JB TOBIT Chapter 1

1:1 The tale of Tobit[*a] son of Tobiel, son of Ananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael, of the lineage of Asiel and tribe of Naphtali.

1:2 In the days of Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, he was exiled from Thisbe, which is south of Kedesh-Naphtali in Upper Galilee, above Hazor, some distance to the West, north of Shephat.


1:3 I, Tobit, have walked in paths of truth and in good works all the days of my life. I have given much in alms to my brothers and fellow countrymen, exiled like me to Nineveh in the country of Assyria.

1:4 In my young days, when I still was at home in the country of Israel, the whole tribe of Naphtali my ancestor broke away from the House of David and from Jerusalem. Yet this was the city chosen out of all the tribes of Israel for their sacrifices; in this the Temple – God’s dwelling place – had been built and hallowed for all generations to come.

1:5 But all my brothers and the House of Naphtali offered sacrifice to the calf that Jeroboam the king of Israel had made at Dan, on the mountains of Galilee.

1:6 Often I was quite alone in making the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, fulfilling the law that binds all Israel perpetually. I would hurry to Jerusalem with the first yield of fruits and beasts, the tithe of cattle and the sheep’s first shearings.

1:7 I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, for the altar. To the Levites ministering at Jerusalem I would give my tithe of wine and corn, olives, pomegranates and other fruits. Six years in succession I took the second tithe in money and went and paid it at Jerusalem.

1:8 I gave the third to orphans and widows and to the strangers who live among the Israelites; I brought it them as a gift every three years. When we ate, we obeyed both the ordinances of the Law of Moses and the exhortations of Deborah, the mother of our father Ananiel; for my father had died and left me an orphan.

1:9 When I came to man’s estate, I married a woman from our kinsmen whose name was Anna; she bore me a son whom I called Tobias.

1:10 <11 When the banishment into Assyria came, I was taken away and went to Nineveh. All my brothers and the men of my race ate the food of the heathen,

1:11 <12 but for my part I would not eat the food of the heathen.[*b]

1:12 <13 And because I had kept faith with my God with my whole heart,

1:13 the Most High granted me the favour of Shalmaneser, and I became the king’s purveyor.

1:14 <16 Until his death I used to travel to Media, where I transacted business on his behalf; and I deposited sacks of silver worth ten talents with Gabael, the brother of Gabrias, at Rhages in Media.

1:15 <18 On the death of Shalmaneser his son Sennacherib succeeded; the roads into Media were barred, and I could no longer go there.

1:16 In the days of Shalmaneser I had often given alms to the brothers of my race;

1:17 <20 I gave my bread to the hungry and clothes to the naked; and I buried, when I saw them, the bodies of my countrymen thrown over the walls of Nineveh.

1:18 <21 I also buried those who were killed by Sennacherib (for when he retreated from Judaea in disorder, after the King of heaven had punished his blasphemies, in his anger Sennacherib killed a great number of Israelites). So I stole their bodies to bury them; Sennacherib looked for them and could not find them.

1:19 <22 A Ninevite went and told the king it was I who had buried them secretly. When I knew that the king had been told about me and saw myself being hunted by men who would put me to death, I was afraid and fled.

1:20 All my goods were seized; they were all confiscated by the treasury; nothing was left me but my wife Anna and my son Tobias.

1:21 <24 Less than forty days after this, the king was murdered by his two sons, who then fled to the mountains of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded. Ahikar,[*c] the son of my brother Anael, was appointed chancellor of the exchequer for the kingdom and given the main ordering of affairs.

1:22 Ahikar then interceded for me and I was allowed to return to Nineveh, since Ahikar had been chief cup-bearer, keeper of the signet, administrator and treasurer under Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and Esarhaddon had kept him in office. He was a relation of mine; he was my nephew.

JB TOBIT Chapter 2


2:1 In the reign of Esarhaddon, therefore, I returned home, and my wife Anna was restored to me with my son Tobias. At our feast of Pentecost (the feast of Weeks) there was a good dinner. I took my place for the meal;

2:2 the table was brought to me and various dishes were brought. Then I said to my son Tobias, ‘Go, my child, and seek out some poor, loyal-hearted man among our brothers exiled in Nineveh, and bring him to share my meal. I will wait until you come back, my child.’

2:3 So Tobias went out to look for some poor man among our brothers, but he came back again and said, ‘Father!’ I answered, ‘What is it, my child?’ He went on, ‘Father, one of our nation has just been murdered; he has been strangled and then thrown down in the market place; he is there still’.

2:4 I sprang up at once, left my meal untouched, took the man from the market place and laid him in one of my rooms, waiting until sunset to bury him.

2:5 I came in again and washed myself and ate my bread in sorrow,

2:6 remembering the words of the prophet Amos concerning Bethel: Your feasts will be turned to mourning, and all your songs to lamentation.

2:7 And I wept. When the sun was down, I went and dug a grave and buried him.

2:8 My neighbours laughed and said, ‘See! He is not afraid any more.’ (You must remember that a price had been set on my head earlier for this very thing.) ‘The time before this he had to flee, yet here he is, beginning to bury the dead again.’

2:9 <10 That night I took a bath; then I went into the courtyard and lay down by the courtyard wall. Since it was hot I left my face uncovered.

2:10 <11 I did not know that there were sparrows in the wall above my head; their hot droppings fell into my eyes. White spots then formed, which I was obliged to have treated by the doctors. But the more ointments they tried me with, the more the spots blinded me, and in the end I became blind altogether. I remained without sight four years; all my brothers were distressed; and Ahikar provided for my upkeep for two years, till he left for Elymais.

2:11 <19 My wife Anna then undertook woman’s work; she would spin wool and take cloth to weave;

2:12 she used to deliver whatever had been ordered from her and then receive payment. Now on March the seventh she finished a piece of work <20 and delivered it to her customers. They paid her all that was due, and into the bargain presented her with a kid for a meal.

2:13 <21 When the kid came into my house, it began to bleat. I called to my wife and said, ‘Where does this creature come from? Suppose it has been stolen! Quick, let the owners have it back; we have no right to eat stolen goods.’

2:14 She said, ‘No, it was a present given me over and above my wages.’ I did not believe her, and told her to give it back to the owners <22 (I blushed at this in her presence). Then she answered, ‘What about your own alms? What about your own good works? Everyone knows what return you have had for them.’

JB TOBIT Chapter 3

3:1 Then, sad at heart, I sighed and wept, and began this prayer of lamentation:

3:2 ‘You are just, O Lord, and just are all your works. All your ways are grace and truth, and you are the Judge of the world.

3:3 ‘Therefore, Lord, remember me, look on me. Do not punish me for my sins or for my heedless faults or for those of my fathers. ‘For we have sinned against you

3:4 and broken your commandments; and you have given us over to be plundered, to captivity and death, to be the talk, the laughing-stock and scorn of all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.

3:5 ‘Whereas all your decrees are true when you deal with me as my faults deserve, and those of my fathers, since we have neither kept your commandments nor walked in truth before you;

3:6 so now, do with me as you will; be pleased to take my life from me; I desire to be delivered from earth and to become earth again. For death is better for me than life. I have been reviled without a cause and I am distressed beyond measure. ‘Lord, I wait for the sentence you will give to deliver me from this affliction. Let me go away to my everlasting home; do not turn your face from me, O Lord. For it is better to die than still to live in the face of trouble that knows no pity; I am weary of hearing myself traduced.’


3:7 It chanced on the same day that Sarah the daughter of Ragnel, who lived in Media at Ecbatana, also heard insults from one of her father’s maids.

3:8 You must know that she had been given in marriage seven times, and that Asmodeus, that worst of demons, had killed her bridegrooms one after another before ever they had slept with her as man with wife. The servant-girl said, ‘Yes, you kill your bridegrooms yourself. That makes seven already to whom you have been given, and you have not once been in luck yet.

3:9 Just because your bridegrooms have died, that is no reason for punishing us. Go and join them, and may we be spared the sight of any child of yours!’

3:10 That day, she grieved, she sobbed, and went up to her father’s room intending to hang herself. But then she thought, ‘Suppose they blamed my father! They will say, “You had an only daughter whom you loved, and now she has hanged herself for grief”. I cannot cause my father a sorrow which would bring down his old age to the dwelling of the dead. I should do better not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to let me die and not live to hear any more insults.’

3:11 And at this, by the window with outstretched arms she said this prayer: ‘You are blessed, O God of mercy! May your name be blessed for ever, and may all things you have made bless you everlastingly.

3:12 <14 ‘And now, I lift up my face and to you I turn my eyes.

3:13 <15 Let your word deliver me from earth; I can hear myself traduced no longer.

3:14 <16 Lord; you know that I have remained pure; no man has touched me;

3:15 <17 I have not dishonoured your name or my father’s name in this land of exile; ‘I am my father’s only daughter, he has no other child as heir; he has no brother at his side, nor has he any kinsman left for whom I ought to keep myself. ‘Already I have lost seven husbands; why should I live any longer? If it does not please you to take my life, then look on me with pity; I can hear myself traduced no longer.’

3:16 <24 This time the prayer of each of them found favour before the glory of God,

3:17 <25 and Raphael was sent to bring remedy to them both. He was to take the white spots from the eyes of Tobit, so that he might see God’s light with his own eyes; and he was to give Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, as bride to Tobias son of Tobit, and to rid her of Asmodeus, that worst of demons. For it was to Tobias before all other suitors that she belonged by right. Tobit was coming back from the courtyard into the house at the same moment as Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was coming down from the upper room.

JB TOBIT Chapter 4


4:1 The same day, Tobit remembered the silver that he had left with Gabael at Rhages in Media

4:2 and thought, ‘I have come to the point of praying for death; I should do well to call my son Tobias and tell him about the money before I die’.

4:3 He summoned his son Tobias and told him: ‘When I die, give me an honourable burial. Honour your mother, and never abandon her all the days of your life. Do all that she wants, and give her no reason for sorrow.

4:4 <5 Remember, my child, all the risks she ran for your sake when you were in her womb. And when she dies, bury her at my side in the same grave.

4:5 <6 ‘My child, be faithful to the Lord all your days. Never entertain the will to sin or to transgress his laws. Do good works all the days of your life, never follow ways that are not right;

4:6 for if you act in truthfulness, you will be successful in all your actions, as all men are if they practise what is right.

4:7 ‘Set aside part of your goods for almsgiving. Never turn your face from any poor man and God will never turn his from you.

4:8 Measure your alms by what <9 you have; if you have much, give more; if you have little, give less, but do not be mean in giving alms.

4:9 <10 By doing so, you will lay up for yourself a great treasure for the day of necessity.

4:10 <11 For almsgiving delivers from death and saves men from passing down to darkness.

4:11 <12 Alms is a most effective offering for all those who give it in the presence of the Most High.

4:12 ‘My child, avoid all loose conduct. Choose a wife of your father’s stock. Do not take a foreign wife outside your father’s tribe, because we are the sons of the prophets. Remember Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning. All of them took wives from their own kindred, and they were blessed in their children, and their race will inherit the earth.

4:13 You, too, my child, must prefer your own brothers; never presume to despise your brothers, the sons <14 and daughters of your people; choose your wife from among them. For pride brings ruin and much worry; idleness causes need and poverty, for the mother of famine is idleness.

4:14 <15 ‘Do not keep back until next day the wages of those who work for you; pay them at once. If you serve God you will be rewarded. Be careful, my child, in all you do, well-disciplined in all your behaviour.

4:15 <16 Do to no one what you would not want done to you. Do not drink wine to the point of drunkenness; do not let excess be your travelling companion.

4:16 <17 ‘Give your bread to those who are hungry, and your clothes to those who are naked. Whatever you own in plenty, devote a proportion to almsgiving; and when you give alms, do not do it grudgingly.

4:17 <18 Be generous with bread and wine on the graves of virtuous men, but not for the sinner.

4:18 <19 Ask advice of every wise person; never scorn any profitable advice.

4:19 <20 Bless the Lord God in everything; beg him to guide your ways and bring your paths and purposes to their end. For wisdom is not given to every nation; the Lord himself gives all good things. At his will he lifts up or he casts down to the depths of the dwelling of the dead. So now, my child, remember these precepts and never let them fade from your heart.

4:20 <21 Now, my child, I must tell you I have left ten talents of silver with Gabael son of Gabrias, at Rhages in Media

4:21 <23 Do not be afraid, my child, if we have grown poor. You have great wealth if you fear God, if you shun every kind of sin and if you do what is pleasing to the Lord your God.’

JB TOBIT Chapter 5


5:1 Tobias then answered his father Tobit, ‘Father, I will do everything you have told me.

5:2 But how am I to recover the money from him? He does not know me, nor I him. What token am I to give him for him to believe me and hand me over the silver? And besides, I do not know what roads to take for this journey into Media.

5:3 Then Tobit answered his son Tobias, ‘Each of us set his signature to a note which I cut in two, so that each could keep half of it. I took one piece, and put the other with the silver. To think it was twenty years ago <4 I left this silver in his keeping! And now, my child, find some trustworthy man to travel with you – we will pay him for his time until you arrive back – and then go and collect the money from Gabael.’

5:4 <5 Tobias went out to look for a man who knew the way to go with him to Media. Outside he found Raphael the angel standing facing him (though he did not guess he was an angel of God).

5:5 <6 He said, ‘Where do you come from, <7 friend?’ The angel replied, ‘I am one of your brother Israelites; I have come to these parts to look for work’. Tobias asked, ‘Do you know the road to Media?’

5:6 <8 The other replied, ‘Certainly I do. I have been there many times; I know all the ways by heart. I have often been to Media and stayed with Gabael, one of our kinsmen who lives at Rhages in Media. It usually takes two full days to get from Ecbatana to Rhages; Rhages lies in the mountains, and Ecbatana is in the middle of the plain.[*a]

5:7 <9 Tobias said, ‘Wait for me, friend, while I go and tell my father; I need you to come with me; I will pay you for your time’.

5:8 The other replied, ‘Good; I will wait; but do not be long’.

5:9 <10 Tobias went in and told his father that he had found one of their brother Israelites. And the father said, ‘Fetch him in; I want to find out about his family and tribe. I must see if he is going to be a reliable companion for you, my child.’ So Tobias went out and called him. ‘Friend,’ he said ‘my father wants you.’

5:10 <11 The angel came into the house; Tobit greeted him, and the other answered, <12 wishing him happiness. Tobit replied, ‘Can I ever be happy again? I am a blind man; I no longer see the light of heaven; I am sunk in darkness like the dead who see the light no more. I am a man buried alive; I hear men speak but cannot <13 see them.’ The angel said, ‘Take comfort; before long God will heal you. Take <14 comfort.’ Tobit said, ‘My son Tobias wishes to go to Media. Will you join him as his guide? Brother, I will pay you.’ He replied, ‘I am willing to go with him; I know all the ways; I have often been to Media, I have crossed all its plains and mountains, and I know all the roads’.

5:11 <16 Tobit said, ‘Brother, what family and what tribe do you belong to? Will you tell me, brother?’

5:12 <17 ‘What does my tribe matter to you?’ the angel said. Tobit said, ‘I want to be quite sure whose son you are and what your name is’.

5:13 <18 The angel said, ‘I am Azarias, son of the great Ananias, one of your kinsmen’.

5:14 <19 ‘Welcome and greetings, brother! Do not be offended at my wanting to know the name of your family; I find you are my kinsman, of a good and honourable line. I know Ananias and Jathan, the two sons of the great Shemaiah. They used to go to Jerusalem with me; we have worshipped together there, and they have never strayed from the right path. Your brothers are worthy men; you come of good stock; welcome.’

5:15 He went on, ‘I engage you at a drachma a day, with your expenses, like my own son. Complete the journey with my son,

5:16 and I will go beyond the agreed <20 wage.’ The angel replied, ‘I will complete the journey with him. Do not be afraid. On the journey outward all will be well; on the journey back all will be well; the road is safe.’

5:17 Tobit said, ‘Blessings on you, brother!’ Then he turned to his son. ‘My child,’ he said ‘prepare what you need for the journey, and set off with <21 your brother. May God in heaven protect you abroad and bring you both back to me safe and sound! May his angel go with you and protect you, my child!’ <22 Tobias left the house to set out and kissed his father and mother. Tobit said, ‘A happy journey!’

5:18 <23 His mother burst into tears and said to Tobit, ‘Why must you send my child away? Is he not the staff of our hands, with his errands to and fro for us?

5:19 <24 Surely money is not the only thing that matters? Surely it is not as precious as our child?

5:20 <25 The way of life God had already given us was good enough.’

5:21 <26 He said, ‘Do not think such thoughts. Going away and coming back, all will be well with our child. On the day of his homecoming you will see for yourself how all is still well with him. Do not think such thoughts; do not worry on their account, my sister.

5:22 <27 A good angel will go with him; he will have a good journey and come back to us well and happy.’

JB TOBIT Chapter 6

6:1 <28 And she dried her tears.


6:2 <1 The boy left with the angel, and the dog followed behind. The two walked on, and when the first evening came they camped beside the Tigris.

6:3 <2 The boy had gone down to the river to wash his feet, when a great fish leapt out of the water <3 and all but swallowed his foot. The boy gave a shout

6:4 and the angel said, ‘Catch the fish; do not let it go’. The boy mastered the fish and pulled it on to the bank.

6:5 The angel said, ‘Cut it open; take out the gall, the heart and the liver; set these aside and throw the entrails away, for the gall and heart and liver have curative properties’.

6:6 The boy cut the fish open and took out the gall and heart and liver. He fried part of the fish for his meal and kept some for salting. Then they walked on again together until they were nearly in Media.

6:7 Then the boy asked the angel this question, ‘Brother Azarias, what can the fish’s heart, liver and gall cure?’

6:8 He replied, ‘You burn the fish’s heart and liver, and their smoke is used in the case of a man or woman plagued by a demon or evil spirit; any such affliction disappears for good, leaving no trace.

6:9 As regards the gall, this is used as an eye ointment for anyone having white spots on his eyes; after using it, you only have to blow on the spots to cure them.’

6:10 They entered Media and had nearly reached Ecbatana

6:11 when Raphael said to the boy, ‘Brother Tobias’. ‘Yes?’ he answered. The angel went on, ‘Tonight we shall be staying with Raguel, who is a kinsman of yours. He has a daughter called Sarah,

6:12 but apart from Sarah he has no other son or daughter. Now you are her next of kin; she belongs to you before anyone else and you may claim her father’s inheritance. She is a thoughtful, courageous and very lovely girl, and her father loves her dearly.

6:13 You have the right to marry her. Listen, brother; this very evening I will speak about the girl to her father and arrange for her to be betrothed to you, and when we come back from Rhages we can celebrate the marriage. I assure you, Raguel has no right whatever to refuse you or to betroth her to anyone else. That would be asking for death, as prescribed in the Book of Moses, once he was aware that kinship gives you the pre-eminent right to marry his daughter. So listen, brother. This very evening we will speak about the girl and ask for her hand in marriage. When we come back from Rhages we will fetch her and take her home with us.’

6:14 Tobias answered Raphael, ‘Brother Azarias, I have been told that she has already been given in marriage seven times and that each time her bridegroom has died in the bridal room. He died the same night as he entered her room; and I have heard people say it was a demon that killed them,

6:15 and this makes me a little afraid. He does no harm to her, of course, because he loves her; but as soon as a man tries to approach her, he kills him. I am my father’s only son, and I have no wish to die; I shrink from causing my father and mother a grief that would bring them to the grave; they have no other son to bury them.’

6:16 The angel said, ‘Are you going to forget your father’s advice? After all, he urged you to choose a wife from your father’s family. Listen then, brother. Do not worry about the demon; take her. This very evening, I promise, she will be given you as your wife.

6:17 Then once you are in the bridal room, take the heart and liver of the fish and lay a little of it on the burning incense. The reek will rise,

6:18 the demon will smell it and flee, and there is no danger that he will ever be found near the girl again. Then, before you sleep together, first stand up, both of you, and pray. Ask the Lord of heaven to grant you his grace and protection. Do not be afraid; she was destined for you from the beginning, and it is you who will save her. She will follow you, and I pledge my word she will give you children who will be like brothers to you. Do not hesitate.’ And when Tobias heard Raphael say this, when he understood that Sarah was his sister, a kinswoman of his father’s family, he fell so deeply in love with her that he could no longer call his heart his own.

JB TOBIT Chapter 7


7:1 As they entered Ecbatana, Tobias said, ‘Brother Azarias, take me at once I to our brother Raguel’s’. And he showed him the way to the house of Raguel, whom they found sitting beside his courtyard door. They greeted him first, and he replied, ‘Welcome and greetings, brothers’. And he took them into his house.

7:2 He said to his wife Edna, ‘How like my brother Tobit this young man is!’

7:3 Edna asked them where they came from; they said, ‘We are sons of Naphtali exiled in Nineveh’.

7:4 ‘Do you know our brother Tobit?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘How is he?’

7:5 ‘He is still alive and he is well.’ And Tobias added, ‘He is my father’.

7:6 Raguel leapt to his feet and kissed him and wept.

7:7 Then finding words, he said, ‘Blessings on you, child! You are the son of a noble father. How sad it is that someone so virtuous and full of good deeds should have gone blind!’ He fell on the neck of his kinsman Tobias and wept.

7:8 And his wife Edna wept for him, and so did his daughter Sarah.

7:9 Raguel killed a sheep from the flock, and they gave them a warmhearted welcome. They washed and bathed and sat down to table. Then Tobias said to Raphael, ‘Brother Azarias, will you ask Raguel to give me my sister Sarah?’

7:10 Raguel overheard the words, and said to the young man, ‘Eat and drink, and make the most of your evening; no one else has the right to take my daughter Sarah – no one but you, my brother. In any case I, for my own part, am not at liberty to give her to anyone else, since you are her next of kin. However, my boy, I must be frank with you:

7:11 I have tried to find a husband for her seven times among our kinsmen, and all of them have died the first evening, on going to her room. But for the present, my boy, eat and drink; the Lord will grant you his grace and peace.’ Tobias spoke out, ‘I will not hear of eating and drinking till you have come to a decision about me’. Raguel answered, ‘Very well. Since, as prescribed by the Book of Moses, she is given to you, heaven itself decrees she shall be yours. I therefore entrust your sister to you. From now you are her brother and she is your sister. She is given to you from today for ever. The Lord of heaven favour you tonight, my child, and grant you his grace and peace.’

