Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].



Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were upset [with you] when they heard [you say] that?" But He answered and said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. [So], let these Pharisees alone; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a ditch."

"It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. read more.
You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also.

Then Jesus told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: "Can a blind person lead a blind person? Will not both of them fall into a ditch?


Then one of the twelve apostles, named Judas Iscariot, went to the leading priests and said, "What would you give me if I turned Jesus over to you?" And they weighed out thirty silver coins [Note: This amount was equivalent to about five months of a farm laborer's wages, or approximately $7,000 in 1994], and promised [See Mark 14:11] to give him that much money. So, from then on Judas looked for a [good] opportunity to turn Jesus over [to the Jewish leaders].

Now Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles, left and went to the leading priests in order to make arrangements for turning Jesus over to them. And when they [i.e., the leading priests] realized this, they were very pleased and promised to give him money. So, Judas began looking for a convenient way to turn Jesus over to these Jewish leaders.

Then Satan entered the heart of Judas, called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles. So, he left [probably the house of Simon, the man healed of an infectious skin disease. See Matt. 26:6-13] and went and discussed with the leading priests and captains [i.e., of the Temple guard] how he could turn Jesus over to them. And they were very pleased, so agreed to give him money. read more.
So Judas consented [to their offer] and looked for a [good] opportunity to turn Jesus over to them [i.e., the Jewish leaders] when the crowd was not present.





"Listen to another parable [i.e., a brief story used to illustrate His teaching]: There was the owner of a farm who planted a vineyard and built a fence around it. He constructed a grape squeezing device, built a [lookout] tower [near it], leased it to tenant farmers and then went to another country. And when the season for harvesting the grapes approached, the owner of the farm sent his slaves to the tenant farmers to arrange for delivery of his crop. But the tenant farmers took the farm owner's slaves and beat one, killed another and stoned another. read more.
The owner of the farm then sent additional slaves and they were treated the same way. Then later on he sent his own son to the tenant farmers, saying, '[Surely] they will treat my son with respect.' But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir [to the vineyard]. Come on, let us kill him so we can take over his inheritance.' So, they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When the owner of the vineyard returns, what [do you think] he will do to those tenant farmers? They answered him, "He will bring terrible destruction on those evil men and will lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will deliver the crops to him each harvest time."

And when the leading priests and Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they realized He was speaking about them.

saying, "The experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees teach by the authority of Moses. Therefore, observe and practice everything they urge upon you, but do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them. Yes, they require people to bear heavy and difficult responsibilities, and place them on people's shoulders [to carry out], but they themselves will not lift a finger to do them. read more.
But they do all their deeds just to be seen by people. They wear elaborate Scripture texts displayed on their clothing and enlarge [conspicuously] the fringes of their robes. They love to recline at the head place at dinner tables [Note: This referred to the practice of lying down on their left side on a couch next to the dinner table, and leaning on their left elbow, while eating with their right hand], and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues. They love the [special] greetings they receive at the open shopping markets and to be addressed as 'Rabbi' [Note: This word signified 'great' or 'master'].

"But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. read more.
"It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell?

Now the leading priests and the entire Council [called "the Sanhedrin"] looked for false witnesses [to testify] against Jesus, in order to put Him to death. But they did not find any [i.e., whose stories harmonized. See Mark 14:56], even though many false witnesses came [forward to testify]. Finally, two [false witnesses] came forward and said, "This man [i.e., Jesus] said, 'I can destroy the Temple of God, and [then] rebuild it within three days.'" read more.
The head priest stood up and said to Him, "Have you nothing to answer? What about this charge being made against you by these people?" But Jesus did not say anything. So, the head priest said to Him, "I command you [to swear] by the living God, [and] to tell us if you are the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one], the Son of God!" Jesus replied to him, "You have said so; nevertheless I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of man sitting at the right side of Power [i.e., God Himself], and coming on the clouds of the sky." Then the head priest tore at his clothing [i.e., as an expression of frustration], saying, "He has spoken against God [i.e., by claiming Deity for Himself]. What additional need do we have for witnesses? Look, you [yourselves] have now heard him speaking against God. What do you people think [i.e., about such statements]?" They answered, "He deserves to die." Then they spit in His face and hit Him [with their fists], while others slapped Him [in the face], saying, "Prophesy to us, you 'Christ.' Tell us who hit you?" [Note: By this time Jesus had been blindfolded. See Mark 14:65].

