12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on a Sabbath. His 1 disciples were hungry, and they began to pick heads of wheat 2 and eat them. 12:2 But when the Pharisees 3 saw this they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law to do on the Sabbath.” 12:3 He 4 said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry – 12:4 how he entered the house of God and they ate 5 the sacred bread, 6 which was against the law 7 for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests? 8 12:5 Or have you not read in the law that the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are not guilty? 12:6 I 9 tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 12:7 If 10 you had known what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice,’ 11 you would not have condemned the innocent. 12:8 For the Son of Man is lord 12 of the Sabbath.”
12:9 Then 13 Jesus 14 left that place and entered their synagogue. 15 12:10 A 16 man was there who had a withered 17 hand. And they asked Jesus, 18 “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 19 so that they could accuse him. 12:11 He said to them, “Would not any one of you, if he had one sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, take hold of it and lift it out? 12:12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and it was restored, 20 as healthy as the other. 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted against him, as to how they could assassinate 21 him.
12:15 Now when Jesus learned of this, he went away from there. Great 22 crowds 23 followed him, and he healed them all. 12:16 But he sternly warned them not to make him known. 12:17 This fulfilled what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: 24
the one I love, in whom I take great delight. 26
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
12:19 He will not quarrel or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
12:20 He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smoldering wick,
until he brings justice to victory.
12:22 Then they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Jesus 29 healed him so that he could speak and see. 30 12:23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “Could this one be the Son of David?” 12:24 But when the Pharisees 31 heard this they said, “He does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebul, 32 the ruler 33 of demons!” 12:25 Now when Jesus 34 realized what they were thinking, he said to them, 35 “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, 36 and no town or house divided against itself will stand. 12:26 So if 37 Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 12:27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 38 cast them 39 out? For this reason they will be your judges. 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God 40 has already overtaken 41 you. 12:29 How 42 else can someone enter a strong man’s 43 house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can thoroughly plunder the house. 44 12:30 Whoever is not with me is against me, 45 and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 46 12:31 For this reason I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, 47 but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. 48 But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, 49 either in this age or in the age to come.
12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad 50 and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit. 12:34 Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. 12:35 The good person 51 brings good things out of his 52 good treasury, 53 and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. 12:36 I 54 tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak. 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
12:38 Then some of the experts in the law 55 along with some Pharisees 56 answered him, 57 “Teacher, we want to see a sign 58 from you.” 12:39 But he answered them, 59 “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish 60 for three days and three nights, 61 so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 12:41 The people 62 of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them 63 – and now, 64 something greater than Jonah is here! 12:42 The queen of the South 65 will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, 66 something greater than Solomon is here!
12:43 “When 67 an unclean spirit 68 goes out of a person, 69 it passes through waterless places 70 looking for rest but 71 does not find it. 12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ 72 When it returns, 73 it finds the house 74 empty, swept clean, and put in order. 75 12:45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so 76 the last state of that person is worse than the first. It will be that way for this evil generation as well!”
12:46 While Jesus 77 was still speaking to the crowds, 78 his mother and brothers 79 came and 80 stood outside, asking 81 to speak to him. 12:47 82 Someone 83 told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting 84 to speak to you.” 12:48 To the one who had said this, Jesus 85 replied, 86 “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 12:49 And pointing 87 toward his disciples he said, “Here 88 are my mother and my brothers! 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is 89 my brother and sister and mother.”
13:1 On that day after Jesus went out of the house, he sat by the lake. 13:2 And such a large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat to sit while 90 the whole crowd stood on the shore. 13:3 He 91 told them many things in parables, 92 saying: “Listen! 93 A sower went out to sow. 94 13:4 And as he sowed, some seeds 95 fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 13:5 Other 96 seeds fell on rocky ground 97 where they did not have much soil. They sprang up quickly because the soil was not deep. 98 13:6 But when the sun came up, they were scorched, and because they did not have sufficient root, they withered. 13:7 Other seeds fell among the thorns, 99 and they grew up and choked them. 100 13:8 But other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty. 13:9 The one who has ears had better listen!” 101
13:10 Then 102 the disciples came to him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 13:11 He replied, 103 “You have been given 104 the opportunity to know 105 the secrets 106 of the kingdom of heaven, but they have not. 13:12 For whoever has will be given more, and will have an abundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 107 13:13 For this reason I speak to them in parables: Although they see they do not see, and although they hear they do not hear nor do they understand. 13:14 And concerning them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:
‘You will listen carefully 108 yet will never understand,
you will look closely 109 yet will never comprehend.
