Matthew 23 Bible in Basic English

Jesus Denounces the Scribes and Pharisees

23 1 Then Jesus said to the people and to his disciples: 2 The scribes and the Pharisees have the authority of Moses; 3 All things, then, which they give you orders to do, these do and keep: but do not take their works as your example, for they say and do not. 4 They make hard laws and put great weights on men's backs; but they themselves will not put a finger to them. 5 But all their works they do so as to be seen by men: for they make wide their phylacteries, and the edges of their robes, 6 And the things desired by them are the first places at feasts, and the chief seats in the Synagogues, 7 And words of respect in the market-places, and to be named by men, Teacher. 8 But you may not be named Teacher: for one is your teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And give no man the name of father on earth: because one is your Father, who is in heaven. 10 And you may not be named guides: because one is your Guide, even Christ. 11 But let the greatest among you be your servant. 12 And whoever makes himself high will be made low, and whoever makes himself low will be made high.

13 But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you are shutting the kingdom of heaven against men: for you do not go in yourselves, and those who are going in, you keep back. 14 [] 15 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16 A curse is on you, blind guides, who say, Whoever takes an oath by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the gold of the Temple, he is responsible. 17 You foolish ones and blind: which is greater, the gold, or the Temple which makes the gold holy? 18 And, Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the offering which is on it, he is responsible. 19 You blind ones: which is greater, the offering, or the altar which makes the offering holy? 20 He, then, who takes an oath by the altar, takes it by the altar and by all things on it. 21 And he who takes an oath by the Temple, takes it by the Temple and by him whose house it is. 22 And he who takes an oath by heaven, takes it by the seat of God, and by him who is seated on it. 23 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make men give a tenth of all sorts of sweet-smelling plants, but you give no thought to the more important things of the law, righteousness, and mercy, and faith; but it is right for you to do these, and not to let the others be undone. 24 You blind guides, who take out a fly from your drink, but make no trouble over a camel. 25 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of violent behaviour and uncontrolled desire. 26 You blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may become equally clean. 27 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! for you are like the resting-places of the dead, which are made white, and seem beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and of all unclean things. 28 Even so you seem to men to be full of righteousness, but inside you are all false and full of wrongdoing. 29 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! because you put up buildings for housing the dead bodies of the prophets, and make fair the last resting-places of good men, and say, 30 If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 So that you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who put the prophets to death. 32 Make full, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You snakes, offspring of snakes, how will you be kept from the punishment of hell?

34 For this reason, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them you will put to death and put on the cross, and to some of them you will give blows in your Synagogues, driving them from town to town; 35 So that on you may come all the blood of the upright on the earth, from the blood of upright Abel to the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, whom you put to death between the Temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, All these things will come on this generation.

Jesus Laments over Jerusalem

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not! 38 See, your house is made waste. 39 For I say to you, You will not see me from this time till you say, A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord.

Luke 20-21 Bible in Basic English

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Jesus' Authority Questioned

20 1 And it came about on one of those days, when he was teaching the people in the Temple and preaching the good news, 2 That the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people came to him and said, Make clear to us by what authority you do these things and who gave you this authority. 3 And in answer he said to them, I will put a question to you, and do you give me an answer: 4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven or of men? 5 And they said among themselves, If we say, From heaven; he will say, Why did you not have faith in him? 6 But if we say, Of men; we will be stoned by the people, for they are certain that John was a prophet. 7 And they made answer that they had no idea where it came from. 8 And Jesus said, And I will not make clear to you by what authority I do these things.

The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen

9 And he gave the people this story: A man made a vine-garden and gave the use of it to some field-workers and went into another country for a long time. 10 And at the right time he sent a servant to the workers to get part of the fruit from the vines; but the workmen gave him blows and sent him away with nothing. 11 And he sent another servant, and they gave blows to him in the same way, and put shame on him, and sent him away with nothing. 12 And he sent a third, and they gave him wounds and put him out. 13 And the lord of the garden said, What am I to do? I will send my dearly loved son; they may give respect to him. 14 But when the workmen saw him, they said to one another, This is he who will one day be the owner of the property: let us put him to death and the heritage will be ours. 15 And driving him out of the garden they put him to death. Now what will the lord do to these workmen? 16 He will come and put them to destruction and give the garden to others. And when he said this, they said, May it not be so. 17 But he, looking on them, said, Is it not in the Writings, The stone which the builders put on one side, the same has become the chief stone of the building? 18 Everyone falling on that stone will be broken, but the man on whom the stone comes down will be crushed to dust.

Paying Taxes to Caesar

19 And the chief priests and the scribes made attempts to get their hands on him in that very hour; and they were in fear of the people, for they saw that he had made up this story against them.

20 And they kept watch on him, and sent out secret representatives, who were acting the part of good men, in order that they might get something from his words, on account of which they might give him up to the government and into the power of the ruler. 21 And they put a question to him, saying, Master, we are certain that your teaching and your words are right, and that you have no respect for a man's position, but you are teaching the true way of God: 22 Is it right for us to make payment of taxes to Caesar or not? 23 But he saw through their trick and said to them, 24 Let me see a penny. Whose image and name are on it? And they said, Caesar's. 25 And he said, Then give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and to God the things which are God's. 26 And they were not able to get anything from these words before the people: but they were full of wonder at his answer, and said nothing.