Jesus began speaking to them [i.e., to the leading priests and experts in the law of Moses (See 11: And when the [grape harvest] season came, the owner of the farm sent a slave to the tenant farmers asking them to deliver the grape crop [to him]. But they took the slave and beat him and sent him away empty handed. read more.
Again the owner of the farm sent another slave, whom they wounded in the head and shamefully abused. He sent [still] another slave, whom they killed. He continued sending many more slaves; they beat some and killed others. The owner had one more person [left to send], his dearly loved son. [So] he sent him to them last of all, reasoning to himself, ' [Surely] they will treat my son with respect.' But the tenant farmers said to one another, 'This is the heir [to the vineyard]. Come on, let us kill him and then the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him and threw his body out of the vineyard. What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do [when he gets back]?" Jesus asked. [Then He continued], "He will come and kill those tenant farmers and give the vineyard to other people. Have you never read this Scripture [Psa. 118:22-23], 'The building block rejected by the builders is the same [one] that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned. This was planned by the Lord and is a marvelous thing to us'?" And they [i.e., the leading priests and experts in the Law of Moses] attempted to arrest Jesus, but [hesitated because] they feared what the crowd might do, for they understood that He was speaking the parable against them. So, they left Him and went away.



"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].



But you should not assume the title 'Rabbi,' for [only] one is your teacher [i.e., Jesus Himself] and all of you are [simply] brothers. And do not call any man on earth 'father,' [i.e., in a religious sense], for the [only] one who is your Father is in heaven. Neither assume the title 'Master' [i.e., teacher], for [only] one is your Master, the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one].

And so it happened, as Jesus was having a meal at Matthew's house, a number of [other] tax collectors and worldly people came to sit down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this they said to His disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and worldly people?" When Jesus heard this, He said, "People who are healthy do not need a doctor; but [only] sick people do. read more.
Go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not [only] sacrifice.' For I did not come to call righteous people [to be my followers] but sinners."

saying, "The experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees teach by the authority of Moses. Therefore, observe and practice everything they urge upon you, but do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them. Yes, they require people to bear heavy and difficult responsibilities, and place them on people's shoulders [to carry out], but they themselves will not lift a finger to do them.

"But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. read more.
"It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell? Therefore look, I am sending to you prophets, wise men and scholarly teachers. You will murder and crucify some of them; you will whip some of them in your synagogues and pursue them from town to town. [This will be done] so that on you may fall the guilt for shedding on the ground the blood of all those innocent people, from the blood of righteous Abel to that of Barachiah's son Zachariah, whom you murdered between the Sanctuary and the Altar [i.e., in the Temple area].

For everyone will be salted with fire. [Note: This meant either the suffering "salt" of fiery trials (the sacrifices of verses 43-47 or the punishing "salt" of being thrown into a fiery hell (verse 45-48)]. "Salt is good, but if it loses its salty flavor, what will you use to restore it? [i.e., it is difficult to restore the "salt" of sacrificial commitment to God once it is lost]. You should have salt in yourselves [i.e., develop the qualities of preserving, purifying commitment to God], and live peacefully with one another [i.e., instead of in rivalry. See 9:33-34].


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

And that slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not make preparations [i.e., for his master's return], or do what his master wanted, will be whipped with many lashes.


Then the Lord will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, since you did not do it for one of these least [significant brothers of mine], you did not do it for me.'

"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].



"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of the world, [then] why, as though you [still] lived in [harmony with] the world, do you submit yourselves to [its] rules, [such as]:



These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me.


You are observing [certain] days, and months, and seasons, and years [as binding religious holidays]. I am afraid for you, [i.e., for your spiritual safety], that possibly I may have spent a lot of effort on your behalf for nothing.



Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were upset [with you] when they heard [you say] that?" But He answered and said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. [So], let these Pharisees alone; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a ditch."

"It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. read more.
You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also.

Then Jesus told them a parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate His teaching]: "Can a blind person lead a blind person? Will not both of them fall into a ditch?



"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel.


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].


About this time, while a crowd of many thousands had assembled, [so large that] people were trampling on one another, Jesus first began telling His disciples, "Watch out for the leavening [effect] of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

"In addition, when you fast [i.e., go without food and/or drink for religious reasons], do not be like the hypocrites with long faces, for they go around with gloomy expressions on their faces in order to advertise that they are fasting. It is true when I say to you, these people have [already] received their reward. But when you fast, groom your hair and wash your face so that people will not see that you are fasting, but [only] your Father who is in secret [will know about it]. For, [since] He sees [what is done] in secret, He will repay you.