13:15 For the heart of this people has become dull;
they are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes,
so that they would not see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’ 110
13:16 “But your eyes are blessed 111 because they see, and your ears because they hear. 13:17 For I tell you the truth, 112 many prophets and righteous people longed to see 113 what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
13:18 “So listen to the parable of the sower: 13:19 When anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one 114 comes and snatches what was sown in his heart; 115 this is the seed sown along the path. 13:20 The 116 seed sown on rocky ground 117 is the person who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 13:21 But he has no root in himself and does not endure; 118 when 119 trouble or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he falls away. 13:22 The 120 seed sown among thorns is the person who hears the word, but worldly cares and the seductiveness of wealth 121 choke the word, 122 so it produces nothing. 13:23 But as for the seed sown on good soil, this is the person who hears the word and understands. He bears fruit, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.” 123
13:24 He presented them with another parable: 124 “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. 13:25 But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy came and sowed weeds 125 among the wheat and went away. 13:26 When 126 the plants sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared. 13:27 So the slaves 127 of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ 13:28 He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So 128 the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’ 13:29 But he said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds you may uproot the wheat with them. 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At 129 harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then 130 gather 131 the wheat into my barn.”’”
13:31 He gave 132 them another parable: 133 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed 134 that a man took and sowed in his field. 13:32 It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest garden plant and becomes a tree, 135 so that the wild birds 136 come and nest in its branches.” 137
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.” 142
13:36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 13:37 He 143 answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 13:38 The field is the world and the good seed are the people 144 of the kingdom. The weeds are the people 145 of the evil one, 13:39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 13:40 As 146 the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 13:41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers. 147 13:42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, 148 where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 149 The one who has ears had better listen! 150
13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, hidden in a field, that a person found and hid. Then because of joy he went and sold all that he had and bought that field.
13:47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea that caught all kinds of fish. 13:48 When it was full, they pulled it ashore, sat down, and put the good fish into containers and threw the bad away. 13:49 It will be this way at the end of the age. Angels will come and separate the evil from the righteous 13:50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, 151 where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13:51 “Have you understood all these things?” They replied, “Yes.” 13:52 Then he said to them, “Therefore every expert in the law 152 who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his treasure what is new and old.”
13:53 Now when 153 Jesus finished these parables, he moved on from there. 13:54 Then 154 he came to his hometown 155 and began to teach the people 156 in their synagogue. 157 They 158 were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers? 13:55 Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother named Mary? 159 And aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? 13:56 And aren’t all his sisters here with us? Where did he get all this?” 160 13:57 And so they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own house.” 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch 161 heard reports about Jesus, 14:2 and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead! And because of this, miraculous powers are at work in him.” 14:3 For Herod had arrested John, bound him, 162 and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 14:4 because John had repeatedly told 163 him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 164 14:5 Although 165 Herod 166 wanted to kill John, 167 he feared the crowd because they accepted John as a prophet. 14:6 But on Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 14:7 so much that he promised with an oath 168 to give her whatever she asked. 14:8 Instructed by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 14:9 Although it grieved the king, 169 because of his oath and the dinner guests he commanded it to be given. 14:10 So 170 he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 14:11 His 171 head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 14:12 Then John’s 172 disciples came and took the body and buried it and went and told Jesus.
