “When Lysias the tribune comes down, I will examine the
charges you made against Paul.” 23 He ordered the centurion to keep him in minimum security
and to deny him nothing his own people would supply for him.
After some days Felix made a public appearance with Drusilla, his wife who was a
Jewess. Felix sent for Paul and heard him speak concerning faith in Christ Jesus. 25 While Paul
was expatiating concerning righteousness, self-control, and the future judgment, Felix, having
become shaky with fear, responded, “For the time being—go, and when I get time, I will recall
At the same time he was hoping Paul would give him bribes. So frequently he would
send for him and converse with him.
After two years elapsed Felix received his successor, Porcius Festus. Desiring to
pocket bribes from the Jews, Felix left Paul behind as a prisoner.
25:1 Then three days after Festus assumed his imperial office in the province he went up to
Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 The executive priests and leaders of the Jews made accusations to
him against Paul. They also kept urging him, 3 asking as a favor that he would transfer Paul over
to Jerusalem. They were scheming to ambush Paul and murder him along the way. 4
Consequently, Festus replied that he would keep Paul in Caesarea, for which he was about to
depart soon. 5 “Therefore,” he said, “those among you who have it in for the man can come down
and accuse him of any impropriety.”
He stayed among them not more than eight or ten more days and then went down to
Caesarea. On the next day as he was seated on his judicial bench he gave an order for Paul to be
brought in. 7 When Paul arrived, the delegation of Jews that had come down from Jerusalem
encircled him. The Jews castigated him with many serious accusations they were unable to
Paul defended himself: “I did not violate in any way the Jewish law, the temple, or
But Festus, who wanted to gain favor with the Jews, responded to Paul, “Do you want
to go up to Jerusalem and there be judged before me relative to these issues?”
Paul replied, “I remain standing in Caesar’s court where it is imperative for me to be
judged. I have done nothing wrong against the Jews, as you also know very well. 11 Therefore, if
I have perpetrated something illegal that is worthy of death, I do not beg off from the death
sentence. But if there is nothing to those accusations by which they are accusing me, no one can
give me over as a favor to them. I appeal to Caesar.”
Then Festus, having conferred with his legal counselor, replied, “You appealed to
Caesar; to Caesar you will go.”
Acts 25:13-26:5 226

After some while elapsed, King Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea to make
a courtesy call on Festus. 14 Because they remained there for quite some while, Festus lay before
the king the case against Paul in these words:
There is a man left here in prison by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem, the executive
priests and elders of the Jews made an accusation against him, asking for a conviction
against him. 16 To them I answered that it is not the procedure for Romans to give over
any man before the one being accused has had an opportunity to meet his accusers face
to face to take the stand in defense of himself against their accusation.
Therefore, when the Jews came together here, without delay on the next day, having
sat at my judicial bench, I ordered the man to be brought. 18 As his accusers stood
around him, they presented no accusation I considered to be incriminating. 19 But there
were some controversies about their own superstitions in which they were at variance
with him, and concerning a certain one, Jesus, who had died and whom Paul insisted
was alive.
Because I was in doubt as to how these investigations were proceeding, I inquired if
he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged on these issues. 21 But when
Paul appealed to be placed under the emperor’s jurisdiction, I ordered that he be held
until such time as I send him up to Caesar.
Agrippa responded to Festus, “I would like to listen to the man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he said, “you will hear him.”
On the next day Agrippa and Bernice came with much ostentation and entered into the
auditorium with the tribunes and the outstanding men of the city. By Festus’ order Paul was
brought in. 24 Festus said:
King Agrippa and all the gentlemen present with us, you are viewing this one
concerning whom all the populace of the Jews importuned me, both in Jerusalem and
here, clamoring that he no longer should live. 25 I have not obtained anything concrete
he committed meriting the death penalty. But when he made an appeal to the emperor, I
decided to send him. 26 Yet I do not have anything certain about him to write to the
sovereign; therefore, I brought him before you all—and especially before you, King
Agrippa—so that on the basis of this investigative hearing I might specify an accusation
in writing. For it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not to indicate
the allegation against him.
26:1 Agrippa said to Paul, “You are permitted to speak concerning yourself.”
Then Paul, having gestured with his hand, began his defense:
In view of all the things of which I have been accused by the Jews, King Agrippa, I
consider myself blessed to make my defense today before you. 3 This is especially so
because you are acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies also;
consequently, I beg you to listen patiently to me now.
All the Jews have known my lifestyle from the time I was a young man; my life is
known from the beginning as lived among my nation and in Jerusalem. 5 They knew me
Acts 26:6-24 227