"Listen to another parable [i.e., a brief story used to illustrate His teaching]: There was the owner of a farm who planted a vineyard and built a fence around it. He constructed a grape squeezing device, built a [lookout] tower [near it], leased it to tenant farmers and then went to another country. And when the season for harvesting the grapes approached, the owner of the farm sent his slaves to the tenant farmers to arrange for delivery of his crop. But the tenant farmers took the farm owner's slaves and beat one, killed another and stoned another. read more.
The owner of the farm then sent additional slaves and they were treated the same way. Then later on he sent his own son to the tenant farmers, saying, '[Surely] they will treat my son with respect.' But when the tenant farmers saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir [to the vineyard]. Come on, let us kill him so we can take over his inheritance.' So, they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. When the owner of the vineyard returns, what [do you think] he will do to those tenant farmers? They answered him, "He will bring terrible destruction on those evil men and will lease the vineyard to other tenant farmers who will deliver the crops to him each harvest time." Jesus [then] said to the leading priests and elders of the Jewish people, "Did you not ever read in the Scriptures [Psa. 118:22-23], 'The building block rejected by the builders is the same one that was made the principal stone by which the entire building was aligned. This was planned by the Lord and is a marvelous thing to us'? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you [Jews] and will be given to a nation [i.e., the Gentiles] that will produce the fruit of the kingdom. And the person who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but whoever it falls on will be scattered like dust." And when the leading priests and Pharisees heard Jesus' parables, they realized He was speaking about them. When they attempted to arrest Him, [they hesitated because] they feared [what] the crowds [might do], since they considered Jesus a prophet.

"Therefore, when you give money to help poor people, do not blow a trumpet in front of you [i.e., to call attention to it] as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets. They do this in order to win praise from people. It is true when I say to you, they have [already] received their reward. But when you give money to help poor people, do not allow your left hand to know what your right hand is doing [i.e., do it inconspicuously] so that your giving to poor people may be done secretly. Then your Father, who sees what is done secretly, will pay you back. read more.
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners [i.e., in prominent view of everyone] in order to be seen [and praised] by people. But when you pray, go to a private place and after closing the door, pray to your Father who is in a secret place, and [since] He sees in secret places, He will reward you. And when you pray, do not use worthless repetitions like the [unconverted] Gentiles, for they think their lengthy, repetitious wording [in prayer] is more likely to be heard [by God]. So, do not be like them, for your Father [already] knows what things you need, [even] before you ask Him.

Then some Pharisees and experts in the law of Moses came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]." And He answered them, "Why do you also violate the commandments of God by [following] your traditions? read more.
For God said, [Ex. 20:12], 'Give honor to your father and mother.' and [Ex. 21:17], 'Whoever says bad things about his father or mother should surely be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, I have given to God the money I could have helped you with;' this person does not honor his father [or mother]. You have made God's message useless by [thus enforcing] your traditions. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied accurately about you, saying [Isa. 29:13], These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me. They are worshiping me for nothing [because they are] teaching principles that are [merely] the requirements of men.'"

The Pharisees and Sadducees came [and attempted] to test Jesus [by] asking Him to perform a [supernatural] sign from heaven. But He answered them, {[{[These words are omitted in most ancient manuscripts: "When the sky is reddish in the evening, you predict fair weather [for the next day]. And when the sky is reddish and overcast in the morning, you predict [that it will be] bad weather that day. You know how to interpret [weather] conditions from the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times [i.e., what will happen in the spiritual realm]"]}]}. read more.
"It is an evil and spiritually unfaithful generation of people [that keeps on] looking for a [supernatural] sign; but there will be no [such] sign given to it except the sign of Jonah [i.e., being in the huge fish for three days]." Then He left them and went away. Now the disciples came to the other side [i.e., to the east side of the lake], but had forgotten to bring food [with them]. Jesus said to them, "Pay attention and watch out for the leavening [effect] of the Pharisees and Sadducees." And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "[Why be concerned about yeast since] we did not bring [any] bread?" Jesus, being aware of their thoughts, said, "O, you people with [such] little faith! Why are you reasoning among yourselves about not having bread? Do you not understand yet or remember that five thousand people [were fed] with five loaves of bread and how many baskets [of pieces] were picked up [afterward]? Or that four thousand people [were fed] with seven loaves of bread and how many baskets [of pieces] were picked up [afterward]? How is it that you do not understand that I was not speaking to you about [physical] bread? But [rather I meant] watch out for the yeast [i.e., the influence] of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they understood that He was not telling them to watch out for the yeast in [physical] bread, but for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

