The New Testament
In Current American English
From the Latin Vulgate

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Preface and Translator’s Notes

The PSALMS page

The Gospel According to Saint Matthew

Matthew 1 1The generation list of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham: 2Abraham fathered Isaac. Isaac fathered Jacob. Jacob fathered Judas and his brothers. 3Judas fathered Phares and Zara from Thamar. Phares fathered Esron. Esron fathered Aram. 4Aram fathered Aminadab. Aminadab fathered Naasson. Naasson fathered Salmon. 5Salmon fathered Booz from Rahab. Booz fathered Obed from Ruth. Obed fathered Jesse. 6Jesse fathered David the king. David the king fathered Solomon, from the one who had been Urias’ wife. 7Solomon fathered Roboam. Roboam fathered Abia. Abia fathered Asa. 8Asa fathered Josaphat. Josaphat fathered Joram. Joram fathered Ozias. 9Ozias fathered Joatham. Joatham fathered Achaz. Achaz fathered Ezechias. 10Ezechias fathered Manasses. Manesses fathered Amon. Amon fathered Josias. 11Josias fathered Jechonias and his brothers in the Babylonian migration. 12After the Babylonian migration Jechonias fathered Salathiel. Salathiel fathered Zorobabel. 13Zorobabel fathered Abiud. Abiud fathered Eliacim. Eliacim fathered Azor. 14Azor fathered Sadoc. Sadoc fathered Achim. Achim fathered Eliud. 15Eliud fathered Eleazar. Eleazar fathered Mathan. Mathan fathered Jacob. 16Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband of Mary, from whom Jesus, who is called Christ, was born. 17So all the generations are: fourteen from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian migration, and fourteen from the Babylonian migration to Christ.

18However, the generating of Christ was as follows. After his mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be pregnant (from the Holy Spirit). 19But since he was a fair man and was not willing to expose her publicly, Joseph her husband intended to divorce her privately. 20As he was thinking this over, though, the Lord’s angel appeared to him in his sleep and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to accept Mary your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, though, and you will name him ‘Jesus,’ because he will save his people from their sins.” 22(Now all this happened, since what the Lord said by the prophet was to be fulfilled: 23“See there, a virgin will be pregnant and bear a son, and they will name him Emmanuel,” translated, “God with us.”) 24Getting up from his sleep, Joseph did as the Lord’s angel advised him; he accepted his wife, 25but he was not knowing her up to when she bore her firstborn son. And he did name him “Jesus.”

Matthew 2 1When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda in the days of King Herod, wise men came to Jerusalem from the east, 2saying, “Where is the one born to be king of the Jews? You see, we’ve seen his star in the east and have come to worship him.” 3But King Herod was troubled when he heard this, and all of Jerusalem along with him. 4Assembling all the chief priests and the people’s scribes, he asked them where the Christ would be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Juda, because this was written by the prophet: 6‘And you Bethlehem in the land of Juda, are not the least among Juda’s prominent ones, since the leader who will rule my people Israel will come out of you.’7Then Herod summoned the wise men privately and learned from them accurately the timing of the star that had appeared to them. 8Sending them to Bethlehem, he said, “Go, and ask diligently about the boy, and when you’ve found him, report to me, so that I too can come to worship him.” 9After hearing from the king, they left, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it came and was standing still over where the boy was. 10Now when they saw the star, they rejoiced with a very great joy, 11went into the house, and found the boy with Mary, his mother. Falling down, they worshiped him, and with their treasures opened, they offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12After receiving an answer in their sleep not to return to Herod, they went back to their region by another way.

13Once they left, the Lord’s angel appeared to Joseph in his sleep and said, “Get up, take the boy and his mother, escape to Egypt, and be there until I tell you, because it will come about that Herod will search for the boy, to destroy him.” 14He got up, took the boy and his mother in the night, and withdrew to Egypt. (He was there until the death of Herod, 15since what the Lord said by the prophet was to be fulfilled: “I have called my son out of Egypt.”) 16Then because Herod considered he had been mocked by the wise men, he was very angry and had all the boys in Bethlehem and the surrounding area killed—two years old and under, matching the timing he had asked the wise men about. 17(Then what was said by the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18“The sound of lamentation and great mourning was in Rama: Rachel crying over her sons and unwilling to be comforted, since they didn’t exist.” 19But after Herod died, the Lord’s angel appeared to Joseph in Egypt in his sleep 20and said, “Get up, take the boy and his mother and go to the land of Israel, because those who were after the boy’s life have died.” 21He got up, took the boy and his mother, and went toward the land of Israel. 22But on hearing that Archelaus ruled in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there and, advised in dreams, withdrew to the Galilee region. 23He came and settled in a city called Nazareth (since what was said by the prophets was to be fulfilled—that he would be called a Nazarene).

Matthew 3 1In those days John the Baptist came announcing in the Judean desert, 2“Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is approaching.” 3(Yes, he was the one indicated by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Prepare the Lord’s way, make his paths straight.'”) 4This John wore camel-hair clothes with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole area around the Jordan were going out to him 6and being baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Who alerted you vipers’ offspring to escape from the coming anger? 8Produce the fruit that goes with repentance. 9And don’t start to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ because, I tell you, God is able to raise up children for Abraham out of these rocks. 10Yes, the axe is being laid to the root of the trees now, and every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11I’m baptizing you in the water for repentance, but the one who will come after me is more powerful than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his shoes. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His fan is in his hand, and he’ll make a clean sweep of his floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but he’ll burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.”

13At that time Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14But John held him back, saying, “I ought to be baptized by you, but you’re coming to me?” 15In reply, though, Jesus told him, “Allow it to be this way now, because this way is appropriate—for us to fulfill all justice.” Then John allowed him. 16Once baptized, Jesus came out of the water right away, and the heavens were opened for him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming onto him, 17and a voice from heaven said, “This is my dear Son; I am very pleased with him.”

Matthew 4 1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the Devil. 2After he fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.” 4He answered, “It was written down, ‘Mankind does not live just on bread but on every word that proceeds from God’s mouth.’5Then the Devil took him along to the holy city, set him on the peak of the temple, 6and said, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, because it was written that he has committed his angels to you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so you won’t possibly hurt your foot on a rock.” 7Jesus said to him, “Again, it was written down, ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’8The Devil took him along again, onto a very tall mountain, and showed him all the world’s kingdoms and their glory 9and said to him, “I will give you all these if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan, because it was written down, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and only serve him.’11Then the Devil left him, and angels came and tended to him.

12But when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. 13He moved away from the city Nazareth and took up residence in Capharnaum on the sea coast, in the area of Zabulon and Nephthalim 14(since what was said by the prophet Isaiah was to be fulfilled: 15“Land of Zabulon and land of Nephthalim, the way of the sea beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—16the people who were sitting in darkness—have seen great light, and light has appeared for those sitting in the region of death’s shadow”). 17From that point on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is approaching.” 18Walking by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers, Simon (called Peter) and Andrew his brother, throwing a net into the sea (since they were fishermen). 19He said to them, “Come after me and I will make you people-fishermen.” 20They left their nets right away and followed him. 21Going on from there, he saw two more brothers—James (son of Zebedee) and John his brother—in a ship with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, 22and they immediately left the nets and their father and followed him. 23Jesus went around to all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all sorts of sickness and every frailty among the people. 24His fame went out to all of Syria, and they presented him with everyone who had maladies—those held by various diseases and pains, the demon-possessed, lunatics, and the paralyzed; and he cured them. 25Many people from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

Matthew 5 1When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountain and sat down, and his disciples came to him. 2Opening his mouth, he taught them: 3“The poor in spirit are blessed, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 4The meek are blessed, because they will take possession of the land. 5Those who are grieving are blessed, because they will be comforted. 6Those who are hungering and thirsting for justice are blessed, because they will be filled. 7The merciful are blessed, because they will acquire mercy. 8Those with clean hearts are blessed, because they will see God. 9Peacemakers are blessed, because they will be called God’s children. 10Those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice are blessed, because the kingdom of heaven is theirs. 11When they slander you, persecute you, and say all sorts of bad things against you (untruly) because of me, you are blessed; 12be glad and rejoice, since your reward in heaven is very great, because they persecuted the prophets who were before you in that way.

13“You are the earth’s salt. But how will the earth be salted if the salt goes bland? Then it’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by people. 14You are the world’s light. A city situated on a mountain can’t be hidden. 15And people don’t light a lamp and put it under a bucket but on a lampstand, so that it can shine for everyone in the house. 16Let your light shine that way before people, so that they can see your good deeds but glorify your Father in heaven. 17Don’t think that I’ve come to weaken the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to weaken but to fulfill them. 18Yes, in fact I tell you, till heaven and earth pass, not one dash or one dot will pass from the law—until all of it is done. 19So, whoever breaks one of the smallest commandments and teaches people to do so will be called smallest in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever does and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20No, I tell you, unless your justice is richer than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven.

21“You heard that the old ones were told, ‘You shall not kill’ and ‘Whoever kills will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22But I tell you, everyone angry with his brother will be in danger of the judgment, whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ will be in danger of the council, and whoever says, ‘Fool!’ will be in danger of hell’s fire. 23So if you’re offering your gift at the altar and you remember there that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar, and run to be reconciled to your brother first, and when you come back, you’ll offer your gift. 25While you’re on the way with your adversary, reach an agreement with him quickly, or that adversary might hand you over to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown in prison. 26No, I tell you, you won’t get out of there till you pay back the last nickel.

27“You heard that the old ones were told, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29And if your right eye tempts you, tear it out and throw it away from you, since it’s to your benefit for one of your members to pass away, rather than for your whole body to be sent into hell. 30And if your right hand tempts you, cut it off and throw it away from you, since it’s to your benefit for one of your members to pass away, rather than for your whole body to go into hell. 31It was also said, ‘Let whoever puts his wife away give her a bill of divorce.’ 32But I tell you, every man who divorces his wife, except by reason of fornication, is making her commit adultery; and the man who marries the divorced woman is committing adultery.

33“Again, you heard that the old ones were told, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34But I tell you not to swear at all, not by heaven, because it’s God’s throne, 35or by the earth, because it’s his footstool, or by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great king. 36And you shall not swear by your head, because you can’t make one hair white or black. 37Let your speech be yes, yes; no, no. Whatever is beyond that, though, is from something evil.

38“You heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I tell you not to resist evil; if someone hits your jaw on the right, turn the other side to him too. 40And if someone wants to dispute with you in a trial and take your shirt away, let him have your coat too. 41And if anyone is forcing you to go one mile, go another two with him. 42Give to someone demanding something from you, and don’t turn away from anyone wanting to borrow from you. 43You heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies; do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute and slander you, 45so that you can be the children of your Father in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the good and the bad, and rains on the just and the unjust. 46I mean, if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even tax agents do that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing? Don’t the Gentiles do that too? 48So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 6 1“Pay attention not to be doing your justice in people’s presence, to be seen by them; otherwise you won’t have a reward from your Father in heaven. 2So when you’re giving alms, don’t blow a trumpet ahead of you, as the actors do in the synagogues and streets to be honored by people. Yes, I tell you, they’ve received their reward. 3In contrast, when you’re giving alms, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your alms can be in secret; and then your Father who sees in secret will pay you back.

5“Also, when you pray, you shouldn’t be like the actors who love to pray standing in synagogues and on street corners to be seen by people. Yes, I tell you, they’ve received their reward. 6Instead, when you pray, go inside your room and, with the door shut, pray to your Father in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. 7Also when you’re praying, don’t say a lot, like the Gentiles do. They think they’ll be heard because of their many words. 8Don’t imitate them, because your Father knows what your need is before you ask him. 9So, you should pray this way: ‘Our Father who are in heaven, may your name be kept holy, 10your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11Give us our life’s food today. 12And as we forgive those who owe us, forgive us what we owe; 13and may you not let us in for temptation, but free us from evil. Amen.’ 14You see, if you forgive people their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you your faults, 15but if you don’t forgive people, your Father won’t forgive you for your offenses.

16“Also, when you fast, don’t get all sad like the actors; they disfigure their faces to be seen as fasting by people. Yes, I tell you, they’ve received their reward. 17When you fast, on the other hand, oil your head and wash your face, 18so that you can be seen as fasting, not to people, but to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

19“Don’t store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where corrosion and moths demolish and where thieves break in and steal. 20Instead, store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where corrosion and moths don’t demolish and where thieves don’t break in or steal. 21After all, your heart is where your treasure is. 22Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is clear your whole body will be bright. 23But if your eye is bad your whole body will be dark; and if a darkness is all the light that’s in you, then how great will actual darkness be? 24No one can serve two masters, because he’ll be hating the first and loving the second, or else upholding the first and disregarding the second. You can’t serve God and also wealth. 25So I tell you, don’t be concerned for your life (what you’ll eat) or for your body (what you’ll put on). Isn’t life a greater thing than food and the body a greater thing than clothing? 26Notice the birds: they don’t plant or harvest or gather anything into barns; but your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you much more valuable than they are? 27Also, which of you by intending it can add a half yard to his height? 28And why are you bothered over clothing? Consider how lilies in a field grow: they don’t work or weave, 29but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of those. 30Now, if God clothes the grass in a field that way, which exists today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you—you with your scanty faith? 31So don’t be concerned, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32(The Gentiles are certainly after all these things.) Your Father does know that you do need them all. 33So then, go after God’s kingdom and his justice first, and all these things will be added on for you. 34And so, don’t be concerned about tomorrow, because that next day will be concerned for its own self. A day’s evil is enough for that day.

Matthew 7 1“Don’t judge, so as not to be judged, 2because you will be judged with the judgment you judge with, and the measure you measure with will be measured back to you. 3Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but don’t see the beam in your own eye? 4Or how it is that you say to your brother, ‘Let me extract that speck from your eye,’ while there is this beam in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first extract the beam from your own eye, and then you’ll see how to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. 6Don’t give what is holy to dogs; and don’t bring your pearls out in front of pigs, or they might trample them under their feet and then, turning, tear into you.

7“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. 8You see, everyone who asks receives; and one who seeks finds; and for the one who knocks it will be opened. 9Which of you, if your son asks you for bread, will offer him a rock, 10or if he asks you for a fish, will hand him a snake? 11Then if you (though evil) know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him? 12Whatever you wish people would do for you, do that for them. That is the law and the prophets, after all. 13Enter through the tight gate, because the gate is wide and the path is broad that leads to ruin, and there are many who go in there. 14How tight the gate is and how narrow the path is that leads to life, and how few the ones who come to it are!

15“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but are gluttonous wolves inside. 16You will know them by their fruits. Do people gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17Just so, every good tree produces good fruit, whereas a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, or a bad tree good fruit. 19Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, you’ll know them by their fruits. 21Not everyone who says, ‘Lord, Lord’ to me will enter the kingdom of heaven; rather, whoever does the will of my Father in heaven will enter the kingdom of heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name and drive demons out in your name and do many miracles in your name?’ 23And then I will reveal to them, ‘I never knew you; get away from me, you who bring about injustice.’

24“So everyone who hears these words of mine and does them can be compared to a wise man who built his house on rock: 25the rain fell, floods came, and winds blew, and they beat on that house, but it didn’t collapse because it was built on rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn’t do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand: 27rain fell, floods came, and winds blew, and they beat on that house, and it collapsed and was completely ruined.” 28When Jesus finished this sermon, the people were marveling at his teaching, 29because he was teaching them as someone with authority and not like the scribes and Pharisees.”

Matthew 8 1After Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. 2A leper came and was pleading with him, “Lord, if you’re willing, you can make me clean.” 3Jesus extended his hand, touched him, and said, “I am willing, be made clean.” Right away his leprosy was cleaned away. 4Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.” 5When he had entered Capharnaum, a centurion came to him, begging, 6“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and is badly contorted.” 7Jesus said to him, “I’ll come and heal him.” 8But the centurion responded, “Lord, I’m not worthy for you to go in under my roof. Just say the word and my servant will be healed. 9You see, I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers under me, and I say to this one, ‘Go’, and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10When he heard this, Jesus marveled and said to those following him, “No, I tell you, I haven’t found faith this great in Israel. 11I do tell you, though, many people will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12but the kingdom’s heirs will be thrown out into outer darkness; there, there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” 13Jesus said to the centurion, “Go, and may it happen for you the way you believed.” And the servant was healed that same hour. 14When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying there sick with a fever. 15He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she got up and tended to them. 16When evening came, they brought him many who were demon-possessed, and he drove the spirits out by his word, and he healed all who were sick 17(since what was said by the prophet Isaiah was to be fulfilled: “He took our debilities and bore our diseases”).

18Seeing large crowds around him, Jesus gave orders to cross the sea. 19But a scribe came and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds have nests, but the Son of man doesn’t have anywhere to lay his head.” 21Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, first allow me to go bury my father.” 22But Jesus said, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.” 23Once he boarded the boat, his disciples followed him on board. 24A major storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves, but Jesus was sleeping. 25They came to him, woke him up, and said, “Lord, save us, we’re going under.” 26Jesus said, “Why are you afraid, you with your scanty faith?” Then getting up he commanded the winds and the sea, and a great stillness came on. 27But the men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, seeing that the winds and the sea obey him?”

28Once he had come to the other side of the sea (in the Gerasens region), two demon-possessed people met him, coming out from the tombs. They were very fierce, so that no one could go past there. 29They cried out, “What do we have to do with you, Jesus Son of God? Did you come here to torture us ahead of the time?” 30Now, not far from them a herd of many pigs was feeding. 31The demons begged him, “If you drive us out of here, send us into the herd of pigs.” 32He said to them, “Go.” They went out into the pigs, and the whole herd ran violently down a bank into the sea and drowned. 33Their herders ran off, went into the city, told everything, and told about the men who had been possessed by demons. 34Now the whole city went out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their area.

Matthew 9 1Getting in the boat, he crossed the water and came to his own city. 2Now they brought him someone paralyzed, lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Son, be assured, your sins are forgiven for you.” 3Some of the scribes said to themselves, “He’s blaspheming.” 4Seeing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking bad things in your hearts? 5What’s easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’ or to say ‘Get up and walk’? 6But in order for you to know that the Son of man does have the power on earth to forgive sins,” (he said to the paralytic then:) “Get up, pick up your bed, and go home.” 7And he got up and went home. 8When they saw this, the crowd was afraid but glorified God, who had given such power to humans.

9When Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting in the tax house and said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him. 10As Jesus was having a meal in a house, many tax men and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11Once the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax men and sinners?” 12But Jesus heard that and said, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor; those who are sick do. 13Go and learn what this means, though, ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ No, I haven’t come to call the upright, but sinners.” 14Then some of John’s disciples came to him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?” 15Jesus said to them, “Can the groomsmen grieve while the groom is with them? On the other hand, days will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then they’ll fast. 16Also, no one puts a patch of new cloth onto an old garment, because it pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear gets made. 17And people don’t put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins break, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Instead, they put new wine into new skins and both are preserved.”

18While he was saying these things to them, a leader approached and pleaded with him, “Lord, my daughter has just died, but come, lay your hand on her and she’ll live.” 19Getting up, Jesus followed him, along with his disciples. 20Now, a woman who was still suffering from a blood flow after twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his clothes. 21The reason was that she was saying to herself, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be healed.” 22Turning and seeing her, Jesus said, “Daughter, be assured, your faith has made you well.” And the woman got well from that hour on. 23As Jesus came into the leader’s house and saw singers and a crowd making a commotion, he said, 24“Step out here, because the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they started making fun of him. 25After the crowd was put outside, he went in and took her by the hand; and the girl got up. 26The news of this spread into that whole region.

27As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him and cried out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28Once he had come to a house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this for you?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29Then he touched their eyes and said, “May it happen to you in accord with your faith.” 30And their eyes were opened, but Jesus warned them: “See that no one knows about this.” 31Still, they went away and spread his fame through that whole area. 32After they left, a demon-possessed mute man was brought to him. 33Once the demon was driven out, the mute man was talking and the crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.” 34But the Pharisees were saying, “He’s driving demons out by the prince of demons.” 35Jesus went around to all the cities and towns, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every frailty. 36Seeing the crowds, he was sorry for them because they were distressed and depressed like sheep that don’t have a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest certainly is extensive, but workers are scarce. 38So ask the lord of the harvest to supply workers for his harvest…”

Matthew 10 1Once he had called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power—over foul spirits (to drive them out) and to heal all kinds of diseases and all sorts of disabilities. 2The names of the twelve apostles are: the first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew, 3James (son of Zebedee) and his brother John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew (the tax agent), James (son of Alpheus) and Thaddeus, 4Simon the Cananean and Judas Iscariot (who would betray him). 5Jesus sent these twelve out, instructing them as follows, “Don’t go in the direction of the Gentiles, and don’t enter the Samaritans’ city. 6Go instead to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, also announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven is approaching.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, make lepers clean, and drive demons out. You received freely; now give freely. 9Don’t have gold, silver, or money in your bags 10or a wallet for your journey or two coats or shoes or a walking stick; after all, the workman deserves his support. 11However, whatever city or town you go into, inquire who is deserving in it, and remain with him till you leave that locale. 12Also, when you come into a house, greet it, saying, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 13And if that house is deserving, your peace will come over it, but if it isn’t deserving, your peace will return to you. 14And if any house or city won’t receive you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet as you leave it. 15Yes, I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the judgment day than for that city. 16Here now, I’m sending you as sheep in among wolves. So be wise like snakes but pure like doves. 17Beware of men, though, because they’ll betray you in councils and whip you in their synagogues. 18You’ll be brought before governors and kings for my sake, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles. 19Now, when they hand you over, don’t be thinking how or what to speak, because what to say will be given you at that time, 20since it isn’t you that will be speaking, but the Spirit of your Father who will speak in you. 21Even a brother will deliver his brother up to death and a father his son, and children will rise up against their parents and work out their death. 22You will be detestable to all of them on account of my name, but whoever persists all the way to the end will be safe. 23However, when they persecute you in such a city, escape to another. Yes, I tell you, you won’t finish all the cities of Israel before the Son of man comes. 24A disciple isn’t above his teacher or a servant above his master. 25It’s enough for the disciple to be like his teacher and the servant like his master. If they’ve called the head of the household Beelzebub, how much more they will call those of his household that. 26Well, don’t be afraid of them, because nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, or hidden that won’t become known. 27Declare in the light what I tell you in the dark, and proclaim from the housetops what you are hearing in your ear. 28And don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but can’t kill the soul. Be afraid, though, of the one who can ruin both soul and body in hell. 29Aren’t two sparrows sold for a nickel? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30Well, the hairs of your head have all been counted; 31so don’t be afraid: you are better than many sparrows. 32I will acknowledge before my Father in heaven everyone who acknowledges me before people. 33But I will deny before my Father in heaven whoever denies me before people. 34Don’t think that I’ve come to release peace on earth; I didn’t come to release peace but a sword. 35Yes, I’ve come to set a man at odds with his father, a daughter with her mother, a daughter-in-law with her mother-in-law, 36and those of a person’s own household as his enemies. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me isn’t worthy of me; whoever loves son or daughter more than me isn’t worthy of me; 38and whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow me isn’t worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for me will find it. 40Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. 41Whoever receives a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a just person as a just person will receive a just person’s reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones a cup of cold water to drink just because that little one is a disciple, no, I tell you, he won’t lose his reward.”

Matthew 11 1After Jesus finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the cities. 2Now when John, in prison, had heard about Christ’s doings, he said to him (by sending two of his disciples), 3“Are you the one who is to come, or are we looking for someone else?” 4In answer Jesus told them, “Go and tell John what you’ve heard and seen: 5the blind are seeing, the lame are walking, lepers are being made clean, the deaf are hearing, the dead are rising up, and the poor are having good news preached to them. 6And he who will not take offense at me is blessed.” 7Once those two had gone on, Jesus began to say to the crowds about John, “What were you going out into the desert to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8Well, what were you going out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? You see, those dressed in soft clothes are in kings’ houses. 9Then what were you going out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet, 10because he’s the one about whom this was written down: ‘There, ahead of your appearance I’m sending my messenger, who will prepare your way ahead of you.’ 11Yes, I tell you, among prophets born from women, no greater one than John the Baptist has come up. Nevertheless, a minor prophet in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now, though, the kingdom of heaven is allowing violence, and forceful people do lay hold of it. 13All the prophets and the law did prophesy until John; 14but if you are willing to take it in, he is the Elijah who is going to come. 15Let whoever has ears for hearing, hear.

16“But what shall I compare this generation to? It’s like children sitting in the marketplace 17who call to their companions, ‘We played music for you but you didn’t dance; and we wailed but you didn’t grieve.’ 18You see, John came, not eating or drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19But the Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look there, a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax men and sinners.’ Well, wisdom is justified by her children.” 20Then he began to chide the cities where most of his miracles had been done (since they hadn’t repented): 21“What a shame for you, Corozain; what a shame for you, Bethsaida; because if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, it will go easier for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capharnaum! Will you rise up into heaven? You will go all the way down to hell, because if the miracles that were done in you had been done in Sodom, perhaps it would have remained to this day. 24But I tell you, it will go easier for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

25At that time Jesus spoke out, “I give you praise, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to little ones. 26Yes, Father, because that seemed good in your sight. 27Everything has been delivered to me by my Father. And no one knows the Son but the Father; and no one knows the Father but the Son and whomever it pleases the Son to reveal him to. 28Come to me, all you who labor and are loaded down, and I will restore you. 29Take my yoke onto you and learn by me, because I am meek and humble-hearted, and you will find rest for your souls, 30since my yoke is sweet and my burden is light.”

Matthew 12 1At that time Jesus went through a grainfield on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some grain-heads and eat them. 2Some Pharisees saw this, though, and said to him, “Look there, your disciples are doing what isn’t allowed on sabbaths.” 3But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry, 4how he went into God’s house and ate some of the Bread of Proposition, which it wasn’t legal for him or those with him to eat, but only for priests? 5Or haven’t you read in the law itself that on sabbaths priests in the temple can break the sabbath and be without blame? 6But I tell you, there is something greater than the temple here. 7Also, if you knew what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you never would have condemned the innocent. 8In fact, the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath.” 9Once he had gone on from there, he came into one of their synagogues. 10Now a man with a shriveled hand was there, and in order to accuse Jesus, they asked him, “Is it legal to heal on sabbaths?”. 11But he said to them, “Which of you, if a sheep of yours falls into a pit on the sabbath, won’t take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much better is a person than a sheep? Therefore it is legal to do a good deed on sabbaths.” 13Then he said to the man, “Stretch your hand out.” He stretched it out, and it was restored to health just like the other one. 14The Pharisees left, however, and were making plans against him, of how to destroy him.

15Knowing this, though, Jesus withdrew from there. Many people followed him and he healed them all; 16but he ordered them not to make him known 17(since what was said by the prophet Isaiah was to be fulfilled: 18“Here is the dear boy of mine I chose, in whom my Spirit has been very pleased; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will show the Gentiles judgment; 19he won’t strive or cry out, and no one will hear his voice in the streets; 20he won’t break a bruised reed or snuff out smoking flax while he is sending judgment on to victory; 21and the Gentiles will hope in his name”). 22Then he was offered someone demon-possessed, blind, and dumb; and he healed him, so that he could speak and see. 23All the crowds were amazed and said, “Isn’t this the son of David?” 24When the Pharisees heard that, they said, “This man is only driving these demons out by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.” 25Knowing their thoughts, though, Jesus said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26If Satan drives Satan out, he’s divided against himself. Then how will his kingdom remain standing? 27And if I’m driving demons out by Beelzebub, by whom are your children driving them out? So, they will be judges of you. 28But if I’m driving demons out by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 29Or how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his valuables, unless he ties the strong man up first? Then he’ll loot his house. 30Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever doesn’t gather with me scatters. 31Therefore, I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blaspheming the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32Whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven for it, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven for it, either in this world or in the future world. 33Either regard the tree good and its fruit good or regard the tree evil and its fruit evil, because a tree is known by its fruit. 34How can you vipers’ offspring say good things, since you’re evil? The mouth does speak from what the heart is full of. 35A good person brings good things out of a good hoard, and a bad person brings bad things out of a bad hoard. 36But I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every idle word they say. 37Yes, by your words you will be justified, but by your words you will be condemned.”

38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees replied to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39He said in response, “An evil and adulterous generation looks for a sign, and it will be given no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40Namely, the same way Jonah was in the whale’s belly for three days and three nights, the Son of man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 41The men of Ninive will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s preaching, but see, here is someone greater than Jonah. 42The queen of the south will rise at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and see, here is someone greater than Solomon. 43Now, when a foul spirit has gone out of someone, it wanders through dry places looking for rest, but doesn’t find any. 44Then it says, ‘I’ll go back into my house that I left.’ And coming back, it finds it empty, swept, and decorated. 45Then it goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself with it, and they go inside and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first. It will be that way for this wicked generation too.”

46As he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers stood outside, wanting to talk to him. 47Someone said to him, “Look there, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking for you.” 48But answering the one who told him, he said, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 49Extending his hand toward his disciples, he said, “See here, my mother and my brothers. 50Yes, whoever will do the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matthew 13 1Once he left the house that same day, Jesus was sitting by the seaside. 2Large crowds had gathered around him, and so he boarded a boat and sat there as the whole crowd was standing at the shore. 3He told them many things in parables. He said, “A sower went out to sow. 4As he sowed, some seed fell beside a path, and birds came and ate them up. 5Some others, however, fell on rocky ground, where they didn’t have much soil; and they sprouted immediately because they had no depth of soil. 6But once the sun rose up, they got hot, and because they didn’t have root, they dried up. 7Still others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and stifled them. 8But some others fell on good ground, and they produced a yield, some a hundred, some sixty, and some thirty times over. 9Let whoever has ears for hearing, hear.”

10His disciples came and said to him, “Why are you talking to them in parables?” 11He answered them, “Because it’s given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but it isn’t given to them. 12Yes, it will be given to one who has, and he’ll be rich; but even what the one who is lacking has will be taken away from him. 13And so I talk to them in parables, since, though seeing, they don’t perceive, and, though hearing, they don’t listen; and they don’t understand. 14This prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in them: ‘By the sense of hearing you will hear but won’t understand, and when looking you’ll look but won’t perceive; 15no, this people’s heart has gotten thick, they’ve listened dully with their ears, and they’ve shut their eyes, so that they won’t at some point perceive with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and be converted and I would heal them.’ 16Your eyes are blessed, though, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17Yes, in fact I tell you, many prophets and just people have desired to see the things that you’re seeing and did not seen them, and to hear the things that you’re hearing and did not hear them. 18So listen to the parable of the sower: 19When anyone hears the message of the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart; this is the seed that was sown beside the path. 20And the one that was sown on rocky ground is someone who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21but he doesn’t have any root in himself and is temporary; and when trouble and persecution come because of the word, he gets offended right away. 22And the one that was sown among the thorns is someone who hears the word, but a concern with this world and the deceptiveness of riches stifle the word, and he becomes fruitless. 23But the one that was sown into good ground is whoever hears the word, understands it, bears fruit, and produces—one person a hundred times over, yes, but another sixty times, and another, yes, thirty times over.

24He laid out another parable for them: “The kingdom of heaven is like someone who sowed good seeds in his field, 25but while everyone was asleep, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. 26After the stalks grew up and formed fruit, then the weeds were apparent too. 27The servants of that landowner came and told him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have weeds?’ 28He told them, ‘An enemy did this.’ Then the servants said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them up?’ 29He said, ‘No, in case by gathering the weeds up, you might uproot the wheat with them. 30Allow them both to grow until the harvest, and at harvest time I’ll say to the reapers, “First gather up the weeds and tie them in bundles to burn, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

31He proposed another parable to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like a single mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field. 32It is certainly the smallest of seeds, but when it has grown, it’s bigger than any other crop and becomes a tree, so that birds come and live in its branches.” 33He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and tucked in three measures of dough until it all was leavened.” 34Jesus told the crowds all this in parables, and he didn’t talk to them without parables 35(since what was said by the prophet was to be fulfilled: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden since the foundation of the world”).

36Once he had sent the crowds away, he went home, and his disciples approached him and said, “Explain the parable of the field’s weeds to us.” 37He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of man. 38The field is the world. The good seeds are the children of the kingdom, but the weeds are the children of wickedness. 39The enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels. 40At the end of the world it will be the way weeds are gathered up and burned up in a fire—41the Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather all causes of offense and those who do injustice out of his kingdom 42and will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. 43Then the just will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Let whoever has ears for hearing, hear.

44“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field; once someone found it, he covered it back up and, for joy over it, ran and sold everything he had and bought that field. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant who is after good pearls; 46once he had found one very valuable pearl, however, he went off, sold everything he had, and bought it. 47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, gathering fish of all kinds together; 48when it was full, they pulled it out and, sitting by the shore, picked the good ones out into containers but threw the bad ones out. 49It will be that way at the end of the world; the angels will go out, separate the wicked from among the good, 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. 51Have you understood all this?” They said, “Yes.” 52He said, “Well then, every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings new things and old out of his treasure.” 53After Jesus finished these parables, he went on from there. 54He came to his hometown area and taught in their synagogues, so that they were amazed and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these good qualities from? 55Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and aren’t James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude brothers of his? 56And aren’t all his sisters with us? So how is all this his?” 57And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet isn’t without honor, except in his own country and in his own house.” 58And he didn’t do many miracles there, because of their disbelief.

Matthew 14 1At that time Herod the Tetrarch heard the news of Jesus. 2He said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead; that is why such abilities are at work in him.” 3You see, Herod had arrested John, confined him, and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother’s wife. 4The reason was, John had been telling him, “It isn’t legal for you to have her.” 5Though of a mind to kill him, he was afraid of the people because they treated John like a prophet. 6But on Herod’s birthday Herodias’ daughter danced for them and pleased Herod. 7So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she would ask him for. 8Since she’d been instructed by her mother beforehand, she said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here in a dish.” 9The king was saddened, but because of his oath and those who sat with him at the table, he ordered it to be granted. 10He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11His head was brought in a dish and was given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12His disciples came and took the body, buried it, and came and told Jesus. 13Once Jesus heard this, he withdrew by boat away from there to an uninhabited place. But when the crowds learned of this, they went after him on foot out of the cities.

14He emerged, saw the large crowd, and had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15As evening came on, though, his disciples came to him and said, “This place is out of the way and it’s late now; send the crowds away, so that by going to the towns, they can buy themselves some food.” 16But Jesus said, “They don’t need to go; you give them something to eat.” 17They replied, “We don’t have anything here but five loaves and two fish.” 18He said, “Bring them here to me.” 19After he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass, he took the five loaves and the two fish and looked up to heaven; he blessed and broke them and gave the bread to his disciples, with the disciples giving it to the crowds. 20And they all ate and were satisfied. They took up what remained—twelve baskets full of pieces. 21Now the number of those who ate was five thousand men, plus women and children.

22Jesus obliged his disciples to get into the boat right away and go across the sea ahead of him, while he would be dismissing the people. 23After he dismissed the crowd, he went onto a mountain alone, to pray. During the evening, he was there alone. 24But out in the middle of the sea the boat was being tossed by waves because the wind was against it. 25In the fourth night-watch, he did come to them, walking on the sea. 26Seeing him walking on the sea, they were disturbed, said, “It’s a ghost,” and cried out in fear. 27Right away Jesus told them, “Be assured, it is I, don’t be afraid.” 28Replying, Peter said, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” Getting down out of the boat, Peter was walking on the water to go to Jesus. 30But as he saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid; and as he began to sink, he called out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus reached his hand out right away, took hold of him, and said to him, “You with your scanty faith, why did you doubt?” 32Once they climbed into the boat, the wind stopped. 33Then those in the boat came over and worshiped him, saying, “You really are the Son of God.” 34When they had crossed the sea, they came into the Genesar area. 35Once the men of that spot recognized him, they sent word into the whole area and brought him everyone who was ill. 36These people were begging to touch just the edge of his garment, and as many as did touch it were made well.

Matthew 15 1Then scribes and Pharisees came to him from Jerusalem and said, 2“Why do your disciples neglect the tradition of the elders? You see, they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” 3In answer he said, “Why do you neglect even God’s commandment for your tradition? For example, God said, 4‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Let whoever curses father or mother die utterly.’ 5But you say, ‘Whoever says to father or mother, “Any donation I make will be to your benefit” 6won’t have to honor his father or mother,’ and so you’ve made God’s commandment void for the sake of your tradition. 7Hypocrites, Isaiah prophesied very well about you when he said, 8‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me; 9they honor me for no good reason, though, teaching human doctrines and commandments.’10Once he called the crowds together to himself, he said to them, “Listen and understand: 11what goes into the mouth doesn’t pollute anyone; what comes out of the mouth is what pollutes a person.” 12Then his disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that when the Pharisees heard this teaching, they were offended?” 13Answering them, he said, “Every plant that my heavenly Father hasn’t planted will be uprooted. 14Leave them alone; they’re blind and leaders of the blind. But if the blind lead the blind, they’ll both fall into a pit.” 15Peter replied, “Explain this parable for us.” 16But he said, “Are even you men still lacking understanding? 17Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth goes on into the belly and is discharged into the waste? 18But the things that go out of the mouth come from the heart, and those things pollute the person. 19Yes, evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, and blasphemies come from the heart. 20Those are the things that pollute a person, but to eat with unwashed hands doesn’t pollute anyone.”

21Jesus went on from there and withdrew to the areas of Tyre and Sidon. 22Now a woman of Canaan who came from that borderland, called out to him, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter gets badly attacked by a demon.” 23But he said nothing back to her. His disciples came and begged him, “Send her away, because she’s crying at us.” 24He replied, “I’ve only been sent to sheep lost from Israel’s house.” 25But she came and pleaded with him, “Lord, help me.” 26He answered, “It isn’t good to take the children’s bread and throw it to dogs.” 27But she said, “True, Lord, but even puppies eat crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.” 28Then in answer Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was cured at that same time.

29Jesus went on from there and came near the Sea of Galilee. Going up a mountain, he was sitting there, 30and large crowds came to him with people who were mute, blind, lame, frail, and many other sorts. They deposited them at his feet and he healed them, 31so that the crowds marveled, seeing the mute talk, the lame walk, and the blind see; and they glorified Israel’s God. 32Jesus called his disciples together and said, “I feel sorry for the crowds because they’ve been continuing with me for three days now and haven’t had anything to eat. I don’t want to send them away without eating, or they might faint on their way.” 33The disciples said, “But where in the desert would we get enough bread to feed such a big crowd?” 34Jesus said, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few little fish.” 35He instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36Taking the seven loaves and the fish and giving thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37And they all ate and had their fill. From what was left of the pieces, they took up seven full baskets, 38even though those who had eaten were four thousand men, plus children and women. 39After he dismissed the crowd, he boarded a boat and went to the coast of Magedan.

Matthew 16 1Pharisees and Sadducees came to him to test him; they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2But he answered them, “When it’s evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, since the sky is red,’ 3and in the morning, ‘Today there will be a storm, since the sky is getting red and menacing.’ So you know then how to read the face of the sky, but can’t you tell the signs of the times? 4A wicked and adulterous generation searches for a sign, but no sign will be given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonah.” He left them and went away.

5When his disciples had come across the sea, they had forgotten to bring bread along. 6He said to them, “Pay attention and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7But they were thinking to themselves, “It’s because we haven’t brought any bread.” 8Knowing this, Jesus said, “Why are you thinking to yourselves that it’s because you have no bread, you with your scanty faith? 9Don’t you understand yet, or don’t you remember—the five loaves among five thousand men and how many baskets you took up, 10or the seven loaves among four thousand men and how many baskets you took up? 11Why don’t you understand that it wasn’t about bread that I said to you, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?'” 12Then they understood that he wasn’t saying they should beware of bread leaven but of the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ teachings.

13Jesus came into the area of Cesarea Philippi, and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of man is?” 14They said, “Some say John the Baptist, but some others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15Jesus said to them, “But who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied to him, “You are blessed, Simon Bar-Jona, because flesh and blood hasn’t revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the doors of the underworld will not withstand it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you restrict on earth will be restricted in heaven too; and whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven too.” 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was Jesus the Christ. 21From that time on Jesus began to show his disciples that he had go to Jerusalem, suffer many things from the elders, scribes, and chief priests, and be killed but rise up on the third day. 22Taking him, Peter began to rebuke him; he said, “Lord, may this be far removed from you; this won’t happen to you.” 23Turning to Peter he said, “Go behind me, Satan; you are an obstacle to me because you aren’t understanding God’s things, just human things.” 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25Yes, whoever is wanting to make his life safe will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26Indeed, what good does it do someone if he gains the whole world but allows his own soul to be lost? What then will a person trade in for that soul? 27The Son of man truly will come in his Father’s glory with his angels; then he’ll pay each one back, corresponding to his deeds. 28Yes, I tell you, some of those standing here won’t taste death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom…”

Matthew 17 1After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and (his brother) John, and led those men separately up a high mountain. 2And he was transformed in their presence. His face shined like the sun, and his clothes became white like snow. 3And Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with him. 4Reacting, Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here; if you like, let us make three tabernacles here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5As he was still talking, a bright cloud overshadowed them and out of the cloud a voice said, “This is my dear Son, in whom I am very pleased; listen to him.” 6Hearing this, the disciples fell facedown and were very afraid. 7Jesus came, touched them, and said, “Get up and don’t be afraid.” 8Then as they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus. 9As they came down from the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell the vision to anyone till the Son of man has risen from the dead.” 10His disciples asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?” 11He answered, “True, Elijah will come and restore everything. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they didn’t know him but did whatever they wanted to him. The Son of man will suffer from them like that too.” 13Then the disciples understood that he had been talking to them about John the Baptist.

14When Jesus had come to a crowd, a man came to him, dropped to his knees in front of him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son—he’s crazy and suffers a great deal, because he often falls into fire and often into the water. 15I brought him to your disciples but they couldn’t cure him.” 16Then Jesus responded, “Unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 17And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it went out of the child, and he was cured at that same hour. 18Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 19Jesus said to them, “Because of your disbelief. Yes, in fact I tell you, if you have faith like a single mustard seed, you’ll say to this mountain, ‘Move from here over to there,’ and it will move over; and nothing will be impossible for you. 20But this kind isn’t driven out except by prayer and fasting.”

21While they were staying together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of man will be betrayed into the hands of people, 22and they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise up.” And they were very troubled. 23When they got to Capharnaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the two-drachma?” 24He said, “Yes.” Once he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him and said, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive taxes or gifts—from their own children or from strangers?” 25He said, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the children are free. 26But in order not to cause them any offense, go to the sea, drop a hook in, and take the first fish that comes up. Once you’ve opened its mouth, you’ll find a two-drachma piece; take that, and give it to them for me and for you.”

Matthew 18 1At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who do you think is greater in the kingdom of heaven?” 2Calling a little child to him, Jesus set him among them 3and said, “No, I tell you, unless you’re converted and become like little children, you won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. 4So, whoever humbles himself like this little child is greater in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever receives in my name a little child like this one receives me. 6But it would be better for whoever harms one of these little ones that believe in me, for a millstone to be hung around his neck and for him to be drowned deep in the sea. 7What a shame for the world because of temptations. Yes, even though temptations have to come, what a shame for anyone the temptation comes from. 8Indeed, if your hand or your foot causes you temptation, cut it off and throw it away from you. It’s better for you to go into life maimed or lame than to be thrown into everlasting fire with two hands or two feet. 9If your eye causes you temptation, pull it out and throw it away from you. It’s better for you to enter life with one eye, than to be thrown into hell fire with two. 10See that you don’t despise one of these little ones because, I tell you, their angels in heaven are always viewing the face of my Father in heaven.

11“You see, the Son of man has come to save what had been lost. 12How does it seem to you? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them strays, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the mountains, and go after the one that has strayed? 13And if he happens to find it, yes, I tell you, he rejoices more over that one than over the ninety-nine that didn’t stray. 14Just so, it isn’t the will of your Father in heaven that any one of these little ones be lost. 15Indeed, if your brother sins against you, go, and rebuke him, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you’ll gain your brother. 16But if he won’t listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that every word can be preserved—in the mouths of two or three witnesses. 17But if he won’t listen to them, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, however, let him be like a Gentile and a taxman to you. 18Yes, I tell you, whatever you restrict on earth will be restricted in heaven too, and whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven too. 19Also, I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything at all that you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20You see, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

21Then Peter came up to him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I should still forgive him—as many as seven times? 22Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you seven times, but seventy times seven times. 23So, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to make an accounting of his subjects. 24When he had begun to make the accounting, one who owed him hundreds of thousands of dollars was brought to him. 25Since he didn’t have any way to pay it, though, his lord ordered that he, his wife, his children, and all he had be sold and payment be made. 26But falling down, that subject begged him, ‘Have patience with me and I’ll pay you all of it.’ 27Moved with pity now, the lord of that subject let him go and forgave him the debt. 28However, when that subject had gone out, he found one of his fellow subjects who owed him a few months’ wages, grabbed hold of him, was choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29Falling down, his fellow subject was begging him, ‘Have patience with me and I’ll pay you all of it.’ 30But he refused and went and threw him in prison, for as long as he would be paying off the debt. 31Now when his fellow subjects saw what was happening, they were very grief-stricken and came and told their lord everything that had happened. 32Then his lord called him and said, ‘You wicked subject, I forgave you all your debt because you begged me. 33Then shouldn’t you have had compassion on your fellow subject, the same way I had compassion on you?’ 34And in anger his lord delivered him to the torturers for as long as he would be paying off the whole debt. 35My heavenly Father will do this to you too, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your heart.”

Matthew 19 1After Jesus completed these talks, he moved on from Galilee and came to the edge of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3Some Pharisees came to him and tested him, saying, “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4Answering, he told them, “Haven’t you read that the one who made mankind from the beginning made them male and female? And he said, 5‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will cling to his wife, and the two of them will be in one flesh.’ 6So now they aren’t two, but one flesh. Therefore, no one should divide what God has joined together.” 7They said to him, “Then why did Moses commit to giving a bill of divorce and divorcing?” 8He said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts, but from the beginning it wasn’t that way. 9I, however, am telling you that whoever divorces his wife (unless it’s due to fornication) and marries another commits adultery; and anyone who marries her (who was divorced) commits adultery.” 10His disciples said to him, “If this is a man’s situation in connection with a wife, there’s no advantage in marrying.” 11He said to them, “Not everyone, only those it’s given to, understand this saying: 12there are eunuchs born that way out of their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs made that way by men; and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can understand it should understand.” 13Then little children were presented to him, for him to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples rebuked them. 14Jesus told them, “Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me, because the kingdom of heaven is for such ones.” 15After he laid his hands on them, he went away from there.

16Now a man came and said to him, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do to have everlasting life?” 17He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? One is good—God. But if you want to advance into life, keep the commandments.” 18He said, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false witness, 19honor your father and your mother, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20The young man said to him, “I’ve kept all these from my childhood. What is still missing for me?” 21Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, give to the poor (you’ll have treasure in heaven), and come, follow me.” 22Once the young man heard this, though, he went away sad, because he had many possessions. 23Then Jesus told his disciples, “No, I tell you, a rich person won’t easily enter the kingdom of heaven. 24In fact, I tell you, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.” 25When they heard this, the disciples were quite amazed and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26Pausing, Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God everything is possible.” 27Then Peter responded to him, “Here, we’ve left everything and followed you. So, what will there be for us?” 28Jesus said to them, “Yes, I tell you, in the regeneration, when the Son of man sits on his majestic seat, you who have followed me will also sit—on twelve seats, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left his house, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or lands for my name will receive a hundred times as many and will possess everlasting life. 30Many who are first will be last but many who are last will be first.

Matthew 20 1“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2After agreeing with the workers for the usual wage for a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3About the third hour he went and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. 4He said, ‘You, go to my vineyard too, and I’ll give you what will be fair.’ 5They went too. And about the sixth and the ninth hours he went out and did likewise. 6Even around the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ 7They said, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said, ‘Go to my vineyard too.’ 8When evening came, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last ones and on to the first.’ 9When those who had come about the eleventh hour came, each one received a full day’s wage. 10Now when the first ones came, they thought that they would receive more; but they also received a day’s wage per person. 11So after receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, 12saying, ‘These last ones have only worked one hour, but you’ve made them equal to us who carried the bulk of the day and the heat.’ 13But he said in answer to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m not doing you any wrong; didn’t you agree with me for a day’s wage? 14Take what is yours and leave. Still, I do want to give to this last one the same way I do to you. 15(Or is it illegal for me to do what I want?) Is your eye bad because I’m good?’ 16So the last will be first and the first last. Yes, many are called, but few are chosen.”

17While going up to Jerusalem, Jesus took the twelve disciples aside and said, 18“Here now, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they’ll sentence him to death 19and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, whipped, and crucified, but on the third day he will rise up.” 20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to him with her sons, pleading and asking him for something. 21He said to her, “What do you want?” She said, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit in your kingdom—one on your right and the other on your left.” 22Jesus replied, however, “You don’t know what you’re asking for. Can you two drink the cup that I’m going to drink?” They said, “We can.” 23He said, “All right, you will drink my cup, but to sit on my right or left is not mine to give you; it is for those that it was prepared for by my Father.” 24When the ten heard of this, they resented the two brothers. 25But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the leaders of the Gentiles dominate them, and the greater ones practice their power on them. 26It won’t be that way among you; instead, whoever wants to be a greater one among you should be your assistant. 27But one who wants to be first among you will be your slave, 28the same way the Son of man didn’t come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

29As they went out from Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Now two blind men sitting on the side of the road heard that Jesus was passing by, and they cried out, “O Lord, you son of David, have mercy on us.” 31The crowd was chiding them to keep quiet. But they cried out even more, “O Lord, you son of David, have mercy on us.” 32Jesus stood still, called them, and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33They said, “Lord, that our eyes be opened.” 34In pity for them, Jesus touched their eyes, and they saw right away, and followed him.

Matthew 21 1As they approached Jerusalem and got to Bethphage near Mount Olivet, Jesus sent two disciples, 2telling them, “Go into the village across from you, and immediately you’ll find a donkey tied up and her colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them; and he’ll let them go right away.” 4(Now this was all done, since what was said by the prophet was to be fulfilled: 5“Tell Sion’s daughter, ‘Look here, your king is coming to you, meek and sitting on a donkey and on a colt, the son of her who is used to the yoke.'”) 6The disciples went and did as Jesus told them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and had him sit on them. 8A very large crowd spread their clothes on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and were spreading them on the road. 9The crowds that were going ahead and that were following cried out, “Hosanna to David’s son; he who comes in the Lord’s name is blessed; hosanna in highest heaven!” 10Once he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11The people said, “This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” 12Jesus went into God’s temple and was expelling all who sold and bought in the temple and overturned the money changers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 13He said to them, “It was written down, ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer,’ but you’ve made it a bandits’ cave.” 14The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and scribes saw the astonishing things he did and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the son of David,” they were indignant 16and said to him, “Do you hear what they’re saying?” Jesus said, “Yes, didn’t you ever read, ‘You have perfected praise out of the mouth of toddlers and babies’?”

17Jesus left them, went out of the city to Bethania, and stayed there. 18When he was returning to the city in the morning, he was hungry. 19Noticing a certain fig tree beside the road, he came over to it and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, “May no fruit grow on you from now on forever.” Right away the fig tree shriveled up. 20Seeing that, the disciples were amazed and said, “How did it dry up so quickly?” 21Jesus answered them, “Yes, I tell you, if you have faith and don’t hold back, not only will you do this fig tree sort of thing, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Rise up and throw yourself into the sea,’ it will happen. 22When you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.”

23Once he came into the temple, the chief priests and people’s elders came to him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus answered, “I will also ask you something, and if you answer me, then I’ll tell you the authority I do these things by. 25Where was the baptism of John from—from heaven or from people?” They thought among themselves, 26“If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From people,’ we’re afraid of the crowd” (since everyone considered John a prophet). 27So in answer to Jesus, they said, “We don’t know.” So he said, “Neither am I telling you what authority I’m doing these things by. 28But how does it seem to you? A man had two sons, and coming to the first, he said, ‘Son, go work in my vineyard today.’ 29But he answered, ‘I refuse.’ Afterwards, though, moved with regret, he went. 30Coming to the other too, he said the same thing. This one answered, ‘I’m going, Sir,’ but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the father’s will?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Yes, I tell you, the tax men and prostitutes will go into the kingdom of God before you, 32because John came to you on the path of justice, and you didn’t believe him, whereas the tax men and the prostitutes believed him, but even after you saw that you didn’t have any regret, so as to believe him. 33Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, made a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it all out to farmers, and went abroad. 34When the grapes were about ripe, he sent his servants to the farmers to get the grapes. 35But grabbing his servants, the farmers beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36So he sent additional servants, more than before, and they did the same to them. 37Last of all then, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will honor my son.’ 38But when the farmers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let’s kill him, and then we’ll have his inheritance.’ 39Taking hold of him, they put him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40So now, when the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?” 41They said, “He’ll bring those bad men to a bad end and lease his vineyard out to other farmers, who’ll hand the fruit over to him when it’s time.” 42Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has been made into the head of the corner; this has been done by the Lord, and it’s wonderful to see’? 43I’m telling you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44And whoever falls on this stone will be broken, but it will grind anyone it falls on into powder.” 45When the chief priests and Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he was talking about them. 46Though wanting to get hold of him, they were afraid of the crowds since they considered him a prophet.

Matthew 22 1Answering them back some more, Jesus spoke by parable again: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who arranged a marriage for his son. 3And he sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding, but they wouldn’t come. 4So he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who were invited, “See here, I’ve prepared my dinner; my bulls and lambs have been killed, and everything is ready; come to the wedding.”‘ 5But they were indifferent and went off, one to his farm and another to his business. 6And the rest took hold of his servants and, after treating them rudely, killed them. 7When the king heard of this, he was angry and sent his armies, who destroyed those murderers and burned their city down. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is all ready, but those invited were unworthy. 9So go out to the end of the roads, and call as many as you find there to the wedding.’ 10His servants went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both bad and good; and the wedding was filled with guests. 11Then the king went in to see the guests, and he saw a man there who wasn’t dressed in wedding clothes. 12He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ The man grew quiet. 13Then the king said to the waiters, ‘Tie his hands and feet and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth there.’ 14Yes, many are called but few are chosen.”

15The Pharisees left then, and conferred on how to go about trapping him in his statements. 16They sent their disciples with some Herodians to him, who said, “Teacher, we know that you are truthful, teach God’s way with integrity, and aren’t concerned specially for anyone, since you don’t regard the status of people. 17So tell us how it seems to you—is it legal to pay tax to Caesar or not?” 18Knowing their bad will, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you actors? 19Show me the tax coin.” They showed him the coin. 20Jesus said, “Whose image and title is this?” 21They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he told them, “So give Caesar back the things that are Caesar’s and give God back the things that are God’s.” 22When they heard this, they were astonished; then they left him and went away.

23That same day Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came and questioned him: 24“Teacher, Moses said if a man dies without a son, his brother should marry his wife to encourage some offspring for his brother. 25Now among us there were seven brothers. The first died after marrying a wife and, since he had no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26It was the same way for the second and third and so on through the seventh. 27Last of all the woman died too. 28So at the resurrection, she’ll be the wife of which of the seven, since they all had her?” 29In reply Jesus said, “You’re wrong because you don’t know the scriptures or God’s power. 30You see, in the resurrection people won’t marry or be married, but will be like God’s angels in heaven are. 31And as for the resurrection of the dead, haven’t you read what God said to you: 32‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He isn’t the God of the dead but of the living.” 33When the crowds heard this, they marveled at his teaching.

34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they got together. 35To test him, one of them, a law expert, asked him, 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest one?” 37Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. 38This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39But the second is like it—you shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” 41Since the Pharisees were assembled, Jesus asked them, 42“How does it seem to you about Christ? Whose son is he?” They said, “David’s.” 43He said, “Then how does David in the Spirit call him Lord when he said, 44‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right, until I make your enemies be your footstool’? 45So if David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46No one was able to answer him a single word. And from that day on no one attempted to ask him any more questions.

Matthew 23 1Then Jesus told the crowds and his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees have sat down on Moses’ chair. 3So observe and do whatever they tell you; but don’t imitate their deeds, because they say but don’t do. 4No, they pack up heavy, unsupportable burdens and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they won’t move them along with one of their own fingers. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by people. For instance, they make their phylacteries wide and enlarge their fringes. 6And they love the prominent places at feasts, the front chairs in synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplace, and to be called Rabbi by anyone. 8But don’t you be called Rabbi, because your teacher is one, and you are all brothers. 9And call no one on earth your father, because your father is singular and is in heaven. 10And don’t be called teachers, because your teacher is singular—the Christ. 11The one of you who is greater will be your servant. 12Whoever lifts himself up will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be lifted up.

13“But what a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, actors, because you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces, because you don’t go in yourselves, and you don’t allow those who are going in to do so. 14What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, actors, because you eat up widows’ houses while praying long prayers. For this you will get more judgment. 15What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, actors, because you course sea and land to make one convert, and when made, you make him twice the child of hell as yourselves. 16What a shame for you blind leaders, who say, ‘It’s pointless for anyone to swear by the temple, but if he swears by the temple’s gold, he’s obliged.’ 17You foolish and blind, what really is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold holy? 18And, ‘It’s no good for anyone to swear by the altar, but if he swears by the gift on it, he’s obliged.’ 19You blind ones, what really is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift holy? 20So anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who inhabits it. 22And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by the one who sits on it. 23What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, actors, who tithe mint, anise, and cumin but have abandoned the more serious things of the law: discernment and mercy and faith. You should have done these things without giving the others up. 24Blind guides, who strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. 25What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you clean up what is outside the cup and the dish, but inside you’re full of robbery and filthiness. 26You blind Pharisee, first clean up what is inside the cup and the dish, so that the outside can be made clean. 27What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you’re like whitewashed tombs that seem beautiful to people from the outside but are full of the bones of the dead and all sorts of filth on the inside. 28Just so, to people you seem from the outside to be upright but are full of pretense and injustice inside. 29What a shame for you scribes and Pharisees, actors, who build the prophets’ tombs and decorate the gravestones of the just 30and say, ‘If we had been around in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have been their accomplices in the prophets’ blood.’ 31So you see, you are evidence against yourselves that you’re the sons of those who killed the prophets. 32So now, live up to the standard of your fathers. 33You snakes, vipers’ offspring, how will you avoid being sentenced to hell? 34Therefore I’m sending prophets, wise men, and scribes to you. You will kill and crucify some of them, and you’ll whip some in your synagogues and persecute them from city to city, 35so that all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth can come upon you—from the blood of Abel-the-just all the way to the blood of Zacharias (Barachias’ son), whom you killed between the temple and the altar. 36Yes, I tell you, all this blood will come on this generation. 37Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I’ve wanted to gather your children—the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings—and you would not! 38Now your house is going to be left abandoned for you, 39since, I tell you, you won’t see me anymore till you say, ‘He who comes in the Lord’s name is blessed.'”

Matthew 24 1After Jesus stepped out of the temple, he was going on, and his disciples came to point out the temple’s buildings to him. 2But he responded to them, “Do you see all these? No, I tell you, there will remain here no stone above another one that doesn’t get pulled down.” 3While he was sitting on Mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us when this will be and what sign there will be of your coming and of the completion of the world.” 4Jesus answered, “See that no one misleads you, 5because many will come in my name saying, ‘I am Christ’; and they’ll mislead many. 6Yes, you’ll hear of conflicts and reports of conflicts. See that you not be disturbed, because these things have to happen, but the end is not yet. 7No, one nation will rise up against another and one kingdom against another, and in places there will be plagues, famines, and earthquakes, 8but all those are the beginnings of sorrows. 9Then they will deliver you into trouble and kill you; and you’ll be detestable to all nations because of my name. 10And then many will take offense and will betray and hate each other. 11Many false prophets will arise and mislead many. 12And because injustice will have flourished, the love of many will cool down. 13But whoever persists all the way to the end will be safe. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a witness to all nations, and then the completion will come. 15Well then, when you see the singular horror (mentioned by the prophet Daniel) standing in the holy place (anyone reading may understand), 16then those in Judea should escape to the mountains. 17And anyone on a housetop shouldn’t come down to take anything out of his house. 18Anyone in a field shouldn’t turn around to pick up his coat. 19What a shame, though, for those who are pregnant or nursing in those days. 20But pray that your running away won’t be in the winter or on the sabbath, 21because then there will be great distress unlike any from the beginning of the world to that time or any that will be. 22And unless those days had been shortened, nobody would be made safe, but for the sake of the chosen ones those days will be shortened. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘See, here is Christ’ or ‘there’, don’t believe it. 24Yes, false Christs and false prophets will arise and will produce great signs and omens, to such an extent as to lead even the chosen ones into error (if it were possible). 25Notice, I have told you this beforehand. 26So if they tell you, ‘See, he’s in the desert,’ don’t go out, or ‘See, he’s in the inner sanctuary,’ don’t believe it, 27because the coming of the Son of man will be like lightning that comes out of the east but shows up all the way into the west. 28Wherever the body is, the eagles will be gathered too. 29But right after those days of trouble, the sun will be darkened, the moon won’t give its light, stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shifted. 30Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and then all earthly tribes will mourn. They will see the Son of man coming in heaven’s clouds with great power and grandeur. 31And he will send his angels with a trumpet and a loud voice, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds, from the highest of heavens to the farthest limits of them. 32Now, learn a parable from the fig tree. When its branch is newly tender and its leaves have sprouted, you know that summer is near. 33So too, when you see all these things, know that it’s near, right at the doors. 34No, I tell you, that generation won’t pass by till all this happens. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass on. 36But no one knows that day and hour—not the angels of heaven, only the Father. 37Also, the coming of the Son of man will be like Noah’s time: 38in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah went into the ark, 39and they didn’t realize till the flood came and took them all away. The coming of the Son of man will be like that. 40Two people will be in a field; one will be taken up and one will be left behind. 41Two women will be grinding at a mill; one will be taken up and one will be left behind. 42So watch, because you don’t know at what time your Lord will come. 43But know this: if the head of a household knew what time the thief would come, he would certainly watch and not allow his house to be broken into. 44So you be ready too, because you don’t know when the Son of man will come. 45Who do you think is a faithful and prudent servant, whom his lord has appointed over his family, to give them their food promptly? 46The servant that his lord will find doing so when he comes is blessed, 47because, I tell you, he will place him over all his goods. 48But if an evil servant says in his heart, ‘My lord is delayed in coming,’ 49and starts to beat his fellow servants while eating and drinking with drunkards, 50that servant’s lord will come on a day that he isn’t expecting and at an hour that he doesn’t know, 51and will separate him and put his lot with the hypocrites. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth there.

Matthew 25 1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom and the bride. 2Five of them were foolish, however, and five were prudent. 3The five foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t take oil along. 4The prudent ones took oil in their jars, along with their lamps. 5When the groom delayed, they all dozed off and fell asleep. 6But in the middle of the night a cry went up, ‘Here now, the groom is coming, go out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins got up and prepared their lamps. 8But the foolish ones said to the prudent ones, ‘Give us some of your oil because our lamps have gone out.’ 9The prudent ones answered, ‘Instead, go to the sellers and buy some for yourselves, or else there might not be enough for us and you.’ 10Now while they went to buy, the groom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding, and the door was shut. 11At last the other virgins came too and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open up for us.’ 12But he answered, ‘No, I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13So watch, because you don’t know the day or the hour.

14“Yes, it’s just like a man going abroad. He called his servants and handed his goods over to them. 15He gave five knapsack loads of silver to one, only two to another, and just one to another—corresponding to each one’s particular ability; and he set out right away. 16Now the one who had received the five loads went, traded with that, and gained five more. 17Likewise the one who had received two gained two more. 18But the one who had received one went, dug in the ground, and buried his lord’s money. 19After a long time the lord of those servants came and made an accounting with them. 20When the one who had received the five loads came, he brought five more loads and said, ‘Lord, you handed me five loads; here, I’ve gained an additional five.’ 21His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Because you’ve been faithful over a few things, I will place you over many things; enter into your lord’s joy.’ 22Also, the one who had received the two loads came and said, ‘Lord, you handed me two loads; here, I’ve gained two more.’ 23His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! Because you’ve been faithful over a few things, I will place you over many things; enter into your lord’s joy.’ 24But the one who had received the one load came and said, ‘Lord, I know that you’re a hard man; you harvest where you haven’t planted and gather where you haven’t scattered. 25And I was afraid and went and buried your load in the ground; see, here you have what is yours.’ 26His lord answered him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! You were aware that I harvest where I don’t plant and gather where I haven’t scattered. 27So you should have entrusted my money to bankers, and when I came I would have received what is mine along with interest. 28So, take the load away from this one and give it to the one who has ten loads. 29Yes, more will be given to everyone who has, and he’ll be rich. But even what someone who is lacking seems to have will be taken away from him. 30Throw the useless servant into the darkness outside. There will be weeping and grinding of teeth there.’

31“When the Son of man comes in his grandeur with all the angels, then he will sit on his seat of majesty. 32All nations will be gathered before him, and he’ll separate them from each other, the same way a shepherd separates sheep from the goats. 33And he’ll set the sheep on his right but the goats on his left. 34Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘You, blessed by my Father, come, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35You see, I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you took me in, 36naked and you covered me, sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the good will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you, a stranger, and take you in, or you, naked, and cover you? 39Or when did we see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ 40The king will answer them, ‘Yes, I tell you, in doing it to one of these littlest brothers of mine, you did it to me.’ 41Then he’ll say to those on his left, ‘You cursed, get away from me into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. 42You see, I was hungry and you didn’t give me anything to eat; I was thirsty and you didn’t give me anything to drink. 43I was a stranger and you didn’t take me in, naked and you didn’t cover me, sick and in prison and you didn’t visit me.’ 44Then they too will respond to him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and didn’t tend to you?’ 45And he’ll answer them, ‘No, I tell you, in not doing it to one of these littler ones, you didn’t do it to me either.’ 46And those will go into everlasting punishment, but the good into everlasting life.”

Matthew 26 1When Jesus had finished this speech, he said to his disciples, 2“You know that the Passover will be in two days, and the Son of man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3Then the chief priests and people’s elders were gathered at the court of the high priest, whose name was Caiphas. 4They consulted in order to get hold of Jesus by cleverness and kill him. 5But they said, “Not on the holiday, in case there might be a disturbance among the people.”

6When Jesus was in Bethania in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman with a box of expensive ointment came to him and poured it on his head as he lay back. 8When they saw this, the disciples were indignant and said, “What is the point of this waste? 9After all, this could have been sold for a great amount to give to the poor.” 10Jesus understood and said to them, “Why have you bothered this woman? You see, she has devoted a good deed to me. 11You always have poor people with you, but you don’t always have me. 12You see, she poured this ointment on my body for my burial. 13Yes, I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she’s done will also be told in memory of her.” 14Then one of the twelve named Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests 15and said to them, “What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” And they arranged thirty pieces of silver for him. 16From then on he looked for an opportunity to betray him.

17On the first day of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18Jesus said, “Go into the city to this person and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My time is close; I and my disciples are celebrating the Passover with you.”‘” 19The disciples did as Jesus had arranged for them, and they prepared the Passover. 20When it was evening, he reclined with his twelve disciples. 21While they were eating, he said, “Yes, I tell you, one of you is about to betray me.” 22Very saddened, they each began to say, “Is it I, Lord?” 23He answered, “The one who dips his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24The Son of man does go on as it was written down about him, but what a shame for the man by whom the Son of man will be betrayed; it would be better for that man if he hadn’t been born.” 25Judas (who would betray him) responded, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” 26However, while they were at supper, Jesus took bread and blessed and broke it, gave to his disciples, and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.” 27And taking the cup, he gave thanks and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from this, all of you, 28because this is my blood of the new testament, that will be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, though, I won’t drink any of this fruit of the vine from now until the day I drink it new in the my Father’s kingdom with you.” 30After a hymn, they went out to Mount Olivet. 31Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight you will all suffer shame over me, since it was written down, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I have risen up, I’ll go ahead of you to Galilee.” 33Peter responded, “Although everyone else will be ashamed over you, I will never be ashamed.” 34Jesus said to him, “No, I tell you, tonight before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35Peter said to him, “I won’t deny you even though I might die with you.” And all the disciples talked the same way.

36Then Jesus came with them to the grounds called Gethsemani, and he said to his disciples, “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.” 37Taking Peter and Zebedee’s two sons with him, he began to grow sorrowful and be afflicted. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is in deadly sorrow; hold out here and watch with me.” 39Going a little further, he fell facedown, praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass on from me; still, not as I’m wanting but as you are.” 40He came to his disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So! Couldn’t you watch with me for one hour? 41Watch, and pray not to enter temptation. The spirit is certainly eager but the body is weak.” 42He went a second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cup isn’t able to pass on unless I drink it, let your will be done.” 43He came back again and found them sleeping; yes, their eyes were weighed down. 44Leaving them, he went again; and he prayed for the third time, saying the same thing. 45Then he came to his disciples and said to them, “Sleep just now and take your rest… Here now, the hour has arrived, and the Son of man will be betrayed into sinners’ hands. 46Get up, let’s go. See, the one who will betray me has arrived.”

47As he was still speaking, Judas (one of the twelve) came, and with him a large crowd with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the people’s elders. 48The one who betrayed him gave them a signal, saying, “The one I kiss is the one; hold onto him.” 49Coming right to Jesus, he said, “Hello, Rabbi,” and kissed him. 50Jesus said to him, “Friend, what have you come for?” Then they came up, threw hands on Jesus, and kept hold of him. 51Now one of those with Jesus reached out, drew his sword, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his ear. 52Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place, because everyone who takes up the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I can’t ask my Father, and he would quickly supply me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled, that it should be done this way?” 55At the same time Jesus said to the crowd, “You’ve come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as if after a bandit. I was sitting with you every day teaching in the temple, and you didn’t grab me.” 56(But all this happened in fulfillment of the scriptures of the prophets.) Then the disciples all abandoned him and ran away.

57But those holding Jesus led him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and elders had assembled. 58Peter was following him at a distance, even into the high priest’s court. He went in and was sitting with the servants, to see the end. 59The chief priests and the whole council were looking for false witness against Jesus, so as to put him to death. 60But they didn’t find this (though many mistaken witnesses had come forward). Last of all two false witnesses came 61and said, “This man said, ‘I can destroy God’s temple and rebuild it after three days.'” 62Getting up, the high priest said to him, “Don’t you have any response to the things that these men are testifying against you?” 63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you by the living God to tell us if you are Christ, the Son of God.” 64Jesus said to him, “You have said it. But I say to you: in the future you will see the Son of man sitting on the right of God’s power and coming in the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has blasphemed; what further need of witnesses do we have? There, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66What seems right?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67Then they spit in his face and threw their fists into him, while others slapped him in the face, 68saying, “Prophesy for us, O Christ: which one slapped you?”

69But Peter was sitting outside in the court, and a servant girl came over to him and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70But he denied it in front of all of them, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 71As he was going out the gate, another girl saw him, and she said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72With an oath he again denied it: “I don’t know the man.” 73After a little while those who stood by came and said to Peter, “Surely you’re one of them, because even your way of talking is revealing you.” 74Then he began to curse and to swear that he didn’t know the man. Right away a rooster crowed. 75And Peter remembered the thing Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27 1Once it was morning, all the chief priests and the people’s elders went into counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2They brought him, tied up, and handed him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor. 3When Judas (who had betrayed him) saw that he had been condemned, he repented, brought the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests and elders, 4and said, “I have sinned by betraying righteous blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5Throwing the silver pieces down in the temple, he left and went and hanged himself with a noose. 6Picking up the silver pieces, the chief priests said, “It’s illegal to put them into the treasury because they’re blood’s wages.” 7After they had consulted together, they bought a potter’s field with them, to be a foreigners’ graveyard. 8Because of this, the field has been called (even to the present) Haceldama, that is, Field of Blood. 9(Then what the prophet Jeremiah said was fulfilled: “They took thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one who was bought, whom they bought from the children of Israel, 10and they paid for a potter’s field with them, just as the Lord arranged for me.”)

11Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You are saying it.” 12While he was being accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how much evidence they’re asserting against you?” 14But his response to him was no word at all, so that the governor was quite astonished. 15Now on this festive day the governor was in the habit of releasing one prisoner to the people—anyone they wanted. 16At that time he had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17Since the people were gathered, Pilate said, “Whom do you want me to release to you—Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18(He did know that they had handed him over out of jealousy.) 19While he was sitting in the judgment seat, his wife sent this word to him: “Have nothing to do with that just man, because I’ve suffered many things because of him today through a vision.” 20The chief priests and elders persuaded the people to ask for Barabbas and do away with Jesus. 21The governor repeated to them, “Which of the two do you want released to you?” They said, “Barabbas.” 22Pilate said, “Then what shall I do about Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23The governor said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.” 24Seeing that he was making no progress, but that a major disturbance was coming about instead, Pilate took some water, washed his hands in front of the people, and said, “I am innocent of this just man’s blood. See to it yourselves.” 25The whole people replied, “Let his blood be on us and our children.” 26Then he released Barabbas to them, and after having Jesus whipped, handed him over to them to be crucified. 27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the hall and gathered their whole band around him. 28After stripping him, they wrapped a scarlet cape around him. 29And when they had woven a crown out of thorns, they put it on his head and put a rod in his right hand. Kneeling to him, they were mocking him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews.” 30Spitting on him, they took the rod and were hitting his head. 31After they had mocked him, they took the cape off him, put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32As they left, they found a man from Cyrene named Simon. They forced him to take up Jesus’ cross. 33They came to the place called Golgotha, which is Calvary’s place. 34They gave him some wine mixed with gall to drink, but once he had tasted it, he wouldn’t drink it. 35After they crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots (since what was said by the prophet was to be fulfilled: “They divided up my clothes among them and cast lots over my clothing”). 36And they sat down and were watching him. 37They put his case in writing above his head: “THIS IS JESUS, THE JEW’S KING.” 38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39Those who passed by blasphemed him as they shook their heads 40and said, “Hah, you who destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself. If you’re God’s Son, come down from the cross.” 41In a similar way the chief priests with the scribes and elders also mocked and were saying, 42“He saved others; he can’t save himself. If he is the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we’ll believe in him. 43He trusted in God. Let him deliver him now if he wants him; after all, he said, ‘I am God’s Son.'” 44The robbers who were crucified with him were also insulting him the same way. 45Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over the whole land. 46Around the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani,” that is, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?” 47Some standing there and hearing this were saying, “He’s calling Elijah.” 48One of them ran right away, took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, put it on a rod, and offered it to him to drink. 49Others were saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah will come to set him free.” 50Crying out in a loud voice again, Jesus let go of his spirit.

51The temple’s veil was torn in two, from top to bottom, and the earth shook, and rocks were split. 52And graves were opened, and the bodies of many saints who were sleeping rose up. 53(After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and into the holy city and appeared to many people.) 54But when the centurion and those with him who were watching Jesus, had observed the earthquake and other things that happened, they were terrified and said, “This really was the Son of God.” 55Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, tending to him, were there at a distance. 56Among them were Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. 57A rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus, came when it was evening, 58went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. Then Pilate ordered that the body be handed over. 59Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth 60and laid it in his own new tomb, that he had carved out in rock. He rolled a large stone against the opening of the tomb and went away. 61Mary Magdalen and the other Mary were there, sitting across from the tomb.

62The next day (the one after the day of preparation) the chief priests and Pharisees came to Pilate together 63and said, “Lord, we’ve remembered that, while he was still alive, that seducer said, ‘After three days I will rise up.’ 64So, order the tomb to be guarded until the third day, or else his disciples might come and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He rose from the dead,’ and the last delusion would be worse than the first.” 65Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go, guard it as you know how.” 66Going away then, they sealed the tomb’s stone and secured the tomb with guards.

Matthew 28 1After the sabbath was over, when it began to get light on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2And there was a great earthquake because the Lord’s angel came down from heaven, rolled the stone back, and was sitting on it. 3His appearance was like lightning and his clothing like snow. 4In fear of him, the guards were terrified and became like dead men. 5Anticipating the women, the angel said to them, “Don’t you be afraid; yes, I know that you’re looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, because he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid. 7But go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen and that he will go ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Here I’ve told it to you beforehand.” 8They went out of the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, running to declare it to his disciples. 9But Jesus met them and said, “Hello!” They came up, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus told them, “Don’t be afraid. Go, tell my brothers to go to Galilee. They will see me there.”