previously if they would testify to it, that according to the strictest sect of our religion I
lived as a Pharisee. 6 But now I stand condemned for the hope that was promised by
God to our ancestors. 7 Oriented to this hope, our twelve tribes serve God earnestly
night and day, King Agrippa, awaiting the fulfillment of this hope—I mean the same
hope for which I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should the possibility be assumed
unbelievable by you that God raises the dead?
I myself then thought it mandatory to do many things in opposition to the name of
Jesus of Nazareth—10 deeds which I did in Jerusalem. Many of the holy ones I
incarcerated, receiving from the executive priests authority as per my request to do this;
and I participated in the decision to kill them. 11 Systematically, in all the synagogues I
terrorized them often. I put extreme pressure on them to blaspheme. Furiously enraged
with them, I pursued them also to the cities beyond the borders.
On the way to one of those outlying cities, Damascus, I was traveling with authority
and a commission from the executive priests. 13 At high noon as I was on the road, King
Agrippa, I saw a light from heaven brighter than the sun that spotlighted me and my
traveling companions. 14 All of us fell down to the ground. I heard a voice saying to me
in the Hebrew dialect: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard on you to kick
back against the ox goads.”
But I said, “Who are you, sovereign?”
The Lord replied, “I am Jesus you are persecuting. 16 But get up and stand on your feet.
For I appeared to you for this reason: to appoint you as a servant and a witness of what
you saw, and what I shall reveal to you. 17 I have selected you out of the people and the
nations to whom I am sending you. 18 You are to open their eyes, to turn them around
from darkness to light, and from being under Satan’s authority to being under God, that
they might receive the forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are
made holy by faith in me.”
Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not become disobedient to the celestial vision.
But to those in Damascus first, and also to those in Jerusalem, and in all the lands of
the Jews and the nations, I kept proclaiming repentance and the need to turn around to
face God, and to substantiate repentance with the proper actions.
On account of these things the Jews seized me in the temple and were attempting to
brutalize me fatally. 22 Therefore, having obtained help from God until this day, I have
stood as a representative before unimportant and important people. I am saying nothing
but what the prophets already said was going to happen, as well as Moses. 23 Those
events were contingent on the suffering of the messiah, and of primary importance—his
being raised from the dead, as a light destined to be proclaimed to the (Jewish) people
and to the nations.”
After Paul presented his defense, Festus declared vociferously:
“You are out of your mind, Paul. Too much study of documents has turned you into a
crazy man!”
Acts 26:25-27:13 228

Paul replied, “I have not lost touch with reality, esteemed Festus, but I declare
sentences of truth and sagacity. 26 For the king to whom I speak so boldly understands the
situation. I am persuaded that none of these phenomena has escaped his notice. For this faith has
not been implemented in a back room. 27 Do you believe in the prophets, King Agrippa? I know
you do.”
But Agrippa said to Paul, “To a small degree, you persuade me to become a
Paul replied, “I wish to God that both by a little and by a whole lot I could persuade
not only you but also all who hear me today to become such as I am, except for these shackles.”
They all stood up: the king, the governor, Bernice, and their retinue. 31 Having
withdrawn to another room, they were saying to one another, “This man has done nothing
deserving death or imprisonment.”
Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could be set free, except that he appealed to
27:1 As it was decided we would sail to Italy, they handed over Paul and some other
prisoners to a centurion named Julius of the imperial cohort. 2 We boarded a ship from
Adramyttium, about to sail to ports along the (provincial) Asian coast, and we put out to sea.
Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.
A day later we put into port at Sidon. Julius dealt humanely with Paul, allowing him to
go to his friends to obtain personal supplies. 4 From there we put to sea and sailed off the
shoreline of Cyprus because the winds were blowing in the wrong direction. 5 Then in the open
sea it was on to Cilicia and Pamphylia. Having tacked, we came down to Myra in Lycia.
From there the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and boarded us on
it. During many days we sailed slowly and with difficulty, making our way down the Cnidus
peninsula. Because the wind would not permit us to go farther out to sea, we sailed under the lee
of Crete down to Salmone. 8 With difficulty we coasted along Crete and came to a place called
Beautiful Harbors, near the city of Lasaea.
After a considerable time passed, the voyage already being dangerous to make—the
Jewish fast day was already past—Paul kept urging them to stay put: 10 “Men, I anticipate that
this voyage is about to be made with disaster and much damage not only to the cargo and ship
but also to our lives.”
Nevertheless, the centurion was influenced more by the ship’s navigator and the
ship’s captain than by the statements made by Paul. 12 Because it was an unsuitable harbor for
spending the winter, the majority expressed their advice to set sail from there—if somehow they
would be able to reach Phoenix for wintering in the harbor of Crete, facing southwest and
Thinking that a south wind blowing gently had confirmed their intention, they
weighed anchor and began sailing close in along Crete.
Acts 27:14-39 229