saying, "The experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees teach by the authority of Moses. Therefore, observe and practice everything they urge upon you, but do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them. Yes, they require people to bear heavy and difficult responsibilities, and place them on people's shoulders [to carry out], but they themselves will not lift a finger to do them. read more.
But they do all their deeds just to be seen by people. They wear elaborate Scripture texts displayed on their clothing and enlarge [conspicuously] the fringes of their robes. They love to recline at the head place at dinner tables [Note: This referred to the practice of lying down on their left side on a couch next to the dinner table, and leaning on their left elbow, while eating with their right hand], and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues. They love the [special] greetings they receive at the open shopping markets and to be addressed as 'Rabbi' [Note: This word signified 'great' or 'master']. But you should not assume the title 'Rabbi,' for [only] one is your teacher [i.e., Jesus Himself] and all of you are [simply] brothers. And do not call any man on earth 'father,' [i.e., in a religious sense], for the [only] one who is your Father is in heaven. Neither assume the title 'Master' [i.e., teacher], for [only] one is your Master, the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]. But the greatest person among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted [as important]. "But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. "It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell?

[Once] Jesus was driving out an evil spirit from a [man who was] mute. And it happened when the evil spirit left [him] that the [former] mute began to speak. And the crowds were amazed. But some of the people said, "He is driving out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, the chief of evil spirits." Then others, trying to test Him, asked Him to perform a [supernatural] sign from heaven. read more.
But, knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom [plagued] with internal division will end in ruin. And a household divided from within will fall. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how [then] can his kingdom stand? I tell you this because you are saying that I drove out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub. But, if I drive out evil spirits by [the power of] Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So, they will be your judges. But, if I drive out evil spirits by the finger of God [i.e., by God's direct, supernatural intervention], then [that is evidence that] the kingdom of God has come into your midst [i.e., by my presence and ministry]. When a fully armed strong man guards his own courtyard [i.e., homestead], his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away all the armament the strong man relied on, and [then] divides up his storehouse of possessions. [Note: The word here translated "possessions" may be translated "arms" so the meaning could be "divides up his armament"]. The person who is not on my side is [actually] against me. And the person who does not gather [people to me] is [actually] driving them away [from me]. "When an evil spirit has been driven out of a man, it roams through desert regions trying to find rest, but [when it] cannot find any, it says [to itself], 'I will return to my house from which I came [i.e., the body of the person it dominated].' But when it returns [to that body] it finds it cleaned out and [newly] decorated. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits, more evil than itself, and they reenter [the body] and [begin] to live there, so that the latter state of that person becomes worse than the former state." And it happened as He said these things that a certain woman called out to Him from the crowd, saying, "The woman who gave you birth and nursed you is [certainly] blessed." But Jesus said, "Yes, but those who listen to God's message and obey it are [more] blessed." And when the crowds thronged around Jesus, He began saying, "This generation of people is evil, [for] it is looking for a [supernatural] sign. But no [such] sign will be given to it except the sign [demonstrated in the life] of Jonah. For just like Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh [Note: Nineveh was the capital of ancient Assyria], so the Son of man will also be [a sign] to this generation of people. The queen of the South [Note: This queen was from Sheba, which was probably in Arabia. See I Kings 10:1] will stand up on the judgment day, along with the people of this generation, and will condemn them because she came from a great distance to hear [and see] Solomon's wisdom [I Kings 10:1ff] and [now] Someone greater than Solomon is here [i.e., Jesus]. The people of Nineveh will stand up on the judgment day with the people of this generation and will condemn them because they repented [i.e., changed their hearts and lives] when hearing the preaching of Jonah [Jonah 3:5-10] and [now] Someone greater than Jonah is here [i.e., Jesus]. "No one lights an [olive oil] lamp and [then] places it in a hidden place or under a bushel-sized container, but on its stand, so that those who enter [the room] can see [by] the light. Your eye is [like] a lamp to your body [i.e., your life]. When your eye sees things correctly, [then] your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct]. But when it sees things wrongly, [then] your body [i.e., your life] is also full of darkness [i.e., is not being lived properly]. Look therefore [to see] whether or not the light that is in you [i.e., your perspective on things] might [actually] be darkness [i.e., a distorted perspective]. If therefore your whole body [i.e., your entire life] is full of light [i.e., sees and responds to things correctly], with no blind spots [i.e., areas where you do not see and act correctly], your body [i.e., your life] will be fully illuminated [i.e., directed into proper conduct] just like a bright, shining lamp illuminating you [i.e., enabling you to see and respond to things properly]." Now while Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion] invited Him to have a meal with him. So, Jesus went in [to his house] and reclined [at the dinner table]. [Note: See Matt. 23:6]. years later in the war with the Romans, when Jerusalem was destroyed]. And when the Pharisee observed this, he was surprised that Jesus had not first washed himself ceremonially before the meal. And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees [meticulously] clean the outside of the cup and the dish [i.e., this was an allusion to their lives], but you are filled with greed for wealth and [other] evils on the inside. You foolish people! Did not the One [i.e., God] who made the outside [i.e., your body] also make the inside [i.e., your spirit]? But you should give to poor people what you have inside. [Note: This means either what is inside the dish, or what is inside your heart]. And [then] you will see that everything is [ceremonially] clean to you [as well]. "But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well]. "It is too bad for you Pharisees! For you love [to occupy] the principal seats in the synagogues and [to receive special] greetings in the open shopping markets. "It is too bad for you! For you people are like obscure grave sites that people walk over without knowing it." Then one of the teachers of the law of Moses answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, you insulted us too by saying this." And He replied them, "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses also! For you heap heavy responsibilities on people, which are difficult to bear, while you do not even lift a finger to bear them yourselves. "It is too bad for you! For your forefathers killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them [i.e., the prophets]. So, [by doing this] you are witnesses [against yourselves] that you approve of the deeds of your forefathers, for they killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, [Note: Is this a reference to Jesus? See I Cor. 1:30 and Matt. 23:34-36], 'I will send prophets and apostles to them [i.e., the Jewish people] and they will kill and persecute some of them, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the beginning of the world, may be required of this generation of people.' Yes, I tell you, this generation will be punished [for the death of the prophets], from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who died between the Altar and the sanctuary [i.e., in the Temple area]. [Note: This punishment began about "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses! For you took away the key of knowledge [i.e., preventing people from understanding God's plan]. You did not enter [the kingdom of heaven. See Matt. 23:13] yourselves and [you even] prevented those who [wanted] to enter [to get in]." And when Jesus left there [i.e., probably the Pharisee's house. See verse 37], the experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees began opposing Him with hostility and bombarding Him with many questions, [and] plotting to trap Him by something He might say.