11After the women left, some of the guards came into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. 12After these priests got together with the elders and consulted, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13saying, “Say that his disciples came in the night and stole him while you were asleep. 14If the governor hears about this, though, we’ll persuade him and make you safe.” 15So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this notion was publicized among the Jews, even to the present. 16But the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17Once they saw him, they worshiped him; but some were in doubt. 18Coming to them, Jesus told them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19So go, teach all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to hold to everything I’ve entrusted to you. And see, I am with you every day, all the way to the completion of the world.”

The Gospel According to Saint Mark

Mark 1 1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, God’s Son. 2As was written in Isaiah the prophet, “There, ahead of your appearance I am sending my messenger, who will prepare your road ahead of you, 3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the Lord’s road, make his paths straight.'” 4John was in the desert baptizing and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5Every region of Judea was going out to him, as well as all Jerusalem, and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6John dressed in camel hair, a leather belt was around his waist, and he would eat locusts and wild honey. 7He was announcing, “Someone stronger than I is coming after me. I’m not worthy to stoop down and loosen his shoes. 8I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10Right when he came up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened up and the Spirit descending like a dove and remaining on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, “You are my dear Son; I am very pleased with you.” 12Then the Spirit drove him out into the desert. 13He was in the desert for forty days and forty nights and was being tempted by Satan. He was even with wild animals, but angels were taking care of him. 14However, after John had been surrendered, Jesus came into Galilee, announcing the gospel of God’s kingdom 15and saying, “Now that the time has been completed and God’s kingdom has come near, repent, and believe the good news.” 16Going along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, throwing nets into the sea (since they were fishermen). 17Jesus said to them, “Come after me and I will make you fishermen of people.” 18They left their nets at once and followed him. 19Going on from there a little farther, he saw James (a son of Zebedee) and John his brother, mending their nets in a ship, 20and he called them right then. They left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired men, and followed him.

21They entered Capharnaum and began going to the synagogue on sabbaths and teaching people. 22The people were astonished at his teaching, because he was teaching them as someone with authority, unlike the scribes. 23In their synagogue was a man with a foul spirit, and he cried out, 24“What have we to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to destroy us? I know who you are: God’s Holy One.” 25Jesus threatened him and said, “Shut up, and leave the man!” 26After mangling him and crying out in a loud voice, the foul spirit did leave him. 27They were all amazed, to the extent that they were asking each other, “What is this? Some new science? He’s ordering even foul spirits by some authority, and they’re obeying him.” 28And right away his fame went out into the whole Galilee region. 29On leaving the synagogue, he next went to Simon and Andrew’s house with James and John. 30But Simon’s mother-in-law was lying there sick with a fever, and they told him about her right away. 31He came and, grasping her with his hand, lifted her up; at that the fever left her, and she tended to them. 32Although evening fell as the sun went down, they brought all who were ill or had demons to him. 33The whole city had gathered at the door, 34and he healed many who were plagued with various weaknesses and was driving many demons out, but he didn’t let them speak, because they knew him.

35He woke up very early, left, went off to an isolated place, and prayed there. 36Simon and those with him chased after him. 37After they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38He told them, “Let’s go to the next towns and cities, so I can preach there too, because I came for that purpose.” 39He did preach in their synagogues and in all Galilee, and drove out demons. 40Once, a leper came to him and, begging him and kneeling down, said, “If you want, you can make me clean.” 41Jesus felt sorry for him, reached his hand out, touched him, and told him, “I do want to. Become clean.” 42Just after he said this, the leprosy left him and he became clean. 43But Jesus warned him and rushed him away immediately, 44telling him, “Be sure not to tell anyone. Just go, show yourself to the high priest, and offer in exchange for your cleansing the things that Moses prescribed, as evidence to them.” 45But the man went out and began to proclaim and spread the word, and so Jesus wasn’t able to go visibly into a city, but would be outside in isolated places. Still, they would flock to him from every direction.

Mark 2 1After several days he entered Capharnaum again. 2It was learned that he was at home, and many people gathered, so that there was no room, not even at the door, but he did declare the message to them. 3Someone paralyzed was brought toward him, carried by four men. 4Since because of the crowd they weren’t able to bring him near Jesus, they exposed the roof where he was, opened it up, and lowered the cot the paralyzed man was lying in. 5Once Jesus saw their faith, he told the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.” 6There were some scribes sitting there, thinking in their hearts, 7“Why is this man talking this way? He’s blaspheming. Who is able to forgive sins except God?” 8Jesus knew right away in his spirit that they were thinking that to themselves and said to them, “Why are you pondering such things in your hearts? 9What is easier, to say to a paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up, pick up your cot, and walk’? 10But in order for you to know that the Son of man does have authority on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the paralyzed man: 11“I tell you, get up, pick up your cot, and go home.” 12He did get up at once, carried his cot, and went away in view of everyone, so that they were all amazed and gave honor to God, saying, “We’ve never seen such a thing!”

13He headed toward the sea again; the whole crowd came to him and he was teaching them. 14Then as he was going along, he saw Levi, a son of Alpheus, sitting near the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him. 15Then while he was dining at Levi’s house, many taxmen and sinners were also dining with Jesus and his disciples, because there were many of them who also followed him. 16When some scribes and Pharisees saw that he was eating with taxmen and sinners, they said to his disciples, “Why is your teacher eating and drinking with taxmen and sinners?” 17Hearing this, Jesus told them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, just those who are sick. You see, I didn’t come to call the upright, only sinners.” 18But some disciples of John and of the Pharisees were fasting, and they came to him and said, “Why do John’s and the Pharisees’ disciples fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” 19Jesus told them, “Can groomsmen fast as long as the groom is with them? As long as they have the groom with them, they can’t fast. 20But the days will come when the groom will be taken away from them, and then, in those days, they will fast. 21No one sews a patch of fresh cloth onto an old garment; otherwise the new addition will separate from the old thing, and a larger tear is produced. 22And no one puts new wine into old skins; otherwise the wine will rupture the skins, and not only will the wine be wasted but the skins will be ruined too. Instead, new wine should be put into new skins.”

23Then the Lord was walking through a field of grain on the sabbath, and his disciples began to go ahead and pick some of the ears off. 24However, some Pharisees said to him, “Look there, why are they doing what isn’t allowed on the sabbath?” 25He said, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he had a need and was hungry himself, along with those who were with him—26how he went into God’s house during Abiathar’s high priesthood and ate the Bread of Proposition (which was illegal to eat, except by priests) and gave some to those who were with him?” 27He told them, “The sabbath was made for mankind and not mankind for the sabbath, 28and so the Son of man is certainly Lord of the sabbath.”

Mark 3 1He went into the synagogue again, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2They were observing whether he would heal on sabbaths, so that they could find fault with him. 3He told the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand here in the center.” 4Then he said to them, “Is it legal to do good on sabbaths or bad—to make a life well or to ruin it?” But they kept quiet. 5Looking around at them with anger and grieved over the blindness of their hearts, he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He did hold it out, and his hand was restored for him. 6The Pharisees left, though, and right away were consulting against him with some Herodians, how to destroy him.

7But Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a large crowd from Galilee, Judea, 8Jerusalem, Idumea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him. A large crowd around Tyre and Sidon also heard about the things he was doing and came to him. 9He told his disciples that a boat should be available to him because of the crowd, so they wouldn’t crush him. 10You see, he was healing so many, that everyone with a misfortune was pressing against him to touch him. 11When foul spirits saw him, they would fall down in front of him and cry out, 12“You are God’s Son.” But he vigorously warned them to not reveal him.

13Then he climbed up a mountain and called over the ones he wanted, and they did come to him. 14He chose twelve to be with him and to send out to preach. 15He gave them the power to heal sicknesses and drive out demons. 16He assigned the name Peter to Simon. 17There were also: Zebedee’s son James and James’ brother John (he assigned them the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder), 18Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, Alpheus’ son James, Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, 19and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed him though.

20They came to a house, but a crowd gathered again, such that they couldn’t even eat bread. 21When his relatives heard of it, they set out to get control of him; as they put it, “…now that he’s turned crazy.” 22Also, some scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying that he was under Beelzebub and was driving demons out by the prince of demons. 23But he called them together and in parables pointed out to them, “How can Satan drive Satan out? 24If a kingdom is divided within itself, that kingdom isn’t able to stand. 25Or if a household is portioned out beyond itself, that household isn’t able to stand. 26Now if Satan has risen up against himself, then he’s been divided and won’t be able to stand; he’s finished. 27No one who has entered a strong man’s house can rob his goods, unless he ties the strong man up first; then he will rob his house. 28Yes, I’m telling you, human beings will be forgiven for a variety of sins and for various blasphemies they use, 29except that anyone who calls the Holy Spirit bad will have no forgiveness, for eternity; he’ll be responsible for an eternal offense.” 30It was because they were saying, “He has a foul spirit.” 31His mother and brothers did arrive and, standing outside, sent for him, calling to him. 32The crowd was sitting around him and told him, “See there, your mother and your brothers are outside calling for you.” 33In response to these people, he said, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 34Looking around at those sitting in his circle, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 35In fact, whoever has done God’s will is my brother, my sister, and my mother.”

Mark 4 1He began to teach near the sea again, and a large enough crowd was assembled near him, that he climbed aboard a ship and was presiding at sea, with the whole crowd on land by the sea. 2He was teaching them many things in parables, and in the course of his instruction he told them, 3“Listen now, a sower went out to sow. 4As he sowed, one seed fell near the path, and a bird came and ate it up. 5Another fell onto rocky ground, where it didn’t have much earth, and it sprang up right away since it didn’t have deep earth; 6but when the sun rose, it got hot, and because it had no root, it dried up. 7One more fell among some stickers, and the stickers grew up and stifled it, and it didn’t produce. 8But one seed fell into good earth and, springing up and growing, was producing; it’s ears bore thirty, sixty, and a hundred more.” 9Then he said, “Let anyone with ears for hearing, hear.” 10When he was alone, the twelve that were with him asked him about the parable. 11He told them, “It has been granted to you to know the mystery of God’s kingdom, but for those outside everything comes in parables, 12so that when they see, they might see but not perceive, and when they hear, they might hear but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven for their sins.” 13He continued, “You don’t understand this parable? Then how will you know any of the parables? 14The one sowing is sowing the word. 15Those where the word is sown near the path are people Satan comes to right away after they hear it, and snatches away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16Then too, the one sown onto the rocky ground are people who do receive the word with joy right after they hear it, 17but they have no root inside them and only last so long; and so, when trouble and persecution come up because of the word, they’re suddenly ashamed of it. 18The other sown among the stickers, are the people who hear the word, 19but worldly stresses, the trap of wealth, and longings about future things invade, stifle the word, and it becomes fruitless. 20But the one sown on the good ground are people who hear the word, receive it, and produce—one thirty more, another sixty more, and another a hundred more.”

21He went on, “Does a lamp arrive for it to be put under a bucket or couch and not up on a lampstand? 22No, nothing has been hidden that won’t be revealed, and nothing has been kept secret except for it to become public. 23If anyone has ears for hearing, let him hear.” 24He told them, “Realize what you’re hearing. You will get it measured back to you in proportion to the measure you measure out with, and some will even be added for you. 25In fact, someone who is able will be given to, but anyone who isn’t able will get what he has taken away from him.” 26He also said, “God’s kingdom is as if a man were to plant a seed in the soil, 27then sleep and get up, night after day, but the seed were to sprout and grow while he isn’t aware. 28Yes, the soil produces fruit on its own, first the stalk, then the ear, next the full fruit on the ear. 29But when the fruit gets long, he brings a sickle out right away, since the harvest is near.” 30He said, “What can we compare God’s kingdom to, or what parable can we match it up with? 31It’s like a mustard seed, which is smaller than every seed on earth when it’s planted in the ground. 32But after it’s been planted, it grows up and becomes larger than all the vegetables, and forms such great branches that, under its shadow, birds can make their homes.” 33He would tell them the message with many such parables, conformed to their ability to hear. 34In fact, he didn’t talk to the crowds without a parable, but privately he did explain everything to his disciples.

35After evening fell that day, he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” 36After they sent the crowd away, they did take him (since he was right there in the ship). And there were other ships along with him. 37But a big windstorm came up, and the waves were beating against the ship, enough that the ship was filling up. 38He was in the rear of the ship, sleeping on a pillow, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, doesn’t it matter to you that we’re going down?” 39Getting up, he ordered the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet, settle down.” And the wind stopped, and a great stillness came about. 40He said to them, “Why are you afraid and still not having faith?” They really were afraid, under a powerful fear, and were saying to each other, “Who do you suppose this is, since the wind and sea both obey him?”

Mark 5 1They went along a channel of the sea to the Gerasens’ area. 2As soon as he got out of the ship, a man under a foul spirit rushed up, out of the tombs. 3He had his home among the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him anymore, not even with chains. 4When he was repeatedly fastened with shackles and chains, he had burst the chains and broken the shackles to pieces, and no one could tame him. 5Day and night, he was always among the tombs or in the mountains, crying out and cutting himself with rocks. 6However, when he did see Jesus from a distance, he ran to him and worshiped him, 7although he cried in a loud voice, “What have I to do with you, Jesus Son of the Most High God? I beg you by God not to torture me!” 8You see, Jesus had said to him, “Go out of the man, you foul spirit.” 9Then Jesus questioned him, “What is your name?” It told him, “The name for me is Legion, because we are many.” 10It kept begging him not to drive it outside that region. 11Now, a large herd of pigs was near a mountain there, feeding. 12The spirits pleaded with him, “Send us to the pigs, so we can go into them.” 13Right away Jesus did grant them permission. The foul spirits departed and went into the pigs, and the herd, about two thousand, was rushed by a great force down into the sea, and they drowned in the sea. 14The ones who had been pasturing them ran off and reported to the city and out in the fields. Those people then came, to see what had happened. 15They came toward Jesus and saw the man who had been plagued with the demon, sitting there in clothes, mentally sound; and they were afraid. 16Those who had witnessed it described to them how it had happened to the man with the demon, and about the pigs. 17And then the people began to beg him to leave their area. 18As he boarded the ship, the man who had been plagued by the demon, began to plead with him to let him be with him. 19He didn’t allow him to, but told him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord did for you and how he had compassion on you.” 20He did go on and began to publicize in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed.

21After Jesus crossed back along the channel in the ship, a large crowd gathered near him; he was by the sea. 22One of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came there and, once he caught sight of Jesus, fell down at his feet 23and was earnestly pleading with him, saying, “Since my daughter is at the point of death, come, lay your hand on her, so that she can get well and live.” 24Jesus went with the man, and a large crowd was following him and pressing against him. 25A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years 26had suffered many things from many doctors; she had spent all she had and hadn’t improved but was having it much worse. 27When she had heard about Jesus, she came in the crowd behind him and touched his garment. 28You see, she was saying, “If I just touch his garment, I’ll get well.” 29Suddenly the source of her bleeding was healed, and she felt in her body that she had been cured of the ailment. 30Jesus noticed at once that some power had gone out of him. He turned around toward the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, but you’re saying ‘Who touched me?'” 32He was looking around to see who had done this. 33But the woman, afraid, trembling, and knowing what had happened inside her, came, fell down in front of him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be cured of your ailment.” 35While he was still speaking, they came from the synagogue leader’s house, saying, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36But Jesus heard what was being said and told the synagogue leader, “Don’t worry, just believe.” 37Then he didn’t allow anyone to follow him except Peter, James, and James’ brother John. 38They came to the synagogue leader’s house, and he saw a commotion and people weeping and wailing a lot. 39He went inside and said to them, “Why are you disturbed and crying? The girl hasn’t died; she’s sleeping.” 40Then they started making fun of him. But he forced them all outside, took the girl’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the girl was lying. 41Holding onto the girl’s hand, he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which is translated, “Girl, I tell you, get up.” 42The girl got up at once and walked around. She was twelve years old. And they were stupefied in a great bewilderment. 43But he strictly ordered them that no one should know about this, and he said for her to be given something to eat.

Mark 6 1Leaving that place, he went to his hometown, and his disciples were following him. 2When it was the sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue. Many who listened were marveling at his teaching and said, “Where did all this come to this man from? What is this wisdom that was given to him, and the great achievements that are being brought about at his hands? 3Isn’t this the carpenter, Mary’s son, a brother of James, Joseph, Jude, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us too?” They were taking offense in regard to him. 4Jesus said to them, “A prophet doesn’t lack honor, except in his own land, in his own place, and among his own relatives.” 5(Indeed, he wasn’t able to do anything special there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.) 6He was amazed at their disbelief, but he did go around to the surrounding villages, teaching.

7Then he called the twelve over and prepared to send them out by twos. He gave them power over foul spirits. 8He directed them not to take anything for the journey except a walking stick (no bag, no bread, no money in their belt) 9and to wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10He told them, “Continue at any house you’ve gone into until you’re leaving the area. 11If anyone doesn’t welcome you or listen to you, when you’re leaving from there, shake the dust off your feet as evidence to them.” 12They did go out and were warning people to repent. 13They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil, healing them.

14As Jesus’ fame became apparent, King Herod heard and said, “John the Baptist has risen up from the dead, and that’s why such strengths are active in this man.” 15But others were saying that he was Elijah. Still others said he was a prophet like one or another of the prophets. 16When Herod heard that, he said, “This John that I beheaded has risen up from the dead.” 17You see, Herod himself had ordered John detained and had confined him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. 18That is, John had told Herod, “It is not permitted for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19Now Herodias had been plotting against John and wanting to kill him but wasn’t able, 20because Herod feared John, knowing he was an upright and holy man. He watched over him, and would grant him many things after having listened to him (and he listened to him willingly). 21When a convenient day had come, Herod put on for the leaders, commanders, and chief men of Galilee, his own birthday’s dinner. 22When the daughter of this Herodias had gone in, danced, and pleased Herod and those at the table with him, the king said to the girl, “Ask me for what you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23He promised her, “I’ll give you whatever you ask, even half my kingdom.” 24She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And her mother said, “John the Baptist’s head.” 25The girl hurried back in to the king right away and made the request, saying, “I want you to give me the head of John the Baptist on a plate, without delay.” 26Then the king was sorry for his promise, but because of those with him at the table, he wouldn’t disappoint her. 27He sent for the executioner and ordered John’s head to be brought on a plate. 28The man did behead him in the prison, brought the head on a plate, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. 29Once his disciples learned this, they came, took his body, and placed it in a tomb.

30Then the apostles gathered near Jesus and reported to him everything they had done and taught. 31He said to them, “Come away to an isolated place and rest a little.” Indeed, many people were coming and going, and the apostles didn’t have room for eating. 32Boarding a ship, they did go off toward an isolated place away from there. 33But some people saw them going away, and then many more learned about it; and they ran there on foot from all the cities and got there ahead of them. 34As Jesus disembarked, he saw the large crowd. But he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he began to teach them many things. 35After many hours passed, his disciples came to him and said, “This place is so isolated, and time has run out. 36Send them away, so they can go to the nearest farms and towns and buy themselves some food to eat.” 37But he replied, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Let us go and buy bread for two hundred days’ wages, and then we’ll give them something to eat.” 38He said, “How many loaves do you have? Go see. “Once they knew, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39He instructed them to have them all lie down on the green grass by households. 40The people did lie down, many by hundreds or fifties. 41After receiving the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven, blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to put in front of them; and he broke up the two fish for everyone. 42Then everyone ate and was filled up. 43They took up the leftovers: twelve full baskets of fragments and fish, 44even though there were five thousand men who had eaten. 45Just then he had his disciples board the ship, so they could go ahead of him by way of the channel to Bethsaida, while he would be dismissing the people. 46Once he did dismiss them, he went onto a mountain to pray.

47Later, the ship was out in the middle of the sea, while he was alone on land. 48He saw they were having trouble rowing, since the wind was against them, and in about the fourth night-watch, he came near them walking on the sea. He was intending to go past them, 49but they saw him walking on the sea, thought he was a ghost, and cried out. 50They did all see him and were troubled, but he spoke to them right away and said, “Be assured, it is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51Then he climbed into the ship with them, and the wind stopped. And then they were more than astonished within themselves 52because they hadn’t understood about the loaves (since their minds had been blinded). 53When they had crossed the sea, they came into the Genesareth area and landed. 54Once they stepped out of the ship, people recognized him right away, 55ran through that whole region, and began to carry the sick in their cots to where they heard he was. 56On whatever side he entered towns, villages, or cities, there in the streets they would lay the sick, who would beg to touch even the edge of his garment. And everyone who did touch him was made well.

Mark 7 1Some Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem assembled near him. 2Once they saw some of his disciples eat food with common (that is, unwashed) hands, they disapproved. 3(You see, the Pharisees, in fact all the Jews, don’t eat without having washed their hands each time, holding onto their elders’ tradition; 4fresh from the market, they don’t eat unless they get washed up; there are many other things that were handed on to them to follow—the washing of cups, pots, brass vessels, and beds.) 5So then the Pharisees and scribes questioned him: “Why don’t your disciples go by the elders’ tradition? Why are they eating food with common hands?” 6He replied to them, “Isaiah prophesied very well about you hypocrites, as was written down: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 7they worship me in vain, though, teaching human principles and rules.’ 8For instance, while leaving God’s command behind, you hold onto a human tradition: the washing of pots and cups. And you do many other things like that.” 9He also said to them, “How well you’re nullifying God’s command in order to preserve your tradition. 10For example, Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Let whoever curses father or mother die off.’ 11But you say that a person can say to his father or mother, “Whatever is Corban (that is, a religious donation) from me will benefit you.” 12Then beyond that, you don’t allow him to do anything for his father or mother, 13nullifying God’s word by your tradition that you’ve handed on. And you do many similar things of that kind.” 14Calling the crowd over again, he said to them, “All of you, listen to me and understand. 15There is nothing outside a person that can pollute him when it goes into him, but the things that come out of a person are what pollute the person. 16If anyone has ears for hearing, let him hear.” 17After he came into the house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18He said, “Are even you ignorant on this? Don’t you understand that everything going into a person from outside is unable to pollute him, 19because it doesn’t go into his heart but into his belly and then out into the sewer, clearing all foods away?” 20He said, “Rather, things that come out from the person pollute him. 21For instance, evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, 22theft, greed, wickedness, deception, impurity, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness go from the inside out, out of people’s hearts. 23All those evils go out from the inside and pollute the person.”

24He got up from there and went into the territory of Tyre and Sidon. He went into a house and didn’t want anyone to know it, but he couldn’t escape notice. 25Indeed, a woman whose daughter had a foul spirit, came in as soon as she heard about him and fell down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophenician, and she was begging him to drive a demon out of her daughter. 27He told her, “Let the children get full first, because it’s no good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she replied to him, “No doubt, Lord, but the puppies do eat some of the children’s crumbs, under the table.” 29He said to her, “Because of that remark, go on; the demon has left your daughter.” 30When she went home, she found the girl lying on the bed and that the demon had gone away.

31Then Jesus left Tyre’s area and went through Sidon toward the Sea of Galilee in the middle of the Decapolis region. 32People brought him a deaf, mute man and were pleading with him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears, and touched some of his spit to the man’s tongue. 34Looking up toward heaven, he groaned and said to him, “Ephpheta,” that is, “Open up.” 35Right away his ears were opened, the restraint on his tongue was loosened, and he was talking correctly. 36Jesus did warn the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he warned them, the more they were publicizing it. 37They were also marveling over him in how, as they put it, “He’s done everything well; he’s made the deaf hear as well as the mute speak.”

Mark 8 1In those days there was a large crowd, and once again they didn’t have anything to eat. He called his disciples together and said, 2“I’m sorry for the crowd, because here they’ve been with me for three days now and don’t have anything to eat. 3If I send them home hungry, they’ll get too weak on the way, since some of them came from a good distance.” 4His disciples responded, “How can anyone supply them with bread in the wilderness?” 5He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6He took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve up, and they did serve them to the crowd. 7They had a few little fish too; and he blessed those and had them served up. 8The people ate them and were full. They then took up what was left of the fragments, seven baskets, 9although there were about four thousand who had eaten. Then he sent the crowd away.

10He boarded a ship with his disciples right away and went to some areas of Dalmanutha. 11Some Pharisees came out and began to investigate him. They were looking for a sign from heaven by him, testing him. 12Groaning in spirit, he said, “Why is this generation after a sign? No, I tell you. As if a sign will be given to such a generation!” 13Leaving them, he boarded the ship again and passed along the channel. 14They forgot to buy bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the ship. 15But he was warning them, “Watch out and avoid the Pharisees’ leaven and Herod’s leaven.” 16They consulted with each other and concluded, “It’s because we don’t have bread.” 17Jesus knew this and said to them, “Why are you thinking that it’s because you have no bread? Don’t you recognize or understand yet? Are you still keeping your minds blind? 18Having eyes, don’t you see? And having ears, don’t you hear? Don’t you remember 19when I broke the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments you took up?” They said, “Twelve.” 20“And when it was the seven loaves among four thousand, how many baskets of fragments did you take up?” They said, “Seven.” 21He said to them, “In what way do you still not understand?”

22They arrived at Bethsaida, and people brought him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23Holding the blind man by the hand, he led him out of town, spit on his eyes, laid his hands on him, and asked him if he saw anything. 24Looking up, he said, “I see people, but just like walking trees.” 25After that he put his hands on the man’s eyes again, and he began to see and was restored, so that he saw everything clearly. 26He sent him home, saying, “Go home, and if you go into town, don’t tell anyone there.”

27Jesus went on with his disciples toward the fortresses of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” 28They answered him, “John the Baptist, and some say Elijah, and others say one of the prophets.” 29Then he said to them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” 30He strictly warned them not to tell that matter about him to anyone, 31and he began to teach them that the Son of man had to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, high priests, and scribes, and be killed but rise up after three days. 32He declared this message plainly. But Peter took hold of him and began to rebuke him. 33Turning and seeing his disciples, he threatened Peter, saying, “Go behind me, Satan, since you don’t sense God’s things, but human things.” 34Then, once he called the crowd and his disciples together, he told them, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and then follow me. 35You see, whoever is wanting to make his life safe will be wasting it, but whoever will have lost his life for the sake of me and the gospel will be preserving it. 36For instance, what good does it do a person if he were to acquire the whole world but bring about the erosion of his soul? 37Or: in return for having his soul, how much shall a man give up? 38When the Son of man comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels, he will be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation.” 39He said to them, “Yes, I tell you, there are some of these standing here who won’t taste death till they see God’s kingdom coming in power…”

Mark 9 1After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him and led them apart from the rest onto a tall mountain. Then he was transformed in front of them. 2His clothes became brilliant and very white like snow, in a way that no laundry on earth can whiten. 3Then Elijah was visible to them, with Moses, and they were with Jesus, talking. 4In response Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5(No, he didn’t know what he was saying, because they were terrified.) 6Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud that said, “This is my dear Son. Listen to him.” 7Looking around just then, they saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus. 8As they came down from the mountain, he directed them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of man would have risen up from the dead. 9But they carried on a conversation among themselves to figure out what “when he will have risen up from the dead” meant. 10They also asked him, “Why do the Pharisees and scribes say that Elijah has to come first?” 11He answered them, “When Elijah does come, first he will restore everything; but he has to suffer many things and be despised, the same as was written about the Son of man. 12But I will say, Elijah has even come around, and they did do whatever they wanted to him, as was written about him.”

13Coming to his disciples, he saw a large crowd around them and some scribes conversing with them. 14When all the people saw Jesus, they were hesitant and afraid, but ran up and were greeting him. 15He asked them, “What are you discussing among you?” 16A man answered out of the crowd, “Teacher, I brought my son with a mute spirit to you. 17It crashes him anywhere that it takes hold of him, and he froths, grinds his teeth, and pants away. I told your disciples in case they could drive it out, but they couldn’t.” 18Jesus responded, “You disbelieving generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” 19They did bring him. Once it saw him, the spirit disturbed the boy, who was knocked to the ground and rolled around frothing. 20He asked the father, “How long ago did this come on him?” He said, “Since his infancy. 21Often it has thrown him into fire and into water to destroy him. But if you’re able to do anything, help us, out of pity for us.” 22Jesus said to him, “If you are able to believe. Anything is possible for someone believing.” 23With tears, the boy’s father cried right out, “I do believe, Lord. Help my disbelief.” 24When Jesus saw the gathering crowd, he threatened the foul spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and mute spirit, I command you, go out of him and don’t enter him anymore.” 25Crying out and badly mangling the boy, it went out of him, and he became as if dead, so that many people said he was dead. 26However, Jesus took hold of his hand and lifted him up, and he got up. 27After he came home, his disciples asked him in private, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 28He said, “This kind can’t go out by anything except prayer and fasting.”

29After setting out from there, they were passing through Galilee, but he didn’t want anyone to know it. 30He was teaching his disciples and said, “The Son of man will be betrayed into people’s hands and they will kill him, and after he’s been killed, he will rise up on the third day.” 31They didn’t understand this saying, but they were afraid to question him.

32Then they came to Capharnaum. Once they were in the house, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 33But they wouldn’t say, since on the way they had discussed among themselves which of them was the greatest. 34He sat down, called the twelve over, and told them, “If anyone wants to be the first, he should be the last of all and the servant of all.” 35Taking a boy, he stood him in the middle of them. He hugged him and then said to them, 36“Whoever receives a child of this sort in my name is receiving me. And whoever accepts me isn’t accepting me but the one who sent me.” 37John responded, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, someone who doesn’t go with us, and we forbid him.” 38Jesus said, “Don’t forbid him, since no one accomplishing an impressive deed under my name would easily be able to say something bad about me. 39You see, someone not against you is for you. 40For instance, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name (because you are Christ’s), yes, I tell you, will not lose his reward. 41But for anyone causing temptation for one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better that a millstone be hung around his neck and he be thrown into the sea. 42If your hand causes you temptation, cut it off; it’s better for you to go into life disabled than to go with two hands into hell, the unquenchable fire, 43where their worm doesn’t die and the fire doesn’t get put out. 44If your foot causes you temptation, cut it off; it’s better for you to go into everlasting life lame than to be thrown with two feet into the hell of inextinguishable fire, 45where their worm doesn’t die and the fire doesn’t get put out. 46And if your eye causes you temptation, pull it out. It’s better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to be thrown with two eyes into the hell of fire, 47where their worm doesn’t die and the fire doesn’t get put out. 48(Of course, everyone will be sprinkled with fire. Also, every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt; 49that salt is a good thing, but what will you season the sacrifice with if the salt gets tasteless? Keep the flavor in you, but have peace among you.)”

Mark 10 1From there he got up and went into areas of Judea beyond the Jordan. The crowds gathered around him again, and he was teaching them again, as it was his habit to do. 2But some Pharisees came and, to test him, asked, “Is a man permitted to divorce his wife?” 3He responded by saying, “What did Moses instruct you?” 4They said, “Moses allowed a bill of divorce to be written out and then to divorce her.” 5In response Jesus said, “He wrote you such an instruction because of the hardness of your hearts. 6But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female; 7‘because of this a man will leave his father and mother and will cling to his wife, 8and the two will be in one flesh.’ Therefore, they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9So then, a human shouldn’t separate what God has united.” 10Back in the house his disciples asked him about the same matter. 11He told them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12And if a wife divorces her husband and marries another one, she commits adultery.” 13People were bringing him young children, for him to touch them, but the disciples were intimidating those bringing them. 14Once Jesus noticed, he reacted angrily and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me, and don’t hold them back, because God’s kingdom belongs to this kind. 15Yes, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s kingdom like a little child won’t enter it.” 16Then he was blessing them by hugging them and laying his hands on them.

17After he went out to a road, a man ran up, knelt in front of him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what would I do to gain everlasting life?” 18But Jesus said to him, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good except the one, God. 19You know the commandments—that you not commit adultery, kill, steal, give false witness or deceive, and to honor your father and mother.” 20The man replied, “Teacher, I’ve obeyed all of these since my youth.” 21After considering him, Jesus appreciated him and told him, “One thing is lacking for you—go, sell whatever you have and give to the poor (and you’ll have treasure in heaven), and come, follow me.” 22Saddened at those words, the man went away grieving, because he had many possessions. 23Looking around him, Jesus said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those with wealth to enter God’s kingdom!” 24The disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus responded, “Boys, how hard is it for those who trust in wealth to go into God’s kingdom? 25It’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom.” 26They were even more astonished and said to each other, “Then who is able to be saved?” 27Looking them over, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible but not with God, because everything is possible with God.” 28Peter began to say to him, “Here, we’ve left everything and followed you…” 29Jesus responded, “Yes, I tell you, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who won’t receive (now at this time) a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and lands, as well as persecutions, and (in the world to come) everlasting life. 31But many first ones will be last, and last ones first.” 32They were on the road going up to Jerusalem. Jesus was leading the way ahead them, but they were in shock and fear as they followed. He took the twelve, though, and began to tell them again the things that were about to happen to him. 33He said, “Here now, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be handed over to the chief priests, scribes, and elders. They will condemn him to death and deliver him to the Gentiles, 34who will mock him, spit on him, whip him, and kill him. But on the third day he will rise up.”

35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will request.” 36He said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 37They said, “During your glory, grant us to sit, one on your right and the other on your left.” 38Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you’re asking for. Are you really able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism I’m being baptized with?” 39They told him, “We are able.” Jesus said, “You will, in fact, drink of the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I’m being baptized with, 40but to sit on my right or on my left is not mine to give you. It is for those it was designed for.” 41When the ten heard of it, they began to resent James and John. 42But Jesus called them over and said to them, “You know that those who seem to rule over the Gentiles dominate them, and their leaders use power over them. 43But it isn’t that way among you. Rather, whoever wants to become greater will be your assistant; 44but whoever wants to be the first among you will be the slave of all. 45The Son of man didn’t come to be served either, but to serve and to offer his life as a ransom for many.”

46They arrived at Jericho. Then as he went on from Jericho with his disciples and a very large crowd, Timeus’ son Bartimeus, a blind man, was sitting beside the road begging. 47After he heard Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to call out, “Jesus son of David, have mercy on me.” 48Many were intimidating him so that he would be quiet, but he cried much more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” 49Then Jesus stood still and ordered him to be called over. They called to the blind man, telling him, “Calm down, get up, he’s calling you.” 50He threw his coat off, jumped up, and went to him. 51Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said, “Rabboni, for me to see.” 52Jesus told him, “Go on, your faith has made you well.” Right away he did see, and he followed him on the road.

Mark 11 1When they were approaching Jerusalem and Bethania at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent for two of his disciples 2and told them, “Go into the village across from you, and right as you go in there, you’ll find a tied-up colt that no one has sat on yet. Let him loose and bring him here. 3If anyone says to you, ‘What are you doing?’ say that the Lord has need of it, and so he’ll let it come here.” 4They went off and found the colt tied in front of an outside gate at an intersection, and they untied it. 5Some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6They spoke to them the way Jesus had instructed them, and the people let it go with them. 7They brought the colt to Jesus and laid their clothes on it, and he sat on it. 8Many spread their clothes on the road, while others cut branches down from trees and spread them out on the road. 9Those who led the way and those who followed were calling out, “Hosanna! He who comes in the Lord’s name is blessed. 10Our father David’s kingdom that is coming is blessed. Hosanna in highest heaven.” 11He entered Jerusalem toward the temple. After looking at everything around, he went out to Bethania with the twelve, since by then it was evening.

12The next day when they left Bethania, he was hungry. 13In the distance he saw a fig tree that had leaves and went toward it in case he could find something on it. Once he arrived at it, he found nothing but leaves, since it wasn’t the right time for figs. 14In response he said to it, “Now may no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard that. 15Then they went into Jerusalem. After he entered the temple, he began to drive out the sellers and buyers in the temple and overturned the moneychangers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves. 16And he didn’t allow anyone to carry a vessel through the temple. 17He informed them, saying, “Wasn’t it written down, ‘My house will be called the house of prayer for all nations’? But you’ve made it a robbers’ hideout.” 18When the chief priests and scribes heard of this, they were looking for a way to destroy him because they were afraid of him, seeing that the whole crowd was marveling at his teaching. 19When evening had come, he went out of the city.

20In the morning as they were passing by, they saw that fig tree, dried up from its roots. 21Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, here, the fig tree you cursed has dried up.” 22Jesus said in reply, “Have faith in God. 23Yes, I tell you, if anyone were to say this mountain, ‘Move over and drop into the sea,’ and didn’t waver in his heart, but believed, then whatever he said to happen will happen for him. 24That’s why I tell you: believe that you will receive any of the things you ask for in prayer, and they will come about for you. 25However, when you’re standing to pray, if you have anything against anyone, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven can also forgive you your sins. 26But if you don’t forgive, your Father in heaven won’t forgive you your sins either.”

27They arrived at Jerusalem once more. As he was walking within the temple, the chief priests, scribes, and elders came up to him 28and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you the authority to do such things?” 29Jesus answered, “I too will ask you one thing. Answer me, and then I’ll tell you the authority I’m doing these things under. 30John’s baptism, was it from heaven or from humans? Answer me.” 31But they were thinking to themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32If we say, ‘From humans,’ we’re afraid of the people.” (You see, the people all took it that John really was a prophet.) 33They answered, “We don’t know.” Then Jesus told them, “Neither am I telling you what authority I do these things under.”

Mark 12 1He began to talk to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, made a fence around it, dug in a wine vat, built a tower, leased it to farmers, and went abroad. 2At the proper time he sent a servant to the farmers to get some of the vineyard’s fruit from them. 3But they grabbed him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 4Then he sent another servant to them, and they wounded his head and covered him with insults. 5But he again sent another (whom they killed) and many others, some of whom they beat and others they killed. 6Then since he still had a single dear son, last of all he sent him to them too, maintaining, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But the farmers said to each other, ‘This is the heir; now, let’s kill him and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8They did grab him, kill him, and throw him out of the vineyard. 9So, what will the owner of the vineyard do? He’ll come and destroy those farmers and assign the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you read this scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected was made into the head of the corner; 11that was done by the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes’?” 12Then they were looking to take hold of him, because they realized that he had addressed this parable to them. However, they were afraid of the crowd, and they did leave him and go away.

13But they sent some Pharisees and Herodians to him, to catch him in his words. 14Those came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you’re truthful and don’t look to anyone, since you don’t regard anyone’s status, but teach God’s way with integrity. Is it permitted to pay the tax to Caesar or shall we not pay it?” 15He perceived their cleverness and said, “Why test me? Bring me the coin to look at.” 16They brought one to him. Then he said, “Whose image and title are these?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 17Jesus replied, “So then, restore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the ones that are God’s.” And they were amazed about him.

18Then some Sadducees came to him. (They say that there isn’t a resurrection.) They examined him by saying, 19“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife behind without children, his brother should take on the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. 20Now there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife but died leaving no descendant. 21The second took her, died, and didn’t leave a descendant either. Likewise the third. 22All seven took her in the same way but didn’t leave any descendant. Last of all the woman died too. 23Well then, in a resurrection, when they’ve risen up, which of these men will she be the wife of? After all, seven had her as their wife.” 24Jesus answered them, “Aren’t you going wrong from not knowing the scriptures or God’s power? 25You see, when they rise up from the dead, they won’t marry or be married, but are like the angels in heaven are. 26Also, about the dead, that they rise up, haven’t you read in Moses’ book how God spoke to him over the bush and said, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 27He isn’t the God of dead people but of people who are alive. And so, you are very wrong.”

28A scribe who had heard their discussion came up, and since he had seen that Jesus had answered them well, asked him which of all the commandments was the principal one. 29Jesus answered him, “The principal commandment of them all is, ‘Hear, Israel: the Lord your God is one God, 30and you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.’ This is the principal commandment. 31But the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to him, “Exactly, Teacher. You have said correctly that there is one God and there is no other besides him; 33and that he should be loved from the whole heart and from the whole understanding and from the whole soul and from the whole strength; and that to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is greater than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34Jesus saw that he had responded wisely and said to him, “You are not far from God’s kingdom.” Then no one any longer dared to interrogate him.

35Teaching in the temple, Jesus went on, “How do the scribes maintain that Christ is David’s son? 36For instance, David himself under the Holy Spirit says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand until I put your enemies down as a stool for your feet.’ 37So David himself is calling him Lord. Then who is he the son of?” And a large crowd listened to him gladly. 38In his teaching he said to them, “Beware of any scribes who want to march around in long robes, to be greeted in the marketplace, 39to sit in special chairs in synagogues and special places at dinners; 40and who gobble down widows’ houses under a veil of courteous speech; they will receive a condemnation that is even more courteous.” 41Sitting across from the treasury, Jesus observed the way people were dropping money into the treasury. Many of the rich dropped in a lot, 42but when one poor widow came up, she let go of two mites, that is, a dime. 43Calling his disciples together, he told them, “Yes, I tell you, this poor widow has given over more than everyone who has been dropping theirs into the treasury, 44because they all gave out of what was excess for them, but she gave over, out of her scarcity, everything that she had to live on.”

Mark 13 1As he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look, what stones and what buildings!” 2Jesus replied, “Do you see all these great buildings? There will remain no stone above another one that doesn’t get pulled down.” 3Then as he sat on Mount Olivet across from the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew were asking him privately, 4“Tell us, when will such things be, and what will be the sign when all this will start to be fulfilled?” 5Jesus began his answer to them, “See that no one misleads you, 6because many will be coming in my name and saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will mislead many people. 7When you learn of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be afraid, because these things have to happen, but the end won’t be yet. 8One nation will, it’s true, rise up over another nation and one kingdom over another kingdom, and there will be earthquakes here and there, and famines. Those are the beginning of the sufferings. 9But look out for yourselves, because they’ll betray you to councils, you’ll be beaten in synagogues, and you’ll stand in front of governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. 10(But first the gospel has to be preached to all the nations.) 11When they do arrest you and hand you over, don’t think ahead what to say; you’ll say whatever is given to you at the time, since it isn’t you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12A brother will hand his brother over for death and a father his son; and children will stand up against their parents and work out their death. 13You will be hated by all of them on account of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be safe. 14However, when you see the singular horror standing where it shouldn’t (the reader may recognize), then those in Judea should escape to the mountains, 15anyone on a housetop shouldn’t go down into the house or enter it to take anything out of it, 16and anyone in a field should not turn back to pick up his coat. 17What a shame for those who are pregnant or nursing in those days! 18Yes, pray that this doesn’t happen in winter. 19Indeed, in those days there will be troubles of such kinds as there haven’t been from the beginning of the creation that God established until now, or will be till then. 20And if the Lord hadn’t shortened the length of that time, no living thing would be made safe; but for the sake of the chosen ones he selected, he has shortened that time. 21After that, if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is Christ; look there,’ don’t believe it, 22since false Christs and false prophets will show up and produce signs and wonders to mislead even the chosen (if it could be done). 23So watch. Here I’ve told you everything ahead.

24“But in the days after that trouble, the sun will be darkened, and the moon won’t give out its brightness. 25The stars of heaven will be falling down, and the powers in heaven will be disturbed. 26Then people will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then he will send his angels and gather his chosen from the four winds, from the farthest part of the earth to the farthest part of heaven. 28Now learn a parable from the fig tree. When its branch is newly tender and its leaves have sprouted, you realize that summer is very near. 29Likewise, when you will have seen all this happen, know that it is the next thing, is at the doors. 30Yes, I tell you, that generation won’t pass away until all of those things have happened. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, though, not the angels in heaven or the Son; only the Father does. 33Be awake, watch, and pray, because you don’t know when the time might be. 34It’s like this: to leave his house and go abroad, a man gave his servants authority over every need, and directed the doorkeeper to watch. 35So watch like that (because you don’t know when the lord of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at dawn, or in the morning), 36so that, since he’ll come suddenly, he doesn’t find you sleeping. 37However, what I’m telling you, I’m saying to everyone: watch.”

Mark 14 1Now the feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread was two days away, and the chief priests and scribes were looking for a way to take hold of him by some trap and kill him. 2But they said, “Not on the feast day, in case a rebellion among the people might result.” 3While he was in Bethania at Simon the leper’s house and was settled for a meal, a woman with a flask of expensive spikenard ointment came, broke the flask open, and poured it out on his head. 4Now some were harboring resentment in themselves and said, “Why was such a waste made of the ointment? 5This ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages, in fact, and then that given to the poor.” And they were complaining about her. 6But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has performed a good deed toward me. 7After all, you always have poor people among you, and you’re able to do good to them whenever you’re willing, but you don’t always have me. 8She has offered what she had; she came ahead of time to anoint my body for burial. 9Yes, I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she did will be told in memory of her as well.” 10And then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests to betray him to them. 11When they heard this, they were delighted and promised him that they would give him money. And he was thinking over how he could best hand him over.

12On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover, the disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you, so you can eat the Passover?” 13He sent two of his disciples, saying, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him, 14and say to the owner of whatever house he enters that the teacher says, ‘Where is my dining room, where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15He’ll show you a large dining area spread out. Prepare for us there.” 16His disciples left, went into the city, found things the way he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

17When it was evening, he came there with the twelve. 18While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “Yes, I tell you, one of you eating with me will betray me.” 19They began to be sad, and to say to him one by one, “It isn’t I, is it?” 20He said to them, “It’s one of the twelve who is dipping his hand in the bowl with me. 21The Son of man does go as was written about him, but what a shame for the man that the Son of man will be betrayed by. If that man hadn’t been born, that would have been better for him.” 22While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take this; it is my body.” 23Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. They all drank from it, 24and he told them, “This is the blood of my new testament, that will be shed on behalf of many. 25No, I tell you, I will no longer drink the vine’s fruit until the day I drink it new in God’s kingdom.”

26After they sang a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27Then Jesus said to them, “You will all be ashamed about me tonight, since it was written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered,’ 28but after I have risen up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” 29But Peter asserted to him, “Even if they all might be ashamed of you, I won’t be.” 30Jesus said to him, “No, I tell you, today, during this night, you are going to deny me three times before the rooster has crowed twice.” 31But Peter declared further, “Even if I have to die along with you, I won’t deny you!” And all of them were talking in a similar way.

32They arrived at a farm called Gethsemani, and he told his disciples, “Stay here while I’m praying.” 33But he took Peter, James, and John with him and began to tremble and to be distressed. 34He said to them, “My soul is in a bitterness, almost to death; hold out here and stay awake.” 35He went forward a little and fell flat on the ground. He prayed that, if it could be brought about, the hour would pass him by. 36He said, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Delay this cup from me. Still, not what I wish, but what you determine.” 37Then he came over and found them falling asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? 38Men, keep awake and pray that you won’t go into temptation. The spirit certainly was eager, but the body is weak.” 39Going back away, he prayed, saying the same words. 40Then he returned and found them once again falling asleep (their eyes had become heavy), and they didn’t know how to reply to him. 41And he came a third time and said to them, “Now sleep and rest… That’s enough; the hour has come. Here, the Son of man will be betrayed into sinners’ hands. 42Get up, let’s go. There now, the one who’s going to betray me is close by.”

43While he was still speaking, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, came with a large crowd, carrying swords and clubs, from the chief priests, scribes, and elders. 44The traitor had given them a signal, saying, “He’s the one I’ll kiss; take hold of that one and pull him away cautiously.” 45Once he arrived, he approached him right away, said, “Hello, Rabbi,” and kissed him. 46Meanwhile they laid hands on him and held onto him. 47(One of those standing by drew a sword, struck at a slave of the chief priest, but cut his ear off.) 48In response, Jesus said to them, “Did you come out with swords and clubs to grab me like a robber? 49I was near you in the temple, teaching day after day, and you didn’t detain me. But it’s so the scriptures can be fulfilled.” 50Then his disciples all left him and ran away. 51However, a certain young man was following him, dressed in linen over his bare body, and they grabbed him. 52But he threw the linen clothing off and escaped from them naked.

53They brought Jesus to the high priest, and all the priests, scribes, and elders assembled. 54However, Peter did follow him at a distance, all the way into the high priest’s entryway, and was sitting with the servants at the fire, keeping warm. 55The chief priests and the whole council were certainly trying to get evidence against Jesus so they could hand him over for death, but they weren’t finding any. 56Many people did deliver false witness against him, but their testimonies didn’t match. 57Some got up and were offering false witness against him by saying, 58“We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this hand-built temple and in the course of three days build another one, not hand-built.'” 59Still, their testimony didn’t match up. 60Then the high priest stood up among them and interrogated Jesus, saying, “Don’t you have anything in response to the things that are being presented to you by these people?” 61He kept silent, however, and made no reply. The high priest went on questioning him and said, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed God?” 62Then Jesus said to him, “I am, and you will see the Son of man sitting to the right of God’s power and coming with heaven’s clouds.” 63Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need any additional witnesses? 64You heard the blasphemy. How does it seem to you?” They all condemned him as deserving death. 65Some began to spit on him, and to blindfold him, beat him with their fists, and say to him, “Prophesy.” And some servants were slapping him.

66Now while Peter was in the entryway below, a servant woman of the high priest’s came, 67and once she saw Peter warming himself, she looked him over and said, “You were with Jesus of Nazareth too.” 68But he denied it, saying, “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about.” He then went outside in front of the entryway, and a rooster crowed. 69And when the servant woman saw him again, she began to tell the bystanders that he was one of them. 70But he denied it again. After a little while more, those standing near Peter were saying to him, “You really are one of them, since you’re also Galilean.” 71But he began to curse and swear an oath: “I do not know this man you’re referring to.” 72And right away the rooster crowed again. Then Peter remembered the thing Jesus had told him: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he began to weep.

Mark 15 1First thing in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders, scribes, and the whole council. They tied Jesus up, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate. 2Pilate questioned him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You are saying it.” 3The chief priests accused him of many things. 4Pilate examined him further: “You have no response? You can see how many ways they’re accusing you.” 5But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was astonished. 6Now on the feast day he was used to releasing one of the prisoners to them, anyone they wanted. 7And there was a man called Barabbas, who had committed murder in a rebellion and was in prison with the rebels. 8Once a crowd showed up, they began to ask him to do the usual for them. 9Pilate replied to them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews to you?” 10(You see, he was aware that the chief priests had handed him over out of jealousy.) 11However, the chief priests roused the people to have him release Barabbas to them instead. 12Pilate said to them in return, “Then what do you want me to do to the king of the Jews?” 13They cried out, “Crucify him!” 14Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they were shouting even more, “Crucify him!” 15Since he preferred to satisfy the people, Pilate released Barabbas to them and, after Jesus was gashed by whips, handed him over to be crucified. 16Some soldiers pulled him into the governor’s entryway and called their whole band together, 17who dressed him up in purple, wove a crown out of thorns, and set it on him. 18They began to salute him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19They were hitting his head with a cane, spitting on him, and “worshiping” him on their knees. 20After ridiculing him, they took the purple off him, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him.

21They forced someone passing by to carry his cross—Simon, a Cyrenian, father of Alexander and Rufus—as he was arriving from the countryside. 22They led Jesus on to a place called Golgotha (translated, Calvary). 23They offered him some wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t accept it. 24After crucifying him, they divided up his clothes, by throwing dice for them, for who would get what. 25It was still after the third hour when they crucified him. 26The title of his case had been recorded as, “KING OF THE JEWS.” 27They also crucified two robbers with him, one to his right and the other to his left. 28(Then the scripture was fulfilled that says, “He was counted among the wicked.”) 29Some passing by were shaming him, shaking their heads and saying “Hah, you who destroy God’s temple and rebuild it in three days, 30preserve yourself by climbing down from the cross.” 31The chief priests mocked him in a similar way and, along with the scribes, were saying to each other, “He made others well, but he isn’t able to keep himself from harm. 32Let the Christ, Israel’s king, climb down from the cross now, so that we can see it and believe.” Even those crucified with him were taunting him. 33After the sixth hour arrived, a darkness came over the whole land into the ninth hour. 34In the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani,” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 35When some of the bystanders heard this, they said, “There now, he’s calling Elijah.” 36One of them ran, soaked a sponge in vinegar, wrapped it around a stick, and offered it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.” 37But Jesus let go a loud cry and stopped breathing. 38Then the temple’s veil was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. 39Once the centurion who stood facing him saw that he had died in crying out this way, he said, “This man really was God’s son.” 40There were also women looking on from a distance, including: Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of Little James and Joseph, Salome 41(who all followed and tended to him when he had been in Galilee), and many others who had come up to Jerusalem with him.

42Since it was late by this time and because it was Parasceve (that is, the evening before the sabbath), 43Joseph from Arimathea, a nobleman who was looking for God’s kingdom himself, came forward, boldly went in to Pilate, and requested Jesus’ body. 44But Pilate wondered whether he had already died. He sent for the centurion and asked him if he were already dead, 45and once he learned of it from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Joseph had bought some fine linen and, after taking him down, wrapped him in the linen and laid him in a tomb that had been carved out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the front of the tomb. 47Also, Mary Magdalen and Mary the mother of Joseph were observing where he was being laid.

Mark 16 1Once the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalen, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought some spices, so that they could go anoint Jesus. Then in the early morning on the first day of the week, they arrived at the tomb at sunrise. 3They were saying to each other, “Who’s going to roll the stone back from the front of the tomb for us?” 4But when they looked, they saw the stone had been rolled back. Of course, it was very large. 5Going into the tomb, they saw a young person sitting to the right, covered with a white robe, and they were stupefied. 6He said to them, “Don’t be frightened. You’re looking for the crucified Jesus of Nazareth. He has risen. He isn’t here. See there, the place they laid him. 7But go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, as he told you.” 8And they went out of the tomb and ran away from it. In fact, a trembling and fear had invaded them, and they didn’t say anything to anyone since they were afraid.

9However, after Jesus rose in the morning of the first day of the week, he did appear first to Mary Magdalen (out of whom he had driven seven demons). 10She hurried and told those who had been with him, who were mourning and weeping. 11But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they didn’t believe it. 12After this, though, he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking, heading away into the countryside. 13They went back and announced it to the others, and they didn’t believe them either. 14At last he showed himself to the eleven as they were lying around a table, and blamed them over their disbelief and hard-heartedness, because they didn’t believe those who had seen him risen. 15Then he told them, “Going out to the whole world, announce the gospel to all creation. 16A person who believes and has been baptized will be safe, but one who doesn’t believe will be condemned. 17The following signs will accompany those who believe. They will drive out demons in my name. They will speak in new languages. 18They will do away with snakes. If they were to drink something deadly, it won’t hurt them. They will lay their hands on sick people, and they will be well.” 19After the Lord Jesus spoke to them, he was taken up to heaven and is sitting at God’s right hand. 20Then they headed out and preached everywhere, with the Lord working along with them and reinforcing the message by the accompanying signs.

The Gospel According to Saint Luke

Luke 1 1Now that many indeed have tried to arrange a narrative of the things accomplished among us 2(as they were transmitted to us by those who observed and were servants of the word from the start), 3it seemed good to me too, having followed everything carefully from the start, to write you, excellent Theophilus, in order 4that you can learn the truthfulness of the sayings you’ve been instructed in.

5In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zachary from Abia’s shift. His wife was of Aaron’s daughters, and her name was Elizabeth. 6They were both upright before God, proceeding blamelessly in all the Lord’s commandments and claims. 7But there wasn’t any son for them, because Elizabeth was not fertile and they had both gone past their time. 8However, while he was performing his priesthood in his shift’s sequence before God 9(in accord with the priestly tradition), it happened to come out by lot for him to enter the Lord’s temple and offer incense. 10There was a whole crowd of people praying outside at the incense time. 11And the Lord’s angel appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. 12Seeing him, Zachary was troubled and a terror came over him. 13But the angel assured him, “Don’t be afraid, Zachary, seeing that your prayer has been heard; yes, your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. 14Joy and gladness will be yours, and many more people will rejoice over his birth. 15In fact, he will be great in the Lord’s eyes. He will drink no wine or liquor but be filled with the Holy Spirit, even within his mother’s womb, 16and will turn many of Israel’s children back to the Lord their God. 17He will go ahead of the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn fathers’ hearts back toward children and disbelievers toward the prudence of the upright, in order to provide the Lord with a perfect people.” 18But Zachary said to the angel, “How can I understand this, since I’m old and my wife has gone past her time.” 19The angel replied, “I am Gabriel, who am standing before God and was sent to speak to you and announce these things to you. 20But see now, you will be silent and be unable to speak, up to the day these things happen, because you didn’t believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21The crowd was waiting for Zachary and surprised that he was taking so long in the temple. 22When he came out, he couldn’t speak to them, and they understood that he had seen a vision in the temple. He was gesturing to them but remained mute. 23After the days of his office were over, he went back to his house. 24After those days Elizabeth his wife did conceive, but she was concealing herself for five months, indicating, 25“It’s because the Lord dealt with me this way in the days when he considered taking my dishonor among people away.”

26But in her sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee called Nazareth, 27to a virgin pledged to a man whose name was Joseph, from the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28Once the angel came, he said to her, “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Among women, you are blessed.” 29When she heard this, she was troubled over his saying and was pondering what sort of greeting this was. 30But the angel assured her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You really have found favor before God. 31See here, you will conceive in your womb and will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32He will be great, yes and will be called the Son of the Highest; the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David; he will rule in Jacob’s house forever, 33and there will be no end of his kingdom.” 34But Mary said to the angel, “How will such a thing happen, since I am not knowing a man?” 35In answer the angel told her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you. For this reason, the holy one that will be born from you will also be called the Son of God. 36Yes, and here Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son—in her old age—and this is the sixth month for her who is being called sterile, 37because with God no word will be impossible.” 38Then Mary said, “Here is the Lord’s handmaid; let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her.

39During those days Mary got up and went promptly into the hill country to a Judean city. 40She entered Zachary’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41As Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb jumped around. Elizabeth was filled up with the Holy Spirit, 42cried out in a loud voice, and said, “Among women, you are blessed, and the fruit of your womb is blessed. 43Yes and, as for me, how is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44You see, when the sound of your greeting registered in my ears, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. 45But you who believed are blessed, because the things you were told by the Lord will be accomplished.” 46Then Mary declared, “My soul does show the greatness of the Lord, 47and my spirit did rejoice to be saved in my God, 48because he considered the humility of his handmaid. Yes, see now, all generations will call me blessed as a result of this, 49because the one who is powerful did great things to me. His name is holy 50and his mercy is for those fearing him, from one family to the others. 51He has showed the strength of his arm: he scattered the proud in their hearts’ boldness; 52he put the powerful down from their seat but raised the humble up; 53he satisfied the hungering with good things but sent the rich away empty; 54and, remembering his mercy for Abraham and all his descendants (that he spoke of to our fathers), he has received his servant, Israel.” 56Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned home.

57Now Elizabeth’s time for giving birth was complete, and she bore a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard and were congratulating her because the Lord had shown the greatness of his mercy by her. 59Then on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the boy, and they were calling him by his father’s name, Zachary. 60But in response his mother said, “Not so. In fact, he will be called John.” 61They said to her, “No one among your relatives is called by that name.” 62Then they were gesturing to his father, as to what he wanted him called. 63Demanding a tablet, he wrote, “John is his name.” And they were all surprised. 64But then right away his mouth was opened and even his tongue, and he was speaking, praising God. 65And a fear came over all their neighbors, and all this news got spread throughout the Judean hill country, 66and all who did hear it planted it in their hearts, saying, “Who do you think this boy will be?” (And indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.) 67Then Zachary his father was filled up with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying, 68“Israel’s Lord God is blessed, because he has visited and brought about the redemption of his people. 69He has erected salvation’s horn for us in the house of David, his servant. 70He spoke of this by the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning—71of safety from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, 72in keeping with the mercy to be done for our fathers with his holy testament in mind, 73that is, the oath to our father Abraham (that he swore by himself to honor in us) 74that (freed from our enemies’ hands) we would serve him without fear, 75in holiness and justice before him through all our days. 76Yes and you, boy, will be called the prophet of the Highest, since you will go ahead of the Lord’s face to prepare his paths, 77so that a knowledge of salvation would be given to his people for the forgiveness of their sins, 78through our God’s merciful heart. Affected by this heart, he has visited us, rising out of his depth 79to shed light on those who are sitting in darkness and in death’s shadow, so that our feet would be directed to the path of peace.” 80The boy was growing and being strengthened in spirit but was in the desert up until the day of his presentation to Israel.

Luke 2 1In those days an order went out from Caesar Augustus for the entire world to be registered. 2This registration was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. 3Everyone was setting out to declare himself, each to his own city. 4Joseph too went up from Galilee out of the city Nazareth into Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem (because he was from David’s house and family), 5to declare himself with Mary, the wife pledged to him and pregnant. 6But while they were there, her days were finished, so that she would be giving birth. 7And she did bear a son, her firstborn, wrapped him up in cloths, and laid him down in a trough because there was no room for them in the inn.

8In the same area some shepherds were awake, keeping the night watches over their flock. 9And then, the Lord’s angel stood near them, and the brightness of God shined around them, and they were very afraid. 10But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because here, I’m telling you a great joy that will be for all people, 11because today in David’s city a Savior was born for you, who is the anointed Lord. 12Yes and here is proof for you: you’ll find the baby wrapped in cloths and laid in a trough.” 13Suddenly a crowd of the heavenly army was with the angel, praising God and saying, 14“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to men of good will.” 15After the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds were saying to each other, “Let’s go over to Bethlehem and see this news that has happened, that the Lord has revealed to us.” 16They hurried and went. And they did discover Mary and Joseph, and also a baby laid in a trough. 17Seeing this, they grasped what they had been told about this boy. 18Everyone who heard also marveled at the things the shepherds told them. 19But Mary was preserving all these words in her heart. 20Then the shepherds turned back, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen, matching what they had been told.

21After eight days were over (for the boy to be circumcised), he was named Jesus—what he was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. 22After the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were over, they carried him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as was written in the Lord’s law: “Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24and to offer a sacrifice (in accord with what was stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons). 25Now there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. This man was upright and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was in him. 26He had even received a response from the Holy Spirit, that he wouldn’t see his own death till he had first seen the Lord’s Christ. 27Under the Spirit then, he came into the temple. When the parents brought their boy Jesus in, to do for him according to the legal custom, 28he too received him into his arms and praised God. He said, 29“Lord, now you’re sending your servant away in peace, in accord with your word, 30because my eyes have seen your salvation 31that you prepared before the face of all peoples—32light for revealing the Gentiles and your people Israel’s glory.” 33His father and mother were amazed over these things being said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them. He said to Mary his mother, “This one here was set up for the ruin and for the resurrection of many in Israel and as a sign that will be opposed. 35A sword will even pass through your own soul, so that thoughts can be unveiled within many hearts.” 36There was also a prophetess Anna, daughter of Phanuel from the tribe Aser. She had gone on a long time—she had lived with her husband for seven years since her girlhood 37and then was a widow up to her (now) eighty-fourth year. She never left the temple, serving night and day by fasts and prayers. 38She showed up at that same time and was acknowledging this Lord and telling everyone who was looking for Israel’s redemption about him. 39Once they finished everything in compliance with the Lord’s law, they returned into Galilee to their city Nazareth. 40Then the boy was growing and getting strong and full of wisdom, and God’s grace was in him.

41His parents went every year to Jerusalem in the solemn Passover season. 42When he was twelve years old, they did go up to Jerusalem following this custom of the feast. 43With those days over, while they headed back, the boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents didn’t realize it. 44Rather, thinking that he was in the caravan, they went a day’s journey and were looking for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45Not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem, hunting for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the teachers, listening to them and questioning them. 47Everyone listening to him was astounded over his prudence and his responses. 48On seeing him, they were surprised. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Here, your father and I were in grief searching for you.” 49But he said to them, “Why is it that you were searching for me? Weren’t you aware I needed to be among these things that are my Father’s?” 50They didn’t understand what he told them, however. 51Still, he went down with them, came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. But his mother was preserving all these words in her heart. 52And Jesus was advancing in wisdom, age, and favor before God and also people.

Luke 3 1Now in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s rule, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee, Philip (his brother) the tetrarch of Iturea and of the Trachonitis region, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilina, 2in the time of the high priests Annas and Caiphas, the Lord’s word was conferred on Zachary’s son John in the desert. 3He came to the whole area of the Jordan, announcing a penitential baptism for the forgiveness of sins. 4As was written in the book of the prophet Isaiah’s sayings, “The voice of one calling in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight; 5every valley will be filled up, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; crooked things will be straightened out and rough places be level roads; 6yes, and everybody will see God’s salvation.'” 7Consequently, he was saying to the crowds that were going out to be baptized by him, “You snakes’ offspring, did someone warn you to escape the anger that’s about to come? 8Then produce fruits in keeping with repenting. And don’t start saying, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ because I tell you, God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these rocks. 9Yes, an axe has been set at the roots of trees, and so, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10The people were asking him, “Then what should we do?” 11He answered them, “Whoever has two shirts, let him give to someone without any. Whoever has food, let him do likewise.” 12The taxmen also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He told them, “Acquire nothing beyond what was arranged for you.” 14Soldiers too were asking him, “And what should we do?” He told them, “Don’t abuse or falsely accuse anyone. And be satisfied with your pay.” 15Now with people evaluating John and everyone imagining in their hearts that he might be the Christ, 16John responded to them all, “Yes, I’m baptizing you with water, but someone stronger than I will come, whose shoes I’m not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His fan is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather the wheat into his barn, but he’ll burn the chaff with inextinguishable fire.” 18He was preaching to the people, urging many other things too. 19However, when Herod the tetrarch was rebuked by him about his brother’s wife Herodias and about all the evil things Herod had done, 20Herod added this on top of everything—he shut John up in prison too.

21Now as all the people were being baptized, while a baptized Jesus was praying, heaven was opened, 22and, with a dove-like physical appearance, the Holy Spirit came down on him, and a voice came from heaven: “You are my dear Son. I am so pleased in you.” 23Jesus himself, about thirty then, was the son (it was being supposed) of Joseph, who was a son of Heli, who was Mathat’s, 24who was Levi’s, who was Melchi’s, who was Janne’s, who was Joseph’s, 25who was Mathathias’, who was Amos’, who was Nahum’s, who was Hesli’s, who was Nagge’s, 26who was Mahath’s, who was Mathathias’, who was Semei’s, who was Joseph’s, who was Juda’s, 27who was Joanna’s, who was Reza’s, who was Zorobabel’s, who was Salathiel’s, who was Neri’s, 28who was Melchi’s, who was Addi’s, who was Cosan’s, who was Helmadan’s, who was Her’s, 29who was Jesus’, who was Eliezer’s, who was Jorim’s, who was Mathat’s, who was Levi’s, 30who was of Simeon’s, who was Judas’, who was Joseph’s, who was Jona’s, who was Eliakim’s, 31who was Melea’s, who was Menna’s, who was Mathatha’s, who was Nathan’s, who was David’s, 32who was Jesse’s, who was Obed’s, who was Booz’s, who was Salmon’s, who was Naasson’s, 33who was Aminadab’s, who was Aram’s, who was Esron’s, who was Phares’, who was Judas’, 34who was Jacob’s, who was Isaac’s, who was Abraham’s, who was Thare’s, who was Nachor’s, 35who was Sarug’s, who was Ragau’s, who was Phaleg’s, who was Heber’s, who was Sale’s, 36who was Cainan’s, who was Arphaxad’s, who was Sem’s, who was Noah’s, who was Lamech’s, 37who was Mathusale’s, who was Enoch’s, who was Jared’s, who was Malaleel’s, who was Cainan’s, 38who was Henos’, who was Seth’s, who was son of Adam, who was God’s.

Luke 4 1Full of the Holy Spirit, Jesus then withdrew from the Jordan and was drawn into the desert by the Spirit 2for forty days, and he was being tempted by the Devil. He ate nothing during that time and when it was over, he was hungry. 3Then the Devil said to him, “If you are God’s Son, tell this rock to become bread.” 4Jesus answered him, “It was written down that one doesn’t live just on bread but on every word of God.'” 5The Devil led him up onto a tall mountain, displayed all the kingdoms of the earth for him within a short time, 6and declared to him, “I will give you all this power and the glory of these, because they were handed over to me and I give them to whomever I wish. 7Therefore, if you worship me, they will all be yours.” 8But Jesus replied, “It was written down, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and only serve him.’9He even led him to Jerusalem, set him atop a temple wall, and said to him, “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down from here 10since the scripture is, that he gave his angels orders about you, to preserve you, 11and that they will hold you up in their hands, so you won’t hit your foot on a rock.” 12But Jesus answered him, “It was spoken: ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’13Having finished every temptation, the Devil withdrew from him until a later time.

14Jesus went back to Galilee under the Spirit’s power, and talk about him went out over the whole region. 15He was teaching in their synagogues and was being acclaimed by everyone. 16He even came to Nazareth, where he had been raised; on a sabbath (following his custom) he entered the synagogue and got up to read. 17The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. As he opened the book, he found the place where this was written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me; because of this he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to heal the broken-hearted, 19to announce release to captives and sight to the blind, to send the crushed along toward recovery, and to proclaim the Lord’s acceptable year and a time of paying back.” 20Once he closed the book, he gave it back to the attendant and sat down. Then the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were focused on him. 21And he started to tell them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your ears.” 22But they were all claiming things about him, wondering at the pleasant words coming out of his mouth, and saying, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” 23However, he said to them, “Surely you’re about to point out this comparison to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself—do here in your hometown things as great as we heard were done in Capharnaum.'” 24But he said, “No, I tell you, no prophet has been accepted in his own area. 25In fact, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when heaven was shut up for three years and six months since a major famine had come on the whole earth. 26But Elijah was sent to none of them except a widow at Sarepta in Sidon. 27And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was made clean except Naaman the Syrian.” 28On hearing this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. 29They got up, drove him out of the city, and pulled him up to the brow of the hill their city was built on, so as to throw him down from there. 30But penetrating through the middle of them, he walked on.

31He went down to Capharnaum, a Galilean city, and was teaching them there on sabbaths. 32They were marveling at his teaching because even his way of speaking had an authority. 33In the synagogue was someone with a foul spirit, and he cried out in a loud voice, 34“Let us be! What are we to each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know you, who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and leave him.” Once the demon threw him down among them, he did go out of him and didn’t hurt him at all. 36Then a fright came over everyone, and they were talking among themselves and saying, “What kind of language is this, that he commands the foul spirits with authority and power, and they leave?” 37And talk about him spread into every part of the region.

38But Jesus got up out of the synagogue and went to Simon’s house. Simon’s mother-in-law had a high fever, and they enlisted him for her. 39Standing over her, he commanded the fever and it left her. She got up right away and began tending to them. 40After the sun set, all those who had people ill with whatever weaknesses were bringing them to him, and as he laid his hands on them one by one, he healed them. 41Demons were also going out from many of them, crying out and saying, “You are the Son of God.” He rebuked them and wasn’t letting them speak, since they knew he was the Christ. 42Heading out when it was day, he was going toward a deserted place, but the crowds missed him, came to him, and were detaining him so he wouldn’t leave them. 43He stated to them, “I need to announce God’s kingdom to other cities too, because I was sent for that.” 44And so he was among the Galilean synagogues, preaching.

Luke 5 1Once when the crowds pressed on him to listen to the word of God, he was standing by Lake Genesareth 2and saw two ships moored by the lake. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3He boarded one ship, which was Simon’s, and asked him to pull it a little away from land. Sitting there, he started teaching the crowd from the boat. 4When he finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Launch out into the lake and let your nets down for a catch.” 5Simon answered him, “Teacher, working all night we caught nothing, but on your word I’ll let the net down.” 6Once they did this, they enclosed a tremendous school of fish, and their net was breaking. 7They waved to their partners who were in the other ship, to come and help them. They came and they filled both the boats, so that they were almost sinking. 8When Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Get away from me, Lord, because I’m a man, a sinner!” 9After all, a bewilderment at the catch of fish they had taken had encircled him and everyone with him there, 10as it had James and John (sons of Zebedee), who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus assured Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you’ll be catching men.” 11Once they brought their ships to land, they left everything and followed him.

12When Jesus was in a certain city, a man full of leprosy saw him, fell facedown, and begged him, “Lord, if you want to, you can make me clean.” 13Jesus reached out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do want to. Be made clean.” Right away the leprosy left him. 14He directed him not to tell anyone, “But go, show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your cleansing as Moses instructed, as an evidence to them.” 15But discussion about him was making the rounds even more, and large crowds were gathering to listen and to be healed from their frailties by him. 16He, however, withdrew into the desert and was praying.

17One day he sat teaching. (Also sitting by were Pharisees and legal experts, who had come out of every town of Galilee and Judea and out of Jerusalem.) But the Lord’s power was for them to be healed, 18and some men carried a paralyzed man in a couch, whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him. 19When because of the crowd they couldn’t find a direction from which they could bring him in, they went up on the roof and let him down, with his couch, through the tiles right in front of Jesus. 20When he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven.” 21But the scribes and Pharisees began to think, “Who is this, uttering blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, except God alone?” 22Since Jesus knew their thoughts, he responded to them, “What are you thinking in your hearts? 23Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But in order for you to know that the Son of man has the power on earth to forgive sins,” he said to the paralyzed man: “I tell you, get up, take up your couch, and go home.” 25Getting up right away before their eyes, he carried the couch he’d been lying on and left for home, praising God. 26A bewilderment took hold of everyone and they were praising God. They were also filled with fear, indicating, “We saw marvels today.”

27After that Jesus went on. He saw a taxman named Levi sitting at the tax office and said to him, “Follow me.” 28Leaving all those things, he did get up and follow him. 29Levi put on a great banquet for him at his house, and around the table with them was a large group of taxmen and others. 30But some Pharisees and scribes were grumbling and said to his disciples, “Why are you eating and drinking with taxmen and sinners?” 31Jesus responded to them, “Those who are healthy don’t need a doctor, only those who are ill. 32I didn’t come to call the good to repentance, but sinners.” 33Still they said to him, “Why do John’s disciples (like the Pharisees’) often fast and make prayers, but yours eat and drink?” 34He said to them, “Can you really make the groomsmen fast while the groom is with them? 35On the other hand, the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them; then they will fast.” 36He also told them a comparison: “No one puts a border from a new garment onto an old garment; otherwise he’s not only tearing the new one apart, but the border from the new one doesn’t fit right with the old garment. 37And no one puts new wine into old skins; otherwise the new wine will rip the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined too. 38Instead, new wine is to be put into new skins; then both are preserved. 39Also, no one drinking the old wants some new right then, since he says, ‘The old is better.'”

Luke 6 1On the second primary sabbath, while he was passing through some crops, his disciples were picking ears of grain and eating them by rubbing them in their hands. 2Some Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is illegal on sabbaths?” 3But Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry—4how he went into God’s house and took and ate the Bread of Proposition (which is illegal to eat but is only for the priests) and gave some to those with him?” 5And he told them that the Son of man is even the sabbath’s Lord. 6On another sabbath too, he entered a synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. 7Now some scribes and Pharisees were watching to see if he would be healing on the sabbath, so that they could find something to accuse him with. 8But he was aware of their thoughts and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand here.” Getting up, he stood there, 9and then Jesus said to them, “I ask you whether it’s legal on sabbath days to do good or evil, to make a life well or to destroy it?” 10Looking around at all of them, he said to the man, “Stretch your hand out.” He did stretch it out, and his hand was restored. 11Then they were swollen with foolishness and conferring with each other as to what they could do to Jesus.

12Around that time he went out onto a mountain to pray, and he was spending the night in prayer with God. 13Once it was day, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he called “apostles”—14Simon (whom he designated as “Peter”) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15Matthew and Thomas, James (son of Alpheus) and Simon (called Zelotes), 16and Jude (brother of James) and Judas Iscariot (who was the traitor). 17After he descended, he stood in a flat area with them and a group of his disciples, and with a very large crowd of people from all Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and of Sidon 18who had all come to listen to him and to be healed of their weaknesses. Those harassed by foul spirits were being cured too. 19The whole crowd was trying to touch him, because goodness was going out from him and healing them all.