7:12 Raguel called for his daughter Sarah, took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with these words, ‘I entrust her to you; the law and the ruling recorded in the Book of Moses assign her to you as your wife. Take her; take her home to your father’s house with a good conscience. The God of heaven grant you a good journey in peace.’

7:13 Then he turned to her mother and asked her to fetch him writing paper. He drew up the marriage contract, how he gave his daughter as bride to Tobias according to the ordinance in the Law of Moses.

7:14 After this they began to eat and drink.

7:15 Raguel called his wife Edna and said, ‘My sister, prepare the second room and take her there’.

7:16 She went and made the bed in this room as he had ordered, and took her daughter to it. She wept over her, then wiped away her tears and said, ‘Courage, daughter! May the Lord of heaven turn your grief to joy! Courage, daughter!’ And she went out.

JB TOBIT Chapter 8


8:1 When they had finished eating and drinking and it seemed time to go to bed, the young man was taken from the dining room to the bedroom.

8:2 Tobias remembered Raphael’s advice; he went to his bag, took the fish’s heart and liver out of it and put some on the burning incense.

8:3 The reek of the fish distressed the demon, who fled through the air to Egypt. Raphael pursued him there, and bound and shackled him at once.

8:4 The parents meanwhile had gone out and shut the door behind them. Tobias rose from the bed, and said to Sarah, ‘Get up, my sister! You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.’

8:5 She stood up, and they began praying for protection, and this was how he began: ‘You are blessed, O God of our fathers; blessed, too, is your name for ever and ever. Let the heavens bless you and all things you have made for evermore.

8:6 It was you who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. It was you who said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make him a helpmate like himself”.

8:7 And so I do not take my sister for any lustful motive; I do it in singleness of heart. Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.’

8:8 And together they said, ‘Amen, Amen’,

8:9 and lay down for the night. But Raguel rose and called his servants, who came and helped him to dig a grave.

8:10 He had thought, ‘Heaven grant he does not die! We should be overwhelmed with ridicule and shame.’

8:11 When the grave was finished, Raguel went back to the house, called his wife

8:12 and said, ‘Will you send a maid to the room to see if Tobias is still alive? For if he is dead, we may be able to bury him without anyone else knowing.’

8:13 The maid was called, the lamp lit and the door opened; the maid went in. She found the two fast asleep;

8:14 she came out again and whispered, ‘He is not dead; all is well’.

8:15 Then Raguel blessed the God of heaven with these words: ‘You are blessed, my God,

with every blessing that is pure; may you be blessed for evermore!

8:16 ‘You are blessed for having made me glad. What I feared has not happened; instead You have treated us with mercy beyond all measure.

8:17 ‘You are blessed for taking pity on this only son, this only daughter. Grant them, Master, your grace and your protection; let them live out their lives in happiness and in grace.’

8:18 And he made his servants fill the grave in before dawn broke.

8:19 He told his wife to make plenty of bread; he went to his flock, brought back two oxen and four sheep and gave orders for them to be cooked; and preparations began.

8:20 He called Tobias and said, ‘I will not hear of your leaving here for a fortnight. You are to stay where you are, eating and drinking, with me. You will make my daughter happy again after all her troubles.

8:21 After that, take away a half of all I have, and go without let or hindrance back to your father. When my wife and I are dead you will have the other half. Courage, my boy! I am your father, and Edna is your mother. We are your parents in future, as we are your sister’s. Courage, my son!’

JB TOBIT Chapter 9


9:1 Then Tobias turned to Raphael.

9:2 ‘Brother Azarias,’ he said ‘take four servants and two camels and leave for Rhages.

9:3 Go to Gabael’s house, give him the receipt and see about the money; then invite him to come with you to my wedding feast.

9:4 You know that my father must be counting the days and that I cannot lose a single one without worrying him.

9:5 You see what Raguel has pledged himself to do; I am bound by his oath.’ So Raphael left for Rhages in Media with the four servants and two camels. They stayed with Gabael, and Raphael showed him the receipt. He told him about the marriage of Tobias son of Tobit and gave him his invitation to the wedding feast. Gabael started counting out the sacks to him – the seals were intact – and they loaded them on to the camels.

9:6 Early in the morning they set off together for the feast, and reached Raguel’s house where they found Tobias dining. He rose to greet Gabael, who burst into tears and blessed him with the words, ‘Excellent son of a father beyond reproach, just and generous in his dealings! The Lord give heaven’s blessing to you, to your wife, to the father and mother of your wife! Blessed be God for granting me the sight of this living image of my cousin Tobit!’

JB TOBIT Chapter 10

10:1 Every day, meanwhile, Tobit kept reckoning the days required for the journey there and the journey back. The full number went by, and still his son had not come.

10:2 Then he thought, ‘I hope he has not been delayed there! I hope Gabael is not dead! Perhaps no one was there to give him the money.’

10:3 And he began to worry.

10:4 His wife Anna kept saying, ‘My son is dead! He is no longer among the living!’ And she began to weep and mourn over her son. She kept saying,

10:5 ‘Alas! I let you leave me, my child, you, the light of my eyes.’

10:6 And Tobit would reply, ‘Hush, my sister! Do not think such thoughts. All is well with him. Something has happened there to delay them. His companion is someone we can trust, one of our kinsmen at that. Do not lose heart, my sister. He will be here soon.’

10:7 But she only said, ‘Leave me alone; do not try to deceive me. My child is dead.’ And every day she would go abruptly out to watch the road by which her son had left. She trusted no eyes but her own. Once the sun had set she would come home again, only to weep and moan all night, unable to sleep. After the fourteen days of feasting that Raguel had sworn to keep for his daughter’s marriage, Tobias came to him and said, ‘Let me go now; my father and mother must have lost all hope of seeing me again. So I beg you, father, to let me return to my father’s house; I have told you the plight he was in when I left him.’

10:8 Raguel said to Tobias, ‘Stay, my son, stay with me. I will send messengers to your father Tobit to give him news of you.’

10:9 But Tobias pressed him, ‘No. I ask your permission to go back to my father’s house.’

10:10 Without more ado, Raguel committed Sarah his bride into his keeping. He gave Tobias half his wealth, menservants and maidservants, oxen and sheep, donkeys and camels, clothes and money and household things.

10:11 And so he let them leave happily. To Tobias he said these parting words, ‘Good health, my son, and a happy journey! May the Lord of heaven be gracious to you and to your wife Sarah! I hope to see your children before I die.’

10:12 To his daughter Sarah he said, ‘Go now to your father-in-law’s house, since henceforward they are as much your parents as those who gave you life. Go in peace, my daughter, I hope to hear nothing but good of you, as long as I live.’ He said goodbye to them and let them go. Edna in her turn said to Tobias, ‘Dear son and brother, may it please the Lord to bring you back again! I hope to live long enough to see the children of you and my daughter Sarah before I die. In the sight of the Lord I give my daughter into your keeping. Never make her unhappy as long as you live. Go in peace, my son. Henceforward I am your mother and Sarah is your sister. May we all live happily all the days of our lives!’ And she kissed them both and saw them set out happily.

10:13 Tobias left Raguel’s house with his mind at ease. In his gladness he blessed the Lord of heaven and earth, the King of all that is, for the happy issue of his travels. He gave this blessing to Raguel and his wife Edna, ‘May it be my happiness to honour you all the days of my life!’

JB TOBIT Chapter 11


11:1 They were nearly at Kaserin, opposite Nineveh,

11:2 when Raphael said, ‘You know the plight in which we left your father;

11:3 let us go on ahead of your wife and prepare the house ourselves while she travels behind with the others’.

11:4 They went on together (Raphael had warned Tobias to take the gall with him) and the dog followed them.

11:5 Anna was sitting, watching the road by which her son would come.

11:6 She was sure at once it must be he and said to the father, ‘Here comes your son, with his companion’.

11:7 Raphael said to Tobias before he reached his father, ‘I give you my word that your father’s eyes will open.

11:8 You must put the fish’s gall to his eyes; the medicine will smart and will draw a filmy white skin off his eyes. And your father will be able to see and look on the light.’

11:9 The mother ran forward and threw her arms round her son’s neck. ‘Now I can die,’ she said ‘I have seen you again.’ And she wept.

11:10 Tobit rose to his feet and stumbled across the courtyard through the door. Tobias came on towards him

11:11 (he had the fish’s gall in his hand). He blew into his eyes and said, steadying him, ‘Take courage, father!’ With this he applied the medicine, left it there a while,

11:12 then with both hands peeled away a filmy skin from the corners of his eyes.

11:13 Then his father fell on his neck

11:14 and wept. He exclaimed, ‘I can see, my son, the light of my eyes!’ And he said: ‘Blessed be God! Blessed be his great name! Blessed be all his holy angels! Blessed be his great flame for evermore!

11:15 For he had scourged me and now has had pity on me and I see my son Tobias.’ Tobias went into the house, and with a loud voice joyfully blessed God. Then he told his father everything: how his journey had been successful and he had brought the silver back; how he had married Sarah, the daughter of Raguel; how she was following him now, close behind, and could not be far from the gates of Nineveh.

11:16 Tobit set off to the gates of Nineveh to meet his daughter-in-law, giving joyful praise to God as he went. When the people of Nineveh saw him walking without a guide and stepping forward as briskly as of old, they were astonished.

11:17 Tobit described to them how God had taken pity on him and had opened his eyes. Then Tobit met Sarah, the bride of his son Tobias, and blessed her in these words, ‘Welcome, daughter! Blessed be your God for sending you to us, my daughter. Blessings on your father, blessings on my son Tobias, blessings on yourself, my daughter. Welcome now to your own house in joyfulness and in blessedness. Come in, my daughter.’ He held a feast that day for all the Jews of Nineveh,

11:18 and his cousins Ahikar and Nadab came to share in Tobit’s happiness.

JB TOBIT Chapter 12

12:1 When the feasting was over, Tobit called his son Tobias and said, ‘My son, you ought to think about paying the amount due to your fellow traveller; give him more than the figure agreed on’.

12:2 ‘Father,’ he replied ‘how much am I to give him for his help? Even if I give him half the goods he brought back with me, I shall not be the loser.

12:3 He has brought me back to you safe and sound, he has cured my wife, he has brought the money back too, and now he has cured you as well. How much am I to give him for all this?’

12:4 Tobit said, ‘He has richly earned half of what he brought back’.

12:5 So Tobias called his companion and said, ‘Take half of what you brought back, in payment for all you have done, and go in peace’.

12:6 Then Raphael took them both aside and said, ‘Bless God, utter his praise before all the living for all the favours he has given you. Bless and extol his name. Proclaim before all men the deeds of God as they deserve, and never tire of giving him thanks.

12:7 It is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right to reveal and publish the works of God. Thank him worthily. Do what is good, and no evil can befall you.

12:8 ‘Prayer with fasting and alms with right conduct are better than riches with iniquity. Better to practise almsgiving than to hoard up gold.

12:9 Almsgiving saves from death and purges every kind of sin. Those who give alms have their fill of days;

12:10 those who commit sin and do evil, bring harm on themselves.

12:11 I am going to tell you the whole truth, hiding nothing from you. I have already told you that it is right to keep the secret of a king, yet right too to reveal in worthy fashion the works of God.

12:12 So you must know that when you and Sarah were at prayer, it was I who offered your supplications before the glory of the Lord and who read them; so too when you were burying the dead.

12:13 When you did not hesitate to get up and leave the table to go and bury a dead man, I was sent to test your faith,

12:14 and at the same time God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah.

12:15 I am Raphael, one of the seven[*a] angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.’

12:16 They were both overwhelmed with awe; they fell on their faces in terror.

12:17 But the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid; peace be with you. Bless God for ever.

12:18 As far as I was concerned, when I was with you, my presence was not by any decision of mine, but by the will of God; it is he whom you must bless throughout your days, he that you must praise.

12:19 You thought you saw me eating, but that was appearance and no more.

12:20 Now bless the Lord on earth and give thanks to God. I am about to return to him above who sent me. Write down all that has happened.’ And he rose in the air.

12:21 When they stood up again, he was no longer visible. They praised God with hymns; they thanked him for having performed such wonders; had not an angel of God appeared to them?

JB TOBIT Chapter 13


13:1 And he said: ‘Blessed be God who lives for ever, for his reign endures throughout all ages!

13:2 By turns he punishes and pardons; he sends men down to the depths of the underworld and draws them up from supreme Destruction; no one can escape his hand.

13:3 Declare his praise before the nations, you who are the sons of Israel! For if he has scattered you among them,

13:4 there too he has shown you his greatness. Extol him before all the living; he is our Master and he is our God and he is our Father and he is God for ever and ever.

13:5 ‘Though he punishes you for your iniquities, he will take pity on you all; he will gather you from every nation wherever you have been scattered.

13:6 If you return to him with all your heart and all your soul, behaving honestly towards him, then he will return to you and hide his face from you no longer. Consider how well he has treated you; loudly give him thanks. Bless the Lord of justice and extol the King of the ages. I for my part sing his praise in the country of my exile; I make his power and greatness known to a nation that has sinned. Sinners, return to him; let your conduct be upright before him; perhaps he will be gracious to you and take pity on you.

13:7 I for my part extol God and my soul rejoices in the King of heaven. Let his greatness

13:8 be in all men’s mouths, his praises be sung in Jerusalem.

13:9 ‘Jerusalem, Holy City, God scourged you for your handiwork yet still will take pity on the sons of the upright.

13:10 Thank the Lord as he deserves and bless the King of the ages, that your Temple may be rebuilt with joy within you and within you he may comfort every exile, and within you he may love all those who are distressed, for all generations to come.

13:11 ‘A bright light shall shine over all the regions of the earth; many nations shall come from far away, from all the ends of the earth, to dwell close to the holy name of the Lord God, with gifts in their hands for the King of heaven. Within you, generation after generation shall proclaim their joy, and the name of her who is Elect shall endure through the generations to come.

13:12 Cursed be any who affront you, cursed be any who destroy you, who throw down your walls, who raze your towers, who burn your houses! Blessed for ever be all who build you!

13:13 Then you will exult, and rejoice over the sons of the upright, for they will all have been gathered in and will bless the Lord of the ages.

13:14 ‘Happy are those who love you, happy those who rejoice over your peace, happy those who have mourned over all your punishment! For they will soon rejoice within you, witnessing all your blessedness in days to come.

13:15 My soul blesses the Lord, the great King,

13:16 because Jerusalem shall be built anew and his house for ever and ever. ‘What bliss if one of my blood is left to see your glory and praise the King of heaven! The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphire and of emerald, and all your walls of precious stone; the towers of Jerusalem shall be built of gold and their battlements of pure gold.

13:17 The streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with ruby and with stones from Ophir; the gates of Jerusalem will resound with songs of exultation; and all her houses will say, “Alleluia! Blessed be the God of Israel.” Within you they will bless the holy name for ever and for ever.’

JB TOBIT Chapter 14

14:1 The end of the hymns’ of Tobit.


Tobit died in peace when he was a hundred and twelve years old and received an honourable burial in Nineveh.

14:2 He was sixty-two when he went blind; and after his cure he lived from then on in comfort, practising almsgiving and continually praising God and extolling his greatness.

14:3 When he was at the point of death he summoned his son Tobias and gave him these instructions, ‘My son, take your children

14:4 and hurry away to Media, since I believe the word of God pronounced over Nineveh by Nahum. Everything will come true, everything happen that the emissaries of God, the prophets of Israel, have predicted against Assyria and Nineveh; not one of their words shall prove empty. It will all take place in due time. You will be safer in Media than in Assyria or in Babylonia. Since I for my part know and believe that everything God has said will come true; so it will be, and not a word of the prophecies shall fail. A census will be taken of our brothers living in the land of Israel and they will be exiled far from their own fair country. The entire territory of Israel will become a desert, and Samaria and Jerusalem will become a desert, and the house of God, for a time, will be laid waste and burnt.

14:5 Then once again God will take pity on them and bring them back to the land of Israel. They will rebuild his house, although it will be less beautiful than the first, until the time has fully come. But after this, all will return from captivity and rebuild Jerusalem in all her glory, and the house of God will be rebuilt within her as the prophets of Israel have foretold.

14:6 And all the people of the whole earth will be converted and will fear God with all sincerity. All will renounce their false gods who have led them astray into error,

14:7 and will bless the God of the ages by upright conduct. All the Israelites spared in those days will remember God in sincerity of heart. They will come and gather in Jerusalem and thereafter dwell securely in the land of Abraham, which shall be their own. And those who sincerely love God shall rejoice. And those who commit sin and wickedness shall vanish from the earth.

14:8 ‘And now, my children, I lay this duty on you: serve God sincerely, and do what is pleasing to him. And lay on your children the obligation to behave uprightly, to give alms, to keep God in mind and to bless his name always, sincerely and with all their might.

14:9 ‘So then, my son, leave Nineveh; do not stay here.

14:10 As soon as you have buried your mother next to me, go the same day, whenever it may be, and do not linger in this country where I see wickedness and perfidy unashamedly triumphant. Consider, my child, all that Nadab did to his fosterfather Ahikar. Was he not forced to go underground, though still a living man? But God made the criminal pay for his outrage before the eyes of his victim, since Ahikar came back to the light of day, while Nadab went down to everlasting darkness in punishment for plotting against Ahikar’s life. Because of his good works Ahikar escaped the deadly snare Nadab had laid for him, and Nadab fell into it to his own ruin.

14:11 So, my children, you see what comes of almsgiving, and what wickedness leads to, I mean to death. But now breath fails me.’ They laid him back on his bed;. he died and was buried with honour.

14:12 When his mother died, Tobias buried her beside his father. Then he left for Media with his wife and children. He lived in Ecbatana with Raguel, his father-in-law.

14:13 He treated the aging parents of his wife with every care and respect, and later buried them in Ecbatana in Media. Tobias inherited the patrimony of Raguel besides that of his father Tobit.

14:14 Much honoured, he lived to the age of a hundred and seventeen years.

14:15 Before the died he witnessed the ruin of Nineveh. He saw the Ninevites taken prisoner and deported to Media by Cyaxares king of Media. He blessed God for everything he inflicted on the Ninevites and Assyrians. Before his death he had the opportunity of rejoicing over the fate of Nineveh, and he blessed the Lord God for ever and ever. Amen.

END OF JB TOBIT [14 Chapters].


JB TITUS Chapter 1



1:1 From Paul, servant of God, an apostle of Jesus Christ to bring those whom God has chosen to faith and to the knowledge of the truth that leads to true religion;

1:2 and to give them the hope of the eternal life that was promised so long ago by God. He does not lie

1:3 and so, at the appointed time, he revealed his decision, and, by the command of God our saviour, I have been commissioned to proclaim it.

1:4 To Titus, true child of mine in the faith that we share, wishing you grace and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our saviour.

The appointment of elders

1:5 The reason I left you behind in Crete was for you to get everything organised there and appoint elders in every town, in the way that I told you:

1:6 that is, each of them must be a man of irreproachable character; he must not have been married more than once, and his children must be believers and not uncontrollable or liable to be charged with disorderly conduct.

1:7 Since, as president, he will be God’s representative, he must be irreproachable: never an arrogant or hot-tempered man, nor a heavy drinker or violent, nor out to make money;

1:8 but a man who is hospitable and a friend of all that is good; sensible, moral, devout and self-controlled;

1:9 and he must have a firm grasp of the unchanging message of the tradition, so that he can be counted on for both expounding the sound doctrine and refuting those who argue against it.

Opposing the false teachers

1:10 And in fact you have there a great many people who need to be disciplined, who talk nonsense and try to make others believe it, particularly among those of the Circumcision.

1:11 They have got to be silenced: men of this kind ruin whole families, by teaching things that they ought not to, and doing it with the vile motive of making money.

1:12 lt was one of themselves, one of their own prophets, who said,[*a] ‘Cretans were never anything but liars, dangerous animals and lazy’:

1:13 and that is a true statement. So you will have to be severe in correcting them, and make them sound in the faith

1:14 so that they stop taking notice of Jewish myths and doing what they are told to do by people who are no longer interested in the truth.

1:15 To all who are pure themselves, everything is pure; but to those who have been corrupted and lack faith, nothing can be pure – the corruption is both in their minds and in their consciences.

1:16 They claim to have knowledge of God but the things they do are nothing but a denial of him; they are outrageously rebellious and quite incapable of doing good.

JB TITUS Chapter 2

Some specific moral instruction

2:1 It is for you, then, to preach the behaviour which goes with healthy doctrine.

2:2 The older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and constancy.

2:3 Similarly, the older women should behave as though they were religious, with no scandalmongering and no habitual wine-drinking – they are to be the teachers of the right behaviour

2:4 and show the younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children,

2:5 how they are to be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and do as their husbands tell them, so that the message of God is never disgraced.

2:6 In the same way, you have got to persuade the younger men to be moderate

2:7 and in everything you do make yourself an example to them of working for good: when you are teaching, be an example to them in your sincerity and earnestness

2:8 and in keeping all that you say so wholesome that nobody can make objections to it; and then any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us.

2:9 Tell the slaves that they are to be obedient to their masters and always do what they want without any argument;

2:10 and there must be no petty thieving – they must show complete honesty at all times, so that they are in every way a credit to the teaching of God our saviour.

The basis of the Christian moral life

2:11 You see, God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race

2:12 and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world,

2:13 while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus.[*a]

2:14 He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness[*b] and to purify a people so that it could be his very own[*c] and would have no ambition except to do good.

2:15 Now this is what you are to say, whether you are giving instruction or correcting errors; you can do so with full authority, and no one is to question it.

JB TITUS Chapter 3

General instruction for believers

3:1 Remind them that it is their duty to be obedient to the officials and representatives of the government; to be ready to do good at every opportunity;

3:2 not to go slandering other people or picking quarrels, but to be courteous and always polite to all kinds of people.

3:3 Remember, there was a time when we too were ignorant, disobedient and misled and enslaved by different passions and luxuries; we lived then in wickedness and ill-will, hating each other and hateful ourselves.

3:4 But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed,

3:5 it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit

3:6 which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour.

3:7 He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

3:8 This is doctrine that you can rely on.

Personal advice to Titus

I want you to be quite uncompromising in teaching all this, so that those who now believe in God may keep their minds constantly occupied in doing good works. All this is good, and will do nothing but good to everybody.