Now the tax collectors and worldly people were all gathering around Jesus to listen to Him. And the Pharisees and experts in the law of Moses both complained, saying, "This man welcomes worldly people and [even] eats with them." So, Jesus told them this parable, saying, read more.
"Which one of you who has a hundred sheep, and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in a deserted place and go looking for the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he places it on his shoulders [i.e., to return it], and is so glad. And when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I found my sheep that was lost.' I tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinful person who repents [i.e., changes his heart and life], than over ninety-nine persons who do not need to repent. Or what woman, who has ten silver coins [Note: These coins each amounted to about one day of a farm laborer's pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994], and if she loses one of them, would not light a lamp, sweep the house and search for it diligently until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I found the coin I had lost.'


"But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. read more.
"It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell?


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].



"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of the world, [then] why, as though you [still] lived in [harmony with] the world, do you submit yourselves to [its] rules, [such as]:



These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me.


You are observing [certain] days, and months, and seasons, and years [as binding religious holidays]. I am afraid for you, [i.e., for your spiritual safety], that possibly I may have spent a lot of effort on your behalf for nothing.


saying, "The experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees teach by the authority of Moses. Therefore, observe and practice everything they urge upon you, but do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them. Yes, they require people to bear heavy and difficult responsibilities, and place them on people's shoulders [to carry out], but they themselves will not lift a finger to do them. read more.
But they do all their deeds just to be seen by people. They wear elaborate Scripture texts displayed on their clothing and enlarge [conspicuously] the fringes of their robes. They love to recline at the head place at dinner tables [Note: This referred to the practice of lying down on their left side on a couch next to the dinner table, and leaning on their left elbow, while eating with their right hand], and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues. They love the [special] greetings they receive at the open shopping markets and to be addressed as 'Rabbi' [Note: This word signified 'great' or 'master']. But you should not assume the title 'Rabbi,' for [only] one is your teacher [i.e., Jesus Himself] and all of you are [simply] brothers. And do not call any man on earth 'father,' [i.e., in a religious sense], for the [only] one who is your Father is in heaven. Neither assume the title 'Master' [i.e., teacher], for [only] one is your Master, the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]. But the greatest person among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted [as important]. "But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. "It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell?