20Then raising his eyes onto his disciples, he said, “You poor are blessed, because God’s kingdom is yours. 21You who are hungering now are blessed, because you will be filled. You who are grieving now are blessed, because you will be laughing. 22When, because of the Son of man, people will hate you, shun you, reproach you, and spew out your name as if evil, you will be blessed; 23rejoice at that time and jump for joy, because see, your reward in heaven is rich, since their fathers were doing things like that to the prophets. 24But what a shame for you rich, since you have your consolation. 25What a shame for you who have been satisfied, since you will be hungering. What a shame for you who are laughing now, since you will be mourning and grieving. 26What a shame for you when people will speak well of you, since their fathers were doing that to the false prophets. 27But I tell you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. 28Speak well of those speaking poorly of you, and pray for those accusing you falsely. 29Yes, and offer anyone hitting one side of your jaw the other one too. Don’t prevent someone who takes your coat from you, from taking your shirt too. 30Share with everyone begging you, and don’t demand your things back from someone who takes them away. 31Do to people as you’re wanting them to do to you. 32If you love those who love you, what favor is due for you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what favor is due for you, since even sinners do this too? 34And if you make a loan to those you’re hoping to get it back from, what favor is due for you, seeing that sinners also lend to sinners, to get similar amounts back? 35But you, love your enemies, do good, and make loans expecting nothing after that. And your reward will be rich, and you will be sons of the Highest, because he is kind to the unthankful and the evil. 36Be merciful, then, as your Father is merciful. 37Don’t judge and you won’t be judged. Don’t accuse and you won’t be accused. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 38Give and it will be given to you; they’ll give a good measure, compacted, shaken together, and overflowing, into your lap. Yes, and it will be measured back for you by the same measuring standard you measure with.”

39He also told them this comparison: “Is someone blind really able to lead a blind person? Don’t they both fall into the ditch? 40A student isn’t above his teacher, but every student will be perfect if he is like his teacher. 41Also, why do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye, but not consider the beam that’s in your eye? 42Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me pull the straw out of your eye,’ when you aren’t seeing the beam in your own eye? You hypocrite, first pull the beam out of your own eye, and then you’ll see clearly so as to draw the straw out of your brother’s eye. 43You know, there isn’t a good tree that produces evil fruit or an evil tree that produces good fruit. 44No, each tree is known by its fruit. No, they don’t gather figs from thorn bushes or harvest the grape from a berry vine. 45A good person offers good from the good treasure of his heart, and an evil person offers evil from an evil hoard. Yes, the mouth speaks out of the wealth of its heart. 46Still, why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things I say? 47Let me make clear who everyone is like that comes to me, hears my words, and does them. 48He’s like someone building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, its torrent smashed against that house but couldn’t shake it, since it had been founded on rock. 49However, everyone who hears them and doesn’t do them is like someone building his house without a foundation, on top of the ground. The water smashed against it, it fell down right away, and a great ruin was made of that house.”

Luke 7 1After Jesus filled all his sayings into the people’s ears, he went into Capharnaum. 2A centurion’s servant, who was dear to the man, was sick and about to die. 3Since he had heard of Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they were begging him earnestly, telling him, “He’s worthy for you to do this for him 5because he loves our nation, and he built the synagogue for us.” 6Jesus did go with them. When he wasn’t far from the house, the centurion sent some friends to him to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, because I’m not worthy for you to come in under my roof—7the same way I didn’t consider myself worthy to come to you either. No, just indicate by a word, and my servant will be healed. 8You see, I too am a man set up under an authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one ‘Go’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my servant ‘Do this’ and he does it.” 9When Jesus heard this, he marveled and, turning around to the crowd following him, said, “No, I tell you, not even in Israel have I found this much faith.” 10Then those who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well, who had been fading away.

11Next Jesus was going into a city called Naim; his disciples and a large crowd were going with him. 12But as he was approaching the city gate, here now, a dead man was being carried out. He was the only son of his mother, who was a widow, and a large crowd from the city was with her. 13When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Don’t weep.” 14He came close and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I tell you, get up.” 15The one who had been dead sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16A fear took hold of everyone, and they were praising God and saying, “A great prophet has risen among us” and, “God has visited his people.” 17This talk about him went out into all of Judea and the entire surrounding region.

18John’s disciples, too, reported to John about all this. 19John called two of his disciples over and sent them to Jesus to say, “Are you the one who is about to come, or are we looking for someone else?” 20When the men got to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is about to come, or are we looking for someone else?'” 21(Well, at that same time Jesus cured many people of their weaknesses, injuries, and evil spirits, and gave sight to many blind people.) 22In answer, he said to them, “Go and report to John what you’ve heard and seen: the blind are seeing, the lame are walking, lepers are being made clean, the deaf are hearing, the dead are rising up, and the poor are being told good news. 23And he who doesn’t take offense at me is blessed.”

24After John’s messengers left, he began to talk to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 25Then, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in delicate clothing? You see, those in costly clothing and delights are in king’s houses. 26Well, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27He’s the one about whom it was written, ‘There now, I’m sending my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way ahead of you.’ 28Yes, I tell you, no one among the prophets born from women is greater than John the Baptist. But whoever is even quite small in God’s kingdom is greater than he is.” 29When all the people and the taxmen heard this, they praised God’s justice, since they had been baptized in John’s baptism, 30whereas Pharisees and legal experts rejected God’s judgment against them, since they hadn’t been baptized by him. 31The Lord also said, “What shall I say the people of this generation are like, then? What are they like? 32They’re like children sitting in the marketplace and addressing each other by saying, ‘We sang with flutes for you, but you didn’t dance. We mourned but you didn’t wail.’ 33Just so, John the Baptist came, not eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34The Son of man has come, eating and drinking, but you say, ‘See there, the man is a glutton, drinks down wine, and is a friend of taxmen and sinners.’ 35However, wisdom has been vindicated by all children of hers.”

36Still, one of the Pharisees was begging Jesus to eat with him, and he did go to the Pharisee’s house and settled at the table. 37Now when a woman who was a sinner in the city learned that he reclined in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster box of ointment there. 38Staying behind him by his feet, she began to wash his feet with tears and was wiping them with the hair of her head, kissing his feet, and anointing them with the ointment. 39Seeing this, the Pharisee who had invited him said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, surely he would know who and what sort of woman she is that is touching him, that she’s a sinner.” 40Jesus responded to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He said, “Tell me, teacher.” 41“Two people were debtors to a lender. One owed five hundred days’ wages and the other one fifty. 42As they had no way to pay him back, he forgave both of them. So now, who loves him more?” 43Simon replied, “I suppose the one he forgave more.” And he said to him, “You’ve judged correctly.” 44Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house and you didn’t offer water for my feet, but she washed my feet with tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You gave me no kiss, but ever since she came in, she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet. 46You didn’t anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. 47Because of this, I tell you, many sins are being forgiven her, seeing that she has loved so much. But whoever is let off less loves less.” 48Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49But those reclining with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this that even forgives sins”? 50He also told the woman, “Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

Luke 8 1After that, he was making his way through the cities and towns, preaching and announcing God’s kingdom. With him were the twelve, 2some women who had been healed of evil spirits and illnesses—Mary (who is called Magdalen, from whom seven demons had gone out), 3Joanna (the wife of Chusa, Herod’s manager), Susanna—and many others who were tending to him from their resources. 4With a very large crowd assembling and rushing out of the cities to him, he spoke by means of a parable: 5“A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path, got trampled, and birds ate them up. 6Others fell on rock and dried up after sprouting because they had no moisture. 7Some others fell in among thorns, and as the thorns grew up, they smothered the seeds. 8But others fell on good soil and, once grown, produced a hundred times over.” After he said this, he cried out, “Let whoever has ears for hearing, hear.”

9Then his disciples asked him what this parable was about. 10He said to them, “It has been granted to you to know the secret of God’s kingdom, but to others it’s in parables, with the result that, though seeing, they might not perceive, and though hearing, they might not understand. 11Now here is the parable. The seed is God’s word. 12Those along the path are people who hear, but then the Devil comes and takes the word out of their hearts, so that they won’t be saved by believing it. 13Those on the rock are people who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no roots—who believe for a while but fall away during a time of trial. 14And those that fell in among thorns are people who have heard but, going ahead with life’s anxieties, riches, and pleasures, get smothered and don’t return any fruit. 15But those on the good soil are people who upon hearing the word, hold onto it in a virtuous and good heart and patiently bear fruit. 16However, no one lighting a lamp covers it with a pot or sets it under a couch, but puts it up on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see light. 17Indeed there isn’t anything secret that couldn’t be made public, or anything hidden that isn’t known and can come into the open. 18Well then, consider how you’re hearing, because more will be given to the one who does have, but even what someone thinks he has (but doesn’t really) will get taken away from him.” 19Then his mother and brothers came near him, but they couldn’t approach him because of the crowd. 20He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21He replied, “My mother and my brothers are those who listen to God’s word and do it.”

22On one of those days he boarded a small boat of his disciples’ and said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” Then they boarded. 23While they were proceeding, he was asleep, and a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were getting swamped and were in danger. 24They came, woke him up, and said, “Teacher, we’re done for!” But he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging water; it stopped and a calm was brought about. 25He said to them, “Where is your faith?” But they were afraid and amazed, and said to each other, “Who do you think this is, that gives orders to both the wind and the sea and they obey him?”

26Then they proceeded to the Gerasens region, which is across from Galilee. 27When he got out onto land, a man who had had a demon for a long time met him. He wouldn’t wear clothes and was living in the tombs, not in a house. 28When he saw Jesus, he fell down in front of him and, shouting in a loud voice, said, “What do I have to do with you, Jesus, Son of Highest God? I beg you, don’t wrench me loose.” 29You see, Jesus was commanding the foul spirit to go out of the man. (Indeed, often it would seize him, and he would be tied up with chains and held in foot shackles; but he would break these restraints and be driven by the demon into deserted places.) 30Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion,” because many demons had come into him. 31They were begging him not to order them to go into the depths. 32Well, a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the mountain; and the demons were even begging him to let them go into them. And he let them. 33So the demons went out of the man and into the pigs, and the herd ran furiously down a slope into the lake and drowned. 34Once those who had been feeding them saw this happen, they ran off and reported to the city and villages. 35Then these others came out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man that the demons had gone out of sitting at his feet, in clothes and mentally sound, and they were afraid. 36Those who had witnessed it recounted to them how he had been freed from the “Legion.” 37Because the whole crowd from the Gerasens region was overcome with a powerful fear, they begged him to leave them. (He did then board ship and go back.) 38But the man that the demons had left was begging Jesus to let him be with him. Jesus sent him away, though, saying, 39“Go back home and tell how much God has done for you.” He did then go through the whole city, declaring how much Jesus had done for him.

40After Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, because they had all been waiting for him. 41And a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell down at Jesus’ feet, begging him to come to his house 42because his only daughter was just twelve years old, but was dying. While he was going there, though, he was getting crowded against by the crowds. 43And a woman subject to bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all her resources on doctors but wasn’t able to be healed by any of them, 44came up behind him and touched the edge of his clothing. Right away her bleeding stopped. 45Jesus said, “Who is it that touched me?” As everyone was denying it, Peter and those with him said, “Teacher, the crowd is pressing in and crushing you, and here you are, saying, ‘Who touched me?'” 46Jesus said, “Someone did touch me; you see, I noticed power going out from me.” 47Then the woman saw that she wouldn’t remain unknown and came trembling, fell down at his feet, and declared before all the people why she had touched him and how she was healed immediately. 48But he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” 49As he was telling her this, someone came up to the synagogue leader and said to him, “Your daughter has died, don’t bother him.” 50But when Jesus heard this report, he addressed the girl’s father, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she’ll be fine.” 51Once he came to the house, he didn’t allow anyone but Peter, James, John, and girl’s father and mother to go in with him, 52and they were all crying and mourning over her. But he said, “Don’t cry; the girl isn’t dead, just sleeping.” 53Knowing she was dead, though, they began making fun of him. 54But holding onto her hand, he cried out, “O girl, get up!” 55And her breath returned, she got up right away, and he had them give her something to eat. 56Her parents were astonished, and he directed them not to be telling anyone what had been done.

Luke 9 1Then he called the twelve apostles together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure illnesses. 2He sent them to announce God’s kingdom and to heal the sick. 3He told them, “Don’t take anything for the journey—not a walking stick, bag, bread, or money; and don’t have two shirts. 4Stay at whatever house you go into, and don’t go out from there. 5When you’re leaving a city that hasn’t welcomed you, shake even the dust of your feet off in testimony against them.” 6Going out, then, they went around preaching the gospel through the towns and healing everywhere. 7Now Herod the tetrarch heard of everything being done by Jesus, but he was uncertain about him because it was being said 8by some that John had risen from the dead, but by some others that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen up. 9Herod said, “I beheaded John, but who is this that I’m hearing such things about?” And he was wanting to see him.

10When the apostles returned, they told him everything they had done. He took them and withdrew off to a deserted place by Bethsaida. 11Once the people learned this, they went after him. And he welcomed them, was telling them about God’s kingdom, and healing those who needed healing. 12But the day began to wear on, and the twelve came and said to him, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the towns and villages around to stay and to find food, because we’re here in an out of the way place.” 13But he told them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “There aren’t more than five loaves and two fish for us, unless perhaps we were to go and buy food for this whole crowd.” 14Now there were about five thousand men, but he told his disciples, “Have them lie down in groups of fifty.” 15They did so—had them all lie down. 16Then he took the five loaves and two fish, looked to heaven, blessed them, and broke and distributed them to his disciples to put before the crowd. 17Everyone ate and was satisfied, and twelve baskets of left-over fragments were taken up.

18Once when he was praying by himself, his disciples were near him and he asked them, “Who do the people say I am?” 19They answered, “John the Baptist, but some say Elijah, and others say that one of the previous prophets has risen up.” 20He said to them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “God’s Christ.” 21But barking at them, he ordered them not to tell anyone this. 22He said, “The Son of man has to suffer many things, be condemned by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, but rise up on the third day.” 23He was also telling everyone, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him refuse himself, take up his cross daily, and accompany me, 24because whoever wants to make his life safe will lose it; on the other hand, whoever loses his life for my sake will make it safe. 25After all, what is a person accomplishing if he were acquiring the entire world but losing himself and doing himself harm? 26And when the Son of man comes in the majesty that is his and his Father’s and the holy angels’, he’ll be ashamed of anyone who is ashamed of me and my words. 27But as a matter of fact, there are some standing here who won’t taste death till they see God’s kingdom…”

28Well, it happened about eight days after these words that he took Peter, James, and John and went up on a mountain to be praying. 29While he was praying, the quality of his appearance was made different and his clothing white and gleaming. 30And there, two men were talking with him; in fact, they were Moses and Elijah, 31seen in majesty. They were discussing his death, which he was about to fulfill in Jerusalem. 32But Peter and those with him had been weighed down with sleep. Waking up then, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 33When those men were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Teacher, it’s good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” not knowing what he was saying. 34While he was saying this, a cloud formed and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35Then a voice came from the cloud, that said, “This is my dear Son; listen to him.” 36As the voice was occurring, only Jesus was to be found. They kept quiet, and back then they told no one any of this that they had seen.

37The next day, when they came down the mountain, a large crowd met them. 38A man in the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you, look at my son because he’s my only one. 39You see, a spirit will seize him; he’ll cry out suddenly, and it tears into him, throws him down spitting and, tearing him apart, will hardly leave. 40I begged your disciples to drive it out of him, and they couldn’t.” 41Jesus replied, “You unfaithful, perverse generation, how long will I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here.” 42As he was approaching him, the demon tore into him and threw him down. 43Jesus rebuked the foul spirit, cured the boy, and gave him back to his father. 44Then everyone was marveling at God’s greatness. But while they were admiring everything he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Put these words down in your hearts: it is about to be, that the Son of man will be surrendered to human hands.” 45But they didn’t understand this saying; it was hidden in front of them, and so they weren’t realizing it and were afraid to ask him about the saying. 46In addition a thought came to them—who out of them was the more important. 47But perceiving the thoughts of their hearts, Jesus took a child, had it stand beside him, 48and stated to them, “Whoever receives such a child on my account is receiving me, and whoever receives me is receiving the one who sent me. Yes, the littler one among all of you—he is the more important.” 49Then John responded, “Teacher, we saw someone driving demons out in your name, and we forbid him because he doesn’t follow along with us.” 50Jesus said to him, “Don’t forbid him, because one who is not against you is for you.”

51While the days of his popularity were finishing up, he also set his face for heading to Jerusalem. 52He sent messengers ahead of his own appearing. Going ahead, they entered a Samaritan city to start preparing for him. 53But people there didn’t welcome him, because his appearance was that of someone going to Jerusalem. 54Well, when his disciples James and John had seen this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55Turned toward them, he rebuked them: “You don’t know whose spirit you belong to. 56The Son of man didn’t come to destroy lives but to save them.” And so they went toward another town. 57As they were walking on the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds have nests, but the Son of man doesn’t have anywhere to rest his head.” 59He said to someone else, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60Jesus said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their dead, but you, go and announce God’s kingdom.” 61And another one said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me give word to those who are at my house.” 62Jesus said to him, “No one who is putting his hand to the plow but looking back is ready for God’s kingdom.”

Luke 10 1After this the Lord chose an additional seventy-two and sent them in pairs ahead of his appearance—to every city and place where he himself was about to come. 2He told them, “Yes, the harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Well then, beg the lord of the harvest to send workers into his harvest. 3Go now. See here, I’m sending you like lambs among wolves. 4Don’t carry a bag or wallet or shoes, and don’t greet anyone along the road. 5Whatever house you would go into, first say, ‘Peace to this house,’ 6and if a child of peace is there, your peace will rest on him, but otherwise it will return to you. 7Also, stay in the same house (eating and drinking the things that are there, since the worker deserves his wages); don’t go from house to house. 8Likewise, when you enter any city and they receive you, eat what you’re served; 9also heal the sick in it and tell them, ‘God’s kingdom has come near you.’ 10On the other hand, when you enter any city and they don’t receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11‘We’re wiping even your city’s dust that has stuck onto us, off against you, but know this: God’s kingdom did come by.’ 12I tell you, on that day it will be easier on Sodom than for that city. 13What a shame for you, Corozain! What a shame for you, Bethsaida! After all, if the achievements that were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented back then, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But as it is, it will be easier on Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15And you, Capharnaum, raised up to heaven? You’ll be plunged into hell. 16Whoever hears you is hearing me, and whoever rejects you is rejecting me. In addition, anyone who rejects me is rejecting the one who sent me.”

17Next the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.” 18He told them, “I saw Satan falling from heaven like lightning. 19Yes, I’ve given you the power for trampling snakes, scorpions, and all the enemy’s strength, and nothing will hurt you. 20Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in that (that spirits are subject to you), but rejoice that your names have been written down in heaven.” 21At that same time he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, because it was pleasing to you this way. 22Everything was entrusted to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is, except the Father, or who the Father is, except the Son and anyone the Son wants to reveal him to.” 23Then, turned toward his disciples, he said, “The eyes that see the things you’re seeing are blessed, 24because, I tell you, many prophets and kings wanted to see the things you’re seeing, but didn’t see them, and to hear the things you’re hearing, but didn’t hear them.”

25Then a legal expert got up to test him and said, “Teacher, I will have eternal life—by doing what?” 26He said to him, “What was written down in the law? How do you read it?” 27He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from all your strength and from all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” 29But wanting to justify himself, the expert said, “But who is my neighbor?” 30Resuming, Jesus said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and encountered some bandits, who did rob him and, after wounding him, went away, leaving him half-dead. 31Now a priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw him, he passed by. 32Likewise, when a Levite was near the place and looked him over, he passed right along too. 33But a Samaritan making his way, came near the man and was moved with compassion when he saw him. 34He approached, bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them, laid him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two coins, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him, and I’ll pay you back anything you spend beyond this when I come back.’ 36Which of these three, in your opinion, was the neighbor to the one who encountered the bandits?” 37He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go, and do likewise.”

38Then they went on, and he entered a certain town. A woman named Martha received him into her house. 39She had a sister named Mary, who was listening to the Lord’s word, even sitting at his feet. 40On the other hand, Martha was being busy with the usual serving. She stood there and said, “Lord, is it no care of yours that my sister has left me to serve alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are conscientious but are getting upset about many things. 42In the future, one thing is needed. Mary has selected the best portion, which won’t get taken away from her.”

Luke 11 1He was at one place, praying, and when he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, like John taught his disciples.” 2He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come. 3Give us our daily food today. 4But do forgive us our sins—if we too forgive everyone owing us. And may you not let us in for temptation.'” 5He also said to them, “Let’s say one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves 6because a friend of mine came off the road to me, and I have nothing to put in front of him.’ 7But that one would answer from inside, ‘Don’t be a bother to me. The door is already shut, and my children are in bed with me; I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8Still, if he keeps knocking, I tell you, even if the friend won’t get up and give to him because he’s his friend, he will get up and give him as much as the man thinks he needs because of his rude persistence. 9Yes, I tell you, ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened for you. 10Truly, everyone who asks does receive, and one who seeks does find, and it will be opened for someone knocking. 11Besides, if one of you asks his father for some bread, would he give that one a rock? Or if for a fish, would he give him a snake in place of the fish? 12Or if he asks for an egg, would he hand him a scorpion? 13Then if you, as bad as you may be, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father give the good Spirit from heaven to those begging it for themselves?”

14He was driving out a demon that made a person mute. Once he had driven the demon out, the mute person spoke up. The crowd was amazed, 15but some of them said, “He’s driving demons out by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.” 16(Others were asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him.) 17When he saw their designs, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided within itself will be given up, and one building will fall onto the next. 18But if Satan has likewise been divided against himself, how will his kingdom hold up—since you say that I’m driving demons out by Beelzebub. 19Or, if I’m driving the demons out by Beelzebub, by whom are your children driving them out? (Therefore, they will be the judges of you.) 20But if I am driving demons out by God’s finger, then the kingdom of God has actually come to you. 21When an armed strong man guards his entryway, the things he owns are at peace. 22But if someone stronger comes upon him and defeats him, he’ll take away all the armor that one was trusting in and will distribute spoils from what was his. 23Whoever isn’t with me is against me, and whoever doesn’t gather with me scatters. 24When a foul spirit has gone out of a person, it travels all through dry places, looking for rest, but when it finds none, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I left.’ 25And when it does come back, it finds it swept clean and furnished. 26Then it goes and brings seven other spirits, worse than itself, with it, and they go in and live there, and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.” 27While he was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “How blessed the womb is that carried you and the breasts are that you nursed at!” 28But he said, “Yes indeed, those who hear God’s word and preserve it are blessed.”

29As crowds were flocking there, he continued, “This generation is a wicked generation. It wants a sign, but it will be given no sign except the sign of the prophet Jonah, 30because just as Jonah was a sign to the Ninivites, the Son of man will be to this generation. 31The queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation at the judgment and accuse them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom, and see, more than Solomon is here. 32The men of Ninive will rise with this generation at the judgment and will accuse it, because they repented upon Jonah’s preaching, and see, more than Jonah is here. 33No one lights a lamp and puts it in a hidden place or under a bucket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see light. 34Your eye is your body’s lamp. If your eye has been pure, your whole body will be lit up, but if it’s been bad, your body too will be dark. 35(So make sure that the ‘light’ that’s in you isn’t a darkness.) 36Yes, if your whole body has been lit up, with no dark part, then the whole thing will be lit up and will give you light like a bright lamp.”

37While he was speaking, a Pharisee begged him to have lunch with him. He did go in and recline there. 38The Pharisee began to wonder to himself why he hadn’t washed before the lunch. 39The Lord said to him, “Now, you Pharisees clean the outside of a cup and a dish, but what is inside you is full of robbery and injustice. 40You fools, didn’t the one who made what is outside make what is inside too? 41Still, give the leftovers as alms, and then everything is clean for you. 42But what a shame for you Pharisees, because you tithe mint, rue, and every sort of herb but disregard justice and love for God, which you should have done, without giving the others up. 43What a shame for you, Pharisees, because you love the foremost seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplace. 44What a shame for you, because you’re like unmarked graves that people aren’t aware of when they’re walking over them.” 45Then one of the legal experts replied to him, “Teacher, in saying these things you’re insulting us too.” 46He said, “What a shame for you legal experts too, because you weigh people down with burdens they can’t carry, and you yourselves don’t touch the bundles with a single finger of yours. 47What a shame for you who build monuments to the prophets, though your fathers killed them. 48You’re actually giving evidence that you agree with what your fathers did, because yes, they killed them, but you’re building their tombs. 49And that too is why God’s wisdom said: ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them, but they will kill and persecute some of them,’ 50with the result that an inquisition into all the prophets’ blood shed since the world’s foundation can be made of this generation—51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias, who died between the altar and the temple. Yes, I am telling you, it will be required from this generation. 52What a shame for you legal experts, because you’ve taken away the key to knowledge; you yourselves didn’t go in there, and you’ve prevented those who were going in.” 53As he was telling them these things, the Pharisees and law experts began to put heavy pressure on him and to overwhelm his mouth about many things, 54lying in wait for him and trying to catch something out of his mouth to find fault with.

Luke 12 1With a large crowd surrounding him, such that people were stepping on each other, he began to say to his disciples, “Notice the Pharisees’ leaven, that is, their hypocrisy. 2However, nothing covered up won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden won’t be known; 3what you’ve said in the dark will be said in the light, and what you whispered into the ear within rooms will be announced up on roofs. 4I’m telling you, my friends, don’t be terrified by those who kill the body and after that have no more they can do. 5No, let me lay out for you whom you should be afraid of. Be afraid of the one who has the power to send into hell after he’s killed. Yes, I tell you, be afraid of him. 6Don’t five sparrows cost two dollars? Yes, but not one of them is forgotten before God. 7In fact, even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Well then, don’t be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. 8I also tell you, the Son of man will acknowledge before God’s angels anyone who acknowledges me before people. 9On the other hand, whoever denies me before people will be denied before God’s angels. 10Whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven for that; but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven for that. 11When they do bring you into the synagogues and to officials and leaders, don’t be concerned with how or what to reply or what to say, 12because the Holy Spirit will show you at that same time what you should say.”

13Then someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14But he said to him, “Man, who appointed me as judge or divider over you?” 15And he said to them, “Notice and beware of all greed, because one’s life isn’t in the abundance of the things he has.” 16Then he told them a parable: “A rich man’s land produced lots of crops. 17And he was thinking to himself, ‘What shall I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops?’ 18He said, ‘I’ll do this: I’ll demolish my barns, build bigger ones, and collect everything that has grown for me, as well as my goods, into them. 19Then I’ll say to my soul, “Soul, you have many good things set up for many years. Relax, eat, drink, and feast away.”‘ 20But God said to him, ‘You fool, tonight they’re repossessing your soul from you. But to whom will the things you’ve prepared belong?’ 21This is how anyone is who is hoarding for himself but isn’t rich toward God.” 22He said to his disciples, “So, I’m telling you, don’t be worried over your life (what to eat) or over your body (what to put on). 23Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. 24Consider ravens. They don’t plant or harvest; there is no cellar or barn for them, but God feeds them. How much more you are than they! 25Also, which of you can add a single foot to his height by any means that could be imagined? 26So then, if you aren’t capable of what is so basic, why are you worried about the rest? 27Consider how the lilies grow. They don’t work or weave, but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory wasn’t dressed up like one of these. 28Well, if God is dressing the grass this way, that is in the field today and gets thrown into the oven tomorrow, how much more will he clothe you, you with your tiny faith? 29And don’t be planning what to eat or what to drink, and don’t get too carried away. 30Yes, the nations of the world do strive for all these, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But aim for the kingdom of God and his justice first, and all these will be added for you. 32Don’t be afraid, little flock, because it has pleased your Father to give you a kingdom. 33Sell what you own and give alms. Make handbags for yourselves that don’t get old, an unending storehouse in heaven, where no thief approaches or moth spoils. 34And yes, your heart will be where your treasure is.

35“Let your waists be cinched and lamps be burning in your hands, 36and be like people waiting for their lord when he’s coming back from a wedding, so that when he comes and knocks they can open for him right away. 37Those servants whom the lord will find watching when he approaches are blessed. Yes, I tell you, he’ll cinch his own belt, have them settle down to the meal, and go over and wait on them. 38If he comes during the second night watch or during the third, and finds them this way, those servants are blessed. 39Know this too: if a homeowner were aware of the hour a thief would be coming, he would certainly be watching and not let him break into his house. 40So you be ready too, because the Son of man will come at an hour you aren’t imagining.”

41Peter said to him, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or also for everyone?” 42The Lord said, “Who do you suppose the faithful and prudent manager is, the one the lord appoints over his household to give them their portion of wheat at the right moment? 43That servant that the lord will find doing so when he comes is blessed. 44Yes I tell you, then he’ll appoint him over everything he owns. 45But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My lord is delayed in coming,’ and starts to beat the men and women servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46then the lord of that servant will come on a day he isn’t expecting and at an hour he isn’t aware of, and will segregate him and arrange him a fate with the unfaithful. 47Also, such a servant who knew his lord’s will but didn’t prepare himself or act according to that will, will be beaten with many blows. 48But one that didn’t know and did things deserving a beating will be beaten with a few blows. A lot will be required from everyone who was given a lot; people will demand much from anyone they committed much to. 49I came to send fire out to the earth, and what do I want except that it be set on fire? 50However, I do have to be baptized with a baptism, and how restricted I am up until that is accomplished! 51Do you men think I’ve come to give peace to the earth? No, I tell you, a separation. 52For instance, from now on there will be five in one house, divided three against two and the two against the three. 53A father will be divided against a son and the son against his father, a mother against a daughter and the daughter against the mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

54He was also telling the crowds, “When you see a cloud appearing in the west, soon you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and it happens that way. 55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say it’ll be hot, and it happens. 56You actors, you know how to judge the character of the sky and the earth. Then how are you failing to judge these times? 57And why too don’t you judge what is right for yourselves? 58As you’re going with your opponent to someone in charge, devote your attention along the road to getting released by him, so that he won’t possibly drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the collector, and the collector send you to prison. 59I tell you, you won’t leave there, not till you pay off the last little bit.”

Luke 13 1At that same time some people there told him about some Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed in with their sacrifices. 2He responded to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans, because they suffered such things, were sinners compared to Galileans in general? 3No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you’ll all die like that, 4like those eighteen the tower in Siloe fell on and killed. Do you also imagine they were greater debtors than any of the people living in Jerusalem? 5No, I tell you, but unless you repent, you’ll all die like that.” 6Then he told this parable too: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, came looking for fruit on it, and found none. 7He said to the vine grower, ‘Here, three years now I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I haven’t found any. So cut it down, because why is it even taking up the ground?’ 8But he answered him, ‘Lord, leave it alone this year too, till I dig around it and put manure to it. 9Then maybe it will bear fruit; but if not, then after that you’ll cut it down.'”

10He was in their synagogue, teaching on a sabbath. 11And there was a woman who had had a spirit of weakness for eighteen years. She had gotten bent over and couldn’t look upward at all. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and told her, “Woman, you’ve been set free from your weakness.” 13And he laid his hands on her, and right away she became erect and started praising God. 14In response the synagogue leader, angry that Jesus had healed on the sabbath, was saying to the crowd, “There are six days it’s proper to work on. So come and be healed on those, but not on the sabbath.” 15The Lord replied to him, “You hypocrites, doesn’t every one of you untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it to water on the sabbath? 16Then shouldn’t this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan tied up for these eighteen years now, be released from this bond on a sabbath?” 17While he was saying this, all his opponents were becoming embarrassed, and all the people were rejoicing over everything being done by him so gloriously. 18So he said, “What is God’s kingdom like, and what shall I figure it’s like? 19It’s like a single mustard seed that a man took and dropped into his garden. It grew and became a large tree, and birds found rest in its branches.” 20He also said, “What shall I figure God’s kingdom is like? 21It’s like some leaven that a woman took and tucked into three harvests of flour till the whole batch rose.”

22He was going through cities and towns teaching and making his journey toward Jerusalem. 23Someone said to him, “Lord, are those who will be saved few?” He said to them, 24“Hurry to enter by the narrow gate, because, I tell you, many will aim to enter and not be able. 25No, when the head of the house goes inside and shuts the door, you will begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up for us.’ But he’ll answer you, ‘I don’t know you. Where are you from?’ 26Then you’ll start saying, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27But he’ll say to you, ‘I don’t know you. Where are you from? Get away from me, all you who bring about injustice.’ 28There will be weeping and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in God’s kingdom but you yourselves pushed outside. 29And people from the east, the west, the north, and the south will come and take their places in God’s kingdom. 30Notice, those who have been first are the last, and those who were last are first.”

31The same day some Pharisees came and told him, “Leave and get out of here, because Herod intends to kill you.” 32He said to them, “Go tell that fox, ‘See now, I’m driving demons out and bringing health about today and tomorrow, and the third day I get finished.’ 33Still, it’s right for me to be traveling today, tomorrow, and the next day, because it doesn’t make sense for a prophet to die away from Jerusalem. 34Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I would have gathered your children, the way a bird gathers her nestful under her wings, but you were unwilling! 35Here then, your house will be left deserted for you. And I tell you, you won’t see me till the time comes that you say, ‘He who comes in the Lord’s name is blessed.'”

Luke 14 1One sabbath as Jesus was starting to enter the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat, they were watching him. 2Now a swollen man was in front of him. 3In response Jesus said to the legal experts and Pharisees, “Is it legal to heal on the sabbath?” 4They, however, kept quiet. He did take him, heal him, and send him away. 5And he gave them this answer: “Which of you if his donkey or ox fell into a pit wouldn’t pull it out right away on the sabbath?” 6And they couldn’t answer him about this. 7Then, noticing how they were picking the best seats at the table, he told those who were invited an illustration: 8“When you’re invited to a wedding, don’t settle down in the best place, in case someone more honorable than you has been invited, 9and the one who invited you and him might come and tell you, ‘Give this man the place,’ and then, in embarrassment, you would have to take the last place. 10Instead, when you’ve been called, go sit down in a low place, so that when the one who invited you comes, he can say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then there will be prestige for you in the eyes of those at the table at that time. 11You see, everyone who elevates himself will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be elevated.” 12He also told the one who had invited him, “When you put on a luncheon or a dinner, don’t call your friends, brothers, relatives, or rich neighbors, in case they might invite you back and a repayment would be made to you. 13Instead, when you make a feast, call the poor, the frail, lame, and blind; 14and you will be blessed because they don’t have a way to pay you back, and it will be paid back to you at the resurrection of the just.”

15After one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to him, “Anyone who will eat bread in God’s kingdom is blessed.” 16But he said to him, “A man put on a big dinner and invited many people. 17At the time for the dinner he sent his servant to tell those invited to come, since everything was ready then. 18But they all began to make excuses at that point. The first one said to him, ‘I’ve bought a farm, and I have to go out and see it. Please consider me excused.’ 19Another said, ‘I bought five yoke of oxen and am going out to check them. Please consider me excused.’ 20And one more said, ‘I’ve married a wife, and therefore I can’t come.’ 21The servant returned and reported this to his master. Furious then, that householder said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the city’s streets and neighborhoods, and bring the poor, frail, blind, and lame in here.’ 22Next, the servant said, ‘Master, it’s now been done the way you ordered, but there is still room.’ 23Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the roads and fences, and force people to come in, for my house to be filled up. 24But I tell you, none of those men invited will have a bite of my dinner.'”

25Now, a large crowd was walking with him. He turned to them and said, 26“If anyone comes to me but isn’t set against his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and his own life too, he can’t be my disciple. 27And anyone who doesn’t carry his cross and come behind me can’t be my disciple. 28For example, if one of you intended to build a tower, wouldn’t he sit down first and figure the necessary expenses and whether he had the resources for completing it? 29Otherwise, after he laid the foundation and wasn’t able to finish, everyone seeing it would start mocking him 30and say, ‘This man began to build but wasn’t able to finish.’ 31Or what king, about to march out to wage war against another king, doesn’t sit down first and consider whether he’s able with ten thousand men to counteract the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32If not, then with that one still operating at a distance, he would send out a delegation and seek terms of peace. 33Like that, every one of you that doesn’t renounce everything he has isn’t able to be my disciple. 34Salt is good. But if the salt were to go bland, what would ever make it tasty? 35It wouldn’t be fit for the soil or the manure pile but would be thrown out. Let whoever has ears for hearing, hear.”

Luke 15 1There were also taxmen and sinners approaching Jesus to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling, “This man is welcoming sinners and eating with them.” 3So he told them this illustration: 4“If one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one of them, wouldn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he found it? 5And when he did find it, wouldn’t he put it on his shoulders and rejoice. 6And when he got home, wouldn’t he call his friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I found my sheep that was lost’? 7I’m telling you that there will be joy like that in heaven over one sinner who repents, as there will be over ninety-nine just people who don’t need to repent. 8Or what woman who owns just ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, doesn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully till she finds it, 9and when she finds it, calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me because I found the coin I had lost’? 10I tell you, in the eyes of God’s angels there will be joy like that over one sinner repenting.”

11He also said, “A man had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of wealth that falls to me.’ And he did then distribute his wealth to these sons. 13Before long the younger son gathered everything together and left home to a land far away. There, however, he used his wealth up by wild living. 14After he had spent everything, a major famine hit that land, and he began to be poor. 15He went off and hung around one of that land’s citizens, who sent him to his farm to be feeding pigs. 16And he longed to fill his belly out of the pods the pigs were eating, but no one was allowing him any. 17However, turning around within himself, he said, ‘How many hired hands in my father’s house have plenty of food, but here I am dying of hunger! 18I’ll get up and go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your eyes. 19I’m not worthy to be called your son anymore; make me like one of your hired hands.”‘ 20He did get up and go to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. He ran to him, sunk down over his neck, and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your eyes. I’m not worthy to be called your son anymore…’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick, bring the best robe out and put it on him, and put the ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, 23and bring the plump calf out and kill it, and let’s eat and feast away, 24because this son of mine had been dead but has revived; he had been lost but has been found.’ And they began to feast. 25However, his older son was in the field, and when he was coming, approaching the house, he heard music and dancing. 26He called one of the servants and asked what this was about. 27He told him, ‘Your brother came, and your father killed the plump calf because he got him back safe.’ 28But he was resentful and unwilling to go in. So his father came out and started begging him to. 29But he responded to his father, ‘Here I’m serving you all these years, and I’ve never neglected your orders, but you never gave me a little goat for me to feast on with my friends. 30When this son of yours comes, though, who devoured his fortune with prostitutes, you kill the plump calf for him.’ 31But he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all my things belong to you. 32Still, it was right to feast and be glad, because this brother of yours had been dead and has revived; he had been lost and has been found.'”

Luke 16 1But he was also telling his disciples: “A rich man had a manager who was accused to him of having wasted his wealth. 2He called him, and said, ‘Why am I hearing this about you? Provide an accounting of your management, because you can’t be the manager anymore.’ 3The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my lord is taking the management away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig. I’d be ashamed to beg. 4I know what I’ll do—for people to welcome me into their homes when I get removed from managing…’ 5And so he assembled every one of his lord’s debtors and said to the first one, ‘How much do you owe my lord?’ 6He said, ‘A hundred barrels of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your note, sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘five tons of wheat.’ The manager told him, ‘Take your records and write four.’ 8That lord did give the underhanded manager credit for having acted prudently. Indeed, this world’s children are more prudent than the children of the light are in their generation. 9I tell you, make friends for yourselves by the uneven wealth, so that when you run out, they can welcome you into permanent homes. 10Someone faithful in something quite small is also faithful in what is bigger, and someone unjust in a small amount is also unjust in a greater amount. 11So if you haven’t been faithful in relation to the uneven riches, who will entrust you with true riches? 12And if you haven’t been faithful in someone else’s, who will hand what is yours over to you? 13No servant is able to serve two masters, since he’ll hate the first and love the second or else stick to the first and defy the second. You can’t serve God and wealth.”

14Well, some Pharisees who were greedy were listening to all this and were ridiculing him. 15He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before people, but God knows your hearts; what is high to people is detestable before God. 16The law and the prophets were until John; from then on God’s kingdom is being preached, and everyone is using violence for it. 17However, it’s easier for heaven and earth to pass on than for one mark of the law to end. 18Everyone who divorces his wife and marries someone else is committing adultery, and the man who marries a woman divorced from her husband is committing adultery. 19There was a rich man who dressed in purple and fine linen and feasted lavishly every day. 20There was also a beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his door, covered with sores, 21longing to be filled with the crumbs that were falling off the rich man’s table, but no one offered him any. In addition, dogs would come and lick his sores. 22It happened that the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham’s lap. The rich man died too, but he was buried in hell. 23As he was under tortures, he lifted his eyes up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus in his lap. 24He cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue down, because I’m being tortured in this fire.’ 25But Abraham said to him, ‘Son, remember that you received good things in your lifetime, compared to the bad ones Lazarus got, but now he’s being comforted here, and you’re being tortured. 26And in all of this, a great chaos was established between us and you, so that whoever wants to go from here over to you or to come from there to here, isn’t able to.’ 27He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house (since I have five brothers), 28so that he could testify to them, and they wouldn’t come to this place of tortures too.’ 29Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them listen to them.’ 30He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead went to them, they would repent.’ 31But he said to him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they won’t believe if someone were to rise from the dead either.'”

Luke 17 1Jesus said to his disciples, “It isn’t possible for temptations not to come, but what a shame for the one by whom they come. 2It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he cause temptation for one of these little ones. 3Pay attention to yourselves: if your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in the day turns to you and says, ‘I’m sorry,’ forgive him.” 5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6But the Lord said, “If you had faith like a single mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and transplanted into the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7However, if one of you had a servant plowing or feeding cattle, who then came in from the field, would he say to him, ‘Go ahead, sit right down at the table’? 8Wouldn’t he instead say, ‘Get my dinner ready, and get dressed to serve me while I’m eating and drinking, and you’ll eat and drink after that’? 9Does he possibly thank that servant for doing the things he commanded? 10I don’t think so. The same way, when you’ve done everything that’s been taught to you, say, ‘We aren’t fruitful servants; we’ve done what we were supposed to do.'”

11While he was going to Jerusalem, he was crossing through the middle of Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was entering a town, ten men with leprosy came to him. They stood far away 13and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, teacher, have mercy on us.” 14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” Then as they were going, they were made clean. 15When one of them saw he had been made clean, he went back, glorifying God in a loud voice. 16He fell to his face at his feet, giving thanks. He was a Samaritan. 17Jesus responded, “Weren’t ten made clean? Where are the nine? 18Wasn’t anyone found who could return and give God praise, except this stranger?” 19He said to him, “Get up, go on, because your faith has made you well.”

20Asked by the Pharisees, “When is God’s kingdom coming?” he said to them in reply, “God’s kingdom doesn’t come under an outward observation; 21and they won’t say, ‘Look, here,’ or ‘Look, there.’ You see, God’s kingdom is inside you.” 22He said to his disciples, “Days will come when you would want to see a single day of the Son of man, but you won’t. 23And they’ll say to you, ‘Look, here,’ and ‘Look, there.’ Don’t go or be following, 24because the Son of man in his day will be the way lightning flashing down from heaven shines onto everything under heaven. 25(First, though, he has to suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.) 26In the Son of man’s time it will be the way it happened in Noah’s time. 27They were eating and drinking; they were marrying wives and being given in marriage, until the day Noah went into the ark and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28It will be the way it happened at the time of Lot too. They were eating and drinking; they were buying and selling; they were planting and building. 29But on the day Lot went out of Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30It will be just like that on the day the Son of man is revealed. 31At that time, anyone on a housetop, with his goods in the house, shouldn’t go down to take them away. Likewise anyone in a field shouldn’t come back. 32Remember Lot’s wife. 33Whoever tries to make his life safe will lose it, but whoever loses it will bring it back to life. 34I tell you, two will be in a bed that night; one will be taken and the other left. 35Two women will be together grinding; one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in a field; one will be taken and the other left.” 36They responded, “Where, Lord?” 37He told them, “The eagles will be gathered anywhere the body is.”

Luke 18 1He also told them a parable about how right it always is to pray and not give up. 2He said, “There was a judge in a certain city who wasn’t afraid of God and didn’t respect anyone as such. 3There was also a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Protect me against my opponent.’ 4For a long time he wasn’t willing, but later he said to himself, ‘Although I don’t fear God or respect people, 5still, because this widow is annoying me, I will protect her, in case she might wear me out in the end by her coming.'” 6The Lord said, “Listen to what the unfair judge is saying. 7Now, won’t God protect his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he bide his time in relation to them? 8I tell you, he will protect them quickly. Still, when the Son of man comes, do you imagine he’ll find faith on earth?”

9He also told this parable to some who were trusting themselves as upright but were despising others: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray—one a Pharisee and the other a taxman. 11As he stood there, the Pharisee was praying this within himself: ‘O God, I give you thanks that I am not like other people—thieves, unjust, adulterers—like this taxman here. 12I fast twice a week. I donate a tenth of everything I own.’ 13But the taxman was standing way back and wouldn’t even lift his eyes up toward heaven, but was hitting his chest and saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ 14I tell you, this one, rather than the other, went down to his house justified, because everyone who lifts himself up will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be lifted up.” 15People were bringing babies to him too, in order for him to be touching them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called them together and said, “Allow children to come to me and don’t forbid them, since God’s kingdom belongs to such. 17No, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive God’s kingdom like a child won’t go into it.”

18A leader asked him, “Good teacher, I will acquire eternal life by doing what? 19Jesus said to him, “Why are you calling me good? No one is good except God. 20You know the commandments—you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.” 21He said, “I’ve kept all these since I was young.” 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing is still missing for you—sell everything you have, give to the poor (and you’ll have treasure in heaven), and come, follow me.” 23After hearing this, he grew sad, because he was quite rich. 24When Jesus saw that he had grown sad, he said, “How hardly those with wealth will enter God’s kingdom. 25Really, it’s easier for a camel to pass through a needle’s eye than for a rich person to enter God’s kingdom.” 26Those who heard this said, “Then who can be saved?” 27He told them, “Things that are impossible among men are possible to God.” 28Then Peter said, “Here we’ve left everything and followed you.” 29He said to them, “Yes, I tell you, anyone who has left house, parents, brothers, wife, or children for the sake of God’s kingdom 30will receive many more during this time and eternal life in the world about to come.”

31However, Jesus took the twelve to himself and told them, “Look now, we’re going up to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets about the Son of man will be accomplished. 32Yes, he will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be mocked, whipped, and spit on; 33after they’ve whipped him, they’ll kill him, but on the third day he’ll rise up.” 34They understood none of this, though; the statement was obscured for them, and they weren’t understanding the things being said.

35As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the side of the road, begging. 36When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what this was about. 37They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing through. 38He shouted out, “Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.” 39Those who were going up front were chiding him to keep quiet. But he kept crying out, even more, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” 40Jesus did stand still and ordered him to be brought to him. When he got close, he asked him, 41“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Let me see, Lord.” 42Jesus said to him, “See again. Your faith has made you well.” 43Right away he did see, and followed him, glorifying God. When all the people saw this, they all gave praise to God.

Luke 19 1He went into Jericho and was walking through it. 2Now a man named Zacheus, who was the head taxman and rich, 3was trying to see who Jesus was, but because of the crowd he couldn’t, because he was short. 4He ran ahead and climbed into a sycamore tree, so as to see him, since he was about to go past there. 5Once Jesus came to the place, he looked up, saw him, and said to him, “Zacheus, hurry and climb down, because I should stay at your house today.” 6He did hurry down and welcomed him, rejoicing. 7When everyone saw this, they were muttering, remarking that he had gone to be the guest of a man who was a sinner. 8But Zacheus stood there and said to the Lord, “Lord, see, I’m giving half of my goods to the poor, and if I’ve cheated anyone out of anything, I’m giving quadruple back to him.” 9Jesus stated, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he is a son of Abraham too. 10Yes, the Son of man came to search out what was lost and make it safe.”

11As people were paying attention to that, he added a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they were supposing God’s kingdom would be made evident right away. 12So he said, “A nobleman was going away to a distant area to receive kingship for himself and then to return. 13He called his ten servants, gave them ten pounds of silver coins, and said to them, ‘Trade till I come.’ 14(His citizens hated him, though, and sent a delegation behind him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to rule over us.’) 15After he received the kingship, he returned and ordered the servants he had given money to, to be called, to learn how much each one had gained by trading. 16The first one came and said, ‘Lord, your pound accumulated to ten pounds.’ 17And he said to him, ‘Well done, you good servant. Because you’ve been faithful with a little, you will have authority over ten cities.’ 18The second one came and said, ‘Lord, your pound accumulated to two pounds.’ 19He told him, ‘You too, be over five cities.’ 20But another one came and said, ‘Lord, see, here is your pound; I’ve stored it in this cloth, 21because I was afraid of you. After all, you’re a harsh man; you pick up what you didn’t lay down, and you harvest what you never did plant.’ 22He said to him, ‘I judge you from your own mouth, you worthless servant. You knew I was a harsh man, picking up what I didn’t lay down and harvesting what I didn’t plant. 23Then why didn’t you hand my money over to a bank, so that I could have collected it with interest when I came?’ 24He said to those standing by, ‘Take the pound away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten pounds.’ 25But they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten.’ 26He said, ‘I tell you though, something will be given to each one who produces, and he’ll be rich; but someone who doesn’t produce will get even what he has, taken from him. 27As for those enemies of mine that didn’t want me to rule over them, bring them here and kill them in front of me.'”

28After saying this, he went up ahead, hiking up to Jerusalem. 29Once he got near Bethphage and Bethania at the mountain called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, 30saying, “Go into the town across from you. As you enter it, you’ll find a donkey’s colt tied up, that no one has ever has sat on. Untie him and bring him here. 31And if someone asks you, ‘Why are you untying him?’ tell him something like this: ‘Because the Lord needs his labor.'” 32Those who were sent went off and found the colt standing as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “Because the Lord considers him necessary.” 35And they brought him to Jesus, threw their clothes on the colt, and set Jesus on it. 36Also, while he was going, they were spreading their clothes down on the road. 37As he was approaching Mount Olivet’s downslope, the whole crowd of disciples began to praise God joyfully in a loud voice for all the great deeds they had seen. 38They were saying, “The king coming in the Lord’s name is blessed! Peace in heaven and glory in highest heaven!” 39Some of the Pharisees said to him about the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He said to them, “I tell you, if they keep quiet, the rocks will be shouting.” 41When he got near the city and saw it, he wept over it, saying, 42“If only you too had recognized, especially on this day of yours, the things that are for peace for you, but today they’re hidden from your eyes. 43Yes, days will be coming on you: your enemies will put a trench around you, surround you, confine you on every side, 44beat you and your children in you flat to the ground, and won’t leave one stone on another in you—because you didn’t recognize the occasion of your being visited.” 45He went into the temple and began to drive out those selling and buying in it, 46telling them, “It was written down: ‘My house is the house of prayer.’ But you’ve made it a bandits’ cave.” 47He was teaching in the temple every day, while the chief priests, scribes, and the people’s leaders were looking to destroy him. 48But they weren’t discovering anything to do to him, because all the people were anxious to listen to him.

Luke 20 1On one of those days, as he was teaching the people in the temple and announcing the gospel, the chief priests and scribes, along with the elders, met together, 2and then put it to him, “Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things, or who is the one who gave you that authority?” 3Jesus answered, “I’ll ask you too—one thing. Answer this for me: 4Was John’s baptism from heaven or from humans?” 5Well, they were thinking to themselves, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he’ll say, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘From men,’ the entire people will stone us, because they’re sure John was a prophet.” 7They answered that they didn’t know where it was from. 8Jesus said to them, “I’m not telling you what authority I’m doing these things by either.”

9Then he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it out to farmers, and then was away for a long time. 10At the proper time he sent a servant to the farmers, for them to give him some of the vineyard’s fruit. But they beat him and sent him away empty. 11Next he sent another servant. But they beat him too, treated him with contempt, and sent him away empty. 12Then he sent a third, and they wounded him too and threw him out. 13Then the vineyard owner said, ‘What shall I do? I’ll send my dear son. It could be that they’ll respect him when they see him.’ 14But when the farmers did see him, they thought to themselves, ‘This is the heir; let’s kill him, so that the inheritance can be ours.’ 15So they drove him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now what will the vineyard owner do to them? 16He will come, destroy these farmers, and give the vineyard to others.” When his questioners heard this, they said to him, “It can’t be!” 17But he looked at them and said, “Then what is this that was written down, ‘The same stone the builders rejected was made into the base of the corner’? 18Everyone who falls onto that stone will be shaken up, but it will shatter anyone it falls onto.” 19Because they recognized that he had told this parable against them, the chief priests and scribes were looking to get their hands on him at that time (but they were afraid of the people).

20Being on the watch, they sent spies who would pretend to be fair, so they could catch him in a discussion and hand him over to the governor’s authority and power. 21The spies interrogated him, saying, “Teacher, we know you speak and teach correctly and teach God’s way honestly without considering the person. 22Is it legal for us to pay Caesar the tax or not?” 23He considered their trick, however, and said to them, “Why are you testing me? 24Show me a coin. Whose image and title does it have?” They answered, “Caesar’s.” 25He said to them, “Then give Caesar back what are Caesar’s and give God back what are God’s.” 26And they couldn’t criticize his statement in the people’s presence; in fact, they marveled at his answer and kept quiet.

27Then some Sadducees came to him (they deny that there is any resurrection) and asked him, 28“Teacher, Moses wrote down for us that if a man with a wife dies, and he leaves no children, his brother should marry her and father offspring for his brother. 29Suppose there were seven brothers, and the first married and died without children. 30Then the next one married her, and he also died childless. 31The third married her, and the rest of the seven, all leaving no offspring and dying. 32Last of all the woman died too. 33So, in the resurrection, which of them will she be the wife of? You see, all seven had had her as wife.” 34Jesus said to them, “This world’s children marry and are given in marriage, 35but those who will be considered worthy of that world and of resurrection from the dead won’t wed or take wives, 36because they can’t die anymore since they’re like the angels but are God’s children, now that they’re children of the resurrection. 37Now, that the dead do rise up, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38Well, he’s not God of the dead but of the living, because to him they are all still alive.” 39Some of their scribes replied, “Teacher, you have spoken well.” 40After that they didn’t dare ask him any more questions. 41But he said to them, “How do they say that the Christ is ‘son of David’? 42Even David himself says in the book of Psalms, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit to my right 43till I make your enemies be your footstool.’ 44So David is calling him Lord. How is he his son then?” 45In addition he said to his disciples, in earshot of all the people, 46“Beware of scribes who want to march around in robes and love greetings in the marketplace, the best chairs in synagogues, and the prime places at feasts, 47and who eat up widows’ houses, while faking a long prayer. Those ones will get a more severe sentence.”

Luke 21 1Looking around, he saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury. 2But he also saw a poor widow dropping two coins in. 3He said, “Really, I tell you, this poor widow has dropped in more than everyone, 4because those all put into God’s offerings out of their abundance, but she dropped in the entire livelihood she had—out of her lack.” 5When some of them were saying that the temple was furnished with fine stones and gifts, he said, 6“These things you’re looking at? Days will come when there won’t be one stone left on another that won’t be destroyed” 7They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what sign will there be when they start to happen?” 8He said, “Make sure you don’t get misled, because many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he, and the time is close.’ So don’t go after them. 9Also, when you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be terrified; these things need to happen first, but the end isn’t just then.” 10Then he was telling them, “Nation will rise against nation and kingdom opposite kingdom. 11There will be major earthquakes all over, plagues, and famines, and from heaven there will be terrors and impressive signs. 12But before all those things they’ll lay their hands on you and prosecute you, handing you over to synagogues and into prisons and dragging you to kings and governors on account of my name. 13It will happen to you for testifying. 14So put it into your hearts not to think ahead how you could reply, 15because I will give you a mouth and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply to or speak against. 16You will also be betrayed by your parents, brothers, kinsmen, and friends. They will even kill some of you. 17Yes, and you’ll be hated by them all on account of my name. 18But not a hair of your head will be lost. 19In your endurance you will hold onto your lives. 20When you do see Jerusalem surrounded by an army, know then that its destruction is near. 21Then those in Judea should escape to the mountains, those who are inside Jerusalem shouldn’t leave, and those in outlying areas shouldn’t go into it, 22because those are the days of vengeance, for everything written down to be fulfilled. 23But what a shame for those who are pregnant or nursing in those days, because there will be a great distress on the land and anger for this people. 24They will fall by the sword’s mouth and be led as captives into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled down by Gentiles until the nations’ times are over. 25Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and on the earth there will be a distress for the nations because of the stirring of the roaring sea and its waves, 26with people growing weak out of fear and suspense at what is coming onto the whole world. The powers of the heavens will be disturbed, 27and then they’ll see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty. 28But when these things start to happen, look up and lift your heads up, because your redemption is approaching.” 29He also told them a parable: “Notice the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they start putting out their fruit, you know summer is near. 31Likewise when you see these things happen, know that God’s kingdom is near. 32No, I tell you, that generation won’t pass by till all this happens. 33(Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.) 34Pay attention to yourselves, though, in case your hearts might get weighed down under hangovers, drunkenness, and this life’s cares, and that unexpected day might overtake you. 35Yes, like a trap it will surprise everyone settled on the face of the whole earth. 36So watch, praying at every opportunity, so that you can be considered worthy to escape all those things that are coming on and to remain standing before the Son of man.” 37In the daytime he would teach in the temple, but at night he would go out and stay on the mountain called Olivet. 38And in the morning all the people would come to listen to him in the temple.

Luke 22 1Now, the feast of Unleavened Bread (called the Passover) was approaching. 2The chief priests and scribes were looking for how they could kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people. 3However Satan went into Judas (one of the twelve), who was also called Iscariot. 4He went and talked with the chief priests and officials about how he could hand him over to them. 5They were glad and agreed to give him money. 6He too promised and was looking for an opportunity to hand him over in the absence of a crowd. 7Then the day of Unleavened Bread came, on which it was necessary for a Passover lamb to be killed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go, prepare the Passover for us, so that we can eat it.” 9They said, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” 10He told them, “There, as you go into the city, someone carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters, 11and say to the head of the house, ‘The teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room, where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?”‘ 12Then he’ll show you a large furnished dining room. Prepare it there.” 13They went, found it the way he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

14When the time came, he reclined with the twelve apostles. 15He said to them, “I have desired passionately to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16Yes, I tell you, after this I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” 17He took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this, and divide it among you 18because, I tell you, I won’t drink the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom comes.” 19He also took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is being given in your favor. Do this for remembering me.” 20After he had eaten, he took the cup and likewise said, “This cup is the new testament in this blood of mine that will be poured out in your favor. 21But here, the hand of the one who is betraying me is on the table with me. 22The Son of man does go in accord with what was determined, but still, what a shame for the man he’ll be betrayed by.” 23They began to ask among themselves which of them it was that was about to do this.

24But a dispute also came up among them as to which of them seemed to be more important. 25He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles dominate them (and those who have power over them get called generous), 26but you aren’t to be that way. Instead, whoever is the more important among you should become like a subordinate, and whoever is the leader should become like an assistant. 27For instance, who is more important, someone who is sitting at a table or someone serving? Isn’t it the one sitting at the table? Well, I’m among you like someone serving. 28Now, you are those who have continued with me in my trials, 29and the same way my Father has arranged a kingdom for me, I’m arranging one for you—30for you to eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and to sit on thrones, judging Israel’s twelve tribes.” 31But the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, look: Satan wanted to have you all, so that he could be sifting you like wheat, 32but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith would not fail. And once you’ve been turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33Peter said, “Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison and to death.” 34He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster won’t crow today till you deny three times that you know me.” And he said to them, 35“When I sent you without a bag or money or shoes, did you lack anything?” 36They said, “Nothing.” Then he said to them, “But now let whoever has a bag take it, and money too (and let anyone without any sell his shirt); and buy a sword; 37yes, I tell you, because what was written down still has to be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was classified with the wicked.’ Yes, the things about me have a purpose.” 38They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He said to them, “That’s enough.”

39He went out and was going onto the Mount of Olives, in keeping with his custom, and his disciples followed him. 40Once he arrived at the place, he told them, “Pray, so that you won’t go into temptation.” 41He was separated from them a stone’s throw, knelt down, and was praying. 42He said, “Father, if you want, delay this cup from me; but still, don’t let my will be done, but yours.” 43Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. But having come to the conflict, he prayed more earnestly, 44and his sweat became like drops of blood and ran down into the ground. 45When he got up from prayer and came to his disciples, he found them asleep from grief. 46He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray, so you won’t go into temptation.”

47As he was still speaking, a crowd appeared. The one called Judas, one of the twelve, was going ahead of them and approached Jesus to kiss him. 48Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?” 49When those around him saw what was about to happen, they said to him, “Lord, shall we hit them under the sword?” 50But one of them did hit a slave of the high priest and cut his right ear off. 51Jesus responded, “Lay him down, all the way, here,” and once he handled his ear, he healed him.” 52Jesus said to the chief priests, temple officials, and elders, who had come at him, “Have you marched out with swords and clubs like against a robber? 53When I was with you in the temple every day, you didn’t reach your hands out against me, but this is your hour and the power of darkness.”

54They did arrest him and led him to the high priest’s house. Peter was following, though at quite a distance. 55When they lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and were sitting around it, Peter was among them. 56After a servant woman saw him sitting in the light, and had looked him over, she said, “This man was with him too.” 57But he denied Jesus by saying, “Woman, I don’t know him!” 58After a little while, someone else looking at him said, “You’re one of them too.” Peter said, “O man, I am not!” 59After about an hour, another man asserted, “Yes, this man was with him; after all, he’s Galilean too.” 60Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and right away, as he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. 61The Lord turned and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the Lord’s saying (just as he had predicted): “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 62Then Peter stepped outside and wept bitterly.

63The men holding Jesus were mocking him while hitting him—64they blindfolded him and were hitting him in the face and interrogating: “Prophesy! Who is it that just hit you?” 65They were also blaspheming and saying many other things against him. 66As soon as it was day, the people’s elders, the chief priests, and the scribes assembled, brought him into their council, and said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” 67He said to them, “If I tell you, you won’t believe me. 68And if I ask you back, you won’t answer me or let me go. 69From now on, though, the Son of man will be sitting to the right of God’s power.” 70Then they all said, “Then are you the Son of God?” He said, “You’re saying that I am.” 71They said, “What additional evidence do we need? No, we heard it from his mouth ourselves.”

Luke 23 1The whole group of them got up and led him to Pilate. 2They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man undermining our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that he is the anointed king.” 3Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You are saying it.” 4Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I’m finding no case in relation to this man.” 5But they were getting more insistent and saying, “He stirs the people up, teaching all over Judea, starting in Galilee and all the way to here. 6Once Pilate heard “Galilee,” he asked if the man were from Galilee. 7After he did learn that he was from Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem those days. 8Herod was quite glad when he saw Jesus, because he had wanted to see him for a long time, since he had heard many things about him. He was also hoping to see some sign done by him. 9He interrogated him with a lot of talk. But Jesus said nothing back to him. 10The chief priests and scribes were standing there, steadily accusing him. 11Along with his soldiers, Herod derided him, and he mocked him by putting a white robe on him, and then sent him back to Pilate. 12On that day Herod and Pilate became friends, whereas before they had been hostile toward each other.

13Pilate called the chief priests, officials, and people together and 14said to them, “You brought this man to me, as if he were alienating the people, but here, I’ve examined him in your presence and find no case in regard to the things you accuse this man of. 15No, and Herod doesn’t either, because I sent you over to him, and see, nothing was done for him to deserve death. 16So I’ll punish him and release him.” 17(However, on the feast day he was obliged to release one person for them.) 18But the whole crowd shouted out together, “Away with this man, but release Barabbas for us.” 19(He had been sent to prison for having caused a rebellion in the city and for murder.) 20Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus. 21But they were shouting again and saying, “Crucify him, crucify him.” 22He spoke to them a third time, “What evil has he really done? I find no case for death in relation to him. So I’ll rebuke him and release him.” 23But they were insisting with loud voices, demanding that he be crucified, and their voices were prevailing. 24Pilate did decree that their request be carried out. 25He released for them the one who had been sent to prison for murder and rebellion, the one they were wanting, but he handed Jesus over to their will.

26As they were leading him away, they took hold of a Simon from Cyrene, coming in from the country, and they laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. 27Also following him was a large crowd of people, and of women who were grieving and lamenting over him. 28Turning toward them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep over me, but weep over yourselves and over your children, 29because the days will come when they’ll say, ‘The childless and the wombs that never gave birth and the breasts that never nursed are blessed.’ 30Then they’ll be telling the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31Yes, if they do this in the case of green wood, what will be done in the case of dry wood?” 32Two other criminals were also being led with him to be killed.

33After they came to a place called Calvary, they crucified him there, along with these robbers, one on the right and the other on the left. 34However, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they’re doing.” They threw dice to divide up his clothes. 35The people were standing watching, but the leaders there with them were mocking him, saying, “He kept others from harm; let him keep himself, if he’s the Christ, God’s chosen.” 36The soldiers were mocking him too. They came, offered him vinegar, 37and said, “If you’re the king of the Jews, keep yourself unharmed.” 38There was also a title written above him in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew letters: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 39One of the robbers suspended there was deriding him, saying, “If you’re the Christ, make yourself and us safe.” 40But in response the other one rebuked him, saying, “Aren’t you afraid of God, since you’re under the same sentence? 41And we are quite rightly so, because we’re getting the proper reward for our deeds, but this man hasn’t done any evil.” 42Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus said to him, “Yes, I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” 44It was about the sixth hour then, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 45The sun was obscured and the temple veil was torn in the middle. 46Then crying out in a loud voice Jesus said, “Father, I entrust my spirit to your hands,” and saying this, he breathed his spirit out.

47Seeing what had happened, the centurion praised God, saying, “This man really was just!” 48The whole crowd of those who were present at that spectacle and saw the things that happened turned away, hitting their chests. 49But all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee were standing a distance, observing these things. 50Now a man named Joseph, who was one of the council (but hadn’t agreed with their counsel and doings), a good and upright man 51from the Judean city of Arimathea, and who was also looking for God’s kingdom himself, 52approached Pilate and claimed Jesus’ body. 53He took him down, wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a tomb carved in rock, that no one had ever been laid in yet. 54It was the day before the sabbath, and the sabbath was coming on. 55But the women who had come with him from Galilee had followed close behind and saw the tomb and how his body had been laid. 56They went back, prepared spices and ointments, and did rest on the sabbath, in keeping with the commandment.

Luke 24 1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled back from the tomb. 3When they went in, they didn’t find the Lord Jesus’ body. 4While they were in dismay at this in their minds, two men in brilliant clothing now stood beside them. 5As they were afraid and were bowing their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead? 6He isn’t here but has risen. Remember the way he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee. 7He said that the Son of man had to be surrendered into the hands of sinners, be crucified, but on the third day rise up.” 8And they did remember his words. 9They went back from the tomb and reported all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10It was Mary Magdalen, Joanna, Mary of James, and the other women with them, who were telling the apostles this. 11But this talk seemed like a delusion to them, and they didn’t believe them. 12However, Peter got up, ran to the tomb, bent down, saw the linen cloths laid aside by themselves, and went away in wonder at what had happened.

13That same day, two of them were walking to a town called Emmaus (seven miles from Jerusalem). 14They were talking with each other about all the things that had happened. 15While they were talking and asking themselves things, Jesus himself came by and was going with them. 16But their eyes were being restrained, so that they wouldn’t recognize him. 17He said to them, “What are these topics you’re talking over with each other while walking, and are sad about?” 18The one named Cleophas replied, “Are you only a stranger to Jerusalem and weren’t aware of the things that have happened there these days?” 19He said, “What things?” And they said, “To do with Jesus of Nazareth, who was a man—a prophet—powerful in deeds and words, in the eyes of God and of all the people; 20and how our high priests and leaders handed him over for a death sentence and crucified him. 21But we were hoping that he was about to redeem Israel. And now besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened, 22but still some of our women frightened us. They were at the tomb before it was daylight, 23and when they didn’t find his body, they came and said they had also seen a vision of some angels who say he’s alive. 24Some of our people went to the tomb and found it was, yes, just as the women said; and, no, they didn’t find him.” 25Then he said to them, “O foolish and slow-hearted at trusting everything the prophets declared! 26Shouldn’t the Christ have suffered these things and so entered his glory?” 27Then starting at Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. 28They approached the town they were going to, and he acted as if he were going farther. 29But they constrained him, saying, “Stay with us, because it’s nearly evening and the day has already given way.” And he went in with them. 30Then, while he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31And their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and then he disappeared from their sight. 32They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning in us while he was speaking along the road and opening the scriptures to us?”

33They got up that same hour, went back to Jerusalem, and found the eleven (and those who were with them) gathered together, 34who said, “The Lord really has risen and appeared to Simon.” 35Then these men reported what had gone on along the road and how they recognized him during the breaking of the bread. 36While they were telling this, Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace to you. It is I, don’t be afraid.” 37Troubled and frightened, though, they thought they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why are notions coming up in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and feet, because I am myself. Feel them and understand, because a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see I do have.” 40Once he had said this, he did show them his hands and feet. 41But since they still didn’t believe, though they were amazed in joy, he said, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42They offered him a piece of dried fish and some honeycomb. 43After he had eaten in front of them, he took the remains and gave that to them. 44He said to them, “Here are the words I declared to you while I was still with you: that it is necessary for everything about me written in Moses’ law, the prophets, and the psalms to be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their perception, so that they could be understanding the scriptures. 46And he pointed out to them, “That is the way it was written down, and so it was right for the Christ to suffer and to rise up from the dead on the third day, 47and for repentance and forgiveness of sins to be preached in his name to all nations, starting from Jerusalem. 48And now, you are witnesses of these things, 49and I am sending what my Father promised to you. Stay in the city, though, till you’re clothed with the power from heaven.” 50Then he led them out as far as Bethania; he raised his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he went away from them and was carried to heaven. 52Marveling, they went back into Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they were regularly there in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

The Gospel According to Saint John

John 1 1In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3Everything was made by him, and nothing that was made was made without him. 4Life was in him, and the life was mankind’s light. 5And the light is shining in the dark, but the darkness has not grasped it. 6There was a man sent by God whose name was John. 7He came as the witness, to testify about the light, so that everyone could believe through him. 8He was not the light, but was there to testify about the light. 9There was this true light that enlightens every person coming into this world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11He came in person, but his own people didn’t accept him. 12But he gave the capacity to become God’s children to all who did accept him—those who believe in his name—13who were born from God, not from blood or the body’s will or a man’s will. 14The Word was even given a body and lived among us. Yes, and we saw his glory, a glory full of grace and truth like that of the Father’s only begotten son. 15John vouched for him and cried out, “This is the one I referred to, the one to come after me, the one who came into being ahead of me because he was superior to me.” 16And out of his abundance we too all received grace, as a favor. 17The law was given through Moses; grace and truth were brought about through Jesus Christ. 18No one ever saw God; the only fathered Son, who is in the Father’s heart, has explained him fully.

19Here is John’s testimony when the Jews sent some priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20He acknowledged, he didn’t deny but agreed: “I am not the Christ.” 21They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” 23He affirmed, “I am ‘the voice of the one crying out in the desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord,”‘ as the prophet Isaiah said.” 24Those who had been sent were some Pharisees, 25and they asked him, “If you are not the Christ or Elijah or the prophet, then why are you baptizing?” 26John replied, “I do baptize in water. However, someone you aren’t acquainted with had stood among you. 27He is the one to come after me, who came into being ahead of me and whose shoe I’m not worthy to loosen.” 28This happened in Bethania, beyond the Jordan, where John was, baptizing.

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “There, the Lamb of God. See, the one who takes the world’s sin away. 30This is the one about whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who came into being ahead of me because he was superior to me.’ 31I had not even been acquainted with him, but it was for him to be revealed to Israel that I came, baptizing in water.” 32John also testified by saying, “I did see the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I hadn’t been acquainted with him, but the one who sent me to baptize in water told me, ‘The one you will see the Spirit descending on and remaining on is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34I did see this, and I’ve presented the evidence that this is God’s Son.”

35The following day John was standing with two of his disciples. 36As he observed Jesus walking, he said, “See there, the lamb of God.” 37The two disciples heard him say that and followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following him, he said to them, “What are you after?” They said, “Rabbi,” (translated “Teacher”) “where do you live?” 39 40 41He said, “Come and see.” They did go, saw where he was staying, and stayed with him that day. Now Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who had heard from John, and had followed him. Although it was about the tenth hour, he first located his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah,” (translated, “Christ”). 42And he brought him to Jesus; but Jesus, after regarding him, said, “You are Simon, Jona’s son; you will be called Cephas” (translated, “Peter”). 43Jesus wanted to leave on the following day for Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s city. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We’ve found the one Moses wrote about in the law and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph of Nazareth.” 46Nathanael said, “Can there be anything good from Nazareth?” Philip said, “Come and see.” 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here’s a true Israelite, one without deception in him.” 48Nathanael said to him, “How did you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49Nathanael responded, declaring, “Rabbi, you are God’s Son. You are Israel’s King.” 50Jesus replied to him, “You believe because I told you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’ You’ll be seeing greater things than these.” 51He also told him, “Yes, yes, I tell you, you will see heaven opened up and God’s angels climbing up and down on the Son of man.”

John 2 1On the third day a marriage was held at Cana in Galilee, and Jesus’ mother was there. 2Jesus was invited to the marriage too, along with his disciples. 3When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.” 4Jesus said to her, “What is that to me and to you, Woman? My hour hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the waiters, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now six stone jugs, each with a twenty or thirty gallon capacity, had been put there for the Jews’ purification. 7Jesus told them, “Fill the jugs with water.” So they filled them up to the top. 8Jesus said to them, “Now pour some off and bring it to the table master.” So they took some. 9But when the table master tasted the water, made into wine, and didn’t realize where it was from (though the waiters who had drawn the water knew), he called for the groom 10and said to him, “Everyone puts good wine out at the start, and then after they’ve gotten drunk, wine that is worse. But you saved the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee. Yes, he made his glory public, and his disciples believed in him.

12After that he went down to Capharnaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples, and they remained there for a few days. 13Then the Jewish Passover was near, and Jesus hiked up to Jerusalem. 14He found some people selling oxen, sheep, and doves, and some money-changers sitting there. 15After he had made a kind of whip out of little cords, he drove them all out of the temple, including the sheep and oxen, and he dumped out the changers’ money and dumped their tables over. 16To those selling the doves he said, “Take all this out of here and don’t make my Father’s house a business establishment.” 17His disciples were reminded that it was written, “Zeal for your house ate me up.” 18So some Jews said to him in response, “What sign are you showing us, for doing this?” 19Jesus answered, “Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20So the Jews said, “This temple was built over the course of forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was referring to the temple of his body. 22So when he had risen from the dead, his disciples recalled that he had said this, and they believed the scripture as well as the expression Jesus had used. 23While he was in Jerusalem at Passover on the feast day, many people did believe in his name from seeing the signs he was doing. 24But Jesus wasn’t entrusting himself to them, because he knew them all 25and because he didn’t need anyone to vouch for mankind, since he was aware of what was in mankind.

John 3 1One of the Pharisees named Nicodemus was a Jewish leader. 2He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know you’ve come as teacher from God, because no one can do these signs you’re doing unless God is with him.” 3Jesus replied, “I tell you, no, no, unless someone is born over again, he isn’t able to see God’s kingdom.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person be born when he’s old? Can he go a second time into his mother’s womb and be born over?” 5Jesus replied, “I tell you, no, no, unless someone is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit, he can’t enter God’s kingdom. 6What is born out of the body is a body, and what is born from the Spirit is a spirit. 7It shouldn’t amaze you that I told you, you people need to be born anew. 8The wind blows where it will, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it’s coming from or where it’s going. Everyone born from the Spirit is this way.” 9Nicodemus responded, “How can this happen?” 10Jesus answered, “Are you a teacher in Israel but don’t know these things? 11Yes, yes, I tell you, we’re declaring what we know, and attesting what we’ve seen, but you people don’t accept our testimony. 12If I’ve told you people earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended to heaven but the one who descended from heaven, the Son of man, who is in heaven. 14Yes, and the same way Moses elevated the snake in the desert, the Son of man has to be elevated, 15so that whoever believes in him won’t be lost but can have everlasting life. 16Yes, God did love the world so much that he was giving his only fathered Son over, in order that everyone who believes in him won’t be lost but can have everlasting life. 17No, God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world but so that the world could be saved by him. 18Whoever believes in him is not being judged, but whoever doesn’t believe has already been judged, because he isn’t believing in the name of God’s only fathered Son. 19And the judgment is this, that the light came into the world, but people loved the dark rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 20You see, everyone who acts wrongly hates the light and doesn’t come to the light, so that his deeds won’t be revealed. 21But whoever follows the truth comes to the light, so that his deeds can be displayed, since they were done in God.”