3:9 But avoid pointless speculations, and those genealogies, and the quibbles and disputes about the Law – these are useless and can do no good to anyone.

3:10 If a man disputes what you teach, then after a first and a second warning, have no more to do with him:

3:11 you will know that any man of that sort has already lapsed and condemned himself as a sinner.

Practical recommendations, farewells and good wishes

3:12 As soon as I have sent Artemas or Tychicus to you, lose no time in joining me at Nicopolis, where I have decided to spend the winter.

3:13 See to all the travelling arrangements for Zenas the lawyer and Apollos, and make sure they have everything they need.

3:14 All our people are to learn to occupy themselves in doing good works for their practical needs as well, and not to be entirely unproductive.

3:15 All those who are with me send their greetings. Greetings to those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

END OF JB TITUS [3 Chapters].




1:1 This is the revelation given by God to Jesus Christ so that he could tell his servants about the things which are now to take place[*a] very soon; he sent his angel to make it known to his servant John,

1:2 and John has written down everything he saw and swears it is the word of God guaranteed by Jesus Christ.

1:3 Happy the man who reads this prophecy, and happy those who listen to him, if they treasure all that it says, because the Time is close.


Address and greeting.[*b]

1:4 From John, to the seven churches of Asia: grace and peace to you from him who is, who was, and who is to come, from the seven spirits in his presence before his throne,

1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the First-born from the dead, the Ruler of the kings of the earth. He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood,

1:6 and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father; to him, then, be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

1:7 It is he who is coming on the clouds; everyone will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the races of the earth will mourn over him. This is the truth. Amen.

1:8 ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.

The beginning of the vision

1:9 My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos[*c] for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus;

1:10 it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet,

1:11 ‘Write down all that you see in a book, and send it to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea’.

1:12 I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands

1:13 and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man,[*d] dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle.

1:14 His head and his hair were white as white wool or as snow, his eyes like a burning flame,

1:15 his feet like burnished bronze when it has been refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of the ocean.[*e]

1:16 In his right hand he was holding seven stars, out of his mouth came a sharp sword, double-edged, and his face was like the sun shining with all its force.

1:17 When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One,

1:18 I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld.

1:19 Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come[*f]

1:20 The secret of the seven stars you have seen in my right hand, and of the seven golden lamp-stands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves.


1. Ephesus

2:1 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Ephesus and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and who lives surrounded by the seven golden lamp-stands:

2:2 I know all about you: how hard you work and how much you put up with. I know you cannot stand wicked men, and how you tested the impostors who called themselves apostles and proved they were liars.

2:3 know, too, that you have patience, and have suffered for my name without growing tired.

2:4 Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make; you have less love now than you used to.

2:5 Think where you were before you fell; repent, and do as you used to at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place.

2:6 It is in your favour, nevertheless, that you loathe as I do what the Nicolaitans are doing.

2:7 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: those who prove victorious I will feed from the tree of life set in God’s paradise.”[*a]

2. Smyrna

2:8 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Smyrna and say, “Here is the message of the First and the Last, who was dead and has come to life again:

2:9 I know the trials you have had, and how poor you are – though you are rich – and the slanderous accusations that have been made by the people who profess to be Jews but are really members of the synagogue of Satan.

2:10 Do not be afraid of the sufferings that are coming to you: I tell you, the devil is going to send some of you to prison to test you, and you must face an ordeal for ten days.[*b] Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize.

2:11 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: for those who prove victorious there is nothing to be afraid of in the second death.”

3. Pergamum

2:12 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Pergamum and say, “Here is the message of the one who has the sharp sword, double-edged:

2:13 I know where you live, in the place where Satan is enthroned, and that you still hold firmly to my name, and did not disown your faith in me even when my faithful witness, Antipas, was killed in your own town, where Satan lives.[*c]

2:14 Nevertheless, I have one or two complaints to make: some of you are followers of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap for the Israelites so that they committed adultery by eating food that had been sacrificed to idols;

2:15 and among you, too, there are some as bad who accept what the Nicolaitans teach.

2:16 You must repent, or I shall soon come to you and attack these people with the sword out of my mouth.

2:17 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: to those who prove victorious I will give the hidden manna and a white stone[*d] – a stone with a new name written on it, known only to the man who receives it.”

4. Thyatira

2:18 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira and say, “Here is the message of the Son of God who has eyes like a burning flame and feet like burnished bronze:

2:19 I know all about you and how charitable you are; I know your faith and devotion and how much you put up with, and I know how you are still making progress.

2:20 Nevertheless, I have a complaint to make: you are encouraging the woman Jezebel[*e] who claims to be a prophetess, and by her teaching she is luring my servants away to commit the adultery of eating food which has been sacrificed to idols.

2:21 I have given her time to reform but she is not willing to change her adulterous life.

2:22 Now I am consigning her to bed, and all her partners in adultery to troubles that will test them severely, unless they repent of their practices;

2:23 and I will see that her children die, so that all the churches realise that it is I who search heart and loins and give each one of you what your behaviour deserves.[*f]

2:24 But on the rest of you in Thyatira, all of you who have not accepted this teaching or learnt the secrets of Satan, as they are called, I am not laying any special duty;

2:25 but hold firmly on to what you already have until I come.

2:26 To those who prove victorious, and keep working for me until the end,

2:27 I will give the authority over the pagans[*g]

2:28 which I myself have been given by my Father, to rule them with an iron sceptre and shatter them like earthenware. And I will give him the Morning Star.[*h]

2:29 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”


5. Sardis

3:1 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Sardis and say, “Here is the message of the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know all about you: how you are reputed to be alive and yet are dead.

3:2 Wake up; revive what little you have left: it is dying fast. So far I have failed to notice anything in the way you live that my God could possibly call perfect,

3:3 and yet do you remember how eager you were. when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me.

3:4 There are a few in Sardis, it is true, who have kept their robes from being dirtied, and they are fit to come with me, dressed in white.

3:5 Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels.

3:6 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

6. Philadelphia

3:7 Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia and say, “Here is the message of the holy and faithful one who has the key of David, so that when he opens, nobody can close, and when he closes, nobody can open:[*a]

3:8 I know all about you; and now I have opened in front of you a door that nobody will be able to close – and I know that though you are not very strong, you have kept my commandments and not disowned my name.

3:9 Now I am going to make the synagogue of Satan – those who profess to be Jews, but are liars, because they are no such thing – I will make them come and fall at your feet[*b] and admit that you are the people that I love.[*c]

3:10 Because you have kept my commandment to endure trials, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is going to come for the whole world, to test the people of the world.

3:11 Soon I shall be with you: hold firmly to what you already have, and let nobody take your prize away from you.

3:12 Those who prove victorious I will make into pillars in the sanctuary of my God, and they will stay there for ever; I will inscribe on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God in heaven, and my own new name as well.

3:13 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

7. Laodicea

3:14 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the faithful, the true witness, the ultimate source of God’s creation:

3:15 I know all about you: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other,

3:16 but since you are neither, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.

3:17 You say to yourself, ‘I am rich, I have made a fortune, and have everything I want’, never realising that you are wretchedly and pitiably poor, and blind and naked too.

3:18 I warn you, buy from me the gold that has been tested in the fire to make you really rich, and white robes to clothe you and cover your shameful nakedness, and eye ointment to put on your eyes so that you are able to see.

3:19 I am the one who reproves and disciplines all those he loves:[*d] so repent in real earnest.

3:20 Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him.

3:21 Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne.

3:22 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”‘




God entrusts the future of the world to the Lamb

4:1 Then, in my vision, I saw a door open in heaven and heard the same voice speaking to me, the voice like a trumpet, saying, ‘Come up here: I will show you what is to come in the future’.

4:2 With that, the Spirit possessed me and I saw a throne standing in heaven, and the One who was sitting on the throne,

4:3 and the Person sitting there looked like a diamond and a ruby. There was a rainbow encircling the throne, and this looked like an emerald.[*a]

4:4 Round the throne in a circle were twenty-four thrones, and on them I saw twenty-four elders sitting, dressed in white robes with golden crowns on their heads.

4:5 Flashes of lightning were coming from the throne, and the sound of peals of thunder, and in front of the throne there were seven flaming lamps burning, the seven Spirits of God.

4:6 Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals [*b] with many eyes, in front and behind.

4:7 The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle.

4:8 Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty; he was, he is and he is to come’.

4:9 Every time the animals glorified and honoured and gave thanks to the One sitting on the throne, who lives for ever and ever,

4:10 the twenty-four elders prostrated themselves before him to worship the One who lives for ever and ever, and threw down their crowns in front of the throne, saying,

4:11 ‘You are our Lord and our God, you are worthy of glory and honour and power, because you made all the universe and it was only by your will that everything was made and exists’.


5:1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that had writing on back and front[*a] and was sealed with seven seals.

5:2 Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Is there anyone worthy to open the scroll and break the seals of it?’

5:3 But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it.

5:4 I wept bitterly because there was nobody fit to open the scroll and read it,

5:5 but one of the elders said to me, ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root[*b] of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it’.

5:6 Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world.[*c]

5:7 The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,

5:8 and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints.

5:9 They sang a new hymn: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, language, people and nation

5:10 and made them a line of kings and priests,[*d] to serve our God and to rule the world’.

5:11 In my vision, I heard the sound of an immense number of angels gathered round the throne and the animals and the elders; there were ten thousand times ten thousand of them[*e] and thousands upon thousands,

5:12 shouting, ‘The Lamb that was sacrificed is worthy to be given power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing’.

5:13 Then I heard all the living things in creation – everything that lives in the air, and on the ground, and under the ground, and in the sea, crying, ‘To the One who is sitting on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honour, glory and power, for ever and ever’.

5:14 And the four animals said, ‘Amen’; and the elders prostrated themselves to worship.


The Lamb breaks the seven seals

6:1 Then I saw the Lamb break one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four animals shout in a voice like thunder, ‘Come’.

6:2 Immediately a white horse appeared, and the rider on it was holding a bow; he was given the victor’s crown and he went away, to go from victory to victory.

6:3 When he broke the second seal, I heard the second animal shout, ‘Come’.

6:4 And out came another horse, bright red, and its rider was given this duty: to take away peace from the earth and set people killing each other. He was given a huge sword.

6:5 When he broke the third seal, I heard the third animal shout, ‘Come’. Immediately a black horse appeared, and its rider was holding a pair of scales;

6:6 and I seemed to hear a voice shout from among the four animals and say, ‘A ration of corn for a day’s wages, and three rations of barley for a day’s wages, but do not tamper with the oil or the wine’.

6:7 When he broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth animal shout, ‘Come’.

6:8 Immediately another horse appeared, deathly pale, and its rider was called Plague, and Hades followed at his heels. They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague and wild beasts.[*a]

6:9 When he broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of all the people who had been killed on account of the word of God, for witnessing to it.

6:10 They shouted aloud, ‘Holy, faithful Master, how much longer will you wait before you pass sentence and take vengeance for our death on the inhabitants of the earth?’

6:11 Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little longer, until the roll was complete and their fellow servants and brothers had been killed just as they had been.

6:12 In my vision, when he broke the sixth seal, there was a violent earthquake and the sun went as black as coarse sackcloth; the moon turned red as blood all over,

6:13 and the stars of the sky fell[*b] on to the earth like figs dropping from a fig tree when a high wind shakes it;

6:14 the sky disappeared like a scroll rolling up and all the mountains and islands were shaken from their places.

6:15 Then all the earthly rulers, the governors and the commanders, the rich people and the men of influence, the whole population, slaves and citizens, took to the mountains to hide in caves and among the rocks.[*c]

6:16 They said to the mountains[*d] and the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us away from the One who sits on the throne and from the anger of the Lamb.

6:17 For the Great Day of his anger has come, and who can survive it?'[*e]


God’s servants will be preserved

7:1 Next I saw four angels, standing at the four corners of the earth[*a], holding the four winds of the world back to keep them from blowing over the land or the sea or in the trees.

7:2 Then I saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea,

7:3 ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads[*b] of the servants of our God’.

7:4 Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand,[*c] out of all the tribes of Israel.

7:5 From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand had been sealed; from the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand;

7:6 from the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Naphtali, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Manasseh, twelve thousand;

7:7 from the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand;

7:8 from the tribe of Zebulun, twelve thousand; from the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand; and from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

The rewarding of the saints

7:9 After that I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands. They shouted aloud,

7:10 ‘Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’

7:11 And all the angels who were standing in a circle round the throne, surrounding the elders and the four animals, prostrated themselves before the throne, and touched the ground with their foreheads, worshipping God with these words,

7:12 ‘Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen.’

7:13 One of the elders then spoke, and asked me, ‘Do you know who these people are, dressed in white robes, and where they have come from?’

7:14 I answered him, ‘You can tell me, my lord’. Then he said, ‘These are the people who have been through the great persecution,[*d] and because they have washed their robes white again in the blood of the Lamb,

7:15 they now stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his sanctuary; and the One who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.

7:16 They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them,

7:17 because the Lamb who is at the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water;[*e] and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes.[*f]


The seventh seal

8:1 The Lamb then broke the seventh seal, and there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.[*a]

The prayers of the saints bring the coming of the Great Day nearer

8:2 Next I saw seven trumpets being given to the seven angels who stand in the presence of God.

8:3 Another angel, who had a golden censer,[*b] came and stood at the altar.[*c] A large quantity of incense was given to him to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that stood in front of the throne;

8:4 and so from the angel’s hand the smoke of the incense went up in the presence of God and with it the prayers of the saints.

8:5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar, which he then threw down on to the earth; immediately there came peals of thunder and flashes of lightning, and the earth shook.

The first four trumpets

8:6 The seven angels that had the seven trumpets now made ready to sound them.

8:7 The first blew his trumpet and, with that, hail and fire, mixed with blood, were dropped on the earth; a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of all trees, and every blade of grass was burnt.

8:8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and it was as though a great mountain, all on fire, had been dropped into the sea: a third of the sea turned into blood,

8:9 a third of all the living things in the sea were killed, and a third of all ships were destroyed.

8:10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a ball of fire, and it fell on a third of all rivers and springs;

8:11 this was the star called Wormwood, and a third of all water turned to bitter wormwood, so that many people died from drinking it.

8:12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were blasted, so that the light went out of a third of them and for a third of the day there was no illumination, and the same with the night.

8:13 In my vision, I heard an eagle, calling aloud as it flew high overhead, ‘Trouble, trouble, trouble, for all the people on earth at the sound of the other three trumpets which the three angels are going to blow’.


The fifth trumpet

9:1 Then the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star[*a] that had fallen from heaven on to the earth, and he was given the key to the shaft leading down to the Abyss.[*b]

9:2 When he unlocked the shaft of the Abyss, smoke poured up out of the Abyss like the smoke from a huge furnace[*c] so that the sun and the sky were darkened by it,

9:3 and out of the smoke dropped locusts which were given the powers that scorpions have on the earth:

9:4 they were forbidden to harm any fields or crops or trees and told only to attack any men who were without God’s seal on their foreheads.

9:5 They were not to kill them, but to give them pain for five months, and the pain was to be the pain of a scorpion’s sting.

9:6 When this happens, men will long for death and not find it anywhere ;[*d] they will want to die and death will evade them.

9:7 To look at, these locusts were like horses armoured for battle[*e]; they had things that looked like gold crowns on their heads, and faces that seemed human,

9:8 and hair like women’s hair, and teeth like lions’ teeth.

9:9 They had body-armour like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings sounded like a great charge of horses and chariots into battle.

9:10 Their tails were like scorpions’, with stings, and it was with them that they were able to injure people for five months.

9:11 As their leader they had their emperor, the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, or Apollyon[*f] in Greek.

9:12 That was the first of the troubles; there are still two more to come.

The sixth trumpet

9:13 The sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice come out of the four horns of the golden altar in front of God.

9:14 It spoke to the sixth angel with the trumpet, and said, ‘Release the four angels that are chained up at the great river Euphrates’.

9:15 These four angels had been put there ready for this hour of this day of this month of this year, and now they were released to destroy a third of the human race.

9:16 I learnt how many there were in their army: twice ten thousand times ten thousand mounted men.

9:17 In my vision I saw the horses, and the riders with their breastplates of flame colour, hyacinth-blue and sulphur-yellow; the horses had lions’ heads, and fire, smoke and sulphur were coming out of their mouths.

9:18 It was by these three plagues, the fire, the smoke and the sulphur coming out of their mouths, that the one third of the human race was killed.

9:19 All the horses’ power was in their mouths and their tails: their tails were like snakes, and had heads that were able to wound.

9:20 But the rest of the human race, who escaped these plagues, refused either to abandon the things they had made with their own hands[*g] – the idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood[*h] that can neither see nor hear nor move – or to stop worshipping devils.

9:21 Nor did they give up their murdering, or witchcraft, or fornication or stealing.


The imminence of the last punishment

10:1 Then I saw another powerful angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were pillars of fire.

10:2 In his hand he had a small scroll, unrolled; he put his right foot in the sea and his left foot on the land

10:3 and he shouted so loud, it was like a lion roaring. At this, seven claps of thunder made themselves heard

10:4 and when the seven thunderclaps had spoken, I was preparing to write, when I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Keep the words of the seven thunderclaps secret and do not write them down’.

10:5 Then the angel that I had seen, standing on the sea and the land, raised his right hand to heaven,[*a]

10:6 and swore by the One who lives for ever and ever, and made heaven and all that is in it, and earth and all it bears, and the sea and all it holds,[*b] ‘The time of waiting is over;

10:7 at the time when the seventh angel is heard sounding his trumpet, God’s secret intention will be fulfilled, just as he announced in the Good News told to his servants the prophets’.

The seer eats the small scroll

10:8 Then I heard the voice I had heard from heaven speaking to me again. ‘Go,’ it said ‘and take that open scroll out of the hand of the angel standing on sea and land.’

10:9 I went to the angel and asked him to give me the small scroll, and he said, ‘Take it and eat it; it will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey’.

10:10 So I took it out of the angel’s hand, and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach turned sour.

10:11 Then I was told, ‘You are to prophesy again, this time about many different nations and countries and languages and emperors’.


The two witnesses

11:1 I was given a long cane as a measuring rod, and I was told, ‘Go and measure God’s sanctuary, and the altar, and the people who worship there;

11:2 but leave out the outer court and do not measure it, because it has been handed over to pagans – they will trample on the holy city for forty-two months.[*a]

11:3 But I shall send my two witnesses to prophesy for those twelve hundred and sixty days, wearing sackcloth.

11:4 These are the two olive trees[*b] and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the world.[*c]

11:5 Fire can come from their mouths and consume their enemies if anyone tries to harm them; and if anybody does try to harm them he will certainly be killed in this way.

11:6 They are able to lock up the sky so that it does not rain as long as they are prophesying; they are able to turn water into blood and strike the whole world with any plague as often as they like.

11:7 When they have completed their witnessing, the beast that comes out of the Abyss is going to make war on them and overcome them[*d] and kill them.

11:8 Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names Sodom and Egypt, in which their Lord was crucified.[*e]

11:9 Men out of every people, race, language and nation will stare at their corpses, for three-and-a-half days, not letting them be buried,

11:10 and the people of the world will be glad about it and celebrate the event by giving presents to each other, because these two prophets have been a plague to the people of the world.’

11:11 After the three-and-a-half days, God breathed life into them and they stood up,[*f] and everybody who saw it happen was terrified;

11:12 then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here’, and while their enemies were watching, they went up to heaven in a cloud.

11:13 Immediately, there was a violent earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed; seven thousand persons[*g] were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors, overcome with fear, could only praise the God of heaven.

The seventh trumpet

11:14 That was the second of the troubles; the third is to come quickly after it.

11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and voices could be heard shouting in heaven, calling, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever’.

11:16 The twenty-four elders, enthroned in the presence of God, prostrated themselves and touched the ground with their foreheads worshipping God

11:17 with these words, ‘We give thanks to you, Almighty Lord God, He-Is-and-He-Was, for using your great power and beginning your reign.

11:18 The nations were seething with rage[*h] and now the time has come for your own anger, and for the dead to be judged, and for your servants the prophets, for the saints and for all who worship you, small or great, to be rewarded. The time has come to destroy those who are destroying the earth.’

11:19 Then the sanctuary of God in heaven opened and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake, and violent hail.


The vision of the woman and the dragon

12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.

12:2 She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.

12:3 Then a second sign appeared in the sky, a huge red dragon which had seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet.

12:4 Its tail dragged a third of the stars from the sky and dropped them to the earth,[*a] and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was having the child, so that he could eat it as soon as it was born from its mother.

12:5 The woman brought a male child into the world, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre,[*b] and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne,

12:6 while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had made a place of safety ready, for her to be looked after in the twelve hundred and sixty days.

12:7 And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels,

12:8 but they were defeated and driven out of heaven.

12:9 The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had deceived all the world, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him.

12:10 Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.

12:11 They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the witness of their martyrdom, because even in the face of death they would not cling to life.

12:12 Let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea, trouble is coming – because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that his days are numbered.’

12:13 As soon as the devil found himself thrown down to the earth, he sprang in pursuit of the woman, the mother of the male child,

12:14 but she was given a huge pair of eagle’s wings to fly away from the serpent into the desert, to the place where she was to be looked after for a year and twice a year and half a year[*c]

12:15 So the serpent vomited water from his mouth, like a river, after the woman, to sweep her away in the current,

12:16 but the earth came to her rescue; it opened its mouth and swallowed the river thrown up by the dragon’s jaws.

12:17 Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus.

The dragon delegates his power to the beast

12:18 I was standing on the seashore.


13:1 Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea:[*a] it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles.[*b]

13:2 I saw that the beast was like a leopard, with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion;[*c] the dragon had handed over to it his own power and his throne and his worldwide authority.

13:3 I saw that one of its heads seemed to have had a fatal wound but that this deadly injury had healed and, after that, the whole world had marvelled and followed the beast.

13:4 They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast, saying, ‘Who can compare with the beast?[*d] How could anybody defeat him?’

13:5 For forty-two months the beast was allowed to mouth its boasts[*e] and blasphemies and to do whatever it wanted;

13:6 and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against his name, his heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there.

13:7 It was allowed to make war against the saints and conquer them, and given power over every race, people, language and nation;

13:8 and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the sacrificial Lamb.