14:13 Now when Jesus heard this he went away from there privately in a boat to an isolated place. But when the crowd heard about it, 173 they followed him on foot from the towns. 174 14:14 As he got out he saw the large crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 14:15 When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place 175 and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 14:16 But he 176 replied, “They don’t need to go. You 177 give them something to eat.” 14:17 They 178 said to him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 14:18 “Bring them here to me,” he replied. 14:19 Then 179 he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples, 180 who in turn gave them to the crowds. 181 14:20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, twelve baskets full. 14:21 Not counting women and children, there were about five thousand men who ate.
14:22 Immediately Jesus 182 made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dispersed the crowds. 14:23 And after he sent the crowds away, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 14:24 Meanwhile the boat, already far from land, 183 was taking a beating from the waves because the wind was against it. 14:25 As the night was ending, 184 Jesus came to them walking on the sea. 185 14:26 When 186 the disciples saw him walking on the water 187 they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out with fear. 14:27 But immediately Jesus 188 spoke to them: 189 “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” 14:28 Peter 190 said to him, 191 “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.” 14:29 So he said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 14:30 But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out, 192 “Lord, save me!” 14:31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 14:32 When they went up into the boat, the wind ceased. 14:33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
14:34 After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 193 14:35 When the people 194 there recognized him, they sent word into all the surrounding area, and they brought all their sick to him. 14:36 They begged him if 195 they could only touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
15:1 Then Pharisees 196 and experts in the law 197 came from Jerusalem 198 to Jesus and said, 199 15:2 “Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their 200 hands when they eat.” 201 15:3 He answered them, 202 “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? 15:4 For God said, 203 ‘Honor your father and mother’ 204 and ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ 205 15:5 But you say, ‘If someone tells his father or mother, “Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God,” 206 15:6 he does not need to honor his father.’ 207 You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition. 15:7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said,
15:8 ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart 208 is far from me,
15:9 and they worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” 209
15:10 Then he called the crowd to him and said, 210 “Listen and understand. 15:11 What defiles a person is not what goes into the mouth; it is what 211 comes out of the mouth that defiles a person.” 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that when the Pharisees 212 heard this saying they were offended?” 15:13 And he replied, 213 “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. 15:14 Leave them! They are blind guides. 214 If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, 215 both will fall into a pit.” 15:15 But Peter 216 said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 15:16 Jesus 217 said, “Even after all this, are you still so foolish? 15:17 Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach and then passes out into the sewer? 218 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. 15:19 For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 15:20 These are the things that defile a person; it is not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person.” 219
[12:1] 2 tn Or “heads of grain.” While the generic term στάχυς (stacus) can refer to the cluster of seeds at the top of grain such as barley or wheat, in the NT the term is restricted to wheat (L&N 3.40; BDAG 941 s.v. 1).
[12:4] 5 tc The Greek verb ἔφαγεν (efagen, “he ate”) is found in a majority of witnesses (Ì70 C D L W Θ Ë1,13 33 Ï latt sy co) in place of ἔφαγον (efagon, “they ate”), the wording found in א B pc. ἔφαγεν is most likely motivated by the parallels in Mark and Luke (both of which have the singular).
[12:4] 7 sn Jesus’ response to the charge that what his disciples were doing was against the law is one of analogy: “If David did it for his troops in a time of need, then so can I with my disciples.” Jesus is clear that on the surface there was a violation here. What is not as clear is whether he is arguing a “greater need” makes this permissible or that this was within the intention of the law all along.
[12:10] 18 tn Grk “and they asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated. The referent of the pronoun (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
[12:13] 20 sn The passive was restored points to healing by God. Now the question became: Would God exercise his power through Jesus, if what Jesus was doing were wrong? Note also Jesus’ “labor.” He simply spoke and it was so.
[12:15] 23 tc א B pc lat read only πολλοί (polloi, “many”) here, the first hand of N reads ὄχλοι (ocloi, “crowds”), while virtually all the rest of the witnesses have ὄχλοι πολλοί (ocloi polloi, “great crowds”). In spite of the good quality of both א and B (especially in combination), and the testimony of the Latin witnesses, the longer reading is most likely correct; the shorter readings were probably due to homoioteleuton.
