Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible




in whatever matters our hearts condemn us--because God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.






And again, "The Lord takes knowledge of the reasonings of the wise--how useless they are."


Some of the people were won over, and attached themselves to Paul and Silas, including many God-fearing Greeks and not a few gentlewomen of high rank.

Therefore I warn you, and I implore you in the name of the Master, no longer to live as the Gentiles in their perverseness live, with darkened understandings, having by reason of the ignorance which is deep-seated in them and the insensibility of their moral nature, no share in the Life which God gives. Such men being past feeling have abandoned themselves to impurity, greedily indulging in every kind of profligacy.

Do not be over-anxious, therefore, asking 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For all these are questions that Gentiles are always asking; but your Heavenly Father knows that you need these things--all of them.


No, but that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, not to God; and I would not have you have fellowship with one another through the demons.


"And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him.

In times gone by He allowed all the nations to go their own ways;

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was stirred within him when he noticed that the city was full of idols. So he had discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the other worshippers, and in the market place, day after day, with those whom he happened to meet.

So Paul, taking his stand in the centre of the Areopagus, spoke as follows: "Men of Athens, I perceive that you are in every respect remarkably religious. For as I passed along and observed the things you worship, I found also an altar bearing the inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.' "The Being, therefore, whom you, without knowing Him, revere, Him I now proclaim to you. GOD who made the universe and everything in it--He, being Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries built by men. read more.
Nor is He ministered to by human hands, as though He needed anything--but He Himself gives to all men life and breath and all things. He caused to spring from one forefather people of every race, for them to live on the whole surface of the earth, and marked out for them an appointed span of life and the boundaries of their homes; that they might seek God, if perhaps they could grope for Him and find Him. Yes, though He is not far from any one of us.

For God's anger is being revealed from Heaven against all impiety and against the iniquity of men who through iniquity suppress the truth. God is angry: because what may be known about Him is plain to their inmost consciousness; for He Himself has made it plain to them. For, from the very creation of the world, His invisible perfections--namely His eternal power and divine nature--have been rendered intelligible and clearly visible by His works, so that these men are without excuse. read more.
For when they had come to know God, they did not give Him glory as God nor render Him thanks, but they became absorbed in useless discussions, and their senseless minds were darkened. While boasting of their wisdom they became utter fools, and, instead of worshipping the imperishable God, they worshipped images resembling perishable man or resembling birds or beasts or reptiles. For this reason, in accordance with their own depraved cravings, God gave them up to uncleanness, allowing them to dishonour their bodies among themselves with impurity. For they had bartered the reality of God for what is unreal, and had offered divine honours and religious service to created things, rather than to the Creator--He who is for ever blessed. Amen. This then is the reason why God gave them up to vile passions. For not only did the women among them exchange the natural use of their bodies for one which is contrary to nature, but the men also, in just the same way--neglecting that for which nature intends women--burned with passion towards one another, men practising shameful vice with men, and receiving in their own selves the reward which necessarily followed their misconduct. And just as they had refused to continue to have a full knowledge of God, so it was to utterly worthless minds that God gave them up, for them to do things which should not be done. Their hearts overflowed with all sorts of dishonesty, mischief, greed, malice. They were full of envy and murder, and were quarrelsome, crafty, and spiteful. They were secret backbiters, open slanderers; hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful; inventors of new forms of sin, disobedient to parents, destitute of common sense, faithless to their promises, without natural affection, without human pity. In short, though knowing full well the sentence which God pronounces against actions such as theirs, as things which deserve death, they not only practise them, but even encourage and applaud others who do them.