13:9 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen:

13:10 Captivity for those who are destined for captivity; the sword for those who are to die by the sword.[*f] This is why the saints must have constancy and faith.

The false prophet as the slave of the beast

13:11 Then I saw a second beast;[*g] it emerged from the ground; it had two horns like a lamb, but made a noise like a dragon.

13:12 This second beast was servant to the first beast, and extended its authority everywhere, making the world and all its people worship the first beast, which had had the fatal wound and had been healed.

13:13 And it worked great miracles, even to calling down fire from heaven on to the earth while people watched.

13:14 Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to win over the people of the world and persuade them to put up a statue in honour of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and still lived.

13:15 It was allowed to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the beast was able to speak, and to have anyone who refused to worship the statue of the beast[*h] put to death.

13:16 He compelled everyone – small and great, rich and poor, slave and citizen – to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead,

13:17 and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything unless he had been branded with the name of the beast or with the number of its name.

13:18 There is need for shrewdness here: if anyone is clever enough he may interpret the number of the beast: it is the number of a man, the number 666[*i].


The companions of the Lamb

14:1 Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on it a Lamb who had with him a hundred and forty-four thousand people, all with his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.

14:2 I heard a sound coming out of the sky like the sound of the ocean or the roar of thunder; it seemed to be the sound of harpists playing their harps.

14:3 There in front of the throne they were singing a new hymn in the presence of the four animals and the elders, a hymn that could only be learnt by the hundred and forty-four thousand who had been redeemed from the world.

14:4 These are the ones who have kept their virginity[*a] and not been defiled with women; they follow the Lamb wherever he goes; they have been redeemed from amongst men to be the first-fruits for God[*b] and for the Lamb.

14:5 They never allowed a lie to pass their lips[*c] and no fault can be found in them.

Angels announce the day of Judgement

14:6 Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the Good News of eternity to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe.

14:7 He was calling, ‘Fear God and praise him, because the time has come for him to sit in judgement; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea[*d] and every water-spring’.

14:8 A second angel followed him, calling, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen,[*e] Babylon which gave the whole world the wine of God’s anger to drink’.

14:9 A third angel followed, shouting aloud, ‘All those who worship the beast and his statue, or have had themselves branded on the hand or forehead,

14:10 will be made to drink the wine of God’s fury which is ready, undiluted, in his cup of anger; in fire and brimstone[*f] they will be tortured in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb

14:11 and the smoke of their torture will go up for ever[*g] and ever. There will be no respite, night or day, for those who worshipped the beast or its statue or accepted branding with its name.’

14:12 This is why there must be constancy in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.

14:13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say to me, ‘Write down: Happy are those who die in the Lord! Happy indeed, the Spirit says; now they can rest for ever after their work, since their good deeds go with them.’

The harvest and vintage of the pagans

14:14 Now in my vision I saw a white cloud and, sitting on it, one like a son of man with a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.

14:15 Then another angel came out of the sanctuary, and shouted aloud to the one sitting on the cloud, ‘Put your sickle in and reap: harvest time has come and the harvest of the earth is ripe'[*h].

14:16 Then the one sitting on the cloud set his sickle to work on the earth, and the earth’s harvest was reaped.

14:17 Another angel, who also carried a sharp sickle, came out of the temple in heaven,

14:18 and the angel in charge of the fire left the altar and shouted aloud to the one with the sharp sickle, ‘Put your sickle in and cut all the bunches off the vine of the earth; all its grapes are ripe’.

14:19 So the angel set his sickle to work on the earth and harvested the whole vintage of the earth and put it into a huge winepress, the winepress of God’s anger,

14:20 outside the city, where it was trodden until the blood that came out of the winepress was up to the horses’ bridles as far away as sixteen hundred furlongs.


The hymn of Moses and the Lamb

15:1 What I saw next, in heaven, was a great and wonderful sign: seven angels were bringing the seven plagues that are the last of all, because they exhaust the anger of God.

15:2 It seemed to see a glass lake suffused with fire, and standing by the lake of glass, those who had fought against the beast and won, and against his statue and the number which is his name. They all had harps from God,

15:3 and they were singing the hymn of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb: ‘How great and wonderful are all your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are all your ways, King of nations.

15:4 Who would not revere and praise your name, O Lord? You alone are holy, and all the pagans will come and adore you for the many acts of justice you have shown.'[*a]

The seven bowls of plagues

15:5 After this, in my vision, the sanctuary, the Tent of the Testimony, opened in heaven,

15:6 and out came the seven angels with the seven plagues, wearing pure white linen, fastened round their waists with golden girdles.

15:7 One of the four animals gave the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the anger of God who lives for ever and ever.

15:8 The smoke from the glory and the power of God filled the temple so that no one could go into it[*b] until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.


16:1 Then I heard a voice from the sanctuary shouting to the seven angels, ‘Go, and empty the seven bowls of God’s anger over the earth’.

16:2 The first angel went and emptied his bowl over the earth; at once, on all the people who had been branded with the mark of the beast and had worshipped its statue, there came disgusting and virulent sores.

16:3 The second angel emptied his bowl over the sea, and it turned to blood, like the blood of a corpse, and every living creature in the sea died.

16:4 The third angel emptied his bowl into the rivers and water-springs and they turned into blood.

16:5 Then I heard the angel of water say, ‘You are the holy He-Is-and-He-Was, the Just One, and this is a just punishment:

16:6 they spilt the blood of the saints and the prophets, and blood is what you have given them to drink; it is what they deserve’.

16:7 And I heard the altar itself say, ‘Truly, Lord God Almighty, the punishments you give are true and just’.

16:8 The fourth angel emptied his bowl over the sun and it was made to scorch people with its flames;

16:9 but though people were scorched by the fierce heat of it they cursed the name of God who had the power to cause such plagues, and they would not repent and praise him.

16:10 The fifth angel emptied his bowl over the throne of the beast and its whole empire was plunged into darkness. Men were biting their tongues for pain,

16:11 but instead of repenting for what they had done, they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores.

16:12 The sixth angel emptied his bowl over the great river Euphrates; all the water dried up so that a way was made for the kings of the East[*a] to come in.

16:13 Then from the jaws of dragon and beast and false prophet I saw three foul spirits come; they looked like frogs

16:14 and in fact were demon spirits, able to work miracles, going out to all the kings of the world to call them together for the war of the Great Day of God the Almighty.-

16:15 This is how it will be: I shall come like a thief. Happy is the man who has stayed awake and not taken off his clothes so that he does not go out naked and expose his shame. –

16:16 They called the kings together at the place called, in Hebrew, Armageddon.[*b]

16:17 The seventh angel emptied his bowl into the air, and a voice shouted from the sanctuary, ‘The end has come’.

16:18 Then there were flashes of lightning and peals of thunder and the most violent earthquake that anyone has ever seen since there have been men on the earth.[*c]

16:19 The Great City was split into three parts and the cities of the world collapsed; Babylon the Great was not forgotten: God made her drink the full winecup of his anger.

16:20 Every island vanished and the mountains disappeared;

16:21 and hail, with great hailstones weighing a talent each, fell from the sky on the people. They cursed God for sending a plague of hail; it was the most terrible plague.



The famous prostitute

17:1 One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the punishment given to the famous prostitute[*a] who rules enthroned beside abundant waters[*,]b

17:2 the one with whom all the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and who has made all the population of the world drunk with the wine of her adultery’.[*c]

17:3 He took me in spirit to a desert, and there I saw a woman riding a scarlet beast which had seven heads and ten horns and had blasphemous titles written all over it.

17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and glittered with gold and jewels and pearls, and she was holding a gold winecup filled with the disgusting filth of her fornication;

17:5 on her forehead was written a name, a cryptic name: ‘Babylon the Great, the mother of all the prostitutes and all the filthy practices on the earth’.

17:6 I saw that she was drunk, drunk with the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus; and when I saw her, I was completely mystified.

17:7 The angel said to me, ‘Don’t you understand? Now I will tell you the meaning of this woman, and of the beast she is riding, with the seven heads and the ten horns.

The symbolism of the beast and the prostitute

17:8 ‘The beast you have seen once was and now is not;[*d] he is yet to come up from the Abyss, but only to go to his destruction. And the people of the world, whose names have not been written since the beginning of the world in the book of life, will think it miraculous when they see how the beast once was and now is not and is still to come.

17:9 Here there is need for cleverness, for a shrewd mind; the seven heads are the seven hills, and the woman is sitting on them.

17:10 The seven heads are also seven emperors. Five of them have already gone, one is here now, and one is yet to come; once here, he must stay for a short while.

17:11 The beast, who once was and now is not, is at the same time the eighth and one of the seven, and he is going to his destruction.

17:12 The ten horns are ten kings[*e] who have not yet been given their royal power but will have royal authority only for a single hour and in association with the beast.

17:13 They are all of one mind in putting their strength and their powers at the beast’s disposal,

17:14 and they will go to war against the Lamb; but the Lamb is the Lord of lords and the King of kings,[*f] and he will defeat them and they will be defeated by his followers, the called, the chosen, the faithful.’

17:15 The angel continued, ‘The waters you saw, beside which the prostitute was sitting, are all the peoples, the populations, the nations and the languages.

17:16 But the time will come when the ten horns and the beast will turn against the prostitute, and strip off her clothes and leave her naked;[*g] then they will eat her flesh and burn the remains in the fire.

17:17 In fact, God influenced their minds to do what he intended, to agree together to put their royal powers at the beast’s disposal until the time when God’s words should be fulfilled.

17:18 The woman you saw is the great city which has authority over all the rulers on earth.’


An angel announces the fall of Babylon

18:1 After this, I saw another angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory.[*a]

18:2 At the top of his voice he shouted, ‘Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils[*b] and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty, loathsome bird.

18:3 All the nations have been intoxicated by the wine of her prostitution; every king in the earth has committed fornication with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery.’

The people of God summoned away

18:4 A new voice spoke from heaven; I heard it say, ‘Come out, my people, away from her, so that you do not share in her crimes and have the same plagues to bear.

18:5 Her sins have reached up to heaven,[*c] and God has her crimes in mind:

18:6 she is to be paid in her own coin.[*d] She must be paid double the amount she exacted. She is to have a doubly strong cup of her own mixture.

18:7 Every one of her shows and orgies is to be matched by a torture or a grief. I am the queen on my throne, she says to herself,[*e] and I am no widow and shall never be in mourning.

18:8 For that, within a single day, the plagues will fall on her: disease and mourning and famine. She will be burnt right up. The Lord God has condemned her, and he has great power.’

The people of the world mourn for Babylon

18:9 There will be mourning and weeping for her by the kings of the earth who have fornicated with her and lived with her in luxury. They see the smoke as she burns,

18:10 while they keep at a safe distance from fear of her agony. They will say: ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city, Babylon, so powerful a city, doomed as you are within a single hour’.

18:11 There will be weeping and distress over her among all the traders of the earth when there is nobody left to buy their cargoes of goods;

18:12 their stocks of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, linen and purple and silks and scarlet; all the sandalwood, every piece in ivory or fine wood, in bronze or iron or marble;

18:13 the cinnamon and spices, the myrrh and ointment and incense; wine, oil, flour and corn; their stocks of cattle, sheep, horses and chariots, their slaves, their human cargo.

18:14 ‘All the fruits you had set your hearts on have failed you; gone for ever, never to return, is your life of magnificence and ease.’

18:15 The traders who had made a fortune out of her will be standing at a safe distance from fear of her agony, mourning and weeping.

18:16 They will be saying: ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city; for all the linen and purple and scarlet that you wore, for all your finery of gold and jewels and pearls;

18:17 your riches are all destroyed within a single hour’. All the captains and seafaring men, sailors and all those who make a living from the sea will be keeping a safe distance,

18:18 watching the smoke as she burns, and crying out, ‘Has there ever been a city as great as this!’

18:19 They will throw dust on their heads and say, with tears and groans: ‘Mourn, mourn for this great city whose lavish living has made a fortune for every owner of a sea-going ship; ruined within a single hour.’

18:20 ‘Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgement for you against her.’

18:21 Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, ‘That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again.

18:22 Never again in you, Babylon, will be heard the song of harpists and minstrels, the music of flute and trumpet; never again will craftsmen of every skill be found or the sound of the mill[*f] be heard;

18:23 never again will shine the light of the lamp, never again will be heard the voices of bridegroom and bride. Your traders were the princes of the earth, all the nations were under your spell.

18:24 In her you will find the blood of prophets and saints, and all the blood that was ever shed on earth.’


Songs of victory in heaven

19:1 After this I seemed to hear the great sound of a huge crowd in heaven, singing, ‘Alleluia! Victory and glory and power to our God!

19:2 He judges fairly, he punishes justly, and he has condemned the famous prostitute who corrupted the earth with her fornication; he has avenged his servants that she killed’.

19:3 They sang again, ‘Alleluia! The smoke of her will go up for ever and ever.’

19:4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four animals prostrated themselves and worshipped God seated there on his throne, and they cried, ‘Amen, Alleluia’.

19:5 Then a voice came from the throne; it said, ‘Praise our God, you servants of his and all who, great or small, revere him’.

19:6 And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun;

19:7 let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb.

19:8 His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.’

19:9 The angel said, ‘Write this: Happy are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb’, and he added, ‘All the things you have written are true messages from God’.

19:10 Then I knelt at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Don’t do that: I am a servant just like you and all your brothers who are witnesses to Jesus. It is God that you must worship.’ The witness Jesus gave is the same as the spirit of prophecy.


The first battle of the End

19:11 And now I saw heaven open, and a white horse appear; its rider was called Faithful and True; he is a judge with integrity[*a], a warrior for justice.

19:12 His eyes were flames of fire, and his head was crowned with many coronets; the name written on him was known only to himself,

19:13 his cloak was soaked in blood[*b] He is known by the name, The Word of God.

19:14 Behind him, dressed in linen of dazzling white, rode the armies of heaven on white horses.

19:15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the pagans with; he is the one who will rule them with an iron sceptre,[*c] and tread out the wine of Almighty God’s fierce anger.

19:16 On his cloak and on his thigh[*d] there was a name written: The King of kings and the Lord of lords.

19:17 I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he shouted aloud to all the birds that were flying high overhead in the sky, Come here. Gather together at the great feast[*e] that God is giving.

19:18 There will be the flesh of kings for you, and the flesh of great generals and heroes, the flesh of horses and their riders and of all kinds of men, citizens and slaves, small and great.’

19:19 Then I saw the beast, with all the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to fight the rider and his army.

19:20 But the beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast’s behalf and by them had deceived all who had been branded with the mark of the beast and worshipped his statue. These two were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur.

19:21 All the rest were killed by the sword of the rider, which came out of his mouth, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.


The reign of a thousand years

20:1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the key of the Abyss in his hand and an enormous chain.

20:2 He overpowered the dragon, that primeval serpent which is the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years.

20:3 He threw him into the Abyss, and shut the entrance and sealed it over him, to make sure he would not deceive the nations again until the thousand years had passed. At the end of that time he must be released, but only for a short while.

20:4 Then I saw some thrones, and I saw those who are given the power to be judges[*a] take their seats on them. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not have the brand-mark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

20:5 This is the first resurrection; the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over.

20:6 Happy and blessed are those who share in the first resurrection; the second death cannot affect them but they will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with him for a thousand years.

The second battle of the End

20:7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison

20:8 and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog,[*b] and mobilise them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea;

20:9 they will come swarming over the entire country and besiege the camp of the saints, which is the city that God loves. But fire will come down on them from heaven[*c] and consume them.

20:10 Then the devil, who misled them, will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are, and their torture will not stop, day or night, for ever and ever.

The punishment of the pagans

20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and the One who was sitting on it. In his presence, earth and sky vanished, leaving no trace.

20:12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of his throne, while the book of life was opened, and other books opened which were the record of what they had done in their lives, by which the dead were judged.

20:13 The sea gave up all the dead who were in it;

20:14 Death and Hades were emptied of the dead that were in them; and every one was judged according to the way in which he had lived. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the burning lake. This burning lake is the second death;

20:15 and anybody whose name could not be found written in the book of life was thrown into the burning lake.



The heavenly Jerusalem

21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth ;[*a] the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea.

21:2 I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband.

21:3 Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people,[*b] and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them.

21:4 He will wipe away all tears from their eyes;[*c] there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

21:5 Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ he said. ‘Write this: that what I am saying is sure and will come true.’

21:6 And then he said, ‘It is already done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give water from the well of life free to anybody who is thirsty;

21:7 it is the rightful inheritance of the one who proves victorious; and I will be his God and he a son to me.[*d]

21:8 But the legacy for cowards, for those who break their word, or worship obscenities, for murderers and fornicators, and for fortune-tellers, idolaters or any other sort of liars, is the second death in the burning lake of sulphur.’

The messianic Jerusalem

21:9 One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came to speak to me, and said, ‘Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married’.

21:10 In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain[*e] and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven.

21:11 It had all the radiant glory of God[*f] and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond.

21:12 The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel;

21:13 on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates[*g].

21:14 The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

21:15 The angel that was speaking to me was carrying a gold measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and wall.

21:16 The plan of the city is perfectly square, its length the same as its breadth. He measured the city with his rod and it was twelve thousand furlongs in length and in breadth, and equal in height.

21:17 He measured its wall, and this was a hundred and forty-four cubits high – the angel was using the ordinary cubit.

21:18 The wall was built of diamond, and the city of pure gold, like polished glass.

21:19 The foundations of the city wall were faced with all kinds of precious stone: the first with diamond, the second lapis lazuli, the third turquoise, the fourth crystal,

21:20 the fifth agate, the sixth ruby, the seventh gold quartz, the eighth malachite, the ninth topaz, the tenth emerald, the eleventh sapphire and the twelfth amethyst.

21:21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate being made of a single pearl, and the main street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

21:22 I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple,

21:23 and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it.

21:24 The pagan nations will live by its light[*h] and the kings of the earth will bring it their treasures.

21:25 The gates of it will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there –

21:26 and the nations will come, bringing their treasure and their wealth.

21:27 Nothing unclean may come into it: no one who does what is loathsome or false, but only those who are listed in the Lamb’s book of life.


22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of life, rising from the throne of God and of the Lamb and flowing crystal-clear

22:2 down the middle of the city street. On either side of the river were the trees of life, which bear twelve crops of fruit in a year, one in each month, and the leaves of which are the cure for the pagans.[*a]

22:3 The ban will be lifted.[*b] The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him,

22:4 they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads.

22:5 It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shining on them. They will reign for ever and ever.

22:6 The angel said to me, ‘All that you have written is sure and will come true: the Lord God who gives the spirit to the prophets has sent his angel to reveal to his servants what is soon to take place.

22:7 Very soon now, I shall be with you again.’ Happy are those who treasure the prophetic message of this book.

22:8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I had heard and seen them all, I knelt at the feet of the angel who had shown them to me, to worship him;

22:9 but he said, ‘Don’t do that: I am a servant just like you and like your brothers the prophets and like those who treasure what you have written in this book. It is God that you must worship.’

22:10 This, too, he said to me, ‘Do not keep the prophecies in this book a secret, because the Time is close.

22:11 Meanwhile let the sinner go on sinning, and the unclean continue to be unclean; let those who do good go on doing good, and those who are holy continue to be holy.

22:12 Very soon now, I shall be with you again, bringing the reward to be given to every man according to what he deserves.[*c]

22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

22:14 Happy are those who will have washed their robes clean, so that they will have the right to feed on the tree of life and can come through the gates into the city.

22:15 These others must stay outside: dogs, fortune-tellers, and fornicators, and murderers, and idolaters, and everyone of false speech and false life.’


22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to make these revelations to you for the sake of the churches. I am of David’s line, the root of David and the bright star of the morning.

22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come’. Let everyone who listens answer, ‘Come’. Then let all who are thirsty come:[*d] all who want it may have the water of life, and have it free.

22:18 This is my solemn warning to all who hear the prophecies in this book: if anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him every plague mentioned in the book;

22:19 if anyone cuts anything out of the prophecies in this book, God will cut off his share of the tree of life and of the holy city, which are described in the book.

22:20 The one who guarantees these revelations repeats his promise: I shall indeed be with you soon. Amen; come, Lord Jesus.

22:21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen.



JB MARK Chapter 1


The preaching of John the Baptist

1:1 The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

1:2 It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way.

1:3 A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.[*a]

1:4 and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

1:5 All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.

1:6 John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.

1:7 In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.

1:8 I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’

Jesus is baptised

1:9 It was at this time that Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised in the Jordan by John.

1:10 No sooner had he come up out of the water than he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him.

1:11 And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you.

Temptation in the wilderness

1:12 Immediately afterwards the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness

1:13 and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.


Jesus begins to preach

1:14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God.

1:15 ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

The first four disciples are called

1:16 As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen.

1:17 And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men’.

1:18 And at once they left their nets and followed him.

1:19 Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once

1:20 and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

Jesus teaches in Capernaum and cures a demoniac

1:21 They went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach.

1:22 And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority

1:23 In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted,

1:24 ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’

1:25 But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’

1:26 And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him.

1:27 The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’

1:28 And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.

Cure of Simon’s mother-in-law

1:29 On leaving the synagogue, he went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew.

1:30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law had gone to bed with fever, and they told him about her straightaway.

1:31 He went to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to wait on them.

A number of cures

1:32 That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils.

1:33 The whole town came crowding round the door,

1:34 and he cured many who were suffering from diseases of one kind or another; he also cast out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.[*b]

Jesus quietly leaves Capernaum and travels through Galilee

1:35 In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house, and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.

1:36 Simon and his companions set out in search of him,

1:37 and when they found him they said, ‘Everybody is looking for you’.

1:38 He answered, ‘Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can preach there too, because that is why I came’.

1:39 And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out devils.

Cure of a leper

1:40 A leper came to him and pleaded on his knees: ‘If you want to’ he said ‘you can cure me’.

1:41 Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. ‘Of course I want to!’ he said. ‘Be cured!’

1:42 And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured.

1:43 Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him,

1:44 ‘Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery’.

1:45 The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.

JB MARK Chapter 2

Cure of a paralytic

2:1 When he returned to Capernaum some time later, word went round that he was back;

2:2 and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them

2:3 when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men,

2:4 but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay.

2:5 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven’.

2:6 Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves,

2:7 ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’

2:8 Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts?

2:9 Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”?