22After this Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea, and he was living with them there and baptizing. 23John was also baptizing, in Ennon near Salim because there was plenty of water there, and they were coming and being baptized. 24You see, John hadn’t been sent to prison yet. 25But an issue with some Jews about purification came up from some of John’s disciples. 26They came to John and said, “Rabbi, look, the one who was with you beyond the Jordan, that you vouched for, is baptizing and everyone is going to him. 27John replied, “No one can receive something unless it was given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves have evidence that I said I’m not the Christ but was sent ahead of him. 29The groom is the one who has the bride, but the groom’s friend, who stands and listens to him, is joyfully delighted at the groom’s voice. So, this joy of mine has been filled up. 30He should increase while I should decrease. 31The one who comes from above is above everyone. Anyone from the earth is about the earth and talks about the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above everyone. 32He is testifying about what he’s seen and heard, but no one is accepting his testimony. 33Anyone who has accepted his testimony has attested that God is truthful, 34since the one God sent is declaring God’s words. Indeed, God doesn’t give the Spirit to a degree. 35The Father loves the Son and has handed everything in his hand over. 36Whoever believes in the Son holds everlasting life, but whoever is disbelieving toward the Son won’t see life; instead, God’s anger continues over him.”

John 4 1When Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(though Jesus’ disciples, not Jesus, were baptizing), 3he left Judea behind and went to Galilee again. 4But he needed to pass through Samaria; 5and so he came to a Samaritan city called Sichar, near the land Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob’s well was there, and so, tired from the journey, Jesus was sitting over the well. It was about noon. 7A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me something to drink.” 8You see, his disciples had gone on into the city to buy food. 9Then this Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, though a Jew, are asking a drink from me, who am a Samaritan woman?” (No, Jews don’t associate with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “If you knew God’s gift and who it is, saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you could have begged living water from him, and he would have given you that.” 11The woman said to him, “But, sir, you don’t have something to hoist it in, and the well is deep. So where are you keeping the living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself along with his children and animals?” 13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him won’t ever be thirsty again. 14In fact, the water I give him will become a spring in him, welling up for everlasting life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me some of this water, so that I won’t be thirsty and won’t come here to draw it up.” 16Jesus said, “Go, call your husband and then come here.” 17The woman replied, “I don’t have a husband.” Jesus said to her, “You said, ‘I have no husband’ quite rightly, 18since you have had five men, and the one you have now isn’t your husband. You stated that correctly.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you people say the place it’s proper to worship is at Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You are worshiping what you don’t know. We are worshiping what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23I say the time is coming, but it is now, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is also actually looking for such people to worship him. 24God is a spirit, and those who worship him will need to worship him in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah, who is being called the ‘Christ,’ is coming; so when he comes, he’ll tell us everything.” 26Jesus said to her, “I who am talking with you am he.”

27Just then his disciples arrived, and they were astonished that he was talking with the woman. Still, no one said, “What are you after?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28So then the woman left her jug behind, went away to the city, and said to those people, 29“Come see a man who told me everything I’ve done. Isn’t he the Christ?” 30And so they left the city and came to him. 31In the meantime the disciples begged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you aren’t aware of.” 33So the disciples were saying to each other, “Did someone bring him something to eat?” 34Jesus told them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, to finish his work. 35Don’t you say that there are four months left before the harvest comes? Well, I tell you, raise your eyes and see these regions, because they’re just now ready for a harvest. 36Anyone who harvests does get wages but is also gathering the fruit into everlasting life, so that the one planting and the one harvesting can both rejoice at the same time. 37Yes, in this matter the saying is true that it is one who sows and another who harvests. 38I’ve sent you to harvest something you didn’t labor at. Others labored, and you’ve entered into their labors.”

39Now many of that city’s Samaritans believed in him on the woman’s word when she testified, “He told me everything I’ve done.” 40So when the Samaritans had come to him, they begged him to stay with them. He did stay there for two days, 41and many more believed in him from his own conversation. 42They told the woman, “Now we aren’t believing from what you said; no, we have listened ourselves and know that he really is the Savior of the world.”

43After the two days, though, he left that place and went on into Galilee. 44(Jesus himself did provide evidence that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45As he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, because they had seen everything he had been doing in Jerusalem on the feast day, since they too had gone to the feast. 46Then he came to Cana in Galilee again (where he had made the water be wine). A leader whose son was sick at Capharnaum was there. 47After he heard that Jesus had come into Galilee from Judea, he had gone to him and was begging him to come down and heal his son, since he was starting to die. 48Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you don’t believe.” 49The leader said to him, “Lord, come down before my son dies.” 50Jesus told him, “Go on. Your son is living.” The man believed this thing Jesus told him, and left; 51but as he was hiking back, his servants met him and reported that his son had survived. 52So he was asking them for the time at which he had recovered. They told him, “The fever left him yesterday during the seventh hour.” 53The father recognized that that hour was the one during which Jesus told him, “Your son is living.” Yes, and he and his whole household believed. 54Jesus did this sign, once again right after he had come from Judea into Galilee.

John 5 1There was a Jewish feast day after this, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem is the Sheep Pool (in Hebrew, “Bethsaida”) with its five porches 3where a good number of the weak, blind, lame, and withered were lingering, hoping for a movement of the water. 4Occasionally the Lord’s angel would come down to the pool, the water would become agitated, and whoever was first to go down into the pool after the water’s agitation would be healed of whatever frailty he was hampered by. 5But one man had been there with his frailty for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus noted his position and learned that he had held it for a long time by then, he said to him, “Do you want to get well?” 7The weak man replied to him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water gets disturbed. You see, the minute I’m getting up, someone else climbs in ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Get up, take your mat away, and go for a walk.” 9Immediately the man became healthy, and he took his mat up and went walking. But it was the sabbath that day. 10So some Jews were telling the man who had been healed, “It’s the sabbath; it isn’t legal for you to be carrying your mat.” 11He replied to them, “The one who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.'” 12So they questioned him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take up your mat and walk’?” 13But the one made well didn’t know who it was, because Jesus had turned away from the crowd assembled in the place. 14Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you were made well. Don’t sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.”

15The man went away and reported to the Jews that it had been Jesus who made him well. 16The Jews were pursuing Jesus because of the fact that he was doing this on the sabbath. 17But Jesus responded to them, “My Father is working up to now, and I am working.” 18The Jews were wanting to kill him even more because of the fact that he was calling God his Father (making himself equal to God), not just that he was breaking the sabbath. 19So in response Jesus said to them, “Yes, yes, I tell you, the Son by himself can’t do anything except what he sees the Father doing. Yes, any things He may have done, the Son is doing likewise. 20The Father loves the Son and shows him everything He is doing. And He will show him greater things than these for you to wonder at. 21For example, just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them live, so too the Son makes those he wishes live. 22Also, the Father doesn’t judge anyone but gave all judgment to the Son, 23so that everyone should honor the Son as they honor the Father. Whoever doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father, who sent him. 24Yes, yes, I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has everlasting life and doesn’t come up for judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25Yes, yes, I tell you, the hour is coming and already is, when the dead will hear the call of God’s Son, and those who obey it will live. 26Yes, the same way the Father has life in himself, he gave the Son to have life in himself too; 27and He gave him the authority to deliver judgment, because he is the Son of man. 28Don’t wonder at this, because the hour is coming in which everyone in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son. 29And those who did good things will rise up for life’s resurrection, but those who have done bad things for a resurrection of sentencing. 30I’m not able to do anything from myself; I judge as I hear. But my judgment is right because I don’t go after my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. 31If I testify about myself, my witness isn’t fair. 32There is another who testifies about me, and I know that the witness he gives about me is true. 33You sent the question to John, and he confirmed the truth. 34Not that I myself take evidence from a human being; no, but I’m saying these things so that you can be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice in his light for a while. 36But I have a greater witness than John’s, because the very deeds I’m doing, that the Father gave me to accomplish, give the evidence about me that the Father sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has even vouched for me himself. You’ve never heard his voice or seen his shape, 38and you don’t have his word staying in you, because you don’t believe the one he sent. 39You examine the scriptures because you think you have everlasting life in them. But they are things vouching for me, 40and you’re unwilling to come to me to have the life. 41I don’t take my acclaim from people, 42but I know you—that you don’t have a love for God in you. 43I have come in my Father’s name, but you don’t accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you’ll accept him. 44How can you, who get approval from each other, believe (when you aren’t after the glory that’s from God alone)? 45Don’t think that I’m going to accuse you to the Father. There is someone who does accuse you: Moses, whom you’re trusting in. 46You see, if you were believing Moses, you might believe me too, since he was writing about me. 47But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

John 6 1After this Jesus went on across the Sea of Galilee (that is, of Tiberias). 2A large crowd was following him because they had seen the signs he had produced on those who had been disabled. 3So Jesus went onto a mountain and was sitting there with his disciples. 4Now the Passover, the Jewish feast day, was near. 5So after Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a very large crowd was coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6(But he was saying this to test him; he actually did know what he was about to do.) 7Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages of bread isn’t enough for everyone to get a little bit.” 8One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, told him, 9“There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they among so many people?” 10Then Jesus said, “Have the people lie down.” Now there was a lot of grass at this place; so the men, numbering about five thousand, did recline. 11Then Jesus took the bread and, after he gave thanks, distributed it to those lying there; likewise as much of the fish as they were wanting. 12Once they were satisfied, he said to his disciples, “Collect the leftover pieces, so they won’t be wasted.” 13So they collected them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces (from the five barley loaves) that had been too much for those who had eaten. 14Once these people saw what a sign Jesus had done, they were saying, “This really is the prophet who is about to come to the world.” 15As Jesus realized that they were about to come grab him and make him a king, he hurried away by himself, once again to the mountain. 16When it was evening, his disciples went down to the sea. 17After boarding a ship, they went across the sea toward Capharnaum. Darkness had already fallen but Jesus hadn’t come to them. 18And the sea rose up from a strong wind blowing. 19After they rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and getting near the ship, and they were afraid. 20But he told them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21Then they were willing to receive him into the ship, and right away the ship was near the land they were going to.

22The next day the crowd that was staying back across the sea noted that there had been no ship there but the one, and that Jesus hadn’t boarded the ship with his disciples, but that only his disciples had gone away. 23But some other ships did arrive from Tiberias to near the place they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24Once the crowd made sure that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they boarded the boats and went to Capharnaum, looking for Jesus. 25When they found him on that side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26Jesus answered, “Yes, yes, I tell you, you’re after me because you ate from the loaves and got full, not because you saw signs. 27Don’t labor for food that comes to nothing, but for the food that lasts into everlasting life, that the Son of man will give you. God the Father did designate him.” 28So they said to him, “What shall we do to be laboring at God’s deeds?” 29Jesus answered, “God’s deed is that you believe in the one he sent.” 30So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, for us to see and believe you; what are you accomplishing? 31Our fathers ate manna in the desert; as was written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’32Then Jesus said to them, “No, no, I tell you, Moses didn’t give that bread to you from heaven, but my Father does give you the true bread from heaven. 33Yes, God’s bread is the bread that comes down from heaven and is giving the world life.” 34So they said to him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35But Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will not be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36I told you, though, that you have seen me but don’t believe. 37Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and I won’t reject whoever does come to me, 38because I came down from heaven to do the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. 39Yes, the will of the one who sent me, the Father, is that I shouldn’t lose anything out of all the things he gave me, but should renew it on the last day. 40And it is the will of my Father who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him should have everlasting life, and then I will renew him on the last day.” 41Then some Jews were muttering about him, because he had said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” 42They were saying, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son Jesus, whose father and mother we’ve been acquainted with? Then how is he saying, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 43So Jesus responded to them, “Don’t mutter among yourselves. 44No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me leads him; then I will renew him on the last day. 45It was written in the prophets, ‘And they’re all able to be taught by God.’ Everyone who heard from and got to know the Father comes to me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one from God; he’s seen the Father. 47Yes, yes, I tell you, whoever believes in me has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate manna in the desert and died. 50Here is the bread coming down from heaven for anyone eating it not to die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. 52If anyone eats from this bread, he will live forever. And the bread I will give, my body, is for the life of the world.” 53Then the Jews were disputing among themselves, saying, “How can he give us his body to be eaten?” 54So Jesus said to them, “Yes, yes, I tell you, unless you eat the Son of man’s body and drink his blood, you won’t have life in you. 55Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I will renew him on the last day. 56You see, my body is truly food, and my blood is truly drink. 57Whoever eats my body and drinks my blood remains in me and I remain in him. 58Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, whoever eats me will live because of me. 59Here is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike how your fathers ate the manna and died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” 60He said these things while teaching at the synagogue in Capharnaum. 61On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This talk is harsh,” and “Who can accept it?” 62But understanding in himself that it was about this his disciples were muttering, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 63What if you were to see the Son of man go up to where he was before? 64Spirit is what gives life; the body isn’t any help. The sayings I’ve told you are spirit and life. 65But there are some of you who don’t believe.” (Jesus certainly was aware from the start who the disbelieving were and who would betray him.) 66He said, “That’s why I told you that no one can come to me unless it was granted by my Father for him to.” 67After this many of his disciples went back and didn’t travel with him anymore. 68So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” 69Then Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of everlasting life, 70and we believed and came to know that you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 71Jesus replied to them, “Didn’t I choose you twelve? But one of you is a devil.” 72He was referring to Judas Iscariot (son of a Simon), because he was about to betray him, even though he was one of the twelve.

John 7 1After this Jesus was traveling within Galilee, and he wouldn’t travel in Judea because some Jews were aiming to kill him. 2However, it was nearly time for the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles. 3And his brothers said to him, “Pass on from here and go into Judea, so that your disciples too can see the deeds you’re doing. 4No one naturally does something in secret, but tries to be public. If you’re doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5You see, his brothers weren’t believing in him either. 6Then Jesus told them, “My time hasn’t arrived yet, but your time has been ready all along. 7The world can’t hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its deeds are evil. 8Go up for this feast day, but I’m not going up for such a feast day because my time hasn’t been completed.” 9Having said this, he remained in Galilee.

10After his brothers went up, though, he went up to the feast day too, not publicly but somewhat secretly. 11Some Jews were looking for him on the feast day and saying, “Where is he?” 12There was a lot of muttering about him in the crowd. For instance, some were saying that he was good, but others said, “No, he’s misleading the crowd.” 13Still, no one would talk openly about him, for fear of the Jews. 14However, right in the middle of the feast day Jesus went up into the temple and was teaching. 15The Jews were amazed and said, “How does he know the books, since he hasn’t studied?” 16Jesus responded to them saying, “My teaching isn’t mine but the one’s who sent me. 17If anyone intends to do his will, he’ll recognize about the teaching whether it’s from God or whether I’m speaking from myself. 18Someone who speaks from himself is looking for his own glory, but the person who looks for the glory of the one who sent him is truthful, and there’s no injustice in him. 19Didn’t Moses give you the law? But none of you is following the law. 20Why are you aiming to kill me?” The crowd answered, “You have an evil spirit. Who is aiming to kill you?” 21Jesus answered, “I did one deed, and so you’re all amazed. 22Moses gave you circumcision (not that it’s from Moses but from the fathers) and you do circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath for Moses’ law not to be broken, are you angry at me because I made a whole man well on the sabbath? 24Don’t judge according to external form, but make a right judgment.”

25Then some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the one they’re aiming to kill? 26But look, he’s talking publicly and they’re saying nothing to him. Have the leaders in fact recognized that he is the Christ? 27Still, we know where he’s from, whereas when the Christ comes, no one knows where he’s from.” 28So in the temple Jesus was declaring, teaching, and saying, “You do know me and also the place I’m from. But I didn’t come on my own. No, but the one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him. 29I do know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 30Consequently the leaders were looking to grab him. But no one did lay hands on him because his hour hadn’t come yet. 31Many out of the crowd believed in him, though, and were saying, “When the Christ comes, will he do more miracles than this man is doing?” 32The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering this about him, and the leaders and Pharisees sent servants to grab hold of him. 33So Jesus spoke to these: “I am with you a little longer, and then I’m going to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me but not find me, and you aren’t able to come where I am.” 35So then those Jews said to themselves, “Where is he going to go, that we wouldn’t find him? Is he going to go to the Gentile dispersion and teach Gentiles? 36What is this language that he used: ‘You will look for me but not find me,’ and ‘You aren’t able to come where I am’?”

37On the great last day of the feast, Jesus stood there and exclaimed, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as the scripture says, ‘Rivers of living water will flow out of his belly.'” 39(He said this about the Spirit that those who believed in him would receive; of course, the Spirit hadn’t been given yet because Jesus hadn’t been glorified yet.) 40So when some of the crowd heard these words of his, they were saying, “He really is the Prophet.” 41Others were saying, “He is the Christ.” But some were saying, “Does the Christ come from Galilee? 42Doesn’t scripture say that the Christ is coming from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David was?” 43And so a disagreement within the crowd came about because of him. 44Also, some of them were wanting to grab hold of him, but no one did lay hands on him. 45And so the servants went back to the chief priests and Pharisees. They said to the servants, “Why didn’t you bring him?” 46The servants answered, “No one ever talked like this man.” 47Then the Pharisees replied to them, “Have you been led astray too? 48Has anyone out of the leaders or Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, that doesn’t know the law, are cursed.” 50Nicodemus (the one who had come to him at night, who was one of these) said to them, 51“Does our law judge anyone unless it first hears from him and learns what he’s doing?” 52They answered him, “Are you a Galilean too? Examine the scriptures and see that a prophet doesn’t arise from Galilee.” 53Then everyone returned to his own home.

John 8 1Jesus, however, went to Mount Olivet. 2At daybreak he came to the temple again, all the people came to him, and he was teaching them while seated. 3Then some scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They stood her in the middle 4and said to him, “Teacher, this woman was just now caught in adultery. 5But in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a person. So, what do you say?” 6They were saying this to test him, so that they would be able to accuse him. But Jesus bent down and was writing on the ground with his finger. 7Since they were continuing to ask him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let whoever is without sin among you throw a rock at her first.” 8He bent over again, writing on the ground. 9Hearing this, they went away one after another, starting with the older ones. Yes, and only Jesus remained, with the woman standing there. 10Jesus then straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are those who were accusing you? Did no one convict you?” 11She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus said, “Neither will I convict you. Go on, but now don’t sin anymore.”

12Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the world’s light. Whoever follows me doesn’t walk in the dark but will have the light of life.” 13So some Pharisees said to him, “You’re vouching for yourself; your testimony isn’t true. 14Jesus replied, “Although I do vouch for myself, my testimony is true because I know where I came from and where I’m going; but you don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. 15You’re judging according to your human way. I am not judging anyone, 16but if I judge, my judgment is true because it isn’t only I, but I and the one who sent me, the Father. 17It was even written down in your law that the testimony of two people is true—18I am one who vouch for myself, and the Father who sent me vouches for me.” 19So they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t understand me or my Father. If you would have been understanding me, you could have understood my Father too.” 20Jesus said this at the treasury, while teaching in the temple, and no one arrested him, because his hour hadn’t come yet.

21Then Jesus repeated for them, “I am going, and you will look for me but you will die in your sin. You aren’t able to come where I’m going.” 22So the Jews were saying, “Will he kill himself, since he said, ‘You aren’t able to come where I’m going’?” 23Then he told them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are from this world. I am not from this world. 24If you won’t believe I am, you will die in your sin; that’s why I told you ‘You will die in your sin.'” 25And so they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “The beginning, who am also speaking to you. 26I have many things to say about you and to judge about you. But the one who sent me is truthful, and I declare in the world the things I’ve heard from him.” 27They also didn’t understand his calling God his Father. 28Therefore Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted the Son of man up, then you will recognize that I am the Son, and that I do nothing from myself, but say things the way the Father taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me and hasn’t left me alone, because I’m always doing the things that have pleased him.” 30From his saying these things, many believed in him. 31So Jesus told the Jews who believed him, “If you continue in my words, you will be true disciples of mine, 32you will learn the truth, and the truth will free you.” 33They responded, “We are Abraham’s descendants and were never slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be free’?” 34Jesus answered them, “Yes, yes, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. 35Now a slave doesn’t stay in the house forever, but the son does stay forever. 36So if the son frees you, you really will be free. 37I know that you are children of Abraham, but you’re looking to kill me because my words don’t take hold in you. 38I’m declaring what I’ve seen with my Father, and you’re doing the things you’ve seen with your father.” 39They responded to him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said, “If you’re Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40You, though, are now aiming to kill me, someone who told you the truth I heard from God. Abraham didn’t do that. 41You are doing your father’s deeds.” They said, “We weren’t born from fornication. We have one Father—God.” 42Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would have loved me especially, because I proceeded from and came from God. No, I didn’t come on my own; he sent me. 43How is it that you aren’t familiar with my way of talking, that you aren’t able to listen to my words? 44You are from your father the Devil, and you want to do what your father desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and hasn’t stood in the truth, because truth isn’t in him. When he tells a lie, he’s speaking personally, because he is a liar, and father of the lie. 45On the other hand, if I tell the truth, you don’t believe me. 46Which of you is going to accuse me of sin? If I tell you the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47Whoever is from God accepts God’s words. Why you don’t accept them is that you’re not from God.” 48The Jews responded to him, “Aren’t we right in saying you’re a Samaritan and that you have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I don’t have a demon. No, I honor my Father, and you have dishonored me. 50Still, I’m not after my glory; there is one who could go after it, and he can judge. 51Yes, yes, I tell you, if someone keeps my words, he will never see death.” 52So the Jews said, “Now we know you have a demon. Abraham is dead, as well as the prophets, and you say, ‘If someone keeps my words, he will never taste death.’ 53Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died. Who do you suppose you are?” 54Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. My Father is the one who glorifies me, and you say that he is your God. 55But you haven’t known him, whereas I do know him. If I said I didn’t know him, I would be like you, a liar. But I do know him and do keep his words. 56Abraham your father rejoiced that he would see my day; he has seen it and been delighted.” 57The Jews said, “You aren’t fifty years old yet and you saw Abraham?” 58Jesus told them, “Yes, yes, I tell you, before Abraham came to be, I am.” 59Therefore, they took up rocks to throw at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

John 9 1As Jesus went along, he saw a man who was blind since birth. 2His disciples questioned him, “Rabbi, for him to be born blind, who sinned, this man or his parents?” 3Jesus answered, “Not ‘he sinned’ or ‘his parents sinned,’ but in order that God’s deeds could be shown in him. 4I need to work at the doings of the one who sent me while it’s daytime; the night is coming, when no one can work. 5As long as I’m in the world, I am the world’s light.” 6After he said this, he spit on the ground, made some clay out of the spit, smeared the clay on the man’s eyes, 7and said to him, “Go, wash in the bath of Siloe” (translated, “Sent”). So he went, washed, and went on, seeing. 8And so the neighbors and those who had previously seen him as the beggar were saying, “Isn’t this the one who was sitting and begging?” Some said he was, 9but others said, “No, but he’s like him.” He stated, “I am the one.” 10So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11He answered, “That man called Jesus made clay, anointed my eyes, and told me, ‘Go to the Siloe bath and wash.’ And I went, I washed, and I’m seeing.” 12They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” 13They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. 14(Now, it was a sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.) 15The Pharisees, too, asked him how he had received his sight. He told them, “He put clay on my eyes, I washed, and I’m seeing.” 16So some of the Pharisees were saying, “That man, who doesn’t keep the sabbath, isn’t from God.” But others said, “How can a sinner do these signs?” And there was a division among them. 17So they spoke to the blind man again, “What do you say about the one who opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18Then because of this, the Jews didn’t believe that he had been blind and was then seeing, up till they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? So how is he seeing now?” 20His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21But we don’t know how he can see now, and we don’t know who opened his eyes. Ask him. He’s of age. Let him speak for himself.” 22His parents said this because they were afraid of these Jews, since the Jews had already agreed that if anyone would be acknowledging him as the Christ, he would be regarded as outside the synagogue. 23That is why his parents said, “He’s of age. Ask him.” 24Then they called back the man who had been blind and told him, “Give the glory to God. We know that that man is a sinner.” 25He said, “I don’t know whether he’s a sinner. I know one thing, that though I was blind, lately I do see.” 26They said, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27He answered them, “I already told you and you heard it. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28So they cursed him and said, “You might be his disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples. 29We know that God spoke to Moses, but we don’t know where this man is from.” 30The man responded to them, “Well, here’s the miracle: that you don’t know where he’s from, even though he opened my eyes! 31We do know God doesn’t listen to sinners, but that if someone is a worshiper of God and does his will, he does listen to him. 32It hasn’t been heard from the beginning that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. 33If he weren’t from God, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.” 34They replied, “You were born completely in sins, and you’re instructing us?” And they drove him out. 35Jesus heard they had driven him out and, once he found the man, said to him, “Do you believe in God’s Son?” 36He answered, “Who is he, sir, for me to believe in him?” 37Jesus said, “You’ve been looking at him, and he’s the one talking with you.” 38He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he fell down and worshiped him. 39Jesus said, “I came to this world for judgment, so that those who aren’t seeing may see and those who see may become blind.” 40Some Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Are we blind too?” Jesus said, 41“If you had been blind, you wouldn’t have kept hold of sin. But right now you’re saying, ‘We see.’ Your sin is continuing.

John 10 1“Yes, yes, I tell you, someone who doesn’t goes into a sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way, is a thief and a robber. 2On the other hand, the one who goes in through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The doorman opens it for him, the sheep hear his voice, he calls his particular sheep by name, and he leads them out. 4After he has let his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them. And the sheep follow him because they know his voice, 5but they don’t follow a stranger, they avoid him, because they haven’t become acquainted with strangers’ voices.” 6Jesus told them this proverb, but they didn’t understand what he was saying to them. 7So Jesus went over it for them: “Yes, yes, I’m telling you that I am the door for the sheep. 8All those that had come were thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will become safe; he will come in and go out, and will discover the pastures. 10The thief only comes so he can steal, kill, and destroy. I came so they can have life and have it more abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd gives his life for his sheep. 12In contrast, a hired man or someone who isn’t the shepherd, who doesn’t own these sheep, sees a wolf coming, abandons the sheep, and runs away; and the wolf catches and scatters the sheep. 13The hired man runs off because he’s hired and the sheep don’t concern him. 14I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and they know me, 15the same way the Father knows me and I acknowledge the Father. I even lay my life down for my sheep. 16I also have other sheep, that aren’t in this fold. I need to lead them too; they will hear my voice, and one fold will be formed, with one shepherd. 17The Father loves me because I lay my life down, so as to take it up again. 18No one takes it away from me; rather, I lay it down by myself. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. I received that instruction from my Father.” 19Again a disagreement came about among the Jews over these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to him?” 21Others said, “These aren’t the words of someone with a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of blind people?”

22The Feast of the Dedication came along at Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23Jesus was walking in the temple on Solomon’s porch. 24Then some Jews surrounded him and said, “How long are you holding our spirits in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25Jesus answered them, “I do tell you but you don’t believe. The deeds I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26but you don’t believe because you aren’t some of my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them everlasting life, they will never die, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29What my Father has given me is greater than everything, and no one is able to snatch out of my Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.” 31So then, these Jews picked up rocks to stone him. 32Jesus responded, “I showed you many good deeds from my Father. Which of these deeds are you stoning me for?” 33The Jews answered him, “We aren’t stoning you for a good deed but for blasphemy, and because you, a human being, represent yourself as God. 34Jesus replied, “Wasn’t it written in your law, ‘I said you are gods’? 35If he called those to whom God’s word came ‘gods,’ and the scriptures can’t be broken, 36then do you tell someone the Father sanctified and sent to the world, ‘You’re blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37If I don’t do my Father’s deeds, don’t believe me. 38But if I do them, then even though you don’t want to believe me, believe the deeds, so that you can recognize and believe that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” 39As a result, they were trying to grab him, but he escaped from their hands. 40Then he went away, beyond the Jordan again, to the place where John had first been baptizing, and he stayed there. 41Many people came to him. They were saying, “John certainly performed no sign, 42but all the things John said about this man were true.” And many believed in him.

John 11 1Now there was a man getting weaker, Lazarus of Bethania, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2(Mary was the one who would anoint the Lord with ointment and wipe his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus that was failing.) 3So his sisters sent word to Jesus: “Lord, see now, the one you love is failing.” 4When Jesus heard this, though, he declared to them, “This weakness is not for death but for God’s glory, for God’s Son to be glorified by it.” 5Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister Mary, and Lazarus. 6After he heard he was failing, he still remained in the same place for two days. 7Then after that he said to his disciples, “Let’s go into Judea again.” 8The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and you’re going there again?” 9Jesus answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daytime? If someone walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees this world’s light. 10But if he walks at night, he stumbles because there isn’t light in him.” 11He stated this but afterward told them, “Lazarus our friend is sleeping, but I’m going so I can rouse him from sleep.” 12So his disciples said, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll be fine.” 13Jesus had been referring to his death, but they thought he was talking about the sleep of drowsiness. 14So then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15But I’m glad (for your sake, so that you can believe) that I wasn’t there. Still, let’s go to him.” 16Then Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go along, so we can die along with the Lord.” 17So Jesus went. He found that Lazarus had already spent four days in the tomb. 18Now Bethania was only about two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to be comforting them about their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus had come, she ran to meet him, while Mary stayed home. 21Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died, 22but even now I know that God will give you whatever you beg from God.” 23Jesus said, “Your brother will rise up.” 24Martha said, “I know that he’ll rise up in the resurrection on the last day.” 25Jesus said, “I am resurrection and life. Even if someone who believes in me has been dead, he will live. 26And everyone who is alive and believes in me will not die toward eternity. Do you believe this?” 27She declared, “Lord, I’ve at least believed that you are the Christ, the living God’s Son, who have come to this world.” 28After she said this, she went, called her sister Mary, and whispered, “The teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29When she heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30Jesus hadn’t come into the town yet, but he was still at the place Martha had met him. 31Since the Jews who had been in the house with Mary, comforting her, saw her get up suddenly and leave, they followed her, saying, “She’s going to the tomb to weep there.” 32Once Mary got to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” 33When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he groaned in his spirit, troubled himself, 34and said, “Where did you lay him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35And Jesus wept. 36So the Jews said, “Look at the way he loved him!” 37But some of them said, “Couldn’t he, who opened the eyes of a man born blind, have made it so this man wouldn’t have died?” 38Then Jesus arrived at the tomb and groaned within himself once more. It was a cave, though, and a stone had been set over it. 39Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, sister of the man who was dead, said to him, “Lord, by now he stinks, since he’s four days gone.” 40Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you’ll see God’s glory?” 41So they removed the stone. With his eyes raised upward, Jesus said, “Father, I give you thanks that you have heard me. 42I know you always do hear me, but I said this for the sake of the people who are standing around, so that they can believe you sent me.” 43After he said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44And the one who had been dead came out right away, his feet and hands wrapped in bands; and his face had been wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.” 45As a result, many of the Jews who had come to Mary and Martha and seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus had done.

47Therefore the chief priests and Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What can we do, since this man does many signs? 48If we leave him this way, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and abolish our position and the nation.” 49But one of them named Caiphas, since he was the high priest that year, said to them, “You don’t know anything. 50You aren’t considering that it’s to your advantage to have one man die in place of the people and the whole nation not to be ruined.” 51However, he didn’t declare this from himself; rather, since he was the high priest for that year, he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for the nation, 52and not only for the nation but to gather God’s children, who had been dispersed, into one flock. 53So after that day they did ponder how they would kill him. 54Therefore Jesus no longer traveled openly among the Jews but went into an area near the desert, to a city called Ephrem, and was staying there with his disciples. 55Then it was almost the Jewish Passover, and many people went up from the countryside to Jerusalem ahead of the Passover to go about purifying themselves. 56They were looking for Jesus and, as they stood in the temple, were discussing with each other: “What do you think, that he hasn’t come for the feast day?” But the chief priests and Pharisees had given an order that if anyone knew where he was, he should inform them, so they could arrest him.

John 12 1Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethania, where Lazarus, whom Jesus woke up, had been dead. 2They made a dinner for Jesus there. Martha was serving, and yes, Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Then Mary took a pound of expensive ointment, pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped his feet dry with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was going to betray him, said, 5“Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred days’ wages and given to the needy?” 6(He didn’t say this because he was concerned about the needy but because he was a thief and, since he handled the purse, would carry whatever got deposited.) 7Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so she can keep it for the day of my burial. 8You see, you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.” 9Now a large crowd of Jews knew he was there, and they came, not just for Jesus but so they could see Lazarus, whom he had roused from the dead. 10However, the chief priests intended to kill Lazarus too, 11since because of him many Jews were changing and believing in Jesus.

12On the next day a large crowd that was coming to the feast day, after they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13took palm tree branches, went out to meet him, and were crying out, “Hosanna! He who comes in the Lord’s name, the king of Israel, is blessed.” 14And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as was written, 15“Don’t be afraid, daughter of Sion. See, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16His disciples didn’t recognize this at first, but when Jesus was glorified, they remembered that this had been written about him and that the crowd had done these things for him. 17Then the group that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and roused him from the dead, was testifying. 18The people also came to meet him because of this (because they heard that he had done that sign). 19So the Pharisees said among themselves, “Do you see that we’re making no progress? See, the whole world has gone off after him.” 20Now there were some Gentiles among those who came up to worship on the feast day. 21They came up to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and were begging him, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” 22Philip came and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip, in turn, told Jesus. 23But Jesus responded to them by saying “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. 24Yes, yes, I tell you, unless the seed of grain falling into the ground dies, 25it remains alone. But if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world is guarding it for everlasting life. 26If anyone is serving me, let him follow me; and where I am, my servant will be too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honor him. 27My soul is troubled now. And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour; but I came to this hour for this reason: 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again.” 29Then the crowd that was standing by and heard this said that thunder had happened. Others were saying, “An angel spoke to him.” 30Jesus responded, “This voice didn’t come for my sake but for your sake. 31Now is the world’s trial; now this world’s prince will be driven out. 32And if I’m lifted up from the earth, I will draw everything to myself.” 33(By saying this, he indicated what death he was to die of.) 34The crowd replied to him, “We’ve heard out of the law that the Christ lasts forever, but how are you saying, ‘The Son of man is to be lifted up’? Who is this Son of man?” 35So Jesus told them, “The light is among you a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness doesn’t catch you. Then too, someone walking in the dark doesn’t know where he’s going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you can be the light’s children.”

Jesus said this and then went away and hid himself from them. 37But though he had done such great signs in their presence, they didn’t believe in him, 38since the saying of the prophet Isaiah was to be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom was the Lord’s arm revealed?” 39They couldn’t believe, Isaiah said again, because: 40“He blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they couldn’t see with their eyes, understand with their hearts, be converted, and let me heal them.” 41Isaiah said these things at the time he saw Jesus’ glory; and he told about him. 42Nevertheless, many of the leaders, too, did believe in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t acknowledge him, so they wouldn’t be thrown out of the synagogue. 43Yes, they loved human glory more than God’s glory. 44But Jesus did cry out, “Anyone who believes in me isn’t believing in me but in the one who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. 46I came to the world as light, for everyone who believes in me not to remain in the dark. 47And if anyone hears my words but doesn’t guard them, I’m not judging him, because I didn’t come to judge the world but to save the world. 48Anyone who rejects me and doesn’t accept my words has something that judges him: the word I spoke will judge him on the last day, 49because I didn’t speak from myself. Rather, the Father who sent me gave me the directions—what I should say and what I should declare. 50And I know that his direction is everlasting life. So I say what I say, just the way the Father said it to me.”

John 13 1Before the feast day of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass out of this world to the Father. Because he had loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The supper was over. (The Devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, son of a Simon, to betray him.) 3Knowing that the Father, for him, had given everything into his hands, and that he came from God and was going to God, 4Jesus got up from supper, laid his clothes aside, took a towel, and wrapped himself in it. 5After that, he poured water in a bowl, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them dry with the towel he was wrapped in. 6Then he came to Simon Peter, and Peter said to him, “Lord, are you washing my feet for me?” 7Jesus answered, “Right now you don’t know what I’m doing, but afterward you’ll know.” 8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet for me.” Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you won’t have a share in me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not just my feet, but my hands and my head too.” 10Jesus said to him, “One who has washed has no need except to wash his feet; he is entirely clean. And you men are clean, but not all of you.” 11He did know who the one was that would betray him; that is why he said, “You are not all clean.” 12Then after he had washed their feet, taken his clothes, and come back to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you’re right, because I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet. 15You see, I’ve given you an example, that as I’ve done to you, you are to do too. 16Yes, yes, I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and an apostle is not greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. 18I’m not talking about all of you. I know whom I chose. But the scripture is to be fulfilled: ‘One who eats bread with me will raise his heel against me.’ 19From now on I’m telling you before it happens, so that when it does happen, you can believe that I am he. 20Yes, yes, I tell you, anyone who receives someone I’ve sent receives me, and then too, anyone who receives me receives the one who sent me.”

21After Jesus said these things, he was troubled in spirit and stated, “Yes, yes, I do tell you that one of you will betray me.” 22So then the disciples were looking at each other, unsure whom he was talking about. 23Now one of Jesus’ disciples, whom he loved, was lying back on Jesus’ chest. 24So Simon Peter gestured to him and said to him, “Who is it he’s talking about?” 25So as he leaned on Jesus’ chest, he said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus answered, “He’s the one I’ll offer some dipped bread to.” And when he had dipped some bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of a Simon. 27After the morsel, Satan entered him, and Jesus said to him, “Do what you’re doing quickly.” 28No one at the table knew why he told him this though. 29For instance, some were thinking that, since Judas held the purse, Jesus had said to him, “Buy some things we need for the feast day,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30So after he received the morsel, he went out right away. Then it was night.

31After he went out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him right away. 33Little children, I’m with you for a little while longer. You will look for me, but I tell you now, as I told the Jews, you aren’t able to come where I’m going. 34I am giving you a new commandment, to love each other as I have loved you, yes, to love each other. 35Everyone will recognize that you are my disciples by this: if you have love for each other.” 36Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “At this time you can’t follow me where I’m going, Peter, but afterward you will follow.” 37Peter said to him, “Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for me? No, no, I tell you, the rooster won’t crow till you deny me three times.

John 14 1“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe in me also. 2There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If there were not, would I have told you that I do go to prepare a place for you? 3But if I go away and prepare a place for you, then I will come again and receive you to myself, so that you can be where I am. 4And you know where I’m going, and you know the way.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, and how can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would certainly have known my Father too. From now on you will know him, and you have seen him.” 8Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough for us.” 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you such a long time, but you haven’t known me? Philip, one who sees me is seeing the Father too. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? I’m not saying the words I’m telling you from myself; rather, the Father remaining in me is doing these deeds. 11Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? 12In any case, believe because of the deeds themselves. Yes, yes, I tell you, whoever believes in me will also do the deeds I do, and he’ll do greater ones than these, 13because I go to the Father. I will do whatever you ask the Father in my name, so that the Father can be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do that. 15If you love me, keep my commandments. 16I will also beg the Father, and he will give you another Champion to remain with you forever—17the Spirit of truth, which the world can’t receive because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you will recognize him because he will remain near you and will be in you. 18I won’t leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19A little while longer and then the world doesn’t see me anymore. But you see me because I am living and you will be living. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 21The one who loves me is whoever has my commandments and keeps them. Also, anyone who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and show myself to him.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you’re going to show yourself to us but not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he’ll keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make our lodging with him. 24Someone who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. And the word you’ve heard isn’t mine but his who sent me, the Father. 25I’ve told you these things while staying by you. 26But the Champion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and supply everything I will have told you. 27I leave you peace. I give you my peace. I give it to you in a way the world does not give. Don’t let your hearts be troubled and don’t be afraid. 28You heard me tell you, ‘I go away,’ and ‘I come to you.’ If you loved me, you would at least be glad that I do go to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29I’ve told you now, before it happens, so that when it does happen, you can believe. 30I won’t tell you much just now, because the prince of this world is coming, even though he doesn’t possess anything in me. 31But I’m doing as the Father gave me directions, so that the world can realize that I love the Father. Get up, let’s go out of here.

John 15 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. 2He will take away every branch on me that doesn’t bear fruit, and he will clean up every one that bears fruit, so that it can produce more fruit. 3You are already clean by reason of the words I told you. 4Remain in me, and then I am in you. As a branch can’t bear fruit from itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you’ve remained in me. 5I am the vine. You the branches. Someone who remains in me and in whom I remain produces much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. 6If anyone doesn’t remain in me, he’ll be thrown out like a branch and dry up, and they’ll gather him up and throw him into the fire, and he will burn. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you can ask for whatever you may determine, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified in your producing the most fruit and being proved as disciples of me. 9I have loved you as the Father loved me. Remain in my love. 10If you keep my directions, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s directions and remain in his love. 11I’ve been telling you these things so that my joy can be in you and your joy can be filled full. 12This is my direction, that you should love each other as I have loved you. 13No one has a greater love than this, that he would lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do the things I direct you. 15I will no longer call you servants, because a servant doesn’t know what his lord is doing. But I called you friends, because I’ve let you know everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and have appointed for you to go and produce fruit, and for your fruit to remain; with the result that the Father should give you whatever you ask him for in my name. 17I’m entrusting these things to you, so that you can love each other. 18If the world hates you, know that it held me in hatred ahead of you. 19If you had been of the world, the world would be loving what was its own. But the world hates you because you’re not of the world but I chose you out of the world. 20Remember the saying of mine that I told you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too. (If they kept my word, they will keep yours too.) 21They will do all this to you because of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. 22If I hadn’t come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t have considered their sin, but now they don’t have an excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me also hates my Father. 24If I hadn’t done deeds among them that no one else has done, they wouldn’t have considered their sin, but now they have seen and also hated both me and my Father. 25It was so that the saying written in their law could be fulfilled: ‘They held me in hatred for no reason.’ 26But when the Champion comes, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. 27You will testify too, because you were with me from the start.

John 16 1“I’ve told you these things so you won’t be shocked. 2They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the hour is coming that everyone who kills you will suppose he’s performing a service to God. 3And they will do these things to you because they haven’t known the Father or me. 4I’ve told you these things, so that when their time comes, you can remember that I did tell you about them. 5I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I’m going to the one who sent me. However, none of you is asking me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Instead, sorrow has filled your hearts because I’ve told you these things. 7But I tell you the truth—it’s to your advantage that I’m going. You see, if I don’t go away, the Champion won’t come to you, but if I do go, then I will send him to you. 8When he has come, he will show the world about sin, about justice, and about judgment: 9about sin because they didn’t believe in me; 10about justice because I go to the Father and you won’t see me any longer; 11and about judgment because the prince of this world has already been judged. 12I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. 13But when that Spirit of truth has come, he will teach you all the truth. He won’t speak from himself, but will utter whatever he is hearing and let you know the things that are to come. 14He will glorify me because he will interpret what is mine and make it known to you. 15All that the Father has is mine. That is why I said that he’ll interpret what is mine and make it known to you. 16A little while, and suddenly you won’t see me, and then a little while more and you will see me, because I go to the Father.” 17So, some of the disciples said to each other, “What is this he’s telling us: ‘A little while and you won’t see me, and then a little while more and you will see me,’ and ‘Because I go to the Father’?” 18More precisely, they were saying, “What is this ‘a little while’ he’s saying? We don’t know what he’s talking about.” 19Jesus did know that they wanted to question him, and he said to them, “Are you asking questions among yourselves about my saying, ‘A little while and you won’t see me, and then a little while more and you will see me’? 20Yes, yes, I tell you, you will mourn and weep, while the world will rejoice. You will be saddened, but your sadness will be turned into joy. 21When a woman goes into labor, she has some sorrow because her hour has arrived, but when she’s borne the child, she doesn’t remember the distress anymore, because of her joy that a person has been born into the world. 22You too certainly do have some sorrow now, but I will see you again, your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 23And during that time you won’t beg me for anything. No, no, I tell you, if you ask the Father for anything in my name, he will give it to you. 24Up to now you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Do ask, and you will receive, for your joy to be full. 25I’ve told you these things in proverbs. The hour is coming when I will no longer talk to you in proverbs but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26At that time you will ask in my name. But I’m not telling you that I’ll ask the Father for you; 27you see, the Father himself loves you because you’ve loved me and believed that I came out from God. 28I did come out from the Father and have come to the world; in turn I’m leaving the world and going to the Father.” 29His disciples said to him, “There, now you’re talking plainly and telling no proverb. 30Now we know that you know everything and that for you it isn’t hard work when anyone questions you. In this way we do believe that you came out from God.” 31Jesus replied to them, “Do you believe now? 32Here, the hour is coming, and coming very soon, that you’ll be scattered, each one on his own, and will leave me alone (though I’m not alone, because the Father is with me). 33I’ve told you these things so that you can have peace in me. You will have distress in the world, but have confidence: I have overcome the world.”

John 17 1After saying these things, Jesus lifted his eyes up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son can glorify you, 2the way you gave him power over everybody so he could give eternal life to everyone you’ve given to him. 3And eternal life is this: that they be acquainting with you, the only true God, and with Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4I have glorified you on earth. I have finished the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me with yourself, by the glory I had with you before the world existed. 6I showed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they have learned that everything you gave me truly is from you, 8because I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them, recognized that I really came from you, and believed that you did send me.

9“I am praying for them. I’m not praying for the world but for these you gave to me, because they’re yours. 10Yes, everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in all of it. 11And now I am not in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you gave me within your name, so that they can be one, the way we are. 12While I was with them, I was keeping them in your name. I kept those you gave me, and none of them was lost except the son of loss, so that the scripture would be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world so that they can have my joy made complete in them. 14I gave your word to them, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, the same way I am not of the world. 15I don’t pray for you to take them out of the world, but for you to keep them from evil. 16They aren’t of the world, just as I’m not of the world. 17Make them holy in the truth. Your word is the truth. 18Just as you sent me to the world, I have sent them into the world. 19But I’m making myself holy for them, so that they too would be made holy in the truth.

20And I am not praying just for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21praying for them all to be one—the same way you are in me, Father, and I am in you—for them to be one in us too, so that the world can believe that you did send me. 22I have even given them the glory you gave me, so they could be one, as we are one 23(I in them and you in me), so they could be perfected into a single one and the world would realize that you did send me and loved them the way you loved me. 24Father, I want those you gave me to be with me where I am, so they can see the glory of mine that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25Just Father, the world hasn’t known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love you loved me with can be in them, and I can be in them.”

John 18 1After Jesus said this, he went out with his disciples across the Cedron brook, to where there was a garden, which he went into with his disciples. 2But Judas, who was betraying him, knew the place too, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3And so, once Judas had received some soldiers and servants from the chief priests and Pharisees, he came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4Since Jesus knew everything that was about to come upon him, he went forward and said to them, “Whom are you after?” 5They answered him, “Jesus from Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them too.) 6When he said to them, “I am he,” they went backward and fell to the ground. 7So he asked them again, “Whom are you after?” They said, “Jesus from Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I told you I am he. So if you’re after me, allow these men to leave” 9(for what he had said to be fulfilled: “I haven’t lost any of those you gave me”). 10Then Simon Peter, drew a sword he had, struck a slave of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. (The slave’s name was Malchus.) 11And so Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath. Shouldn’t I drink the cup my Father has given me?”

12Then the soldiers, their commander, and the Jews’ servants grabbed Jesus and tied him up. 13They led him away first to Annas. (He was actually the father-in-law of Caiphas, that year’s high priest; 14it was Caiphas who had given the Jews the advice that it was to their advantage to have one man die in place of the people.) 15But Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. That disciple was known to the high priest and entered the high priest’s court with Jesus. 16But Peter was standing outside by the door. So this other disciple, known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in. 17So then this servant woman who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “Aren’t you one of that man’s disciples too?” He said, “I am not.” 18Because it was cold, the slaves and servants were standing at a fire of coals and keeping warm. Peter was with them too, standing there, keeping warm. 19Well, this “high priest” questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly in the world. I always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where all Jews meet, and I said nothing secretly. 21Why do you question me? Question those who heard what I told them. Yes, they know what I’ve said.” 22But when he had said this, one of the servants standing by slapped Jesus, saying, “Do you answer a high priest that way?” 23Jesus answered him, “If I spoke wrongly, give evidence about the wrong, but if I spoke reasonably, why hit me?” 24Then Annas sent him, tied up, to Caiphas the high priest. 25Now Simon Peter was standing, keeping warm. Then they said to him, “Aren’t you one of his disciples too?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” 26One of the high priest’s slaves, a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said to him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27So Peter denied it again, and right away a rooster crowed.

28Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor’s hall. It was morning. They didn’t go into the hall, so as not to get contaminated, so they could eat the Passover. 29So then Pilate came outside to them. He said, “What charge are you bringing against this man?” 30They answered him, “If he weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have delivered him to you.” 31So Pilate said to them, “You take him and judge him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “It isn’t legal for us to put anyone to death.” 32(And so, what Jesus said, indicating the sort of death he was about to die, was getting fulfilled.) 33Then Pilate went back into the hall, called Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the Jews’ king?” 34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this by yourself, or did others say it to you about me?” 35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your nation and chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?” 36Jesus replied, “My kingship is not from this world. If my kingship were from this world, my servants would certainly have fought, for me not to be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, my kingship isn’t from here.” 37So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I’m a king. I was born for this and came to the world for this: to testify to the truth; everyone who is in the truth hears my voice.” 38Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he said this, he went out to the Jews again and said to them, “I find no case in relation to him. 39But there is a custom for you, that I can release someone to you at the Passover. So do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” 40Then they all shouted back, “Not this one, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber.

John 19 1Pilate then took hold of Jesus and whipped him. 2Some soldiers wove a crown out of thorns, put it on his head, and put a purple robe around him; 3and they would come up to him and say, “Hail, Jew king,” and slap him. 4Then Pilate went back outside and said to them, “Here, I’m bringing him out to you, so you can realize I find no case in relation to him.” 5Jesus came out under the thorny crown and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Here’s the man.” 6Once the chief priests and their assistants saw him, they cried out, “Crucify, crucify him.” Pilate said to them, “You take him and crucify him, because I find no case in relation to him.” 7The Jews responded, “We have a law, and according to the law he ought to die because he made himself the Son of God.” 8When Pilate heard this expression, he was more afraid. 9He went back into the hall and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10So Pilate said to him, “You don’t talk to me? Don’t you know that I have the power to crucify you and I have the power to release you?” 11Jesus answered, “You wouldn’t have any power over me unless it had been given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” 12And from then on Pilate was looking to release him. But the Jews were shouting, “If you release him, you’re not Caesar’s friend, because everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13Now when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat down in the judgment seat in the place that is called Lithostrotos (in Hebrew, “Gabbatha”). 14And it was Friday of the Passover, about the sixth hour, and he said to the Jews, “See here, your king.” 15But they were shouting, “Take him away, take him away, crucify him. Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king except Caesar.” 16So then he delivered him to them to be crucified.

They did take Jesus and led him out. 17Supporting the cross for himself, he went out to the place called Calvary (in Hebrew, “Golgotha”), 18where they crucified him and two others with him, on this side and that side, with Jesus in the middle. 19But Pilate also wrote a title and posted it on top of the cross. He had written, “JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE JEWS’ KING.” 20Many of the Jews read this title because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it had been written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21Because of this the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The Jews’ King,’ but that he said, ‘I am the Jews’ King.'” 22Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” 23After the soldiers crucified him, they took his clothes (and made four parts, a part for each soldier) and his undershirt. But the undershirt was seamless, woven all the way through from the top. 24So they said to each other, “Let’s not cut it, but let’s throw dice for it, for who’ll get it” (since the scripture was to be fulfilled: “They divided my clothes among them, and they threw dice for my garment”). And the soldiers did do this. 25Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister (Mary of Cleophas), and Mary Magdalen were standing near his cross. 26Once Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, there is your son.” 27After that, he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple accepted her as his own. 28Then, knowing that everything had been completed, Jesus said, “I thirst” (since that scripture was to be fulfilled). 29Now a vase full of vinegar had been placed there, and they put a sponge full of vinegar around hyssop, and offered it for his mouth. 30After Jesus took the vinegar he said, “It has been completed.” And bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.

31Because it was Friday, and so that the bodies wouldn’t remain on crosses on the sabbath (since that sabbath day a was great one), the Jews then begged Pilate to have their legs broken and for the men to be removed. 32So soldiers went and broke the legs of one and then the other one, who were crucified with him. 33But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. 34But one of the soldiers opened up his side with a spear, and at once blood and water flowed out. 35The one who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows he’s telling a true thing, and so you too can believe it. 36These things happened since the scripture was to be fulfilled: “You won’t break one bone within him,” 37and the other scripture in turn says, “They will look up toward the one they pierced.” 38After this, Joseph of Arimathea, since he was a disciple of Jesus (but secretly for fear of the Jews), asked Pilate if he could remove Jesus’ body. And Pilate gave permission. So he went and acquired Jesus’ body. 39Nicodemus went too (the one who had come to Jesus in the beginning at night), carrying about a hundred pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes. 40Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen with the spices, as the Jewish burial custom is. 41There was a garden in the locality where he was crucified, and in the garden was a new tomb, that no one had been laid in yet. 42They laid Jesus there on account of the Jewish sabbath, because the tomb was nearby.

John 20 1However, on the first day of the week Mary Magdalen came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw the stone, removed from the tomb. 2Then she ran, came to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve removed the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve laid him.” 3So Peter and the other disciple left and went toward the tomb. 4They were both running at the same time, but the other disciple ran ahead and came to the tomb sooner than Peter. 5After he stooped down, he saw the linens laid there, but he didn’t go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him. He went into the tomb and saw the linens laid there 7and the towel that had been over his head, laid now not with the linens but apart, rolled up in another position. 8Then the other disciple, who had come to the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed. 9No, they didn’t yet understand the scripture that he had to rise up from the dead. 10Then the disciples went back to their group.

11But Mary was standing outside the tomb, weeping. While she was weeping, she stooped down and looked into the tomb, 12and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been laid, one at the head and one at the feet. 13They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they took my Lord away, and I don’t know where they’ve laid him.” 14After she said this, she turned back around and saw Jesus standing there, though she didn’t know it was Jesus. 15Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She supposed he was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you have taken him out of here, please tell me where you’ve laid him, and I’ll take him away.” 16Jesus said to her, “Mary.” Focused now, she said, “Rabboni!” (or as we say, “Teacher”). 17Jesus said to her, “Don’t touch me, because I haven’t yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers, though, and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.'” 18Mary Magdalen came announcing to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and he told me these things…”

19When it was late on that same day, the first of the week, and the doors where the disciples gathered had been locked (for fear of the Jews), Jesus came, stood among them, and said, “Peace be to you.” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad at the sight of the Lord. 21Then he said to them a second time, “Peace be to you. As the Father sent me, I also send you.” 22After he said this, he exhaled into them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23Whoever’s sins you will forgive are forgiven them, and whoever’s sins you will retain have been retained.” 24But Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. 25The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger into the nail spots, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe it.” 26After eight days the disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be to you.” 27Next he said to Thomas, “Put your finger in here, see my hands, bring your hand here and put it into my side, and be sure, not disbelieving.” 28Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29Jesus said to him, “Thomas, you have believed because you saw me. Those who didn’t see but believed even so, are blessed.” 30Jesus also did many other signs in his disciples’ presence that weren’t written in this book. 31But these were written, in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you can have life in his name.

John 21 1After this Jesus showed himself to the disciples again at the sea of Tiberias. But he showed himself in the following way. 2Simon Peter, Thomas (who is called Didymus), Nathanael (who was from Cana in Galilee), Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples, were together. 3Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going, to fish.” They said to him, “We’re coming with you.” They went out, boarded the ship, but caught nothing that night. 4When it was morning, Jesus stood at the shore, but the disciples didn’t know it was Jesus. 5Then Jesus said to them, “Boys, do you have any food?” They answered him, “No.” 6He said to them, “Throw the net to the right side of the ship and you’ll find some.” So they threw it, and now they didn’t have the strength to pull it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7Therefore the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord.” Once he heard it was the Lord, Simon Peter got dressed (since he had been naked) and jumped into the sea. 8Because the other disciples were not far from land (only about a hundred yards), they came by ship, dragging the net of fish. 9When they got to land, they saw hot coals laid out, a fish laid on top of them, and some bread. 10Jesus told them, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught here.” 11Simon Peter went aboard and then pulled the net, full of one hundred fifty-three large fish, to land. Although there were so many, the net wasn’t broken. 12Jesus said to them, “Come have breakfast.” None of those at the meal dared to ask him, “Who are you?” since they knew it was the Lord. 13Jesus came, took the bread, and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. 14Jesus was revealed to his disciples this third time now after rising from the dead.

15After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I like you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16He spoke to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Yes, Lord, you know that I like you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 17He spoke to him a third time, “Simon, son of John, do you like me?” Peter was grieved that this third time he said, “Do you ‘like’ me?” But he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I like you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18Yes, yes, I tell you, when you were younger, you would dress yourself and walk where you wanted to. But when you get old, you’ll stretch your hands out, and someone else will dress you and lead you to a place you don’t want.” 19He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to glorify God by. After he said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” 20Peter turned around and saw following them the disciple that Jesus loved, the one who had leaned on his chest at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is the one that will betray you?” 21After Peter noticed him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man though?” 22Jesus said to him, “What is it to you if I want him to last till I come? You follow me.” 23Therefore a saying spread among the brothers, that that disciple wouldn’t die. However, Jesus didn’t say he wouldn’t die, only “What is it to you if I want him to last till I come?” 24That is the disciple who is certifying these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true. 25But there are also many other things Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I don’t think the world itself would be able to contain the books that would be written.

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 1 1Theophilus, I composed the preceding discourse about all the things Jesus began to do and teach 2until the day he gave instructions to his chosen apostles by the Holy Spirit and was taken up. 3After his suffering he had shown himself alive to them by many proofs, appearing to them for forty days and telling them about God’s kingdom. 4When eating with them, he directed them not to leave Jerusalem, but to be waiting for what the Father promised, “which you heard,” he said, “by my mouth; 5because not many days from now you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (though John baptized with water).” 6So those gathered were asking him, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel at this time?” 7But he said to them, “It isn’t for you to know the times or movements that the Father has put in his own power, 8but you will receive the Holy Spirit’s power coming on you, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the farthest parts of the earth.” 9After he said these things, as they watched, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him up out of their sight. 10While they were watching his going up to heaven, two men in white clothes stood near them 11and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is being taken up from you into heaven will come down, the same way you saw him going into heaven.” 12Then from the mountain called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem (a sabbath’s walk away), they returned to Jerusalem.

13Once they had come indoors, they went up to the upper room where they were staying—Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James. 14They were all persevering in the same spirit in prayer, along with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15On one of those days, Peter got up among the brothers (there were about a hundred and twenty people altogether) and said, 16“Men, brothers, the scripture that the Holy Spirit spoke previously by David’s mouth regarding Judas needs to be fulfilled. He was the guide of those who arrested Jesus, 17and he was numbered with us and had obtained a part in this service. 18He did, at least, keep hold of a field (iniquity’s reward).” (When hanged, his middle burst open and all his innards gushed out; 19this became known to all Jerusalem’s inhabitants, so that they were calling that field ‘Haceldama’ in their language, that is to say, ‘The field of blood.’) 20“As I was saying, it was written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let their place be abandoned, and let there be no one to inhabit it.’ But also ‘let someone else take his office.’ 21Therefore a witness of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection needs to be made out of one of these men who have gathered with us this whole time that the Lord came in and went out among us, 22starting from John’s baptism until the day he was taken up from us.” 23They selected two—Joseph (also called Barsabas), whose last name was Justus, and Matthias. 24Praying, they said, “Lord, you know the hearts of all men. Show which of these two you’ve chosen 25to receive this place of service and apostleship that Judas fell from by duplicity so he could go away to his own place.” 26And they gave them lots, and the lot fell to Matthias, and he was counted with the eleven apostles.

Acts 2 1As the days of Pentecost were being completed, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like that of a powerful wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3Distributed fire-like tongues appeared to them and remained on each of them. 4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in various languages, exactly as the Holy Spirit was giving them to pronounce. 5Now devout Jews from every nation under heaven were staying in Jerusalem. 6Upon word of this, a crowd of them gathered and were confused because each person heard them speaking in his own language. 7They were all amazed and in wonder, and said, “Look here, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8How have we each heard his own native language? 9Being Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, 10Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, areas of Libya around Cyrene, and strangers from Rome, 11both Jews and converts, Cretes and Arabians, we have heard them telling God’s great deeds in our own languages.” 12Yes, they were all astonished and in wonder, and said to each other, “What does this mean?” 13But others, mocking, said, “These men are full of new wine.” 14But standing with the eleven, Peter raised his voice and told them, “Men of Judea and all of you who are staying in Jerusalem, know this, and receive my words with your ears. 15These people aren’t drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only mid-morning. 16Instead, this is what was spoken about by the prophet Joel: 17‘In the last days, says the Lord, it will come about that I will pour out from my Spirit onto all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams; 18in those days I will pour out from my Spirit onto my servants and on my handmaids, and they will prophesy; 19I will show wonders in heaven above and signs on the earth below—blood and fire and smoky vapor; 20the sun will be turned dark and the moon bloody before the great and obvious day of the Lord comes; 21and then it will be that whoever calls on the Lord’s name will be saved.’ 22You men of Israel, listen to these words. Jesus of Nazareth—a man among you that God approved by the miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did through him among you, as you know—23having been surrendered in God’s set purpose and foreknowledge, was crucified and killed by you through the hands of wicked men. 24God has now raised him up, having undone the sorrows of hell, since it was impossible for him to be held by it. 25As David says about him, ‘I was foreseeing the Lord, always in my sight, since he is on my right side, so that I won’t be shaken; 26my heart was glad for this and my tongue rejoiced. My body will rest in hope too, 27because you will not leave my soul in hell or allow your Holy One to see corruption; 28you made the ways of life known to me; you will make me full of joy with your face.’ 29You men, brothers, let me tell you plainly about the patriarch David, that he died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30It follows that he was a prophet. He was aware that God had promised him by an oath that one of his descendants would sit on his throne. 31Foreseeing this then, he was referring to the resurrection of Christ, who was not left in hell and whose body did not see corruption. 32God has raised this Jesus up; we here are all witnesses of this. 33Raised high now by means of God’s right hand, and having received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, he has poured out this that you’re seeing and hearing. 34No, David didn’t ascend into heaven, but he did say, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right 35until I make your enemies your footstool.’ 36So let the entire house of Israel know for certain that God has made this same Jesus whom you crucified both Lord and Christ.” 37Well, hearing these things, they were stung in the heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles, “What shall we do, men and brothers?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent and, every one of you, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift, the Holy Spirit. 39Yes, the promise is to you and your children and to all who are far away—whomever the Lord our God will call.” 40He testified and was also urging them with many more words; he said, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation.” 41So those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand souls were added that day. 42They were persevering in the apostles’ teaching, in taking part in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43Awe was being produced in every soul. Many wonders and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem, and there was a great fear on the whole group. 44All those who believed were together too, and owning everything in common. 45They were selling their possessions and goods and distributing these to everyone, corresponding to each one’s need. 46They continued single-heartedly every day in the temple and, breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47praising God together and having goodwill toward the whole populace. And every day the Lord was adding in any more that were to be saved.

Acts 3 1Now Peter and John were going up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer. 2A man who had been lame since birth was carried and laid every day at the temple gate named “Beautiful,” to ask alms from the people going into the temple. 3As he saw Peter and John about to enter the temple, he was asking to be given alms. 4But while looking right at him with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5Well, he was focusing on them—hoping to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk.” 7Taking the man by the right hand, he lifted him up, and right away his feet and their soles received strength. 8Jumping up, he stood up, walked, and went into the temple with them, walking, jumping, and praising God. 9All the people saw him walking and praising God. 10They also recognized him as the one who had been sitting begging alms at the temple’s Beautiful Gate; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11Since he was holding onto Peter and John, all the people ran over to them near the porch called “Solomon’s” and were stunned. 12Seeing this, Peter responded to the people, “You people of Israel, why are you amazed at this or why are you looking at us as if we had made this man walk by our strength or power? 13The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—the God of our fathers—has glorified his Son Jesus, whom you in fact handed over and denied before the face of Pilate when he had judged that he should be released. 14You denied the holy and just one and begged for a murderer to be given to you. 15You killed the author of life, whom God has raised from the dead, which we are witnesses of. 16And now by faith in him, his name has strengthened this man you saw and knew; and the faith that is by him has given this man this full health visible to all of you. 17And as it stands, brothers, I know that you and your leaders did this through ignorance. 18But God has fulfilled what he had foretold by the mouth of all the prophets—that his Christ would suffer. 19So repent and be converted, so that your sins can be done away with 20and times of refreshment can come from the presence of the Lord, and he can send the one who’s been proclaimed to you, Jesus Christ, 21whom heaven must receive up until the times of the restoration of everything, which God declared from the beginning by the mouth of his holy prophets. 22Even Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will summon a prophet like me for you from your brothers; you shall listen closely to everything he will tell you; 23but it will be the case that every soul who won’t listen to that prophet will be destroyed from among the people.’ 24All the prophets who spoke—from Samuel on—told of these days. 25You are the children of the prophets and of the testament God made to our fathers when he said to Abraham, ‘And in your descendant all the peoples of the earth will be blessed.’ 26Having summoned his Son, God sent him to you first, to bless you, and for each person to convert himself from his wickedness.”

Acts 4 1As they were speaking to the people, the priests, the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, 2grieved that they were teaching the people and were, in Jesus, proclaiming the resurrection from the dead. 3They laid hands on them and placed them in custody till the next day, since by now it was evening. 4But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of these men was estimated at five thousand. 5Gathered in Jerusalem on the next day were the leaders, elders, scribes, 6Annas the high priest, Caiphas, John, Alexander, and many of the high priest’s relatives. 7Setting them in front of themselves, they were asking, “Under what power or under what name have you done this?” 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “You leaders of the people and elders, listen. 9If we’re being examined today about the good deed done to the lame man—how he’s been made whole—10let it be known to you and to all the people of Israel that this man stands here whole before you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, by him whom you crucified, whom God has awakened from the dead. 11This is the stone that was rejected by you the builders, that has become the head of the corner. 12And there is no salvation in any other, because there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we are to be saved.” 13Now seeing Peter’s and John’s firmness and gathering that they were illiterate, ignorant men, they were amazed; and they recognized them, that they had been with Jesus. 14Also seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they couldn’t deny that. 15Then they ordered them to go out of the council while they were conferring among themselves. 16They said, “What shall we do to these men, now that a miracle known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem has certainly been done by them; it’s evident and we can’t deny it. 17But let’s warn them not to speak in this name to anyone anymore, so that it can’t be spread any further among the people.” 18Calling them back in, they charged them not to be speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus at all. 19But Peter and John replied to them, “You judge whether it is just in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God. 20You see, we’re unable not to tell the things we’ve seen and heard.” 21But they threatened them and sent them away, since they hadn’t found a way to punish them, on account of the people, because out of what came to their ears, the people were all making this that had happened famous. 22After all, the man in whom that miraculous cure had been brought about was over forty years old.

23Once they were let go, they came to their group and related everything the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24When the group heard this, they lifted their voices up to God in one spirit and said, “Lord, you are the one who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them, 25and who said by the Holy Spirit in the mouth of our father David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage and the people plan foolishness? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the leaders assembled against the Lord and his Christ.’ 27Indeed, Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel did assemble in this city against your holy child Jesus, whom you anointed, 28to do what your hand and your counsel decided should happen. 29Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word in full confidence, 30by stretching your hand out—for cures, signs, and wonders to be done by the name of your holy Son Jesus.” 31Once they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and were declaring the word of God with confidence. 32The community of believers was one in heart and soul; and no one said that any of the things he possessed was his own; instead, everything was in common for them. 33With great power the apostles were reciting their witnessing of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, and great grace was in all of them. 34And no one was needy among them, because whoever owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds from the things they sold, 35and were laying them down at the apostles’ feet. This was then divided to each person in proportion to his need. 36Since Joseph, called Barnabas by the apostles (translated, “Son of Consolation”), a Cyprus-born Levite, 37had land, he sold it, brought the proceeds, and laid them at the apostles’ feet.

Acts 5 1But a man named Ananias, along with his wife Saphira, sold a piece of land, 2was dishonest about land’s price (his wife being aware of this), and, bringing only part, laid this at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan tempted your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and be dishonest about the land’s price? 4As it stood, didn’t it remain yours, and after it was sold, wasn’t it still in your power? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men but to God. 5Upon hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. Great fear came over everyone who heard of this. 6Some young men got up, removed him, carried him out, and buried him. 7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter said to her, “Tell me, woman, whether you sold the land for so much?” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9Peter said to her, “Why did you two agree to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? There, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will be carrying you out.” 10Right away she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found her dead, carried her out, and buried her by her husband. 11Great fear came over the whole church and over everyone who heard these things.

12Many signs and wonders were being done among the populace at the hands of the apostles, who were all in harmony at Solomon’s porch. 13But none of the rest dared join them there, even though the public was praising them. 14The number of men and women trusting in the Lord was increasing 15so much that they were pulling the sick out into the streets and laying them on beds and couches, so that when Peter came, at least his shadow might fall on any of them, and they could be freed from their frailties. 16A crowd from neighboring cities was also converging on Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those troubled with foul spirits, who were all healed.

17But the high priest and all those who were with him (which is the Sadducee sect) were stirred up and filled with jealousy. 18They laid hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19However, during the night the Lord’s angel opened the prison doors, led them out, and said, 20“Go stand in the temple and tell the people all the words of this life.” 21After hearing this, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. Well, the high priest and those with him convened the council and all the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought over. 22But when the attendants went and opened the prison, they didn’t find them there and returned and 23said, “We did find the prison carefully locked up and the guards standing at the doors, but opening it, we found no one inside. 24When the officer of the temple and the chief priests heard this report, they wondered what had become of them. 25But someone came and told them, “The men you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” 26Then the officer went with attendants and brought them, without violence since they were afraid the people might stone them. 27Once they had brought them, they set them in front of the council. The high priest said to them, 28“We directly ordered you not to be teaching in this name, and now you’ve filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood on us.” 29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We ought to obey God rather than men. 30The God of our fathers has raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, hanging him on a tree. 31God has elevated him by his right hand to be the Leader and Savior, to give repentance and pardon of sins to Israel. 32We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to all who obey him.” 33Once they had heard these things, they were feeling cut to pieces and were considering killing them. 34But one in the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law respected by all the people, got up and ordered the men to be put aside for a little while. 35He said, “You men of Israel, watch yourselves in what you’re going to do about these men. 36For instance, some time back a certain Theodas showed up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men (about four hundred) joined themselves to him. He was killed, and those who believed in him were scattered and brought to nothing. 37After him, a Judas of Galilee arose in the days of the enrollment and drew people away with him; he also died, and everyone who had conspired with him was dispersed. 38So I tell you now, withdraw from these people and leave them alone, because if this design or this action is from men, it will come to nothing. 39But if it is from God, you won’t be able to destroy it, and you might even prove to be fighting against God.” So they went along with him. 40They called the apostles back in, whipped them, charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus at all, and dismissed them. 41But they left the council rejoicing, since they had been counted worthy to suffer abuse for Jesus’ name. 42Every day in the temple, though, and from house to house they never stopped teaching and proclaiming Christ Jesus.

Acts 6 1With the number of the disciples increasing in those days, there began to be some grumbling by the Greeks against the Hebrews—that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2So the twelve called the community of disciples together and said, “It doesn’t make sense that we should leave God’s word and serve tables. 3Therefore, brothers, search out seven men of good reputation from among you, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we can appoint over this business. 4But we will be pressing on in prayer and the service of the word.” 5The proposal was welcomed by the whole community. So they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Jewish convert from Antioch. 6They set these men in front of the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7The word of the Lord was thriving, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem was increasing greatly. A large number of priests were obeying the faith too. 8Also, Stephen, full of grace and resolve, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. 9However, some people from the “Libertine” synagogue, some Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia began disputing with Stephen. 10But they were not able to oppose his wisdom or the Spirit that was speaking. 11So they sent some men who were saying that they had heard him say blasphemous things against Moses and against God. 12These men stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, who converged, grabbed hold of him, brought him to the council, 13and set up false witnesses, who said, “This man won’t stop saying things against the holy place and the law. 14For instance, we heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the traditions that Moses handed on to us.” 15As everyone sitting in the council looked at him, they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Acts 7 1Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” 2Stephen said, “You men, brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia (before he was staying in Charan) 3and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and your relatives and go to the land I will show you.’ 4So he went out of the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Charan. After his father died, he transported his father from there to this land you’re now living in. 5But God gave him no inheritance in it; no, not one square yard. And yet, while he still had no child, God promised to give it to him, and his descendants after him, to possess. 6God did tell him, though, that his descendants would reside in a foreign land, and that those people would put them into slavery and abuse them for four hundred years. 7And the Lord said, ‘I will judge the nation they serve, and after those things they will leave and serve me in this place.’ 8He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so he fathered Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered the twelve patriarchs. 9Out of jealousy those patriarchs sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him 10and delivered him out of all his troubles. He gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, the king of Egypt, who appointed him as governor over Egypt and over his whole household. 11Then a famine and great hardship came on all of Egypt and Chanaan, and great trouble, and our fathers were finding no food. 12But when Jacob had heard that there was grain in Egypt, he first sent our fathers there once. 13By the second time, Joseph was recognized by his brothers, and these relatives were made known to Pharao. 14Then Joseph sent for Jacob, his father, and all his relatives—seventy-five souls. 15So Jacob went down into Egypt. He and our fathers died, 16were transported to Sichem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem. 17Then when the time of what God promised Abraham was drawing near, the people increased and expanded in Egypt. 18When a king who didn’t know of Joseph arose in Egypt, 19he oppressed our kind and afflicted our fathers by making them expose their sons, to keep them from surviving. 20At this time Moses was born, and he was acceptable to God and was fed for three months in his father’s house. 21When he was exposed, however, Pharao’s daughter took him up and raised him as her own son. 22Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was strong in his words and deeds. 23When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to start visiting his brothers, the children of Israel. 24As he saw one of them being abused, he defended him and avenged the one who was suffering the injury, by a blow to the Egyptian. 25He was thinking that his brothers understood that God would be saving them by his hand, but they didn’t understand that. 26The next day he appeared again while they were in a contention. He was mediating a peace for them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting each other?’ 27But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who appointed you to be the leader and judge over us? 28What, are you going to kill me like you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29Hearing this, Moses fled and became a foreigner in the land of Madian, where he fathered two sons. 30After forty years had passed, an angel in a flaming fire in a bush appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai. 31When he saw this, Moses was amazed at the sight. As he drew near to watch it, the voice of the Lord came to him: 32‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ But Moses was terrified and didn’t dare look. 33The Lord said to him, ‘Loosen your shoes, because the place you’re standing is holy ground. 34I’ve seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and I’ve heard their groaning and have come down to free them. Come, I’ll send you into Egypt.’ 35By the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush, God sent this Moses—whom they had refused, saying, ‘Who appointed you leader and judge?’—to be leader and redeemer. 36He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the desert for forty years. 37This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘God will raise up to you from your own brothers a prophet like myself; you shall listen to him.’ 38This is the man who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel (who spoke to him on Mount Sinai) and with our fathers, the one who received the words of life to give to us, 39whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected, and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go ahead of us, because we don’t know what has become of this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt.’ 41At that time they made a calf, offered sacrifices to the idol, and were rejoicing in the deeds of their own hands. 42But God adjusted and handed them over to serve the army of heaven, as was written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel? 43You took for yourselves the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god Rempham—forms you made so as to worship them. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.’ 44Now, the tabernacle of the testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them (telling Moses to make it in line with the form he had seen). 45Our fathers received it and brought it with Joshua into the claim of the Gentiles, whom God drove out ahead of our fathers until the days of David. 46David found favor in God’s sight and wanted to devise a tabernacle for the God of Jacob, 47but Solomon built him a house. 48Still, the most High doesn’t live in hand-made houses; as the prophet says, 49‘Heaven is my throne and earth is my footstool. What house will you build me, says the Lord, or what is my resting place? 50Hasn’t my hand made all these things?’ 51You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. You’re doing the same way your fathers did. 52Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, whom you’ve now been the betrayers and murderers of—53you who received the law at the direction of angels but haven’t kept it.” 54Once they heard this, they were cut to their hearts, and they ground their teeth at him. 55But he, full of the Holy Spirit and intent toward heaven, saw God’s glory, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “There, I see the heavens opened and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.” 56But they shouted in a loud voice, plugged their ears, and assaulted him in unison. 57After they threw him outside the city, they were stoning him, and the witnesses set their coats down at the feet of a young man called Saul. 58As they were stoning him, Stephen was calling and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 59Planting his knees, he cried in a loud voice, “Lord, do not attach this sin to them.” And once he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was agreeing to his death.