Then the Pharisees sent certain ones of their number [See Matt. 22:15-16] along with the Herodians [Note: This refers to members of a political party favoring King Herod] to attempt to trap Him by what He said. And when they arrived, they said to Him, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and [that you] do not care for [i.e., do not fear or give in to] anyone. For you do not allow [the position of] any person to influence you, but teach the truth about God's way. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay it, or should we not pay it?" But Jesus was aware of their hypocrisy and said to them, "Bring me the coin so I can see it." [Note: The amount of this coin was equivalent to one day of a farm laborer's pay, or about $60-$84 in 1994]. read more.
So, they brought it to Him and He said to them, "Whose image and inscription [are on this coin]?" And they answered Him, "Caesar's." Then Jesus replied to them, "Pay to Caesar whatever belongs to Caesar and pay to God whatever belongs to God." And they greatly marveled at Him. or, to the people (See Luke 20:9)] by using parables. He said, "A man planted a vineyard and built a fence around it. He dug a place for constructing a grape squeezing device, built a [lookout] tower [near it], then leased it out to tenant farmers and went to another country. Then some Sadducees, [the ones] who say there is no resurrection [of the dead], came and asked Him, "Teacher, Moses wrote to us [Deut. 25:5] that if a man's brother dies, leaving his widow behind without having had any children, his brother should marry his widow and father children by her. These children would then be considered his [dead] brother's. [Now] there were [these] seven brothers; the first one got married, but when he died he left no children behind. So, the second one married his widow, and at his death he too left no children behind. Then the third one did the same thing. All seven left no children [behind when they died]. Finally, the woman also passed away. [Now] whose wife will she be in the resurrected state, for all seven [brothers] were married to her?" Jesus said to them, "Is not this the reason that you are [so] mistaken, that you do not know [what] the Scriptures [teach] or [how much] power God has? For when people rise from the dead, men do not get married, and women are not given away in marriage, but [all] are like angels in heaven. But concerning those who are raised from the dead, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the incident about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying [Ex. 3:6], 'I am Abraham's God, and Isaac's God, and Jacob's God?' [So], He is not God to those who are dead, but [He is] God to those who are alive. You are seriously mistaken." Then one of the experts in the law of Moses [Note: Matt. 22:34 identifies him as being a Pharisee also], came and heard Jesus and the Sadducees discussing together [i.e., the subject of the resurrection], and knowing that Jesus had refuted the Sadducees successfully, asked Him, "Which commandment is foremost, above all the others?" And Jesus answered, "The foremost one is this [Deut. 6:4-5], 'Hear this, you Israelites, the Lord our God is the only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second one is this, 'You must love your neighbor the same way that you love yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these [i.e., love for God and man]." The expert in the law of Moses said to Jesus, "Truly, Teacher, you are right in saying that God is [the only] one and that there is no other God but Him. And that to love Him with all one's heart, with all one's understanding, and with all one's strength, and to love one's neighbor the same way he loves himself, are far more [important] than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices [in the world]." When Jesus saw that this man answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not [very] far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one dared to ask Him any more questions. As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, He responded [to some Pharisees. See Matt. 22:41] by asking, "How is it that the experts in the law of Moses can say that the Christ is the son of David? [It was] David himself [who] said by [inspiration of] the Holy Spirit [Psa. 110:1], 'The Lord [i.e., God] said to my [i.e., David's] Lord [i.e., Jesus], sit at my right side until I make your enemies the footrest [i.e., in subjection] under your feet.' David himself called Him [i.e., Jesus] Lord, so how could He be his son?" And the large crowd listened to Him with pleasure. In His teaching Jesus said, "Look out for the experts in the law of Moses, who like to walk around in long [flowing] robes and to receive special greetings at the open shopping markets and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues and the head places at dinner tables. They consume widows' houses [i.e., by foreclosing on them] and [then] cover it up by offering lengthy prayers. These people will receive a more severe judgment."

And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees [meticulously] clean the outside of the cup and the dish [i.e., this was an allusion to their lives], but you are filled with greed for wealth and [other] evils on the inside. You foolish people! Did not the One [i.e., God] who made the outside [i.e., your body] also make the inside [i.e., your spirit]? But you should give to poor people what you have inside. [Note: This means either what is inside the dish, or what is inside your heart]. And [then] you will see that everything is [ceremonially] clean to you [as well]. read more.
"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well]. "It is too bad for you Pharisees! For you love [to occupy] the principal seats in the synagogues and [to receive special] greetings in the open shopping markets. "It is too bad for you! For you people are like obscure grave sites that people walk over without knowing it." Then one of the teachers of the law of Moses answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, you insulted us too by saying this." And He replied them, "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses also! For you heap heavy responsibilities on people, which are difficult to bear, while you do not even lift a finger to bear them yourselves. "It is too bad for you! For your forefathers killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them [i.e., the prophets]. So, [by doing this] you are witnesses [against yourselves] that you approve of the deeds of your forefathers, for they killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, [Note: Is this a reference to Jesus? See I Cor. 1:30 and Matt. 23:34-36], 'I will send prophets and apostles to them [i.e., the Jewish people] and they will kill and persecute some of them, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the beginning of the world, may be required of this generation of people.' Yes, I tell you, this generation will be punished [for the death of the prophets], from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who died between the Altar and the sanctuary [i.e., in the Temple area]. [Note: This punishment began about "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses! For you took away the key of knowledge [i.e., preventing people from understanding God's plan]. You did not enter [the kingdom of heaven. See Matt. 23:13] yourselves and [you even] prevented those who [wanted] to enter [to get in]." And when Jesus left there [i.e., probably the Pharisee's house. See verse 37], the experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees began opposing Him with hostility and bombarding Him with many questions, [and] plotting to trap Him by something He might say.