After not long at all, there rushed down from Crete a ferocious wind called Euraquilo.
It dragged the ship off course. Not being able to head the bow into the wind, we had to give
way to it so that we were carried along by it.
Having run under the protection of a small island called Clauda, we were able with
difficulty to get control of the skiff (in tow), 17 which we lifted up. They used ropes to undergird
the hull. Being afraid lest they drift into the Syrtis Gulf, they lowered the sailing gear, and thus
were being carried along.
Because we were being battered severely by the storm, on the next day they were
jettisoning things. 19 On the third day with their own hands they threw overboard the tackle of the
ship. 20 Neither the sun nor the stars appeared for many days. Due to the hurricane’s pressing
down on us overwhelmingly, all remaining hope of our being saved was being abandoned.
There was much loss of appetite. Then Paul stood up among them and said, “Oh, men!
It was necessary that you should have listened to me. We should not have sailed from Crete. This
disaster and the damage could have been averted. 22 But now I am advising you to cheer up, for
no one’s life among you will be lost. Nevertheless, the ship will go down. 23 In the night the
messenger of God—whose I am and whom I worshipfully serve—approached me. 24 Here is his
message: “Stop being afraid, Paul; it is imperative that you present yourself to Caesar. Now see
this: God has given you the lives of all those sailing with you.”
“Therefore, men, be in good spirits, for I believe in God that things will work out the
way he told me. 26 We must run aground on some island.”
As the fourteenth night came, while we were drifting across the Adriatic Sea, in the
middle of the night the sailors thought they were being carried toward some land. 28 Having taken
soundings, they found it to be 20 fathoms. After a brief interval, they again took a sounding and
found it to be 15 fathoms. 29 Being afraid lest we run aground on a rocky coast, they heaved out
four anchors from the stern and wished for dawn to break.
Some of the sailors were attempting to abandon ship by letting down the skiff into the
sea, under the pretense of intending to stretch out anchors from the bow.
Paul said to the centurion and soldiers, “Unless these sailors remain on board ship,
you will not be able to be rescued. 32 Then the soldiers cut the lines holding the skiff allowing it
to fall away.
Until daybreak, Paul was encouraging them all to eat some food: “Today is the
fourteenth day you have been waiting for the storm to end, going without food, taking in nothing.
Therefore, I urge you to have some food. For this pertains to your rescue, because not a hair of
your head will be lost.” 35 After saying these things and taking bread, he gave thanks to God
before all of them; and having broken off some, he began to consume it.
Everyone became cheerful and they also received food. 37 The shipboard register was
276 people in all. 38 After being satisfied with a meal, all hands were lightening the load on the
ship by jettisoning the grain into the sea.
When day dawned, the crew did not recognize the land, and there was a bay they
could perceive that had a beach, to which they planned to run the ship ashore if they could
manage it.
Acts 27:40-28:16 230