2:10 But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ –

2:11 he said to the paralytic – I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’

2:12 And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this’.

The call of Levi

2:13 He went out again to the shore of the lake;[*a] and all the people came to him, and he taught them.

2:14 As he was walking on he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus, sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me’. And he got up and followed him.

Eating with sinners

2:15 When Jesus was at dinner in his house, a number of tax collectors and sinners were also sitting at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many of them among his followers.

2:16 When the scribes of the Pharisee party saw him eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’

2:17 When Jesus heard this he said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

A discussion on fasting

2:18 One day when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came and said to him, ‘Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’

2:19 Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of fasting while the bridegroom is still with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they could not think of fasting.

2:20 But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast.

2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak; if he does, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.

2:22 And nobody puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins too. No! New wine, fresh skins!’

Picking corn on the sabbath

2:23 One sabbath day he happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples began to pick ears of corn as they went along.

2:24 And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing something on the sabbath day that is forbidden?’

2:25 And he replied, ‘Did you never read what David did in his time of need when he and his followers were hungry –

2:26 how he went into the house of God when Abiathar[*b] was high priest, and ate the loaves of offering which only the priests are allowed to eat, and how he also gave some to the men with him?’

2:27 And he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath;

2:28 the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath’.

JB MARK Chapter 3

Cure of the man with a withered hand

3:1 He went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand.

3:2 And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him.

3:3 He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’

3:4 Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing.

3:5 Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’. He stretched it out and his hand was better.

3:6 The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.

The crowds follow Jesus

3:7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea,

3:8 Jerusalem, Idumaea, Transjordania and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him.

3:9 And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed.

3:10 For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him.

3:11 And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God!’

3:12 But he warned them strongly not to make him known.

The appointment of the Twelve

3:13 He now went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him

3:14 and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach,

3:15 with power to cast out devils.

3:16 And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter,

3:17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’;

3:18 then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot

3:19 and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.

His relatives are concerned about Jesus

3:20 He went home again, and once more such a crowd collected that they could not even have a meal.

3:21 When his relatives heard of this, they set out to take charge of him, convinced he was out of his mind.

Allegations of the scribes

3:22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘Beelzebul is in him’ and, ‘It is through the prince of devils that he casts devils out’.

3:23 So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan?

3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last.

3:25 And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never stand.

3:26 Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot stand either – it is the end of him.

3:27 But no one can make his way into a strong man’s house and burgle his property unless he has tied up the strong man first. Only then can he burgle his house.

3:28 ‘I tell you solemnly, all men’s sins will be forgiven, and all their blasphemies;

3:29 but let anyone blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and he will never have forgiveness: he is guilty of an eternal sin.’

3:30 This was because they were saying, ‘An unclean spirit is in him’.

The true kinsmen of Jesus

3:31 His mother and brothers now arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him.

3:32 A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, ‘Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you’.

3:33 He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’

3:34 And looking round at those sitting in a circle about him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers.

3:35 Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’

JB MARK Chapter 4

Parable of the sower

4:1 Again he began to teach by the lakeside, but such a huge crowd gathered round him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there. The people were all along the shore, at the water’s edge.

4:2 He taught them many things in parables, and in the course of his teaching he said to them,

4:3 ‘Listen!, Imagine a sower going out to sow.

4:4 Now it happened that, as he sowed, some of the seed fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

4:5 Some seed fell on rocky ground where it found little soil and sprang up straightaway, because there was no depth of earth;

4:6 and when the sun came up it was scorched and, not having any roots, it withered away.

4:7 Some seed fell into thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it produced no crop.

4:8 And some seeds fell into rich soil and, growing tall and strong, produced crop; and yielded thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.’

4:9 And he said, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

Why Jesus speaks in parables

4:10 When he was alone, the Twelve, together with the others who formed his company, asked what the parables meant.

4:11 He told them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables,

4:12 so that they may see and see again, but not perceive; may hear and hear again, but not understand; otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven’.[*a]

The parable of the sower explained

4:13 He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?

4:14 What the sower is sowing is the word.

4:15 Those on the edge of the path where the word is sown are people who have no sooner heard it than Satan comes and carries away the word that was sown in them.

4:16 Similarly, those who receive the seed on patches of rock are people who, when first they hear the word, welcome it at once with joy.

4:17 But they have no root in them, they do not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, they fall away at once.

4:18 Then there are others who receive the seed in thorns. These have heard the word,

4:19 but the worries of this world, the lure of riches and all the other passions come in to choke the word, and so it produces nothing.

4:20 And there are those who have received the seed in rich soil: they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’

Parable of the lamp

4:21 He also said to them, ‘Would you bring in a lamp to put it under a tub or under the bed? Surely you will put it on the lamp-stand?

4:22 For there is nothing hidden but it must be disclosed, nothing kept secret except to be brought to light.

4:23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’

Parable of the measure

4:24 He also said to them, ‘Take notice of what you are hearing. The amount you measure out is the amount you will be given – and more besides;

4:25 for the man who has will be given more; from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’

Parable of the seed growing by itself

4:26 He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land.

4:27 Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.

4:28 Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.

4:29 And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’

Parable of the mustard seed

4:30 He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it?

4:31 It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;

4:32 yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’

The use of parables

4:33 Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it.

4:34 He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

The calming of the storm

4:35 With the coming of evening that same day, he said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side’.

4:36 And leaving the crowd behind they took him, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him.

4:37 Then it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped.

4:38 But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep.

4:39 They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again.

4:40 Then he said to them, ‘Why are you so frightened? How is it that you have no faith?’

4:41 They were filled with awe and said to one another, ‘Who can this be? Even the wind and the sea obey him.’

JB MARK Chapter 5

The Gerasene demoniac

5:1 They reached the country of the Gerasenes[*a] on the other side of the lake,

5:2 and no sooner had he left the boat than a man with an unclean spirit came out from the tombs towards him.

5:3 The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain;

5:4 because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him.

5:5 All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones.

5:6 Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet

5:7 and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? Swear by God you will not torture me!’

5:8 – For Jesus had been saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit’.

5:9 ‘What is your name?’ Jesus asked. ‘My name is legion,’ he answered ‘for there are many of us.’

5:10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.

5:11 Now there was there on the mountainside a great herd of pigs feeding,

5:12 and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us to the pigs, let us go into them’.

5:13 So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned.

5:14 The swineherds ran off and told their story in the town and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened.

5:15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his full senses – the very man who had had the legion in him before – and they were afraid.

5:16 And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs.

5:17 Then they began to implore Jesus to leave the neighbourhood.

5:18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with him.

5:19 Jesus would not let him but said to him, ‘Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you’.

5:20 So the man went off and proceeded to spread throughout the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

Cure of the woman with a haemorrhage. The daughter of Jairus raised to life

5:21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lakeside.

5:22 Then one of the synagogue officials came up, Jairus by name, and seeing him, fell at his feet

5:23 and pleaded with him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her to make her better and save her life.’

5:24 Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.

5:25 Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years;

5:26 after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she spent all she had without being any the better for it, in fact, she was getting worse.

5:27 She had heard about Jesus, and she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his cloak.

5:28 ‘If I can touch even his clothes,’ she had told herself ‘I shall be well again.’

5:29 And the source of the bleeding dried up instantly, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint.

5:30 Immediately aware that power had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

5:31 His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you and yet you say, “Who touched me?”‘

5:32 But he continued to look all round to see who had done it.

5:33 Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling[*b] because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth.

5:34 ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free from your complaint.’

5:35 While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter is dead: why put the Master to any further trouble?’

5:36 But Jesus had overheard this remark of theirs and he said to the official, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith’.

5:37 And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

5:38 So they came to the official’s house and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly.

5:39 He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’

5:40 But they laughed at him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay.

5:41 And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha, kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up’.

5:42 The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At this they were overcome with astonishment,

5:43 and he ordered them strictly not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

JB MARK Chapter 6

A visit to Nazareth

6:1 Going from that district, he went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him.

6:2 With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?

6:3 This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him.

6:4 And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is only despised in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’;

6:5 and he could work no miracle there, though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.

6:6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.

The mission of the Twelve

He made a tour round the villages, teaching.

6:7 Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs giving them authority over the unclean spirits.

6:8 And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.

6:9 They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic’.

6:10 And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district.

6:11 And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’

6:12 So they set off to preach repentance;

6:13 and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

Herod and Jesus

6:14 Meanwhile King Herod had heard about him, since by now his name was well-known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him’.

6:15 Others said, ‘He is Elijah’; others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have’.

6:16 But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead’.

John the Baptist beheaded

6:17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married.

6:18 For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife’.

6:19 As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him; but she was not able to,

6:20 because Herod was afraid of John, knowing him to be a good and holy man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.

6:21 An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee.

6:22 When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you’.

6:23 And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom’.

6:24 She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist’

6:25 The girl hurried straight back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, here and now, on a dish’.

6:26 The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her.

6:27 So the king at once sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head.

6:28 The man went off and beheaded him in prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

6:29 When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

First miracle of the loaves

6:30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.

6:31 Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat.

6:32 So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.

6:33 But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.

6:34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

6:35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,

6:36 So send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat’.

6:37 He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves’. They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’

6:38 How many loaves have you?’ he asked ‘Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish’.

6:39 Then he ordered them to get all the people together in groups on the green grass,

6:40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.

6:41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.

6:42 They all ate as much as they wanted.

6:43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.

6:44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

Jesus walks on the water

6:45 Directly after this he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away.

6:46 After saying good-bye to them he went off into the hills to pray.

6:47 When evening came, the boat was far out on the lake, and he was alone on the land.

6:48 He could see they were worn out with rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass them by,

6:49 but when they saw him walking on the lake they thought it was a ghost and cried out;

6:50 for they had all seen him and were terrified. But he at once spoke to them, and said, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’

6:51 Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded,

6:52 because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

Cures at Gennesaret

6:53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and tied up.

6:54 No sooner had they stepped out of the boat than people recognised him,

6:55 and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was.

6:56 And wherever he went, to village, or town, or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were cured.

JB MARK Chapter 7

The traditions of the Pharisees

7:1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round him,

7:2 and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them.

7:3 For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow;

7:4 and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes.

7:5 So these Pharisees and scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’

7:6 He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture: This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me.

7:7 The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.[*a]

7:8 You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’

7:9 And he said to them, ‘How ingeniously you get round the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition!

7:10 For Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and, Anyone who curses father or mother must be put to death.

7:11 But you say, “If a man says to his father or mother: Anything I have that I might have used to help you is Corban[*b] (that is, dedicated to God),

7:12 then he is forbidden from that moment to do anything for his father or mother”.

7:13 In this way you make God’s word null and void for the sake of your tradition which you have handed down. And you do many other things like this.’

On clean and unclean

7:14 He called the people to him again and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand.

7:15 Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean.

7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’

7:17 When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable.

7:18 He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean,

7:19 because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.)

7:20 And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean.

7:21 For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery,

7:22 avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly.

7:23 All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’


The daughter of the Syrophoenician woman healed

7:24 He left that place and set out for the territory of Tyre. There he went into a house and did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not pass unrecognised.

7:25 A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him straightaway and came and fell at his feet.

7:26 Now the woman was a pagan, by birth a Syrophoenician, and she begged him to cast the devil out of her daughter.

7:27 And he said to her, ‘The children should be fed first, because it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the house-dogs’.

7:28 But she spoke up: ‘Ah yes, sir,’ she replied ‘but the house-dogs under the table can eat the children’s scraps’.

7:29 And he said to her, ‘For saying this, you may go home happy: the devil has gone out of your daughter’.

7:30 So she went off to her home and found the child lying on the bed and the devil gone.

Healing of the deaf man

7:31 Returning from the district of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, right through the Decapolis region.

7:32 And they brought him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they asked him to lay his hand on him.

7:33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle.

7:34 Then looking up to heaven he sighed; and he said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened’.

7:35 And his ears were opened, and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and he spoke clearly.

7:36 And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it.

7:37 Their admiration was unbounded. ‘He has done all things well,’ they said ‘he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.’

JB MARK Chapter 8

Second miracle of the loaves

8:1 And now once again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat. So he called his disciples to him and said to them,

8:2 ‘I feel sorry for all these people; they have been with me for three days now and have nothing to eat.

8:3 If I send them off home hungry they will collapse on the way; some have come a great distance.’

8:4 His disciples replied, ‘Where could anyone get bread to feed these people in a deserted place like this?’

8:5 He asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ ‘Seven’ they said.

8:6 Then he instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves, and after giving thanks he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute; and they distributed them among the crowd.

8:7 They had a few small fish as well, and over these he said a blessing and ordered them to be distributed also.

8:8 They ate as much as they wanted, and they collected seven basketfuls of the scraps left over.

8:9 Now there had been about four thousand people. He sent them away

8:10 and immediately, getting into the boat with his disciples, went to the region of Dalmanutha.

The Pharisees ask for a sign from heaven

8:11 The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with him; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him.

8:12 And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’

8:13 And leaving them again and re-embarking he went away to the opposite shore.

The yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod

8:14 The disciples had forgotten to take any food and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.

8:15 Then he gave them this warning, ‘Keep your eyes open; be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod’.

8:16 And they said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread’.

8:17 And Jesus knew it, and he said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you not yet understand? Have you no perception? Are your minds closed?

8:18 Have you eyes that do not see, ears that do not hear?[*a] Or do you not remember?

8:19 When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ They answered, ‘Twelve’.

8:20 And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you collect?’ And they answered, ‘Seven’.

8:21 Then he said to them, ‘Are you still without perception?’

Cure of a blind man at Bethsaida

8:22 They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought to him a blind man whom they begged him to touch.

8:23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Then putting spittle on his eyes and laying his hands on him, he asked, ‘Can you see anything?’

8:24 The man, who was beginning to see, replied, ‘I can see people; they look like trees to me, but they are walking about’.

8:25 Then he laid his hands on the man’s eyes again and he saw clearly; he was cured, and he could see everything plainly and distinctly.

8:26 And Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village’.

Peter’s profession of faith

8:27 Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi. On the way he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say I am?’

8:28 And they told him. ‘John the Baptist,’ they said ‘others Elijah; others again, one of the prophets.’

8:29 ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ Peter spoke up and said to him, ‘You are the Christ’.

8:30 And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.

First prophecy of the Passion

8:31 And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again;

8:32 and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside, Peter started to remonstrate with him.

8:33 But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him, ‘Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way but man’s.’

The condition of following Christ

8:34 He called the people and his disciples to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me.

8:35 For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

8:36 What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life?

8:37 And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life?

8:38 For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’

JB MARK Chapter 9

9:1 And he said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power’.

The transfiguration

9:2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured:

9:3 his clothes became dazzlingly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them.

9:4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.

9:5 Then Peter spoke to Jesus: ‘Rabbi,’ he said ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’.

9:6 He did not know what to say; they were so frightened.

9:7 And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and there came a voice from the cloud, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’

9:8 Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

The question about Elijah

9:9 As they came down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

9:10 They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

9:11 And they put this question to him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first?’

9:12 ‘True,’ he said ‘Elijah is to come first and to see that everything is as it should be; yet how is it that the scriptures say about the Son of Man that he is to suffer grievously and be treated with contempt?

9:13 However, I tell you that Elijah has come and they have treated him as they pleased, just as the scriptures say about him.’

The epileptic demoniac

9:14 When they rejoined the disciples they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them.

9:15 The moment they saw him the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him.

9:16 ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ he asked.

9:17 A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him,

9:18 and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to cast it out and they were unable to.’

9:19 ‘You faithless generation’ he said to them in reply. ‘How much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’

9:20 They brought the boy to him, and as soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth.

9:21 Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he replied

9:22 ‘and it has often thrown him into the fire and into the water, in order to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’

9:23 ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’

9:24 Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do have faith. Help the little faith I have!’

9:25 And when Jesus saw how many people were pressing round him, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’

9:26 Then throwing the boy into violent convulsions it came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead’.

9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand.

9:28 When he had gone indoors his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why were we unable to cast it out?’

9:29 ‘This is the kind’ he answered ‘that can only be driven out by prayer.’

Second prophecy of the Passion

9:30 After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know,

9:31 because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again’.

9:32 But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.

Who is the greatest?

9:33 They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’

9:34 They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest.

9:35 So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all’.

9:36 He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them,

9:37 ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me’.

On using the name of Jesus

9:38 John said to him, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him’.

9:39 But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me.

9:40 Anyone who is not against us is for us.

Charity shown to Christ’s disciples

9:41 ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’

On leading others astray

9:42 ‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck.

9:43 And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out.

9:45 And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

9:47 And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell

9:48 where their worm does not die nor their fire go out[*a].

9:49 For everyone will be salted with fire.

9:50 Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you season it again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’

JB MARK Chapter 10

The question about divorce

10:1 Leaving there, he came to the district of Judaea and the far side of the Jordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was.

10:2 Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him.

10:3 He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’

10:4 ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’

10:5 Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you.

10:6 But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female.

10:7 This is why a man must leave father and mother,

10:8 and the two become one body.[*a] They are no longer two, therefore, but one body.

10:9 So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’

10:10 Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this,

10:11 and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her.

10:12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

Jesus and the children

10:13 People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away,

10:14 but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

10:15 I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’

10:16 Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

The rich young man

10:17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

10:18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

10:19 You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’

10:20 And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days’.

10:21 Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’

10:22 But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

The danger of riches

10:23 Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’

10:24 The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

10:25 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’

10:26 They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’

10:27 Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

The reward of renunciation

10:28 Peter took this up. ‘What about us?’ he asked him. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’

10:29 Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel

10:30 who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life

10:31 ‘Many who are first will be last, and the last first.’

Third prophecy of the Passion

10:32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him:

10:33 ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the pagans,

10:34 who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’

The sons of Zebedee make their request

10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ‘Master,’ they said to him ‘we want you to do us a favour.’

10:36 He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’

10:37 They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory’.

10:38 ‘You do not know what you are asking’ Jesus said to them. ‘Can you drink the cup that I must drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?’

10:39 They replied, ‘We can’. Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I must drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I must be baptised you shall be baptised,

10:40 but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted’.

Leadership with service

10:41 When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John,

10:42 so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt.

10:43 This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,

10:44 and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all.

10:45 For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

The blind man of Jericho

10:46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus (that is, the son of Timaeus), a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road.

10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and to say, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me’.

10:48 And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me’.

10:49 Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here’. So they called the blind man. ‘Courage,’ they said ‘get up; he is calling you.’

10:50 So throwing off his so cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.

10:51 Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Rabbuni,'[*b] the blind man said to him ‘Master, let me see again.’

10:52 Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you’. And immediately his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

JB MARK Chapter 11


The Messiah enters Jerusalem

11:1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, in sight of Bethphage and Bethany, close by the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples

11:2 and said to them, ‘Go off to the village facing you, and as soon as you enter it you will find a tethered colt that no one has yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

11:3 If anyone says to you, “What are you doing?” say, “The Master needs it and will send it back here directly”.’

11:4 They went off and found a colt tethered near a door in the open street. As they untied it,

11:5 some men standing there said, ‘What are you doing, untying that colt?’

11:6 They gave the answer Jesus had told them, and the men let them go.

11:7 Then they took the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on its back, and he sat on it.

11:8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, others greenery which they had cut in the fields.

11:9 And those who went in front and those who followed were all shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord ![*a]

11:10 Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heavens!’

11:11 He entered Jerusalem and went into the Temple. He looked all round him, but as it was now late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The barren fig tree

11:12 Next day as they were leaving Bethany, he felt hungry.

11:13 Seeing a fig tree in leaf some distance away, he went to see if he could find any fruit on it, but when he came up to it he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season for figs.

11:14 And he addressed the fig tree. ‘May no one ever eat fruit from you again’ he said. And his disciples heard him say this.

The expulsion of the dealers from the Temple

11:15 So they reached Jerusalem and he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling and buying there; he upset the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those who were selling pigeons.

11:16 Nor would he allow anyone to carry anything through the Temple.

11:17 And he taught them and said, ‘Does not scripture say: My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples?[*b] But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.'[*c]

11:18 This came to the ears of the chief priests and the scribes, and they tried to find some way of doing away with him; they were afraid of him because the people were carried away by his teaching.

11:19 And when evening came he went out of the city.

The fig tree withered. Faith and prayer

11:20 Next morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered to the roots.

11:21 Peter remembered. ‘Look, Rabbi,’ he said to Jesus ‘the fig tree you cursed has withered away.’

11:22 Jesus answered, ‘Have faith in God.

11:23 I tell you solemnly, if anyone says to this mountain, “Get up and throw yourself into the sea”, with no hesitation in his heart but believing that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

11:24 I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours.

11:25 And when you stand in prayer, forgive whatever you have against anybody, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your failings too.’

The authority of Jesus is questioned

11:27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him,

11:28 and they said to him, ‘What authority have you for acting like this? Or who gave you authority to do these things?’

11:29 Jesus said to them, ‘I will ask you a question, only one; answer me and I will tell you my authority for acting like this.

11:30 John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man? Answer me that.’

11:31 And they argued it out this way among themselves: ‘If we say from heaven, he will say, “Then why did you refuse to believe him?”

11:32 But dare we say from man?’ – they had the people to fear, for everyone held that John was a real prophet.

11:33 So their reply to Jesus was, ‘We do not know’. And Jesus said to them, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this’.

JB MARK Chapter 12

Parable of the wicked husbandmen

12:1 He went on to speak to them in parables, ‘A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.

12:2 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce from the vineyard.

12:3 But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty-handed.

12:4 Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully.

12:5 And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest.

12:6 He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all. “They will respect my son” he said.

12:7 But those tenants said to each other, “This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.”

12:8 So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard.

12:9 Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others.

12:10 Have you not read this text of scripture: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone.

12:11 This was the Lord’s doing and it is wonderful to see?[*a]

12:12 And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.

On tribute to Caesar

12:13 Next they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said.

12:14 These came and said to him, ‘Master, we know you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because a man’s rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay, yes or no?’

12:15 Seeing through their hypocrisy he said to them, ‘Why do you set this trap for me? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.’

12:16 They handed him one and he said, ‘Whose head is this? Whose name?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they told him.

12:17 Jesus said to them, ‘Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar – and to God what belongs to God’. This reply took them completely by surprise.