You are therefore without excuse, O man, whoever you are who sit in judgement upon others. For when you pass judgement on your fellow man, you condemn yourself; for you who sit in judgement upon others are guilty of the same misdeeds; and we know that God's judgement against those who commit such sins is in accordance with the truth. And you who pronounce judgement upon those who do such things although your own conduct is the same as theirs--do you imagine that you yourself will escape unpunished when God judges? read more.
Or is it that you think slightingly of His infinite goodness, forbearance and patience, unaware that the goodness of God is gently drawing you to repentance? The fact is that in the stubbornness of your impenitent heart you are treasuring up against yourself anger on the day of Anger--the day when the righteousness of God's judgements will stand revealed. To each man He will make an award corresponding to his actions; to those on the one hand who, by lives of persistent right-doing, are striving for glory, honour and immortality, the Life of the Ages; while on the other hand upon the self-willed who disobey the truth and obey unrighteousness will fall anger and fury, affliction and awful distress, coming upon the soul of every man and woman who deliberately does wrong--upon the Jew first, and then upon the Gentile; whereas glory, honour and peace will be given to every one who does what is good and right--to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. For God pays no attention to this world's distinctions. For all who have sinned apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who have sinned whilst living under the Law, will be judged by the Law. It is not those that merely hear the Law read who are righteous in the sight of God, but it is those that obey the Law who will be pronounced righteous. For when Gentiles who have no Law obey by natural instinct the commands of the Law, they, without having a Law, are a Law to themselves; since they exhibit proof that a knowledge of the conduct which the Law requires is engraven on their hearts, while their consciences also bear witness to the Law, and their thoughts, as if in mutual discussion, accuse them or perhaps maintain their innocence--

You know that when you were heathens you went astray after dumb idols, wherever you happened to be led.

You and I, though we are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners,

for the things which are done by these people in secret it is disgraceful even to speak of.


For you have given time enough in the past to the doing of the things which the Gentiles delight in-- pursuing, as you did, a course of habitual licence, debauchery, hard drinking, noisy revelry, drunkenness and unholy image-worship. At this they are astonished--that you do not run into the same excess of profligacy as they do; and they speak abusively of you.



in whatever matters our hearts condemn us--because God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.






And again, "The Lord takes knowledge of the reasonings of the wise--how useless they are."



in whatever matters our hearts condemn us--because God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.






And again, "The Lord takes knowledge of the reasonings of the wise--how useless they are."



in whatever matters our hearts condemn us--because God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.






And again, "The Lord takes knowledge of the reasonings of the wise--how useless they are."


"But beware of doing your good actions in the sight of men, in order to attract their gaze; if you do, there is no reward for you with your Father who is in Heaven. When you give in charity, never blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets in order that their praises may be sung by men. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing, read more.
that your charities may be in secret; and then your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, you must not be like the hypocrites. They are fond of standing and praying in the synagogues or at the corners of the wider streets, in order that men may see them. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But you, whenever you pray, go into your own room and shut the door: then pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him. "In this manner therefore pray: 'Our Father who art in Heaven, may Thy name be kept holy; let Thy kingdom come; let Thy will be done, as in Heaven so on earth; give us to-day our bread for the day; and forgive us our shortcomings, as we also have forgiven those who have failed in their duty towards us; and bring us not into temptation, but rescue us from the Evil one.' "For if you forgive others their offences, your Heavenly Father will forgive you also; but if you do not forgive others their offences, neither will your Father forgive yours. "When any of you fast, never assume gloomy looks as the hypocrites do; for they disfigure their faces in order that it may be evident to men that they are fasting. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But, whenever you fast, pour perfume on your hair and wash your face, that it may not be apparent to men that you are fasting, but to your Father who is in secret; and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you.


Meanwhile the people had come streaming towards Him by tens of thousands, so that they were trampling one another under foot. And now He proceeded to say to His disciples first, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is to say, beware of hypocrisy.

"When any of you fast, never assume gloomy looks as the hypocrites do; for they disfigure their faces in order that it may be evident to men that they are fasting. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But, whenever you fast, pour perfume on your hair and wash your face, that it may not be apparent to men that you are fasting, but to your Father who is in secret; and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you.