So they cast off all anchors, allowing the sea to set the course. At the same time they
released the bands holding the rudders, hoisted the foresail to the gale, and were holding a course
for the beach.
They struck a sandbar dividing the outer and inner waters, and the ship ran aground.
The prow remained jammed immovably on the sandbar, and the stern was being broken up by
the smashing swells.
The soldiers got the notion to kill all prisoners lest anyone escape by swimming away.
But the centurion wanted to spare Paul and forbade them to carry out their plan. He ordered
those who could swim to dive in first and make it to land, and the others to grab planks breaking
loose, or to grab on to flotsam from the ship. By these means everyone came safely to shore.
28:1 After the safe landing, they recognized the island was called Malta. 2 The aborigines
offered us hospitality to an uncommon degree. They made a bonfire and brought us all to it
because it was rainy and cold.
Paul gathered a full bundle of dead branches and placed it on the fire. The heat caused
a snake to emerge from it, attaching itself to his hand. 4 The islanders saw the creature dangling
from his hand and said to one another, "All told, this man must be a murderer! Although he was
saved from the sea, justice did not permit him to live."
Then Paul shook off the snake into the fire and suffered no harm from it.
They expected him to become swollen and hot with fever or suddenly to topple over
dead. After a long interval of their waiting and watching—and still nothing unusual had
happened to him—they reversed their decision and said he was a god.
In the neighborhood was a property belonging to the island's chieftain, Publius. He
welcomed us and for three days put us up hospitably. 8 The father of Publius had a fever with
associated dysentery that had put him in bed. Paul went in to where he was lying. He prayed,
placed his hands on him, and healed him.
After this happened, the rest of the people on the island who had sicknesses kept
coming and were being healed. 10 The people also honored us with many honoraria, and at our
sailing they provided for us the necessary provisions.
Three months later, we sailed in a ship that had wintered over at the island. It was
from Alexandria and had the Dioscuri figurehead.
After docking at Syracuse, we remained for three days. 13 From there we weighed
anchor and arrived at Rhegium. One day elapsed and a south wind arose; on the second day we
came to Puteoli, 14 where having found brothers we were encouraged by them to remain there
seven days. So in this manner we came to Rome.
Once we were there and the brothers heard about our adventures, they came to meet
us as far as the Forum of Appius and Three Taverns. Upon seeing them, Paul gave thanks to God
and became encouraged.
When he entered Rome, Paul was permitted to remain by himself with a soldier
guarding him.
Acts 28:17-31 231

After three days there, he called together the Jewish leaders. When they assembled, he
said to them:
Gentleman, brothers, I had done nothing anti-Semitic or against the customs of our
forefathers when in Jerusalem I was handed over as a prisoner into the hands of the
Romans. 18 After they examined me, they wanted to release me, because I had done
nothing worthy of capital punishment. 19 But because the Jews were speaking against
me, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, although the nations did not have anything of
which to accuse me. 20 For this reason, therefore, I called you to get acquainted and to
converse with you, for it is actually because of my commitment to Israel's hope that this
chain fastens me.
They replied to him, "We have received neither letters from the Jews concerning you,
nor has anyone of the brothers who came here reported or said anything evil about you. 22 We
think it is proper to hear from you what you think, for concerning this sect, we know that
everywhere it is denounced."
They arranged with him a day, and many came to him at his lodging. He laid
everything out before them, expatiating on the kingdom of God, and appealing to them from the
law of Moses and the prophets concerning Jesus. This went on from dawn until dusk. 24 On the
one hand, they were convinced by the things being said; on the other hand, they disbelieved.
They also disagreed with one another.
As they were leaving, Paul made one statement, “So well did the holy spirit say through
Isaiah the prophet in reference to your fathers:
Go to this people and say:
You hear and hear, but do not understand at all.
You see and see, but do not perceive at all.
For this people's emotions are desensitized.
Their ears have plugs in them obstructing hearing.
Their eyes are shut,
lest they see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts,
and return—that I would heal them.
“Therefore, you are served notice that this salvation produced by God has been sent
officially to the nations. They will pay attention.”
29 30
Paul remained for two whole years in his own rented place. He welcomed all who
came to him. 31 With intrepid boldness he kept preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the
truths concerning the Lord Jesus Christ without a hindrance.
Romans 1:1-25 232

1:1 This letter comes from Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle dedicated to
good news from God 2 as promised in antiquity through his prophets in the holy writings. 3 This
gospel features God’s son, whose human lineage is traceable back to David. 4 Jesus Christ, our
Lord, was dynamically authenticated by the spirit of holiness as God’s son by his resurrection
from the dead. 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to achieve among all the nations
faith-based obedience, as a tribute to his name. 6 As goyim you too have been called by Jesus
Christ. 7 To all of you living in Rome, loved by God as his called, holy people—may grace be
given to you and peace from God, our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the outset I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your
faithfulness is reported universally. 9 God, whom I serve devotedly in my spirit in the gospel of
his son, will attest what I am saying, for I mention you continually to him. 10 Always as I pray for
you, I request that somehow at long last by the will of God I would be successful in traveling to
you. For my heart is set on seeing you so as to share with you some spiritual contribution
for your establishment. 12 This is what I mean—that when I am among you, we would be
mutually encouraged by the sharing of your faith and mine.
I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I often intended to travel to you, but I
have been hindered from doing that right up until now. My intention is that I might be productive
among you just as I have also been among the rest of the nations. 14 I am under obligation to the
Greeks and also to the uncivilized, to those who have developed their minds, and also to the
uneducated. 15 Therefore, as to my intention, I am all set to expound the gospel also among you at
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s salvific power for every
believer—with application first to the Jew and also to the Greek. 17 God’s righteousness is
revealed in the gospel, a righteousness derived through faith and maintained by faith. This
accords with what has been written:
The person who is righteous lives by faith.
God’s wrath manifested from heaven is directed against all ungodliness and injustice
of people who suppress the truth in wickedness. 19 The situation is like this: What is knowable
about God is patent among them, for God made it known to them. 20 Dating back to the creation
of the cosmos, his invisible attributes are clearly evident, being perceived in the phenomena of
creation: his eternal power, his being God. As a result, they are inexcusable.
While they knew God as God, they neither honored him as deity nor did they express
gratitude to him. But in their rationalizations they became preoccupied with worthlessness, and
in the core of their being understanding dimmed to darkness. 22 Although they asserted their
sophistication, they functioned as fools. 23 They replaced the glory of the immortal God with
another image altogether, that of a perishable human being—and even that of birds, quadrupeds,
and reptiles.
Consequently, God remanded them over, with all the lusts of their hearts, to a state of
filth and degradation of their bodies among themselves. 25 They traded away the truth of God’s
Romans 1:26-2:18 233