The resurrection of the dead

12:18 Then some Sadducees – who deny that there is a resurrection – came to him and they put this question to him,

12:19 ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, if a man’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother.

12:20 Now there were seven brothers. The first married a wife and then died leaving no children.

12:21 The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same,

12:22 and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died.

12:23 Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?’

12:24 Jesus said to them, ‘Is not the reason why you go wrong, that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God?

12:25 For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven.

12:26 Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?[*b]

12:27 He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.’

The greatest commandment of all

12:28 One of the scribes who had listened to them debating and had observed how well Jesus had answered them, now came up and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’

12:29 Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord,

12:30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.[*c]

12:31 The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself.[*d] There is no commandment greater than these.’

12:32 The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other.

12:33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’

12:34 Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God’. And after that no one dared to question him any more.

Christ not only son but also Lord of David

12:35 Later, while teaching in the Temple, Jesus said, ‘How can the scribes maintain that the Christ is the son of David?

12:36 David himself, moved by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand and I will put your enemies under your feet.[*e]

12:37 David himself calls him Lord, in what way then can he be his son?’ And the great majority of the people heard this with delight.

The scribes condemned by Jesus

12:38 In his teaching he said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares,

12:39 to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets;

12:40 these are the men who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’

The widow’s mite

12:41 He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the treasury, and many of the rich put in a great deal.

12:42 A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny.

12:43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury;

12:44 for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on’.

JB MARK Chapter 13

The eschatological discourse: introduction

13:1 As he was leaving the Temple one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look at the size of those stones, Master! Look at the size of those buildings!’

13:2 And Jesus said to him, ‘You see these great buildings? Not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed.’

13:3 And while he was sitting facing the Temple, on the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John and Andrew questioned him privately,

13:4 ‘Tell us, when is this going to happen, and what sign will there be that all this is about to be fulfilled?’

The beginning of sorrows

13:5 Then Jesus began to tell them, ‘Take care that no one deceives you.

13:6 Many will come using my name and saying, “I am he”, and they will deceive many.

13:7 When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed, this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet.

13:8 For nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes here and there; there will be famines. This is the beginning of the birthpangs.

13:9 ‘Be on your guard: they will hand you over to sanhedrins; you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them,

13:10 since the Good News must first be proclaimed to all the nations.

13:11 ‘And when they lead you away to hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what to say; no, say whatever is given to you when the time comes, because it is not you who will be speaking: it will be the Holy Spirit.

13:12 Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise against their parents and have them put to death.

13:13 You will be hated by all men on account of my name; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.

The great tribulation of Jerusalem

13:14 ‘When you see the disastrous abomination[*a] set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains;

13:15 if a man is on the housetop, he must not come down to go into the house to collect any of his belongings;

13:16 if a man is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak.

13:17 Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!

13:18 Pray that this may not be in winter.

13:19 For in those days there will be such distress as, until now, has not been[*b] equalled since the beginning when God created the world, nor ever will be again.

13:20 And if the Lord had not shortened that time, no one would have survived; but he did shorten the time, for the sake of the elect whom he chose.

13:21 ‘And if anyone says to you then, “Look, here is the Christ” or, “Look, he is there”, do not believe it;

13:22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise and produce signs and portents to deceive the elect, if that were possible.

13:23 You therefore must be on your guard. I have forewarned you of everything.

The coming of the Son of Man

13:24 ‘But in those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness,

13:25 the stars will come falling from heaven and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

13:26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory;

13:27 then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven.

The time of this coming

13:28 ‘Take the fig tree as a parable: as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

13:29 So with you when you see these things happening: know that he is near, at the very gates.

13:30 I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place.

13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

13:32 ‘But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son; no one but the Father.

Be on the alert

13:33 ‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.

13:34 It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own task; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake.

13:35 So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow, dawn;

13:36 if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep.

13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’

JB MARK Chapter 14


The conspiracy against Jesus

14:1 It was two days before the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by some trick and have him put to death.

14:2 For they said, ‘It must not be during the festivities, or there will be a disturbance among the people’.

The anointing at Bethany

14:3 Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper; he was at dinner when a woman came in with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the ointment on his head.

14:4 Some who were there said to one another indignantly, ‘Why this waste of ointment?

14:5 Ointment like this could have been sold for over three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor’; and they were angry with her.

14:6 But Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Why are you upsetting her? What she has done for me is one of the good works.

14:7 You have the poor with you always, and you can be kind to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me.

14:8 She has done what was in her power to do: she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial.

14:9 I tell you solemnly, wherever throughout all the world the Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told also, in remembrance of her.’

Judas betrays Jesus

14:10 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, approached the chief priests with an offer to hand Jesus over to them.

14:11 They were delighted to hear it, and promised to give him money; and he looked for a way of betraying him when the opportunity should occur.

Preparations for the Passover supper

14:12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, his disciples said to him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the passover?’

14:13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him,

14:14 and say to the owner of the house which he enters, “The Master says: Where is my dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?”

14:15 He will show you a large upper room furnished with couches, all prepared. Make the preparations for us there,’

14:16 The disciples set out and went to the city and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

The treachery of Judas foretold

14:17 When evening came he arrived with the Twelve.

14:18 And while they were at table eating, Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me, one of you eating with me’.

14:19 They were distressed and asked him, one after another, ‘Not I, surely?’

14:20 He said to them, ‘It is one of the Twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me.

14:21 Yes, the Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!’

The institution of the Eucharist

14:22 And as they were eating he took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said ‘this is my body.’

14:23 Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them, and all drank from it,

14:24 and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many.

14:25 I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’

Peter’s denial foretold

14:26 After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives.

14:27 And Jesus said to them, ‘You will all lose faith, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered,[*a]

14:28 however after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee’.

14:29 Peter said, ‘Even if all lose faith, I will not’.

14:30 And Jesus said to him, ‘I tell you solemnly, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times’.

14:31 But he repeated still more earnestly, ‘If I have to die with you, I will never disown you’. And they all said the same.


14:32 They came to a small estate called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Stay here while I pray’.

14:33 Then he took Peter and James and John with him. And a sudden fear came over him, and great distress.

14:34 And he said to them, ‘My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here, and keep awake.’

14:35 And going on a little further he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by.

14:36 ‘Abba (Father)!’ he said ‘Everything is possible for you. Take this cup away from me. But let it be as you, not I, would have it.’

14:37 He came back and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Had you not the strength to keep awake one hour?

14:38 You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’

14:39 Again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.

14:40 And once more he came back and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy; and they could find no answer for him.

14:41 He came back a third time and said to them, ‘You can sleep on now and take your rest. It is all over. The hour has come. Now the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.

14:42 Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is close at hand already.’

The arrest

14:43 Even while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came up with a number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

14:44 Now the traitor had arranged a signal with them. ‘The one I kiss,’ he had said ‘he is the man. Take him in charge, and see he is well guarded when you lead him away.’

14:45 So when the traitor came, he went straight up to Jesus and said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him.

14:46 The others seized him and took him in charge.

14:47 Then one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear.

14:48 Then Jesus spoke. ‘Am I a brigand’ he said ‘that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs?

14:49 I was among you teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me. But this is to fulfil the scriptures.’

14:50 And they all deserted him and ran away.

14:51 A young man who followed him had nothing on but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him,

14:52 but he left the cloth in their hands and ran away naked.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

14:53 They led Jesus off to the high priest; and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes assembled there.

14:54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the high priest’s palace, and was sitting with the attendants warming himself at the fire.

14:55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus on which they might pass the death-sentence. But they could not find any.

14:56 Several, indeed, brought false evidence against him, but their evidence was conflicting.

14:57 Some stood up and submitted this false evidence against him,

14:58 ‘We heard him say, “I am going to destroy this Temple made by human hands, and in three days build another, not made by human hands”‘.

14:59 But even on this point their evidence was conflicting.

14:60 The high priest then stood up before the whole assembly and put this question to Jesus, ‘Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?’

14:61 But he was silent and made no answer at all. The high priest put a second question to him, ‘Are you the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the Blessed One?’

14:62 ‘I am,’ said Jesus ‘and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.'[*b]

14:63 The high priest tore his robes, ‘What need of witnesses have we now?’ he said.

14:64 ‘You heard the blasphemy. What is your finding?’ And they all gave their verdict: he deserved to die.

14:65 Some of them started spitting at him and, blindfolding him, began hitting him with their fists and shouting, ‘Play the prophet!’ And the attendants rained blows on him.

Peter’s denials

14:66 While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the high priest’s servant-girls came up.

14:67 She saw Peter warming himself there, stared at him and said, ‘You too were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth’.

14:68 But he denied it. ‘I do not know, I do not understand, what you are talking about’ he said. And he went out into the forecourt.

14:69 The servant-girl saw him and again started telling the bystanders, ‘This fellow is one of them’.

14:70 But again he denied it. A little later the bystanders themselves said to Peter, ‘You are one of them for sure! Why, you are a Galilean.’

14:71 But he started calling down curses on himself and swearing, ‘I do not know the man you speak of’.

14:72 At that moment the cock crew for the second time, and Peter recalled how Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows twice, you will have disowned me three times’. And he burst into tears.

JB MARK Chapter 15

Jesus before Pilate

15:1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests together with the elders and scribes, in short the whole Sanhedrin, had their plan ready. They had Jesus bound and took him away and handed him over to Pilate.

15:2 Pilate questioned him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘It is you who say it’ he answered.

15:3 And the chief priests brought many accusations against him.

15:4 Pilate questioned him again, ‘Have you no reply at all? See how many accusations they are bringing against you!’

15:5 But, to Pilate’s amazement, Jesus made no further reply.

15:6 At festival time Pilate used to release a prisoner for them, anyone they asked for.

15:7 Now a man called Barabbas was then in prison with the rioters who had committed murder during the uprising.

15:8 When the crowd went up and began to ask Pilate the customary favour,

15:9 Pilate answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?’

15:10 For he realised it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over.

15:11 The chief priests, however, had incited the crowd to demand that he should release Barabbas for them instead.

15:12 Then Pilate spoke again. ‘But in that case,’ he said to them ‘what am I to do with the man you call king of the Jews?’

15:13 They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’

15:14 ‘Why?’ Pilate asked them ‘What harm has he done?’ But they shouted all the louder, ‘Crucify him!’

15:15 So Pilate, anxious to placate the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, having ordered Jesus to be scourged, handed him over to be crucified.

Jesus crowned with thorns

15:16 The soldiers led him away to the inner part of the palace, that is, the Praetorium, and called the whole cohort together.

15:17 They dressed him up in purple, twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on him.

15:18 And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’

15:19 They struck his head with a reed and spat on him; and they went down on their knees to do him homage.

15:20 And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.

The way of the cross

They led him out to crucify him.

15:21 They enlisted a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus,[*a] who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross.

15:22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means the place of the skull.

The crucifixion

15:23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he refused it.

15:24 Then they crucified him, and shared out his clothing, casting lots to decide what each should get.

15:25 It was the third hour[*b] when they crucified him.

15:26 The inscription giving the charge against him read: ‘The King of the Jews’.

15:27 And they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left.

The crucified Christ is mocked

15:29 The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said, ‘Aha! So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days!

15:30 Then save yourself: come down from the cross!’

15:31 The chief priests and the scribes mocked him among themselves in the same way. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘he cannot save himself.

15:32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now, for us to see it and believe.’ Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.

The death of Jesus

15:33 When the sixth hour came there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?'[*c]

15:35 When some of those who stood by heard this, they said, ‘Listen, he is calling on Elijah’.

15:36 Someone ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink saying; ‘Wait and see if Elijah will come to take him down’.

15:37 But Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.

15:38 And the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

15:39 The centurion, who was standing in front of him, had seen how he had died, and he said, ‘In truth this man was a son of God’.

The women on Calvary

15:40 There were some women watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary who was the mother of James the younger and Joset, and Salome.

15:41 These used to follow him and look after him when he was in Galilee. And there were many other women there who had come up to Jerusalem with him.

The burial

15:42 It was now evening, and since it was Preparation Day (that is, the vigil of the sabbath),

15:43 there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent member of the Council, who himself lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God, and he boldly went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

15:44 Pilate, astonished that he should have died so soon, summoned the centurion and enquired if he was already dead.

15:45 Having been assured of this by the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph

15:46 who bought a shroud, took Jesus down from the cross, wrapped him in the shroud and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.

15:47 Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joset were watching and took note of where he was laid.

JB MARK Chapter 16

The empty tomb. The angel’s message

16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices with which to go and anoint him.

16:2 And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, just as the sun was rising.

16:3 They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’

16:4 But when they looked they could see that the stone – which was very big – had already been rolled back.

16:5 On entering the tomb they saw a young man in a white robe seated on the right-hand side, and they were struck with amazement.

16:6 But he said to them, ‘There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified: he has risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him.

16:7 But you must go and tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going before you to Galilee; it is there you will see him, just as he told you”.’

16:8 And the women came out and ran away from the tomb because they were frightened out of their wits; and they said nothing to a soul, for they were afraid…

Appearances of the risen Christ[*a]

16:9 Having risen in the morning on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary of Magdala from whom he had cast out seven devils.

16:10 She then went to those who had been his companions, and who were mourning and in tears, and told them.

16:11 But they did not believe her when they heard her say that he was alive and that she had seen him.

16:12 After this, he showed himself under another form to two of them as they were on their way into the country.

16:13 These went back and told the others, who did not believe them either.

16:14 Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

16:15 And he said to them, ‘Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation.

16:16 He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned.

16:17 These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues;

16:18 they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.’

16:19 And so the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven: there at the right hand of God he took his place,

16:20 while they, going out, preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by the signs that accompanied it.

END OF JB MARK [16 Chapters].


JB LUKE Chapter 1


1:1 Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have taken place among us,

1:2 exactly as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,

1:3 I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus,

1:4 so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.


The birth of John the Baptist foretold

1:5 In the days of King Herod of Judaea there lived a priest called Zechariah who belonged to the Abijah section of the priesthood, and he had a wife, Elizabeth by name, who was a descendant of Aaron.

1:6 Both were worthy in the sight of God, and scrupulously observed all the commandments and observances of the Lord.

1:7 But they were childless: Elizabeth was barren and they were both getting on in years.

1:8 Now it was the turn of Zechariah’s section[*a] to serve, and he was exercising his priestly office before God

1:9 when it fell to him by lot, as the ritual custom was, to enter the Lord’s sanctuary and burn incense there.[*b]

1:10 And at the hour of incense the whole congregation was outside, praying.

1:11 Then there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, standing on the right of the altar of incense.

1:12 The sight disturbed Zechariah and he was overcome with fear.

1:13 But the angel said to him, ‘Zechariah, do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son and you must name him John.

1:14 He will be your joy and delight and many will rejoice at his birth,

1:15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he must drink no wine, no strong drink.[*d] Even from his mother’s womb he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,

1:16 and he will bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.

1:17 With the spirit and power of Elijah, he will go before him to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children[*e] and the disobedient back to the wisdom that the virtuous have, preparing for the Lord a people fit for him.

1:18 Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is getting on in years.’

1:19 The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel who stand in God’s presence, and I have been sent to speak to you and bring you this good news.

1:20 Listen! Since you have not believed my words, which will come true at their appointed time, you will be silenced and have no power of speech until this has happened.’

1:21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were surprised that he stayed in the sanctuary so long.

1:22 When he came out he could not speak to them, and they realised that he had received a vision in the sanctuary. But he could only make signs to them, and remained dumb.

1:23 When his time of service came to an end he returned home.

1:24 Some time later his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept to herself.

1:25 ‘The Lord has done this for me’ she said ‘now that it has pleased him to take away the humiliation I suffered among men.’
The annunciation

1:26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth,

1:27 to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

1:28 He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’

1:29 She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean,

1:30 but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour.

1:31 Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus.

1:32 He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David;

1:33 he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’

1:34 Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?'[*g]

1:35 ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God.

1:36 Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month,

1:37 for nothing is impossible to God'[*h]

1:38 ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

The visitation

1:39 Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah.

1:40 She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth.

1:41 Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

1:42 She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

1:43 Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

1:44 For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.

1:45 Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

The Magnificat

1:46 And Mary[*i] said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

1:47 and my spirit exults in God my saviour;

1:48 because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid. Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,

1:49 for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name,

1:50 and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.

1:51 He has shown the power of his arm, he has routed the proud of heart.

1:52 He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.

1:53 The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.

1:54 He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy

1:55 -according to the promise he made to our ancestors-of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

1:56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

The birth of John the Baptist and visit of the neighbours

1:57 Meanwhile the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son;

1:58 and when her neighbours and relations heard that the Lord had shown her so great a kindness, they shared her joy.

The circumcision of John the Baptist

1:59 Now on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; they were going to call[*j] him Zechariah after his father,

1:60 but his mother spoke up. ‘No,’ she said ‘he is to be called John.’

1:61 They said to her, ‘But no one in your family has that name’,

1:62 and made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called.

1:63 The father asked for a writing-tablet and wrote, ‘His name is John’. And they were all astonished.

1:64 At that instant his power of speech returned and he spoke and praised God.

1:65 All their neighbours were filled with awe and the whole affair was talked about throughout the hill country of Judaea.

1:66 All those who heard of it treasured it in their hearts. ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. And indeed the hand of the Lord was with him.

The Benedictus

1:67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:

1:68 ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel[*k] for he has visited his people, he has come to their rescue

1:69 and he has raised up for us a power for salvation in the House of his servant David,

1:70 even as he proclaimed, by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times,

1:71 that he would save us from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us.

1:72 Thus he shows mercy to our ancestors, thus he remembers his holy covenant[*l]

1:73 the oath he swore to our father Abraham

1:74 that he would grant us, free from fear, to be delivered from the hands of our enemies,

1:75 to serve him in holiness and virtue in his presence, all our days.

1:76 And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare the way for him.

1:77 To give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins;

1:78 this by the tender mercy of our God who from on high Will bring the rising Sun to visit us,

1:79 to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death[*m] and to guide our feet into the way of peace.’

The hidden life of John the Baptist

1:80 Meanwhile the child grew up and his spirit matured. And he lived out in the wilderness until the day he appeared openly to Israel.

JB LUKE Chapter 2
The birth of Jesus and visit of the shepherds

2:1 Now at this time Caesar Augustus[*a] issued a decree for a census of the whole world to be taken.

2:2 This census – the first[*b] – took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria,

2:3 and everyone went to his own town to be registered.

2:4 So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee and travelled up to Judaea, to the town of David called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line,

2:5 in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

2:6 While they were there the time came for her have her child,

2:7 and she birth to a son, her first born.[*c] She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them at the inn.

2:8 In the countryside close by there were shepherds who lived in the fields and took it in turns to watch their flocks during the night.

2:9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified,

2:10 but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Listen, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.

2:11 Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

2:12 And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’

2:13 And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing:

2:14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour’

2:15 Now when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us’.

2:16 So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.

2:17 When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him,

2:18 and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds had to say.

2:19 As for Mary, she treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.

2:20 And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen; it was exactly as they had been told.

The circumcision of Jesus

2:21 When the eighth day came and the child was to be circumcised, they gave him the name Jesus, the name the angel had given him before his conception.

Jesus is presented in the Temple

2:22 And when the day came for them to be purified[*d] as laid down by the Law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord-

2:23 observing what stands written in the Law of the Lord: Every first-born male must be consecrated to the Lord[*e]-

2:24 and also to offer in sacrifice, in accordance with what is said in the Law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons[*f]

2:25 Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel’s comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him.

2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord[*g]

2:27 Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required,

2:28 he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:

The Nunc Dimittis

2:29 ‘Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised;

2:30 because my eyes have seen the salvation

2:31 which you have prepared for all the nations to see,

2:32 a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your people Israel’.

The prophecy of Simeon

2:33 As the child’s father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him,

2:34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected-

2:35 and a sword will pierce your own soul too-so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare’.

The prophecy of Anna

2:36 There was a prophetess also, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well on in years. Her days of girlhood over, she had been married for seven years

2:37 before becoming a widow. She was now eighty-four years old and never left the Temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayer.

2:38 She came by just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem[*h].

The hidden life of Jesus at Nazareth

2:39 When they had done everything the Law of the Lord required, they went back to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

2:40 Meanwhile the child grew to maturity, and he was filled with wisdom; and God’s favour was with him.

Jesus among the doctors of the Law

2:41 Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.

2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual.

2:43 When they were on their way home after the feast, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it.

2:44 They assumed he was with the caravan, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances.

2:45 When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere.

2:46 Three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the doctors, listening to them, and asking them questions;

2:47 and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies.

2:48 They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have, you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for


2:49 ‘Why were you looking for me?’ he replied ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my Father’s affairs?’

2:50 But they did not understand what he meant.

The hidden life at Nazareth resumed

2:51 He then went down with them and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart.

2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and men.

JB LUKE Chapter 3


The preaching of John the Baptist

3:1 In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign[*a], when Pontius Pilate[*b] was governor of Judaea, Herod[*c] tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip[*d] tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene,

3:2 during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas[*e] the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.

3:3 He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,

3:4 as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah: A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.

3:5 Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, winding ways will be straightened and rough roads made smooth.

3:6 And all mankind shall see the salvation of God[*f].

3:7 He said, therefore, to the crowds who came to be baptised by him, ‘Brood of vipers, who warned you to fly from the retribution that is coming?

3:8 But if you are repentant, produce the appropriate fruits, and do not think of telling yourselves, “We have Abraham for our father” because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.

3:9 Yes, even now the axe is laid to the roots of the trees, so that any tree which fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.’

3:10 When all the people asked him, ‘What must we do, then?’

3:11 he answered, ‘If anyone has two tunics he must share with the man who has none, and the one with something to eat must do the same’.

3:12 There were tax collectors too who came for baptism, and these said to him, ‘Master, what must we do?’

3:13 He said to them, ‘Exact no more than your rate’.

3:14 Some soldiers asked him in their turn, ‘What about us? What must we do?’ He said to them, ‘No intimidation! No extortion! Be content with your pay!’

3:15 A feeling of expectancy had grown among the people, who were beginning to think that John might be the Christ,

3:16 so John declared before them all, ‘I baptise you with water, but someone is coming, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

3:17 His winnowing-fan is in his hand to clear his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’

3:18 As well as this, there were many other things he said to exhort the people and to announce the Good News to them.
John the Baptist imprisoned

3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, whom he criticised for his relations with his brother’s wife Herodias and for all the other crimes Herod had committed,

3:20 added a further crime to all the rest by shutting John up in prison.