Acts 8 1At that time a great persecution was raised against the Jerusalem church, and all of them but the apostles were scattered into areas of Judea and Samaria. 2(Devout men attended to Stephen and made a great mourning over him.) 3But Saul was devastating the church. He went into house after house, dragged men and women away, and committed them to prison. 4Those who had been scattered were traveling, preaching God’s word. 5Going down to the city of Samaria, Philip was proclaiming Christ to them. 6Those people were united in their attention to the things being said by Philip, as they listened to him and saw the signs he did. 7For example, many of those with foul spirits were crying out in a loud voice, and the spirits left; 8and many of the paralyzed and the lame were healed. 9So there was great joy in that city.

Now there was a man named Simon, who had been a magician in that city. He had misled the Samaritan people, saying that he was someone great. 10From the least to the greatest, they had all accepted this, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called great.” 11They had been paying attention to him because for a long time he had deluded them with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip’s preaching of the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, both men and women. 13Then Simon himself also believed and was baptized. He kept close to Philip and was astonished and amazed to see the signs and the very great powers he saw at work. 14Now when the apostles, who were at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15Once they arrived, they prayed for these Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit, 16because it hadn’t yet come on any of them—they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they laid their hands on them, and they did receive the Holy Spirit. 18When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was being given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19saying, “Give me this power too, so that whomever I lay my hands on can receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter told him, 20“Keep your money to die with you, because you thought that a gift of God could be had for money. 21You have no part or lot in this discussion, because your heart isn’t right before God. 22So repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray to God that perhaps you can be forgiven for this thought of your heart, 23because I do see you’re in a poisonous bitterness and entangled in injustice.” 24However, Simon replied, “Pray to the Lord for me that none of this you’ve said may come upon me.” 25Having testified and declared the Lord’s word, they were then telling the gospel to many Samaritan areas as they returned to Jerusalem.

26The Lord’s angel addressed Philip: “Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza” (This is a deserted place.) 27He got up and went. An Ethiopian man, a powerful eunuch of the Ethiopian’s queen Candace, who was in charge of all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to worship; 28and as he was returning, he was sitting in his chariot reading the prophet Isaiah. 29The Spirit said to Philip, “Go up to this chariot and stick by it.” 30Running up, Philip heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He said, “Do you think you understand what you’re reading?” 31He said, “How can I unless someone shows me?” He asked Philip to come up and be seated with him. 32The place in scripture that he was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, he doesn’t open his mouth; 33his trial was endured humbly; who will declare his generation now that his life will be taken from the earth?” 34The eunuch said to Philip, “I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this—himself or someone else?” 35Then Philip opened his mouth and, starting at this scripture, announced Jesus to him. 36As they went along the road, they came to a body of water, and the eunuch said, “Look, water! What’s to keep me from being baptized?” 37And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” He replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38He ordered the chariot to be stopped, and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39Once they had come up out of the water, though, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away; the eunuch no longer saw him and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip appeared in Azotus and, passing through, he proclaimed the gospel to all the cities till he came to Caesarea.

Acts 9 1Saul was still breathing out threats and murder against the Lord’s disciples, went to the high priest, 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any men and women of this “Way” there, he could bring them tied up to Jerusalem. 3As he was making the trip and was approaching Damascus, a light from heaven suddenly shined around him. 4Falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you tracking me down?” 5He said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are hunting. It’s hard on you to kick back against the prod.” 6Trembling and astonished, he said, “Lord, what are you wanting me to do?” 7The Lord said to him, “Get up and go into the city. There you’ll be told what you need to do.” The men who accompanied him were standing there amazed, hearing some sound, but not seeing anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground and, despite open eyes, was seeing nothing. Leading him by the hand, though, they brought him to Damascus. 9He was blind there for three days and didn’t eat or drink. 10Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He said, “Here I am, Lord.” 11The Lord said to him, “Get up, go into the street called Straight, and look in the house of Judas for someone named Saul from Tarsus; you see, he is praying.” 12(Saul was meanwhile seeing a man named Ananias coming in and placing his hands on him so that he could receive his sight.) 13But Ananias answered, “Lord, I’ve heard of this man from many people—how much evil he’s done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And now he has authority from the chief priests to tie up all who call on your name.” 15But the Lord said to him, “Go ahead, because this man is a vessel for me, chosen to carry my name in front of the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 16In fact, I will show him how much it’s necessary for him to suffer for my name.” 17Ananias went ahead and entered the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, the one who appeared to you on the road as you were coming, has sent me for you to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18At once something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight; and getting up, he was baptized. 19Once he had taken some food, he was strengthened. He was with the disciples of Damascus for a number days. 20Right away in the synagogues he was proclaiming Jesus—that he is the Son of God. 21Everyone who was listening to him was astonished and said, “Isn’t this the one who was overcoming those who called on this name in Jerusalem and who has come here for that purpose—to carry them tied up to the chief priests?” 22Saul was growing much stronger and was confounding the Jews living in Damascus, affirming, “He is the Christ.” 23After many days had passed, some Jews plotted to kill him. 24(But their plot became known to Saul.) They were even guarding the gates day and night, so that they could kill him. 25But some disciples took him in the night and sent him away along a wall by letting him down in a basket. 26When he got to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and told them how Saul had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how he had acted boldly in the name of Jesus in Damascus. 28Saul was with them in Jerusalem as they came and went, and acted boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He was also speaking to the Gentiles and disputing with the Greeks. But some people wanted to kill him. 30Once the brothers became aware of this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him away to Tarsus.

31Now the church was having peace through all of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. It was being built up, going ahead in the fear of the Lord, and was filled with the Holy Spirit’s encouragement. 32As Peter was passing through everywhere, he came to the saints who were living at Lydda. 33He found a man named Eneas there, who had laid flat in bed for eight years and was paralyzed. 34Peter said to him, “Eneas, the Lord Jesus Christ heals you; get up and stretch.” He got up right away, 35and everyone living at Lydda and Saron saw him and were converted to the Lord.

36In Joppe there was a disciple named Tabitha (by translation, “Dorcas”). This woman was full of good deeds and the alms she was giving. 37But at that time she grew sick and died. After they washed her, they laid her in an upper room. 38Since Lydda was near Joppe and the disciples heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, begging him not to be slow about coming straight to them. 39Getting up, Peter went with them. Once he got there, they brought him to the upper room. All the widows stood around him, weeping and showing him the coats and garments that Dorcas had been making for them. 40After they were all put outside, Peter knelt down and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes and, seeing Peter, sat up. 41Giving her his hand, he stood her up. Then he called the saints and the widows and presented her alive. 42This became known throughout all of Joppe, and many believed in the Lord. 43Peter then lingered for many days in Joppe with a certain Simon, a tanner.

Acts 10 1There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of the unit called Italia. 2He was a religious man and feared God along with his whole household; he gave alms generously to the people and was always praying to God. 3About the ninth hour of daytime, in a vision, this man clearly saw God’s angel coming in to him and saying, “Cornelius.” 4Looking at him and seized with fear, he said, “What is it, Lord?” He said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a reminder in the presence of God. 5Now, send men to Joppe, and summon here the Simon who is also called Peter; 6he is the guest of the tanner Simon, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you should do.” 7Once the angel talking with him left, he called two of his household servants and one of the soldiers under him who feared the Lord. 8After he told them everything, he sent them to Joppe.

9As they were on their journey the next day and approaching the city, Peter went onto the roof about noon to be praying. 10As he got hungry, he wanted a bite of something. But while that was being prepared, a mental ecstasy came over him, 11and he saw heaven opened and a dish like a large linen sheet descending, let down from heaven to earth by its four corners; 12In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, other land creatures, and birds. 13A voice came to him: “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” 14But Peter said, “Never, Lord, because I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” 15The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call what God has made clean common.” 16This happened three times, and then the dish was taken back to heaven. 17While Peter was in an uncertainty about what the vision he had seen meant, the men sent from Cornelius, looking for Simon’s house, stood at the gate. 18After they announced themselves, they asked if Simon Peter was lodging there. 19As Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Three men are looking for you. 20So get up, go down, and go with them, with no hesitation, because I have sent them.” 21Peter did go down to the men and said, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come here?” 22They said, “The centurion Cornelius, an upright man who fears God and has a good reputation in the whole Jewish nation, received a message from a holy angel to call you to his house and to hear from you.” 23Bringing them in then, he received them as guests. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the brothers from Joppe accompanied him.

24The following day, they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them; he had called his relatives and special friends together. 25When Peter had entered the city, Cornelius came to meet him and, falling at his feet, worshiped. 26But Peter helped him up, saying, “Get up. I’m a man myself.” 27Conversing with Cornelius, he went in and found the many people who had gathered. 28He said to them, “You know how detestable it is to a Jewish man to keep company with or to visit someone of another nation, but God has shown me not to call anyone common or unclean. 29For this reason I came when I was sent for, without any hesitation. So I ask you, why did you send for me?” 30Cornelius said, “Four days ago (to the hour) I was praying at the ninth hour here in my house, and a man stood before me in white clothing and said, 31‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms have been remembered in the presence of God. 32So send to Joppe and summon Simon Peter here; he is a guest in the seaside house of Simon the tanner.’ 33So I sent to you right away, and by coming you’ve done well. We’re all here in your presence to hear whatever has been put to you by the Lord.” 34Opening his mouth Peter said, “Truly I’ve learned that God isn’t one who distinguishes between persons. 35Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and does justice is acceptable to him. 36God sent word to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all). 37You know this word; it’s been asserted through all of Judea (yes, starting from Galilee after the baptism John preached): 38Jesus of Nazareth—how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing everyone oppressed by the Devil, because God was with him. 39We are witnesses of everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him, hanging him on a tree. 40God raised him up on the third day and had him be evident, 41not to all the people but to witnesses prearranged by God—to us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets verify about him, that whoever believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” 44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on everyone listening to this word. 45The circumcised faithful who had come with Peter were astonished that the grace of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on Gentiles too; 46that is, they were hearing them speaking in languages and praising God. 47Then Peter responded, “Can anyone forbid the water, forbid these—who have received the Holy Spirit as we did—from being baptized?” 48And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then they begged him to stay with them a few days.

Acts 11 1The apostles and brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted God’s word. 2When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcisionists disputed with him, 3saying, “Why did you go in to men with foreskins and eat with them?” 4Peter began by explaining the order of things to them: 5“I was in the city of Joppe praying, and in an ecstatic vision I saw a kind of dish like a large sheet descending from heaven, let down by its four corners, and it came down to me. 6Looking in it and examining, I saw four-footed land creatures, animals, creeping things, and birds. 7I also heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8But I said, ‘By no means, Lord, because nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9But the voice from heaven replied, ‘Do not call what God has made clean common.’ 10This occurred three times; then everything was taken back up into heaven. 11And immediately three men approached the house I was in, sent to me from Caesarea. 12The Spirit told me to go with them, with no hesitation. These six brothers went with me too; and we went into the man’s house. 13He told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, ‘Send to Joppe and call here Simon (called Peter), 14who will tell you something that you and your whole household will be saved by.’ 15After I had begun speaking, though, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as it had on us at the start. 16And I remembered a statement of the Lord’s, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17If God gave the same grace to them as he gave to us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, then who was I, to be able to prevent God?” 18Once they had heard these things, they paused and then glorified God, saying, “So God has given repentance toward life to the Gentiles too!”

19Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that came around the time of Stephen went as far as Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch, telling the message to no one but the Jews. 20But when some of them—men from Cyprus and Cyrene—went to Antioch, they were talking to the Greeks too, announcing the Lord Jesus. 21And the Lord’s hand was with them: a large number believed and were converted to the Lord. 22News about this came to the ears of the Jerusalem church, and they sent Barnabas out to Antioch. 23Once he had arrived and seen the grace of God, he was glad and was urging them all to persevere in the Lord with all their hearts. 24(He was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith.) And a large group was added to the Lord. 25Barnabas went to Tarsus looking for Saul and, on finding him, brought him to Antioch. 26They kept company in the church there for a whole year and taught the large group. And so it was at Antioch that the disciples were first being called “Christians.” 27At that time some prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28One of them named Agabus got up and was indicating by the Spirit that there would be a major famine over the whole world, which did happen under Claudius. 29The disciples proposed, as each was able, to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea. 30And they did this, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 12 1At the same time too, King Herod reached his hands out to afflict some of the church. 2He killed John’s brother, James, by the sword. 3Seeing that this pleased the Jews, he arranged to arrest Peter too. Now this was in the days of Unleavened Bread. 4Once he had arrested him, he sent him to the prison, handing him over to four soldier foursomes to be guarded, intending to bring him out to the populace after Passover. 5So Peter was being guarded in prison. But prayer was being made continually to God for him by the church. 6The night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, held by two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers. Guards at the door were watching over the prison. 7Then the Lord’s angel stood by him, and a light shined brightly in the cell. By hitting Peter’s side, he roused him and said, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell off his hands, 8and the angel said, “Get dressed and put your shoes on.” Peter did so. He told him, “Throw your coat on and follow me.” 9He went out and was following him. He wasn’t aware that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10Passing through the first two wards, they came to an iron gate that led out into the city, which opened for them on its own. They exited and proceeded one block, and right away the angel left him. 11Coming to himself, Peter said, “Now I know for sure that the Lord did send his angel and has rescued me out of Herod’s hand and from everything the Jewish people expected.” 12Looking around, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John (also called Mark), where many had gathered and were praying. 13When he knocked at the gate, a girl named Rhode came to listen. 14As soon as she recognized Peter’s voice, out of joy she didn’t open the gate, but ran inside and announced that Peter was standing at the gate. 15They said to her, “You’re crazy.” But she maintained that it was true. Then said they, “It’s his angel.” 16But Peter kept on knocking. Once they did open the gate, they saw him and were astonished. 17He gestured to them with his hand to keep quiet and told them how the Lord had brought him out of prison. He said, “Tell these things to James and to the brothers.” Then he left and went to another place.

18As daybreak came, there was considerable confusion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter. 19After Herod looked for him and didn’t find him, he questioned the guards and ordered them to be killed. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and remained there. 20Though he was angry with the Tyrians and the Sidonians, they came to him in one spirit and, with Blastus the king’s chamberlain won over, were requesting peace, because their regions were being sustained by Herod. 21On an appointed day, dressed in his regalia, Herod sat in the judgment seat and was making an oration to them. 22These people were shouting, “It’s the voice of God, and not of a man.” 23However, an angel of the Lord struck him immediately because he hadn’t given the honor to God, and, eaten up by worms, he died. 24In contrast, the Lord’s word was increasing and multiplying. 25Having completed their service, Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, taking John Mark with them.

Acts 13 1Among the prophets and teachers in the Antioch church were Barnabas, Simon (called Niger), Lucius of Cyrene, Manahen (a foster brother of Herod the tetrarch), and Saul. 2As they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit told them, “Separate Saul and Barnabas for me, for the work I’ve chosen them for.” 3Then, fasting, praying, and laying hands on them, they sent them off. 4Sent indeed by the Holy Spirit, they went out to Seleucia, and from there sailed to Cyprus. 5When they got to Salamina, they were proclaiming God’s word in the Jewish synagogues. They were also using John in this ministry. 6After they went through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a Jewish man named Bar-jesus, a magician and false prophet. 7He was with the proconsul Sergius Paulus, a prudent man, who sent for Barnabas and Saul, wanting to hear God’s word. 8But the magician, Elymas (as his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9Then Saul (or “Paul”), filled with the Holy Spirit and looking at him, 10said, “You, so full of trickery and deceit, child of the Devil, enemy of all justice, you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord. 11Now see, the hand of the Lord is on you, and you’ll be blind, not seeing the sun for a while.” Right away a fog and darkness fell over him, and he went around looking for someone to lead him by the hand. 12When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

13Then Paul and those with him sailed from Paphos and came to Perge in Pamphylia. But John left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14They passed through Perge and came to the Antioch in Pisidia. Going into the synagogue on the sabbath, they sat down. 15After the reading of the law and the prophets, the synagogue leaders sent word to them: “Men, brothers, if you have any encouraging word to give the people, speak.” 16Getting up, Paul gestured with his hand for silence and said, “You men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 17The God of the people Israel chose our fathers, lifted the people up when they were residents in the land of Egypt, and brought them out from there with his arm raised high. 18For a span of forty years he endured their manners in the desert, 19destroyed seven nations in the land of Chanaan, and divided that land among them, as if by lot—20this after four hundred fifty years. Next he gave them judges until the prophet Samuel. 21Then they demanded a king, and for forty years God gave them Saul the son of Cis, a man from the tribe of Benjamin. 22Once God had removed him, he raised David to be king for them. Testifying about him, he said, ‘I have found Jesse’s son David, a man conformed to my heart, who will accomplish all my purposes.’ 23From this man’s descendants God has raised up for Israel, in keeping with his promise, a Savior, Jesus. 24Before his coming, John was preaching the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25However, when John was completing his run, he said, ‘I’m not the one you think I am; there is one coming after me whose shoes I’m not worthy to loosen.’ 26Men, brothers, children of Abraham’s stock, and whoever among you fear God, word of this salvation has been brought out to you, 27because those who were living in Jerusalem and its leaders, by ignoring him and the prophesies read every sabbath, have fulfilled them by condemning him. 28Without finding anything in him deserving death, they begged Pilate to be allowed to kill him. 29When they had fulfilled everything written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30But God raised him up from the dead on the third day. 31He was seen for many days by those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem; they are his witnesses to the people up to the present. 32 33Now we are declaring to you that by reviving Jesus, God has fulfilled for our children the promise made to our fathers, as was written down in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; this day I have fathered you.’ 34And to show that he raised him up from the dead, not to return anymore to corruption, he said this: ‘I will give you the true holy things of David.’ 35And so in another place too, he says, ‘You will not allow your holy one to see corruption.’ 36Now when David had served in his generation he slept by the will of God, was laid with his fathers, and saw corruption, 37but the one God has raised from the dead saw no corruption. 38So let it be known to you, men, brothers, that through him forgiveness of sins is being announced to you; 39everyone who believes in him is being made right in every matter you couldn’t be made right by in the law of Moses. 40So beware in case what is said in the prophets might come over you: 41‘Look, you scoffers, you are surprised and are being ruined, because I’m doing a deed in your days, a deed you won’t believe if anyone tells it to you.’42As they were leaving, the people begged them to continue telling them these things on the next sabbath. 43Once the synagogue was dismissed, many Jews and other worshipers followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and were urging them to continue in God’s grace.

44The next sabbath almost the whole city assembled to hear God’s word. 45But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with envy, were denying the things Paul was saying, and were blaspheming. 46Then Paul and Barnabas said boldly, “It was right for us to speak God’s word to you first, but because you’re rejecting it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, now we’re turning to the Gentiles. 47After all, the Lord has commanded us this: ‘I have set you to be the Gentiles’ light, so that you can be for salvation out to the ends of the earth.’48When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the Lord’s word; and all of them who had been destined for everlasting life believed. 49The word of the Lord was getting broadcast throughout the whole region. 50But the Jews stirred up devout, respectable women and the chief men of the city, raised a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them beyond their borders. 51(But shaking the dust off their feet against them, they went on to Iconium.) 52Those disciples were being filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Acts 14 1At Iconium they both went into the Jewish synagogue and were talking in such a way that a very large group of both Jews and Greeks did believe. 2But the disbelieving Jews stirred up and incensed the Gentiles’ spirits against the brothers. 3So they stayed there a long time, acting boldly in the Lord, who gave evidence of the word of his grace by granting signs and wonders to be done at their hands. 4Still, the populace of the city was divided. Some of them sided with the Jews but some with the apostles. 5When some Gentiles and Jews along with their leaders made an attempt to abuse them and stone them, 6they realized this, escaped to Lystra and Derbe (cities of Lycaonia), and to the whole area around there, and were preaching the gospel there.

7A man at Lystra who had never walked was sitting there—weak-footed, crippled since birth. 8He heard Paul speaking, who observed him, saw that he had a faith that he could be healed, 9and said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he jumped up and walked. 10When the crowd saw what Paul had done, however, they raised their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” 11They were calling Barnabas Jupiter, but calling Paul Mercury, since he was the main speaker. 12The priest of the Jupiter that was at the city’s entrance brought oxen and wreaths to the gate and was wanting to offer sacrifice along with the people. 13But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes, jumped up among the people, and shouted, 14“You men, why are you doing these things? We are mortals too, men like you, preaching to you to be converted from these vain things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, the sea, and everything in them. 15In former times he allowed all nations to go their own ways. 16Still, he didn’t leave himself without evidence—he blessed from heaven, gave rains and fruitful seasons, and filled our hearts with food and gladness.” 17Although saying this, they scarcely restrained the people from sacrificing to them. 18However, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium came there, persuaded the crowd, stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. 19But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas to Derbe.

20After they had preached the gospel to that city and taught many there, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and that Antioch, 21strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to persist in the faith and enter the kingdom of God in the course of many necessary troubles. 22After they ordained elders for them in each church and had prayed with fasting, they entrusted them to the Lord whom they had believed in. 23Then passing through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia. 24After speaking the Lord’s word in Perge, they went down into Attalia. 25From there they sailed for the Antioch where they had first been handed over to God’s grace for the work that they had now accomplished. 26When they arrived and had assembled the church, they reported the great things God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 27They remained a good while with these disciples.

Acts 15 1Some who came from Judea were teaching the brothers that unless one is circumcised following Moses’ custom, he can’t be saved. 2As Paul and Barnabas had no small quarrel with them, it was determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain ones from the other side, should go to the apostles and elders at Jerusalem about this issue. 3So after being escorted along by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria and caused great joy to all the brothers by reporting the conversion of the Gentiles. 4When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and by the apostles and elders, and declared the great things God had done with them. 5But believers from the Pharisee sect got up and said, “Those Gentiles have to be circumcised and be commanded to observe the law of Moses.” 6The apostles and elders assembled to consider this matter. 7After there had been a lot of disputing, Peter got up and said to them, “Men, brothers, you know that in earlier days God decided with us that the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel by my mouth, and believe. 8And God, who knows hearts, bore witness (giving them, like us, the Holy Spirit) 9and put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10So now, why are you urging God to put a yoke on the necks of disciples, that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11But even we are trusting to be saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the same way they are.” 12The whole crowd kept quiet and heard Barnabas and Paul telling what great signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles by them. 13After they stopped talking, James responded, “Men, brothers, listen to me. 14Simon has reported how God first sent to take a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15The words of the prophets agree with this; as was written, 16‘After this I will return, and rebuild the tabernacle of David that has fallen down; I’ll rebuild its ruins and set it up, 17so that the rest of mankind and all the nations my name is invoked on can seek the Lord, says the Lord, who does these things.’ 18The Lord’s own work was known to him from the beginning of the world. 19For this reason I judge that those from among the Gentiles who are converted to God are not to be disturbed, 20but that we should write to them to avoid idol contamination, fornication, strangled things, and blood. 21Indeed, since ancient times Moses has had those who proclaim him in every city in the synagogues, where he’s read every sabbath.” 22Then it pleased the apostles and elders, along with the whole church, to choose men out of it and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They were: Judas (also called Barsabas) and Silas, prominent men among the brothers. 23In their hands was this written message: “The apostles and elders and their brothers. To the Gentile brothers of Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia. Greetings. 24Since we heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, upsetting your souls, though we didn’t commission them, 25it seemed good to us when we met as one, to choose men and send them to you with our dear Barnabas and Paul 26(men who have given their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ). 27So we have sent Judas and Silas, who will tell you by word of mouth these same things, 28namely: it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to place no further burden on you than these necessary things: 29that you avoid things sacrificed to idols, blood, strangled things, and fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

30So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. Once they had gathered the group, delivered the letter, 31and read it, they all rejoiced over this relief. 32Since Judas and Silas were prophets, they comforted and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33After they spent some time there, the brothers released them with peace, back to those who had sent them. 34But it seemed good to Silas to remain there, and Judas left for Jerusalem alone. 35Paul and Barnabas continued at Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, along with many others. 36After some days, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit our brothers in all the cities where we preached the word of the Lord, to see how they’re doing. 37Barnabas was wanting to take John Mark with them too, 38but Paul was pleading that he not be accepted, since he had gone away from them in Pamphylia and not gone on with them to the work. 39Because this disagreement came up, they went away from each other. Barnabas, taking Mark, sailed to Cyprus. 40But Paul chose Silas and left, after being handed over to God’s grace by the brothers. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches and directing them to keep those teachings of the apostles and elders.

Acts 16 1He came to Derbe and Lystra. Now there was a disciple there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman (who believed) and a Gentile father. 2The brothers in Lystra and Iconium had good things to say about this man. 3Paul wanted him to come along with him. So he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Gentile. 4As they passed through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to be kept—those decreed by the apostles and elders of Jerusalem. 5The churches were being strengthened in faith and were increasing in number every day. 6However, when they had passed through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7Once they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bythynia, but Jesus’ spirit didn’t allow them. 8After they passed through Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul was shown a vision of a man from Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” 10As soon as he had seen the vision, we wanted to go to Macedonia right away, being assured that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. 11Sailing from Troas, we went by a straight course to Samothracia, the next day to Neapolis, 12and from there to Philippi, which is the main city of a part of Macedonia, and a colony. We were in this city for some days, consolidating.

13On a sabbath, we went outside the gate by a river, where there seemed to be some discourse. Sitting down, we spoke to the women who were assembled. 14A woman named Lydia was listening. She was a seller of purple goods from the city of Thyatira and someone who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to the things being said by Paul. 15After she and her household were baptized, she begged us, “If you’ve judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and remain there”. And she urged us. 16Once when we went to a speech, a girl with a prophetic spirit (who brought her masters a lot of money by telling fortunes) met us. 17She followed Paul and us and was crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God and are proclaiming the way of salvation to you.” 18She did this for many days. But Paul was grieved and, turning to the spirit, said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to go out from her,” and it went out that same hour. 19But her masters, seeing that their hope of profit was gone, took hold of Paul and Silas and brought them to the public square to the leaders. 20Presenting them to the magistrates, they said: “These men are disturbing our city. They’re Jews 21and are proclaiming a style of it that isn’t legal for us as Romans to take on or practice.” 22The populace ran toward them, and the magistrates tore the clothes off them and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23Once they had inflicted many wounds on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to guard them carefully, 24Under such an order, he brought them into the interior of the prison and fastened their feet in stocks. 25In the middle of the night, though, Paul and Silas were praying and praising God, and those in the prison heard them. 26Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were being moved. Immediately all the doors were opened, and the restraints on all of them became detached. 27The jailer woke from sleep, saw the prison doors open, drew his sword, and, supposing that the prisoners had escaped, would have killed himself. 28But Paul cried in a loud voice, “Don’t hurt yourself, because we’re all here!” 29Then calling for a light, he went in and fell down trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30Bringing them out, he said, “Masters, what do I need to do to be saved?” 31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your household will be saved.” 32And they preached the word of the Lord to him and to everyone who was in his quarters. 33That same hour of the night, he took them, washed their wounds, and was baptized right away, along with his whole household. 34After he brought them into his quarters, he set a table for them and rejoiced with his whole household, believing in God. 35When day dawned, the magistrates sent officers to say, “Let those men go.” 36The jailer reported to Paul: “The magistrates have sent word to let you go; so leave now, and go in peace.” 37But Paul told them, “They have publicly beaten us—men who are Romans—without a sentence, and have thrown us in prison. Now are they pushing us out secretly? No, let them come 38and let us out themselves.” The officers told this to the magistrates, who were fearful when they heard they were Romans. 39They came, begged off, released them, and were pleading with them to leave the city. 40They left the prison, entered Lydia’s house and, after seeing the brothers, encouraged them and went away.

Acts 17 1After they passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2Following his custom Paul went to them and for three sabbaths was reasoning with them from the scriptures, 3revealing and suggesting that the Christ was to suffer and to rise from the dead and that “this is the Jesus Christ I’m proclaiming to you.” 4Some of them believed and associated with Paul and Silas, as did a great number of worshipers and Gentiles (not a few being distinguished women). 5But jealous Jews got some wicked common men to make a disturbance, agitated the city and, posted at Jason’s house, were wanting to bring them out to the people. 6Not finding them there, they dragged Jason and some brothers to the city leaders and declared, “Those who agitated the city came over here too, 7and Jason received them. They’re all doing contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” 8They had stirred the people up, but once the city leaders heard these things 9and received bail from Jason and of the others, they let them go. 10Immediately the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea in the night. When they arrived there, they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11Now these people were nobler than those in Thessalonica, and received the word with great eagerness, searching the scriptures daily as to whether these things were so. 12Indeed many of them believed, including respectable Gentile women and a good number of men.

13But when the Jews of Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching God’s word at Berea too, they came there and agitated and upset the crowd. 14Right away the brothers sent Paul off to sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15Those who escorted Paul brought him as far as Athens, and then left when Paul gave them an order for Silas and Timothy to come quickly to him. 16While Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred upon seeing the city so given over to idolatry. 17So he was debating in the synagogue—with the Jews and other worshipers—and every day in the marketplace with people there. 18Some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were discussing with him. Some of them said, “What is it that this word sower is trying to say?” Others said, “He seems to be announcing new gods,” because he preached Jesus and the resurrection to them. 19Taking him, they brought him to the Areopagus and said, “May we know what this new teaching you’re talking about is? 20Since you’re putting some new things in our ears, we’d like to know what they mean.” 21(Now, all the Athenians and visitors there whiled their time away on nothing but either telling or hearing something new.) 22Standing in the middle of the Areopagus, Paul said, “You men of Athens, I perceive that in everything you are too religious, so to speak. 23For instance, passing by and seeing your idols, I even found an altar on which was written, “To the unknown God.” I am announcing to you what you unknowingly worship: 24the God who made the world and everything in it. Being Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in hand-made temples. 25He isn’t served by men’s hands as if he needed anything, since it is he who gives life, breath, and everything to everyone. 26It is he who (from one man) made all mankind to inhabit the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times and the limits of their settlements, 27in order that they should seek God, in case they might feel around for him or find him. However, he’s not far from each one of us, 28because in him we live, are moved, and exist. As some of your own poets have said: ‘Truly we too are his offspring.’ 29So being the offspring of God, we shouldn’t suppose that the divinity is like gold or silver or stone—an artistic carving or a design by humans. 30God even looked past the times of this ignorance, but now he is declaring to mankind that everyone everywhere should repent, 31because he has set a day when he will judge the world impartially by the man he appointed, offering faith to everyone by raising him from the dead.” 32When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some were laughing, but others said, “We will listen to you again about this.” 33So Paul went out from among them, 34but some people stuck with him and did believe, among whom were Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others who were with them.

Acts 18 1After this Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2He found a Jew named Aquila, who was born in Pontus and recently came from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all Jews to leave Rome). 3Paul came to them and was staying with them and working, because he was in the same trade. (They were tentmakers by trade.) 4He was reasoning in the synagogue every sabbath and, bringing the name of the Lord Jesus in, was persuading Jews and Greeks. 5When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was being urgent in speech, demonstrating to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6But since they were denying and blaspheming, he shook his clothes off and said to them, “Let your blood be on your own heads. I am clean. From now on I’ll go to the Gentiles.”

7Turning from there, he went to the house of a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God whose house was connected to the synagogue. 8Crispus, the synagogue leader, believed in the Lord along with his whole household. When they heard this, many of the Corinthians believed and were being baptized. 9The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid. Speak out, and don’t keep quiet, 10because I am with you, and no one will get near you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.” 11He did stay there a year and six months, teaching God’s word among them. 12But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, some Jews, united in spirit, rose up against Paul, brought him to court, 13and said, “This man is persuading people to worship God contrary to the law.” 14As Paul was starting to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were some matter of injustice or a terrible crime, O Jews, I would have reason to be supporting you. 15But if they are issues of words, names, and your law, see to it yourselves; I won’t be the judge of such things.” 16And he drove them from the court. 17They took hold of Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, though, and were beating him out in front of the court, but none of this was of concern to Gallio.

18After he had stayed for many more days, Paul said farewell to the brothers. He shaved his head at Cenchrae (since he was making a vow) and sailed from there for Syria, along with Priscilla and Aquila. 19He came to Ephesus and left them there, but went himself into the synagogue and was discussing with the Jews. 20Though they begged him to stay longer, he did not agree 21but said goodbye and, “God willing, I’ll return to you again,” and he left Ephesus. 22After going down to Caesarea, he went up and greeted the Jerusalem church and then came down to Antioch. 23After he had spent some time there, he left and went right through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples. 24Now a Jew named Apollo, born in Alexandria, an eloquent man who was strong in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25He had been instructed in the way of the Lord and, being fervent in spirit, was diligently speaking and teaching things about Jesus, though only well versed in John’s baptism. 26This man began speaking boldly in the synagogue. Once Priscilla and Aquila had listened to him, they took him and explained the way of the Lord to him more carefully. 27Since he wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers wrote to those disciples, encouraging them to receive him. Once he arrived there, he helped those who had believed considerably. 28For instance, he strongly refuted some Jews publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

Acts 19 1While Apollo was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper regions and came to Ephesus. On finding certain disciples, 2he asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” But they said, “We haven’t heard that there was a Holy Spirit.” 3He said, “Then what were you baptized in?” They said, “In John’s baptism.” 4Then Paul said, “John baptized the people with the baptism of repenting, saying that they should believe in the one who was to come after him, that is to say, in Jesus.” 5After hearing these things, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they were speaking in languages and prophesying. 7There were about twelve of these men.

8Going to the synagogue over three months’ time, he was speaking boldly, explaining and persuading about the kingdom of God. 9But when some people were becoming hardened, didn’t believe, and were cursing the way of the Lord in front of the crowd, Paul left them, removed the disciples, and was preaching in the school of a certain Tyrannus every day. 10This continued for two years, and everyone living in Asia was hearing the Lord’s word, both Jews and Gentiles. 11By Paul’s hand God was doing even unusual miracles, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons were being brought from his body to the sick, and their diseases left them, and bad spirits went out of them. 13Now some of the Jewish exorcists who went around also tried to call the name of the Lord Jesus in over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I order you by the Jesus Paul preaches…” 14Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, had seven sons who were doing this. 15But an evil spirit answered two of them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” 16And the man with this very bad demon sprang on them, mastered both of them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house, naked and wounded. 17This became known to all the Jews and Gentiles living in Ephesus, a fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was being praised. 18Many of those who believed came, confessing and declaring their deeds. 19Many of those who had pursued elaborate arts brought their books together and burned them in front of everyone; figuring the value of them, they found it was fifty thousand silver coins. 20So God’s word was growing vigorously and being established. 21With these things completed, Paul determined in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem once he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, and said, “After I’ve been there, I need to see Rome too.” 22He sent two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia. He remained for a while himself in Asia.

23However, at that time a significant disturbance about the Way of the Lord happened. 24Namely, a silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver temples for Diana, was providing a decent profit for the craftsmen. 25He called them together with workmen of similar occupations and said, “Men, you know that our income is from this trade, 26and you see and hear that this Paul has turned a lot of people away by his persuasion—not only in Ephesus but almost all of Asia—saying that these hand-made things not gods. 27Besides, not only is this craft of ours is in danger of being rebuked, but also Diana’s great temple will be revalued to nothing. Yes, and the dignity of her whom all of Asia and the world worships will start getting destroyed.” 28Upon hearing these things, they were full of anger and shouted out, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” 29The whole city was filled with confusion; they caught Paul’s companions—the Macedonians, Gaius and Aristarchus—and then, in one spirit, made a rush into the theatre. 30When Paul would have gone in among the people, the disciples didn’t allow him. 31Some of the leaders of Asia who were his friends sent word to him too, begging him not to venture into the theatre. 32Now some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was confused, and the majority didn’t know why they had come together. 33They pulled an Alexander out of the crowd (the Jews urging him forward). Alexander gestured for silence with his hand and was wanting to give the people the reason. 34But as soon as they saw that he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” 35After the city clerk settled the mob, he said, “You men of Ephesus, is there really anyone who doesn’t know that the city of Ephesus worships the great Diana, Jupiter’s offspring. 36So, since this can’t be denied, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rashly. 37You see, you’ve brought these men here, who aren’t guilty of sacrilege or blasphemy against your goddess. 38But if Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a claim against anyone, the courts of justice are open, and there are proconsuls; let them formally accuse each other. 39And if you’re interested in any other matter, it can be decided in a lawful assembly. 40But we’re even in danger of being blamed for today’s uproar, because no person is responsible for this kind of gathering, so that we could give an account about him. Once he had said these things, he dismissed the assembly.

Acts 20 1After the commotion had stopped, Paul called the disciples to him, encouraged them, said goodbye, and set out to go to Macedonia. 2When he had gone through those areas and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece. 3After he had spent three months there, some Jews set an ambush for him as he was about to sail to Syria. So he made a plan to go back through Macedonia. 4To accompany him were Sopater (Pyrrhus’ son from Berea), Aristarchus and Secundus (from Thessalonica), Gaius from Derbe, Timothy, and Tychicus and Trophimus (from Asia). 5These men went ahead and waited for us at Troas. 6But after the days of Unleavened Bread, we sailed from Philippi and in five days came to them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. 7On the first day of the week, when we were assembled to break bread, Paul was discussing with them, and since he was to leave the next day, he continued his speech until midnight. 8Now there were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. 9Because Paul was preaching so long, a young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in a window, was sinking into a deep sleep, and because of this fell down from the third floor and was taken up dead. 10Paul went down to him, laid himself on him, embracing him, and said, “Don’t be disturbed, because his life is in him.” 11After going back up, breaking bread, taking his bite, and talking to them till daylight, he left. 12They received the young man alive and were very consoled. 13Boarding ship, we sailed to Assos to take Paul on board there (he had arranged it that way since he was intent on traveling by land). 14When he got together with us at Assos, we took him on and came to Mitylene. 15Sailing from there, we came the next day across from Chios. The next day we arrived at Samos, and on the next we came to Miletus.

16Paul had intended to sail past Ephesus, so that he wouldn’t get delayed at all in Asia, since he was hurrying in order to observe the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, if possible. 17Sending word from Miletus to Ephesus, he called the older people of the church. 18Once they came to him and were together, he said to them, “You know the manner in which I’ve been with you the whole time, starting from the first day I came into Asia—19serving the Lord with humility and tears and in the trials that came on me from the plots of Jews—20and how I’ve kept back nothing that was helpful to you but have proclaimed it to you and taught you openly and from house to house, 21bringing repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to light for both Jews and Gentiles. 22Look now: obliged by the Spirit, I’m going to Jerusalem without knowing what will happen to me there, 23except that in every city the Holy Spirit is confirming to me that imprisonment and afflictions are awaiting me at Jerusalem. 24But I’m not afraid of any of these things and don’t count my life as more precious than myself, just as long as I can complete my course and the ministry of the word I received from the Lord Jesus: to attest the gospel of God’s grace. 25And now, I know that all of you among whom I’ve gone preaching the kingdom of God will not see my face anymore. 26Therefore I call on you to witness this day that I am clean from the blood of everyone, 27because I haven’t held back from declaring the whole counsel of God to you. 28You that are bishops, pay attention to yourselves and to the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has placed you to rule the church of God, which he gained by his own blood. 29I know that after my leaving, ravenous wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30Even from among yourselves men will arise saying perverse things to draw disciples away to themselves. 31So be watching, remembering that for three years, night and day, I didn’t stop warning every one of you with tears. 32And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace; he is able to advance you and to give you, among all the sanctified, an inheritance. 33I haven’t coveted any man’s silver, gold, or clothing, as 34you know, since these hands have supplied the things needed by me and those with me. 35I’ve demonstrated it all for you—how you ought to support the weak by laboring this way and to remember how the Lord Jesus said, ‘To give is a more blessed thing than to receive.'” 36Once he had said all this, he knelt down and prayed with all of them. 37There was much weeping among them, and bending over Paul’s neck, they were kissing him, 38being grieved most of all because of the thing he had said—that they wouldn’t see his face anymore. And they escorted him to the ship.

Acts 21 1After we parted from them and set sail, we came on a straight course to Coos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2After we found a ship sailing over to Phenice, we went aboard and set out. 3In sight of Cyprus, we left it then on the left hand, sailed toward Syria, and came to Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4Finding disciples, we remained there seven days. They were telling Paul through the Spirit that he shouldn’t go up to Jerusalem. 5Once our days were over and we were leaving and going ahead, they all, with their wives and children, escorted us till we were out of the city, where we knelt down on the shore and prayed. 6After we said goodbye to each other, we boarded ship and they returned home. 7Completing the voyage from Tyre, we came down to Ptolemais, greeted the brothers, and stayed with them one day. 8Leaving the next day, we came to Caesarea. We went into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and remained with him. 9He had four daughters, virgins, who would prophesy. 10While we lingered there a few days, the prophet named Agabus came from Judea. 11When he came over to us, he took Paul’s belt and, tying up his own feet and hands, said, “The Holy Spirit said this: ‘In this manner in Jerusalem Jews will tie up the man whose belt this is and will deliver him into the Gentiles’ hands.'” 12When we heard this, both we and those at that place begged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13But Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? You see, I’m ready not only to be tied up but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14Since we weren’t able to persuade him, we stopped and said, “Let the Lord’s will be done.”

15After those days we went up to Jerusalem, prepared. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought with them Mnason, an old Cyprian disciple for us to lodge with. 17When we arrived at Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18The next day Paul went with us to James. All the elders were assembled there too. 19After Paul greeted them, he was reporting one by one the things God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20Upon hearing this, they were praising God and said to him, “You realize, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they’re all zealous for the law. 21However, they’ve heard about you that you’re teaching the Jews who are out among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, and that you say they shouldn’t circumcise their children or follow tradition. 22So what is the case? At any rate, a crowd of them will surely come together, because they’ll hear that you came here. 23So do what we’re telling you. We have four men taking a vow. 24Take them, purify yourself along with them, and be cautioning them to shave their heads. Then everyone will know that the things they’ve heard about you are false, and that you too act in defense of the law. 25But regarding the Gentiles who believe, we’ve already written and decreed that they only need to avoid what has been offered to idols, blood, strangled things, and fornication.”

26Then Paul did take the men, was purified with them the next day, went into the temple, and gave the notice (of when they would complete the purification days) ahead of the offering to be offered for each of them. 27But when the seven days were coming to an end, some Jews from Asia, saw him in the temple, stirred all the people up, and took hold of him, crying out, 28“Men of Israel, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, the law, and this place. In addition, he brought Gentiles into the temple and has violated this holy place.” 29(You see, they had seen Trophimus, an Ephesian, in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.) 30The whole city was agitated, and a crowd formed. They took Paul and were dragging him out of the temple; its doors were shut immediately. 31While they were attempting to kill him, the unit commander was told that all of Jerusalem was in confusion. 32Right away he took soldiers and centurions with him and ran down to them. Once they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33Then the commander came closer, took hold of him, and ordered him to be held with two chains, and was asking who he was and what he had done. 34But some in the crowd were shouting one thing, and some another. Since he couldn’t learn anything definite because of the commotion, he ordered him to be taken into the fort. 35When Paul reached the stairs, it turned out that he was being carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the people. 36Indeed, the crowd of people followed along, shouting, “Do away with him.” 37As Paul was about to be brought into the fort, he said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” He said, “Can you speak Greek? 38Aren’t you that Egyptian who had earlier raised a rebellion and led four thousand murderers out into the desert?” 39Paul said to him, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no obscure city. I beg you, though, allow me to speak to the people.” 40When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and gestured to the people with his hand. As a great silence came about, he said to them in Hebrew:

Acts 22 1“Men, brothers, and fathers, listen to the account I’m giving you now.” 2(As they heard him speaking to them in Hebrew, they were even quieter.) 3He said, “I am a Jew, born at Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught in accord with the truth of the fathers’ law, zealous for the law, as you all are today. 4I persecuted this Way to death, detaining both men and women, and sending them to prison. 5As the high priest and all the elders can verify about me—from whom I also received letters to our brothers—I was going to Damascus, so that I could bring these people, under guard, from there to Jerusalem to be punished. 6Preparing myself and drawing near Damascus at midday, suddenly a great light from heaven shined all around me. 7Falling onto the ground, I heard a voice say to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you tracking me down?’ 8I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are hunting.’ 9Those who were with me did see the light, but they didn’t hear the utterance of the one speaking with me. 10I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Get up and go to Damascus, and there you’ll be told about everything you’re to do.’ 11Since I was not seeing because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by my companions, and I came to Damascus. 12A certain Ananias, a man who followed the law and had a good reputation with all the Jews living there, 13came to me, stood by me and said, ‘Brother Saul, look up.’ And at that moment I saw him. 14He said, ‘The God of our fathers has predetermined for you to know his will and to see the Just One and hear the voice from his mouth. 15And you will be to all people his witness of the things you’ve seen and heard. 16Now why delay? Get up, be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ 17But when I had come back to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I was in a trance 18and saw Jesus saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they won’t receive your testimony about me.’ 19And I said, ‘Lord, they know that I was shutting those who believed in you up in prison, and beating them in every synagogue, 20and that when the blood of Stephen your witness was being shed, I stood by, consented, and was holding the clothes of those who killed him.’ 21But he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you to the Gentiles far away.'”

22They were listening to him up until that statement; then they raised their voices, saying, “Away with such a one from the earth, because it isn’t right for him to live.” 23While they screamed, threw off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, 24the commander ordered him to be brought into the fort and whipped and tortured—to find out why they were raising such a cry against him. 25Once they had tied him up with thongs, Paul said to the centurion standing by him, “Is it legal for you to whip a man who is a Roman without a sentence?” 26When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and said to him, “What are you about to do? After all, this man is a Roman citizen!” 27The commander came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?” He said, “Yes.” 28The commander replied, “I got that citizenship by a large payment.” And Paul said, “But I was born with it.” 29So immediately those who were about to torture him left him. The commander too, after he understood that he was a Roman citizen, was afraid, since he had tied him up. 30But on the next day, wanting to learn more accurately why he was being accused by the Jews, he untied him and ordered the priests and the whole council to come together. Bringing Paul out, he set him in front of them.

Acts 23 1Looking at the council, Paul said, “Men, brothers, I’ve acted with a completely good conscience before God up to this present day.” 2The high priest Ananias ordered those who stood by him to hit him on the mouth. 3Then Paul said to him, “God will hit you, you whitewashed wall. Are you sitting to judge me in accord with the law and yet ordering me contrary to the law to be hit?” 4Those who were standing by said, “Are you slandering God’s high priest?” 5But Paul said, “Brothers, I didn’t know he was the high priest. To be sure, it was written: ‘You shall not slander a leader of your people.’6Since Paul knew that one part of the council were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out, “Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of the Pharisees; I’m being called into question about the hope of the dead and their resurrection.” 7Since he had spoken this way, a conflict arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the group was divided, 8because the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection or angel or spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge each of these. 9Well, a great clamor went up. Some of the Pharisees got up and were contending, “We find no evil in this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10As a greater conflict arose, the commander was afraid Paul might get pulled to pieces by them, and ordered the soldiers to go down and to take him from among them by force and to bring him to the fort. 11That night the Lord stood by him and said, “Be constant, because just as you vouched for me in Jerusalem, you also need to bear witness in Rome.”

12When it was day, some Jews gathered and made a vow, saying that they wouldn’t eat or drink till they had killed Paul. 13More than forty men made this conspiracy. 14They came to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We’ve vowed a vow that we will eat nothing till we’ve killed Paul. 15So now, you of the council, notify the commander to bring him out to you, as if you intend to learn something more certain regarding him, and before he gets near, we stand ready to kill him.” 16Because Paul’s sister’s son heard of the ambush, he came, went into the fort, and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the centurions over and said, “Take this young man to the commander, because he has something to tell him.” 18He took him, brought him to the commander, and said, “The prisoner, Paul, wanted me to bring you this young man, who has something to say to you.” 19Taking him by the hand, the commander went aside with him privately and asked him, “What is it that you have to tell me?” 20He said, “The Jews have met to ask you to bring Paul out the council tomorrow, as if to find out something more certain regarding him. 21But don’t believe them, because more than forty of them have plotted against him; they’ve vowed not to eat or drink till they’ve killed him. They’re standing ready now and looking for a promise from you.” 22The commander dismissed the young man, instructing him not to tell anyone that he had notified him of these things. 23Then he called two centurions and said to them, “Get two hundred soldiers ready from the third hour of the night to go as far as Caesarea along with seventy horsemen and two hundred lancers; 24and provide animals to set Paul on and to bring him safe to Felix the governor.” 25(Indeed, he was afraid the Jews might take Paul away by force and kill him, and he might later be slandered, as having taken a bribe.) He wrote a letter to this effect: 26“Claudius Lysias. To the most excellent governor, Felix. Greetings. 27This man had been taken by the Jews and was starting to be killed by them. Understanding that he’s a Roman, I rescued him by intervening with an army. 28Wanting to know the reason they were opposing him, I had brought him out to their council. 29I found he was accused in regard to cases of their law but had nothing criminal (deserving death or imprisonment). 30When I was informed of ambushes that they had prepared for him, I sent him to you, and declared to his accusers to plead their case before you. Farewell.” 31Then the soldiers took Paul as they had been ordered and brought him to Antipatris in the night. 32The next day, they returned to the fort, leaving the horsemen to go on with him. 33Once these men arrived at Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. 34After he had read it and asked what province he was from (and learned it was Cilicia), 35he said, “I’ll attend to you when your accusers come.” He ordered him to be guarded in Herod’s judgment hall.

Acts 24 1After five days the high priest, Ananias, came down with some of the elders and an orator named Tertullus, who went to the governor against Paul. 2Paul was summoned, and Tertullus began to accuse him. He said, “Most excellent Felix, since we are living in great peace through you, and many things are being made right by your providence, 3we accept it with great thanksgiving, always and everywhere. 4But not to draw this out any further for you, I beg you from your kindness to listen to us in these few words. 5We have found this to be a harmful man, who raises rebellions among Jews all over the world. He’s the author of the rebellion of the Nazarene’s sect 6and has also tried to violate the temple. When we got hold of him, we would have judged him according to our law, 7but Commander Lysias overrode us and took him out of our hands with great violence. 8He ordered this man’s accusers to come to you. By examining, you should be able to learn from them about all the things we accuse him of.” 9And the Jews added that these things were true.

10After the governor signaled Paul to speak, he answered, “Knowing that you’ve been judge over this nation for many years, I will answer for myself with good courage. 11You can learn that it was only twelve days ago that I went up to Jerusalem to worship. 12And they didn’t find me disputing with anyone or causing the people to assemble, whether in the temple, the synagogues, or the city. 13And they can’t prove to you the things they’re now accusing me of. 14But I do admit this to you, that following the Way (which they call a heresy) I serve the Father and my God, believing everything written in the law and the prophets, 15having the hope in God (that these men look for themselves) that there will be a resurrection of the just and the unjust. 16I do try in this to always have a conscience without offense toward God or toward men. 17Now after many years, I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings and vows, 18during which I was found purified in the temple, without any crowd or commotion—19unlike some Asian Jews, who ought to be here before you and accuse me, if they had anything against me. 20Or let these men here say whether they found any injustice in me when I was standing before the council, 21unless it was for this one voice that I raised up while standing among them: ‘I am being judged by you today regarding the resurrection of the dead.'”

22Then Felix said, “When Commander Lysias comes down, I’ll listen to both of you,” and he adjourned them, since he knew very surely about this Way. 23He ordered a centurion to guard Paul, but to relax and not prohibit any of his friends from tending to him. 24After some days Felix, accompanied by his wife Drusilla (a Jew), sent for Paul and listened to the faith in Christ Jesus from him. 25However, since he was explaining to them about justice, chastity, and the coming judgment, Felix began trembling and replied, “For now, leave us, but when I have a convenient time, I’ll send for you.” 26In this way he was also hoping to be given money by Paul, which is also why he often did send for him and talk with him. 27But after two years Felix was succeeded by Portius Festus. And wanting to show the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul behind, detained.

Acts 25 1Three days after Festus had come into the province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2The chief priests and principal men of the Jews went to him in opposition to Paul. They were begging him, 3requesting this favor against Paul—that he would order him brought to Jerusalem—though they were intending to kill him along the road. 4But Festus answered that Paul was being kept in Caesarea and that he himself would soon be leaving for there. 5“Therefore,” he said, “let those of you who are able go down there with me and accuse him, if there is any crime in the man.” 6Having lingered with them no more than eight or ten days, he did go down to Caesarea. The next day he sat in the judgment seat and ordered Paul to be brought. 7When he was led in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him and were raising many serious claims that they couldn’t prove. 8Paul delivered his explanation: “I did not offend in any matter—against Jewish law, against the temple, or against Caesar.” 9But Festus, wanting to show the Jews a favor, answered Paul, “Will you go up to Jerusalem and be judged before me there about these things?” 10Then Paul said, “I stand at Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be judged. I have done no injury to the Jews, as you know very well. 11Truly, if I’ve injured them or committed anything deserving death, I don’t refuse to die. But if none of these things they accuse me of is real, no one is able to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.” 12After Festus conferred with the council, he replied, “Have you appealed to Caesar? To Caesar you will go.”

13After some days King Agrippa and Bernice came down to Caesarea to greet Festus. 14While they were staying there for many days, Festus told the king about Paul, “A certain man was left as a prisoner by Felix. 15When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the Jewish elders came to me, requesting a judgment against him. 16I answered them, ‘It isn’t the custom of the Romans to condemn anyone until the one accused has his accusers present and gets a chance to make a defense, to clear himself of the charge.’ 17Once they had come here, without any delay (on the next day) I sat in the judgment seat and ordered the man to be brought. 18When his accusers stood up, they weren’t bringing any claim against him that I thought bad. 19Rather, they had some issues against him from their own superstition and about a Jesus, deceased, whom this Paul was asserting was alive. 20But since I was uncertain about this kind of case, I asked him whether he would go to Jerusalem and be judged about these things there. 21But Paul appealed to be reserved for trial by Augustus, so I ordered him to be held till I could send him to Caesar.” 22Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to listen to the man myself.” “Tomorrow,” he said, “you’ll hear him.”

23On the next day, Agrippa and Bernice paraded in and entered the auditorium with the commanders and principal men of the city. At Festus’ command Paul was brought out. 24Festus said, “King Agrippa and all you men who are here with us, you see this man about whom a whole crowd of Jews disturbed me at Jerusalem, begging and shouting out that he should live no longer. 25Well, I’ve found nothing deserving death in anything he committed. But since he appealed to Augustus, I decided to send him. 26But I have nothing definite to write to my master about him. Therefore I’ve brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that once an examination has been made, I can have something to write. 27After all, it seems unreasonable to me to send a prisoner and not state his charge.”

Acts 26 1Agrippa said to Paul, “You’re permitted to speak for yourself.” Then Paul stretched his hand out and began to give his explanation: 2“I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that it’s before you that I’m to answer today regarding everything I’m accused of by the Jews, 3especially since you know all the customs and issues that Jews have. So I beg you to listen to me patiently. 4All the Jews know my life from my youth, which from the start was among my own nation in Jerusalem. 5They knew about me from the start (if they’ll testify to it) that I lived as a Pharisee, following the strictest path of our religion. 6And now I stand subject to judgment for the hope of the promise that was made by God to the fathers, 7which our twelve tribes, serving night and day, hope to come to—for which hope, O King, I am accused by the Jews. 8Why should it be thought an incredible thing that God would raise the dead? 9To be sure, I did formerly think that I ought to do many things against the name of Jesus of Nazareth, 10which I did do in Jerusalem. I shut many of the saints up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests. And when they were being killed, I brought the sentence. 11Punishing them in every synagogue, I often compelled them to blaspheme. As I grew even more crazed against them, I even tracked them down into foreign cities. 12So while I was going to Damascus with the authority and permission of the chief priest, 13at midday on my way, O King, I saw a light from heaven exceeding the sun’s brightness, shining all around me, as did those who accompanied me. 14After we all fell down on the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you tracking me down? It’s hard on you to kick back against the prod.’ 15And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus whom you are hunting. 16But get up and stand on your feet, because I’ve appeared to you for this purpose: to make you a servant, and a witness of these things you’ve seen and of the things that I’ll be appearing to you in, 17as I rescue you from the people, and from the nations that I’m now sending you to—sending you 18to open their eyes, so they can be converted from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, and so that by a faith in me they can receive forgiveness of sins and a share among the saints.’ 19So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20but I did preach—to those at Damascus first and also to Jerusalem, to the whole area of Judea, and to the Gentiles—that they should repent, turn to God, and be doing deeds appropriate to repentance. 21For this reason, when I was in the temple, some Jews took hold of me and were trying to kill me. 22But aided by God’s help, I am standing to this day, witnessing to small and to great, saying nothing but the things that the prophets and Moses have said would happen—23that the Christ would suffer and that he would be the first to rise from the dead and would show light to the people and to the Gentiles.”

24As he said these things and was making his explanation, Festus said in a loud voice, “Paul, you’re insane; so much learning is making you crazy.” 25Paul said, “I am not crazy, most excellent Festus, but am speaking words of truth and sobriety. 26Indeed, the king knows about these things, and I’m certainly speaking to him as well. No, I don’t imagine any of these things are hidden from him, because none of them was done in a corner. 27Do you believe the prophets, King Agrippa? I know that you do believe.” 28Agrippa said to Paul: “By so little you expect me to become a Christian?” 29Paul said: “I wish to God that both by a little and by much, not only you but also all who are hearing me today would become like me, except for these chains.” 30The king, the governor, Bernice, and those who were sitting with them got up. 31When they had gone aside, they were talking among themselves and saying, “This man has done nothing deserving death or confinement.” 32Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been let go if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.”

Acts 27 1It was decided that Paul would sail for Italy; he would be handed over, along with other prisoners, to a centurion named Julius, of the Augusta unit. 2We boarded an Adrumetum ship and began to sail along the coasts of Asia; and so, Aristarchus the Macedonian from Thessalonica continued with us. 3The next day we came to Sidon. Julius treated Paul courteously, allowing him to go see his friends there and to take care of himself. 4After we launched from there, we sailed downwind of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5Sailing over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Lystra, which is in Lycia. 6The centurion found a ship from Alexandria there that was sailing to Italy, and he transferred us into it. 7For many days we sailed slowly and barely got even with Gnidus, since the wind wasn’t allowing us; and we sailed along Crete near Salmone. 8Barely sailing by it, we came to a place called Good-havens, with the city of Thalassa nearby. 9A lot of time had been used up, however, and by this time sailing wasn’t safe because the fast was now over. And Paul was assuring them, 10“You men, I see that the voyage is about to sustain injury and much damage, not only for the cargo and ship but even our lives.” 11But the centurion believed the pilot and the ship’s master more than these things being said by Paul. 12Since this wasn’t a suitable haven to winter in, the majority recommended sailing on from there, in case somehow they could reach Phenice (to winter there), which is a Cretan haven that looks toward the southwest and northwest. 13With the south wind blowing gently and thinking that they would be achieving their purpose, they let loose from Asson and were sailing along Crete. 14But soon a violent wind called the Euroaquilo rose up against the ship. 15As the ship crept along and couldn’t venture into the wind, we gave it up to the wind and were getting driven along. 16Running downwind of an island called Cauda, we were hardly able to secure the lifeboat. 17Once it was hoisted up, they employed assistants to undergird the ship. And afraid they would fall into quicksand, they let the sailyard down and so were being driven along. 18But since we were being tossed heavily by the storm, the next day they lightened the ship.

19On the third day they threw the ship’s rigging overboard with their own hands. 20Without the sun or stars appearing for many days and with no small storm lying on us, hope of our being saved was now eroding. 21After they had not eaten in a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should certainly have been listening to me and not let loose from Crete, gaining this harm and loss. 22But now I encourage you to be cheerful, because there will be no loss of life for any of you, but only of the ship. 23You see, an angel of God, whom I belong to and serve, stood by me last night 24and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul; you have to be brought before Caesar, and see, God has given you all those who are sailing with you.’ 25So, men, be cheerful, because I believe God that it will be just the way it’s been told to me. 26Oh, in addition, we should be coming to a certain island.”

27After the fourteenth night arrived, while we were sailing in the Adria, about midnight the crew were supposing they sighted some land. 28Then sounding, they found a hundred feet, and going on a little farther, they found seventy-five feet. 29Afraid that we would drop onto a rocky place, they threw four anchors out of the stern and were wishing for the dawn. 30When the crew wanted to abandon ship (letting the lifeboat down into the water, making it look as if they would be starting to throw anchors out of the ship’s bow), 31Paul said to the centurion and soldiers, “Unless those men stay in the ship, you can’t be kept safe.” 32Then the soldiers cut the boat’s ropes and let it fall. 33As light was starting to appear, Paul begged them all to take food, saying, “This is the fourteenth day that you’ve waited and gone without taking any food. 34So I beg you to take some food for the sake of your health, because not a hair of the head of any of you is going to be lost.” 35Once he had said this, he took bread, gave thanks to God in the sight of all of them and, when he had broken it, began to eat. 36Then they were all calmer and took some food themselves. 37(The total of us in the ship was two hundred seventy-six souls.)

38Having eaten enough, they were lightening the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea. 39When daylight arrived, they didn’t recognize the land, but they were looking into a certain bay that had a beach. They were intending to ram the ship into that, if they could. 40Once they took up the anchors, they committed themselves to the sea. Undoing the ropes beside the rudder and hoisting the mainsail up to the wind, they were heading toward the beach. 41But we dropped onto a place where two sea parts met, and they ran the ship aground. The prow did stick hard and was remaining stationary; but the back was being broken up by the violence of the sea. 42The soldiers’ advice was to kill the prisoners, in case any of them might swim off and escape. 43But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, forbid that and ordered those who could swim to throw themselves into the sea first, move on, and get to land. 44They carried some of the rest on boards and some on things that were from the ship. So it worked out that every soul got safely to land.

Acts 28 1Now that we had escaped, we learned that the island was called Melita. The natives, in fact, showed us a good deal of courtesy. 2For instance, by kindling a fire, they refreshed us all from the rain that was coming down and from the cold. 3When Paul had gathered a bunch of sticks and laid them on the fire, though, a viper getting away from the heat bit hold of his hand. 4The natives saw the creature hanging on his hand and said to each other, “No doubt this man is a murderer, and though he escaped the sea, revenge isn’t allowing him to live.” 5But he shook the animal off into the fire and suffered no harm. 6Still, they were supposing that he would start to swell up and would suddenly fall down and die. But after watching for a long time and seeing that no harm had come to him, they changed their minds and were saying that he was a god.

7Now in this area there were some estates of the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us kindly for three days. 8It happened that Publius’ father was lying sick with a fever and bloody diarrhea. Paul went in to him and, by praying and laying hands on him, healed him. 9Once that happened, everyone on the island with a disease was coming and being healed. 10These people honored us with many honors too, and when we were to sail away, they loaded us with the kinds of things that would be needed. 11After these three months we did sail in a ship from Alexandria that had wintered at the island; its emblem was the Castors. 12We came to Syracusa and stopped there for three days. 13From there, sailing along the shore, we came to Rhegium. After one day there, since the south wind was blowing, we came to Puteoli on the next day. 14We found brothers there who had us stay with them for seven days. Then we went toward Rome 15from there. Since the brothers in Rome heard about us, they came out as far as the Appii Forum and the Three Taverns to meet us. Upon seeing them, Paul gave thanks to God and took courage.

16When we arrived in Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with a soldier who guarded him. 17After three days, he called the Jewish men together. Once they were assembled, he said to them, “Men, brothers, though I’ve done nothing against our people or the fathers’ tradition, I was handed over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. 18After they examined me, they would have released me, since there was nothing about me deserving death. 19But the Jews denied that, and under the pressure I appealed to Caesar (not that I had anything to accuse my nation of). 20So this is why I asked to see you and to speak to you—because it’s for the hope of Israel that I’m being held with this chain.” 21They said to him, “We didn’t receive any letters about you from Judea, and none of the brothers who came here reported or said anything bad about you. 22But we want to hear your opinion, because regarding this sect, we know that it’s being spoken against everywhere.”

23On the day they scheduled for him, very many came to him at his quarters. From morning until evening he was explaining to them, vouching for the kingdom of God, and urging them about Jesus out of the law of Moses and the prophets. 24Some believed the things that were being said, but others didn’t believe. 25Since they didn’t agree among themselves, they were going to leave, but Paul said this one last thing: “The Holy Spirit spoke well to our fathers by the prophet Isaiah 26when he said, ‘Go to this people and say to them, “With the ear you will hear but not understand, and when looking you’ll look but not perceive.” 27Yes, this people’s heart has gotten thick, they’ve listened dully with their ears, and they’ve shut their eyes, so that they won’t perceive with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted, and I would heal them.’ 28So let it be known to you that this salvation of God is being sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen to it.” 29After he said this, the Jews went out from him, with much questioning among themselves. 30He remained two whole years in his own rented place and received everyone who came to him, 31preaching the kingdom of God and teaching things related to the Lord Jesus Christ, with complete boldness and without restriction.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans

Romans 1 1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ. I was called to be an apostle, separated out for God’s gospel 2(that he had previously promised by his prophets in the holy scriptures) 3about his Son. He was made for Him physically out of David’s offspring, 4but was predetermined in the sanctifying Spirit to be the Son of God in character because of our Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrecting the dead. 5At his hands I received favor and, in his name, apostleship for the faith to be obeyed in all nations, 6among which nations you too are Jesus Christ’s called ones. 7To: all God’s loved ones, called saints, who are at Rome. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8Yes, first, through Jesus Christ I’m giving thanks to my God for all of you, because your faith is being reported in the whole world. 9God, whom I serve in my spirit in his Son’s gospel, is in fact my witness that I do recall you without fail 10in every prayer of mine, asking if I could please somehow finally, in God’s will, make that upcoming journey to you successful. 11You see, I do long to see you, so that I can share some kind of spiritual favor with you to strengthen you; 12that is, so that among you, I too could be encouraged by the faith that is yours and mine mutually. 13I also don’t want you unaware, brothers, that I often intended (but was prevented up to now) to come to you in order to produce some fruit among you too, like that among other Gentiles: 14Greeks and barbarians, the wise and the foolish. I’m someone under an obligation; 15so for my part I’ve been ready to preach the gospel to you who are at Rome too. 16No, I’m not ashamed of the gospel, since it is God’s power for salvation to everyone believing it—to the Jew first but to the Greek too. 17In fact, God’s justice is unveiled in it, from faith for faith, as was written: “The just man lives from faith.”

18Now, God’s anger from heaven is revealed against all the irreverence and injustice of people who hold the truth of God back under their injustice, 19because what has been understood about God is exposed before them. Yes, God has made it evident for them, 20because invisible things about him (including his eternal goodness and Godhood) are obvious since the world’s creation, being recognized through the things that were created. So they have no excuse, 21because though they had recognized God, they didn’t glorify him as God or give him thanks. Instead they faded away in their thinking, and their foolish hearts became darkened. 22Yes, though calling themselves wise, they became fools 23and modified the glory of the incorruptible God to resemble statues of corruptible mankind, birds, and four-legged and crawling animals. 24Because of this God surrendered them to their hearts’ desires and to filthiness, so that they abuse their own bodies among themselves. 25They changed the truth of God into a lie and honored and served the creature instead of the Creator who is blessed forever. Amen. 26Therefore God handed them over to shameful affections. For instance, in place of the natural practice their women have substituted what is against nature. 27Likewise the men, leaving a natural use of women behind, have burned in their lusts for each other—men laboring at indecency against men and receiving in themselves a reward appropriate to their mistake. 28Yes, and the same way they didn’t like to accept God in his renown, God surrendered them to a base sense, to do things that aren’t suitable. 29They were: filled with every sort of injustice, with malice, fornication, greed, and wickedness; full of envy, murder, competition, deceit, and spite; being whisperers, 30disparagers, hateful toward God, insulting, proud, and arrogant, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, disorderly, without affection, without fidelity, and without mercy. 32Though they knew of God’s justice, they didn’t realize that those who do such things deserve death, and not only those who do them but whoever agrees with those doing them.

Romans 2 1You now, who are passing judgment, are nearly as inexcusable. After all, you’re condemning yourself in regard to what you judge the other of, because you do the same things that you’re judging about. 2We do know that the judgment of God against those who do such things is correct. 3But you who judge those who do such things but do the same, do you imagine that you’ll escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you think nothing of his rich goodness, patience and forbearance? Don’t you know that God’s kindness is leading you toward repenting? 5No, in line with your callousness and your unrepentant heart you’re storing up anger for yourself before the day of God’s anger and the revealing of his fair judgment. 6He will pay each person back corresponding to his deeds. 7Yes, to those who, in the patience of good work, look for glory, honor, and incorruption, he will deliver eternal life, 8but to those who are contentious and aren’t content with the truth but have confidence in injustice, he will deliver anger and indignation. 9He will provide distress and anguish to every human soul devoted to evil (Jewish first but also the Greek), 10but glory, honor, and peace to everyone devoted to the good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, 11since there is no personal distinction before God. 12Yes, any who have sinned without the law will perish without the law, and any who have sinned under the law will be judged through the law. 13After all, hearers of the law are not just before God; no, but doers of the law will be considered just. 14Also, when Gentiles, who don’t have the law, do the law’s things naturally, these people lacking the law are a law for themselves. 1516They exhibit the action of a law written in their hearts. And on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s secrets by Jesus Christ, their consciences will give evidence about them, and each inner thought of theirs will accuse or even defend the other thoughts.

17But suppose you’re called a Jew and rest on the law, boast about God, 18know his will, and (having been instructed by the law) approve the more useful things; 19and you’re confident that you yourself are a guide for the blind, a light for those in darkness, 20an instructor of the foolish, and a teacher of the young, having in the law an outline of knowledge and truth. 21But then if you who teach another don’t teach yourself, you who preach that one shouldn’t steal do steal, 22you who say not to commit adultery commit adultery, you who detest idols commit sacrilege, 23then you who are boasting about the law are dishonoring God by breaking the law. 24As was written, “Through you God’s name is disgraced among the Gentiles.” 25Circumcision does help if you keep the law, but if you be a law breaker, your circumcision has been made back into a foreskin. 26So then if a man with a foreskin keeps the law’s claims, won’t his foreskin-state count as circumcision? 27And if he fulfills the law, won’t this one that keeps a foreskin at birth judge you who by the letter and circumcision are a law breaker? 28No, someone is not a Jew who is that outwardly, and circumcision is not something evident in the body. 29Instead, someone is a Jew who is that inwardly, and circumcision is something of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; his acclaim isn’t from people, but from God.

Romans 3 1Then what more is there for a Jew, or what is the advantage of circumcision? 2Quite a bit, by all sorts of measurements. First of course, because God’s declarations were entrusted to them. 3And what if some of them haven’t believed those? Will their disbelief empty God’s promise out? Hardly. 4God is still truthful though every person may be a liar (as was written: “that You may be justified in Your discourses and may prevail when You’re being judged”). 5But if the injustice of us Jews emphasizes God’s justice, what will we say? That God’s carrying out his anger is unfair 6(humanly speaking)? Hardly. Otherwise how will God judge this world? 7Well, if through my lie God’s truth has been richer for his glory, why am I still even being declared a sinner, one might say? 8Why not instead: “Let’s do evil that good can come,” as I am slandered and some say I say (whose condemnation is just)? 9What then? Are we Jews better than they are? Not at all, and I’ve given Jews and Greeks the reason: they are all under sin. 10As was written: “There isn’t any just person, 11understanding, seeking God; 12they’ve all deviated; they’ve become useless together; there is no one who does good, not so much as one; 13their throat is an open tomb; they’ve carried on deceitfully with their tongues; vipers’ venom is under their lips; 14their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, 15their feet swift for shedding blood, 16grief and misfortune on their roads, 17and they haven’t known the road of peace; 18and there is no fear of God in front of their eyes.” 19Well now, we know that whatever the law says it says to those under the law, for every mouth to be shut up and the whole world to become subdued to God, 20since in front of him nobody will be forgiven as a result of their deeds under the law. After all, through the law comes this recognition of sin.

21Now, however, God’s justice has been revealed without the law (though given witness by the law and the prophets). 22God’s justice is through faith in Jesus Christ to everyone and on everyone who believes in him. You see, there is no distinction, 23because everyone has sinned and lacks God’s approval. 24They were freely forgiven by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25God put him forward as an offer of reconciliation (through faith in his blood)—to show his fairness by forgiving the sins of former times 26during God’s forbearance, and to show his fairness in the present—so that he can be right himself, but also forgiving whoever accords with faith in Jesus Christ. 27Where is your boasting then? It’s been shut out. On what principle—one of works? No, by the principle of faith, 28because we consider a person forgiven by faith, regardless of deeds under the law. 29Is he only the Jew’s God? Isn’t he the Gentiles’ too? Yes, the Gentiles’ God too, 30since it is one God who forgives the circumcised because of their faith and those with foreskins through their faith. 31Then are we destroying the law by faith? Hardly. Rather, we’re strengthening the law.

Romans 4 1From this we can say that Abraham, who is our physical father, found what? 2If Abraham were really declared right by deeds, he would have a right to boast, but not before God, 3because what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and that was credited to him as justice.” 4Now, wages are credited to a worker not as a favor, but as a debt. 5However, in the purpose of God’s favor, the faith of someone who doesn’t work but believes Him who forgives the unholy, does get credited as justice. 6As David, too, terms the blessedness of a person to whom God credits justice without works: 7“Those whose injustices are forgiven and whose sins are covered are blessed; 8the man to whom the Lord has not accounted sin is blessed.” 9This blessedness then, does it reside only in the circumcised or in those with foreskins too? We do say that faith was credited to Abraham as justice. 10Then how was it credited? Upon circumcision or in his foreskin-state? Not upon circumcision but in his foreskin-state! 11Yes and he received the mark, circumcision, a sign of faith’s justice, during his foreskin-state so that he could be the father of all those believing during the foreskin-state (so it can be credited to them as justice too) 12and the father of the circumcised—father not just for the circumcised but also for those who follow the footprints of a faith that is in the foreskin-state of our father Abraham.

13You see, the promise to Abraham (or his descendant) that he would be the world’s heir wasn’t through the law, but through faith’s justice. 14In fact, if those belonging to the law are the heirs, faith has been emptied out, the promise has died. 15You see, the law brings about a provocation, since where there is no law, there is no law-breaking either. 16Therefore it’s by reason of faith, so that, as a favor, the promise could be secure for all the descendants—not just those belonging to the law, but also those belonging to the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us 17in God’s judgment (as was written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He believed God, who brings the dead to life and summons things that don’t exist, as much as those that do exist. 18Against the expected, Abraham believed in the hope that he would be made the father of many nations, in keeping with what was said to him: “Your descendants will be this way.” 19And he wasn’t weak in faith; he didn’t consider his own body (though it was already a good hundred years old) or Sara’s womb, dead. 20No, he didn’t stall in distrust at God’s promise but grew strong in faith, giving God glory, 21knowing full well that whatever He promised He is also able to do. 22Because of this, it was credited to him as justice. 23Now, that it was credited to him as justice wasn’t written down just for his sake 24but also for us, to whom it will be credited if we believe in Him who awakened Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead, 25who was surrendered because of our sins but rose up for our justification.