"Listen to another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, made a fence round it, dug a wine-tank in it, and built a strong lodge; then let the place to vine-dressers, and went abroad. When vintage-time approached, he sent his servants to the vine-dressers to receive his share of the grapes; but the vine-dressers seized the servants, and one they cruelly beat, one they killed, one they pelted with stones. read more.
Again he sent another party of servants more numerous than the first; and these they treated in the same manner. Later still he sent to them his son, saying, "'They will respect my son.' "But the vine-dressers, when they saw the son, said to one another, "'Here is the heir: come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.' "So they seized him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and killed him. When then the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-dressers?" "He will put the wretches to a wretched death," was the reply, "and will entrust the vineyard to other vine-dressers who will render the produce to him at the vintage season." "Have you never read in the Scriptures," said Jesus, "'The Stone which the builders rejected has been made the Cornerstone: this Cornerstone came from the Lord, and is wonderful in our eyes'? "That, I tell you, is the reason why the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a nation that will exhibit the power of it. He who falls on this stone will be severely hurt; but he on whom it falls will be utterly crushed." After listening to His parables the High Priests and the Pharisees perceived that He was speaking about them; but though they were eager to lay hands upon Him, they were afraid of the people, for by them He was regarded as a Prophet.

When you give in charity, never blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets in order that their praises may be sung by men. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing, that your charities may be in secret; and then your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. read more.
"And when praying, you must not be like the hypocrites. They are fond of standing and praying in the synagogues or at the corners of the wider streets, in order that men may see them. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But you, whenever you pray, go into your own room and shut the door: then pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him.

Then there came to Jesus a party of Pharisees and Scribes from Jerusalem, who inquired, "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the Elders by not washing their hands before meals?" "Why do you, too," He retorted, "transgress God's commands for the sake of your tradition? read more.
For God said, 'Honour thy father and thy mother'; and 'Let him who reviles father or mother be certainly put to death'; but you--this is what you say: 'If a man says to his father or mother, That is consecrated, whatever it is, which otherwise you should have received from me-- he shall be absolved from honouring his father'; and so you have abrogated God's Word for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites! well did Isaiah prophesy of you, "'This is a People who honour Me with their lips, while their heart is far away from Me; but it is in vain they worship Me, while they lay down precepts which are mere human rules.'"

Here the Pharisees and Sadducees came to Him; and, to make trial of Him, they asked Him to show them a sign in the sky. He replied, "In the evening you say, 'It will be fine weather, for the sky is red;' and in the morning, 'It will be rough weather to-day, for the sky is red and murky.' You learn how to distinguish the aspect of the heavens, but the signs of the times you cannot. read more.
A wicked and faithless generation are eager for a sign; but none shall be given to them except the sign of Jonah." and He left them and went away. When the disciples arrived at the other side of the Lake, they found that they had forgotten to bring any bread; and when Jesus said to them, "See to it: beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees," they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have not brought any bread." Jesus perceived this and said, "Why are you reasoning among yourselves, you men of little faith, because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand? nor even remember the 5,000 and the five loaves, and how many basketfuls you carried away, nor the 4,000 and the seven loaves, and how many hampers you carried away? How is it you do not understand that it was not about bread that I spoke to you? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." Then they perceived that He had not warned them against bread-yeast, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