Jesus is baptised

3:21 Now when all the people had been baptised and while Jesus after his own baptism was at prayer, heaven opened

3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily shape, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on you’.

The ancestry of Jesus

3:23 When he started to teach, Jesus was about thirty years old, being the son, as it was thought, of Joseph son of Heli,

3:24 son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,

3:25 son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,

3:26 son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda,

3:27 son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri,

3:28 son of MeIchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, son of Joshua,

3:29 son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi

3:30 son of Symeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,

3:31 son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,

3:32 son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala, son of Nahshon,

3:33 son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah,

3:34 son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,

3:35 son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah,

3:36 son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,

3:37 son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan,

3:38 son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.

JB LUKE Chapter 4

Temptation in the wilderness

4:1 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit through the wilderness,

4:2 being tempted there by the devil for forty days. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry.

4:3 Then the devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to turn into a loaf’.

4:4 But Jesus replied, ‘Scripture says: Man does not live on bread alone'[*a].

4:5 Then leading him to a height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world

4:6 and said to him, ‘I will give you all this power and the glory of these kingdoms, for it has been committed to me and I give it to anyone I choose.

4:7 Worship me, then, and it shall all be yours.’

4:8 But Jesus answered him, ‘Scripture says: You must worship the Lord your God, and serve him alone'[*b].

4:9 Then he led him to Jerusalem and made him stand on the parapet of the Temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said to him ‘throw yourself down from here,

4:10 for scripture says: He will put his angels in charge of you to guard you, and again:

4:11 They will hold you up on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone.'[*c]

4:12 But Jesus answered him, ‘It has been said: You must not put the Lord your God to the test.'[*d]

4:13 Having exhausted all these ways of tempting him, the devil left him, to return at the appointed time.


Jesus begins to preach

4:14 Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside.

4:15 He taught in their synagogues and everyone praised him.

Jesus at Nazareth

4:16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read[*e]

4:17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

4:18 The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free,

4:19 to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour[*f].

4:20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.

4:21 Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen’.

4:22 And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips They said, ‘This is Joseph’s son, surely?’

4:23 But he replied, ‘No doubt you will quote me the saying, “Physician, heal yourself” and tell me, “We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside”‘.

4:24 And he went on, ‘I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

4:25 ‘There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah’s day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land,

4:26 but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town[*g].

4:27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.’

4:28 When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged.

4:29 They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff,

4:30 but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Jesus teaches in Capernaum and cures a demoniac

4:31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath.

4:32 And his teaching made a deep impression on them because he spoke with authority.

4:33 In the synagogue there was a man who was possessed by the spirit of an unclean devil, and it shouted at the top of its voice,

4:34 ‘Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’

4:35 But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the devil, throwing the man down in front of everyone, went out of him without hurting him at all.

4:36 Astonishment seized them and they were all saying to one another, ‘What teaching! He gives orders to unclean spirits with authority and power and they come out.’

4:37 And reports of him went all through the surrounding countryside.

Cure of Simon’s mother-in-law

4:38 Leaving the synagogue he went to Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever and they asked him to do something for her.

4:39 Leaning over her he rebuked the fever and it left her. And she immediately got up and began to wait on them.

A number of cures

4:40 At sunset all those who had friends suffering from diseases of one kind or another brought them to him, and laying his hands on each he cured them.

4:41 Devils too came out of many people, howling, ‘You are the Son of God’. But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

Jesus quietly leaves Capernaum and travels through Judaea

4:42 When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them,

4:43 but he answered, ‘I must proclaim the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do’.

4:44 And he continued his preaching in the synagogues of Judaea.

JB LUKE Chapter 5

The first four disciples are called

5:1 Now he was standing one day by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the crowd pressing round him listening to the word of God,

5:2 when he caught sight of two boats close to the bank. The fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.-

5:3 He got into one of the boats-it was Simon’s-and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.

5:4 When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water and pay out your nets for a catch’.

5:5 ‘Master,’ Simon replied ‘we worked hard all night long and caught nothing, but if you say so, I will pay out the nets.’

5:6 And when they had done this they netted such a huge number of fish that their nets began to tear,

5:7 so they signalled to their companions in the other boat to come and help them; when these came, they filled the two boats to sinking point.

5:8 When Simon Peter saw this he fell at the knees of Jesus saying, ‘Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man’.

5:9 For he and all his companions were completely overcome by the catch they had made;

5:10 so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were Simon’s partners. But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch’.

5:11 Then, bringing their boats back to land, they left everything and followed him.

Cure of a leper

5:12 Now Jesus was in one of the towns when a man appeared, covered with leprosy. Seeing Jesus he fell on his face and implored him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘if you want to, you can cure me.’

5:13 Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said, ‘Of course I want to! Be cured!’ And the leprosy left him at once.

5:14 He ordered him to tell no one, ‘But go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering for your healing as Moses prescribed it, as evidence for them’.

5:15 His reputation continued to grow, and large crowds would gather to hear him and to have their sickness cured,

5:16 but he would always go off to some place where he could be alone and pray.

Cure of a paralytic

5:17 Now he was teaching one day, and among the audience there were Pharisees and doctors of the Law who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem. And the Power of the Lord was behind his works of healing.

5:18 Then some men appeared, carrying on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him.

5:19 But as the crowd made it impossible to find a way of getting him in, they went up on to the flat roof and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus.

5:20 Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you’.

5:21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man talking blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?’

5:22 But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts?

5:23 Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you” or to say, “Get up and walk”?

5:24 But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’-he said to the paralysed man-‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’

5:25 And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

5:26 They were all astounded and praised God, and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today’.

The call of Levi

5:27 When he went out after this, he noticed a tax collector, Levi by name, sitting by the customs house, and said to him, ‘Follow me’.

5:28 And leaving everything he got up and followed him.

Eating with sinners in Levi’s house

5:29 In his honour Levi held a great reception in his house, and with them at table was a large gathering of tax collectors and others.

5:30 The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples and said, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’

5:31 Jesus said to them in reply, ‘It is not those who are well who need the doctor, but the sick.

5:32 I have not come to call the virtuous, but sinners to repentance.’

Discussion on fasting

5:33 They then said to him, ‘John’s disciples are always fasting and saying prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees too, but yours go on eating and drinking’.

5:34 Jesus replied, ‘Surely you cannot make the bridegroom’s attendants fast while the bridegroom is still with them?

5:35 But the time will come, the time for the bridegroom to be taken away from them; that will be the time when they will fast.’

5:36 He also told them this parable, ‘No one tears a piece from a new cloak to put it on an old cloak; if he does, not only will he have torn the new one, but the piece taken from the new will not match the old.

5:37 ‘And nobody puts new wine into old skins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and then run out, and the skins will be lost.

5:38 No; new wine must be put into fresh skins.

5:39 And nobody who has been drinking old wine wants new. “The old is good” he says.’

JB LUKE Chapter 6

Picking corn on the sabbath

6:1 Now one sabbath he happened to be taking a walk through the cornfields, and his disciples were picking ears of corn, rubbing them in their hands and eating them.

6:2 Some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing something that is forbidden on the sabbath day?’

6:3 Jesus answered them, ‘So you have not read what David did when he and his followers were hungry

6:4 how he went into the house of God, took the loaves of offering and ate them and gave them to his followers, loaves which only the priests are allowed to eat?’

6:5 And he said to them, ‘The Son of Man is master of the sabbath’.

Cure of the man with a withered hand

6:6 Now on another sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered.

6:7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him.

6:8 But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there.

6:9 Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’

6:10 Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’. He did so, and his hand was better.

6:11 But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

The choice of the Twelve

6:12 Now it was about this time that he went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.

6:13 When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’:

6:14 Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,

6:15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot,

6:16 Judas son of James[*a], and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

The crowds follow Jesus

6:17 He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon

6:18 who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured,

6:19 and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.

The inaugural discourse. The Beatitudes

6:20 Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said: ‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.

6:21 Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied. Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

6:22 Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man.

6:23 Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

The curses

6:24 ‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

6:25 Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry. Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

6:26 Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’

Love of enemies

6:27 ‘But I say this to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

6:29 To the man who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek too; to the man who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic.

6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your property back from the man who robs you.

6:31 Treat others as you would like them to treat you.

6:32 If you love those who love you, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners love those who love them.

6:33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks can you expect? For even sinners do that much.

6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks can you expect? Even sinners lend to sinners to get back the same amount.

6:35 Instead, love your enemies and do good, and lend without any hope of return. You will have a great reward, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

Compassion and generosity

6:36 ‘Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate.

6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned.

6:38 Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be poured into your lap; because the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given back.’


6:39 He also told a parable to them, ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?

6:40 The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher.

6:41 Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own?

6:42 How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye”, when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.

6:43 ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit.

6:44 For every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.

6:45 A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart.

The true disciple

6:46 ‘Why do you call me, “Lord, Lord” and not do what I say?

6:47 ‘Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them-I will show you what he is like.

6:48 He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built.

6:49 But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations: as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!’

JB LUKE Chapter 7

Cure of the centurion’s servant

7:1 When he had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum.

7:2 A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death.

7:3 Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant.

7:4 When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said

7:5 ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’

7:6 So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof;

7:7 and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured.

7:8 For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’

7:9 When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this’.

7:10 And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

The son of the widow of Nain restored to life

7:11 Now soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people.

7:12 When he was near the gate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her.

7:13 When the Lord[*a] saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said.

7:14 Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up’.

7:15 And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother[*b]

7:16 Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people’.

7:17 And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

The Baptist’s question. Jesus commends him

7:18 The disciples of John gave him all this news, and John, summoning two of his disciples,

7:19 sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or must we wait for someone else?’

7:20 When the men reached Jesus they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you, to ask, “Are you the one who is to come or have we to wait for someone else?”‘

7:21 lt was just then that he cured many people of diseases and afflictions and of evil spirits, and gave the gift of sight to many who were blind.

7:22 Then he gave the messengers their answer, ‘Go back and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind see again, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, the Good News is proclaimed to the poor

7:23 and happy is the man who does not lose faith in me’.

7:24 When John’s messengers had gone he began to talk to the people about John,

7:25 ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the breeze? No? Then what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Oh no, those who go in for fine clothes and live luxuriously are to be found at court!

7:26 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet:

7:27 he is the one of whom scripture says: See, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare the way before you.[*c]

7:28 ‘I tell you, of all the children born of women, there is no one greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he is’.

7:29 All the people who heard him, and the tax collectors too, acknowledged God’s plan by accepting baptism from John;

7:30 but by refusing baptism from him the Pharisees and the lawyers had thwarted what God had in mind for them.

Jesus condemns his contemporaries

7:31 ‘What description, then, can I find for the men of this generation? What are they like?

7:32 They are like children shouting to one another while they sit in the market place: “We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance; we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t cry”.

7:33 ‘For John the Baptist comes, not eating bread, not drinking wine, and you say, “He is possessed”.

7:34 The Son of Man comes, eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners”.

7:35 Yet Wisdom has been proved right by all her children.’

The woman who was a sinner

7:36 One of the Pharisees invited him to a meal. When he arrived at the Pharisee’s house and took his place at table,

7:37 a woman came in, who had a bad name in the town. She had heard he was dining with the Pharisee and had brought with her an alabaster jar of ointment.

7:38 She waited behind him at his feet, weeping, and her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them away with her hair; then she covered his feet with kisses and anointed them with the ointment.

7:39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who this woman is that is touching him and what a bad name she has’.

7:40 Then Jesus took him up and said, ‘Simon, I have something to say to you’. ‘Speak, Master’ was the reply.

7:41 ‘There was once a creditor who had two men in his debt; one owed him five hundred denarii, the other fifty.

7:42 They were unable to pay, so he pardoned them both. Which of them will love him more?’

7:43 ‘The one who was pardoned more, I suppose’ answered Simon. Jesus said, ‘You are right’.

7:44 Then he turned to the woman. ‘Simon,’ he said ‘you see this woman? I came into your house, and you poured no water over my feet, but she has poured out her tears over my feet and wiped them away with her hair.

7:45 You gave me no kiss, but she has been covering my feet with kisses ever since I came in.

7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

7:47 For this reason I tell you that her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she would not have shown such great love. It is the man who is forgiven little who shows little love.’

7:48 Then he said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven’.

7:49 Those who were with him at table began to say to themselves, ‘Who is this man, that he even forgives sins?’

7:50 But he said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace’.

JB LUKE Chapter 8

The women accompanying Jesus

8:1 Now after this he made his way through towns and villages preaching, and proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom of God. With him went the Twelve,

8:2 as well as certain women who had been cured of evil spirits and ailments: Mary surnamed the Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,

8:3 Joanna the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and several others who provided for them out of their own resources.

Parable of the sower

8:4 With a large crowd gathering and people from every town finding their way to him, he used this parable:

8:5 ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell on the edge of the path and was trampled on; and the birds of the air ate it up.

8:6 Some seed fell on rock, and when it came up it withered away, having no moisture.

8:7 Some seed fell amongst thorns and the thorns grew with it and choked it.

8:8 And some seed fell into rich soil and grew and produced its crop a hundredfold.’ Saying this he cried, ‘Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

Why Jesus speaks in parables

8:9 His disciples asked him what this parable might mean,

8:10 and he said, The mysteries of the kingdom of God are revealed to you; for the rest there are only parables, so that they may see but not perceive, listen but not understand[*a]

The parable of the sower explained

8:11 ‘This, then, is what the parable means: the seed is the word of God.

8:12 Those on the edge of the path are people who have heard it, and then the devil comes and carries away the word from their hearts in case they should believe and be saved.

8:13 Those on the rock are people who, when they first hear it, welcome the word with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of trial they give up.

8:14 As for the part that fell into thorns, this is people who have heard, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries and riches and pleasures of life and do not reach maturity.

8:15 As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.

Parable of the lamp

8:16 ‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

8:17 For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light.

8:18 So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

The true kinsmen of Jesus

8:19 His mother and his brothers came looking for him, but they could not get to him because of the crowd.

8:20 He was told, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to see you’

8:21 But he said in answer, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice’.

The calming of the storm

8:22 One day, he got into a boat with his disciples and said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake’. So they put to sea,

8:23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. When a squall came down on the lake the boat started taking in water and they found themselves in danger.

8:24 So they went to rouse him saying, ‘Master! Master! We are going down!’ Then he woke up and rebuked the wind and the rough water; and they subsided and it was calm again.

8:25 He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were awestruck and astonished and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that gives orders even to winds and waves and they obey him?’

The Gerasene demoniac

8:26 They came to land in the country of the Gerasenes[*b] which is opposite Galilee.

8:27 He was stepping ashore when a man from the town who was possessed by devils came towards him; for a long time the man had worn no clothes, nor did he live in a house, but in the tombs.

8:28 Catching sight of Jesus he gave a shout, fell at his feet and cried out at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? I implore you, do not torture me.’ .

8:29 -For Jesus had been telling the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It was a devil that had seized on him a great many times, and then they used to secure him with chains and fetters to restrain him, but he would always break the fastenings, and the devil would drive him out into the wilds.

8:30 ‘What is your name?’ Jesus asked. ‘Legion’ he said-because many devils had gone into him.

8:31 And these pleaded with him not to order them to depart into the Abyss.[*c]

8:32 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding there on the mountain, and the devils pleaded with him to let them go into these. So he gave them leave.

8:33 The devils came out of the man and went into the pigs, and the herd charged down the cliff into the lake and were drowned.

8:34 When the swineherds saw what had happened they ran off and told their story in the town and in the country round about;

8:35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus they found the man from whom the devils had gone out sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his full senses; and they were afraid.

8:36 Those who had witnessed it told them how the man who had been possessed came to be healed.

8:37 The entire population of the Gerasene territory was in a state of panic and asked Jesus to leave them. So he got into the boat and went back.

8:38 The man from whom the devils had gone out asked to be allowed to stay with him, but he sent him away.

8:39 ‘Go back home,’ he said ‘and report all that God has done for you.’ So the man went off and spread throughout the town all that Jesus had done for him.

Cure of the woman with a haemorrhage. Jairus’ daughter raised to life

8:40 On his return Jesus was welcomed by the crowd, for they were all there waiting for him.

8:41 And now there came a man named Jairus, who was an official of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus` feet and pleaded with him to come to his house,

8:42 because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, who was dying. And the crowds were almost stifling Jesus as he went.

8:43 Now there was a woman suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years, whom no one had been able to cure.

8:44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak; and the haemorrhage stopped at that instant.

8:45 Jesus said, ‘Who touched me?’ When they all denied that they had, Peter and his companions said, ‘Master, it is the crowds round you, pushing’.

8:46 But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched me. I felt that power had gone out from me.’

8:47 Seeing herself discovered, the woman came forward trembling, and falling at his feet explained in front of all the

8:48 people why she had touched him and how she had been cured at that very moment. ‘My daughter,’ he said ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace.’

8:49 While he was still speaking, someone arrived from the house of the synagogue official to say, ‘Your daughter has died. Do not trouble the Master any further.’

8:50 But Jesus had heard this, and he spoke to the man, ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith and she will be safe’.

8:51 When he came to the house he allowed no one to go in with him except Peter and John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

8:52 They were all weeping and mourning for her, but Jesus said, ‘Stop crying; she is not dead, but asleep’.

8:53 But they laughed at him, knowing she was dead.

8:54 But taking her by the hand he called to her, ‘Child, get up’.

8:55 And her spirit returned and she got up at once. Then he told them to give her something to eat.

8:56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

JB LUKE Chapter 9

The mission of the Twelve

9:1 He called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases,

9:2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.

9:3 He said to them, ‘Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic.

9:4 Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there.

9:5 As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.’

9:6 So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.

Herod and Jesus

9:7 Meanwhile Herod the tetrarch had heard about all that was going on; and he was puzzled, because some people were saying that John had risen from the dead,

9:8 others that Elijah had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life.

9:9 But Herod said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he was anxious to see him.

The return of the apostles. Miracle of the loaves

9:10 On their return the apostles gave him an account of all they had done. Then he took them with him and withdrew to a town called Bethsaida where they could be by themselves.

9:11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.

9:12 It was late afternoon when the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms round about to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here’.

9:13 He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves’. But they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food for all these people’

9:14 For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, ‘Get them to sit down in parties of about fifty’.

9:15 They did so and made them all sit down.

9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd.

9:17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps remaining were collected they filled twelve baskets.

Peter’s profession of faith

9:18 Now one day when he was praying alone in the presence of his disciples he put this question to them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’

9:19 And they answered, ‘John the Baptist; others Elijah; and others say one of the ancient prophets come back to life’.

9:20 ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ It was Peter who spoke up. ‘The Christ of God’ he said.

9:21 But he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this.

First prophecy of the Passion

9:22 ‘The Son of Man’ he said ‘is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.’

The condition of following Christ

9:23 Then to all he said, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.

9:24 For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, that man will save it.

9:25 What gain, then, is it for a man to have won the whole world and to have lost or ruined his very self?

9:26 For if anyone is ashamed of me and of my words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

The kingdom will come soon

9:27 ‘I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.’

The transfiguration

9:28 Now about eight days after this had been said, he took with him Peter and John and James and went up the mountain to pray.

9:29 As he prayed, the aspect of his face was changed and his clothing became brilliant as lightning.

9:30 Suddenly there were two men there talking to him; they were Moses and Elijah

9:31 appearing in glory, and they were speaking of his passing which he was to accomplish in Jerusalem.

9:32 Peter and his companions were heavy with sleep, but they kept awake and saw his glory and the two men standing with him.

9:33 As these were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah’. – He did not know what he was saying.

9:34 As he spoke, a cloud came and covered them with shadow; and when they went into the cloud the disciples were afraid.

9:35 And a voice came from the cloud saying, ‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’

9:36 And after the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. The disciples kept silence and, at that time, told no one what they had seen.

The epileptic demoniac

9:37 Now on the following day when they were coming down from the mountain a large crowd came to meet him.

9:38 Suddenly a man in the crowd cried out. ‘Master,’ he said ‘I implore you to look at my son: he is my only child.

9:39 All at once a spirit will take hold of him, and give a sudden cry and throw the boy into convulsions with foaming at the mouth; it is slow to leave him, but when it does it leaves the boy worn out.

9:40 I begged your disciples to cast it out, and they could not.’

9:41 ‘Faithless and perverse generation!’ Jesus said in reply ‘How much longer must I be among you and put up with you? Bring your son here.’

9:42 The boy was still moving towards Jesus when the devil threw him to the ground in convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and cured the boy and gave him back to his father,

9:43 and everyone was awestruck by the greatness of God.

Second prophecy of the Passion

At a time when everyone was full of admiration for all he did, he said to his disciples,

9:44 ‘For your part, you must have these words constantly in your mind: The Son of Man is going to be handed over into the power of men’.

9:45 But they did not understand him when he said this; it was hidden from them so that they should not see the meaning of it, and they were afraid to ask him about what he had just said.

Who is the greatest?

9:46 An argument started between them about which of them was the greatest.

9:47 Jesus knew what thoughts were going through their minds, and he took a little child and set him by his side

9:48 and then said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For the least among you all, that is the one who is great.’

On using the name of Jesus

9:49 John spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘we saw a man casting out devils in your so name, and because he is not with us we tried to stop him.’

9:50 But Jesus said to him, ‘You must not stop him: anyone who is not against you is for you’.


A Samaritan village is inhospitable

9:51 Now as the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, he resolutely took the road for Jerusalem

9:52 and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him,

9:53 but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem[*a].

9:54 Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’

9:55 But he turned and rebuked them,

9:56 and they went off to another village.

Hardships of the apostolic calling

9:57 As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go’.

9:58 Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’.

9:59 Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first’.

9:60 But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God’.

9:61 Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say good-bye to my people at home’.

9:62 Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God’.

JB LUKE Chapter 10

The mission of the seventy-two disciples

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him, in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself was to visit.

10:2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.

10:3 Start off now, but remember, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

10:4 Carry no purse, no haversack, no sandals. Salute no one on the road.

10:5 Whatever house you go into, let your first words be, “Peace to this house!”

10:6 And if a man of peace lives there, your peace will go and rest on him; if not, it will come back to you.

10:7 Stay in the same house, taking what food and drink they have to offer, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not move from house to house.