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

And that slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not make preparations [i.e., for his master's return], or do what his master wanted, will be whipped with many lashes.


Then the Lord will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, since you did not do it for one of these least [significant brothers of mine], you did not do it for me.'

"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].




Therefore, whoever disregards one of these least [significant] requirements [of the law of Moses] and teaches others to [disregard them], he will be considered the least [significant person] in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys them and teaches [others to obey] them, will be considered important in the kingdom of heaven.

saying, "The experts in the law of Moses and the Pharisees teach by the authority of Moses. Therefore, observe and practice everything they urge upon you, but do not follow their example [of living] because they say [the right things] but do not do them. Yes, they require people to bear heavy and difficult responsibilities, and place them on people's shoulders [to carry out], but they themselves will not lift a finger to do them. read more.
But they do all their deeds just to be seen by people. They wear elaborate Scripture texts displayed on their clothing and enlarge [conspicuously] the fringes of their robes. They love to recline at the head place at dinner tables [Note: This referred to the practice of lying down on their left side on a couch next to the dinner table, and leaning on their left elbow, while eating with their right hand], and to occupy the principal seats in the synagogues. They love the [special] greetings they receive at the open shopping markets and to be addressed as 'Rabbi' [Note: This word signified 'great' or 'master']. But you should not assume the title 'Rabbi,' for [only] one is your teacher [i.e., Jesus Himself] and all of you are [simply] brothers. And do not call any man on earth 'father,' [i.e., in a religious sense], for the [only] one who is your Father is in heaven. Neither assume the title 'Master' [i.e., teacher], for [only] one is your Master, the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]. But the greatest person among you will be your servant. And whoever exalts himself [as important] will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted [as important]. "But it is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! [It is] because you withhold the kingdom of heaven from people, for you do not enter it yourselves, nor [do you] allow those who are trying to enter it to get in. {[{[Verse is absent from the oldest manuscripts]}]} "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you travel over land and sea [in hope of] making one person a proselyte [i.e., a convert to the Jewish religion]. And when you do convert one, you make him twice as deserving of hell as yourselves. "It is too bad for you blind leaders who say that whoever takes an oath 'by the Temple,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gold of the Temple,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You foolish, blind people! Which is greater, the gold or the Temple that makes its gold sacred? And [you say], whoever takes an oath 'by the Altar,' it does not [really] mean anything, but whoever takes an oath 'by the gift on the Altar,' he is obligated to [fulfill] the oath. You blind people! Which is more important, the gift or the Altar that makes the gift sacred? The person, therefore, who takes an oath 'by the Altar,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by everything on it. And the person who takes an oath 'by the Temple,' [not only] swears by it, but [also] by Him [i.e., God] who lives there. And the person who takes an oath 'by heaven,' swears 'by the throne of God,' and [also] by Him [i.e., God] who sits on it. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well]. You blind leaders, who strain out a [tiny] gnat [i.e., from your drinking water] and [yet] swallow a [whole] camel. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you [carefully] wash the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they [i.e., such evil people] are full of greed and uncontrolled desire. You blind Pharisees! First wash the inside of the cup and dish, so [then] the outside will be clean also. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you are like white-washed tombs, used for burial [sites], which appear beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of the bones and decaying flesh of dead people. Even so, you also appear on the outside to be doing right in front of people, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and sin. "It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you construct burial sites for the prophets and decorate the tombs of people who were righteous. And you say, 'If [only] we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we [certainly] would not have participated with them in [shedding] the blood of the prophets.' [But by saying this] you are witnesses [against] yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets [i.e., indicating your approval of their actions]. So [then], fulfill the pattern of behavior begun by your forefathers. You snakes! You children of snakes! How do you expect to escape being judged [and condemned] in hell?

"Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]." And He answered them, "Why do you also violate the commandments of God by [following] your traditions? For God said, [Ex. 20:12], 'Give honor to your father and mother.' and [Ex. 21:17], 'Whoever says bad things about his father or mother should surely be put to death.' read more.
But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, I have given to God the money I could have helped you with;' this person does not honor his father [or mother]. You have made God's message useless by [thus enforcing] your traditions. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied accurately about you, saying [Isa. 29:13], These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me. They are worshiping me for nothing [because they are] teaching principles that are [merely] the requirements of men.'" Then Jesus called the crowds to come to Him, and He said to them, "Listen and understand. It is not what enters the mouth of a person that [spiritually] corrupts him, but what proceeds out of his mouth that [spiritually] corrupts him." Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were upset [with you] when they heard [you say] that?" But He answered and said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. [So], let these Pharisees alone; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a ditch." And Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us." And He replied, "Are you still unable to understand? Do you not realize that whatever enters a person's mouth goes into his stomach and [eventually] passes out into the toilet? But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from his heart. These are what [spiritually] corrupt a person. For evil thoughts, murder, extramarital affairs, sexual immorality, stealing, perjury, slander --- [all these] come from a person's heart, and are what corrupt him [spiritually]. But eating [a meal] with [ceremonially] unwashed hands does not [spiritually] corrupt him."

And when the Pharisee observed this, he was surprised that Jesus had not first washed himself ceremonially before the meal. And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees [meticulously] clean the outside of the cup and the dish [i.e., this was an allusion to their lives], but you are filled with greed for wealth and [other] evils on the inside. You foolish people! Did not the One [i.e., God] who made the outside [i.e., your body] also make the inside [i.e., your spirit]? read more.
But you should give to poor people what you have inside. [Note: This means either what is inside the dish, or what is inside your heart]. And [then] you will see that everything is [ceremonially] clean to you [as well]. "But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well]. "It is too bad for you Pharisees! For you love [to occupy] the principal seats in the synagogues and [to receive special] greetings in the open shopping markets. "It is too bad for you! For you people are like obscure grave sites that people walk over without knowing it." Then one of the teachers of the law of Moses answered Jesus, saying, "Teacher, you insulted us too by saying this." And He replied them, "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses also! For you heap heavy responsibilities on people, which are difficult to bear, while you do not even lift a finger to bear them yourselves. "It is too bad for you! For your forefathers killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them [i.e., the prophets]. So, [by doing this] you are witnesses [against yourselves] that you approve of the deeds of your forefathers, for they killed the prophets and you build grave monuments to them. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, [Note: Is this a reference to Jesus? See I Cor. 1:30 and Matt. 23:34-36], 'I will send prophets and apostles to them [i.e., the Jewish people] and they will kill and persecute some of them, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the beginning of the world, may be required of this generation of people.' Yes, I tell you, this generation will be punished [for the death of the prophets], from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who died between the Altar and the sanctuary [i.e., in the Temple area]. [Note: This punishment began about "It is too bad for you teachers of the law of Moses! For you took away the key of knowledge [i.e., preventing people from understanding God's plan]. You did not enter [the kingdom of heaven. See Matt. 23:13] yourselves and [you even] prevented those who [wanted] to enter [to get in]."


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].

Then Jesus told this parable to certain ones who were relying on their own goodness and putting everyone else down: "Two men went up to the Temple [in Jerusalem] to pray. One of them was a Pharisee and the other one was a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up [conspicuously] and prayed about himself this way [i.e., bragging to God about how good he was], 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, sexually unfaithful to their mates, or even like that tax collector [over there]. read more.
I fast [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons] twice a week and I give [to God's work] a tenth of everything I get.'


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

I fast [i.e., going without food and/or drink for religious reasons] twice a week and I give [to God's work] a tenth of everything I get.'

"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].


"It is too bad for you hypocritical experts in the law of Moses and [you] Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, dill and cumin [i.e., small garden herbs used for seasoning or fragrance], and [yet] neglect the heavier responsibilities required by the law, [such as] justice, mercy and faith. You should have done these ["lighter"] things and not neglected to do the other ["heavier"] things [as well].

And that slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not make preparations [i.e., for his master's return], or do what his master wanted, will be whipped with many lashes.


Then the Lord will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, since you did not do it for one of these least [significant brothers of mine], you did not do it for me.'

"But it is too bad for you Pharisees! For you give a tenth of your mint, rue and every [other] herb [Note: These were small garden plants used for seasoning or medicine] and [yet] neglect [demonstrating] justice and the love of God [toward others]. But you should have done these things and not neglected to do the other things [as well].