Romans 5 1Therefore, having been justified by reason of faith, let us have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2by whom through faith we also have access to this grace we’re standing in and boast in anticipation of the glory of God’s sons. 3But we also boast during troubles, knowing that trouble builds patience, 4and patience approval, and approval hope. 5Hope doesn’t upset, though, because God’s love was spread upon our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6Why else did Christ die for the unholy, when we were still weak at the time? 7After all, we’ll hardly die for a just person; still, someone might dare to die for a good man. 8But God points up his love toward us in that Christ died for us at a time that we were still being sinners. Therefore, now that we’ve been forgiven in his blood, through him we’ll be much safer from God’s anger. 10Yes, if we were reconciled to God by his Son’s death when we were being His enemies, we’ll be much safer within his life now that we’ve been reconciled. 11And not just that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we did receive the reconciliation.

12As you can see, with sin entering this world through one man, and death entering through sin (and death passing through to all mankind this way), everyone has sinned in him. 13Yes, sin was present in the world up until the law, but sin wasn’t being accounted when the law didn’t exist. 14No, but death ruled from Adam to Moses, even over those also whose sinning didn’t resemble the law-breaking of Adam, who was to be a pattern. 15Not that the offense is comparable to the gift, however, because, though many have died by the offense of the one, the gift in favor of the one man Jesus Christ has flowed much more than that, by God’s grace, over to many people. 16Also, “through one sin” is not comparable to “through the gift,” because the judgment did go from one sin to condemnation, but grace goes from many offenses to forgiveness. 17Though by one man’s offense death did rule through the one sin, those receiving the wealth (of favor, gift, and justice) will rule much more in life through the one, Jesus Christ. 18So, “through one man’s offense into all mankind toward a condemnation” is like “through one man’s justice into all mankind toward life’s pardon.” 19Yes, just as, many were made sinners through the disobedience of one man, so too, many will be made just through the obedience of one. 20However, the law snuck in, and so sin flourished. But where sin flourished, grace flourished more, 21so that as sin ruled up till death, grace could rule by justice into everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6 1Well then, what are we going to say? Are we going to continue in sin, so grace can flourish? 2Hardly. No, how are we who are dead to sin going to live in it any longer? 3Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized in Christ Jesus were baptized in his death? 4Yes, through baptism we were buried into a death with him, so that as Christ rose from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too could walk in life’s newness. 5Yes, if we became planted with him along the lines of his death, we will likewise be fashioned along the lines of his resurrection. 6We know this: our old humanity was crucified at that time, for sin’s body to be destroyed and for us not to serve sin any longer. 7(In fact, anyone who has died has been done justice by sin.) 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe we will live with Christ too, 9knowing that Christ, rising up from the dead, isn’t dying anymore; death will dominate him no further. 10In fact, in dying to sin, he died one time, but in being alive, he lives on to God. 11Therefore, also consider yourselves dead, at least to sin, but living on, to God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12So don’t let sin rule in your mortal bodies, to be obeying their desires. 13No, and don’t present your members as armaments of injustice for sin, but present yourselves to God as if alive from the dead and your members as armaments of justice for God. 14You see, sin won’t dominate you, because you’re not under the law but under grace.

15What then? Are we going to sin because we aren’t under the law but under grace? Hardly. 16Don’t you know that you’re the slaves of the one you present yourselves to for serving as slaves—whether sin’s slaves (for death) or slaves of obedience (for justice)? 17But thanks be to God that you had been sin’s slaves, but have obeyed from the heart the model of teaching you were entrusted to. 18Freed from sin now, we’ve become slaves of justice. 19(I’m using some human terms because of a limitation of your bodies.) Yes, although for injustice you did present your members to serve filthiness and injustice, now for sanctification be presenting your members to serve justice. 20Of course, when you were slaves of sin, you were free of justice. 21Well, among those things you’re ashamed of now, what fruit have you retained? You see, the aim of those is death. 22Now though, freed from sin but made slaves for God, you have, from being made holy, your fruit, especially your aim: everlasting life. 23Yes, sin’s pay is death, but God’s favor is everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 7 1Don’t you know, brothers (of course, I’m addressing those who know the law), that a law dominates a person for as long as he’s alive? 2For instance, while a man is alive, a woman under the man is obliged by law. But if her husband dies, she’s freed from the law of “husband.” 3So, with her husband alive, she’d be called an adulteress if she were with another man; but if her husband has died, she’s been freed from the husband law, so that she wouldn’t be an adulteress if she were with another man. 4And so, my brothers, you too have become dead to the law through Christ’s dead body, so that you can belong to someone else, who rose up from the dead so that we can produce fruit for God. 5Yes, when we were subject to the body, sins’ passions, which were throughout the law, were working in our members to produce fruit for death. 6But now we’ve been released from death’s rule that we were being held down under, so that we can serve in a newness of spirit and not under the oldness of the letter. 7Well then, what are we going to say? That the law is sin? Hardly. But I don’t recognize sin except by the law. For instance, I wasn’t understanding covetousness except that the law was pointing out, “You shall not covet.” 8Besides, sin took an opportunity through the commandment to bring about all sorts of coveting in me. In fact, without the law sin was lifeless. 9Now, I was living for some time without the law. But when the commandment came, sin came to life; 10I, on the other hand, died. And this commandment, which was toward life, was found to be toward death for me, 11because sin, taking its opportunity through the commandment, took me aside and killed me by it. 12The law is certainly holy, and the commandment is holy, just, and good. 13Then did what is good become death for me? Hardly, but sin worked out death for me through something good, so that it would be noticed as sin—so that by the commandment, sin would become sinful beyond measure.

14To be sure, we know that the law is spiritual. On the other hand, I am sensual, sold under sin. 15You see, I don’t understand what I’m doing. No, the good I intend I don’t do, but the evil I hate, I do that. 16Now if I do what I don’t intend, I’m agreeing with the law, that it is good, 17but in that case it isn’t any longer I who am doing this but sin that is inhabiting me. 18I do know that the good doesn’t stay in me (in my body, that is), because to intend is close by me, but to accomplish the good, I’m not finding. 19No, I don’t do the good I intend, but the evil I am not intending, that I do. 20If I do what I don’t intend, then it isn’t any longer I who am doing it but sin that’s inhabiting me. 21So I find this rule: that when I intend to do good, evil is close by me. 22I do take delight in God’s law in my inmost self, 23but I see another principle in my members, resisting my mind’s principle and capturing me in sin’s principle that is in my members. 24I’m such an unhappy man! Who will free me from the corpse of this death? 25(God’s favor by Jesus Christ our Lord!) As I was saying, I myself serve God’s law with my mind, but with my body I serve sin’s principle.

Romans 8 1There is nothing of condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus, who don’t go around following the body, 2because the spiritual principle of life in Christ Jesus has freed me from the principle of sin and of death. 3You see, by sending his Son in similarity to sin’s body and because of sin, God condemned sin in the body—something impossible for the law since it was being weakened by the body. 4This was so that legal justification could be satisfied in us who go following the spirit, not the body. 5Those following the body do have a sense of bodily things, but those following the spirit, notice spiritual things. 6For instance, the body’s prudence is about death, but the spirit’s prudence is about life and peace. 7In fact, the body’s prudence is hostile to God, since it hasn’t been subject to God’s law, and isn’t able to be; 8and those who are subject to the body can’t please God. 9However, you aren’t subject to the body but to the spirit, if God’s Spirit does still inhabit you (whereas if anyone doesn’t have Christ’s Spirit, he isn’t his). 10If Christ is in you, though, then the body certainly died because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of justification. 11And if the Spirit of him who woke Jesus up from the dead inhabits you, he who woke Jesus Christ up from the dead will make your mortal bodies live too, because of his Spirit inhabiting you. 12Well then, brothers, we aren’t the body’s debtors, that we should live following the body. 13No, if you live following the body, you will die, but if you subdue the body’s actions by the Spirit, you will be alive. 14Truly, whoever are led by God’s Spirit are God’s children. 15Well, you didn’t receive a slave’s spirit again, under fear, but you received the spirit of children’s adoption, in which we cry, “Abba (Father).” 16Yes, the Spirit itself confirms to our spirit that we are God’s children; 17and if children, also heirs—heirs of God, yes, and Christ’s co-heirs (if we co-suffer, though, to also be co-glorified).

18I do judge that the sufferings of this time aren’t to be compared with the coming glory that will be revealed in us. 19Actually creation’s longing awaits the revealing of God’s children. 20Yes, the creation was exposed to a vacancy, not purposely, but because of the one who has subjected it under a hope. 21You see, the creation itself will also be freed from corruption’s slavery, into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22We do know that the whole creation is still groaning and in labor. 23And not only it but we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of God’s children, our bodies’ delivery. 24We were in fact made secure in this hope. But a “hope” that is being seen is not hope. No, why would someone be hoping for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience. 26The Spirit also helps us with our weakness in a similar way. For instance, we don’t know what we should pray for, but the Spirit itself asks on our behalf with indescribable groanings. 27And the one who probes hearts knows what the Spirit is requesting, because it is asking on the saints’ behalf in line with God.

28We also know that everything cooperates toward the good for those loving God—the saints called in keeping with his purpose. 29He pre-selected those he knew beforehand, to become a kind of copy of his Son, so that he could be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And he called those he pre-selected. And he justified those he called. And he glorified those he justified. 31Then what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32How would he who didn’t even spare his very own Son but handed him over for us all, not have given us everything along with him too? 33Who will be accusing against God’s chosen ones? God, who justifies? 34Who is the one that will condemn? Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who also rose up, is at God’s right hand, and even objects in our favor? 35Who then will separate us from Christ’s love—will trouble, distress, famine, nakedness, danger, persecution, or the sword? 36(As was written, “For your sake we’re put to death all day long; we’ve been valued like sheep for the slaughter.”) 37No, we get over all these things because of the one who has loved us. 38You see, I’m sure that neither death, life, angels, empires, powers, things present, things to come, force, 39height, depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 9 1I’m telling the truth in Christ, not lying (my conscience vouching for me in the Holy Spirit), 2that there is a great sadness and continual heartache for me. 3You see, I myself was wanting to be a sacrifice (after Christ) in place of the brothers of mine who are my blood relatives, 4who are Israelites. The adoption as children is theirs, as is the glory, the covenant, the law-giving, the ceremonies, and the promises. 5The fathers belong to them, and from them physically is Christ, who is above all, is God, forever blessed. Amen. 6Not that God’s word has miscarried, though, because not everyone from Israel is The Israelite’s, 7and not all of Abraham’s descendants are his children, but “Your descendants will be called in relation to Isaac.” 8That is, those who are physically children aren’t God’s children, but those who are the promise’s children are figured among the descendants. 9You see, the wording of the promise is this: “After this time I will come, and there will be a son for Sara.” 10She wasn’t alone either; there was also Rebecca in a single conception from our father Isaac. 11You see, when they had not yet been born or done any good or evil (so that God’s purpose would stand according to his choice, 12not from deeds but from the calling), it was said to her that “The elder will serve the younger.” 13As was written, “I loved Jacob, but I held Esau in contempt.” 14What are we going to say then? Is there unfairness with God? Hardly. 15In fact, he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on the one I have mercy on, and I will show mercy to the one I have mercy on.” 16So then it doesn’t have to do with anyone’s willing or running but with God’s having mercy. 17For instance, a scripture declares to Pharao, “I have summoned you for this: to show my power against you and for my name to be announced in the entire earth.”

18I say, he has mercy on one that he wants to, and he hardens one that he wants to. 19So now you’re saying to me, “Why does he still complain; who is really opposing his will?” 20O man, who are you, replying to God? Does an image say to the one who created it, “Why did you make me this way?” 21Or does a potter have no right over the clay—to make out of the same lump one vessel for beauty, yes, but another for rough use? 22What if God, though wanting to show his anger and to make his power known, endured very patiently some “anger vessels,” ready to fall apart, 23so that he could show the riches of his glory toward the “mercy vessels” that he prepared for glory, 24and to us, whom he called, not only from the Jews but among the Gentiles too? 25As he says in Hosea, “I will call the ‘not my people’ my people, and the ‘not a loved one’ loved, and the one who ‘never got mercy’ someone who got mercy; 26and in the place they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be there that they will be called children of the living God.” 27Isaiah too cries out about Israel, “Though the number of Israel’s children may have been as much as the sea’s sand, some survivors will be made safe; 28yes, when he summarizes his Word and cuts it short in fairness, the Lord will appoint his shortened Word over the earth.” 29And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of Sabaoth hadn’t left us offspring, we would have become like Sodom and would have been like Gomorrha.” 30What are we going to say then? This, that the Gentiles, who weren’t pursuing justice, have embraced justice, the justice that is by reason of faith, though. 31Israel, however, in pursuit of justice’s law, did not arrive at justice’s law. 32Why not? Because they were seeking it as if from deeds, not by reason of faith. In fact, they stumbled against the stumbling-stone. 33As was written, “See there, in Sion I am laying a stumbling-stone and an offensive rock, and whoever believes in him will not be bewildered.”

Romans 10 1Brothers, truly the desire of my heart and my prayer to God are for salvation for them. 2I do confirm about them that they have ambition for God, but not intelligently. 3No, by not knowing God’s justice but seeking to establish their own, they haven’t been subject to God’s justice. 4Actually, the law’s purpose is Christ, for everyone believing toward that justice. 5For instance, Moses wrote that the person who performs the justice that is from the law “will live in it.” 6But he says this of the justice that is by reason of faith: “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will climb up to heaven?'” that is, to bring Christ down, 7“or ‘Who will climb down into the depth?'” that is, to revive Christ from the dead. 8But what does this scripture also say? “The word is nearby in your mouth and in your heart.” That is, the word of faith that I’m preaching, 9because if you acknowledge the Lord Jesus in your mouth and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10Yes, this is believed with the heart (for justice), but acknowledgement is made by the mouth (for salvation). 11Scripture does say, “Everyone who believes in him will not be bewildered.” 12Indeed, there is no Jew-Greek distinction, because the same one is Lord of everyone, rich toward everyone who calls on him. 13Yes, “whoever calls on the Lord’s name will be safe.” 14Well then, how will they call on someone they haven’t believed in? Or how will they believe someone they didn’t hear from? Also, how will they hear it without someone preaching? 15But how will they preach unless they’re sent? As was written, “How beautiful the feet are of those preaching peace, of those announcing good things!” 16But not everyone complies with the good news. As Isaiah says, “Lord, who believed our report?” 17So faith is from some hearing, while the hearing is through Christ’s word. 18But I say, didn’t they hear? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to the whole earth and their words to land’s end.” 19But I say, wasn’t Israel aware? First, Moses recites: “I will bring you to jealousy against a non-nation; I will throw you into anger about a foolish nation.” 20Also, Isaiah is bold and says, “I was found by some not looking for me; I appeared clearly for those who weren’t interrogating me.” 21However, to Israel he says, “All day long I have spread out my hands to a disbelieving and disputing people.”

Romans 11 1I say then, has God rejected his people? Hardly. After all, I’m an Israelite too, out of Abraham’s offspring, from the tribe of Benjamin. 2God hasn’t rejected his people, whom he knew in advance. Or don’t you know what scripture says in Elijah, how he bothers God against Israel—3“Lord, they killed your prophets, they undermined your altars, and only I am left, and they’re after my life”? 4But what does the divine reply say to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who did not bend their knees in front of Baal.” 5At this time too, like that, some salvage has been secured, according to grace’s choice. 6But if it is by grace, then it is not from deeds; otherwise grace isn’t grace anymore. 7What then? This, that Israel hasn’t reached what it was looking for, whereas the selected people have reached it; the rest have truly been blinded. 8As was written, “God has allowed them a punctured spirit—eyes for them not to see and ears for them not to hear—up to the present day.” 9And David says, “Let their table become a trap, a deception, a stumbling-block, and a payback for them; 10let their eyes get cloudy so they can’t see, and bend their back the whole time.” 11So I say, did they stumble enough to fall down? Hardly. In fact, by this defect of theirs there is health for the Gentiles, so that they may be jealous of the Gentiles. 12And if their defect is the world’s riches and their decrease is the Gentile’s riches, how much more wealth would the entirety of them be? 13I do tell you Gentiles, that while I am the apostle of Gentiles, I will do right by my office, 14in case I can somehow provoke my kinfolk to a jealousy and make some of them safe. 15Really, if the loss of them is the world’s reconciliation, what will a reception of them be but life from the dead? 16If the sampling is holy, so is the bulk; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17Now if some of the branches have been broken, and you, though a wild olive branch, got grafted in among the branches and became a participant in the root and in the richness of the olive tree, 18then don’t boast against the branches. Even if you do boast, you aren’t supporting the root but the root is supporting you. 19So then you say, “The branches were broken down for me to be grafted in.” 20Well, they were broken down because of disbelief, but you are standing by belief. Don’t be high-minded but do fear, 21because if God didn’t spare the natural branches, be afraid in case he might not spare you either. 22See then God’s goodness and his strictness; yes, God’s strictness toward those who fell, but his goodness toward you, if you do continue in goodness; otherwise you too will be cut down. 23But also, if they don’t continue in disbelief, they will be grafted back in, since God is able to graft them in again. 24In fact, if you were cut from a naturally wild olive and grafted against nature into the good olive tree, how much more will those that are natural be grafted into their own olive tree? 25Indeed, so that you won’t be wise in your own eyes, brothers, I don’t want you ignorant of this mystery—that a partial blindness has affected Israel until the full extent of Gentiles would get in. 26And so all Israel could be saved, as was written, “There will come out of Sion someone who would snatch and steal irreverence away from Jacob”; 27and “This is the covenant from me to them: when I will have taken their sins away.” 28Certainly, in relation to the gospel, they’re hostile because of you; but in relation to the choice of them, they’re very dear because of the fathers. 29You see, God’s gifts and his calling are without regret. 30Yes, just as you at one time didn’t believe God (but now have reached mercy through their disbelief), 31so now those too haven’t believed (against that mercy to you), with the result that even they may still reach mercy. 32In fact, God has included everyone in a disbelief, so that he can have mercy on everyone. 33O the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge! How incomprehensible his decisions are and how unsearchable his ways are! 34After all, who has known the Lord’s mind? Or who has been his advisor? 35Or who gave to him first and will then get repaid for it? 36Truly, everything is from him, through him, and in him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 12 1So, brothers, I appeal to you by God’s mercy to present your bodies as a living sacrifice—holy, pleasing to God, a reasonable obedience of yours. 2And don’t be fashioned for this world, but be reshaped in the newness of your attitude, so that you can test what God’s good, acceptable, and perfect will is. 3By the grace that was given to me, I’m telling every one of you not to be smarter than called for, but to be smart in moderation, as God distributed a measure of faith to each one. 4For instance, the same way we have many members in a single body, but all the members don’t have the same office, 5so we, many people, are one body in Christ and each one a member of the others. 6We hold different gifts corresponding to the grace that was given to us—whether prophecy in accord with the faith’s understanding; 7or service matching those to be served; or a teacher in line with the doctrine; 8or an encourager in harmony with what should be encouraged; or a distributor with genuineness; or a leader with concern; or a sympathizer in keeping with cheerfulness. 9Let love be without pretense. Hate evil, clinging to the good. 10Love one another with brotherly love, anticipating one another with honor. 11Don’t be slow about caring. Be eager in spirit, serving the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope. Be patient in trouble. Be urgent in prayer. 13Share in the saints’ expenses. Pursue hospitality. 14Bless those persecuting you; bless and don’t curse. 15Rejoice with those rejoicing. Weep with those weeping. 16Be sensitive together, each to the others. Don’t have a taste for high things but be favorable to humble people. Don’t be too aware of yourselves. 17Don’t pay evil back with evil to anyone. See to the things that are good not only in God’s sight, but in everyone’s. 18If it can be done from your part, keep peace with everyone, 19not defending yourselves, dear ones. Instead, give anger some room. After all, it was written, “Revenge is for me; I will repay, says the Lord.” 20And also, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; because when you do this, you’ll be heaping fiery coals onto his head.” 21Don’t be conquered by evil, but conquer evil under the good.

Romans 13 1Every person should be subject to higher authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and those that exist were arranged by God. 2Therefore, whoever resists an authority is resisting an arrangement of God’s, and those who resist are getting condemnation for themselves. 3For instance, leaders aren’t a terror for a good deed but an evil one. Now, do you want to not be afraid of a leader? Do good, and you will have approval from him, 4because he is God’s assistant for you regarding what is good. If you do what is evil, however, be afraid, because he isn’t carrying a sword for no reason. He is in fact an assistant of God’s, an anger enforcer, for anyone doing evil. 5So be ready to be subject as a necessity, not only because of that anger but for conscience’ sake too. 6You’re responsible for taxes for this reason too, because they are assistants of God, devoted to that same thing. 7So give everyone what they are owed—a tax to the one it’s owed to, a fee to the one it’s owed to, fear to the one it’s owed to, honor to the one it’s owed to. 8Let yourselves be in debt to no one for anything except to love one another.

In fact, anyone who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9For example, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal, you shall not give false witness; you shall not covet” and if anything else is a commandment, they are repeated in this expression: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10Love of the neighbor doesn’t do evil. So love is the law’s fulfillment. 11But we realize the time—that it is already the hour for us to get up, away from sleepiness. After all, our salvation is closer now than at the time we came to believe. 12The night did come first, but daytime has come near. Therefore, let us push deeds of darkness aside and be clothed with the armor of light. 13Let us go along decently, as in the daytime, not in partying and drunkenness, not with couches and lewdness, not in competition and jealousy. 14Instead, be clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ and you won’t be giving a thought to your body in its wishes.

Romans 14 1Now, accept those who are weak (in regard to faith, not reasoned debate). 2For instance, someone else believes he can eat anything; but the one who is weak might eat vegetables. 3The one who eats shouldn’t reject the one not eating, and the one not eating shouldn’t judge the one eating. After all, God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? He stands or falls to his own master. In fact, he will stand, because God is able to make him stand. 5Or, one person distinguishes between one day and another, whereas someone else upholds every day. Let each person be rich in his own view of the matter. 6The one who regards a day regards it for the Lord. And the one who eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God. And the one who isn’t eating, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7Truly, none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. 8No, if we live, we live for the Lord; or if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9Indeed, Christ died and rose up for this: to be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, though, why do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you reject your brother? After all, we will all stand in front of Christ’s judgment seat. 11Yes, it was written down, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will acknowledge God.” 12And so, every one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13Therefore, let’s not be judging one another anymore. Make this judgment instead: that you not be laying down some stumbling-block or temptation for a brother. 14I know (and here I am relying on the Lord Jesus) that nothing is unclean in itself, except that for someone who considers a thing unclean, it is unclean. 15So if your brother is hurt over your food, then you aren’t proceeding in love anymore. Don’t ruin by your food this person Christ died for. 16Then our good thing won’t be maligned. 17I mean, the kingdom of God isn’t food and drink but justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18Yes, whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and acceptable to people. 19And so, let us pursue the things of peace and maintain things that build each other up. 20Don’t destroy what God has built for the sake of food. True, everything is clean, but it is wrong for anyone who eats offendingly. 21It’s a good thing not to eat meat, drink wine, or do anything by which your brother is offended, embarrassed, or weakened. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself in God’s eyes. Anyone who doesn’t condemn himself in what he is permitting is blessed. 23However, if someone who does discriminate eats, he stands convicted because it isn’t from faith. Indeed, everything that isn’t from faith is a fault.

Romans 15 1Besides, we who are stronger should bolster the frailties of the weak, not suit ourselves. 2Let each of you please his neighbor for his benefit, his improvement. 3Even Christ did not please himself, but, as was written, “The insults of those who insulted you fell onto me.” 4(Yes, any things written down were written for our education, so that we could have hope by means of patience and the scriptures’ encouragement.) 5May the God of patience and consolation let you sense one another along with Jesus Christ, 6so that being of one heart you can honor God and our Lord Jesus Christ’s Father with one mouth. 7For the sake of that, accept each other, as Christ accepted you for God’s honor. 8I do affirm that Christ Jesus was a servant for the circumcised, from God’s truth—to establish what was promised to the fathers—9but I also affirm that the Gentiles honor God about mercy, as was written, “So, I will acknowledge you among the Gentiles, Lord, and I will praise your name.” 10And again he says, “Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles”; 11and again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and show his greatness, all you peoples.” 12In turn Isaiah asserts, “There will be a root of Jesse, and the Gentiles will hope in him who will rise up to rule the Gentiles.” 13Now may the God of hope replenish you with full joy and peace in believing, so you can be rich in hope and in the Holy Spirit’s power.

14But, my brothers, I myself am sure about you that you truly are full of love and replenished with ample knowledge, so that you’re able in this way to advise each other. 15Still, brothers, I’ve written you rather boldly (partly as a reminder to you) because of the grace that was given to me by God 16for me to be Christ Jesus’ servant among the Gentiles, making God’s gospel holy, so the Gentiles’ offering can become acceptable and holy under the Holy Spirit. 17So in Christ Jesus I do have a boast toward God. 18No, I don’t dare speak at all, except about the things Christ is bringing about by me for the Gentiles’ obedience in word and deeds, 19by virtue of signs and wonders, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, so that I’ve supplied the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem around to as far as Illyricum. 20Yes, but I didn’t announce this gospel where Christ has made a name, so I wouldn’t be building on someone else’s foundation. 21Instead, as was written, “Those it wasn’t announced to about him, will see, and those who haven’t heard will understand.” 22That is also the reason I was prevented so much from coming to you and was held back till now. 23Now, however, with no further place in these regions and with my eagerness from many prior years for coming to you at last, 24when I start to set out for Spain, I hope that as I pass by I can see you and be sent along by you to that place, once I will have enjoyed you to some degree first. 25So I’ll head to Jerusalem just now to tend to the saints, 26because Macedonia and Achaia approved making a contribution for the poor of the saints in Jerusalem. 27It did give them pleasure, but they are even debtors of theirs, since if the Gentiles have become sharers of spiritual things of theirs, the Gentiles in turn should tend to them in physical things. 28So when I’ve accomplished this and given that yield over to them, I’ll set out for Spain by way of you. 29I also know that when I come to you, I will come with the overflowing blessing of Christ’s gospel. 30And so I beg you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit’s love, to help me in your prayers to God for me, 31for me to be freed from the disbelieving in Judea and for the offering of my gift to be acceptable to the saints in Jerusalem, 32so that by God’s will I can come to you in joy and be refreshed with you. 33May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Romans 16 1I ask your favor toward Phebe, our sister, who is in service to the church at Cenchrae, 2that you receive her in the Lord as is proper among saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need you, because she has assisted many, including me. 3Greet Prisca and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus 4(who laid down their own necks for my life, and for whom not only I but all the Gentile churches give thanks), 5and the church in their house. Greet Epenetus, so dear to me, who is the first-fruits of Asia in Christ. 6Greet Mary, who has labored much among you. 7Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and fellow prisoners, who are well-known among the apostles and who were in Christ before me. 8Greet Ampliatus, very dear to me in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our helper in Christ Jesus, and Stachys, my dear one. 10Greet Apelles, upright in Christ. 11Greet those who are of Aristobulus’ household. Greet Herodian, my kinsman. Greet those who are of Narcissus’ household, who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet Persis, a dear one who has labored very much in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus (chosen in the Lord) and his and my mother. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers that are with them. 15Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympias and all the saints that are with them. 16Greet each other with a holy kiss. All Christ’s churches greet you. 17On the other hand, brothers, I beg you to note and turn away from those who produce quarrels and obstacles against the doctrine that you learned. 18No, such people aren’t serving Christ our Lord, but their own appetites, and are dividing the hearts of the innocent by sweet talk and praise. 19True, word of your obedience was spread into every locality, so I do rejoice over you. But I want you to be discerning in regard to good, but plain in relation to evil, 20and then the God of peace would quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

21My assistant, Timothy, greets you, as do my kinsmen, Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater. 22I, Tertius, who have written this letter out, greet you in the Lord. 23Caius, my host, and the entire church greet you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and Quartus, a brother, greet you. 24The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 26 27And now, let honor and glory be forever and ever through Jesus Christ to the only wise God, who is able to establish you close to my gospel and close to the proclamation of Jesus Christ in keeping with the unveiling of his mystery—a mystery which, through the prophets’ writings in line with eternal God’s command, has now been laid open for faith’s obedience, and which, though secret from eternity, has been recognized among all nations. Amen.

The First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1 1Paul, called by God’s will to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, and Sosthenes a brother. 2To: God’s church at Corinth, those made holy in Christ Jesus and called to be saints; as well as everyone who calls on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in all their places, which are ours too. 3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I always thank my God for you, over God’s favor that was given to you in Christ Jesus, 5since you were made rich in him in every sort of thing, such as language and knowledge. 6Likewise the testimony about Christ was established among you, 7so that no favor is missing from you while you’re waiting for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8who will also, at that time of his coming, make you strong and faultless to the end. 9You were called into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, by God, and he is faithful.

10Now, brothers, I beg you by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to all agree and not have factions among you, to instead be completely of the same attitude and judgment. 11You see, my brothers, some of Chloe’s people indicated to me that there is some competition among you. 12I mean, you’re each saying, “I am Paul’s,” or “I am Apollo’s,” or “I am Cephas’,” or “I am Christ’s.” 13Has Christ been broken up? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14I’m thanking God that I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Caius, 15so that no one would say you were baptized under my name. 16Oh, I baptized Stephanus’ household too; other than that, I don’t know if I baptized someone else. 17After all, Christ didn’t send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not in sensible words, otherwise the cross of Christ would get set aside. 18Yes, mention of the cross is certainly a foolishness to people wasting away, but to those being preserved, that is, to us, it is God’s power. 19In fact, it was written down: “I will ruin sensible people’s wisdom and reject intelligent people’s prudence.” 20What has become of the sensible one? Where is the writer? Where is this era’s seeker? Hasn’t God made this world’s wisdom foolish? 21Actually, since the world wasn’t knowing God by wisdom, it pleased God in his wisdom, by this preaching’s foolishness, to make those believing it secure. 22Jews demand miracles, while Greeks are after wisdom, 23but we’re preaching Christ crucified—a disappointment to Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. 24To those called, though, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25Yes, God’s “foolishness” is wiser than humans are, and God’s “weakness” is stronger than humans are. 26For example, consider his invitation of you, brothers, how not many are physically skilled, not many influential, not many well known. 27No, but God has chosen some “foolish” things of the world to disorient the wise, and God has chosen some “weak” things of the world to bewilder the strong. 28God has chosen humble, even despised, things of the world, and things that barely exist, to bring ones that do exist down, 29so that no one should boast in his presence. 30As a result, you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us from God: wisdom, justice, sanctification, and redemption, 31so that, as was written, “One who boasts should boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 2 1And even I, brothers, when I came to you, didn’t come with grand speech or wisdom as I declared the testimony about Christ to you. 2No, I didn’t judge that I knew anything there with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I was with you under a weakness, a fear, and a lot of trembling. 4My talking and my preaching were not in the persuasive words of human wisdom but in a display of the Spirit and power, 5so that your faith would be in God’s power, not in human wisdom. 6Still, among accomplished brothers I do speak of a wisdom, but not the wisdom of this age or its leaders, who come to nothing. 7No, I talk about God’s secret, hidden wisdom, that he determined ahead of any ages for our glory, 8and that none of this age’s leaders knew of, since if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. 9As was written, “For those who love him, God prepared things that no eye had seen, no ear had heard, and that hadn’t come up in a human heart.” 10But God did reveal them to me by his Spirit. You see, the Spirit explores everything, even the depths of God. 11For example, among people, who except a man’s spirit in him knows the things of that man? That’s the way that no one knows God’s things except God’s Spirit. 12And I did receive, not this world’s spirit, but the Spirit that is within God, so that I can understand the things that have been given to me by God. 13So then I don’t speak about those things in the skillful language of human wisdom but under the training of the Spirit, matching spiritual expressions to the spiritual things. 14But the sensual person doesn’t take these things belonging to God’s Spirit in, since it is foolishness to him and he can’t understand it, because it is assessed in a spiritual way. 15On the other hand, the spiritual person can judge everything and can’t be judged by anyone. 16After all, who had an understanding of the Lord’s mind, so that he’d be able to set Him straight? (Well, we do have Christ’s mind.)

1 Corinthians 3 1But I wasn’t able to speak to you as spiritual people, brothers, only as physical ones, as tiny ones in Christ. 2I gave you milk to drink, not meat, because you weren’t able then. And you aren’t able now either, because you’re still so physical. 3For instance, since there is rivalry and comparison among you, aren’t you being physical and behaving in line with a human will? 4I mean, as long as someone says, “But I am Paul’s” and someone else “I am Apollo’s,” aren’t you just being humans? What is Apollo anyway, or what is Paul? 5They’re servants of the one you believed in. And the Lord gave each of them an assignment: 6I planted, Apollo watered, but God gave the growth. 7And so, neither the one who plants or the one who waters is anything, but the one giving the growth, God, is. 8Then the planter and the waterer are the same; still, each of them will get his individual reward, corresponding to his own labor. 9Yes, we are God’s assistants; you are God’s farm.

You are God’s building. 10Like a wise architect, I laid the foundation according to the grace God gave me, and now someone else builds on top of that. But let each one pay attention to how he is building on it, 11because no one can lay some other foundation than the one that was laid, that is, Christ Jesus. 12Now if anyone builds up gold, silver, gems, wood, hay, or straw on this foundation, 13each one’s workmanship will be brought to light, because the day of the Lord will make it clear, since it will be revealed in the fire, which will test what the nature of each one’s accomplishment is. 14If the structure anyone built up endures it, he will get a reward. 15If anyone’s structure does catch fire, he will suffer the loss, but he himself will be saved, though also by a kind of fire. 16Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit is living among you? 17If anyone violates God’s temple, however, God will destroy him, because God’s temple, which you are, is holy. 18No one should deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in relation to this world, let him become a “fool,” so he can be wise, 19because this world’s wisdom is foolishness to God. It was written down, for example: “I will catch the wise in their cleverness,” 20and also, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are hollow.” 21So no one should boast about some men. 22After all everything belongs to you, whether it is Paul, Apollo, Cephas, the world, life, death, things present, or things to come. Yes, everything is yours, 23and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 4 1A person should think of me as Christ’s servant and a manager of God’s secrets. 2Now in the matter of a manager, it’s required that he be found trustworthy. 3Still, to me, it’s insignificant that I might be judged by you or in a human time-frame, and I don’t even judge myself. 4No, I’m not aware of any guilt in me, but I haven’t been vindicated on that basis. Instead, it is the Lord who judges me. 5So don’t judge ahead of time, ahead of the Lord’s coming. He will bring secrets of the dark to light and also reveal the intentions of hearts. Then each person will have his reputation from God. 6Well, brothers, I’ve fashioned these things about myself and Apollo for your sakes, so that you can learn from our case (beyond what was written above) not to be puffed up, one person against a second person for a third person. 7Who is dividing you, after all? And what do you have that you didn’t receive? If you received it, though, why do you boast as if you didn’t receive it? 8You’re satisfied now! You’ve become rich now! You’re ruling without me! Well, if only you did rule, so I could rule along with you! 9Yes, I suppose God has displayed us latest apostles as if we were men assigned for death. I’ve been made a spectacle for the world, for angels, and for men. 10I’m a fool for Christ, whereas you are sensible in Christ! I’m weak, but you are strong! You are honored, but I’m without honor! 11Even up to this hour I am hungry, thirsty, and naked, get beaten up and am unsteady. 12But I labor, working hard with my hands. I get cursed, but I bless. I meet persecution but tolerate it. 13I get criticized, but I am pleading. Up to now I’ve been regarded like this world’s garbage, the filth off of everything. 14I’m not writing these things down to disturb you. I am instructing you as my very dear children. 15For instance, if you had ten thousand tutors in Christ, you still wouldn’t have many fathers. After all, I did give you birth in Christ Jesus by means of the gospel. 16So I beg you, be imitators of me as I am of Christ. 17For that purpose I have sent you Timothy (my very dear son, faithful in the Lord), who will remind you of my ways (which are in Christ Jesus), the same as I teach in every church everywhere. 18Some of you got puffed up, as if I weren’t going to come to you. 19But I will come to you soon if the Lord is willing, and then I’ll get to know the power, not the talk, of those who were puffed up. 20God’s kingdom, you know, is not in talk but in power. 21What do you want? Should I come to you with a stick, or in love and a gentle spirit?

1 Corinthians 5 1It is generally reported that there is a fornication in your company, and a kind of fornication not even found among foreigners: that someone is having his father’s wife. 2But you got puffed up and didn’t instead keep grieving, so that the man who’s been doing this thing would be removed from among you. 3At least I, physically absent but spiritually present, have, as though right before the man who did this, already judged him 4in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, since you and my spirit are under the power of our Lord Jesus together, 5to hand such people over to Satan for the body’s ruin, in order for the spirit to be saved on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little leaven spoils the entire dough? 7Clean out the old leaven, so you can be a new dough and be unleavened, since Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. 8And so, let us feast on the unleavened things of purity and truth, not on the old leaven or on the leaven of malice and wickedness. 9I did write in a letter not to mingle with fornicators; 10not particularly the fornicators, gluttons, greedy, or idolatrous of this world; otherwise you would have had to leave this world. 11But just now I’ve written you, to not associate or even eat with anyone called a brother, who is a fornicator, a glutton, idolatrous, a slanderer, a drunkard, or greedy. 12Really, what is it to me to judge about people outside? Don’t you judge about those inside? 13After all, God will judge those who are outside. Put the bad man away from yourselves.

1 Corinthians 6 1Does any of you with an issue against another one, dare to be judged by unjust people and not the saints? 2Don’t you understand that the saints will judge about this world? And if the world will be judged under you, are you who might be deciding trivial matters unqualified? 3Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more can we judge this world’s things! 4So then, if you were to handle worldly cases, set up some worthless people from the church to do the judging! 5To your shame I say, isn’t there any one of you who is wise, and able to judge between his brothers? 6But as it is, one brother is disputing with another brother in court, before the faithless. 7At any rate, there already is a crime among you: that you have any lawsuits with one another. Why don’t you accept the wrong instead? Why don’t you allow the fraud instead? 8But on top of that, you’re doing wrongs and cheating—doing these to brothers! 9Don’t you understand that the bad aren’t going to occupy God’s kingdom? Don’t be mistaken: fornicators, the idolatrous, adulterers, 10the effeminate, cohabiting men, thieves, gluttons, drunkards, slanderers, and the greedy are not going to occupy God’s kingdom. 11And some of you were those, but you were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

12“Everything is allowed for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is allowed for me,” but I won’t be brought under any things by force. 13“Food is for the belly and the belly is for the food,” but God will destroy both of them. However, the body is not for fornication; it is for the Lord and the Lord is for the body. 14In fact, God has raised the Lord up and will also raise us up by his power. 15Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ? Then should I take Christ’s members and make them members of a prostitute? Hardly. 16Or don’t you understand that someone who is involved with a prostitute forms one body? God does say, “the two will be in one body.” 17But the one who is involved with the Lord is one spirit. 18Run from fornication. Every sin that a person does is outside his body, but the one who commits fornication sins against his own body. 19Or don’t you know that your members are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you and whom you have from God, and that you aren’t yours? 20No, you were bought, at great cost. In your bodies glorify and carry God.

1 Corinthians 7 1And now, the things you wrote me about. It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2However, with prostitution nearby, each man should hold to his wife and each woman to her husband. 3A husband should provide his wife what is due, and a wife likewise to her husband. 4A wife doesn’t have this choice about her body; her husband does. Likewise a husband doesn’t have this choice about his body; his wife does. 5Don’t deprive each other, except maybe to be available for prayer for an agreed time, but then return to each other so that Satan doesn’t tempt you by some unrestraint of yours.

6Now I’ll be saying this next thing from kindness, not by command. 7(Sure, I’d like you all to be like I am, but each person has his particular gift from God—one this way, another that way.) 8I’m addressing the unmarried and widows: it’s good for them if they would continue that way, the same way I do; 9but if they aren’t controlling themselves, then they should marry, because it’s better to marry than to be set on fire. 10But now, to those who did get married, I instruct the wife (but the Lord does first) not to leave her husband, 11but if she does leave, to remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And this husband shouldn’t divorce the wife.

12Now I (not the Lord) am talking to some others of you. If any brother still has a non-believing wife, and she is agreeing to stay with him, he shouldn’t divorce her. 13And if a believing woman still has a non-believing husband, and he’s agreeing to stay with her, she shouldn’t divorce the husband. 14You see, a non-believing husband has been consecrated by the believing wife, and a non-believing wife has been consecrated by the believing husband. Otherwise your children would have been unclean, but as it is, they were consecrated. 15(But if the non-believer leaves, let them, because in that case the brother or sister isn’t responsible; indeed, God called us in peace.) 16In fact, wife, who says you won’t save your husband? Or husband, who says you won’t save your wife?

17Each person should only go by what the Lord arranged for him, by the way God called him, and by what I teach in all the churches. 18Was a man called when already circumcised? He shouldn’t arrange a foreskin. Was the man called with a foreskin? He shouldn’t be circumcised. 19Circumcision is nothing and a foreskin is nothing, but keeping God’s commands is the thing. 20Each person should continue in the state in which he was called. 21Were you called while a slave? Don’t let that concern you, but if you are able to be freed, you make better use of that. 22You see, whoever was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s free man. Likewise whoever was called while free is Christ’s slave; 23you were bought in a ransom; don’t become slaves of humans. 24Brothers, each person should continue with God in whatever state he was called.

25Now regarding virgins, I don’t have a commandment of the Lord, but to be faithful as someone who has followed the Lord’s mercy, I do give my advice. 26Well then, I think this is good for the current need, that it’s good for a person to be as follows. 27Are you bound to a wife? Don’t try to be unbound. Have you been released from a wife? Don’t look for a wife. 28If you do take a wife, though, you haven’t sinned; and if a girl marries, she hasn’t sinned. Nevertheless, people who do will take on physical distress. In contrast, I’m being easy on you. 29So, brothers, I’ll put it this way. Time is running out. In what is left, even those with wives should be as if they had none, 30those who weep as if they weren’t weeping, those who rejoice as if they weren’t rejoicing, those who buy as if they didn’t own, 31and those who make use of this world as if they weren’t using it. You see, the form of this world is changing, 32and I don’t want you to be anxious. Someone without a wife is anxious over matters of the Lord, how to please God; 33but someone with a wife is anxious over worldly things, how to please his wife, and he’s torn. 34And the unmarried woman or girl considers matters of the Lord, so as to be holy in body and spirit; but a married one considers things of the world, how to please her husband. 35I’m only saying this for your benefit (not to throw a net over you), as something respectable that may represent an opportunity to appeal to the Lord, without baggage. 36But if any father thinks he’ll appear shamed about his eligible daughter, since she’s of age so that it’s proper to do, let him do what he decides; he isn’t sinning if she marries. 37Certainly a man who has resolved it in his heart and decides to keep his daughter is doing well if he is firm in his heart, under no compulsion, using the power of his will. 38So then, the man who gives his daughter in marriage does well, and the one who doesn’t give her does better.

39Finally, a wife was legally obliged for as long as her husband was alive, but when her husband dies, she’s been set free; she can marry anyone she wants, but just in the Lord. 40But she’ll be happier if she continues as she is, following my advice. But I think I do know God’s Spirit.

1 Corinthians 8 1Now about things sacrificed to idols. We know that we all have some knowledge. Knowledge does puff up; love, however, builds up. 2If anyone supposes he knows anything, he hasn’t yet learned the right way to know. 3But whether someone loves God was known by God. 4Well then, about foods that are offered to idols, we do know that to the pure an idol is nothing and that no one is God but the one God. 5Now although there are things in heaven or earth called gods (whether there really are many gods and many lords), 6still for us there is one God, the Father, from whom everything exists and for whom we exist; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom everything exists, and through whom we exist. 7But there isn’t this knowledge in everyone. Instead, some who have a continuing awareness of some idol are eating the food as if it were dedicated to that idol; but since their conscience is unstable, it gets violated. 8Well, food doesn’t commend us to God. I mean, we won’t get more from him if we eat, or less if we don’t eat. 9On the other hand, make sure that such freedom of yours doesn’t become for the weak ones something that might make them fall. 10For example, if one of them sees someone with this “knowledge” at a meal in an idol’s temple, won’t his conscience, since it’s unstable, be encouraged toward eating such things as sacrifices to an idol? 11Then a weak brother for whom Christ died will be lost through this “knowledge” of yours. 12Indeed, when you sin this way against brothers and wound their weak consciences, you’re sinning against Christ. 13Because of this, if meat is making my brother fall, I will never eat meat, so that I won’t make my brother fall.

1 Corinthians 9 1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Didn’t I see Christ Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you my achievement in the Lord? 2And if I’m not an apostle to others, I still am the apostle to you. In fact, you’re the sign of my apostleship in the Lord. 3My defense before those questioning me is the following. 4Don’t I have a right to eat and to drink? 5Don’t I have as much right to bring a woman, a sister, along, as the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas do? 6Or is it only I and Barnabas that don’t have the right to do this? 7Who ever serves in the military at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard but doesn’t eat any of its fruit? Who grazes a flock but doesn’t have some of the flock’s milk? 8Am I giving these examples for human advantage, or doesn’t the law say this too? 9Yes, it was written down in Moses’ law, “You shall not muzzle the mouth of an ox trampling the grain.” Does God care about oxen? 10Or isn’t he really saying this for our sakes? Yes, these things have been written for our sakes, because the plower should plow and the thresher should thresh in the hope of getting some grain. 11If I produced spiritual things for you, is it a major issue if I harvest your physical things? 12If others take part in this right toward you, why shouldn’t I even more? But in fact, I haven’t made use of this right; instead I am supplying everything myself so that I won’t be creating any obstacle to the gospel of Christ. 13Don’t you know that those working in the holy place eat things that are from the holy place, and those who serve at the altar share in the altar? 14In the same way the Lord arranged for those preaching the gospel to live off the gospel. 15But I haven’t taken advantage of any such things, nor have I been writing any of this so that things like that would be done for me. In fact, it’s better for me to die than to have anyone set my ambition aside. 16You see, if I preach the gospel, it’s no reflection on me, since there is an urgency pressing on me. I mean, shame on me if I don’t preach it! 17True, I get a reward if I do it willingly, but even against my will, a responsibility was still committed to me. 18So that motive of mine when in preaching the gospel I deliver it without charge, is that I not misuse my right under the gospel. 19For instance, although I was independent of everyone, I made myself everyone’s slave, so that I could win more of them. 20For Jews I was fashioned as a Jew, so I could win the Jews. 21For those under the law I became as if I were under the law (though I wasn’t under the law), so I could win those under the law. For those lacking the law, I became as if I were lacking the law (though I wasn’t without God’s law, being in Christ’s law), so I could win those lacking the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so I could win the weak. I became everything to everyone, so that I could save them all. 23Yes, I do everything for the gospel’s sake, so that I can finish as a partner in it. 24Don’t you see that all those running in a race do run, but that it is just one who receives the prize? Run in such a way that you can lay hold of that. 25In addition, everyone who competes in a contest will refrain from all kinds of things. Of course, they’re doing so to get a corruptible crown, but we do it for an incorruptible one. 26So I don’t run as if it were for something undecided. I don’t fight like someone punching the air. 27No, I confine my body and bring it into subjection, so that after I’ve preached to others, I won’t possibly prove to be rejected myself.

1 Corinthians 10 1For example, brothers, I don’t want you to disregard the fact that our fathers were all under the cloud, and they all crossed through the sea; 2and they were all baptized in Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3and they all ate the same spiritual food, 4and they all drank the same spiritual drink (well, they were drinking from a spiritual rock accompanying them, and the rock was Christ). 5Yes, but God wasn’t very happy with most of them, since they were struck down in the desert. 6And what happened with them was a sketch for us, so that we wouldn’t go after bad things the way they did, 7or become idolaters the way some of them did, (as was written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to play around”), 8or fornicate, the way some of them did (and twenty-three thousand died in one day), 9or test Christ, the way some of them did (and were then killed by snakes), 10or grumble, the way some of them did (and then died by an exterminator). 11Yes, all these things happened to them like a diagram and were written down for the correction of us, whom the goal of the world has come to. 12Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing, should see to it that he doesn’t fall. 13A temptation wouldn’t take hold of you if it weren’t something human. But God is trustworthy and won’t let you be tempted beyond your strength. Instead he’ll also fashion a good outcome alongside the temptation, so that you can endure it.

14For that reason, my dears, leave the idol culture behind. 15I’m speaking the way I would to wise people. Judge what I’m saying for yourselves. 16Isn’t the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing of Christ’s blood? And isn’t the bread we break a sharing of the Lord’s body? 17Then the many, all of us who share in the one bread, are one bread, one body. 18Consider the physical Israel. Aren’t those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19What then? Am I saying that what was offered to idols is anything or that an idol is anything? 20No, rather: the Gentiles sacrifice the things they do to demons and not to God. Well, I don’t want you to become the partners of demons. 21You can’t drink the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons too; you can’t be partners in the Lord’s table and in the table of demons too. 22Are we in some contest with the Lord? Well, are we stronger than he is? “Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. 23“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is constructive. 24No one should meditate so much on his own concerns, but on the other person’s. 25Eat whatever shows up in the market, asking no questions for the sake of your conscience. 26“The earth and its abundance belong to the Lord.” 27If a non-believer invites you and you’re willing to go, eat anything that is served to you, asking no questions for the sake of your conscience. 28But if anyone says, “This was sacrificed to idols,” don’t eat any of it, for the sake of the one who pointed it out and for conscience’ sake—29I mean, the other person’s conscience, not yours (after all, in what way is my liberty decided by someone else’s conscience; 30if I partake with thanksgiving, why am I spoken evil of, for something I give thanks for?). 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever else you do, do everything for God’s glory. 32To Jews, Gentiles, and to God’s church be blameless, 33the same way I please everyone by means of everything, going after what is helpful (not to me but to many) for them to be saved. 1Be followers of me, the way I am of Christ.

1 Corinthians 11 2I do praise you though, brothers, because in the course of everything you remember me and hold to my directions the way I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, while the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered up disgraces his head. 5On the other hand, every woman praying or prophesying without her head covered disgraces her head, because it’s just as if her hair were cut off. 6Actually, if a woman isn’t covered, let her be close-cropped. All right then, if it’s disgraceful to the woman to be close-cropped or made bald, she should cover up her head. 7Of course a man shouldn’t cover his head, because he is God’s image and glory, while a woman is the glory of her husband. 8After all, man is not from woman; woman is from man, 9since man wasn’t created for woman but woman for man. 10Therefore a woman ought to have control (next to angels) over her head. 11Nevertheless, in the Lord a man is not without the Woman and a woman is not without the Man. 12That is, the same way woman is derived from man, the Man is through the Woman; but everything is from God. 13You judge: is it proper for a woman to pray to God uncovered? 14Doesn’t nature itself show you that if a man tends to his hair, it’s a dishonor for him, 15but that if a woman tends to her hair, it’s a glory for her (since hair was given to her as a covering)? 16In any case, if anyone seems quarrelsome, we don’t have such a custom and neither does God’s church.

17However, I do not praise you in informing you that you are meeting together for the worse, not the better. 18First, for example, I hear that when you come together in church, there are divisions among you (and I believe it in one way 19because there even need to be some factions, in order that those who were approved of can become evident also to you). 20As I was saying, when you come together to a place, it is no longer to eat the Lord’s Supper, 21because each person is anticipating eating a supper of his own while someone else is quite hungry and someone else is drunk. 22Don’t you have your homes to eat and drink in? Or at the least, aren’t you disregarding God’s church and disturbing those who don’t have something? What shall I tell you? That I praise you? No, I don’t praise you in this matter. 23After all, I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread 24and, after giving thanks, broke it and said, “Take this and eat it; it is my body, which will be surrendered for you. Do this for remembering me.” 25After he ate, he took the cup in a similar way and said, “This cup is the new testament in my blood. Do this whenever you drink it, for remembering me.” 26Yes, whenever you eat this bread and drink the cup, you will be making the Lord’s death known until he comes. 27And so, whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup improperly will be answerable for the Lord’s body and blood. 28But a person should examine himself, and in that way eat that bread and drink from the cup. 29Yes, someone who eats and drinks improperly is eating and drinking a judgment for himself by not perceiving the Lord’s body. 30That is why there are many sick and weak people among you, and many are falling asleep. 31But if we would examine ourselves, we wouldn’t be getting judged. 32Still, while we are being judged, we’re getting scolded by the Lord, in order that we won’t be condemned with this world. 33And so, my brothers, when you gather for the eating, wait for each other. 34If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that you won’t be gathering for a judgment. But I’ll dispose of the other matters when I come.

1 Corinthians 12 1Now, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant of some spiritual things. 2You know that when you were going on as Gentiles, you were being led to speechless idols. 3That is why I’m letting you know that no one speaking under God’s Spirit declares a curse on Jesus, and that no one can say “Lord Jesus,” except under the Holy Spirit. 4In particular, there are distributions of graces but the same Spirit, 5there are distributions of services but the same Lord, 6and there are distributions of labors but the same God, who is engaged in it all in everyone. 7And a revealing of the Spirit is given to each person for him to make use of. 8For instance, a wise remark is given by the Spirit to one, but some knowledgeable discussion is given to another by the will of the same Spirit. 9Faith is given to someone in the same Spirit, a healing gift to another in the one Spirit, 10an exercising of strength to another, prophecy to another, a distinguishing of spirits to another, different languages to another, and language interpretation to another. 11But the one same Spirit operates all these things, distributing to each person as he intends. 12For example, a body is single but has many members, and all the members of the body, though they’re many, are still one body. Christ is this way too, 13namely, in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews, Gentiles, slave, or free, and we were all “drunk” on the one Spirit.

14As another example, a body isn’t one member but many. 15If a foot were to say, “Since I’m not a hand, I don’t belong to the body,” would it not belong to the body for that reason? 16And if the ear were to say, “Since I’m not an eye, I don’t belong to the body,” would it not belong to the body for that reason? 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were the sense of hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God has placed each of the members in the body the way he intended. 19And if they all were one member, where would the body be? 20No, as it is, there certainly are many members, but it is one body. 21An eye can’t say to a hand, “I don’t need your help,” and the head can’t say to the feet, “You aren’t necessary to me.” 22But in fact, members of the body that seem to be the weaker ones are much more necessary; 23and we surround the body’s members that we suppose are less decent with greater dignity; and our unpresentable ones take greater consideration, 24while our presentable ones don’t need that. Yes, God arranged the body for greater honor to be given to one that was lacking, 25so there wouldn’t be division in the body, but the members would be completely concerned for each other. 26If one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with it, or if one member takes pride, all the members are happy for it. 27Well, you are Christ’s body and his members, each a member. 28And God did arrange certain people in the church: first apostles, second prophets, then teachers, next miracle workers, then healing servants, assistants, directors, different language speakers, and interpreters of languages. 29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? 30Are all miracle workers? Do all have the grace to heal? Do all speak in other languages? Do all interpret? 31You’re striving for the better gifts, but I have yet to point out the superior path for you.

1 Corinthians 13 1If I spoke in human and angelic languages but didn’t have love, I would become like a noisy cymbal or a jingling bell. 2If I had prophetic ability and understood all sorts of mysteries and all sorts of knowledge, and if I had a full faith, so that I could move mountains, but didn’t have love, I would be nothing. 3If I distributed all my wealth in support of the poor and handed my body over to be burned, but didn’t have love, it would do me no good. 4Love is patient and friendly. Love doesn’t envy or act falsely, isn’t puffed up 5or after honor, doesn’t demand its rights or get irritated, doesn’t think of evil 6or rejoice in injustice but rejoices in truth. 7Love bears everything, believes everything, awaits everything, supports everything. 8Love never does pass away, even if prophecies will be set aside, languages will give way, or knowledge will be dismantled. 9We do know partially and we do prophesy partially, 10but when what is perfect comes about, what is partial will be set aside. 11When I was a child, I was talking like a child, understanding like a child, and thinking like a child. But when I became a man, I laid the things of a child aside. 12At present we are seeing by a mysterious reflector, but then we will see face to face. Now I know partially, but then I will know in the way I’ve been known. 13At present, though, three things do persist—faith, hope, and love—but love is the greatest of them.

1 Corinthians 14 1Keep following love, strive for spiritual gifts, but prefer to prophesy, 2because someone speaking in another language is talking to God, not people (I mean, no one pays attention; still, he is uttering mysteries by the Spirit). 3On the other hand, someone who prophesies speaks to people for their improvement, encouragement, and consolation. 4The person speaking in another language improves himself, but the one who prophesies improves God’s church. 5I would like you all to speak in other languages, but would prefer that you prophesy, since one who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in other languages (unless he does interpret it, so that the church can get some instruction). 6But normally, brothers, if I come to you speaking in other languages, how will I be benefiting you if I don’t tell you something in the way of revelation, knowledge, prophecy, or doctrine? 7Even when lifeless things (like a flute or harp) make a sound, how will what is being played or strummed be realized unless they give distinct sounds? 8For example, if a trumpet produced a hesitant sound, who would get himself ready for battle? 9In the same way, if you don’t produce clear communication with your tongue, how will what you said be realized? I mean, you would be talking to the air. 10There are, for example, so many kinds of languages in this world, and none is without its manner of speaking. 11So if I’m not acquainted with the character of that speech, I will be foreign to any such person I’m talking to, and he’ll be foreign to me as he talks. 12Since you’re so eager for spiritual gifts, strive to be rich at instructing the church too. 13Therefore someone who speaks in another language should pray that he may interpret it. 14Actually, if I pray in another language, my spirit is praying but my mind goes without a benefit. 15What is the solution then? I’m going to pray with the spirit, and I’m going to pray with the mind too. I’m going to sing with the spirit, and I’m going to sing with my understanding too. 16Or, if you say a blessing by the Spirit, how will someone who fits the description of a “newcomer” say “Amen” to your blessing, since he doesn’t realize that you are blessing? 17Sure, you’re giving thanks just fine, but the other person doesn’t get improved. 18I thank my God that I talk the language of all of you. 19But in church I would rather say five words with my understanding—so I can instruct others too—than ten thousand words in another language. 20Brothers, don’t prove to be youngsters in understanding (be infants about evil though), but become mature in understanding. 21In the law it was written, “I will speak to this people by other languages and other lips, but even so they won’t hear me, says the Lord.” 22It follows that other languages serve as a bad omen to non-believers, not believers. But prophecies are for the believing, not for disbelievers. 23So if the whole church assembled in some place, and everyone were speaking in other languages, but then some newcomers or non-believers came in, wouldn’t they say you’re crazy? 24But if everyone were prophesying and a certain non-believer or newcomer came in, he gets exposed by everyone and distinguished from everyone; 25his heart’s secrets become evident, and so, falling face-down, he will worship God, affirming that God really is among you.

26How does it stand, brothers? When you assemble, each of you is uttering some psalm, some principle, a revelation, another language, or an interpretation; let them all happen, but for betterment. 27If anyone is speaking in another language, have it be by two or three at the most, each in turn, and have someone interpret. 28If there is no interpreter, however, have them keep quiet in church and just talk to themselves and to God. 29Also, let two or three prophets speak, and let the rest weigh it; 30if something gets revealed to another prophet sitting there, though, let the first one go silent. 31I mean, you can all prophesy in turn, so that everyone can learn and everyone can be encouraged, 32but prophets’ spirits are subject to prophets, 33since God is the God of peace, not discord, as I teach in all the churches of the saints. 34Have women keep quiet in the assemblies, since they aren’t allowed to speak; they’re to be subordinate, as the law also says. 35But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. Really, it’s disgraceful for a woman to speak up in church. 36Or did God’s word come out from you? Or did it come to you alone? 37If anyone seems to be a prophet or spiritual, he should recognize that the things I’m writing you are commands of the Lord. 38But if anyone ignores them, he will be ignored. 39In summary, brothers, be eager to prophesy, don’t forbid speaking in other languages, 40but let everything be done properly and in order.

1 Corinthians 15 1And now, brothers, let me make the gospel I announced to you better known to you. You did accept it, do stand in it, 2and get saved by it if you hold onto it in the form I preached it to you (unless you believed to no effect). 3Namely, I handed on to you above all what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in agreement with the scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he rose up on the third day, matching the scriptures, 5and that he was seen by Cephas and, after that, by the eleven. 6Then he was seen by more than five hundred brothers at once, many of whom continue up to the present, while some have fallen asleep. 7After that he was seen by James and then by all the apostles. 8And last of all he was also seen by me, a miscarriage, so to speak. 9After all, I’m the least of the apostles, and don’t deserve to be called an apostle, since I persecuted God’s church. 10But by God’s favor, I am what I am, and his grace to me didn’t sit idle. No, I’ve worked harder than all of them (though it wasn’t I, but God’s grace with me). 11Whether it was I or they, we preach the same, and you believed it.

12All right, if it was preached that Christ rose from the dead, how are some of you saying that there isn’t a resurrection of the dead? 13Well, if there isn’t a resurrection of the dead, then Christ didn’t rise either. 14And if Christ didn’t rise, then our preaching is worthless and your faith is worthless too. 15Yes, and we would be found to be false witnesses about God because we testified to God’s face that he did raise Christ, whom he couldn’t have raised if the dead don’t rise. 16No, if the dead don’t rise, Christ didn’t rise either. 17And if Christ didn’t rise, then your faith is a delusion (in fact, you’re still in your sins), 18and also, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have been destroyed. 19If we are awaiting Christ merely in relation to this life, we’re the most pitiful of all people. 20But as it is, Christ did rise from the dead, the first-fruits of those sleeping. 21Since death did come by a man, the resurrection of the dead came by a man too. 22Just as everyone dies in Adam, everyone will be made alive in Christ. 23But each one will have his own turn: the first-fruits, Christ, then those who belong to Christ (who believed that he did come), 24and then the end, when he will have handed the kingdom over to God and the Father, after he has laid every sort of ruler, authority, and strength aside. 25But Christ does have to rule until God has put all such enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy, death, will also be destroyed, because “He has put everything under his feet.” But when it says that 27everything was put under him, of course the one who put everything under him isn’t included. 28Once everything does get subjected to the Son, then he himself will also be subject to the one who put everything under him, in order for God to be everything in relation to everything. 29No, if the dead don’t rise at all, what shall those being baptized in the presence of the dead suppose? Why are they even being baptized in their presence? 30Why else am I in danger all the time? 31Brothers, I die every day for the sake of your pride in Christ Jesus our Lord that I carry. 32If the dead don’t rise, what good does it do me that I fought with human “beasts” at Ephesus? Shall we just eat and drink, since tomorrow we’ll die? 33(Don’t get misled; bad conversations corrupt good behavior; 34wake up, you upright, and don’t sin, because some people hold onto an ignorance of God; I tell you this with due respect.)

35But someone will say, “How do the dead rise?” or “What kind of body will they come with?” 36Thoughtless one, the thing you sow doesn’t come to life unless it dies first. 37And that thing you sow? You aren’t sowing the body that’s going to exist, just a simple seed, like of wheat, say, or something else. 38But then God gives it the kind of body he intends, a particular body for each of the seeds. 39All bodies are not the same; one is the body of humans, another of animals, another of birds, and another of fish. 40There are also heavenly bodies and bodies of the earth, but a heavenly body’s glory is one sort and an earthly body’s is another. 41The sun’s brightness is one kind, the moon’s is another, and the stars’ light is another. For instance, one star differs from another one in brightness. 42The resurrection of the dead is like that too. The body gets planted in corruptibility; it will rise in incorruptibility. 43It gets planted in obscurity; it will rise in glory. It’s planted in weakness; it will rise in power. 44It’s planted as a soul’s body; it will rise as the spirit’s body. If there is a soul’s body, there is also a spiritual body, as was written, 45“The first man Adam was made into a living soul.” The last Adam was made into a life-restoring spirit. 46But what is the soul’s is first, not what is the spirit’s, which is afterward. 47The first man was derived from earth, earthly; the second man was from heaven, heavenly. 48Earthly people are like that earthly man; heavenly people are like that heavenly man. 49So then, the same way we’ve carried the earthly one’s image, we can also carry the heavenly one’s image.

50Yes, brothers, I am saying, that flesh and blood aren’t able to inhabit God’s kingdom, and corruptibility won’t take possession of incorruptibility. 51Here, I’m telling you a mystery. We all will rise (though we won’t all be changed) 52in a movement, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. Yes, the trumpet will blow, and the dead will rise up incorruptible. However, we will be transformed, 53since this corruptibility of ours will have to take on an incorruptibility, and this mortality of ours will have to take on an immortality. 54And when this mortality has put on immortality, the saying that was written will come true: “Death was swallowed up in the victory.” 55“Where is your victory, Death; where is your sting, Death?” 56Well, death’s sting is sin; in fact the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gave us the victory at the hands of our Lord Jesus Christ! 58And so, my dear brothers, be steady and immovable, always rich in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not pointless.

1 Corinthians 16 1Regarding the contributions that are being made for the saints, do the same as I arranged with the Galatian churches. 2That is, on the first day of the week each of you should set aside and hide nearby what seems best to him, so that the contributions won’t be made just when I arrive. 3Then when I’m with you, I’ll send the people you approve, with letters, to carry your gift to Jerusalem; 4and if it’s suitable for me to go too, they will go with me. 5(And I will come to you once I’ve passed through Macedonia, since I will be passing through Macedonia.) 6But maybe I’ll be staying with you or even spending the winter, and then you can send me off to wherever I go after that. 7Really, I don’t want to see you just passing through, since I hope to stay with you for some time, if the Lord allows it. 8But I will be staying at Ephesus until Pentecost, 9because a big, obvious door has opened up for me, along with many opponents. 10Now if Timothy comes, see that he can be with you with no anxiety, because he is working for the Lord, the same way I do. 11So no one should scorn him; send him along in peace so he can come to me, since the brothers and I are waiting for him. 12As for our brother Apollo, I’ll have you know that I kept begging him to come to you with some brothers, but that it wasn’t at all his will to come at this time. But he’ll come when he has some time free.

13Be alert, stand firm in faith, carry on boldly, and be bolstered. 14Everything of yours should be done in love. 15Also brothers, you know how the household of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus are the first-fruits of Achaia and have dedicated themselves to serving the saints; 16I beg you to be subordinate also to such people and to everyone who works and labors with them. 17I’m glad here in the presence of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus because they have filled in for your absence; 18that is, they refreshed my spirit with yours. So appreciate any who are like that. 19The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla especially greet you in the Lord, along with the church at their house, with whom I too am lodging. 20All the brothers greet you. Greet each other in a holy kiss. 21Here’s the greeting of me, Paul, in my own handwriting. 22If someone doesn’t love our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be cursed. Our Lord is coming. 23The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

2 Corinthians 1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother. To God’s church at Corinth and all the saints all over Achaia. 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all consolation be praised; 4he comforts me in all my trouble, so that I too can be able to console those who are in any kind of distress by way of the encouragement that God encourages me by. 5Yes, my reassurance is rich through Christ, the same as Christ’s sufferings are also rich in me. 6If I am getting oppressed, it is for your encouragement and well-being; or if I am being relieved, it is for your alleviation; or if I am being encouraged, it is for your stimulation and vigor, which work out an enduring by you of the same kind of sufferings I’m suffering. 7This way, my hope for you can be firm, knowing that, as you are partners in these sufferings, you will also be partners in the consolation. 8You see, brothers, I don’t want you to misunderstand about the trouble that happened to me in Asia, in how I got weighed down far beyond my strength, to the point that it was even getting wearisome for me to go on living. 9But I had in myself the answer for death: that I shouldn’t be trusting myself, but God, who raises the dead. 10He did rescue me and does dig me out from such great dangers. And I trust that he will still rescue me 11by your helping with prayer for me, so that on account of me many can give thanks over this donation that is with me due to many. 12My boast is this testimony of my conscience: that in this world (and even more toward you) I’ve lived life in an openness of heart and in purity and service toward God, not in bodily wisdom.

13Really, I’m not writing you any things different from those you did read and learn. And I hope you will know me to the end (on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ) the same way you’ve partly seen me: 14that I am your pride, as you are mine. 15In this confidence I meant to come to you sooner (so you could have additional reason for pride), 16to pass by way of you to Macedonia, then come back to you from Macedonia, and then to be sent on my way to Judea by you. 17After I intended that, did I then practice a fickleness? Do I plan the things I plan in a bodily way, so that there could be a Yes and a No in my mind? 18Well, God is faithful, because my message to you wasn’t “Yes but No.” 19No, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us (by me, Sylvanus, and Timothy), was not a Yes and No; in him it was the Yes. 20Indeed, all God’s promises are Yes in him, and so, through him, also Amen to God, to my honor. 21And God is the one who makes me bold with you in Christ, and who anointed me, 22marked me, and has paid out in my heart the deposit of the Spirit. 23But I call God as a witness about my soul, that it is for sparing you that I have not come past Corinth. Not that I’m lord over your faith; I’m a helper of your joy. After all, you do stand firm in faith.

2 Corinthians 2 1But I determined to myself not to return to you in sternness, 2since if I discourage you, then who is there that can make me glad except the one who is getting discouraged because of me? 3And I wrote this very thing to you, so that when I came I wouldn’t have sadness on top of sadness about people I should have been rejoicing in, since I have the confidence in all of you that my joy is the joy of all of you. 4I did write you out of plenty of affliction and heartache, with many tears, not for you to get discouraged but so you could know how full a love I have for you. 5If anyone has caused grief, he only partly grieved me, and so, I won’t be weighing all of you down. 6This rebuke that comes from many is sufficient for such a person, 7so that now you should be forgiving him and reassuring him instead, in case he might get swallowed up in an excessive discouragement. 8Because of this, I beg you to bolster your love for him. 9You see, I also wrote to find out about this testing of you—whether you’re obedient in everything. 10I too have pardoned anyone you pardoned for anything. On the other hand, if I pardoned anything, I did so for you on behalf of Christ, 11so that we won’t get surrounded by Satan; no, we aren’t unacquainted with his designs.

12After I arrived at Troas for the gospel of Christ and a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13I had no rest for my spirit because I didn’t find my brother Titus. I told them goodbye and went into Macedonia. 14Now thanks be to God, who always leads me in triumph in Christ Jesus and is exhibiting his fame’s fragrance through me in every place. 15Yes, I am the good odor of Christ to God among those being saved, but also among those who are being lost; 16to the one it is death’s odor toward death, but to the other it is life’s odor toward life. And who is as capable for these things as I am? 17No, I’m not like many who counterfeit God’s word; I speak from integrity, as from God, before God, in Christ.

2 Corinthians 3 1Am I starting to recommend myself again? Or do I, like some, need letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2You are my letter, written on my heart, that is getting known and read by all sorts of people. 3It has been made public that you are the letter of Christ, supplied by me and written by the Spirit of the living God, not with ink or on stone slabs, but on the bodily slabs of the heart. 4I have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ. 5Not that I’m adequate to intend anything by myself, as if from me; my adequacy is from God, 6who also has made me be a capable servant of the new testament, in the Spirit, not the letter. No, the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. 7If the ministry of death (now set aside), scratched as letters on stones, was so glorious that the children of Israel couldn’t turn toward Moses’ face because of the brightness of his features, 8how wouldn’t the ministry of the Spirit be more glorious? 9If the ministry of condemning is a glorious thing, the ministry of rightness is much more rich in glory. 10What did shine to a degree wasn’t emphasized, in view of a superior glory. 11If what gets canceled had some glory the whole time, what is lasting is much more glorious. 12With such hope, then, I adopt a great confidence, 13unlike how Moses kept putting a veil over his face, so the children of Israel wouldn’t focus on the appearance of something that would be set aside. 14But as it was, their senses got dulled. In fact, to this day that same veil, during the reading of the old testament, remains unremoved (whereas in Christ it is set aside). 15Up to this day, I say, when Moses is read, the veil has been laid over their hearts. 16However, when they’re converted to the Lord, the veil will be removed. 17The Spirit is Lord, but there is frankness where the Lord’s Spirit is. 18In fact, as we all observe the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, we’re being transformed into the same likeness, from the splendor into a splendor, as if by the Lord’s Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4 1For that reason, and having held this ministry since right after I obtained mercy, I don’t desert. 2No, I renounce the secrets of pretense, not going around in shrewdness or counterfeiting God’s word, but commending myself by showing the truth clearly to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And if my gospel is also secret, it’s secret to those who are being lost, 4whose disbelieving minds the god of this world has blinded, to keep the glorious light of the gospel of Christ (who is God’s image) from shining for them. 5I don’t proclaim myself; I proclaim Jesus Christ our Lord (and myself as your servant for the sake of Jesus), 6because God, who told the light to start shining out of the dark, shined in my heart from an experience of God’s splendid illumination on Christ Jesus’ face. 7But I hold this treasure in a clay pot, so that its magnificence will be that of God’s power, not mine. 8In everything, I endure trouble but am not distressed. I am uncertain but not abandoned. 9I suffer persecution but am not deserted. I am thrown down but I don’t die, 10always carrying Jesus’ death around in my body, so Jesus’ life can also be evident in my body. 11That is, I who am still alive am always being given over toward death for Jesus, so that Jesus’ life can also be revealed in my mortal body. 12So then death is operating in me, while life is operating in you. 13And with the same spirit of faith that was written down—“I believed and spoke up for that reason”—I too believe and so speak up, 14aware that the one who raised Jesus will also raise me with Jesus and establish me along with you. 15Yes, everything is for your sakes, so that grace, rich in thanksgiving through many people, can flow over to God’s glory. 16Because of that, I don’t droop; even if my outer self is getting degraded, the inner one gets renewed from one day to the next. 17In fact, what there is of my trouble is momentary and light and is bringing about within me an endless weight of glory, beyond limit in its grandeur, 18since I’m considering invisible things, not the visible ones. Really, visible things are temporary, but the invisible ones are everlasting.

2 Corinthians 5 1For example, I know that if my earthly home, this residence, gets dismantled, I have a building from God, an eternal home in the heavens, not hand-made. 2Actually, even in this one I sigh, longing for my heavenly house to enfold me, 3if only to be found covered, not naked. 4I who am weighed down in this “tent” do sigh, because I want to be, not disrobed, but dressed way up, so what is mortal can be swallowed up by life. 5And God is the one who does form me for that very thing and paid out the deposit of the Spirit to me. 6So, being ever confident, though aware I’m away from the Lord while I’m in the body 7(since we’re going by faith, not sight), 8I am, yes, confident, but I do have an honest greater inclination to be away from the body and near the Lord in person. 9Because of that, whether absent or present, I work at pleasing him. 10We all do have to be displayed in front of Christ’s judgment seat, so that each can answer for his particular bodily things, good or bad, according to how he managed them. 11Understanding this fear of the Lord, I do persuade people. I, however, was displayed to God; and I hope I’ve been displayed in your consciences too. 12I’m not commending myself to you over again, just giving you a chance to take pride in me, so you can have something to answer those who take pride in appearance, not in the heart. 13Yes, if I’m beside myself, it is for God, or if I’m reasonable, it is for you. 14Christ’s love forces me to figure that if one died for all, then all died, 15and that Christ died for all, so that those who live on wouldn’t live for themselves anymore, but for the one who died for them and rose up. 16Consequently I haven’t considered any of them physically anymore. If I did consider Christ physically, I no longer do. 17So if anyone is a new creature in Christ, the old things have been transformed; see, everything has become new. 18But everything is from God, who reconciled me to himself by Christ and gave me the office of reconciliation. 19Since God really was in Christ, winning the world back over to himself and not recounting their offenses to them, he has also laid the message of this restoration on me. 20And so I function as an ambassador for Christ, with God virtually appealing through me. In place of Christ, I do beg you to be reconciled to God. 21God made him who wasn’t sin, sin in place of us, so that in him we could become formed in God’s justice.

2 Corinthians 6 1As an assistance now, I encourage you not to recover this grace of God for nothing, 2because he says, “I heard you at the acceptable time, and I helped you on salvation’s day.” See here, the acceptable time is now; see, salvation’s day is now. 3Not to give anyone offense (not to have my ministry blamed), 4nevertheless let me now exhibit myself as a servant of God in all sorts of ways: in great patience, under troubles, under compulsions, in scarcity, 5under wounds, in prisons, in mobs, under labors, on watch, in fasting, 6in chastity, in knowledge, in forbearance, in agreeableness, in the Holy Spirit, in uncontrived love, 7in expressing truth, in God’s power, by the armor of justice, on the right side and the left, 8by fame and obscurity, by bad reputation and good reputation, as misleading even if truthful, as someone unfamiliar but recognized, 9as if dying but see how I live on, as punished but not killed, 10as if sad but always rejoicing, as if in need but enriching many, as if having nothing but owning everything. 11My mouth is open toward you, Corinthians; my heart has been widened out. 12You aren’t restricted under me; you are restricted in your own hearts. 13Now to get an equal payback, I say (as if to children): you should be widened too.