[12:17] 24 tn Grk “so that what was said by Isaiah the prophet would be fulfilled, saying.” This final clause, however, is part of one sentence in Greek (vv. 15b-17) and is thus not related only to v. 16. The participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant and has not been translated.
[12:25] 34 tc The majority of
[12:25] 35 sn Jesus here demonstrated the absurdity of the thinking of the religious leaders who maintained that he was in league with Satan and that he actually derived his power from the devil. He first teaches (vv. 25-28) that if he casts out demons by the ruler of the demons, then in reality Satan is fighting against himself, with the result that his kingdom has come to an end. He then teaches (v. 29) about tying up the strong man to prove that he does not need to align himself with the devil because he is more powerful. Jesus defeated Satan at his temptation (4:1-11) and by his exorcisms he clearly demonstrated himself to be stronger than the devil. The passage reveals the desperate condition of the religious leaders, who in their hatred for Jesus end up attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan (a position for which they will be held accountable, 12:31-32).
[12:26] 37 tn This first class condition, the first of three “if” clauses in the following verses, presents the example vividly as if it were so. In fact, all three conditions in these verses are first class. The examples are made totally parallel. The expected answer is that Satan’s kingdom will not stand, so the suggestion makes no sense. Satan would not seek to heal.
[12:27] 38 sn Most read your sons as a reference to Jewish exorcists (cf. “your followers,” L&N 9.4), but more likely this is a reference to the disciples of Jesus themselves, who are also Jewish and have been healing as well (R. J. Shirock, “Whose Exorcists are they? The Referents of οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν at Matthew 12:27/Luke 11:19,” JSNT 46 : 41-51). If this is a reference to the disciples, then Jesus’ point is that it is not only him, but those associated with him whose power the hearers must assess. The following reference to judging also favors this reading.
[12:28] 41 tn The phrase ἔφθασεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (efqasen ef’ Juma") is quite important. Does it mean merely “approach” (which would be reflected in a translation like “has come near to you”) or actually “come upon” (as in the translation given above, “has already overtaken you,” which has the added connotation of suddenness)? Is the arrival of the kingdom merely anticipated or already in process? Two factors favor arrival over anticipation here. First, the prepositional phrase ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (ef’ Jumas, “upon you”) in the Greek text suggests arrival (Dan 4:24, 28 Theodotion). Second, the following illustration in v. 29 looks at the healing as portraying Satan being overrun. So the presence of God’s authority has arrived. See also L&N 13.123 for the translation of φθάνω (fqanw) as “to happen to already, to come upon, to come upon already.”
[12:29] 44 sn Some see the imagery here as similar to Eph 4:7-10, although no opponents are explicitly named in that passage. Jesus has the victory over Satan. Jesus’ acts of healing mean that the war is being won and the kingdom is coming.
[12:42] 65 sn On the queen of the South see 1 Kgs 10:1-3 and 2 Chr 9:1-12, as well as Josephus, Ant. 8.6.5-6 (8.165-175). The South most likely refers to modern southwest Arabia, possibly the eastern part of modern Yemen, although there is an ancient tradition reflected in Josephus which identifies this geo-political entity as Ethiopia.
[12:43] 70 sn The background for the reference to waterless places is not entirely clear, though some Jewish texts suggest spirits must have a place to dwell, but not with water (Luke 8:29-31; Tob 8:3). Some suggest that the image of the desert or deserted cities as the places demons dwell is where this idea started (Isa 13:21; 34:14).
[12:44] 75 sn The image of the house empty, swept clean, and put in order refers to the life of the person from whom the demon departed. The key to the example appears to be that no one else has been invited in to dwell. If an exorcism occurs and there is no response to God, then the way is free for the demon to return. Some see the reference to exorcism as more symbolic; thus the story’s only point is about responding to Jesus. This is possible and certainly is an application of the passage.
[12:46] 79 sn The issue of whether Jesus had brothers (siblings) has had a long history in the church. Epiphanius, in the 4th century, argued that Mary was a perpetual virgin and had no offspring other than Jesus. Others argued that these brothers were really cousins. Nothing in the text suggests any of this. See also John 7:3.