"The Scribes," He said, "and the Pharisees sit in the chair of Moses. Therefore do and observe everything that they command you; but do not imitate their lives, for though they tell others what to do, they do not do it themselves. Heavy and cumbrous burdens they bind together and load men's shoulders with them, while as for themselves, not with one finger do they choose to lift them. read more.
And everything they do they do with a view to being observed by men; for they widen their phylacteries and make the tassels large, and love the best seats at a dinner party or in the synagogues, and like to be bowed to in places of public resort, and to be addressed by men as 'Rabbi.' "As for you, do not accept the title of 'Rabbi,' for one alone is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no one on earth your Father, for One alone is your Father--the Heavenly Father. And do not accept the name of 'leader,' for your Leader is one alone--the Christ. He who is the greatest among you shall be your servant; and one who exalts himself shall be abased, while one who abases himself shall be exalted. "But alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you lock the door of the Kingdom of the Heavens against men; you yourselves do not enter, nor do you allow those to enter who are seeking to do so. No translation "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you scour sea and land in order to win one convert--and when he is gained, you make him twice as much a son of Gehenna as yourselves. "Alas for you, you blind guides, who say, "'Whoever swears by the Sanctuary it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the Sanctuary, is bound by the oath.' "Blind fools! Why, which is greater? --the gold, or the Sanctuary which has made the gold holy? And you say, "'Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the offering lying on it is bound by the oath.' "You are blind! Why, which is greater? --the offering, or the altar which makes the offering holy? He who swears by the altar swears both by it and by everything on it; he who swears by the Sanctuary swears both by it and by Him who dwells in it; and he who swears by Heaven swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it. "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you pay the tithe on mint, dill, and cumin, while you have neglected the weightier requirements of the Law--just judgement, mercy, and faithful dealing. These things you ought to have done, and yet you ought not to have left the others undone. You blind guides, straining out the gnat while you gulp down the camel! "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you wash clean the outside of the cup or dish, while within they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first wash clean the inside of the cup or dish, and then the outside will be clean also. "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you are just like whitewashed sepulchres, the outside of which pleases the eye, though inside they are full of dead men's bones and of all that is unclean. The same is true of you: outwardly you seem to the human eye to be good and honest men, but, within, you are full of insincerity and disregard of God's Law. "Alas for you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you repair the sepulchres of the Prophets and keep in order the tombs of the righteous, and your boast is, "'If we had lived in the time of our forefathers, we should not have been implicated with them in the murder of the Prophets.' "So that you bear witness against yourselves that you are descendants of those who murdered the Prophets. Fill up the measure of your forefathers' guilt. O serpents, O vipers' brood, how are you to escape condemnation to Gehenna?

On once occasion He was expelling a dumb demon; and when the demon was gone out the dumb man could speak, and the people were astonished. But some among them said, "It is by the power of Baal-zebul, the Prince of the demons, that he expels the demons." Others, to put Him to the test, asked Him for a sign in the sky. read more.
And, knowing their thoughts, He said to them, "Every kingdom in which civil war rages goes to ruin: family attacks family and is overthrown. And if Satan really has engaged in fierce conflict with himself, how shall his kingdom stand?--because you say that I expel demons by the power of Baal-zebul. And if it is by the power of Baal-zebul that I expel the demons, by whom do your disciples expel them? They therefore shall be your judges. But if it is by the power of God that I drive out the demons, it is evident that the Kingdom of God has come upon you. "Whenever a strong man, fully armed and equipped, is guarding his own castle, he enjoys peaceful possession of his property; but as soon as another stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away that complete armour of his in which he trusted, and distributes the plunder he has collected. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever is not gathering with me is scattering abroad. "When a foul spirit has left a man, it roams about in the Desert, seeking a resting-place; but, unable to find any, it says, 'I will return to the house I have left;" and when it comes, it finds the house swept clean and in good order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more malignant than itself, and they enter and dwell there; and in the end that man's condition becomes worse than it was at first. As He thus spoke a woman in the crowd called out in a loud voice, "Blessed is the mother who carried you, and the breasts that you have sucked." "Nay rather," He replied, "they are blessed who hear God's Message and carefully keep it." Now when the crowds came thronging upon Him, He proceeded to say, "The present generation is a wicked generation: it requires some sign, but no sign shall be given to it except that of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a token to the present generation. The Queen of the South will awake at the Judgement together with the men of the present generation, and will condemn them; because she came from the extremity of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; but mark! One greater than Solomon is here. There will stand up men of Nineveh at the Judgement together with the present generation, and will condemn it; because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and mark! One greater than Jonah is here. "When any one lights a lamp, he never puts it in the cellar or under the bushel, but on the lampstand, that people who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. When your eyesight is good, your whole body also is lighted up; but when it is defective, your body is darkened. Consider therefore whether the light that is in you is anything but mere darkness. If, however, your whole body is penetrated with light, and has no part dark, it will be so lighted, all of it, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light." When He had thus spoken, a Pharisee invited Him to breakfast at his house; so He entered and took His place at table. Now the Pharisee saw to his surprise that He did not wash His hands before breakfasting. The Master however said to him, "Here we see how you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup or plate, while your secret hearts are full of greed and selfishness. Foolish men! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But as to what is within, give alms, and instantly all is clean in you. "But alas for you Pharisees! for you pay tithes on your mint and rue and every kind of garden vegetable, and are indifferent to justice and the love of God. These are the things you ought to have attended to, while not neglecting the others. Alas for you Pharisees! for you love the best seats in the synagogues, and you like to be bowed to in places of public resort. Alas for you! for you are like the tombs which lie hidden, and the people who walk over them are not aware of their existence." Hereupon one of the expounders of the Law exclaimed, "Rabbi, in saying such things you reproach us also." "Alas too for you expounders of the Law!" replied Jesus, "for you load men with cumbrous burdens which you yourselves will not touch with one of your fingers. Alas for you! for you repair the tombs of the Prophets, whom your forefathers killed. It follows that you bear testimony to the actions of your forefathers and that you fully approve thereof. They slew, you build. "For this reason also the Wisdom of God has said, 'I will send Prophets and Apostles to them, of whom they will kill some and persecute others,' so that the blood of all the Prophets, that is being shed from the creation of the world onwards, may be required from the present generation. Yes, I tell you that, from the blood of Abel down to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the House, it shall all be required from the present generation. "Alas for you expounders of the Law! for you have taken away the key of knowledge: you yourselves have not entered, and those who wanted to enter you have hindered." After He had left the house, the Scribes and Pharisees commenced a vehement attempt to entangle Him and make Him give off-hand answers on numerous points, lying in wait to catch some unguarded expression from His lips.

