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Matthew 23 :: New Living Translation (NLT)

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Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:1 - Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:2 - “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:3 - So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:4 - They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:5 - “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:6 - And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:7 - They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:8 - “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:9 - And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:10 - And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:11 - The greatest among you must be a servant.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:12 - But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:13 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:15 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell[fn] you yourselves are!

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:16 - “Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you! For you say that it means nothing to swear ‘by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to swear ‘by the gold in the Temple.’

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:17 - Blind fools! Which is more important—the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:18 - And you say that to swear ‘by the altar’ is not binding, but to swear ‘by the gifts on the altar’ is binding.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:19 - How blind! For which is more important—the gift on the altar or the altar that makes the gift sacred?

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:20 - When you swear ‘by the altar,’ you are swearing by it and by everything on it.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:21 - And when you swear ‘by the Temple,’ you are swearing by it and by God, who lives in it.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:22 - And when you swear ‘by heaven,’ you are swearing by the throne of God and by God, who sits on the throne.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:23 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens,[fn] but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:24 - Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel![fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:25 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence!

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:26 - You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish,[fn] and then the outside will become clean, too.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:27 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:28 - Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:29 - “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed, and you decorate the monuments of the godly people your ancestors destroyed.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:30 - Then you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would never have joined them in killing the prophets.’

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:31 - “But in saying that, you testify against yourselves that you are indeed the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:32 - Go ahead and finish what your ancestors started.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:33 - Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:34 - “Therefore, I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:35 - As a result, you will be held responsible for the murder of all godly people of all time—from the murder of righteous Abel to the murder of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed in the Temple between the sanctuary and the altar.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:36 - I tell you the truth, this judgment will fall on this very generation.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:37 - “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:38 - And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate.[fn]

Unchecked Copy BoxMat 23:39 - For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!’[fn]
NLT Footnotes
Greek and the Pharisees sit in the seat of Moses.
Greek They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
Rabbi, from Aramaic, means “master” or “teacher.”
Greek brothers.
Some manuscripts add verse 14, What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, you will be severely punished. Compare Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.
Greek of Gehenna; also in 23:33.
Greek tithe the mint, the dill, and the cumin.
See Lev 11:4, 23, where gnats and camels are both forbidden as food.
Some manuscripts do not include and the dish.
Some manuscripts do not include and desolate.
Ps 118:26.

NLT

Holy Bible, New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Full copyright information is provided here. Visit the New Living Translation website.

 
 
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