reality for a false world of unreality. They adored and served what was created instead of the
creator, who is forever praiseworthy! Amen. 26 God, therefore, turned them over to disgusting
appetites. For example, their females substituted unnatural acts in place of natural relations with
the opposite sex. 27 Comparably, their males abandoned the natural order of relations with
females, being inflamed by their cravings for one another—males indulging their obscenity in
males and consequently getting in themselves the compulsory payoff of their perversion.
Just as they did not think a concept of God was worthwhile to retain, God remanded
them over to a degraded mentality for perpetrating perversions. 29 They were filled with every
form of injustice, degeneracy, greed, and evil, being full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and
meanness. They hiss 30 and vilify; they are God-haters, insolent, egotistical, boasters, sadists,
disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, covenant-breakers, being incapable of expressing tenderness or
mercy. 32 They understand God’s judgment that those who engage in such practices are worthy of
death, yet not only do they keep on engaging in them, but they also hold in high regard those
who do the same.
2:1 I address every critic now. Here is the reason you, yourself, are inexcusable. When you
condemn another, you condemn yourself as one engaged in the same actions. 2 We know,
however, that in reference to those who do such actions as those just cited, God’s judgment is
objectively applied. 3 You, the person who judges those who do such, all the while committing
comparable acts yourself, do you suppose you will escape divine retribution? 4 Or do you have
contempt for the overflow of his good-naturedness, his forbearance and patience, while ignoring
the fact that God's kindness is meant to coax you toward repentance? 5 In keeping with the
obduracy of your impenitent heart, you are accumulating wrath against yourself to be inflicted in
the time of God’s wrath and the revelation of his righteous judgment. 6 God will requite
everyone according to his deeds.
On the one hand, for those who by good work are patiently seeking eternal life, there is
glory, honor, and immortality. 8 On the other hand, for those with selfish ambition who disobey
the truth and commit themselves to injustice—there is rage and fury. 9 Trouble and anguish await
every human soul who persists in evil. The Jews have it coming to them first, but the Greeks also
will get their due. 10 Glory, honor, and peace are in store for everyone who does good, with the
Jews being first in line, but the Greeks also get the same.
God is impartial. 12 As many as sinned outside the jurisdiction of the law will perish
beyond the reach of the law. But as many as sinned under the domain of the law will be judged
by the law. 13 For it is not those on familiar terms with the law who will be considered righteous
before God, but those who practice what it requires. 14 When the goyim who do not have the
(Mosaic) law do naturally what is stipulated by the law, these people who lack the law are a law
for themselves. 15 They demonstrate the function of the law to have been written in their
character and to be corroborated by their conscience. In their interpersonal reflections they
accuse one another, or even make excuses for one another. 16 This will all be clarified in the day
when God through Christ Jesus judges the secrets of mankind in accordance with my gospel.
If you bear the reputation of being Jewish, you are also ensconced in the law and take
pride in God. 18 You even know his will, and you distinguish moral alternatives, having been
Romans 2:19-3:13 234