14Don’t pull a yoke alongside non-believers. After all, what does justice share with injustice, or what association is there of light with darkness, 15and what agreement is there of Christ toward Belial, or what does a believer have in common with a non-believer, 16and what harmony is there between God’s temple and idols? Indeed, you are the temple of the living God; as God says, “I will inhabit them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be a people for me.” 17Because of this the Lord says, “Withdraw from among them and be separated…” and “… so you won’t touch an unclean thing,” 18and then “I will receive you and be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 7 1So with that promise, dear ones, we should cleanse ourselves from all kinds of physical and spiritual impurity, becoming completely holy in fear of God. 2Receive me. I haven’t injured anyone. I haven’t corrupted anyone. I haven’t cheated anyone. 3I’m not saying this as a condemnation of you. After all, I said before that you’re in my heart, to die together and to live together. 4My confidence in you is great; my boasting about you is great. I’m full of encouragement. I’m so rich with joy in every trouble of mine. 5For instance, after I got to Macedonia, my body had no rest and I suffered lots of trouble: disputes from outside, fears from within. 6But God, who relieves the humble, relieved me with Titus’ arrival; 7and not just with his arrival: also by the consolation he was consoled with among you, as he brought back to me that desire, crying, and zeal of yours for me, so that I was rejoicing even more. 8Even though I had saddened you by my letter, I don’t regret it. Even though I was sorry to know the letter had made you sad (even for just a while), 9now I’m glad, not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repenting. That is, you were saddened for God, so that you aren’t suffering damage from me in any way. 10In fact, a sadness in line with God works out repentance toward a lasting salvation, but the world’s sadness works out death. 11For instance, notice how much the fact that you were saddened in line with God, works out in you a concern, a defense, an indignation, a fear, a desire, an imitation, and a protection. In every way you’ve shown yourselves to be uncontaminated in the matter. 12So even though I did write you, it wasn’t for the sake of the one who did the wrong or the one who suffered it, but to reveal the concern I have for you 13before God. That’s why I was encouraged. And within my encouragement, I rejoiced even more fully over Titus’ joy, because his spirit was refreshed by all of you. 14And if I had boasted anything about you to him, I didn’t get shown up. The same way I told you everything truthfully, my boasting to Titus proved to be the truth. 15And his heart is more full in relation to you, as he recalls your obedience, how you received him with fear and trembling. 16I’m glad that I can be sure of you in every way.

2 Corinthians 8 1Now, brothers, I’m letting you know the grace of God that was granted among the Macedonian churches—2that their abundant joy was within a lot of troublesome experience, and their very deep poverty flowed over into a wealth of simplicity in them. 3You see, they volunteered within their ability and beyond it (I’ll vouch for them); 4they pleaded with me very earnestly for the privilege of taking part in this service being done for the saints. 5And it wasn’t the way I expected: they offered themselves to the Lord first, and then by God’s will to me. 6And so I asked Titus to complete that same gift from you, just as he had begun it, 7so that you would be rich in this gift the same way you are rich in every respect—in faith, word, knowledge, and thorough concern, as well as in your love toward me. 8I’m not saying this as a requirement, just to confirm the good character of your love through the concern of others. 9After all, you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, how though rich, he became poor for your sakes, for you to be rich by his poverty.

10But let me offer some advice on this (and this is something relevant to you who began a year ago to desire this, not just to do it): 11do now really carry it out in deed too, so that your spirit of goodwill would be as eager to perform as it was to be ready. And do so out of what you have, 12because if the will is ready, it is acceptable in proportion to what the person has, not something he doesn’t have. 13No, not that there should be ease for others while hardship for you, just an evening out. 14At the present time, let your abundance supply their lack, so that their abundance can be a supplement for your lack too, so there can be an evening out, as was written, 15“One with a lot didn’t spill over, and one with less didn’t diminish.” 16Well, thanks be to God, who produced the same care for you in Titus’ heart 17(seeing that he did accept my encouragement); but since he was quite caring, he set out toward you by his own will. 18With him I have also sent the brother whose reputation in the gospel extends to all the churches. 19Besides, this brother was appointed by the churches as a companion in my travels in relation to this gift managed by me for the Lord’s glory and with my determined will; 20this avoids anyone blaming me regarding this wealth I manage. 21You see, I take precautions for these goods in the sight of people, not just God. 22I’ve also sent with them a brother of ours that I’ve repeatedly found conscientious in many ways, but much more now in his great confidence in you. 23 24Well then, show Titus, my companion and fellow laborer for you, and show my brothers sent by the churches (the glory of Christ), evidence, in the sight of the churches, of your love and of my boasting on behalf of you.

2 Corinthians 9 1Actually I’ve been overdoing it to write you about the deed being done for the saints, 2because I know that willing spirit of yours that I boast of around the Macedonians: how Achaia has been ready since last year. And your example has stimulated so many people. 3However, I’ve sent the brothers, so that the thing I boast of about you won’t prove empty in this respect: that you have been ready, just as I said. 4This is so that when the Macedonians arrive with me, I (not to mention you) won’t be embarrassed in this matter if we found you not prepared. 5That is why I thought it necessary to ask the brothers to go to you ahead of time and make this already promised blessing be ready as a blessing, not just a desire. 6But I will say this: whoever plants sparsely will also harvest sparsely; and whoever plants generously will also harvest from the generosity. 7Each one should do as he resolved in his heart, not in sadness or out of necessity, since God loves a cheerful giver. 8Besides, God is able to make all kinds of goodness overflow among you, so that you can flow over into all sorts of good work by always having enough of everything. 9As was written, “He dispersed and gave to the poor; his justice continues forever.” 10The one who delivers seed to the sower will also be assuring you bread to eat, multiplying your seed, and increasing additional results from your justice, 11so that by being made rich in every way, you can overflow into a full openness that brings about a giving of thanks to God through me. 12Yes, this deed of kindness not only supplies the saints with what is lacking; it also overflows before the Lord. It overflows through many thanksgivings 13and through the approval of this deed. It glorifies God in your obedient assent to the gospel of Christ. It glorifies him by the simplicity of your sharing with them and with everyone. 14It glorifies God in the prayer of theirs for you, prayer in favor of you because of the outstanding grace of God in you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.

2 Corinthians 10 1Now by Christ’s mildness and modesty, I Paul myself (who certainly am small in person among you but confident toward you when away) 2beg you that, when present again, I needn’t be bold with that confidence I’m thought to be bold with toward some, who think of me as if I went by a bodily will. 3Though I do go in the body, I’m not militant in a bodily way, 4since the weapons of my warfare aren’t physical. But they are powerful with God for pulling down fortifications, for destroying strategies 5and every height elevating itself against knowledge of God, for driving every intellect back into a captivity for subservience to Christ, 6and for being ready to punish every disobedience even when your obedience has been full. 7Look at things on the face of it: if anyone believes himself to be Christ’s, he should reconsider this: that I am Christ’s too, the same way he is. 8Then too, I wouldn’t be ashamed to boast somewhat further about the power the Lord gave me, for your improvement, not destruction. 9But in case someone thought that I only terrify you by letters 10(because, they say, his letters are certainly serious and bold, but his physical presence is weak and his speech worthless), 11such a person should consider this: that the way I am in word by letters when absent, I will be in deed when present too. 12No, I don’t dare include or rank myself with some who are recommending themselves; no, I’m measuring myself against myself and ranking myself with myself. 13And I won’t boast beyond measure; I’ll line up with the measure of the “ruler” that God has measured me by, a measure that is to reach out even to you. 14I don’t overextend myself, as if I weren’t reaching you. I did reach all the way to you in Christ’s gospel—15not boasting beyond measure (in other men’s labors!) but with the hope of increasing your faith, for it to be enlarged fully (going by my ruler)—16to preach the gospel even to places beyond you and not boast over things that were prepared under someone else’s ruler. 17Well, anyone who boasts should boast about the Lord. 18No, one who commends himself isn’t approved, only one that God commends.

2 Corinthians 11 1If only you would endure a little of my folly, even just to bear me up, 2since I’m jealous for you with God’s jealousy. Yes, I engaged you to one man, to present you to Christ as a chaste virgin. 3But I’m afraid your way of thinking might get corrupted and fall from the simplicity that is in Christ, the same way the snake misled Eve by his cunning. 4I mean, if someone comes and preaches a different Christ, that I never preached, or if you receive a different spirit, that you hadn’t received, or a different gospel, that you hadn’t received, you might well be going along with it. 5Really, I don’t think I’ve done anything less than the great apostles, 6because although I might be unskilled in speech, I’m not unskilled in knowledge, and in every way I was shown to you clearly. 7Or did I commit a sin (humbling myself for you to be exalted) by preaching God’s gospel to you for free? 8I plundered other churches, receiving contributions for the service of you. 9And when I was with you and was in need, I wasn’t a burden to anyone, since the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what was lacking. In every way I’ve kept myself from being a burden to you, and I will continue to. 10The truth of Christ about me is, that this boasting about me won’t get toned down in the regions of Achaia. 11Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows the answer. 12Still, I’ll go on doing what I’m doing, so I can cut off any occasion from those wanting one, so that they will prove to be no different from me in whatever they boast about. 13On the other hand, such false apostles are deceptive operators, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, since Satan transforms himself into an angel of light too; 15so it isn’t anything special if his servants pretend to be servants of justice; their end will match their deeds.

16I repeat, no one should consider me foolish, or if so, just so I too get to boast a little. 17In this matter of boasting, I’m saying what I’m saying as if in jest, not in keeping with God. 18Since many boast in the physical, I too will boast. 19After all, though you’re so wise, you gladly suffer fools. 20For example, you allow it if someone reduces you to slavery, if he consumes you, if he takes from you, if he gets all lifted up, if he hits you on the face. 21I’m talking as if I’m in dishonor, as if I’ve been weak in this department. If anyone is being bold in this (this is silly to say), I’ll be bold too. 22They are Hebrews; so am I. They are Israelites; so am I. They are descendants of Abraham; so am I. 23They are servants of Christ (I say it less advisedly); I am more so: in many more labors, in prisons more frequently, in countless wounds, often at the point of death. 24Five times I received one less than the forty lashes from Jews. 25I was beaten with rods three times. Once I was stoned. I suffered shipwreck three times. I was out in the sea for a night and a day. 26I am often on journeys, in danger from floods, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own nation, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger on the sea, in danger from false brothers, 27in labor and hardship, in many night watches, in hunger and thirst, in many fasts, in cold and nakedness. 28Along with these things that are outward, there is the daily urgency: my concern for all the churches. 29Who gets weakened, and I am not weakened? Who gets offended, and I’m not on fire? 30If I have to boast, I’ll boast of things about my weakness. 31The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is forever blessed, knows that I’m not lying. 32At Damascus, the governor of the nation under king Aretas was watching the city of the Damascenes to capture me, 33but I was let down through a window along the wall in a basket and so escaped his hands.

2 Corinthians 12 1If I have to boast (no, it isn’t easy), I come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I know a man in Christ over fourteen years ago (I don’t know if he was in his body or out of it; God knows), who was carried away to the third heaven. 3And I know that this man (I don’t know if he was in his body or out of it; God knows) 4was carried away to paradise and heard private words that the man isn’t allowed to mention. 5I will boast on behalf of that man, but I won’t boast on my part about anything but my frailties. 6Actually, even if I wanted to boast, it wouldn’t be foolish of me, because I’d be telling the truth. But I do refrain, in case anyone would think more of me than what he’s seeing in me or hearing from me. 7But in order for the greatness of the revelations not to lift me up, I was given a physical pain, an angel of Satan, to slap me down. 8I begged the Lord over this thing three times, for it to leave me, 9but he told me, “My grace is enough for you, because goodness gets carried out under weakness.” And so, I’ll gladly boast about my weaknesses, so Christ’s good strength can live in me. 10Because of this, in Christ’s presence I do take pleasure in my frailties, in insults, in needs, in persecutions, in difficulties. Yes, while I’m weakened, then I’m being effective. 11I’ve gotten foolish; you compelled me. You see, I should have been commended by you, because I’ve been nothing less than those who are superior-style apostles, even though I’m nothing. 12Still, the signs of my apostleship were brought about on you, in complete patience, in signs, wonders, and achievements. 13In fact, what less have you had than the other churches, except that I myself didn’t weigh you down? Pardon me this injury.

14See here, I’m ready to come to you this third time, and I won’t be a burden for you, because I’m after you, not the things that belong to you. After all, children shouldn’t lay aside treasure for their parents, but parents for their children. 15Indeed, I will spend myself and be spent for your souls very gladly, though I be loved less while loving you more. 16But so be it. I didn’t burden you, no, but since I was so clever, was I being charming deceptively? 17Well, did I cheat you at the hands of any of the people I sent you? 18I introduced Titus and sent a brother with him. Did Titus cheat you? Didn’t we walk in the same spirit, in the same footsteps? 19Do you think I’m excusing myself to you this whole time? I speak before God in Christ, but it’s all for your advantage, dear ones. 20No, I’m afraid that maybe when I come I won’t find you the way I’d like, and you won’t find me the way you’d like; or that there might be among you rivalries, jealousies, hostilities, quarrels, slander, whispering, pomposities, or schisms; 21or that when I come God might humble me before you, and I would grieve over many of those who sinned before but haven’t repented of the filthiness, fornication, and lewdness they committed.

2 Corinthians 13 1Here, this is the third time I’m coming to you. “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word will stand firm.” 2I stated before, and I, as if present though away just now, am restating to those who sinned before and to all the rest, that if I come again, I will not be lenient. 3Or are you after an experience of the Christ who speaks in me and is strong upon you, not weak? 4Although he was crucified out of weakness, he is alive by God’s power. And so I too am weak in him, but I’ll live with him out of God’s power upon you. 5Test yourselves, whether you are in the faith; examine yourselves. Or don’t you yourselves know that Christ Jesus is within you, unless perhaps you are false? 6But I do trust you’ll see that I am not false. 7I am praying to God that you would do nothing evil, not so I can look good, but that you would do what is good, even if I really were false. 8Of course, I’m not capable of anything against the truth, only for the truth. 9In fact, I’m glad that I’m weak whereas you are strong. I pray for your perfection too. 10I’m writing these things while away so that when present, I won’t act too severely in the power the Lord gave me for improving, not destroying. 11As for anything else, brothers, rejoice, be perfect, be encouraged, be like-minded, have peace, and the God of peace and love will be with you. 12Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians

Galatians 1 1Paul, an apostle, not by humans or any one of them, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. 2And all the brothers who are with me. To the churches in Galatia. 3Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself in exchange for our sins, to tear us away from the current wicked world in favor of the will of our God and Father, 5to whom glory goes, into ages of ages. Amen. 6I’m amazed at this, that you’re getting carried away so quickly from the one who called you to Christ’s grace, over into another gospel. 7Not that there is another one, just that there are other people, who are confusing you and wanting to change the gospel of Christ. 8But even if I or an angel from heaven were telling you a gospel other than the one I did preach to you, let him be cursed.

9As I just said, I’ll restate it now: if anyone announces to you a gospel inconsistent with the one you did accept, let him be cursed. 10After all, am I merely advising people? Am I trying to please God, or people? If I were still pleasing people, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ. 11I’ll have you know, brothers, that the gospel spread by me isn’t according to human will, 12because I didn’t learn it or get it from some man, but through revelation, from Jesus Christ. 13You did hear about my former behavior under Judaism, how I was hunting the church of God down and breaking it down. 14I had advanced in Judaism beyond many peers among my people, becoming a more complete imitator of my forefathers’ traditions. 15But when it pleased the one who removed me from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace 16to reveal his Son to me, so that I would preach him among the Gentiles, I didn’t occupy myself with flesh and blood right away. 17And I didn’t go to Jerusalem, to the apostles who preceded me, but I went off to Arabia and then returned to Damascus. 18Then, after three years, I went to Jerusalem to see Peter, and stayed with him for fifteen days. 19But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20(What I’m writing down for you here in the sight of God, I’m not making up.) 21After that I went into parts of Syria and Cilicia. 22But my face was unknown to the Judean assemblies that were in Christ; 23they just kept hearing, “The one who was persecuting us in the past is now preaching the faith he had attacked,” 24and they started glorifying God about me.

Galatians 2 1Then, after fourteen years, I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, and with Titus added. 2But I went there in compliance with a revelation, and I brought them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles, and just privately, to those who seemed to be something, in case I might be, or might have been, proceeding for nothing. 3But Titus, who was with me, though a Gentile, wasn’t forced to be circumcised. 4However, some false brothers were brought in secretly, who came in to investigate the liberty I have in Christ Jesus in order to start forcing me back into a slavery. 5But I didn’t let off in subjection to them, not the whole time, in order that the truth of the gospel could be permanent with you. 6And those who seemed to be something (what they ever were is nothing to me; God doesn’t deal in human appearance)—it did strike me that they were something—had nothing to talk over. 7On the contrary, once they saw that the gospel for the foreskinned had been entrusted to me, the same way the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8(since the one who worked by Peter for apostleship to the circumcised worked also in me among the Gentiles), 9and recognized the grace given to me, James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, gave their right hands to Barnabas and me in partnership, for us to go to the Gentiles and them to the circumcised, 10but for us to be remembering the poor, something I was anxious to do too.

11However, when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he was in the wrong. 12You see, before some people came from James, he was eating with Gentiles, but when they had come, he withdrew and removed himself, afraid of the circumcision-minded. 13And other Jews joined in his hypocrisy, so that Barnabas was getting led by them into that hypocrisy too. 14But once I saw they weren’t walking upright in the gospel’s truth, I said to Cephas in front of all of them, “If you, being a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews? 15We are Jews by nature and not Gentile sinners. 16But knowing that a person is justified through faith in Jesus Christ, not by working the law, we Jews too are believing in Christ Jesus so we can be justified from faith in Christ and not by working the law, because nobody will be justified by working the law. 17If after aiming to be justified in Christ, we ourselves get found out as sinners too, then could Christ be sin’s accomplice? Hardly. 18You see, if I reconstruct these things I pulled down, I’m making myself a waffler. 19Yes, through the law I died to the law, so that I can live to God; with Christ I was nailed to the cross. 20But I am alive; not really I now: Christ is living in me. And I’m living my bodily life now in faith in the Son of God, who loved me and surrendered himself for me. 21I don’t throw God’s grace away. No, if justice is by the law, then Christ died for nothing.”

Galatians 3 1O senseless Galatians, who put a spell on you for you not to listen to the truth, you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was spelled out, was crucified among you? 2I want to learn just this from you: did you receive the Spirit by working the law or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so stupid that although you began in the Spirit, you would now get completed by the body? 4Did you permit such great things for no reason, and do you still? 5Well then, does the one who distributes the Spirit to you and produces miracles among you do so by your working the law or by your hearing with faith? 6As was written, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as justice.” 7So realize that those who are in faith are Abraham’s children. 8And foreseeing that God justifies the Gentiles by faith, scripture foretold for Abraham, “All the Gentiles will be blessed in you.” 9So then, those who are in faith will be blessed along with faithful Abraham. 10In fact, everyone who is into working the law is under a curse. It was written down, for example, “Everyone who doesn’t continue to do all the things written in the law’s book is cursed.” 11Now, that no one in the law is justified before God is clear, because “the just person lives in faith.” 12Indeed, the law is not in faith; rather, “The one who does those things will live in them.” 13Christ bought us off from the law’s curse, having become a curse in exchange for us (it was written, “Everyone who suffers on a tree is cursed”), 14in order that Abraham’s blessing could come on the Gentiles under Christ Jesus and we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. 15In the same way, brothers, humanly speaking, no one rejects or adds to a man’s established testament. 16The promises were intended for Abraham and his descendant. It doesn’t say, “and to his descendants,” as in many, but as in one: “and to your descendant,” which is Christ.

17But here’s what I’m saying: the law, which was brought about after four hundred thirty years, doesn’t nullify the “established testament” of God—the promise—to cancel it. 18Now if that inheritance is a result of the law, it’s no longer by the promise. But God endowed it for Abraham by means of a promise. 19Then why was there a law? It was laid down because of violations, until the descendant he made the promise for would come. (The law was ordained through angels in the hand of a mediator; 20now a mediator involves more than one party, whereas God is one.) 21Then was the law against God’s promises? Hardly. It’s true that if a law that could give life had been enacted, there really would have been justice as a result of the law. 22But scripture confined everything under sin, so that what was promised could be given as a result of faith in Jesus Christ to those who believe. 23Before faith came, though, we were being held in custody under the law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. 24In this way the law was our guardian in relation to Christ, so we could be justified in faith. 25But as soon as faith came, we are no longer under a guardian. 26In fact, you are all children of God by the faith that is in Christ Jesus, 27since every sort of you who were baptized in Christ have clothed yourselves in Christ. 28There isn’t Jew or Greek; there isn’t slave or free; there isn’t male or female; because you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs in line with the promise.

Galatians 4 1But let me point out that as long as an heir is a little child, he isn’t different from a servant (although he’s the master of all of them), 2but he is under tutors and agents until the time determined by his father. 3In that way we too, when we were “children,” were being governed by the world’s basic principles. 4But when the high time came, God sent his Son, composed from a woman, fashioned under the law, 5so that he could release those who were under the law, for us to recover adoption as sons. 6Because you are sons, God has sent his Son’s Spirit into your hearts, calling out, “Abba, Father.” 7And so the child isn’t a servant anymore but a son and, if a son, also an heir for God. 8But back then, since you didn’t really know God, you were subject to things that aren’t real gods. 9Well, now that you’ve known God (and are known by God), how can you turn back to those weak, deprived elementary things that you’re willing to be slaves for all over again? 10You’re observing days, months, seasons, and years. 11I’m afraid for you, that I may have labored among you for no reason. 12Be like me, because I’m like you too. I beg you, brothers. You haven’t offended me at all. 13You know that long ago I preached the gospel to you at a time of physical weakness, and you didn’t despise or reject your distress over my body; 14you received me like an angel of God, like Christ Jesus. 15So where is your graciousness now? I do confirm that, if it could be done, you would have torn your eyes out and given them to me. 16Then have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17They’re competing for you in a bad sense; they’re willing to exclude you so you’ll be envious of them. 18Still, strive for what is good in a good way, not just when I’m presiding over you but all the time.

19My little children, for whom I am in labor again until Christ would be molded within you! 20I’d prefer to be with you just now and change my tone, because I’m confused about you. 21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, haven’t you read the law? 22For example, it was written that Abraham had two sons, one from a slave woman and the other from a free woman. 23The one from the slave woman was born according to the body’s wishes, but the one from the free woman was born in light of a promise. 24Those things were intended as an allegory; they represent the two testaments. The one at Mount Sinai, conceiving for slavery, is Agar. 25You see, Sinai is the mountain in Arabia linked to what is the current Jerusalem and is in a slavery along with her children. 26But the Jerusalem that is above is free and is our mother. 27Indeed, it was written, “Rejoice, unfruitful one who aren’t bearing; you who aren’t in labor, sprout out and shout out, because there are many more children of the solitary one than there are of the one who has a husband.” 28Now brothers, we are children of the promise, in line with Isaac; 29but just as at that time the one who was born physically, persecuted the one born spiritually, so it is now too. 30But what does scripture say? “Drive the slave woman and her son out, because the son of the slave woman will not be heir with the son of the free one.” 31And so, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman, in the freedom by which Christ has freed us.

Galatians 5 1Stand firm and refuse to be held under the yoke of slavery again. 2Look here, I Paul am telling you that if you get circumcised, Christ will do you no good. 3And I am guaranteeing again to every man circumcising himself that he’s under obligation to practice the entire law. 4You who are being justified under the law have been evacuated from Christ; you have fallen down from grace. 5No, by the Spirit we are awaiting the promised justice in faith. 6Actually, in Christ Jesus neither the circumcised nor the foreskinned state has any value, only faith that works by love. 7You were running well. Who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8That persuasion is not from the one who calls you. 9A little leaven infects the whole dough. 10I do have confidence in you in the Lord, that you’ll understand nothing differently, and the one confusing you, whoever he is, will undergo some judgment. 11Also, brothers, if I were “still preaching circumcision,” why am I still suffering persecution? Then the offensiveness of the cross would have been put aside. 12If only those confusing you were also cut off! 13No, you’ve been called to a freedom, brothers.

Just don’t make freedom into an opportunity for the body, but serve each another by the Spirit’s love. 14In fact, the whole law is fulfilled in one statement: you will love your neighbor as yourself. 15But if you’re biting and eating at each other, see that you don’t get devoured by each other. 16Instead, I say, go along in the Spirit and you won’t be carrying out the body’s requests. 17(It’s true that the body strives against the spirit and the spirit against the body; they do resist each other; it’s so that you wouldn’t do whatever you want to.) 18And if you’re being led by the spirit, you’re not under the law. 19Now the body’s deeds are obvious; they are: fornication, filthiness, lust, immodesty, 20idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, contentions, rivalries, anger, quarrels, discords, factions, 21envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and things like that. I’m warning you, as I told you before about these things, that those who pursue such things will not reach God’s kingdom. 22On the other hand, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, forbearance, 23mildness, faith, modesty, self-restraint, chastity. There is no law against such things. 24Indeed, those who are Christ’s have crucified their body, along with its defects and longings. 25If we are alive in the Spirit, let’s go along by the Spirit too. 26Let’s not get eager for empty glory, challenging each other, grudging each other.

Galatians 6 1Brothers, if someone is detected in any fault, you who are spiritual, should, with a tender spirit, inform such a person, each inspecting yourself in case you too might be tempted. 2Carry each other’s troubles, and so you will carry out Christ’s rule. 3On the other hand, if anyone supposes he’s something when he is nothing, he is misleading himself; 4each person should instead examine his own activity, and in that way he’ll have his reputation in himself, not in someone else. 5Yes, each person will carry his own weight. 6(Still, someone being instructed in the word should share all his resources with the person instructing him.) 7Don’t be mistaken; God doesn’t get fooled: 8a person will harvest the same things he plants. That is, the one who plants in his body will harvest ruin from the body, but the one who plants in his spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9And let’s not run short in doing good, because in due time we will harvest and not run out. 10Yes, while we have time, let’s be doing good to everyone, but especially to the faith’s family members.

11Look at what a letter I’ve written you, with my own hand! 12You know, those wanting to pride themselves physically are only urging you to be circumcised so they won’t suffer the persecution of Christ’s cross. 13No, those who are circumcised don’t keep the law themselves, but they do want you to be circumcised so they can take pride in your body. 14But I should never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world was crucified to me and I to the world. 15No, in Christ Jesus neither the circumcised nor the foreskinned state has any value, only a new creature. 16May peace and mercy be on those who follow this principle, and on God’s Israel. 17Let no one bother me further, since I’m carrying the Lord Jesus’ brands on my body. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians

Ephesians 1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. To all the Ephesian saints and faithful in Christ Jesus. 2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed. He blessed us in Christ with spiritual blessings in the heavens, 4the same way he chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight in love. 5He predestined me to adopt children for him through Jesus Christ (in line with his will’s purpose) 6and to praise the glorious grace of his that he favored us with in his favorite Son. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, pardon for sins in keeping with his rich grace. 8It was so abundant in me in every kind of wisdom and prudence, 9that he could reveal to me his will’s mystery that (as it pleased him) he put forward in Christ, 10namely, to restore in Christ (in the course of directing all times) everything in heaven and earth. 11Even we apostles who first hoped in Christ were called in him by lot—predestined in line with his purpose (who works out everything following the plan of his will)—12to be for praising his glory. 13You too, after hearing the truth’s word (the gospel of your salvation) and believing it, were sealed in it by the Holy Spirit of Promise 14(who is the assurance of our inheritance till we redeem that acquisition) for praising his glory.

15So after hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I never stop giving thanks for you or remembering you in my prayers. 17I do pray that God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in your recognition of him. 18I pray that, with your heart’s eyes enlightened, you can know what the hope of his calling is, what the glorious riches of his inheritance in the saints are, 19and what the mountainous magnitude of his power is toward us who believe—power as mighty as that which 20he used in raising Christ up from the dead and establishing him at his right hand in the heavens, 21above every ruler, authority, strength, and tyranny, and above every title that is named, not only in this world but also in the one that is to be. 22He has even subjected everything under his feet and has made him the head over the whole church, 23which is his body and the fullness of him who is being filled up to be the whole among everything.

Ephesians 2 1However, you had been dead in the offenses and sins of yours 2that you once went along in (in harmony with the course of this world, in harmony with the prince of this life’s power, the spirit that is now working on distrusting children) 3and that even all of us were once associated with—in our bodily desires, doing the will of the body and of our thoughts—being by nature resentful children like the rest. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the excessive love he loved us with 5even when we were dead in sins, enlivened us together in Christ (by whose grace you were made safe), 6reawakened us together, and has made us sit together in the heavens under Christ Jesus, 7to show in oncoming ages the abundant riches of his grace in his goodness over us in Christ Jesus. 8Yes, you’ve been made safe by grace through faith, and that wasn’t from you (since it’s God’s gift) 9or from your doings (so, no one can boast). 10No, we are his doing, created in Christ Jesus before the good deeds that God arranged for us to go ahead in.

11Because of this, remember that you—once physically Gentiles, called “foreskin” by those called the circumcision (hand-made in the body)—12were at that time without Christ, alienated from the way of Israel, strangers to the covenant, without the promise’s hope, and without God in this world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far away have been brought near by Christ’s blood. 14Truly, he is our peace: he has made the two one, broken down the dividing wall between us (the hostilities) in his body, 15and made void the principle of commands by decree, so as to make the two into one new person in himself (making peace) 16and to reconcile both to God in one body by the cross, killing the hostilities in himself. 17He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near, 18since by him we both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19So now you’re no longer strangers and foreigners, but are, with the saints, citizens of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, the chief corner stone being Jesus Christ himself, 21in whom the whole arranged building grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22and in whom you too are being built in, into this home of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 3 1For this cause, I Paul, am a prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles, 2assuming by now you’ve heard of the management of God’s grace given to me in relation to you—3how the mystery became known to me after a revelation, as I’ve written above in a few words. 4Reading that, you can understand my acquaintance with this mystery of Christ 5(which in other generations wasn’t known to the children of men as it’s now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit), 6namely, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and sharers of his promise in Christ Jesus by the gospel, 7which I was made a servant of, following the gift of God’s grace, given to me for the operation of his power. 8This grace was given to me (the least of all the saints): to preach Christ’s unsearchable riches among the Gentiles 9and to enlighten everyone as to what the distribution is (of the mystery hidden from the beginning in God, who created everything), 10namely, for God’s multiple wisdom to become known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens, 11in keeping with the eternal purpose that he composed in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him we have a boldness and a confident approach by belief in him. 13Therefore I ask you not to faint at my troubles for you; they are an honor of yours.

14I bend my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15after whom all fatherhood in heaven and earth is named, for the sake of this: 16that in keeping with his glory’s riches he would grant you to be fortified by his Spirit with strength for the inner person, 17and grant Christ to inhabit your hearts by faith (hearts rooted and established in love), 18so that you can grasp with all the saints what the breadth, length, height, and depth are; 19yes, to know the love of Christ (that surpasses knowledge), so that you can be filled up toward God’s whole fullness. 20And to him who is able to do everything more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that labors within us, 21be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all the age’s generations. Amen.

Ephesians 4 1And so, imprisoned in the Lord, I beg you, suitable to the calling that you were called for, to go along 2with complete humility and gentleness, with patience, supporting each other in love, 3careful to preserve a unity of spirit in the bond of peace—4of one body and one spirit (just as you were called in your calling’s one hope), 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, through all, and in us all. 7But to each one of us grace was given in proportion to Christ’s giving. 8That is why he says, “Ascending into the heights, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.” 9Now why is it that he “ascended” but because he had first descended, into the lower parts of the earth? 10The one who descended is the same one who ascended above all the heavens, to fill everything. 11Yes and he did give—some as apostles but some as prophets, others specifically as evangelists but others as shepherds and teachers. 12He gave them for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of service, for the building up of Christ’s body 13until we all come to unity of faith and of knowing God’s Son, come to complete manhood, come up to the standard of Christ’s full maturity. 14And that is so that we would no longer be restless little things or carried around by every wind of teaching there is in men’s wickedness (in their skill at tricking with error), 15but that doing the truth in love, we would through everything grow under the one who is the head, Christ. 16From him the whole body, compacted and connected together by what every joint supplies (in keeping with every member’s given operation), gains bodily growth for building itself up in love.

17Therefore I am saying and confirming in the Lord that from now on you shouldn’t go on in the way the Gentiles go—in the fickleness of their feelings, 18with their understanding obscured in darkness, alienated from the life of God through an ignorance that is in them due to the blindness of their hearts. 19They despaired and gave themselves up to lewdness, with the result of complete filthiness and greed. 20But you didn’t learn Christ that way, 21assuming you did accept him and (since the truth is in Jesus) were taught in him 22to put off the old person (corresponding to former behavior), which was being perverted toward a desire for error. 23No, be renewed in your mind’s spirit, 24and put on the new mankind, who was created for justice and truth’s holiness, in harmony with God. 25Therefore, each of you, put lying away and speak the truth with your neighbor, because we are members of each other. 26Be angry but don’t sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. 27Don’t give the Devil any room. 28Whoever was stealing shouldn’t steal anymore, but instead he should labor, doing what is good with his hands, so that he can have something to give to someone suffering a need. 29Don’t let any bad speech come out of your mouth, but only what is good for building faith up, so that it can offer grace to those hearing it. 30And don’t grieve God’s Holy Spirit, in which you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31All bitterness, anger, indignation, shouting, and blasphemy should be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Instead, be kind to each other—merciful, forgiving each other, the same way God has forgiven you in Christ.

Ephesians 5 1Yes, be imitators of God, like the dearest children; 2I mean, go along in love, the way Christ loved us and surrendered himself for us, an offering and sacrifice as a sweet aroma for God. 3But, fitting for holy people, don’t let fornication or any filth, or greed, be mentioned among you, 4or any obscenity, silly talk, or vulgarities, which are for no purpose, but instead let there be a giving of thanks. 5Yes, know and understand this, that no fornicator, or filthy or greedy person (which is a serving of idols), has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Don’t let anyone mislead you by groundless sayings, because the anger of God really is coming against the distrusting children because of those things. 7So don’t become participants in those. 8After all, you were darkness once, but now in the Lord you’re light. Go as children of light. 9Yes, light’s fruit is in every kind of goodness, justice, and truth, 10which show what is pleasing to God. 11So don’t participate in the unfruitful deeds of the darkness, but rather denounce them. 12It’s actually shameful even to recite the things done by them in secret, 13but everything denounced is made clear by the light, because everything made clear is light. 14That is why it’s said, “Rise, you who are sleeping, arise from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.” 15So, brothers, see that you go around as careful ones, not foolish 16but wise, redeeming the time, since the days are evil. 17Don’t become imprudent but in fact understand what God’s will is. 18And don’t get drunk from overly strong wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19speaking among yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and humming in your hearts to the Lord, 20giving thanks always for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God and the Father, 21brought close to each other in fear of Christ.

22Let women be subject to their men, as to the Lord, 23because the man is the woman’s head, the same way Christ is the church’s head. He is the savior of his body. 24Then, just as the church was laid close to Christ, let wives be to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and surrendered himself for her 26to sanctify her—cleansing her by the bathwater in the word of life—27to present himself with a glorious church, without a blemish, a wrinkle, or any such thing, but for her to be holy and spotless. 28So too, husbands ought to love their wives like their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever held his own body in contempt but in fact nourishes and cherishes it, the way Christ does the church 30because we are members of his body, “of his flesh and of his bones; 31for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and the two will be in one flesh.” 32This is a great mystery, but I’m speaking in relation to Christ and the church. 33Still, let each of you in particular love his wife as himself, and let the wife fear her husband.

Ephesians 6 1Children, listen to your parents in the Lord, because this is right: 2“Honor your father and your mother.” That is the first commandment with a promise: 3“so that it can be well for you and you can have a long life on earth.” 4But fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger; raise them in the discipline and correction of the Lord. 5Servants, listen to your physical masters with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your hearts, as to Christ, 6not serving in respect to the eye (as if pleasing people), but as servants of Christ, doing God’s will from the heart, 7serving with good will, as to the Lord and not people, 8knowing that any good a person (whether slave or free) does, he will get back from the Lord. 9And you masters, do likewise to them, and minimize threats, knowing that the Lord of both them and you is in heaven, and that there is no distinction of persons with him.

10Finally, brothers, be encouraged in the Lord and in the power of his goodness. 11Put on the armor of God, so that you can stand against the Devil’s plots, 12because our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against his princes and powers—against the world’s controllers of this darkness, against a spiritual wickedness in the heavens. 13So do take on God’s armor, so that you can put up resistance in the evil day and stand complete in everything. 14Stand then, with your waist cinched in truth, the breastplate of justice put on, 15and feet in shoes (in preparation for the gospel of peace), 16and during everything pick up the shield of faith, on which you can extinguish all the fiery darts of the wickedest one. 17Also take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit (which is God’s word). 18Pray in spirit at all times by every prayer and request, and at the same time keep watch quite urgently and with pleas for all the saints, 19and for me, that speech would be given to me when I open my mouth with boldness to make the mystery of the gospel known. 20For that, I am engaged as an ambassador in a chain, so that in it I can dare to speak as I should.

21But in order for you to know things about me and what I’m doing, Tychicus, a very dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything. 22I’ve sent him to you for this same thing (for you to know the things about me) and so that he can comfort your hearts. 23Peace and love with faith, to the brothers, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24May grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ without corruption. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians

Philippians 1 1Paul and Timothy, servants of Jesus Christ. To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi along with the bishops and deacons. 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3I give thanks to my God every time I remember you 4(though always pleading for all of you with joy in all my prayers) 5over your companionship in Christ’s gospel from the first day until now. 6I’m especially confident that the one who began a good work in you will finish it completely for the day of Christ Jesus. 7Because I have you in my heart, it’s right for me to feel this way for all of you, and to feel that in my imprisonment, as well as in my defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partners in my joy. 8Yes, God is a witness for me, how I long for all of you in the heart of Jesus Christ. 9But I pray that your love may be rich in knowledge and in full understanding, more and more, 10so that you can judge the better things and be sound and without offense up to Christ’s day, 11filled with the fruit of justice through Jesus Christ, for God’s glory and praise.

12Now, brothers, I want you to know that things around me have turned out more for the gospel’s progress, 13in such a way that my confinement became clear in its relation to Christ, within the entire court and in all sorts of other places. 14And many brothers in the Lord, growing confident from my chains, are much more bold to declare God’s word without fear. 15True, some are preaching Christ even out of envy and competition, but still others out of good will, 16and some in love since they know I’m set for a defense of the gospel. 17Some do proclaim Christ out of rivalry and dishonestly, imagining they’re increasing the distress of my confinement. 18So what?—As long as Christ gets proclaimed by all means, whether by opportunism or by truth. And I rejoice in this, and yes, I will rejoice. 19You see, I know that this will turn out for my well-being through your prayer and what the Spirit of Jesus Christ supplies, 20matching my expectation and hope that I won’t be disturbed at anything, but that, now as always, Christ will be magnified in my body in full courage, whether it is by life or by death. 21Yes, for me, to live on is Christ but to die is gain. 22And if it’s to be life in the body, that would be fruitful labor for me. But I don’t know which I would choose. 23I’m hemmed in between two things: I have a desire to be discharged and be with Christ (a much better thing), 24but to remain in the body is urgent for your sake. 25Assured of this, I know that I’ll endure and continue with all of you for your faith’s growth and joy, 26and that by my coming to you again, your rejoicing over me can be rich in Christ Jesus. 27Only, let your living be worthy of Christ’s gospel, so that (whether I do come and see you or might hear about you while away) because you stand firm in one harmonious spirit and labor together for the gospel faith, 28you also won’t be deterred by opponents in any matter, which is a cause of ruin for them but of salvation for you from God. 29Yes, on account of Christ it’s been granted you not only to believe in him but also to suffer for him 30with the same kind of struggle as you’ve seen in my case and have now been hearing about me.

Philippians 2 1So if in Christ there is any encouragement, anything of love’s comfort, any of the Spirit’s fellowship, any heart of compassion, 2fill my joy up by having the same sense, love, spirit, feeling, 3nothing by way of competition or empty boasting, each humbly considering the others better than himself, 4each reflecting on the others’ concerns, not his own. 5After all, you should be sensing among you what was in in Christ Jesus: 6since he was in God’s nature, he didn’t judge his equality with God as a robbery, 7but he did deprive himself when he accepted a slave’s nature, was fashioned into human likeness, and found to be like a man in character. 8He humbled himself in having become obedient all the way to death, a death by torture besides. 9That is why God lifted him up and gave him the name that is above all names, 10with the result that at Jesus’ name every knee should be bent—of those in heaven, on earth, or underground—11and that every tongue should acknowledge that the Lord Jesus Christ is in God the Father’s glory.

12And so, my dears (since you’ve always obeyed), work at your salvation with fear and trembling, not just the way you did in my presence, but much more now in my absence. 13In fact, it is God who is working in you, to propose as well as accomplish, in service of his good purpose. 14But do everything without grumblings or hesitations, 15so that you can be uncomplaining, sincere children of God’s, blameless within a crooked, perverse generation. Like lights in the heavens, you shine among them, 16keeping life’s formula safe until my glory (that I didn’t run in vain or labor in vain) in the day of Christ.

17But even if I get sacrificed (beyond my sacrifice and service for your faith), I’m glad and wish joy for all of you. 18The same way, you too, be glad and wish me joy. 19However, in the Lord Jesus I do expect to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too can be in good spirits when I learn things about you. 20You know, I have no one else so in harmony with me, who is concerned for you with sincere affection. 21(Yes, almost everyone is after their own things, not the things of Jesus Christ.) 22Do recognize his provenness, how he served with me in the gospel like a son with his father. 23So, I hope to send him to you as soon as I see how things go for me. 24But I am trusting in the Lord that I myself will come to you soon too. 25However, I’ve judged it important to send you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow laborer, and fellow soldier (but also your apostle and an attendant for my needs) 26because he’s certainly been longing for you and was sad that you had heard he was sick. 27And he was sick, almost to death, but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me too, so I wouldn’t have one grief on top of another. 28And so, I’ve sent him in more of a hurry, so that you can be glad at seeing him again and I can be free of sorrow. 29Accordingly, receive him with full joy in the Lord and treat such a man with honor, 30because he came to the point of death for Christ’s work, entrusting his life, to be filling in what was missing from you regarding serving me.

Philippians 3 1About other things, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. It isn’t really a bother to me to write the same things to you, but it is necessary for you. 2Watch out for dogs, watch out for evildoers, watch out about circumcision. 3We who in the Spirit serve God and take pride in Christ Jesus without reliance on the body, really are the circumcision, 4even though I too could hold to a physical smugness. If anyone else seems to rely on his body, I can more. 5Having been circumcised on my eighth day, I am from Israel’s line, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew, from Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; 6regarding ambition, persecuting God’s church; regarding the justice in the law, I lived without any accusation. 7But because of Christ I have judged the things that had been my advantages as losses. 8I even count everything as a loss next to the excellence of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. For him I’ve regarded everything a loss and consider it like dung, in order to gain Christ, 9to be found in him (with my justice not from the law, but one that is from faith in Christ Jesus, one that is the justice from God in faith), 10and to get to know him, the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings. I have been shaped by his death 11in case I might in that way reach the resurrection (which is for the dead). 12Not as though I’ve already arrived or were already finished, but I am following, in case I can grasp it with the same method I was grasped with by Christ Jesus. 13Brothers, I don’t count myself to have grasped hold. Instead, forgetting things that are in fact past and stretching myself forward to the things that truly are ahead, 14I’m following on toward one goal, toward the heavenly calling’s prize: God in Christ Jesus. 15Any of us who are accomplished should understand this, but if you’re sensing anything some other way, God will also reveal that fact to you. 16In any case, let’s continue on in the same principle that we’ve just come to: that we should have the same sense. 17Be imitators of me, brothers, and respect those who go by the model you have in me, 18because many people that I often told you about (and tell you now, weeping) are going around as enemies of Christ’s cross. 19Their end is ruin; their god is their belly; their pride is in their own disorder; and they have a taste for earthly things. 20In contrast, our way of life is in the heavens, from which we are still longing for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will reform our humble bodies when he has conformed them to the body of his splendor, in the same labor by which he is also able to subject everything to himself.

Philippians 4 1In this way, my dear longed-for brothers, my joy and my crown, stand firm in the Lord, dear ones. 2I beg Evodia and I plead with Syntyche to have a common understanding under the Lord. 3I beg you also, brotherly comrade, to help the women who have labored with me in the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my helpers, whose names are in the book of life. 4Always rejoice in the Lord. I say it again: rejoice. 5Let your moderation be notorious with all kinds of people. The Lord is near. 6Don’t be anxious about anything. Instead, in every matter, your requests before God should be made clear in speech, prayers, and thanksgiving. 7And let God’s peace, which overpowers every sort of emotion, keep your hearts and perceptions in Christ Jesus. 8As for other things, brothers, be inclined toward the things that are true, chaste, just, holy, worthy of love, and of good reputation; and toward wherever there is virtue or a praise of learning. 9Do the things that you’ve learned, received, heard, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

10I was very pleased in the Lord that now at last you’ve bloomed again in feeling for me like you used to, but you had been busy. 11I’m not saying this as if from need, since I’ve learned to be satisfied with the things I’m in. 12I know how to be humbled, and I also know how to be in abundance. Everywhere and in everything I’ve been accustomed to being full as well as hungry, to flourishing and to suffering need. 13I can do all of these in the one who strengthens me. 14Still, you did well to share in my trouble. 15Indeed, you Philippians also know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, no church but you shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving. 16For example, you also sent things now and then to Thessalonica for me to use. 17Not that I’m after the gift; I’m after fruit to fill your account up. 18I, though, have everything and am rich. I got filled up by having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, a sweet odor, a welcome sacrifice pleasing God. 19In turn, may my God fill every need of yours, corresponding to the glorious riches of his in Christ Jesus. 20And now to God and our Father be glory for ages of ages. Amen. 21Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. 22The brothers who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, but especially those who are from Caesar’s household. 23The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians

Colossians 1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother. 2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ Jesus who are at Colossa. 3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying for you all the time, 4once I heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you have toward all the saints. 5I pray for you because the matter of hope, that you heard of in the gospel’s true message, has been reserved for you in the heavens. 6That gospel came to you the same way it exists in the whole world. It is producing fruit and growing the same way it’s been doing in you since the day you heard it and learned God’s grace in its truth. 7You learned it from Epaphras, my dear fellow slave, who is a faithful servant of Christ Jesus for you 8and who also clearly showed me your love in his spirit. 9Because of that, from the day I heard this I never stop either, praying for you and wanting you to be filled with a recognition of God’s will by every sort of wisdom and spiritual perception, 10so that you can go around properly, pleasing God in everything, fruitful in every kind of good labor, growing in your knowledge of God, 11strengthened in every sort of virtue matching his glory’s power (in complete patience and forbearance), 12and giving thanks with joy to God the Father. He has made us fit for a share of the destiny of saints in the light, 13has torn us from the power of darkness, and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of his love. 14We have redemption in this Son by his blood, a remission of sins. 15He is the invisible God’s image, the first-fathered of every creature, 16since all visible and invisible things in the heavens and on earth were put together in him, including angels, rulers, empires, and powers. They were all created by him and under him. 17He is before everything, and everything is based on him. 18He who is the beginning and is the firstborn of the dead, is also the head of his body, the church, so that he can hold the first place in everything. 19That is because it pleased the Father very much to have all this completeness stay in him 20and to restore everything—on earth and in the heavens—to Himself through him, making peace by the blood of his cross.

21Even though at one time you had been alienated and enemies, inclined to doing evil, 22he has now reconciled you in his physical body, by its death, to present you holy, unspotted, and blameless before himself, 23at least if you continue in the faith—grounded, settled, and immoveable—by the promise of the gospel that you heard, that was preached in the whole creation under heaven, and that I, Paul, was made a servant of. 24In a way I’m glad now for sufferings on your behalf. I’m filling up in my body some things of Christ’s sufferings that are missing in his body, which is the church. 25I became a servant of the church in keeping with a management God gave me in relation to you: for me to complete God’s message. 26It is completed with a secret that was hidden for ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints 27(by whom God wanted to make the wealth of this mystery’s glory known among the Gentiles), namely, the Christ we proclaim, the hope of glory in you. 28We proclaim him while taking hold of everyone and instructing everyone in all sorts of wisdom, so we can present everyone perfect before Christ Jesus. 29In that called-for struggle I too labor, in proportion to the effect he has on me by his power.

Colossians 2 1You see, I want you to know the kind of concern I have for you, and for those at Laodicea and any who haven’t seen my face in the flesh, 2so that their hearts can be reassured, by being trained in love and instructed in a whole wealth of ample understanding, instructed in a knowledge of this secret of God the Father, and of Christ Jesus 3in whom all the treasures of understanding and knowledge were being kept. 4I’m saying this so that no one can trap you in grand speeches. 5Though I may be absent physically, I’m with you in spirit, rejoicing and observing your orderliness and its support of your faith, which rests in Christ. 6So in the same way that you received Jesus Christ the Lord, go on in him, 7rooted in him, built on him, established in faith the way you learned it, and rich in thanksgiving before him. 8Make sure no one traps you by some philosophy or hollow deception, following human tradition or worldly principles, not Christ, 9because all the full nature of God resides in him bodily. 10And you were replenished in him. He is the origin of every sovereignty and power. 11You were circumcised in him by a circumcision that didn’t occur manually (in robbing some of the body’s flesh) but in Christ’s circumcision. 12You were buried along with him in baptism and in it also rose again, by faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13When you had been dead in your offenses and in the foreskinned state of your bodies, He enlivened you along with him, forgiving you all your offenses 14and crossing out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, hostile to us. He took that out of the way, attaching it to the cross. 15And plundering the sovereignties and powers, he boldly paraded them, publicly subduing them under himself.

16So don’t let anyone judge you in regard to meat, drink, a feast day, a new moon, or sabbaths, 17which are a shadow of future things, whereas the body of them is Christ’s. 18Don’t let anyone mislead you by his wishful “humility” or by his angel-religion that has never seen them going anywhere. He’s mistakenly puffed up with a sense of his own body 19and isn’t holding on to the head, from which the whole body, supplied by ties and connections, and built up, grows for God’s honor. 20Well, if you died off from the basics of this world with Christ, then why, as though still living subject to the world, do you judge 21that you shouldn’t touch, taste, or handle 22certain things (things that are all annihilated by their very use), complying with human rules and teachings 23that have a kind of sense, at least within superstition or depression, but don’t show the body a consideration, don’t honor any physical satisfaction?

Colossians 3 1So if you rose with Christ, aim for things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. 2Have a taste for things above, not the ones that are on earth, 3because you have died, and your life has been concealed with Christ in God. 4When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory. 5So subdue the parts of you that are on earth: the fornication, filthiness, lust, evil desire, and the greed that is an idolatrous slavery. 6Because of these things, God’s anger is coming onto the disbelieving children. 7You used to go around in them too, when you were living among those children. 8But now also put all the anger, indignation, malice, slander, and filthy speech out of your mouths. 9Don’t lie to each other. Strip off the old person and its behavior, 10and get dressed in the new one, who’s being renewed for the self-recognition appropriate to an image of the one who created him—11where there isn’t Gentile or Jew, circumcised or foreskinned, barbarian or Scythian, slave or free, but where Christ is everything and in everyone. 12So, as God’s holy, dear, chosen ones, dress in sympathetic hearts, kindness, humility, moderation, and patience, 13supporting each other, and forgiving each other if anyone has a complaint against another, the way the Lord forgave you. 14But over all these wear love, which is their final wrapping. 15Let Christ’s peace, in which you were called together as one body, move around freely in your hearts. And be grateful. 16Let Christ’s word richly inhabit you with full understanding, by teaching it to each other and reminding each other of it with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude to God in your hearts. 17Do everything you do, in word or deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father through him.

18Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is suitable in the Lord. 19Husbands, love your wives and don’t be bitter toward them. 20Children, obey your parents in everything, because that is very pleasing to the Lord. 21Fathers, don’t provoke your children to the point of indignation, so they won’t get discouraged. 22Slaves, obey your physical masters in everything, not enslaved to the eye, as if pleasing people, but single-heartedly fearing God; 23do whatever you do from your soul, as to the Lord, not people, 24knowing that you’ll be getting the reward of an inheritance from the Lord; serve this Lord, Christ; 25of course the one who does a wrong will get back what he did unfairly, and there is no personal distinction with God. 1Masters, exhibit for your servants what is fair and humane, knowing that you too have a master in heaven.

Colossians 4 2Be urgent in prayer, watchful and thankful during it, 3praying for me at the same time, for God to open a doorway of conversation for me to talk about Christ’s secret that I’ve even been imprisoned for—4so that in that manner I can reveal it whenever it’s suitable for me to speak up. 5Go around prudently in relation to those who are outside, gaining an opportunity. 6Let your conversation always be seasoned with a pleasant flavor, so that you can be perceiving the best way to respond to each person.

7Tychicus, a very dear brother, faithful servant, and fellow servant in the Lord will let you know everything about me. 8I’ve sent him to you for the same purpose—for him to learn things about you and cheer your hearts—9along with Onesimus, the dear, faithful brother who is one of you. They’ll let you know everything that’s going on here. 10Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, as do Mark (Barnabus’ relative, regarding whom you’ve received instructions; if he comes to you, receive him) 11and the Jesus called Justus. They’re all from among the circumcised. They alone here are being my helpers in God’s kingdom and have been a consolation for me. 12Epaphras greets you; he is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus who is always concerned for you in his prayers, that you should stand perfect and complete in God’s whole will. 13I do verify about him that he endures a lot of labor for you, for those at Laodicea, and for those at Hierapolis. 14Dear doctor Luke greets you, as does Demas. 15Greet the brothers at Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that’s at his house. 16Once this letter has been read among you, have it be read in the Laodiceans’ church too, and read the one that is to the Laodiceans. 17And say to Archippus, “Be sure to fulfill the ministry you received in relation to the Lord.” 18The greeting of Paul by my own hand. Be remembering my imprisonment. Grace be with you. Amen.

The First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 1 1Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy. To the Thessalonians’ church in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2Grace and peace to you. I thank God for all of you all the time and remember you in prayers of mine without exception. 3I remember you faith’s work, the labor, the love, and the enduring anticipation of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father. 4I’m aware of his choice of you, brothers loved by God, 5because my gospel to you wasn’t just in talk but in power, the Holy Spirit, and great thoroughness, much like the sort of man you know I was in relation to you and because of you. 6Receiving the message under a lot of trouble, along with joy from the Holy Spirit, you became imitators of me and of the Lord, 7so that in Macedonia and Achaia you became a model for all the people believing. 8In fact, from you news of the Lord got widely known. Your trust in God has proceeded not only within Macedonia and Achaia but in every place, so that I don’t need to say a thing. 9I mean, independent of me, they themselves are reporting the sort of start I got with you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God 10and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised up from the dead), Jesus, who has pulled us away from the coming anger.

1 Thessalonians 2 1Certainly, brothers, you yourselves know that that start of mine with you wasn’t useless. 2No, after previously suffering and being treated to insults (as you know) at Philippi, I had the confidence in my God to express God’s gospel to you clearly and very carefully. 3Indeed, my words of encouragement weren’t from some mistake or from some impurity or under some deception. 4No, since I was approved by God for his gospel to be committed to me, I speak accordingly, not as though pleasing people, but pleasing God, who examines my heart. 5You see, I never engaged in flattering speech, as you know, or used any occasion for greed; God is the witness. 6I didn’t look for glory from people, from you or from others. 7Although I was able as an apostle of Christ to be a burden to you, I instead became a child among you, or the way a nurse will foster her children. 8Wanting you in this way, I was eagerly wanting to transmit to you not only God’s gospel but even my own soul, because you had become very dear to me. 9For instance, brothers, you remember my labor and my fatigue. I preached God’s gospel among you while working night and day so I wouldn’t be weighing any of you down. 10You are witnesses, and God too, how holy, fair, and uncomplaining I was to you who believed. 11 12And you know the way I testified to each one of you, pleading and reassuring you like a father does his children, that you should be conducting yourselves in keeping with the God who called you to his kingdom and glory.

13I also thank God without letting up, because once you took in God’s message that you heard from me, you didn’t welcome it as the message of some man, but for what it really is, the word of God, who is active in you who believed. 14In fact, brothers, you became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, because you have suffered the same things from your countrymen, as they have from the Jews. 15Jews killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, have persecuted me, aren’t pleasing to God, and stand against all people 16by forbidding me to talk to the Gentiles (for them to be saved). As a result, they keep filling up their sins; in fact, God’s anger around them has arrived at its limit. 17Still, brothers, once I was deprived of you for about an hour (from my sight, not my heart), I’ve been under a great longing, very eager to see your faces. 18Since then, we wanted more than once to come to you, at least I, Paul, did, but Satan has prevented me. 19I mean, what is my hope or joy or crown of glory? Prior to our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming, isn’t it you? 20Yes, you are my glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 3 1For that reason I didn’t hold out any longer; I was satisfied to remain alone at Athens 2and sent Timothy, my brother and a servant of God in the gospel of Christ, to fortify and encourage you in your faith, 3so that no one would be disturbed at these troubles. After all, you yourselves know that I was set aside for this, 4since even when I was with you, I told you in advance that I would suffer certain troubles, as did happen and as you can see. 5I delayed no longer and sent him to learn of your faith for this reason too: in case the one who tempts had possibly tempted you, and my labor might have been rendered worthless. 6But when Timothy just now came to me from you and reported your faith and love to me, and that you always have a favorable memory of me, longing to see me the way I long to see you, 7I, under all my need and trouble, was encouraged about you by your faith, brothers, 8because now, if you stand in the Lord, I have life. 9Really, what thanks can I return to God over you, in all the joy I rejoice with because of you before my God, 10as I pray even more, night and day, to see your faces and supply the things missing from your faith? 11Indeed, may God himself and our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ lay my path straight to you. 12Also, may the Lord enlarge you and make your love for each other and toward everyone overflow (the way I do in regard to you), 13so he can establish your hearts in an unaccusable holiness before God and our Father, in case of the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his holy ones. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4 1Now beyond that, brothers, I beg you, and I appeal in the Lord Jesus, to go on flourishing even more in the way you learned from me (of how to go along pleasing God). 2Yes, you know the principles I gave you from the Lord Jesus. 3Namely, God’s will, your sanctification, is the following: that you should keep away from fornication; 4that you should each be capable of controlling your equipment in holiness and respect 5(not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles that don’t know God); 6and that no one should step on or cheat his brother in business. As I told you before and attested, the Lord is a champion of all this, 7since God called us to sanctification, not impurity. 8And so, whoever rejects these things isn’t rejecting some man, only the God who produced his Holy Spirit in us. 9But I have no need to write to you about loving the brotherhood, because you have learned from God yourselves how to love each other 10and are in fact doing so in relation to all the brothers in all of Macedonia. But I do beg you, brothers, to do so more fully 11and devote your attention to being orderly, to manage your affairs and work with your hands (as we instructed you), to behave decently toward those outside, and not to be after anything belonging to someone else.

12Also, brothers, I don’t want you to misunderstand about those who are asleep, in case you might get depressed like others do, who don’t have hope. 13After all, if we believe that Jesus died and rose up, then God will also bring up along with Jesus those who fell asleep for the sake of him. 14Indeed, I’m telling you the following from a saying of the Lord’s: that we who are still alive, who survive till the Lord’s coming, will not precede those who have been asleep, 15because the Lord himself will come down from heaven under a command, at the archangel’s cry and at God’s trumpet; and the dead who are in Christ will rise up first. 16After that, we who are alive, who are left, will be carried up in clouds at the same time with them, into the air to meet Christ, and so we will be with the Lord forever. 17Therefore, encourage each other in these very words.

1 Thessalonians 5 1However, you don’t need me to write you about the times and moments, brothers, 2because you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3In fact, when they’ll be saying, “Peace and security,” the unexpected ruin will come over them then (like the pain does to a pregnant woman), and they won’t escape. 4But you aren’t in the dark, brothers, so that that day could grab you like a thief. 5No, you are all children of the light and children of the daytime. We don’t belong to the night or darkness. 6So then, let’s not fall sleep the way others do; let’s stay awake and be sober. 7Yes, those who sleep, sleep in the night, and those who are drunk are drunk in the night. 8In contrast, let us who belong to the daytime be sober, dressed with the breastplate of faith and love, and with the hope of salvation as a helmet. 9No, God didn’t fashion us for his anger, but for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died in place of us, so that whether we’re keeping the watch or have fallen into the sleep of death, we can be alive with him either way. 11For that reason, encourage each other and improve each other, as you do.

12And now, brothers, I’m begging you to acknowledge those who labor among you, who are set over you in the Lord and instruct you, 13and to treat them with a greater love because of their work. Keep peace with them. 14I also beg you, brothers: hold the restless in, encourage the timid, support the weak, be patient toward everyone. 15See that no one pays evil back to someone for an evil; always pursue what is good for each other and for everyone. 16Be continually glad. 17Pray without letting up. 18Give thanks in everything, since that is an aim of God’s in Christ Jesus regarding all of you. 19Don’t smother the Spirit. 20Don’t reject prophecies; 21test everything; hold on to what is good; 22keep away from every bad kind of vision. 23And may the God of peace himself make you holy in everything, so that your entire spirit, soul, and body can remain unaccusable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who called you is faithful and he will bring it about. 25Brothers, pray for us. 26Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27I charge you by the Lord, to have this letter read to all the holy brothers. 28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians 1 1Paul, Sylvanus, and Timothy. To the Thessalonians’ church in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3I have to thank God for you all the time, brothers. It’s only fair, since your faith is growing so much, and the love of each of you for the others is so rich 4that I myself even boast of you in God’s churches—because of your patience and faith under all the persecutions and troubles you endure—5as an example of the fair judgment of God. In God’s kingdom that you’re suffering for, you could be considered deserving 6simply from how fair it is of God to pay trouble back to those troubling you. 7But along with me, he will reward you who are being troubled, with rest, at the Lord Jesus’ revelation from heaven with his powerful angels 8in a fiery flame. They will leave a punishment for those who don’t recognize God or listen to our Lord Jesus Christ’s gospel. 9They will leave them the eternal compensation of a ruin away from the Lord’s face and his power’s glory, 10on that day when he comes to be glorified in his holy ones and to become wonderful in everyone who believed because my testimony was believed by you. 11In that regard I’m praying for you, likewise all the time, that our God would regard you as worthy of his call and would powerfully complete the whole purpose of his goodness and the whole work of faith, 12so that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ can be made famous in you, and you in him, in accord with the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2 1However, brothers, by that coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the coming of our gathering to him, I beg you 2not to be easily moved by some feeling of yours, or to be terrified by some spirit, word, or letter, as if it were sent by me—as though the Lord’s day were close. 3Don’t let anyone mislead you by any method, because a division will come first, and the man of sin will have been revealed, the son of ruin, 4who opposes, and is praised beyond, everything that is called God or worshiped, so that he sits in God’s temple, displaying himself as if he were God. 5(Don’t you remember that when I was still with you, I was telling you these things?) 6But you do know what is keeping him in check right now, so that he can be revealed at his time. 7Actually a mysterious injustice already is operating for as long as the one who now has control lasts (until he gets taken out of the way). 8But then that enemy will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him by the breath of his mouth and ruin him in the brilliance of his coming. 9That one’s arrival corresponds to Satan’s activity, in all its power, signs, and counterfeit wonders, 10and in all of injustice’s seduction of those who are being lost because they didn’t retain a love of the truth so as to be made safe. And so, God will release to them the result of their doubt—that they believe falsehood—11in order that everyone who didn’t believe the truth but consented to injustice can be judged. 12On the other hand, I have to thank God all the time for you, brothers loved by God, that God chose you to be a first-fruits toward salvation (in the spiritual holiness and belief in the truth 13that he also called you to by my gospel), toward gaining our Lord Jesus Christ’s praise. 14So, brothers, stand firm and uphold the traditions you were taught, whether by speech or letter of mine. 15Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God and our Father, who loved us and in his kindness gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, 16encourage your hearts and inspire them in every good deed and conversation.

2 Thessalonians 3 1Beyond that, brothers, pray for me, so that God’s word can spread and become known the way it has with you, 2and so that I can be freed from rude and evil men; no, not everyone has faith. 3But God is faithful and will strengthen you and keep you from evil. 4And about you, I trust in the Lord that you are doing and will do the things I’m directing. 5(Let the Lord, however, direct your hearts in God’s love and Christ’s patience.) 6But I do direct you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw from every brother walking outside of rules and not in line with the tradition they learned from me. 7For instance, you yourselves know a proper way to imitate me, seeing that I wasn’t unsettled while with you 8or eating food off anyone for free. Instead, I worked night and day in labor and fatigue, so that I wouldn’t start weighing any of you down. 9Not that I didn’t have that right, but so I could give myself to you as a model, for you to imitate me. 10Even when I was with you, I declared to you that if anyone isn’t willing to work, he shouldn’t eat either. 11You see, I’ve heard that some people among you were going around unsettled, working at nothing, but behaving curiously. 12Well, to those who are that way, I declare and plead with them by the Lord Jesus Christ that they should work in silence and eat their own food. 13Indeed, brothers, don’t you get weary at doing good. 14And if anyone won’t be subject to my words in this letter, criticize him and don’t associate with him, in order for him to get disturbed. 15But don’t consider him an enemy; chide him as a brother. 16Now may the Lord of peace himself give you continual peace in every situation. The Lord be with all of you. 17Paul’s greeting by my own hand; which is my signature in every letter (I write this way). 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The First Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy

1 Timothy 1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by virtue of the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope. 2To Timothy, my dear son in faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I asked you to remain at Ephesus when I went to Macedonia, so you could direct some people not to teach differently 4and not to focus on fables or endless genealogies, which furnish questions rather than God’s instruction that is about faith. 5Now the goal of a commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from unpretending faith. 6Wandering away from those things, some people have been diverted into pointless talk, 7wanting to be teachers of the law, while understanding neither things they mention nor those they positively assert. 8We, though, do understand that the law is good—if one uses it properly 9from knowing that it wasn’t set up for the just person, but for the unjust and insubordinate, the irreverent and sinners, the wicked and impure, father killers and mother killers, murderers, 10fornicators, cohabiting males, kidnappers, for liars and perjurers, and for whatever else is against sound doctrine 11that matches the gospel of blessed God’s glory that was entrusted to me.

12I thank the one who strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, that he considered me trustworthy enough to put me in this service, 13I who was previously his blasphemer, persecutor, and insulter. But I obtained God’s mercy because I carried on while ignorant, under unbelief. 14And the grace of our Lord was very rich with the faithfulness and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15It’s a true saying, worth adopting completely, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners. I am the distinguished one of them. 16But I did obtain mercy, for Christ Jesus to display all his patience, first toward me, as a sketch of those who are going to believe in him for everlasting life. 17Let honor and glory go forever and ever to the king of the ages—the immortal, invisible, and only God. Amen. 18Son Timothy, I charge you with this command that matches preceding prophecies about you: that you should wage a good war among them, 19with trust and a good conscience, things that some have rejected and so got shipwrecked about the faith. 20Hymeneus and Alexander are some of those, and I’ve delivered them up to Satan, so they can learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 2 1Before anything else I am asking that, for the sake of all people, appeals, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be made 2in favor of kings and everyone in a high position, so that we can lead an undisturbed, peaceful life in complete responsibility and chastity. 3Yes, that is good and pleasing in the eyes of our Savior, God, 4who wants all people to be made safe and to come to acceptance of the truth, 5namely, that there is one God and one mediator of God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6who handed himself over as a ransom in exchange for us all, as a testimony to our times. 7For that testimony I’ve been appointed as a preacher and apostle (I’m telling the truth, not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in relation to faith and truth. 8I say, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up pure hands without anger or discussion. 9I want the women likewise to pray, dignified in appearance, dressing themselves in modesty and sobriety, and not in styled hair, gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, 10but by good deeds, as is proper for women letting their devotion grow. 11Have a woman learn in silence, in complete submission. 12No, I don’t let a wife teach her husband or dominate him, just to be in a silence. 13You see, Adam was formed first and then Eve, 14and Adam wasn’t misled, but his wife was misled in the scheme. 15Still, she will be saved through childbearing if she continues in faith, love, and sanctification, with sobriety.

1 Timothy 3 1It’s a true saying: If anyone desires the office of bishop, he is desiring a good job. 2So a bishop needs to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, commended, chaste, hospitable, a teacher, 3not drinking too much, not violent but forbearing, not quarrelsome or greedy, but 4someone who has ruled his own household well, with his children submitted in complete chastity. 5(In contrast, if someone doesn’t know how to preside over his own house, how will he take care of God’s church?) 6He shouldn’t be a recent convert, in case (once lifted up into pride) he might get involved in the trial that the Devil had. 7He also ought to have a good reputation with those who are outside, so he doesn’t get involved in a scandal and a trap of the Devil’s.

8Deacons should likewise be: chaste, not deceitful, not addicted to quantities of wine, not after base riches, 9holding faith’s secret in a clear conscience. 10But have them be tested first too, and if faultless, let them continue serving that way. 11Their wives should be similarly chaste, not detractors, sober, trustworthy in everything. 12Deacons should be husbands of one wife and lead their children and households well. 13Those who serve well will be acquiring for themselves a good footing and a lot of courage in the faith that’s in Christ Jesus. 14I’m writing you all this while expecting to come to you soon, 15in order that, in case I’m delayed, you can know how you ought to conduct yourself in God’s house, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16Yes indeed, our devotion’s secret clearly is great: he was exhibited bodily and justified spiritually, appeared to angels, was preached to the Gentiles, believed in the world, and taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 4 1On the other hand, the Spirit clearly indicates that during the last times some will deviate from the faith, as they pay attention to spirits of delusion and demons’ doctrines, 2which imitate those spirits’ lying, their seared conscience, 3their forbidding of marriage and of foods that God created to be taken in with thanksgiving by the faithful and those who have learned this truth. 4Yes, every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving, 5since it is sanctified by God’s word and prayer. 6By proposing that to the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, fed by the words of faith and good instruction that you’ve understood. 7But avoid absurd, silly matters.

Train yourself in devotion instead. 8Now, physical training is slightly useful, but devotion is useful for everything, holding promise for the present life and for the future life—9a true saying, deserving full acceptance. 10You see, we’re laboring (and getting cursed) because we hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of the faithful. 11Warn and teach about these things. 12No one should look down on your youth. But be a model for the faithful in word, in behavior, in love, in faith, in chastity. 13Until I come, attend to reading out loud, encouraging, and instructing. 14Don’t neglect the grace that is in you, that was given to you by prophesy along with the application of the elders’ hands. 15Practice these things and be in them, so your progress can be clear to everyone; 16attend to yourself and to teaching. Stand in those things, because in doing so you will make both yourself and those who hear you safe.

1 Timothy 5 1Don’t chide an older man; just appeal to him as to a father; likewise to young men as brothers, 2old women as mothers, and young women as sisters, in complete chastity. 3Honor the widows who really are widows. 4But if a widow has children or grandchildren, she should be told to first manage her own household and make the return she owes her parents, since that is pleasing in God’s eyes. 5In contrast, the true, solitary widow should put her trust in God and press him with pleadings and prayers night and day. 6But a widow living in luxury has died; 7yes, teach that, so they can be blameless. 8Also, if anyone isn’t taking care of his own, especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than a non-believer. 9A widow of no less than sixty years old, who has been the wife of one husband 10and has had a reputation for good deeds, can be selected—if she raised children, if she received with hospitality, if she washed the saints’ feet, if she aided those suffering trouble, if she followed every good deed up. 11Keep clear of younger widows, though, because once they’ve indulged themselves in Christ, they want to marry, 12bearing the condemnation that they made their first loyalty void. 13Likewise, idle widows learn to go from one house to another and to be not just idle, but full of talk, meddling, telling things they shouldn’t. 14So I prefer the younger ones to marry, bear children, be over their households, and give an enemy no chance for slander. 15In fact, some have already been turned back to Satan. 16Any believer with widowed relatives should give to them; the church shouldn’t be weighed down, since there might not be enough for the true widows.

17Have the elders who preside well be considered as deserving a double reward, especially those who labor at the message and at education. 18After all, scripture says, “You shouldn’t muzzle the ox that tramples the grain,” and “The laborer deserves his reward.” 19Don’t accept an accusation against an elder, unless it’s supported by two or three witnesses. 20Rebuke sinners in front of everyone, so that the rest can have that fear too. 21Before God and Christ Jesus and chosen angels, I charge you to maintain these things without prejudice, doing nothing by which you would get turned in some other direction. 22You shouldn’t impose hands too quickly on anyone or take part in the sins of others. Keep yourself chaste. 23Don’t drink water so much; use a little wine for your digestion and because of your repeated illnesses. 24The sins of some people are obvious ahead of the judgment, whereas they catch up with other people. 25Similarly, good deeds are obvious, and those that seem to be otherwise can’t be covered over.

1 Timothy 6 1Those bound in slavery should think of their masters as deserving full respect, so that the Lord’s name and his teaching won’t be blasphemed. 2Also, those with believing masters shouldn’t slight them because of their being brothers, but be even more obedient because these partners in service are sincere and dear. Teach and urge these things. 3If anyone teaches otherwise and isn’t content with the sensible discourses of our Lord Jesus Christ or with teaching that’s in keeping with our duty, 4he is proud and knows nothing. He’s sick about questions and word battles, which give rise to: jealousies, competitions, slander, suspecting evil, 5and conflicts by people of corrupt intention and deprived of truth, who imagine that making profit is a duty. 6Well, dutifulness within contentment is very profitable. 7Truly, we brought nothing into this world, and there’s no doubt at all that we aren’t able to carry anything out. 8Indeed, we’re content if we have food and things to shelter us. 9But those who intend to get rich fall into temptation, into the Devil’s trap, and into many unuseful and harmful desires that sink people into destruction and ruin. 10Yes, that desire is the root of all sorts of evils, and some going after it have wandered away from the faith and introduced themselves to many sorrows. 11Instead, man of God, escape those things; specifically, pursue justice, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. 12Fight the faith’s good fight. Take hold of the eternal life for which you were called and about which you made a good profession in front of many witnesses. 13I charge you before God, who makes everything live, and before Christ Jesus, who testified under Pontius Pilate (a good profession), 14to keep to that commission, spotlessly, blamelessly, and constantly, till our Lord Jesus Christ’s arrival, 15which he will display at the proper time. He is the magnificent and only powerful King of kings and Lord of lords, 16who alone has immortality and inhabits unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or is even able to see, to whom be honor and everlasting dominion. Amen. 17Warn the rich of this world not to have lofty tastes or to trust in wealth’s uncertainty but in the living God (who abundantly provides everything for our use), 18to lead well, to become rich in good deeds, to distribute willingly, to share, 19and to hoard up for themselves a good basis for the future, so they can take possession of true life. 20O Timothy, guard that deposit and avoid irreverent novelties of speech and objections from (misnamed) “science”; 21by putting hope in those, some have fallen away from the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

The Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy

2 Timothy 1 1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by God’s will, in favor of his promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. 2To dear son Timothy. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3I thank God, whom I serve under a clear conscience (beginning with my ancestors), that I constantly hold a memory of you in my prayers, night and day. 4I long to see you and do remember your tears, although I’m filled with joy 5in recalling the faith that is so genuine in you and that originally lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice. But I am sure that it does inhabit you. 6For that reason I urge you to renew God’s grace that is in you from the imposition of my hands. 7After all, God didn’t give us an anxious spirit but one of power, love, and sobriety. 8So don’t be ashamed of our Lord’s witness or of me his prisoner, but labor for the gospel along with the power of God. 9He liberated us and called us by his holy calling, not in any relation to our deeds, but from his own purpose and the grace that was granted to us in Christ Jesus before worldly times 10and that has now been revealed by the illumination of our Savior Jesus Christ, who truly did ruin death and has illuminated life and incorruptibility by his gospel. 11I was set up under that gospel as a preacher, apostle, and teacher of the Gentiles. 12Because of that I am also suffering these things, but I’m not disturbed since I know the one I’ve made the loan to and am sure that he’s able to guard my deposit till that day. 13Retain the design of the sound words you heard from me, faithfully and with love in Christ Jesus; 14guard this good deposit by means of the Holy Ghost, who inhabits us. 15Realize that everyone in Asia has withdrawn from me, Phigellus and Hermogenes among them. 16May the Lord give mercy to Onesiphorus’ household because he often refreshed me and hasn’t been ashamed of my chain; 17no, once he got to Rome, he looked for me carefully and found me. 18May the Lord grant that he find mercy from the Lord on that day. You know very well how many ways he tended to me at Ephesus.