The Question about the Resurrection

27 And some of the Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no coming back from the dead; and they said to him, 28 Master, Moses said that if a man's brother comes to his end, having a wife, but no children, his brother is to take the wife, and get a family for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers, and the first had a wife and came to his end, having no children; 30 And the second; 31 And the third took her; and in the same way, all the seven, without having any children, came to their end. 32 And last of all, the woman came to her end. 33 When they come back from the dead, whose wife will she be? for all the seven had her. 34 And Jesus said to them, The sons of this world are married and have wives; 35 But those to whom is given the reward of the world to come, and to come back from the dead, have no wives, and are not married; 36 And death has no more power over them, for they are equal to the angels, and are sons of God, being of those who will come back from the dead. 37 But even Moses made it clear that the dead come back to life, saying, in the story of the burning thorn-tree, The Lord, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is not the God of the dead but of the living: for all men are living to him.

39 And some of the scribes, in answer to this, said, Master, you have said well. 40 And they had fear of putting any more questions to him.

The Question about David's Son

41 And he said to them, Why do they say that the Christ is the son of David? 42 For David himself says in the book of Psalms, The Lord said to my Lord, Take your seat at my right hand, 43 Till I put under your feet all those who are against you. 44 David then gives him the name of Lord, so how is it possible for him to be his son?

Jesus Denounces the Scribes

45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 Keep away from the scribes, whose pleasure it is to go about in long robes, and to have words of respect said to them in the market-places, and to take the chief seats in the Synagogues and the first places at feasts; 47 Who take the property of widows and before the eyes of men make long prayers; they will get a greater punishment.

The Widow's Offering

21 1 And looking up, he saw the men of wealth putting their offerings in the money-box. 2 And he saw a certain poor widow putting in a farthing. 3 And he said, Truly I say to you, This poor widow has given more than all of them: 4 For they gave out of their wealth, having more than enough for themselves: but she, even out of her need, has put in all her living.

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs before the End

5 And some were talking about the Temple, how it was made fair with beautiful stones and with offerings, but he said, 6 As for these things which you see, the days will come when not one stone will be resting on another, but all will be broken down. 7 And they said to him, Master, when will these things be? and what sign will there be when these events are to take place? 8 And he said, Take care that you are not tricked: for a number of people will come in my name, saying, I am he; and, The time is near: do not go after them. 9 And when news of wars and troubled times comes to your ears, have no fear; for these things have to be, but the end will not be now. 10 Then he said to them, Nation will be moved against nation and kingdom against kingdom: 11 There will be great earth-shocks and outbursts of disease in a number of places, and men will be without food; and there will be wonders and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this, they will take you and be very cruel to you, giving you up to the Synagogues and to prisons, taking you before kings and rulers, because of my name. 13 And it will be turned to a witness for you. 14 So take care not to be troubled before the time comes, about what answers you will give: 15 For I will give you words and wisdom, so that not one of those who are against you will be able to get the better of you, or to put you in the wrong. 16 But you will be given up even by your fathers and mothers, your brothers and relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death. 17 And you will be hated by all men, because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will come to destruction. 19 By going through all these things, you will keep your lives.

20 But when you see armies all round about Jerusalem, then be certain that her destruction is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judaea go in flight to the mountains; and those who are in the middle of the town go out; and let not those who are in the country come in. 22 For these are the days of punishment, in which all the things in the Writings will be put into effect. 23 It will be hard for women who are with child, and for her with a baby at the breast, in those days. For great trouble will come on the land, and wrath on this people. 24 And they will be put to death with the sword, and will be taken as prisoners into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be crushed under the feet of the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles are complete.

The Coming of the Son of Man

25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and on the earth, fear among the nations and doubt because of the loud noise of the sea and the waves; 26 Men's strength will go from them in fear and in waiting for the things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of the heavens will be moved. 27 And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory. 28 But when these things come about, let your heads be lifted up, because your salvation is near.

29 And he made a story for them: See the fig-tree, and all the trees; 30 When they put out their young leaves, you take note of it, and it is clear to you that summer is coming. 31 In the same way, when you see these things taking place you may be certain that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I say to you, This generation will not come to an end till all things are complete. 33 Heaven and earth will come to an end, but my words will not come to an end. 34 But give attention to yourselves, for fear that your hearts become over-full of the pleasures of food and wine, and the cares of this life, and that day may come on you suddenly, and take you as in a net: 35 For so it will come on all those who are living on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep watch at all times with prayer, that you may be strong enough to come through all these things and take your place before the Son of man. 37 And every day he was teaching in the Temple and every night he went out to the mountain which is named the Mountain of Olives to take his rest. 38 And all the people came early in the morning to give ear to his words in the Temple.

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