instructed by the law. 19 Indeed, you persuaded yourself you are a chaperone for the blind, a light
for those in darkness, 20 an educator of the ignorant, a teacher of the young, one having in the law
the structure of knowledge and truth. 21 You who teach another person, do you not teach
yourself? Do you, the one who proclaims, Do not steal!—steal? 22 Do you, the one who says, Do
not commit adultery!—have affairs? Do you, the one who abhors idols—steal from pagan
temples? 23 As for you who boast about the law, by your transgression of it, you dishonor God. 24
For just as it has been recorded: God’s name, because of you, is slandered among the nations.
What benefit is there in circumcision if you do not adhere to the law? If you are
breaking the law, your circumcision amounts to foreskinnedness. 26 Consequently, if a
foreskinned person keeps the moral precepts of the law, is not his foreskinnedness the equivalent
of circumcision? 27 Moreover, the one naturally foreskinned who fulfills the law will judge
you—lawbreaker that you are—even though you have the written document and circumcision.
For Jewishness does not derive from externals, and certainly not from the exterior circumcision
of the flesh. 29 Instead, Jewishness is an internal condition; circumcision is of the heart,
performed by the spirit, not by the written document. The commendation of that Jew is not
provided by men but comes from God.
3:1 Therefore, what benefit derives from being Jewish? Or what advantage accrues to the
circumcised? 2 All told, it is a great privilege. At the top of the list is this: The Jews were
entrusted with God’s messages. 3 For what difference does it make if some Jews were unfaithful?
Jewish incredulity could not invalidate the faithfulness of God, could it? 4 Of course not!
God must be true, even if it means calling every human being into question as a
falsifier. There is Scripture which says as much:
That you might be authenticated in your words,
and have the decisive word when you judge.
If our depravity affords a backdrop to demonstrate God’s integrity, what can we
conclude from that? God is not unjust when he bears down hard in inflicting his wrath, is he? I
speak strictly from a human perspective. 6 Of course not. Otherwise, how would God judge the
world? 7 If the glory of God’s integrity increased by contrast with my untruthfulness, why am I
any longer condemned as a sinner? 8 The real state of things does not coincide with that for
which we are falsely accused, which certain ones allege we are saying: “We should do evil that
good may result.” The judgment on such people will be well deserved.
What, therefore, is the advantage we Jews have? None figures all that much in that the
Jews just like the Greeks were previously incriminated—all of them—as being under the sway of
sin, 10 in accordance with what has been recorded:
No one is righteous—not a single person.
No one has understanding.
No one is persistently seeking God.
All deviated, being depraved together.
No one is producing goodness—not even one.
Their throat is an open grave.
Their tongues are coated with deception.
Romans 3:14-4:8 235

Their lips conceal cobra venom.

Their mouth is full of cursing and recriminations.
Their feet are fleet to take them to blood baths.
Their roads are lined with wreckage and wretchedness.
They have not known the path of peace.
The fear of God never comes within their outlook.
We know that whatever the law says it declares to those who are under its jurisdiction
in order that every mouth might be silenced and that all the world might become answerable to
God. 20 Consequently, performance of actions indicated by the law will not justify any individual
in God’s presence, for the purpose of the law is to identify sin.
But now outside the realm of the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed. It has
been attested by the law and the prophets. 22 God’s righteousness is available through faith in
Jesus Christ and is for all believers. No distinction is made, 23 for all sinned and fail to reflect
God’s glory. 24 Believers are declared righteous by his grace, given freely through the redemption
made by Christ Jesus. 25 God designated him as the means of atonement through faith in his
blood, providing proof of God’s righteousness while passing over the backlog of accumulated
sins. This points up God’s clemency and demonstrates his righteousness at the present
time, that he might continue to be righteous and to count as righteous the believer in Jesus.
Where then is any opportunity for boasting? It has been shut down. Through what
kind of principle could there be boasting? That of accomplishments? Negative. Rather,
justification comes through the principle of faith. 28 For we conclude that a person is justified by
faith apart from legal performances.
Or is God only for the Jews? Is he not also the God of the nations? Affirmative; he is
the God of the goyim as well. 30 Because there is only one who is God, he will justify the
circumcised by faith, and the foreskinned through faith. 31 Do we invalidate the law through
faith? Certainly not. But we establish it (in its own realm).
4:1 What shall we say, therefore, about our natural ancestor, Abraham, as to what he
discovered? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has a basis for self-approbation, but not
vis-à-vis God. 3 What does the Scripture say about this?
Abraham believed God,
and his faith was credited to him for righteousness.
To one who works, his compensation is not attributable to grace but obligation. 5 Yet to
one who does not work, but believes the one making the ungodly righteous, his faith is credited
for righteousness. 6 It also accords with David’s mention of the bliss of the person whom God
credits with righteousness apart from works:
Blessed are those whose lawbreaking deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is a man whom Yahveh never charges with sin.
Romans 4:9-5:10 236