[12:47] 82 tc A few ancient
[12:48] 86 tn Grk “And answering, he said to the one who had said this.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) at the beginning of the clause has not been translated.
[13:3] 92 sn Though parables can contain a variety of figures of speech (cf. the remainder of chapter 13), many times they are simply stories that attempt to teach spiritual truth (which is unknown to the hearers) by using a comparison with something known to the hearers. In general, parables usually advance a single idea, though there may be many parts and characters in a single parable and subordinate ideas may expand the main idea further. The beauty of using the parable as a teaching device is that it draws the listener into the story, elicits an evaluation, and demands a response.
[13:3] 94 sn A sower went out to sow. The background for this well-known parable, drawn from a typical scene in the Palestinian countryside, is a field through which a well-worn path runs. Sowing would occur in late fall or early winter (October to December) in the rainy season, looking for sprouting in April or May and a June harvest. The use of seed as a figure for God’s giving life has OT roots (Isa 55:10-11). The point of the parable of the sower is to illustrate the various responses to the message of the kingdom of God.
[13:4] 95 tn In Matthew’s version of this parable, plural pronouns are used to refer to the seed in v. 4 (ἅ…αὐτά [Ja…auta]), although the collective singular is used in v. 5 and following (indicated by the singular verbs like ἔπεσεν [epesen]). For the sake of consistency in English, plural pronouns referring to the seed are used in the translation throughout the Matthean account. In both Mark and Luke the collective singular is used consistently throughout (cf. Mark 4:1-9; Luke 8:4-8).
[13:9] 101 tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 11:15, 13:43; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8, 14:35).
[13:12] 107 sn What he has will be taken from him. The meaning is that the one who accepts Jesus’ teaching concerning his person and the kingdom will receive a share in the kingdom now and even more in the future, but for the one who rejects Jesus’ words, the opportunity that that person presently possesses with respect to the kingdom will someday be taken away forever.
[13:19] 114 sn Interestingly, the synoptic parallels each use a different word for Satan here: Mark 4:15 has “Satan,” while Luke 8:12 has “the devil.” This illustrates the fluidity of the gospel tradition in often using synonyms at the same point of the parallel tradition.
[13:23] 123 tn The Greek is difficult to translate because it switches from a generic “he” to three people within this generic class (thus, something like: “Who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one instance a hundred times, in another, sixty times, in another, thirty times”).
[13:32] 135 sn This is rhetorical hyperbole, since technically a mustard plant is not a tree. This could refer to one of two types of mustard plant popular in Palestine and would be either ten or twenty-five ft (3 or 7.5 m) tall.
[13:32] 136 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).
[13:32] 137 sn The point of the parable seems to be that while the kingdom of God may appear to have insignificant and unnoticeable beginnings (i.e., in the ministry of Jesus), it will someday (i.e., at the second advent) be great and quite expansive. The kingdom, however, is not to be equated with the church, but rather the church is an expression of the kingdom. Also, there is important OT background in the image of the mustard seed that grew and became a tree: Ezek 17:22-24 pictures the reemergence of the Davidic house where people can find calm and shelter. Like the mustard seed, it would start out small but grow to significant size.
[13:33] 139 sn This measure was a saton, the Greek name for the Hebrew term “seah.” Three of these was a very large quantity of flour, since a saton is a little over 16 pounds (7 kg) of dry measure (or 13.13 liters). So this was over 47 lbs (21 kg) of flour total, enough to feed over a hundred people.
[13:35] 141 tc A few important
[13:38] 144 tn Grk “the sons of the kingdom.” This idiom refers to people who should properly be, or were traditionally regarded as, a part of God’s kingdom. L&N 11.13 translates the phrase: “people of God’s kingdom, God’s people.”
[13:38] 145 tn Grk “the sons of the evil one.” See the preceding note on the phrase “people of the kingdom” earlier in this verse, which is the opposite of this phrase. See also L&N 9.4; 11.13; 11.14.