Now the tax-gatherers and the notorious sinners were everywhere in the habit of coming close to Him to listen to Him; and this led the Pharisees and the Scribes indignantly to complain, saying, "He gives a welcome to notorious sinners, and joins them at their meals!" So in figurative language He asked them, read more.
"Which of you men, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in their pasture and go in search of the lost one till he finds it? And when he has found it, he lifts it on his shoulder, glad at heart. Then coming home he calls his friends and neighbours together, and says, 'Congratulate me, for I have found my sheep--the one I had lost.' I tell you that in the same way there will be rejoicing in Heaven over one repentant sinner--more rejoicing than over ninety-nine blameless persons who have no need of repentance. "Or what woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully till she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, and says, "'Congratulate me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'


"And when praying, you must not be like the hypocrites. They are fond of standing and praying in the synagogues or at the corners of the wider streets, in order that men may see them. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But you, whenever you pray, go into your own room and shut the door: then pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. read more.
Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him.





"But beware of doing your good actions in the sight of men, in order to attract their gaze; if you do, there is no reward for you with your Father who is in Heaven. When you give in charity, never blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets in order that their praises may be sung by men. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But when you are giving in charity, let not your left hand perceive what your right hand is doing, read more.
that your charities may be in secret; and then your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, you must not be like the hypocrites. They are fond of standing and praying in the synagogues or at the corners of the wider streets, in order that men may see them. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But you, whenever you pray, go into your own room and shut the door: then pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you. "And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words. Do not, however, imitate them; for your Father knows what things you need before ever you ask Him. "In this manner therefore pray: 'Our Father who art in Heaven, may Thy name be kept holy; let Thy kingdom come; let Thy will be done, as in Heaven so on earth; give us to-day our bread for the day; and forgive us our shortcomings, as we also have forgiven those who have failed in their duty towards us; and bring us not into temptation, but rescue us from the Evil one.' "For if you forgive others their offences, your Heavenly Father will forgive you also; but if you do not forgive others their offences, neither will your Father forgive yours. "When any of you fast, never assume gloomy looks as the hypocrites do; for they disfigure their faces in order that it may be evident to men that they are fasting. I solemnly tell you that they already have their reward. But, whenever you fast, pour perfume on your hair and wash your face, that it may not be apparent to men that you are fasting, but to your Father who is in secret; and your Father--He who sees in secret--will recompense you.