Is this blessed man one who is circumcised, or one with a foreskin? For we are saying,
“Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? Was it during
the time he was circumcised, or while he was foreskinned? Answer: not in circumcision, but in
his foreskinned state. 11 Furthermore, Abraham took on circumcision as a sign, a seal of the
faith-righteousness he had in his foreskinned condition, that he might be the patriarch of all the
foreskinned who believe and to whom righteousness is thereby credited. 12 He is also the
patriarch of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised, but also are walking in the
footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham in his foreskinned state.
The promise to Abraham or to his posterity that he would inherit the world did not
originate through the law, but through faith-righteousness. 14 For if the heirs inherit because they
are associated with the law, faith is vacated, and the promise is nullified. 15 The law activates
wrath. But where there is no law, neither is there a transgression. 16 The reason the inheritance is
derived from faith is this: that it might be according to grace, that the promise might be firmly in
place for all his posterity, not only to those coming from the law, but also to those with faith
comparable to Abraham’s. He is our corporate father, 17 just as it has been written:
I established you as a patriarch of many nations.
In relation to that promise, Abraham believed God—who gives life to dead people and
calls what as yet has no being into existence. 18 Abraham in a hopeless situation had hope; he
believed in such a manner he became “patriarch of many nations,” just as it had been said: “Thus
and so will be your posterity.”
Furthermore, not being deficient in faith, he disregarded the necrobiosis of his own
body, being about one hundred years old, and the necrobiosis of Sarah’s uterus, 20 in favor of
God’s promise. He did not evaluate the situation in unbelief, but empowered by his faith, he
glorified God. 21 He was fully convinced that what God had promised he was also able to do.
Consequently, his faith was “credited to him for righteousness.”
That it was “credited to him” was not recorded for his sake alone. 24 But that crediting
was also for our sake, to whom it is about to be credited—to those believing in the one having
raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to death on account of our
transgressions, and he was raised for our judicial vindication.
5:1 Therefore, when we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have access to this grace in which we stand. We also make much
of the hope featuring God’s glory. 3 Not only that, but we exult in adversities, knowing that
hardship brings about patient perseverance. 4 Perseverance is character-building, and tested
character is conducive to hope. 5 This hope is unabashed, because God’s love is poured into our
hearts through his holy spirit given to us.
While we were yet without strength, Christ in due course died for godless people.
Indeed, scarcely for a person with a good reputation would anyone die, although perhaps on
behalf of a good person someone would dare to die. 8 God, however, demonstrates his love for us
because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Therefore, how much more, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be
spared from wrath through him. 10 For if during the time we were enemies, we were reconciled to
God through the death of his son, how much more, because the relationship has been restored,
Romans 5:11-6:14 237

will we be saved by his life! 11 Not only that, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus
Christ, through whom we now have reconciliation.
An extended contrast is therefore evident: Sin entered the world through one man.
Death entered through sin, and as a consequence death permeated all humanity. Through that
man everyone sinned. 13 Sin, indeed, was in the world prior to the law, yet sin is not charged if
there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death held sway from Adam until Moses, even over those who
did not sin in a transgression comparable to Adam’s. Adam affords a precedent for the one
coming later.
But Adam’s transgression does not determine the character of the gracious gift. For if
the transgression of one man caused the death of a multitude, how much more have the grace of
God and his gift in grace abounded in one man, Jesus Christ, for the benefit of multitudes. 16 The
consequence of the giving of the gift is not comparable to the effect of the one man’s sin. For on
the one hand, the judgment derived from one man’s sin resulted in condemnation. On the other
hand, the gracious gift counteracted many transgressions by imparting righteousness. 17 For if by
the sin of the one man, death exercised dominion through one person, how much more will those
who receive the outpouring of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one
man, Jesus Christ! 18 Therefore, as through one sin condemnation spread to all humanity, through
one righteous act for all humanity, there results a vindication issuing in life. 19 For just as through
the disobedience of one man, multitudes were constituted sinners, in a comparable corporate
manner, through the obedience of one man, multitudes will be constituted righteous.
As for the law, it entered tangentially in order to intensify transgression. Where sin
increased, grace increased even more. 21 The purposive outcome was that just as sin dominated
by death, grace comparably would dominate through righteousness, issuing in eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
6:1 Now how should we respond to all this? Should we keep right on sinning in order that
grace might have fuller application? 2 Not at all. How can we who died to sin live in it any
longer? 3 Or are you unaware that as many of us as were immersed in Christ Jesus were
immersed in his death? 4 Therefore, our baptism buried us with him in death. The purpose was
that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the father’s glory, we also should live a new
life. 5 For if we have been bonded with him in conformity to his death, at the opposite extreme
we also will be bonded to his resurrection.
We know that our old self was co-crucified with him in order to deactivate the body
expressive of sin so that we might no longer serve sin. 7 One who is dead is judicially absolved
from sin. 8 If we died with Christ, we believe that we also shall co-live with him. 9 We know that
Christ—because he has been raised from the dead—no longer dies. Mortality no longer has a
hold on him. 10 For when he died, he died in relation to sin once; but in that he lives, he lives
continuously related to God. 11 In a comparable manner, consider yourselves, on the one hand, to
be dead to sin, and on the other hand, as living related to God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, do not permit sin to control your mortal body that you should obey its
cravings. 13 Neither should you put your faculties at the disposal of wickedness to be instruments
of sin. But present yourselves to God as one living again after death, and your faculties as
instruments of righteousness for God. 14 Indeed, sin will not control you, for you are not under
law, but grace.
Romans 6:15-7:18 238