[13:43] 150 tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 11:15, 13:9; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8, 14:35).
[13:52] 152 tn Or “every scribe.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4. It is possible that the term translated “expert in the law” (traditionally, “scribe”) here is a self-description used by the author, Matthew, to represent his role in conveying the traditions about Jesus to his intended audience. See David E. Orton, The Understanding Scribe [JSNTSup].
[13:55] 159 sn The reference to Jesus as the carpenter’s son is probably derogatory, indicating that they knew Jesus only as a common laborer like themselves. The reference to his mother…Mary (even though Jesus’ father was probably dead by this point) appears to be somewhat derogatory, for a man was not regarded as his mother’s son in Jewish usage unless an insult was intended (cf. Judg 11:1-2; John 4:41; 8:41; 9:29).
[14:1] 161 sn A tetrarch, a ruler with rank and authority lower than a king, ruled only with the approval of the Roman authorities. This was roughly equivalent to being governor of a region. Several times in the NT, Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, is called a king (Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29), reflecting popular usage rather than an official title.
[14:3] 162 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א2 C D L W Z Θ 0106 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat) read αὐτόν (auton, “him”) here as a way of clarifying the direct object; various important witnesses lack the word, however (א* B 700 pc ff1 h q). The original wording most likely lacked it, but it has been included here due to English style. NA27 includes the word in brackets, indicating reservations about its authenticity.
[14:4] 164 sn This marriage of Herod to his brother Philip’s wife was a violation of OT law (Lev 18:16; 20:21). In addition, both Herod Antipas and Herodias had each left marriages to enter into this union.
[14:7] 168 tn The Greek text reads here ὁμολογέω (Jomologew); though normally translated “acknowledge, confess,” BDAG (708 s.v. 1) lists “assure, promise with an oath” for certain contexts such as here.
[14:16] 176 tc ‡ The majority of witnesses read ᾿Ιησοῦς (Ihsous, “Jesus”) here, perhaps to clarify the subject. Although only a few Greek
[14:19] 180 tn Grk “And after instructing the crowds to recline for a meal on the grass, after taking the five loaves and the two fish, after looking up to heaven, he gave thanks, and after breaking the loaves he gave them to the disciples.” Although most of the participles are undoubtedly attendant circumstance, there are but two indicative verbs – “he gave thanks” and “he gave.” The structure of the sentence thus seems to focus on these two actions and has been translated accordingly.
[14:27] 188 tc Most witnesses have ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς (Jo Ihsous, “Jesus”), while a few lack the words (א* D 073 892 pc ff1 syc sa bo). Although such additions are often suspect (due to liturgical influences, piety, or for the sake of clarity), in this case it is likely that ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς dropped out accidentally. Apart from a few albeit important witnesses, as noted above, the rest of the tradition has either ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς αὐτοῖς (Jo Ihsous autois) or αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς (autois Jo Ihsous). In uncial letters, with Jesus’ name as a nomen sacrum, this would have been written as autoisois_ or ois_autois. Thus homoioteleuton could explain the reason for the omission of Jesus’ name.
[15:1] 199 tn The participle λέγοντες (legontes) has been translated as a finite verb so that its telic (i.e., final or conclusive) force can be more easily detected: The Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus in order to speak with him.
[15:2] 200 tc ‡ Although most witnesses read the genitive plural pronoun αὐτῶν (autwn, “their”), it may have been motivated by clarification (as it is in the translation above). Several other authorities do not have the pronoun, however (א B Δ 073 Ë1 579 700 892 1424 pc f g1); the lack of an unintentional oversight as the reason for omission strengthens their combined testimony in this shorter reading. NA27 has the pronoun in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
[15:4] 203 tc Most
[15:6] 207 tc The logic of v. 5 would seem to demand that both father and mother are in view in v. 6. Indeed, the majority of
[15:10] 210 tn Grk “And calling the crowd, he said to them.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesamenos) has been translated as attendant circumstance. The emphasis here is upon Jesus’ speaking to the crowd.
[15:14] 214 tc ‡ Most