2 Timothy 2 1Well then, my son, get stronger in the grace that’s in Christ Jesus. 2And deposit the things you heard from me among many witnesses, to trustworthy people who will be capable of teaching others as well. 3Labor as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4Anyone going to war for God does not entangle himself in civilian affairs; he doesn’t, so that he can satisfy the one he enlisted for. 5Or, someone competing in a contest doesn’t get crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6A working farmer has the right to take the first of the crops for himself. 7Understand what I’m saying; indeed, the Lord will give you the meaning of it all. 8Keep in mind that the Lord Jesus Christ rose up from the dead out of the seed of David, according to my gospel. 9I am laboring under this gospel, even to the point of chains (as if I were doing wrong). But God’s word isn’t chained up. 10For that reason I endure everything for the sake of those who’ve been chosen, for them too to reach the salvation that’s in Christ Jesus and reach heavenly glory. 11It’s a true saying: “If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also rule with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; 13if we don’t believe, he stays faithful; he can’t deny himself.” 14Remind them of those things, testifying in the Lord’s presence. Don’t dispute over words, since that’s good for nothing, except for upsetting anyone listening. 15Carefully attend to yourself, to present God with a credible craftsman, unable to be embarrassed, treating the truth’s message appropriately. 16However, step away from unholy, empty talk, since that usually tends toward disrespect. 17Like a cancer, that talk creeps out from its speakers. Among those are Hymeneus and Philetus, 18who wandered away from the truth by saying that the resurrection has already happened, and have turned the faith of some upside down.

19But God’s immoveable foundation stands upright, marked with this: “The Lord knows who are his,” and “Everyone who mentions the Lord’s name should abandon injustice.” 20Now, in a great house there are not only gold and silver containers but also wood and clay ones—some of course for dignified but others for rough use. 21Well then, if anyone cleans these injustices out of himself, he will become a holy, dignified container, useful to the Lord, and ready for every sort of good work. 22Yes, run away from youthful longings, and in fact run after justice, faith, hope, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from pure hearts. 23And avoid foolish or undisciplined disputes, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24Indeed, it isn’t appropriate for a slave of the Lord to quarrel, but to be gentle toward everyone, ready to teach, patient, 25and modestly chiding those who resist the truth, in case God might give them the repentance to acknowledge the truth 26and they might recover from the traps of the Devil, by whom they’re being held as captives for his own purpose.

2 Timothy 3 1But realize that in the last days dangerous times will press in. 2There will be people who love themselves and will be covetous, exaggerated, proud, slandering, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, 3lacking affection, lacking peace, accusers, immoderate, harsh, lacking kindness, 4traitors, bold, arrogant, loving pleasures more than God, 5and even seeming to have religiousness, but refusing it its power. Yes, avoid these people. 6(Some of them infiltrate homes and captivate weak women who are full of sins and are led away by various desires, 7continually being instructed but never reaching knowledge of the truth.) 8Now, the same way Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, these people, impure in intention and deceptive about the faith, resist the truth. 9But they will advance no further, because their foolishness will be obvious to everyone, like that of those men was.

10In contrast, you have understood my instruction, manner, intention, faith, forbearance, love, patience, 11prosecutions, sufferings (such as happened to me at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra), and the kind of persecutions I endured. But the Lord rescued me out of them all. 12Indeed, everyone who wants to live loyally in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, 13while evil or misleading people will tend toward the worse, going wrong and driving others into error. 14You, though, continue in the things you were taught and that were entrusted to you, realizing who taught you 15and that you were acquainted since childhood with the holy scriptures, which are able to prepare you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 17For a man of God to be completely equipped for every good activity, every scripture was inspired by God to be useful for instructing, clarifying, rebuking, and educating in justice.

2 Timothy 4 1Before God, and before Jesus Christ who is to judge the living and dead at his coming and by his kingship, I declare: 2proclaim the message; press it when the time is right and when it isn’t; in complete humility and in all your instructing, refute, appeal, and rebuke. 3You see, there will be a time when they won’t tolerate sound teaching. Instead they will pile up teachers for themselves in harmony with their own wishes and their itching ears. 4Yes, they will turn their sense of hearing away from truth and be directed to made-up stories. 5You, though, keep watch, labor in every way, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your service. Be sober. 6You know, I’m already being worn away, and the time of my unraveling is approaching. 7I have fought a good fight, I’ve finished the course, I’ve kept faith. 8What remains is that a crown of justice is reserved for me, which the Lord, the fair judge, will provide me with on that day, and not just me, those too who love his coming.

Hurry up and come to me quickly 9because Demas abandoned me, since he loves this world, and has gone to Thessalonica. 10Crescens went to Galatia and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he’s helpful to me in our serving. 12Oh yes, I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring with you the coat that I left at Troas with Carpus, the books, and especially the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith declared many bad things about me. The Lord will repay him according to his actions. 15Avoid him yourself too, because he opposed our words intensely. 16No one stood by me in my first defense; they all deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, in order for the proclamation to be completed through me and for all the Gentiles to hear it. And I was set free from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord has set me free from every evil action and will preserve me into his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. 19Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus remained at Corinth. I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. 21Hurry and come before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers greet you. 22The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to Titus

Titus 1 1Paul, a servant of God but an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am his apostle for the faith of God’s chosen ones, for recognition of the truth that goes with goodness, 2and for hope in the everlasting life that God (who doesn’t lie) promised before worldly times. 3In his own timing, though, God has made his message clear in the preaching that I was assigned to, at the order of God our Savior. 4To Titus, dear son in our shared faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Savior. 5I left you in Crete for this business: that you should straighten out the things that are lacking and station elders over the cities. As I directed you, 6those should each be without criminal history and the husband of one wife, with children who are devoted, not insubordinate, and under no accusation of self-indulgence. 7Indeed, as God’s manager, a bishop needs to be: without crime, not proud, not irritable, not over-drinking, not violent, and not greedy for scandalous wealth. 8Instead he needs to be: hospitable, kind, sober, fair, holy, moderate, 9and embracing reliable expressions that are in keeping with the doctrine, so that he can promote that sound teaching and refute those who speak against it.

10After all, there are still many disobedient braggers and misleaders (especially from among the circumcised) 11who should be refuted. To gain wealth they ruin entire households by teaching things they shouldn’t. 12One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretians are liars, evil beasts, and lazy bellies, all the time.” 13That statement is true enough, and for that reason scold the Cretians sternly, so that they can be sound in the faith 14and not pay attention to Jewish fables or to the orders of people who turn themselves away from the truth. 15For the clean, everything is clean. For the filthy and for disbelievers, however, nothing is clean; both their mind and their conscience have been fouled. 16They claim to know God, but they deny him with their actions by being detestable, disbelieving, and no good for any sort of good work.

Titus 2 1You, though, declare the things that go along with the sound doctrine. 2For example, that the old men should be sober, chaste, prudent, and sound in faith, love, and patience. 3And the old women similarly should be: innocent in their clothing, not accusing falsely, not enslaved to quantities of wine, and good at giving instruction—4so they can teach the young women the prudence to: oblige their husbands, love their children, 5and be sensible, chaste, sober, tending the home, gentle, and subordinate to their husbands—all so that God’s word won’t be discredited. 6And urge the young men to be sober. 7Hold yourself out in every way as a model of good work and (in learning, completeness, and seriousness) 8as a sound, blameless word, so that anyone from the other side can stand in awe, with nothing bad to say about us. 9Tell slaves to be subject to their masters, agreeable in everything, not talking back, 10not stealing, but showing a good fidelity in everything, so that in every way they can be commending our Savior’s (God’s) teaching. 11You see, the grace of God our Savior did show itself for all mankind 12and has instructed us, so that, while turning irreverence and worldly wishes down, we can live soberly, fairly, and responsibly in this world 13as we wait for that happy prospect, the arrival of God’s great glory and our Savior Jesus Christ. 14He gave himself up in exchange for us, in order to ransom us from every injustice and to purify for himself a worthy people who go after good deeds. 15Declare, encourage, and prove all this with full authority. Don’t let anyone disregard you.

Titus 3 1Remind them to be subject to rulers and the authorities, to obey at a word of theirs, to be ready for any good deed, 2to speak badly about no one, not to be quarrelsome, but moderate, showing complete mildness toward all people. 3After all, at one time we too were foolish, disbelieving, wandering, governed by various desires and pleasures, acting in malice and envy, disagreeable, and hating each other. 4But when the kindness and humanity of our Savior, God, appeared 5(not as a result of just deeds we had done but in accord with his mercy), he saved us by means of the Holy Spirit’s bath of regeneration and renewal. 6He poured that Spirit out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, justified by his grace, we can be heirs regarding the prospect of everlasting life.

8It’s a reliable saying (and I want you to reinforce this) that those who believe in God should look to take charge of honest labors; such things are good, and helpful to people. 9But avoid foolish matters, genealogies, fights, and legal battles, because they are harmful and empty. 10Avoid a heretical person after the first and second rebuke, 11realizing that such a person has been ruined, is in the wrong, and has been condemned by his own opinion. 12Once I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, hurry and come to me at Nicopolis, since I’ve decided to winter there. 13Send Zenas, the legal expert, and Apollo out ahead (thoughtfully, so that nothing is missing for them). 14Also, our people should learn to take charge of honest labors, even for the purpose of needed training, so they won’t be useless. 15Everyone with me greets you. Greet those who love us in the faith. God’s grace be with all of you. Amen.

The Letter of Saint Paul to Philemon

Philemon 1Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and brother Timothy. To dear Philemon our assistant, 2to dear sister Appia, to our comrade in battle Archippus, and to the church at your house. 3Grace and peace to you all from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 5Philemon, since I hear of your love and the faith you have in the Lord Jesus and in all the saints, I thank my God and remember you all the time in my prayers, 6praying that a transmitting of that faith of yours would become obvious upon anyone’s perception that the good activity among you people is from Christ Jesus. 7I did take a lot of joy and encouragement in your love, brother, because the saints’ hearts found rest through you. 8Because of that, even though I have enough confidence in Christ Jesus to demand the gist of the matter from you, 9out of love I’m pleading instead, since you are old like Paul (though he is in addition Jesus Christ’s prisoner at present).

10I’m pleading with you for my son, Onesimus, whom I fathered during my imprisonment. 11He was of no use to you before, but is useful now, both to me and you. 12I have sent him back to you; but do receive him as you would my heart. 13I was preferring to keep him back with me, so that he could be serving me, here in the gospel’s chains, in place of you. 14But I didn’t want to do anything without your decision, so that your goodness could be voluntary, not out of some necessity. 15So it certainly could be that he deserted you for a time so you could get him back forever, 16not as a slave anymore but, in place of a slave, a very dear brother, especially dear to me but how much more to you, both physically and in the Lord! 17Well then, if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would me. 18Also, if he harmed you in any way or owes you something, charge that to me. 19I, Paul, wrote this with my own hand: “I will repay.” Not to mention that you even owe your very self to me. 20Yes, brother, let me enjoy you in the Lord. Restore my heart in the Lord. 21Relying on your compliance, I’ve written to you, though I realize you’ll do even more than what I’m urging. 22Nevertheless, prepare lodging for me too, because through the prayers of all of you I’m hoping to be given over to you. 23Epaphras (my fellow captive in Christ Jesus), 24and Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke (some assistants of mine) greet you, Philemon. 25The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirits. Amen.

The Letter to the Hebrews

Hebrews 1 1Although in the past God spoke in many places and ways to the fathers by prophets, 2lately in these days he has spoken to us in the Son that he designated to be the heir of everything, by whom he even made the world. 3His Son is the brightness of His glory and the image of His nature, and is upholding everything by his powerful word. After bringing about the cleansing from sins, he is sitting at the right hand of the Majesty in highest heaven, 4since he was shown to be better than the angels to the same degree that he inherited a more excellent name than theirs. 5For example, to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have fathered you” and also, “I will be Father to him, and he will be Son to me”? 6And once more, when he brings the firstborn into the world, it says, “And let all God’s angels worship him.” 7About the angels it does say, “He makes his angels spirits and his servants a flame of fire,” 8but about the Son: “Your throne, O God, is forever; the scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice 9you loved justice and hated injustice; that is why God, your God, has anointed you with an oil of greater joy than your fellows.” 10And, “In the beginning, O Lord, you established the earth, and the heavens are products of your hands; 11they will be undone, but you will continue; they will all grow old like clothing, 12but like clothing you will remove them, and they will be changed; you, though, are the same, and your years will not end.” 13Also, to which of the angels did he ever say, “Sit at my right until I arrange your enemies as a stool for your feet”? 14Aren’t the angels all assisting spirits, sent for serving those who will be obtaining salvation’s inheritance?

Hebrews 2 1That is why we should pay fuller attention to the things we’ve learned, in case we might forget them. 2After all, if the declaration delivered through angels was made firm, and every deviation and disobedience got its fair payback of punishment, 3how will we escape if we disregard this great a salvation, which was confirmed to us by those who heard it explained in detail by the Lord’s mouth after its first principles had been taken in? 4God too attested this with signs, wonders, various miracles, and distributions of the Holy Spirit corresponding to his purpose. 5No, God didn’t subject the world to come that I’m talking about to angels. 6Indeed, someone in one place declared, “What is mankind, that you are mindful of him, or the Son of man, that you keep seeing him? 7You diminished him to a little below angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and stationed him over the works of your hands; 8you subjected everything under his feet.” In that He subjected everything to him, He left nothing not subject to him. At this time we don’t yet see everything subjected to him, 9but we do see Jesus, who was reduced to not much less than angels and crowned with glory and honor for suffering death, (so that by God’s grace he could sample death for everyone).

10In fact, it was appropriate that He for whom everything exists, by whom everything exists, and who had drawn many children toward glory, would have perfected the founder of their salvation through suffering. 11You see, the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified both have the same nature. That’s the reason he isn’t mixed up when he calls them brothers: 12“I will make your name known to my brothers; I will praise you within the assembly.” 13And again, “I will put my trust in him…” along with “…I here, and my children that God gave me.” 14Because the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in those, so that by means of death he could destroy the one who was using the power of death (that is, the Devil) 15and could set free those who were submissive, through fear of death, to a slavery during their whole lives. 16No, on no occasion does he embrace angels, only descendants of Abraham. 17So he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order to become compassionate and faithful as a high priest toward God, and to continue appeasement for the people’s offenses. 18Yes, he is able to help those who are tempted in any matter he himself suffered and was tempted in.

Hebrews 3 1So now, holy brothers, sharers of the heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest we profess. 2He is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was among all his people. 3But this man has been held worthy of more fame than Moses, by as much as the person who built a house has more honor than the house. 4(Actually every house is built by someone, but the one who created everything is God.) 5Moses was faithful, it’s true, within his whole people as a servant, in testifying the things that were to be declared, 6but Christ was faithful as a Son in his household. We are that household if we keep firm hold of hope’s assurance and glory, to the end. 7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “If you hear his voice today, 8don’t harden your hearts, the way you did during the aggravation in the day of testing in the desert, 9where for forty years your fathers tested and judged me, though they saw my deeds; 10that’s why I was enraged at that generation and said, ‘They keep on wandering in their hearts, and they haven’t learned my paths’; 11as I vowed in my anger, ‘If only they’ll enter my rest.'”

12Look out, brothers, in case there might be in any of you a bad heart of disbelief and you would abandon the living God. 13Instead encourage each other throughout each day, while it is called “today,” so that none of you would get hardened in sin’s deception. 14You see, we were formed to be sharers in Christ, at least if we firmly hold the first pieces of his wealth, all the way to the end, 15as long as it is being said, “If you hear his voice today, don’t harden your hearts, as during that aggravation.” 16Yes, some who heard it did aggravate him, though not everyone who came out of Egypt under Moses. 17But whom was he enraged at for forty years? Wasn’t it at those who sinned, whose corpses were spread out in the desert? 18And to whom did he vow that they wouldn’t enter his rest, except those who were disbelieving? 19We do realize that they weren’t able to enter because of their disbelief.

Hebrews 4 1And so, we should be fearful in case any one of you might be considered falling short of the remaining promise of entering his rest. 2Yes, it was announced to us too, as it was to them, but when they heard the message, it didn’t do them any good, since they hadn’t involved faith in the things they heard. 3But we who have had faith will go into that rest. As he said, “As I vowed in my anger, ‘If only they’ll enter my rest,'” though of course his works had been completed since the foundation of the world. 4I mean, about the seventh day it says somewhere, “And God rested from all his works on the seventh day.” 5But back at the other place, “If only they’ll enter my rest.” 6So then, it is still open for some to enter it, but those it was first announced to didn’t enter, out of disbelief. 7A second time he does designate a day, to be declared to David after such a long time: “Today.” As was quoted above, “If you hear his voice today, don’t harden your hearts.” 8Now if Joshua had fulfilled this rest for them, there never would have been mention afterwards about another day. 9So there does remain a sabbath for God’s people. 10Yes, anyone who has “entered his rest” has rested from his works, as God did from his. 11So let us hurry to enter that rest, so that no one falls into that same pattern of disbelief. 12(Truly, God’s speech is alive, effective, more penetrating than any two edged sword, reaches to the division of the soul and the spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a judge of a heart’s thoughts and intentions; 13in his view, no creature is unseen; everything is naked and open to his eyes; even this discussion is toward him.)

14Having now a great high priest who has penetrated the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold onto our profession. 15After all, we don’t have a high priest unable to suffer with us in our weaknesses, but one tempted similarly in every way except sin. 16Then let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we can obtain mercy and find favor for the right kind of help.

Hebrews 5 1You see, every high priest taken from among men is ordained on behalf of people in the matters related to God, for him to offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He’s able to empathize with those who are ignorant and go astray, because he too has been enveloped with weakness. 3That’s why he’s obliged to make sacrifice for sins for himself, the same way he does for the people. 4And no one claims this honor for himself, only someone called by God, like Aaron. 5Likewise Christ didn’t make himself famous so as to become a high priest. Rather, it was by the one who said to him, “You are my Son; today I have fathered you.” 6As He says in another place too, “You are a priest forever, in line with Melchisedech’s order.”

7In the days of his body, Christ offered prayers and appeals with a strong cry and tears, up to the one who was able to preserve him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8Even though he was the Son of God, he learned obedience from the things he suffered, 9and once he was complete, he became for everyone obeying him the opportunity for eternal salvation 10and was named high priest in line with Melchisedech’s order by God. 11I have a full discourse about this Melchisedech, but it’s hard to explain because you’ve become hard of hearing. 12And really, though you ought to be teachers (for all the time you’ve had!), you need to be retaught what the first principles of God’s declarations are. And you’ve become people who need milk, not solid food. 13For instance, someone who is a partaker of milk has no part in a discussion of justice, since he’s a little child, 14while solid food is for the mature, for those who have their senses trained habitually for distinguishing good and bad.

Hebrews 6 1So letting a discussion of the beginning of Christ pass, I should be allowed onward to more mature things and should not lay over again the foundation of: repenting from dead deeds, faith toward God, 2the teaching about baptisms and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3And I will do this if God does in fact permit. 4I mean, it’s impossible for those who at one time were illuminated, tasted the heavenly gift, became sharers in the Holy Spirit, 5and tasted God’s good word and the powers of the world to come, 6but have fallen away, to be restored back to repentance, since they’ve crucified the Son of God over again for themselves and had only been believing for show. 7You know, when some land absorbs rain that comes on it over and over, and produces a plant useful to those who cultivated it, it receives a blessing from God. 8But when it produces thorns and thistles, it is rejected and very close to a curse, with the fate of being burned. 9But though I’m talking this way, I’m sure of better things, closer to salvation, for you, dear ones, 10because God isn’t so unfair that he would forget your work and the love you’ve shown in his name, you who did tend and do tend to the saints. 11But I desire each one of you to show, to the end, that same concern for accomplishing what we hope for, 12and not to become sluggish but imitators of those who by faith and patience will inherit the promised things.

13Now when God made the promise to Abraham, he swore by himself, since he had no one greater he could swear by. 14He said, “If I don’t bless you now, I will bless you, and if I don’t multiply you now, I will multiply you.” 15And so, after patiently enduring, Abraham did obtain what was promised. 16People swear by someone greater than themselves, and a confirming oath marks the end of all their controversy. 17God inserted an oath in that way, because he meant to more fully show the promise’s heirs the permanence of his purpose, 18so that we could have the strongest comfort by two unchangeable things that it is impossible for God to lie in regard to—we who have run out to hold onto the proposed hope, 19which we hold safe and firm as life’s anchor. We are approaching, up to the inner veil, 20where Jesus, the forerunner, has gone in on our behalf, having been made a high priest forever in line with Melchisedech’s order.

Hebrews 7 1You know, this Melchisedech was king of Salem and priest of Highest God. He met and blessed Abraham when Abraham had returned from killing some kings; 2Abraham kept tithes of all their things apart for him. First, of course, Melchisedech is understood to be the “king of justice,” but then also, king of Salem, that is, “the king of peace.” 3Without a father, mother, or genealogy, and having no starting time or end to his life, but comparable to the Son of God, he continues as a priest forever. 4Now consider how great this priest is. Abraham the patriarch gave him the tithes out of the better things. 5True, those of Levi’s sons that receive the priesthood have a command to take tithes from the people in keeping with the law, that is to say, from their brothers, although they too came from between Abraham’s thighs. 6But this priest, whose genealogy isn’t figured among them, received tithes from Abraham and blessed this man who was holding the promises. 7Now without a doubt, what is less is blessed by what is better. 8With us, of course, dying men receive tithes, but with him it is testified that he lives on. 9It could even be said that Levi, who received tithes, also paid tithes through Abraham, 10since he was still between his father Abraham’s thighs when Melchisedech met Abraham. 11So if there had been perfection through the Levitical priesthood (under which the people did receive the law), what further need was there for another priest to rise up in line with Melchisedech’s order and not be named in line with Aaron’s order? 12In fact, for the priesthood to be transferred, it’s necessary for a change of the law to be made too, 13because the man these things are being said about is from a different tribe, one from which no one was present at the altar. 14Yes, it’s a plain fact that our Lord came out of Juda, a tribe Moses said nothing about priests in. 15And it’s even far more evident if, similar to Melchisedech, another priest arises 16who didn’t come about in line with the law’s physical command, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17You see, it is testified, “You are a priest forever in line with Melchisedech’s order.” 18Truly, a rejection of the former commandment comes about (because of the weakness and impracticality of it, 19since the law brought nothing to perfection); but the introduction of a better hope, by which we draw near to God, is brought about. 20 21The others were even made priests without an oath, whereas this man has an oath by the one who said to him: “The Lord has sworn and will not reconsider: you are a priest forever.” And as surely as this change is accompanied by an oath, 22Jesus as surely became the guarantor of a better testament. 23The other priests became numerous, of course, since they were being prevented by death from continuing. 24But this one, because he continues forever, has an everlasting priesthood, 25by which he is constantly able to save those approaching God through him, since he is alive forever to intercede on our behalf. 26It certainly was appropriate that such a high priest for us was holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and taken higher than the heavens. 27He doesn’t need, as the other priests do, to offer sacrifices daily first for his own sins and then for the people’s, because he did this one time, by the offering of himself. 28The law forms priests from men with weakness, but the oath’s declaration (which is after the law) establishes the Son for an eternal perfection.

Hebrews 8 1Here is a summary of the things being affirmed. We have such a high priest, who sat down at the right of the throne of Greatness in the heavens, 2the minister of holy things and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord, not man, erected. 3Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so it’s necessary for ours to have something to offer too. 4Well, if he were on earth, he wouldn’t be a priest, since there are those here who’ll offer gifts according to the law. 5They devote themselves to the example and shadow of heavenly things. As Moses was advised when he was finishing the tabernacle, “See,” He said, “that you make everything conform to the pattern you were shown on the mountain.” 6But this man has now received a better ministry and is the mediator of that much better testament, one that was established on better promises. 7If the former one had actually been without defect, a place wouldn’t have been sought out for a second. 8You see, finding fault with them, it says, “See, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will bring about for the household of Israel and for the household of Juda a new testament, 9not along the line of the testament I made for their fathers on the day I grabbed their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, since they didn’t continue in my testament and I did nothing about them, says the Lord; 10the testament I will arrange for the house of Israel after those days is this, says the Lord: I will communicate my laws to their minds and write them down in their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be my people; 11each one won’t be instructing his neighbor or his brother by saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ since they’ll all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, 12because I will be merciful about their injustices and no longer bring up their sins.” 13Now in saying “a new one,” he’s treated the first one as old. And what gets old and weak is near its destruction.

Hebrews 9 1To illustrate, the first one also had regulations and a worldly sanctuary. 2Namely, a first tabernacle (called the holy place) was built, which had candlesticks, the table, and the layout of the loaves within it. 3But behind a second veil was the tabernacle called the Holies’ holy place. 4It had a gold incenser and the ark of the testament, which was covered with gold on every side and in which was a gold pot of manna, the rod of Aaron that had blossomed, and the engraved slabs of the testament. 5Above the ark were the glorious cherubim overshadowing a propitiatory (that doesn’t need to be discussed by itself). 6Now with these things arranged this way, the priests would regularly enter the first tabernacle to execute their sacrificial duties. 7However, once a year the high priest would enter the second one alone, with blood that he offered for his own and the people’s ignorance. 8By this the Holy Spirit was indicating that with the first tabernacle still in place, the method of the Holies’ hadn’t been revealed yet. 9This provides a parallel of the present occasion compared to the gifts and sacrifices being offered that aren’t able to make their devotee perfect in his conscience, merely in meats, drinks, 10various washings, and physical rules imposed up until this time of the improvement. 11But when Christ staked himself as high priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more complete tabernacle, not hand-made (that is, not of this creation), 12and not by means of the blood of goats or calves but by his own blood, he entered one time into this Holies’ after the eternal redemption had been earned. 13Indeed, if the sprinkled blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer make those who were contaminated holy in regard to a physical purification, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who offered himself spotless to God by the Holy Spirit, purify our consciences from lifeless deeds, for serving the living God?

15For this reason he is the mediator of the new testament, and so, by means of a death that intervened to buy off the infractions that were under the first testament, those who are called can receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. 16You see, where there is a testament, it’s necessary for the death of the will’s maker to occur. 17That is, a testament is in force in regard to the dead; otherwise (while the will’s maker is alive) it isn’t in force yet. 18Even the first one wasn’t dedicated without blood. 19For example, when every commandment of the law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20and said, “This is the blood of the testament that God has delivered to you.” 21He also sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with blood. 22Indeed, according to the law almost everything is cleaned with blood, and forgiveness doesn’t happen without a shedding of blood. 23So it’s necessary for the patterns, at least, of heavenly things, to be cleaned in these ways, but for the heavenly things themselves, better sacrifices than those are needed. 24No, Jesus didn’t enter the hand-made holy places, the patterns of the true ones, but into heaven itself, so that he can now appear in God’s presence for us, 25not offering himself repeatedly the way the high priest enters the Holies’ every year with others’ blood. 26(Otherwise he too should have suffered repeatedly from the beginning of the world). Instead, now, one time, near the end of generations, he appeared for putting sin away by the sacrifice of himself. 27And just as it was appointed for people to die one time (but with judgment following), 28Christ too was offered one time, to drain the sins of many away. Done with sin, he will appear a second time for those awaiting him for salvation.

Hebrews 10 1Now the law—having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of them—can never make those coming to the sacrifices offered throughout each year, perfect by means of these. 2Otherwise their being offered would have stopped, and the worshipers, cleansed one time, would have no further awareness of sin. 3But throughout the year a reminder of sins is carried on in them. 4Really, it’s impossible for sin to be taken away by bull and goat blood. 5That is why as he comes into the world, he says, “You didn’t want sacrifice and offering, but you did furnish a body for me; 6burnt offerings for sin did not please you; 7then I said, ‘Here I come; at the top of the list it was written down about me that I would do your will, O God.'” 8By saying first, “You didn’t want sacrifices, offerings, or holocausts for sin, and they aren’t pleasing to you,” (things offered according to the law) 9and then, “Then I said, ‘Here I come to do your will, O God,'” he is taking the first away to establish the one that follows. 10In that “will” we were made holy by the offering of Jesus Christ’s body one time. 11Every priest does stand ready, serving daily, and repeatedly offering the same sacrifices that are never able to take sins away. 12After offering one sacrifice for sins, though, this man sits forever at God’s right hand, 13waiting now for his enemies to be placed as a stool for his feet. 14Yes, by one offering he perfected toward eternity those purified. 15And the Holy Spirit also vouches to us, since after that, he said, 16“But this is the testament that I will swear to them after those days, says the Lord: I will communicate my laws within their hearts, and I will write them down in their minds, 17and I will no longer ponder their sins or injustices.” 18Now where there is a downplaying of those, there isn’t any longer the offering for sin.

19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence in Christ’s blood at the entrance to the Holies’, 20and a new and living way that he dedicated for us through the veil (that is, his body), 21and a high priest over God’s household, 22let us approach in faith’s fullness with true hearts, now that our hearts were sprinkled free from an evil conscience and our bodies were washed with clean water. 23Let us hold on to our hope’s profession without wavering, because the one who promised is faithful. 24Let’s also consider each other in relation to the challenge of love and good works; 25and let’s not desert our gathering, as is habitual for some, but encourage each other, and more so as you see the day approaching. 26You see, if we sin willfully after having familiarity with the truth, there is no longer a sacrifice left for sins, 27only some terrible anticipation of judgment and the jealous fire that is going to devour enemies. 28Someone treating the law of Moses as useless dies without any mercy under two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishments do you think are deserved by someone who has trampled the Son of God, and treated as unclean the blood of the testament by which he was purified, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30I mean, we know who said, “Revenge is for me and I will pay back,” and also, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31It is terrible to fall into the hands of the living God.

32But do remember the early days of your enlightenment, when you underwent that great trial of sufferings 33and became a public attraction for insults and afflictions on the one hand, and on the other hand became companions of those living that way. 34For instance, you not only had compassion on the people in chains, but accepted with joy the ripping off of your property, knowing that you had better and lasting goods. 35So don’t lose hold of your confidence, which supports a great reward. 36Patience certainly is necessary for you, so that by doing God’s will, you can gain what is promised. 37Yes, it’s still a somewhat little while, and then the one who is to come will come and will not be late. 38“A just one of mine lives on faith, but if he withdraws himself, he will not be pleasing to my Spirit.” 39However, we are not children withdrawing toward ruin, but children of faith toward the acquisition of life.

Hebrews 11 1Now faith is the basis for the things to be hoped for, not a proving of some evident things. 2The ancestors, in fact, acquired their reputation in regard to faith. 3By faith we recognize that the world was put in order by God’s word, when visible things were being created from invisible ones. 4By faith Abel offered God a much greater sacrifice than Cain; by that sacrifice he acquired the reputation that he was just, with God vouching for his gifts; and though dead, he still speaks through his sacrifice. 5By faith Enoch was transferred so that he wouldn’t see death, and he couldn’t be found because God did transfer him. You see, before his transfer he had the reputation that he pleased God, 6but without faith it is impossible to please God. Yes, anyone approaching God needs to believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those seeking him. 7By faith Noah, after getting a message about some things that couldn’t be seen yet and fearful for the safety of his household, framed the ark, and in doing so condemned the world and was set up as an heir of the justice that is through faith. 8By faith the one called Abraham obeyed the call to go away to a place he would be receiving for an inheritance, and he did head out without knowing where he was going. 9By faith he lingered in the promised land as if in a foreign one, living in huts with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs of the same promise. 10Truly he was looking for a city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11By faith Sara too, though childless, received the strength to conceive a child in spite of old age, because she believed that the one who had promised was trustworthy. 12For the same reason, a people was able to emerge from one virtually dead man, a people as numerous as heaven’s stars and innumerable like grains of beach sand. 13All of these ancestors of theirs died with faith, without getting the things promised, just pondering them from a distance, saluting them, and acknowledging that they were foreigners and visitors on earth. 14Now those who talk that way are indicating that they’re after a fatherland for themselves, 15and if they’d been thinking of the one they came out of, they certainly had time to go back. 16As it is, though, they’re longing for a better one, that is, a heavenly one; and so God isn’t disturbed to be called their God, since he has prepared a city for them.

17By faith Abraham, when he was tested, presented Isaac and was offering up the only son he had fathered who was receiving the promises. 18He had been told, “Descendants will be designated for you through Isaac,” 19but he believed that God was even able to raise from the dead, and he did receive him too, as if from the dead. 20By faith, likewise about things to come, Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau. 21By faith the dying Jacob blessed each of Joseph’s sons and addressed the top of Joseph’s scepter. 22By faith the dying Joseph reminded them about bringing Israel’s descendants out and gave instructions about his own bones. 23By faith newborn Moses’ parents hid him for three months because they had seen the fine baby and weren’t afraid of the king’s decree. 24By faith the grown-up Moses denied he was the son of Pharao’s daughter. 25He chose to be afflicted along with God’s people, rather than to have the delight of fleeting sin; 26he was assessing one insult aimed at Christ as greater wealth than the Egyptians’ treasure, since he was looking toward this reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, unafraid of the king’s fierceness, because he held up as someone seeing the invisible One. 28By faith he kept the Passover and the shedding of the blood, so that the one destroying firstborn sons wouldn’t touch them. 29By faith they went through the Red Sea, as if over dry land; when the Egyptians attempted this, they were swallowed up. 30Marched around by faith for seven days, the walls of Jericho collapsed. 31By faith Rahab the harlot, in rescuing the spies peacefully, didn’t die with the disbelieving.

32But what more can I say? That is, time will run short for me to explain about Gedeon, Barac, Samson, Jephthe, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33By faith they conquered kingdoms, brought about justice, achieved some promised things, blocked lions’ mouths, 34put out furious fire, escaped the sword’s edge, recovered from weakness, became valiant in battle, and turned foreign armies around. 35Women received their dead from a resurrection. On the other hand, some people were stretched apart, not accepting release, in order to find a better resurrection. 36Other ones were tried by mockery and whips, besides chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, cut apart, and tempted, died under the sword’s slaughter, and traveled around in sheepskins and goatskins, in need, distressed, afflicted 38(the world wasn’t worthy of them), wandering in deserts, mountains, caves, and underground holes. 39But none of these, though commended by the evidence of their faith, did receive what was promised, 40because God was preparing something better for us, and so, they weren’t to be brought to completion without us.

Hebrews 12 1Then with such an established cloud of witnesses, and setting down every weight and the sin surrounding us, let us too run with patience all the way to the prize set out before us, 2looking toward the leader and perfecter of faith, Jesus, who in the joy set out for him endured the cross, defied its shame, and is now sitting at the right of God’s throne. 3Yes, reconsider this one who endured that kind of opposition from sinners, so you won’t get worn down and falter in your spirits. 4Indeed, in struggling against sin, you haven’t withstood it to the point of blood yet. 5And you’ve neglected this encouragement that speaks to you as children: “My son, don’t disregard the Lord’s training or be irritated while he’s complaining about you, 6because the Lord is loving anyone he corrects, and he does whip every son that he’s taking back.” 7Persist in the training; God is presenting himself to you as to his children, and what child does his father not lay hold of? 8But if you’re outside the discipline that everyone else had to take part in, then you’re illegitimate, not real, children. 9Besides, we’ve had our physical fathers as instructors and we honored them. Shouldn’t we comply much more with the Father of spirits, and be supported? 10They were instructing us during a short time at their own pleasure, but he does so for what is helpful: for us to receive his sanctification. 11At the time, of course, no disciplining seems to be a joy, only a grief; but afterward it will provide those trained by it with a very calm enjoyment of justice.

12So, lift up your relaxed hands and weak knees, 13and make straight steps with your feet, so that anyone limping won’t lose the way, but rather be healed. 14Go after peace with everyone, and holiness, without which no one will see God. 15Be attentive, so that no one will lack God’s grace; and that no root of bitterness will sprout up and be in the way, and many might get contaminated by it; 16and that there won’t be any fornicator, or an unholy person like Esau, who sold his firstborn’s birthright for one meal. 17In fact, you should know that even afterward when he longed to inherit the blessing, he was rejected and found no opportunity to change his mind, although he had looked for one with tears. 18Now, you didn’t approach a tangible mountain, a burning fire, a whirlwind, a darkness, a storm, 19a trumpet sound, or the verbal voice that was such, that those who heard it pleaded for those words not to be spoken to them. 20(For example, they couldn’t bear this being said: “And if an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned”; 21and what was being seen was so terrible that Moses said, “I was terrified and trembling.”) 22No, you have come to mount Sion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to a crowd of many thousands of angels, 23and to the church of the firstborn who were enrolled in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of perfected just people, 24and to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood that speaks better than Abel’s. 25See that you don’t refuse the one speaking, since if those who refused the one speaking on the earth didn’t escape, any of us who turn away from the one speaking to us from heaven certainly won’t. 26His voice moved the earth at that time, but now he promises, “One more time I will move not only the earth but heaven too.” 27What he’s saying (“Yet once more…”) indicates a “re-moval” of the movable things of creation, so that the immovable ones can remain. 28So, since we get an immovable kingdom, we have a gratitude by which we should be devoted and pleasing to God, with fear and reverence 29since our God is a consuming fire.

Hebrews 13 1Let love of the brotherhood continue in you. 2And don’t neglect hospitality, since some angels, received with hospitality, have escaped notice at the time. 3Don’t forget the detained, as if you were chained up with them, or the suffering, since you’re lingering in the body yourselves. 4Let marriage be honored among everyone and its bed be spotless, because God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5Let your behavior be without greed, limited to existing things, because he said, “I will not let you down or abandon you,” 6and so we can confidently say, “The Lord is a helper for me; I won’t be afraid of what people might do to me.” 7Remember your overseers, who told you God’s word. Imitate their faith, noticing the result of their conduct.

8Jesus is Christ yesterday and today and also into the ages. 9Don’t be led away by various strange teachings. For example, it’s best for the heart to be secured with grace, not foods, which haven’t done those involved in them any good. 10We have an altar that those devoted to the tabernacle have no right to eat from. 11Now the bodies of the animals whose blood is brought into the Holies’ for sin by the high priest get burned outside the camp. 12That’s why Jesus suffered outside the gate too, to make the people holy by his own blood. 13So then, let’s go outside the camp to him, bearing the insult that is his, 14since we don’t have a lasting city here; we’re after the one to come. 15Through him, let’s keep offering the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips acknowledging his name. 16But don’t neglect doing good or sharing in common, because God deserves such sacrifices.

17Obey your overseers and be subject to them—seeing that they’re keeping watch as if they’ll be reporting an account of your souls—so they can give this account with joy, not groaning (no, that wouldn’t be to your advantage). 18Pray for me. (Yes, I trust I have a good conscience, wanting to behave honorably in every way.) 19Even more, I’m pleading with you to pray, so I could be restored to you more quickly. 20And may the God of peace, who raised the sheep’s great shepherd (our Lord Jesus Christ, in the blood of the everlasting testament) up from the dead, 21equip you in every good way (so that you can do his will), doing in you what is pleasing in his eyes through Jesus Christ, whose glory is forever and ever. Amen. 22Also, brothers, I beg you to allow this consoling message, since I’ve written you in very few words. 23Realize that with our brother Timothy released, if he comes soon, I will see you along with him. 24Greet all your overseers and all the saints. The brothers from Italy greet you. 25Grace be with all of you. Amen.

The Letter of St. James

James 1 1James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. To the twelve tribes that are in the scattering. Greetings. 2My brothers, when you meet various temptations, consider it all as a joy, 3realizing that your faith’s testing works out a patience. 4And then, patience produces a thorough effect, so that you can be complete and sound, not falling short in anything. 5Still, if one of you is short on wisdom, he should ask for some from God (who offers it richly to everyone and doesn’t find fault), and it will be given to him. 6But he should ask in trust, with no uncertainty, because the person who is uncertain is like a wave in the sea that gets moved and carried around by the wind. 7So, someone like that shouldn’t think that he would receive anything from the Lord; 8a man with a double mind is unstable in all his ways.

9Now the insignificant brother should be proud of his elevated state, 10while the rich one should make much of his unimportance, since he will pass away like a hay-flower. 11You see, the sun rose up with its heat and dried out the hay, and its flower died, and the beauty of its features was undone; in this way too the rich one will waste away under his journeys. 12The man who endures temptation is wealthy, because after he’s been proven, he will receive life’s crown that God has promised to those loving him. 13As anyone is being tempted, he shouldn’t say he’s being tempted by God. No, God is the one who threatens the punishments, and doesn’t himself tempt anyone. 14In reality, each person gets tempted, drawn away, and misled, by his own desire. 15After desire has conceived, it next gives birth to sin, but sin, when completed, generates death. 16Therefore don’t be mistaken, my dear brothers. 17Every good gift, every excellent gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there isn’t any shifting or any shadow of change. 18For example, he willingly fathered us by truth’s word, so that we could be the starting point of a number of his creatures. 19And you know that, my dear brothers.

In addition, everyone should be quick at hearing, but slow at speaking and slow at getting angry, 20since men’s anger doesn’t bring God’s justice about. 21Therefore, throw away all foulness and all of malice’s wealth, and tamely submit to the word that was planted, which is able to save your souls. 22However, be doers of the word, not simply listeners tricking yourselves. 23After all, if someone is a hearer and not a doer of the word, he can be compared to a man after he examines his natural features in a mirror. 24He did examine himself, then went away, but soon forgot what kind of man he was. 25On the other hand, whoever has looked into freedom’s perfect law, continued in it, and become a producer of work, not a forgetful hearer, will be made glad in what he’s done. 26Also, if anyone thinks he’s religious while not restraining his tongue as he misleads his heart, his religion is empty. 27In the eyes of God and the Father, pure unstained religion is this: to keep checking on orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unstained by this world.

James 2 1My brothers, don’t hold our glorious Lord Jesus Christ’s faith along with a regard for anyone’s status. 2For instance, let’s say a man with a gold ring, in fine garments, comes into a gathering of yours, and a poor man in dirty clothes comes in too. 3And you focus on the one dressed in the beautiful clothes and say to him, “Please be seated right here.” But you say to the poor man, “Stand over there” or, “Sit near my footrest.” 4Aren’t you judging among yourselves and haven’t you become judges with lopsided reasoning? 5Listen, my dear brothers. Didn’t God choose the poor in this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom God promised to those loving him? 6But you have dishonored the poor. Don’t rich people oppress you by force and drag you into the courts? 7Don’t they blaspheme the good name that was called on over you? 8Anyway, you’re doing well if you carry out the king’s law, following the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 9But if you’re letting statuses in, you’re engaged in sin, convicted by that law just like any trespasser. 10Indeed, if anyone kept the entire law except for offending in one matter, he’s become answerable for it all, 11because the one who said, “You shall not commit adultery” also said, “You shall not kill.” Now if you don’t commit adultery but do kill, you’ve become the law’s violator. 12Speak and act as if you’re starting to be judged by liberty’s principle, 13since the judgment is merciless for the person who hasn’t practiced mercy. (Mercy does trump a condemnation though.)

14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but he doesn’t have works? Will faith be able to save him? 15And if a brother or sister were exposed and needed the ordinary necessities, 16but one of you told him, “Go in peace, be warmed and satisfied,” but didn’t give him the things necessary for his body, what good is that? 17Likewise if faith doesn’t have works, it is dead inside itself. 18Or one could say this: “You think that you have faith but I have works? Well, show me your faith apart from works; by my works I will show you my faith.” 19You believe that there is one God. You’re doing well. And demons believe that too, but they tremble. 20Still, idle one, are you willing to perceive that a faith without works has died? 21Wasn’t Abraham our father justified in works, in presenting his son Isaac on the altar? 22Then do you see that his faith was co-operating in his works and that faith was completed in works? 23It was then that the scripture was made good that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as justice,” and he was called God’s friend. 24Do you see that a person is justified in works and not only from faith? 25Similarly, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute justified in works by receiving the messengers and sending them out by another way? 26Yes, faith without works has died, the same way a body without its spirit has died.

James 3 1My brothers, most of you shouldn’t want to become teachers, realizing that you would take on a greater judgment. 2Really, all of us offend in many things. If someone doesn’t offend in the course of his words, he is a perfect man; he’s even able to lead his whole body around under restraint. 3When we put bits into horses’ mouths to conform them to us, we then move their whole bodies around. 4Consider ships too: though they might be large and driven by strong winds, still they get moved around by a little rudder to wherever the pilot’s impulse determines. 5In the same way, the tongue is certainly a little member, but it boasts great things. Consider how small a fire can catch a large forest on fire; 6and the tongue is a fire, a whole world of injustice. The tongue is placed among our members but dishonors the whole body and, by hell, sets our generation’s cycle on fire. 7It’s true that the nature of all animals, birds, reptiles, and the rest gets tamed or has been tamed by human nature. 8But no one is able to tame his tongue, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9Upon it we praise God and the Father, but under it we curse people, who were made for similarity to God. 10Praising and cursing proceed out of the same mouth. My brothers, things shouldn’t be that way. 11Does a spring send sweet and bitter water out of the same hole? 12Is a fig tree able, my brothers, to make grapes, or a vine to produce figs? Neither can salt water make a sweet drink.

13Who among you is wise and instructed? Under wisdom’s gentleness he should show the result in good behavior. 14But if you have bitter jealousy, and contentions are in your hearts, don’t brag or be liars, against truth. 15I mean, that isn’t a wisdom coming down from above, but an earthly, brutish, devilish one. 16Really, wherever jealousy and contention are, there too are instability and every sort of wrong-doing. 17In contrast, the wisdom from above is first of all chaste, of course, then peacemaking, moderate, persuadable, agreeing to the good, full of mercy and good effects, not judging, and without pretense. 18In addition, for those making peace, justice gets produced in that peace, as a reward.

James 4 1What is the source of the feuds and quarrels among you? Aren’t they from this: from passions of yours that are at war among your members? 2You desire but don’t have; you kill and are jealous but aren’t able to acquire. You squabble and fight. But you don’t have because of the fact that you aren’t asking. 3You do beg but then you don’t receive, because you beg wrongly, in order to waste it on your lusts. 4Adulterers, don’t you understand that friends of this world are enemies of God? Yes, whoever wants to be this world’s friend is getting set up as God’s enemy. 5Or do you think the scripture has no reason for saying, “The spirit inhabiting you aims toward envy”? 6Nevertheless he does offer a greater friendship, which is why it says, “God opposes the proud but offers friendship to the humble.” 7Well then, be subject to God; but resist the Devil and he will run away from you. 8Approach God, and he will approach you. Clean your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. 9Be sorry, mourn, and weep. Your laughter should be turned into mourning and your joy into sadness. 10Be humbled in the Lord’s eyes, and he will lift you up. 11Don’t diminish each other, my brothers. Anyone who diminishes a brother or judges his brother diminishes the law and judges the law. And if you’re judging the law, you’re not a doer of the law but a judge. 12There is one lawgiver and judge, who is able to ruin or to set free, 13but who are you to be judging your neighbor?

Look here now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we’ll go into this city, spend at least a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit,” 14even though you don’t know what the very next day will bring. 15What is your life, after all? It’s a breath, visible briefly, but after that it will disappear. Therefore you should say, for example, “If the Lord is willing and if we’re alive, we’ll do this or that.” 16As it is, though, you are rejoicing in your arrogance. All such rejoicing is wicked. 17In such circumstances, if someone is aware of a good thing to do but doesn’t do it, that is a sin for him.

James 5 1Carry on now, you rich: weep while you shriek at the miseries that are going to arrive for you. 2Your wealth has rotted, and your fine clothes have been chewed up by moths. 3Your gold and silver have tarnished, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat at your flesh like fire. You have stored up anger for yourselves recently: 4see how the wages you cheated the laborers (who harvested your areas) out of, are crying out; and how their cry has entered the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5You feasted upon the world, and during a time of murder you cultivated your hearts in luxuries. 6You sentenced and killed the Just One, and he didn’t resist you.

7In these circumstances, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s arrival. Notice how the farmer waits for the soil’s valuable yield, enduring patiently until it gets the early rains and late ripening. 8So be patient like him, and strengthen your hearts, now that the Lord’s coming has approached. 9Brothers, don’t groan over each other, so you won’t be judged. Here, the judge is standing at the door. 10Brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of a “bad end,” of labor and suffering; 11notice how we consider those who held out as fortunate. You’ve heard of the suffering of Job, and you’ve understood the Lord’s purpose, because the Lord is a tender-hearted and merciful one. 12Now above all, my brothers, don’t swear by heaven, by earth, or by any other oath. Instead, your declaration should be, “Yes, yes” or “No, no,” so that you don’t fail during the judgment.

13Is any one of you sad. He should pray. Is someone in good spirits? He should sing. 14Is anyone among you ill? He should invite the church’s elders over, and they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name; 15and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will relieve him; and if he is under sins, they will be discharged for him. 16Well then, acknowledge your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you can be in good health. Yes, the steady prayer of a just person is quite effective. 17Elijah was a man, able like us to suffer, and he prayed aloud that it wouldn’t rain on the ground, and it didn’t rain for three years and six months. 18Then he prayed again, and the sky delivered rain and the ground delivered its produce. 19My brothers, if someone converts one of you who is straying from the truth, 20he needs to know that anyone causing a sinner to be turned back from the error of his way will save that one’s soul from death and will also be burying a whole set of sins.

The First Letter of Saint Peter

1 Peter 1 1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To the immigrants of the scattering in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen 2in accord with God the Father’s foreknowledge for the Spirit’s sanctification, for obedience, and for the sprinkling of Jesus Christ’s blood. May grace and peace be increased for you. 3May our Lord Jesus Christ’s God and Father be blessed. In keeping with his great mercy he has re-generated us (by Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead) into a live hope, 4into the imperishable, pure, unshrinking inheritance that is reserved in heaven for you 5who under God’s power are being preserved by faith for the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6You will rejoice greatly in that, even though for a little while now you have to be afflicted under various trials, 7so that the proof of your faith (much more valuable than gold tested by fire) can be found out—for its praise and glory and honor—at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 8You love him without having seen him, and (also without yet seeing) you believe in him; but with believing, you will jump with indescribable, glorious joy, 9and obtain the goal of your faith: the salvation of your souls.

10The prophets who prophesied about the grace to come upon you, inquired and searched about that salvation, 11exploring what or when Christ’s Spirit in them was meaning when it foretold the sufferings and subsequent glories that are in Christ. 12It was revealed to them that they were serving you, not themselves, with the things that have now been declared to you by those who preached to you, while the Holy Spirit (whom angels desire to catch sight of) was sent down from heaven. 13So with the sides of your minds cinched up, be sober and hope completely in the grace offered you in the revealing of Jesus Christ. 14Be like obedient children, not molded after former desires belonging to your ignorance, 15but after the one who called you, the Holy One. You too, be holy in all types of conduct, 16since it was written down, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.” 17And if you call the one who judges in relation to everyone’s work without distinction of persons “Father,” then live in fear during your stay. 18You know that you weren’t ransomed by corruptible things (like gold or silver) from your vain behavior in the tradition of your fathers, 19but with Christ’s precious blood, like that of a spotless pure lamb. 20He was foreknown before the world’s foundation but shown clearly in recent times for the sake of you 21who are faithful through him before God, who raised him up from the dead and has given him glory, so that your faith and hope could be in God. 22Purifying your souls in the obedience of love (in the affection of brotherhood), love each other more attentively from a sincere heart, 23re-germinated—out of incorruptible, not corruptible seed—by the word of God, to live and last forever. 24Yes, “Everybody is like grass, and all their pride is like a flower of grass; the grass has dried up, and its flower is falling off, 25whereas the word of the Lord lasts forever.” And that is the word that was preached to you.

1 Peter 2 1Therefore put all malice, all deception, pretenses, envies, and all slander aside, and 3(if you’ve tasted how the Lord is sweet) 2like newborn babies desire basic real milk, in order to grow toward salvation by it. 4Approaching him, the living stone (yes, rejected by people but chosen and honored by God), 5you too, be built up as living stones, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6That is why scripture contains this: “See here, I’m placing the greatest cornerstone, selected and priceless, in Sion. And whoever believes in him will not be unsettled.” 7So then for you believers there is honor. And for believers, rather than a “stone that the builders rejected,” this one was made into “the head of the corner,” 8although to those who are offended by the word (even if they were founded on it) and don’t believe it, it’s a tripping stone, an offensive rock. 9But you are a chosen class, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired to proclaim the achievements of the one who called you out of the dark into his marvelous light. 10In the past you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not obtained mercy, but now you have obtained mercy.

11Dear ones, I beg you as immigrants and pilgrims, to keep yourselves away from the bodily desires that make war against the soul. 12Keep your conduct among the Gentiles good, so that though they’re drawing away from you as from evildoers, they may, from the good deeds they notice in you, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13So be set under every human creature for God’s sake, whether it’s under the king (as if distinguished) 14or under governors as if sent by Him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of the good, 15because the will of God is this way in order that by doing good, you make the ignorance of foolish men unable to speak. 16Be like the free (though not using “freedom” as a covering for evil), but be in fact slaves—of God. 17Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18Slaves, be subject to your masters with thorough fear, not only to the good and gentle, but to the obstinate too. 19Yes, it is a service if, for conscience toward God, one undergoes sorrows, suffering wrongly. 20Is it really some glory if, when you sin and are slapped for it, you bear it? No, but if you suffer patiently for doing good, this is a service before God. 21Actually, you were called to this, because Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example, for you to follow his footsteps. 22He did no sin, and deception wasn’t found in his mouth. 23When being cursed, he didn’t curse. When he was suffering, he didn’t threaten but handed himself over to someone judging him unjustly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, for us (dead to sins) to live in justice. By his bruises you were healed. 25You were being like sheep going astray, but now you’ve been converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

1 Peter 3 1Likewise the women should be subject to their husbands, so that even if some men don’t believe the word, they might be won without a word by the women’s behavior, 2as they consider their chaste behavior with fear. 3Women, don’t let your adorning be the outward braiding of hair or wearing gold or putting on elegant apparel, 4but the heart’s person, hidden in the incorruptibility of a quiet, meek spirit that is rich in God’s sight. 5In the past, for example, holy women who hoped in God adorned themselves in just this manner, set under their own husbands, 6the way Sara was obeying Abraham, calling him lord. You are her daughters, doing good and not fearing any disturbance. 7Likewise, you men, live with them in line with what you know: giving honor to the feminine like to a more fragile container and as if you are heirs of life’s grace together, so that your prayers won’t be hindered. 8Finally though, all of you be: of one spirit, having compassion, lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble. 9Don’t be returning evil for evil or insult for insult but the opposite—be blessing, because you were called to this so that you could inherit a blessing: 10“Whoever wants to love life and see good days should restrain his tongue from evil and his lips so they won’t utter deceit; 11he should avoid evil and do good; he should look for peace and go with it; 12because the eyes of the Lord are on the good and his ears toward their prayers, but the face of the Lord is onto those doing bad things.”

13And who is the one who would hurt you if you were competitors for the good? 14But if you were to suffer anything for justice’ sake, you are blessed. Don’t be afraid of their terror or be disturbed. 15Instead, keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts, always ready to satisfy everyone asking you the reason for that hope that is in you, 16but with modesty and fear, with a good conscience, so that those who misrepresent your good behavior in Christ can be confused in their disparagement of you. 17Yes, it’s better to suffer (if that is God’s will) doing good than doing evil, 18because Christ died one time for our sins, the just for the unjust, to offer us to God; killed in the body, yes, but made alive in the spirit. 19Going in that spirit, he also preached to those spirits who were in a certain prison, 20who had once been disbelieving, when they hoped for God’s patience in Noah’s days when the ark was being built, in which a few souls (that is, eight) were saved through the water. 21Baptism, a form similar to this, now makes you safe too—not a ridding the body of dirt, but an examination by Jesus Christ’s resurrection of a good conscience toward God. 22After swallowing down death (so that we could be made heirs of everlasting life) and going away into heaven, he is at the right hand of God, with angels, forces, and powers placed under him.

1 Peter 4 1Since Christ suffered in his body, you too can be armed with this thought: whoever has suffered bodily takes leave of sins, 2with the result that he can now live the remaining time in his body by God’s will, not human desires. 3The past was certainly enough time for you to fulfill the will of the those Gentiles who strutted around in luxuries, lusts, over-drinking of wine, carousing, drink-fests, and (against God’s law) idol worship. 4They are surprised (and malign you) at your not running with them into the same riotous confusion. 5They will give account to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6Yes, the gospel was preached to the dead too, so that they could be judged, yes, as humans bodily, but live in harmony with God spiritually.

7However, the end of everything has come near. So be prudent, and stay alert in prayers. 8But first of all have a constant mutual love among yourselves (since love covers over many sins)—9being hospitable to each other without grumbling, 10handing grace (just as each received) out to each other, as good managers of God’s diverse grace. 11If anyone speaks, let it be as if God’s words. If anyone serves, let it be as from the power that God administers, so that in everything God would be honored through Jesus Christ, to whom are glory and empire forever and ever. Amen.

12Dear ones, don’t be wanting to leave the area (as if some new thing were happening to you) in the face of the fury that is being fashioned (to test you), 13but when you take part in the Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that you can also rejoice—jumping up—when his glory will be revealed. 14If you’re reproached for Christ’s name, you will be blessed, because something of God’s honor, glory, and power, and of his Spirit, is resting on you. 15None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, thief, slanderer, or a coveter of others’ things; 16but if he does as a Christian, he shouldn’t be embarrassed, but should glorify God in that name, 17because it’s time that judgment should start in God’s house. And if first in us, what will the end of those who don’t believe God’s gospel be? 18And if a just person will barely be saved, where will the wicked and the sinner show up? 19So let those who suffer in line with God’s will commend their souls to the faithful Creator by doing good.

1 Peter 5 1I beg the elders among you (I, an elder with you but also a witness of Christ’s sufferings and a partaker too of his glory that is to be revealed soon): 2feed the flock of God that is with you and take care of it, not being compelled but willing (in harmony with God), not for the sake of base gain, but voluntarily, 3not as dominating the clergy but made into a pattern toward the flock from your heart. 4Yes, and when the prince of pastors appears, you will take possession of a crown of unfading glory. 5Likewise, young men, be subject to older folks. And all of you, introduce humility to each other, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. 6So be humbled under the powerful hand of God (so he can elevate you in the time of visitation), 7flinging all your anxiety to him, since he is himself the guardian of you. 8Be sober and watch, because your adversary the Devil is circling like a roaring lion, looking for someone he might devour. 9Resist him, strong in faith, knowing that the same affliction happens within the world to your brotherhood. 10But the all-gracious God, who called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus (who suffered some), will himself perfect, confirm, and establish you. 11To him be glory and empire forever and ever. Amen. 12By Sylvanus (a faithful brother for you, I think) I’ve written briefly, praying and appealing for the grace of God you stand in to be genuine. 13The church that is in Babylon, chosen with you, greets you, as does my son Mark. 14Greet each other with a holy kiss. May grace be to all of you who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The Second Letter of Saint Peter

2 Peter 1 1Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who have been allotted faith (equal to ours) in the justice of our God and of the Savior Jesus Christ. 2Let grace and peace become full for you as you get to know God and Christ Jesus our Lord, 3in the same way that everything of God’s power which is for life and devotion has been granted to us through knowing the one who called us by his own special glory and power. 4Through him, He presented very great, precious promises to us, so that by them you can be made sharers of the divine nature and escape the desire-corrupting of the one who is in the world. 5But take every care in your faith to tend virtue, and in virtue to tend knowledge, 6and in knowledge abstinence, and in abstinence patience, and in patience devotion, 7and in devotion affection for the brotherhood, and in affection for the brotherhood love. 8Yes, if these things are present and flourish, they will establish you to not be empty or lacking fruit in your knowing our Lord Jesus Christ. 9In fact, whoever doesn’t have those things at hand is blind, groping by hand, allowing his purification from old offenses to be forgotten. 10Because of this, brothers, keep even busier, so that by good works you can make the calling and choice of you firm, because in doing these things you will never be sinning. 11Yes, in this way your entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be all taken care of.

12Because of this, I will begin to remind you regularly about these things, though you do know them and are encouraged in their immediate truth. 13But I think it proper to stir you up with a reminder, as long as I’m in this tent, 14being assured that the taking down of my tent is near, according to what our Lord Jesus Christ has indicated to me. 15However, I will work it out for you to often have a way to recall these things after my death. 16You see, we didn’t make the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ known to you by following rehearsed stories, but we were eyewitnesses of his greatness. 17He really did receive honor and glory from God the Father, by a kind of voice coming down toward him from the magnificent glory: “This is my dear Son, with whom I am very pleased; listen to him.” 18We heard this voice conveyed from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19We also have the more stable prophetic word—which you do well to pay attention to, as if to a light that is shining in a dark place until the day is dawning and the morning star rises in your hearts—20and we understand first of all that no scripture prophecy is produced by that person’s own meaning. 21No, prophecy never did come by the human will, but in fact God’s saints spoke, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2 1Certainly, there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be lying teachers among you, who will introduce destructive divisions and deny the one who bought them, the Lord, bringing swift destruction onto themselves. 2And many will follow the excesses of these teachers, through whom the way of truth will be maligned. 3And with hypocritical words they will conduct business for gain from you. Their judgment isn’t delaying much longer, and their ruin isn’t asleep. 4For instance, consider: God didn’t spare the angels who sinned, but delivered them (drawn down by hellish ropes) to the underworld, to be tortured and reserved for judgment. 5He didn’t spare the original world, but preserved the eight of Noah, a preacher of justice, bringing the flood in on the world of the wicked. 6He condemned the cities of the Sodomites and Gomorrhites to be destroyed, reducing them to ashes and making them an example to those who later on would act wickedly; 7but he rescued the just man Lot, who was oppressed by the unjust and immodest behavior of the wicked. 8(He really was just, in his seeing and hearing, while living among those who day by day tortured that just soul by unjust deeds.)

9Well then, the Lord knows how to rescue the good from trial, but to reserve the unjust for the day of judgment, to be tortured, 10especially those who go following their body around in a lust for filthiness, and who despise control. Bold and self-pleasing, they’re not afraid to introduce divisions by slandering, 11whereas angels, who are greater in fortitude and power, don’t bring a cursing judgment against their own kind. 12However, these men, like irrational cattle, naturally tend toward fraud and ruin, defame things they don’t know, and will die in their corruption 13and receive the reward of their injustice. Counting as pleasure the delights of a day, they are stains and spots, sporting themselves excessively, overdoing their feasts with you. 14With eyes full of adultery and unending sin, and with their hearts trained in greed, they allure unstable souls. Slanderous children 15leaving the right way, they’ve gone astray and followed the way of Balaam of Bosor, who loved reward from injustice 16but took a rebuking of his insanity—a dumb animal (used to a yoke) prevented the prophet’s foolishness by speaking with a human voice. 17These people are springs without water and clouds stirred up by whirlwinds, for whom a dark fog is reserved. 18Speaking proud vain words, they entice back by desires of physical excess those who briefly escape (who had turned away in uncertainty), 19promising them liberty (though they themselves are slaves of corruption—since one is a slave of whatever he’s overcome by). 20Yes, if any people escape from the depravities of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are entangled in them again and are overcome, the latter ones are worse for them than the former. 21Really, it would have been better for them not to have known the way of justice than, after knowing, to turn backwards from the holy commission that was delivered to them. 22After all, what has happened to them is from the true proverb: “The dog has returned to his vomit, and the washed sow to her mud bath.”

2 Peter 3 1Now, dear ones, this is the second letter I’m writing you in which I stir up your sincere intention by way of a reminder, 2so that you can be mindful of the words from the holy prophets and your apostles that I told you before about the teachings of the Lord and Savior. 3Understand first of all that in the last days deceitful scoffers will come, going around in line with their own lusts 4and saying, “Where is what he promised or his coming? After all, from when the forefathers slept, everything is continuing as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5Wishing that were so, it of course escapes them that, out of water and through water, heavens and an earth were existing earlier and continuing by God’s word, 6by which word that world then vanished, flooded with water. 7But the heavens and earth that exist now are being kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire in the day of judgment and of the wicked’s ruin. 8However, don’t let this one thing escape you, dear ones, that to the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. 9The Lord isn’t delaying what he promised, as some suppose, but is in fact acting patiently for your sake, not willing for anyone to be lost, but for all to turn back in repentance. 10However, the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away very violently; in fact the elements will be broken up by a heat, and earth and its productions will be burned up. 11So since all these things are to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in holy behavior and devotion, 12looking for and hurrying to the coming of the day of the Lord, during which the heavens, on fire, will be breaking up, and the elements will start melting from the fire’s heat? 13Yes, according to his promises we are anticipating new heavens and a new earth, which justice remains in.

14Therefore, dear ones, while you’re waiting for these things, keep busy at being found spotless and unharmed before him in peace. 15And you should count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our dear brother Paul, in keeping with the wisdom given him, has written you. 16(He talks about these things in all his letters; there are some things in them hard to understand, that the uneducated and unstable distort, as they do the other scriptures, to their own ruin.) 17So, you brothers, knowing these things beforehand, be on guard not to be led aside by the wandering of the foolish and so fall away from your own stability. 18No, rather, grow in grace and in acquaintance with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory to him, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The First Letter of Saint John

1 John 1 1I am reporting to you about the word of life 2 3(the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed and appeared to us)—reporting what it was from the beginning that we heard, saw with our eyes and looked on, and that our hands touched. I am reporting to you what we saw and heard, so that you too can have fellowship with us and that our fellowship can be with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4I’m also writing you these things so that you can rejoice and your joy can be full. 5The announcement we heard from him and report to you is this: God is light and there isn’t any darkness in him. 6If we were to say that we have fellowship with him, but are going around in the dark, we would be lying and not admitting the truth. 7But if we go around in the light, just as he’s in light, we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son is purifying us from every sin. 8If we were to say we don’t have some sin, we would be misleading ourselves, and the truth wouldn’t be in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins and to purify us from every injustice. 10If we were to say we haven’t sinned, we would be regarding him a liar, and his word would not be in us.

1 John 2 1My little children, I’m writing you these things so that you won’t sin. But if any one does sin, we have an advocate before the Father, Jesus Christ the Just; 2and he is the appeasement for our sins and not only ours but the whole world’s too. 3We realize that we’ve known him by whether we’re keeping his commandments. 4Whoever says he knows him but isn’t keeping his commandments is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. 5We realize that we are in him by this: God’s love is actually carried out in the one who is keeping to his word. 6Whoever says he’s remaining in him ought to go along the way he went along. 7Dear ones, I’m not writing a new standard for you but the old standard you’ve had from the beginning; the old standard is the message you accepted. 8On the other hand, I am writing you a new standard (that is true in both him and you), namely, that darkness has ended and real light is already shining. 9Whoever says he’s in light but is hating his brother is still completely in the dark. 10Whoever is loving his brother remains in light, and there is nothing to trip him up. 11But whoever is hating his brother is in the dark, is going around in the dark, and doesn’t know where he’s going, because the darkness has deprived his eyes of sight.

12I’m writing you, little children, because your sins are being pardoned for the sake of his name. 13I’m writing you, fathers, because you’ve known the one who is from the beginning. I’m writing you, growing ones, because you’ve overcome the wicked one. 14I’m writing you, newborns, because you’ve known the Father. I’m writing you, young ones, because you’re strong, God’s word is remaining in you, and you’ve overcome the wicked one. 15Don’t love the world or the things in the world. If anyone is loving the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him, 16because what is in the world at all—the body’s lust and the eyes’ lust and life’s pride—isn’t from the Father but from the world. 17And the world and its lust pass away, but whoever does God’s will remains forever.

18Little children, it is the last time, and just as you heard that Antichrist is coming, many antichrists have already come to be, which is how we know it is the last time. 19They went out from us, but they were not of us. If they had actually been of us, they would surely have remained with us; this is so it can be clear that that they aren’t all of us. 20But you have the anointing from the Holy One and have known everything. 21I haven’t written you as if ignorant of the truth, but as knowing it and knowing that no lie is from the truth. 22Who is a liar but one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son. 23Everyone denying the Son doesn’t have the Father. One who acknowledges the Son has the Father too. 24As for you, let what you heard from the beginning continue in you. If what you heard from the beginning continues in you, you will remain in the Son and the Father. 25And the reward he promised us is everlasting life. 26I’ve written you these things about those who would be misleading you. 27But as for you, let the anointing you received from him remain in you. You don’t even need anyone to be teaching you, but in fact his anointing teaches you about everything, is truth, and is not a lie. As it taught you, remain in him. 28Now, little children, do remain in him, so that when he appears, we can have confidence and not be troubled by him at his coming. 29If you know that he’s just, know too that everyone who does justice was born from him.

1 John 3 1See what kind of love the Father has granted us, for us to be called, and to be, God’s children. And so, the world hasn’t known us—because it didn’t know him. 2Dear ones, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared. We know that when he appears, we will be like him, because we will see him as he is. 3However, everyone who has this hope in him makes himself holy, just as he is holy. 4Everyone who commits sin is committing injustice too; sin is injustice. 5But you know that he appeared in order to take away our sins, and sin doesn’t exist in him. 6Everyone who remains in him doesn’t sin, and everyone who sins hasn’t seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you: whoever does justice is just, as he is just. 8Whoever practices sin is from the Devil, since the Devil sins from the beginning. The Son of God appeared in order to loosen the Devil’s effects. 9Everyone born from God does not practice sin, because His offspring remains in Him, and he isn’t able to sin because he was born from God. 10God’s children and the Devil’s children are evident by this: everyone who is not just isn’t from God, and neither is anyone who doesn’t love his brother. 11After all, the declaration you heard from the beginning is that you should love each other, 12unlike Cain, who was from the wicked one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because his own deeds were wicked, whereas his brother’s were just. 13So don’t be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. 14We know we’ve been carried across from death to life since we do love the brothers. Anyone who doesn’t love remains in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that a murderer has no eternal life staying in him. 16We’ve known God’s love in his laying down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17How can God’s love be continuing in anyone who has this world’s goods but sees his brother in need and shuts his heart away from him? 18My little children, let’s not love in word or speech but in deed and truth.

19If our hearts were to blame us, still we recognize we are of the truth and will persuade our hearts in his sight, 20since God is greater than our hearts and knows everything. 21Dear ones, if our hearts don’t blame us, we have confidence toward God, 22and we’ll receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his eyes. 23And his command is that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love each other the way he gave us this command. 24Whoever keeps his commandments remains in him, who also remains in that one. We know that he remains in us by the Spirit he’s given us.

1 John 4 1Dear ones, don’t believe every spirit, but test whether the spirits are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2A spirit of God is recognized by this: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ came in the body is from God. 3And every spirit that detaches Jesus is not from God; this is antichrist; you heard about him that he’s coming, but he is already in the world now. 4Little children, you are from God and have overcome him, since the one in you is greater than the one that is in the world. 5They are about the world; therefore they speak about the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us. Whoever isn’t from God doesn’t listen to us; that is how we recognize the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

7Dear ones, let us love each other, since love is from God. Everyone who loves was born from God and recognizes God. 8Whoever doesn’t love doesn’t know God, since God is love. 9God’s love toward us appeared, in that God sent his only fathered Son into the world so that we could live by him. 10Love doesn’t lie in our ever having loved God, but in that he first loved us and sent his Son to be an appeasement for our sins. 11Dear ones, if God has loved us this way, we too ought to love—each other. 12No one has ever seen God. If we love each other, God remains in us and his love is carried out in us. 13We recognize that we are remaining in him, and he in us, by his having given to us out of his Spirit. 14I saw and am guaranteeing that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15God remains in anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he remains in God. 16We have recognized and believed the love God has toward us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. 17God’s love is brought about among us, so that we can have confidence on the judgment day; because we in this world are just like he is. 18There isn’t fear in love, but thorough love sends fear out, since fear holds pain. Whoever is afraid, though, is not complete in love. 19Since he loved us first, let us love God. 20If any one says “I love God” but hates his brother, he’s a liar. After all, how can anyone love God, whom he doesn’t see, if he doesn’t love his brother, whom he is seeing? 21We even have this command from God: that whoever loves God should love his brother too.

1 John 5 1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God; but then, anyone loving that One who fathered, will also love any others born from him. 2We recognize that we love God’s children when we love God and follow his commandments. 3Really, love toward God is to keep his commandments. His commandments aren’t heavy though, 4since everything born from God overcomes the world; and the victory that overcomes the world is this: our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world but one who believes Jesus is God’s Son? 6Jesus Christ is the one who came by water and blood—not only by water but by water and blood. In addition the Spirit confirms that Christ is the truth. 7Now, there are three who bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8There are also three that bear witness on earth: spirit, water, and blood; and these three are one. 9We’ll accept human testimony, but the testimony of God is greater. This testimony of God (that is greater) is: that he did vouch for his Son. 10One who believes in the Son of God has this testimony of God within himself. Anyone who doesn’t believe the Son is making God a liar, because he isn’t believing in the testimony God gave about his Son. 11That testimony is that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12One who has the Son has life. Anyone who doesn’t have the Son doesn’t have life. 13I’m writing these things to you who believe in the name of God’s Son, so that you can know that you have eternal life.

14The confidence we have toward him is that, whatever we may ask for in accord with his will, he is hearing us. 15“Anything we ask, we know he hears us”—that is, we know that we have the things we’re needing from him. 16Let anyone ask, who knows that his brother is sinning a sin that isn’t deadly, and life will be given to that one who is sinning (not toward death). There is deadly sin; I’m not saying that one should ask in that case. 17Every injustice is sin, but there is deadly sin. 18We know that everyone born from God doesn’t sin; rather, God’s generating preserves him, and the wicked one doesn’t touch him. 19We know that we’re from God and the whole world was placed in wickedness. 20We know that the Son of God came and has given us understanding, so that we can recognize the true God and can be in his true Son; he is the true God and eternal life. 21Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Amen.

The Second Letter of Saint John

2 John 1The elder. To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth (I and all who have recognized the truth). 2For the sake of the truth that stays in us and will be with us forever. 3Grace, mercy, and peace be with you from God the Father and from Christ Jesus, the Father’s Son in truth and love. 4I was very glad that I found your children going along in truth, just the way we accepted the commandment from the Father. 5Now I beg you, lady (not as if writing you a new commandment, but the one we had from the beginning), that we love each other. 6And love is to go on in line with his commandments. After all, the commandment is that you should go on in what you heard from the beginning. 7Many misguiders have gone out into the world, who don’t admit that Jesus Christ came in a body; this is a misguider and antichrist. 8Look out for yourselves so as not to lose the things you’ve worked at, but to receive the full reward. 9Everyone who withdraws and doesn’t continue in the teaching of Christ doesn’t have God. Whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and Son. 10If someone comes to you and doesn’t bring this teaching, don’t receive him into the house or say “Hello” to him, 11because whoever says “Hello” to him takes part in his wicked deeds. 12Having more things to write you about, I would rather not do so by paper and ink because I hope to be among you and speak face to face, so that your joy can be full. 13The children of your chosen sister greet you.

The Third Letter of Saint John

3 John 1The elder. To dear Gaius, whom I truly do love. 2Dear one, the same way your spirit is doing favorably, I pray that you may go on favorably and be well in regard to everything. 3I was very glad when the brothers came and vouched for your integrity, how you go along in the truth. 4I have no greater pleasure than to hear that my children are going along in the truth. 5Dear one, everything you work at for the brothers and the strangers, you are