What then does this add up to? Should we sin because we are not under law, but under
grace? May that never happen! 16 Do you not know that to the one you present yourselves
subserviently in obedience, you are slaves—either to sin that issues in death, or to obedience that
culminates in righteousness?
Thanks to God that at a time when you were slaves to sin, you decided in your heart to
submit to that structure of teaching delivered to you. 18 And, set free from sin, you became slaves
to righteousness. 19 I speak using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For
just as you presented your faculties in slavery to filth and lawlessness with unrestraint, so now
present your faculties as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
Inasmuch as you were slaves to sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What,
therefore, did you get out of what you were doing then—those practices of which you now are
ashamed? The outcome of those actions means death. 22 But now, having become liberated from
sin, you have become slaves to God. The output of your life is holiness, culminating in eternal
life. 23 Whereas sin pays off the sinner with death, God graciously gives eternal life in Christ
Jesus, our Lord.
7:1 Or are you unaware, brothers, for I am speaking with those familiar with the law, that
the law rules a person’s life for as long as he lives? 2 For instance, a woman in marital
submission to a husband is tied down to her living husband by the law. But if her husband dies,
the marital law pertaining to her husband is abrogated. 3 Therefore, during the lifetime of her
husband, if she bonds to another man, she will be tagged an adulteress. But if her husband dies,
she is free from the law. She would not be immoral if she married another man.
The upshot, my brothers, is that your relationship with the law is dead on the basis of
the body of Christ, that you might become attached to another, to the one raised from the dead, in
order that we might be fruitful for God. 5 For when we were carnal, sinful drives identified by the
law were operating in our faculties to produce death. 6 But at present we have been released from
the law by experiencing death in reference to that which held us down. This results in our
serving God on a new basis of spirit—not an obsolete document.
What then should we conclude? Is the law itself sinful? Of course not! Sin, however, is
not identified except through law. For I would not have been conscious of greed had the law not
said, Do not covet. 8 But sin, getting its impetus from the legal command, instigated in me
rampant greed. Apart from the law, sin is a dead issue. 9 At one time I was living apart from the
law; but when the command came on line, sin revived, 10 and I died. I found out that the
command, meant to conserve life, had a lethal effect. 11 For sin, taking its moment to act from the
command, deluded me, and did me in mortally.
The conclusion is that the law itself is sacred; the command is holy, righteous, and
good. Did what is good cause my death? Not by any means! But sin, that it might appear to be
sin through the good commandment had a lethal effect on me, and thereby sin became
supersinful. 14 For we know the law is spiritual, yet I am carnal, sold in bondage to sin.
What I am to do about it, I do not know. For it is not what I aspire to do that I actually
do, but what I detest. 16 If I do what I do not want to do, I consent that the law is good, 17 and
actually it is no longer I doing it, but sin indwelling me. 18 For I recognize that in my natural self
goodness does not reside. Indeed, the right motive is ready at hand, but the accomplishment of
Romans 7:19-8:24 239

what is good—not so. 19 For it is not my good motive that gets actualized; instead, the evil I did
not want is what I do. 20 If I thus do what is against my wishes, it is no longer I doing it, but the
sin indwelling me. 21 So I find the principle that when I have a good motive, evil is in bed with
me. 22 For I sincerely agree to God’s law at the internal leve