10:8 Whenever you go into a town where they make you welcome, eat what is set before you.

10:9 Cure those in it who are sick, and say, “The kingdom of God is very near to you”.

10:10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not make you welcome, go out into its streets and say, .

10:11 “We wipe off the very dust of your town that clings to our feet, and leave it with you. Yet be sure of this: the kingdom of God is very near.”

10:12 I tell you, on that day it will not go as hard with Sodom as with that town.

10:13 ‘Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

10:14 And still, it will not go as hard with Tyre and Sidon at the Judgement as with you.

10:15 And as for you, Capernaum, did you want to be exalted high as heaven? You shall be thrown down to hell[*a].

10:16 ‘Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me, and those who reject me reject the one who sent me.’

True cause for the apostles to rejoice

10:17 The seventy-two came back rejoicing. ‘Lord,’ they said ‘even the devils submit to us when we use your name.’

10:18 He said to them, ‘I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

10:19 Yes, I have given you power to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you.

10:20 Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.’

The Good News revealed to the simple. The Father and the Son

10:21 It was then that, filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, he said, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.

10:22 Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

The privilege of the disciples

10:23 Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see,

10:24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it’.

The great commandment

10:25 There was a lawyer who, to disconcert him, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

10:26 He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’

10:27 He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself'[*b].

10:28 ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’

Parable of the good Samaritan

10:29 But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’

10:30 Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead.

10:31 Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

10:32 In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side.

10:33 But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him.

10:34 He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him.

10:35 Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.”

10:36 Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands` hands?’

10:37 ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself’.

Martha and Mary

10:38 In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.

10:39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking.

10:40 Now Martha who was distracted with all the serving said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.’

10:41 But the Lord answered: ‘Martha, Martha,’ he said ‘you worry and fret about so many things,

10:42 and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part; it is not to be taken from her.’

JB LUKE Chapter 11
The Lord’s prayer

11:1 Now once he was in a certain place praying, and when he had finished one of his disciples said, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples’.

11:2 He said to them, ‘Say this when you pray: “Father, may your name be held holy, your kingdom come;

11:3 give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins,

11:4 for we ourselves forgive each one who is in debt to us. And do not put us to the test.”‘

The importunate friend

11:5 He also said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, “My friend, lend me three loaves,

11:6 because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him”;

11:7 and the man answers from inside the house, “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it you”.

11:8 I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

Effective prayer

11:9 ‘So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.

11:10 For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.

11:11 What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish?

11:12 Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg?

11:13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’

Jesus and Beelzebul

11:14 He was casting out a devil and it was dumb; but when the devil had gone out the dumb man spoke, and the people were amazed.

11:15 But some of them said, ‘It is through Beelzebul, the prince of devils, that he casts out devils’.

11:16 Others asked him, as a test, for a sign from heaven;

11:17 but, knowing what they were thinking, he said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is heading for ruin, and a household divided against itself collapses.

11:18 So too with Satan: if he is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? – Since you assert that it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils.

11:19 Now if it is through Beelzebul that I cast out devils, through whom do your own experts cast them out? Let them be your judges then.

11:20 But if it is through the finger of God that I cast out devils, then know that the kingdom of God has overtaken you.

11:21 So long as a strong man fully armed guards his own palace, his goods are undisturbed;

11:22 but when someone stronger than he is attacks and defeats him, the stronger man takes away all the weapons he relied on and shares out his spoil.

No compromise

11:23 ‘He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters.

Return of the unclean spirit

11:24 ‘When an unclean spirit goes out of a man it wanders through waterless country looking for a place to rest, and not finding one it says, “I will go back to the home I came from”.

11:25 But on arrival, finding it swept and tidied,

11:26 it then goes off and brings seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and set up house there, so that the man ends up by being worse than he was before.’

The truly happy

11:27 Now as he was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!’

11:28 But he replied, ‘Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!’

The sign of Jonah

11:29 The crowds got even bigger and he addressed them, ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.

11:30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.

11:31 On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.

11:32 On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation. and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here.

The parable of the lamp repeated

11:33 ‘No one lights a lamp and puts it in some hidden place or under a tub, but on the lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in.

11:34 The lamp of your body is your eye. When your eye is sound, your whole body too is filled with light; but when it is diseased your body too will be all darkness.

11:35 See to it then that the light inside you is not darkness.

11:36 If, therefore, your whole body is filled with light, and no trace of darkness, it will be light entirely, as when the lamp shines on you with its rays.’

The Pharisees and the lawyers attacked

11:37 He had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at the table.

11:38 The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal.

11:39 But the Lord said to him, ‘Oh, you Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness.

11:40 Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too?

11:41 Instead, give alms from what you have and then indeed everything will be clean for you.

11:42 But alas for you Pharisees! You who pay your tithe of mint and rue and all sorts of garden herbs and overlook justice and the love of God! These you should have practised, without leaving the others undone.

11:43 Alas for you Pharisees who like taking the seats of honour in the synagogues and being greeted obsequiously in the market squares!

11:44 Alas for you, because you are like the unmarked tombs that men walk on without knowing it![*a]

11:45 A lawyer then spoke up. ‘Master,’ he said ‘when you speak like this you insult us too.’

11:46 ‘Alas for you lawyers also,’ he replied ‘because you load on men burdens that are unendurable, burdens that you yourselves do not move a finger to lift.

11:47 ‘Alas for you who build the tombs of the prophets, the men your ancestors killed!

11:48 In this way you both witness what your ancestors did and approve it; they did the killing, you do the building.

11:49 ‘And that is why the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles; some they will slaughter and persecute,

11:50 so that this generation will have to answer for every prophet’s blood that has been shed since the foundation of the world,

11:51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was murdered between the altar and the sanctuary”. Yes, I tell you, this generation will have to answer for it all.

11:52 ‘Alas for you lawyers who have taken away the key of knowledge! You have not gone in yourselves, and have prevented others going in who wanted to.’

11:53 When he left the house, the scribes and the Pharisees began a furious attack on him and tried to force answers from him on innumerable questions,

11:54 setting traps to catch him out in something he might say.

JB LUKE Chapter 12

Open and fearless speech

12:1 Meanwhile the people had gathered in their thousands so that they were treading on one another. And he began to speak, first of all to his disciples. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees-that is, their hypocrisy.

12:2 Everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear.

12:3 For this reason, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in hidden places will be proclaimed on the housetops.

12:4 ‘To you my friends I say: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no mere.

12:5 I will tell you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

12:6 Can you not buy five sparrows for two pennies? And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight.

12:7 Why, every hair on your head has been counted. There is no need to be afraid: you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

12:8 ‘I tell you, if anyone openly declares himself for me in the presence of men, the Son of Man will declare himself for him in the presence of God’s angels.

12:9 But the man who disowns me in the presence of men will be disowned in the presence of God’s angels.

12:10 ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

12:11 ‘When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say,

12:12 because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you must say.’

On hoarding possessions

12:13 A man in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance’.

12:14 ‘My friend,’ he replied-‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’

12:15 Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs’.

12:16 Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land,

12:17 thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.”

12:18 Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them,

12:19 and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time”.

12:20 But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?”.

12:21 So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’

Trust in Providence

12:22 Then he said to his disciples, ‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it.

12:23 For life means more than food, and the body more than clothing.

12:24 Think of the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storehouses and no barns; yet God feeds them. And how much more are you worth than the birds!

12:25 Can any of you, for all his worrying, add a single cubit to his span of life?

12:26 If the smallest things, therefore, are outside your control, why worry about the rest?

12:27 Think of the flowers; they never have to spin or weave; yet, I assure you, not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these.

12:28 Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, you men of little faith!

12:29 But you, you must not set your hearts on things to eat and things to drink; nor must you worry.

12:30 It is the pagans of this world who set their hearts on all these things. Your Father well knows you need them.

12:31 No; set your hearts on his kingdom, and these other things will be given you as well.

12:32 ‘There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom.

On almsgiving

12:33 ‘Sell your possessions and give alms. Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it.

12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

On being ready for the Master’s return

12:35 ‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.

12:36 Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.

12:37 Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them.

12:38 It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.

12:39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.

12:40 You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’

12:41 Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’

12:42 The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward[*a], then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time?

12:43 Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment.

12:44 I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns.

12:45 But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming”, and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk,

12:46 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.

12:47 The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash.

12:48 The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.

Jesus and his Passion

12:49 ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!

12:50 There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!

Jesus the cause of dissension

12:51 ‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.

12:52 For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three;

12:53 the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

On reading the signs of the times

12:54 He said again to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does.

12:55 And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is.

12:56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?

12:57 ‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right?

12:58 For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison.

12:59 I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

JB LUKE Chapter 13

Examples inviting repentance

13:1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices[*a].

13:2 At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans?

13:3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.

13:4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

13:5 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

Parable of the barren fig tree

13:6 He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none.

13:7 He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?”

13:8 “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it:

13:9 it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”‘

Healing of the crippled woman on a sabbath

13:10 One sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues,

13:11 and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright.

13:12 When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’

13:13 and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.

13:14 But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’

13:15 But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering?

13:16 And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’

13:17 When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

Parable of the mustard seed

13:18 He went on to say, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with?

13:19 It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’

Parable of the yeast

13:20 Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with?

13:21 It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

The narrow door; rejection of the Jews, call of the gentiles

13:22 Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem.

13:23 Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them,

13:24 ‘Try your best to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

13:25 ‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from”.

13:26 Then you will find yourself saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets”

13:27 but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from. Away from me, all you wicked men !”[*b]

13:28 ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves turned outside.

13:29 And men from east and west, from north and south, will come to take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.

13:30 ‘Yes, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

Herod the fox

13:31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. ‘Go away’ they said. ‘Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.’

13:32 He replied, ‘You may go and give that fox this message: Learn that today and tomorrow I cast out devils and on the third day[*c] attain my end.

13:33 But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.

Jerusalem admonished

13:34 ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!

13:35 So be it! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you say: Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!'[*d]

JB LUKE Chapter 14

Healing of a dropsical man on the sabbath

14:1 Now on a sabbath day he had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.

14:2 ‘There in front of him was a man with dropsy,

14:3 and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees. ‘Is it against the law’ he asked ‘to cure a man on the sabbath, or not?’

14:4 But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away.

14:5 Then he said to them, ‘Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a sabbath day without hesitation?’

14:6 And to this they could find no answer.

On choosing places at table

14:7 He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this,

14:8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,

14:9 and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man”. And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place.

14:10 No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher”. In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured.

14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

On choosing guests to be invited

14:12 Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return.

14:13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;

14:14 that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

The invited guests who made excuses

14:15 On hearing this, one of those gathered round the table said to him, ‘Happy the man who will be at the feast in the kingdom of God!’

14:16 But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people.

14:17 When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now”.

14:18 But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.”

14:19 Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.”

14:20 Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come”.

14:21 ‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame”.

14:22 “Sir” said the servant “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.”

14:23 Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and force people to come in to make sure my house is full;

14:24 because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet”.’

Renouncing all that one holds dear

14:25 Great crowds accompanied him on his way and he turned and spoke to them.

14:26 If any man comes to me without hating[*a] his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, he cannot be my disciple.

14:27 Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Renouncing possessions

14:28 ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it?

14:29 Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, the onlookers would all start making fun of him and saying, “‘

14:30 Here is a man who started to build and was unable to finish”.

14:31 Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who advanced against him with twenty thousand?

14:32 If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace.

14:33 So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all his possessions.

On loss of enthusiasm in a disciple

14:34 ‘Salt is a useful thing. But if the salt itself loses its taste, how can it be seasoned again?

14:35 It is good for neither soil nor manure heap. People throw it out. Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!’

JB LUKE Chapter 15

The three parables of God’s mercy

15:1 The tax collectors and the sinners, meanwhile, were all seeking his company to hear what he had to say,

15:2 and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

15:3 So he spoke this parable to them:

The lost sheep

15:4 ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it?

15:5 And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders

15:6 and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.”

15:7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.

The lost drachma

15:8 ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it?

15:9 And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say “I have found the drachma I lost.”

15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

The lost son (the ‘prodigal’) and the dutiful son

15:11 He also said, ‘A man had two sons.

15:12 The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me”. So the father divided the property between them.

15:13 A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

15:14 ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch,

15:15 so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.

15:16 And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything.

15:17 Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger!

15:18 I will leave is this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;

15:19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.”

15:20 So he left the place and went back to his father. ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly.

15:21 Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.”

15:22 But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

15:23 Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration,

15:24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

15:25 ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing.

15:26 Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about.

15:27 “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.”

15:28 He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him;

15:29 but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.

15:30 But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

15:31 The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours.

15:32 But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”‘

JB LUKE Chapter 16

The crafty steward

16:1 He also said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.

16:2 He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.”

16:3 Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.

16:4 Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

16:5 Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?”

16:6 “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty”.

16:7 To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty”.

16:8 ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness[*a]. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’

The right use of money

16:9 ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity.

16:10 The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great.

16:11 If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?

16:12 And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

16:13 ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

Against the Pharisees and their love of money

16:14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and laughed at him.

16:15 He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as virtuous in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is thought highly of by men is loathsome in the sight of God.

The kingdom stormed

16:16 ‘Up to the time of John it was the Law and the Prophets; since then, the kingdom of God has been preached, and by violence everyone is getting in.

The Law remains

16:17 ‘It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one little stroke to drop out of the Law.

Marriage indissoluble

16:18 ‘Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery.

The rich man and Lazarus

16:19 ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day.

16:20 And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores,

16:21 who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores.

16:22 Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

16:23 ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom.

16:24 So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames”.

16:25 “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

16:26 But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”

16:27 ‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house,

16:28 since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too”.

16:29 “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.”.

16:30 “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.”

16:31 Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead”.’

JB LUKE Chapter 17

On leading others astray

17:1 He said to his disciples, ‘Obstacles are sure to come, but alas for the one who provides them!

17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the Sea with a millstone put round his neck than that he should lead astray a single one of these little ones.

17:3 Watch yourselves!

Brotherly correction

‘If your brother does something wrong, reprove him and, if he is sorry, forgive him.

17:4 And if he wrongs you seven times a day and seven times comes back to you and says, “I am sorry”, you must forgive him.’

The power of faith

17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith’.

17:6 The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you.

Humble service

17:7 ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”?

17:8 Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”?

17:9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

17:10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty”.’

The ten lepers

17:11 Now on the way to Jerusalem he travelled along the border between Samaria and GaliIee[*a].

17:12 As he entered one of the villages, ten lepers came to meet him. They stood some way off

17:13 and called to him, ‘Jesus! Master! Take pity on us.’

17:14 When he saw them he said, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests’. Now as they were going away they were cleansed.

17:15 Finding himself cured, one of them turned back praising God at the top of his voice

17:16 and threw himself at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was a Samaritan.

17:17 This made Jesus say, ‘Were not all ten made clean? The other nine, where are they?

17:18 It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’

17:19 And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

The coming of the kingdom of God

17:20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was to come, he gave them this answer, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God does not admit of observation

17:21 and there will be no one to say, “Look here! Look there!” For, you must know, the kingdom of God is among you.’

The day of the Son of Man

17:22 He said to the disciples, ‘A time will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man and will not see it.

17:23 They will say to you, “Look there!” or, “Look here!” Make no move; do not set off in pursuit;

17:24 for as the lightning flashing from one part of heaven lights up the other, so will be the Son of Man when his day comes.

17:25 But first he must suffer grievously and be rejected by this generation.

17:26 ‘As it was in Noah’s day, so will it also be in the days of the Son of Man.

17:27 People were eating and drinking, marrying wives and husbands, right up to the day Noah went into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

17:28 It will be the same as it was in Lot’s day: people were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building,

17:29 but the day Lot left Sodom, God rained fire and brimstone from heaven and it destroyed them all.

17:30 It will be the same when the day comes for the Son of Man to be revealed.

17:31 ‘When that day comes, anyone on the housetop, with his possessions in the house, must not come down to collect them, nor must anyone in the fields turn back either.

17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.

17:33 Anyone who tries to preserve his life will lose it; and anyone who loses it will keep it safe.

17:34 I tell you, on that night two will be in one bed: one will be taken, the other left;

17:35 two women will be grinding corn together: one will be taken, the other left.’

17:37 The disciples interrupted. ‘Where, Lord?’ they asked. He said, ‘Where the body is, there too will the vultures gather’.

JB LUKE Chapter 18

The unscrupulous Judge and the Inportunate widow

18:1 Then he told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart.

18:2 ‘There was a judge in a certain town’ he said ‘who had neither fear of God nor respect for man.

18:3 In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, “I want justice from you against my enemy!”

18:4 For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, “Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man,

18:5 but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death”.’

18:6 And the Lord said ‘You notice what the unjust judge has to say?

18:7 Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them?

18:8 I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?’

The Pharisee and the publican

18:9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else,

18:10 ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.

18:11 The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here.

18:12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.”

18:13 The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”.

18:14 This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Jesus and the children

18:15 People even brought little children to him, for him to touch them; but when the disciples saw this they turned them away.

18:16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

18:17 I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’

The rich aristocrat

18:18 A member of one of the leading families put this question to him, ‘Good Master, what have I to do to inherit eternal life?’

18:19 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

18:20 You know the commandments: You must not commit adultery; You must not kill; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; Honour your father and mother.’

18:21 He replied, ‘I have kept all these from my earliest days till now’.

18:22 And when Jesus heard this he said, ‘There is still one thing you lack. Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’

18:23 But when he heard this he was filled with sadness, for he was very rich.

The danger of riches

18:24 Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to make their way into the kingdom of God!

18:25 Yes, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’

18:26 ‘In that case’ said the listeners ‘who can be saved?’

18:27 ‘Things that are impossible for men’ he replied ‘are possible for God.’

The reward of renunciation

18:28 Then Peter said, ‘What about us? We left all we had to follow you.’

18:29 He said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, wife, brothers, parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God

18:30 who will not be given repayment many times over in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life’.

Third prophecy of the Passion

18:31 Then taking the Twelve aside he said to them, ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man is to come true.

18:32 For he will be handed over to the pagans and will be mocked, maltreated and spat on,

18:33 and when they have scourged him they will put him to death; and on the third day he will rise again.’

18:34 But they could make nothing of this; what he said was quite obscure to them, they had no idea what it meant.

Entering Jericho: the blind man

18:35 Now as he drew near to Jericho there was a blind man sitting at the side of the road begging.

18:36 When he heard the crowd going past he asked what it was all about,

18:37 and they told him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by.

18:38 So he called out, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me’.

18:39 The people in front scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me’.

18:40 Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him, and when he came up, asked him,

18:41 ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ ‘Sir,’ he replied ‘let me see again.’

18:42 Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight. Your faith has saved you.’

18:43 And instantly his sight returned and he followed him praising God, and all the people who saw it gave praise to God for what had happened.

JB LUKE Chapter 19


19:1 He entered Jericho and was going through the town

19:2 when a man whose name was Zacchaeus made his appearance; he was one of the senior tax collectors and a wealthy man.

19:3 He was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was, but he was too short and could not see him for the crowd;

19:4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way.

19:5 When Jesus reached the spot he looked up and spoke to him: ‘Zacchaeus, come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.’

19:6 And he hurried down and welcomed him joyfully.

19:7 They all complained when they saw what was happening. ‘He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house’ they said.

19:8 But Zacchaeus stood his ground and said to the Lord, ‘Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount'[*a]

19:9 And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham;[*b]

19:10 for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost’.

Parable of the pounds

19:11 While the people were listening to this he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they imagined that the kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there.

19:12 Accordingly he said, ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to be appointed king and afterwards return[*c].

19:13 He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds. “Do business with these” he told them “until I get back.”

19:14 But his compatriots detested him and sent a delegation to follow him with this message, “We do not want this man to be our king”.

19:15 Now on his return, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made.

19:16 The first came in and said, “Sir, your one pound has brought in ten”.

19:17 “Well done, my good servant!” he replied “Since you have proved yourself faithful in a very small thing, you shall have the government of ten cities.”.

19:18 Then came the second and said, “Sir, your one pound has made five”.

19:19 To this one also he said, “And you shall be in charge of five cities”.

19:20 Next came the other and said, “Sir, here is your pound. I put it away safely in a piece of linen

19:21 because I was afraid of you; for you are an exacting man: you pick up what you have not put down and reap what you have not sown.”

19:22 “You wicked servant!” he said “Out of your own mouth I condemn you. So you knew I was an exacting man, picking up what I have not put down and reaping what I have not sown?

19:23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest.”

19:24 And he said to those standing by, “Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds”.

19:25 And they said to him, “But, sir, he has ten pounds . . .”

19:26 “I tell you, to everyone who has will be given more; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

19:27 “But as for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.”‘


The Messiah enters Jerusalem

19:28 When he had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

19:29 Now when he was near Bethphage and Bethany, close by the Mount of Olives as it is called, he sent two of the disciples, telling them,

19:30 ‘Go off to the village opposite, and as you enter it you will find a tethered colt that no one has yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

19:31 If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?” you are to say this, “The Master needs it”.’

19:32 The messengers went off and found everything just as he had told them.

19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owner said, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’

19:34 and they answered, ‘The Master needs it’.

19:35 So they took the colt to Jesus, and throwing their garments over its back they helped Jesus on to it.

19:36 As he moved off, people spread their cloaks in the road,

19:37 and now, as he was approaching the downward slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen.

19:38 They cried out: ‘Blessings on the King who comes, in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!’

Jesus defends his disciples for acclaiming him

19:39 Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, ‘Master, check your disciples’,

19:40 but he answered, ‘I tell you, if these keep silence the stones will cry out’.

Lament for Jerusalem

19:41 As he drew near and came in sight of the city he shed tears over it

19:42 and said, ‘If you in your turn had only understood on this day the message of peace! But, alas, it is hidden from your eyes!

19:43 Yes, a time is coming when your enemies will raise fortifications all round you, when they will. encircle you and hem you in on every side;

19:44 they will dash you and the children inside your walls to the ground; they will leave not one stone standing on another within you-and all because you did not recognise your opportunity when God offered it!’

The expulsion of the dealers from the Temple

19:45 Then he went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling.

19:46 ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer.[*d] But you have turned it into a robbers’ den'[*e].

Jesus teaches in the Temple

19:47 He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him,

19:48 but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.

JB LUKE Chapter 20

The Jews question the authority of Jesus

20:1 Now one day while he was teaching the people in the Temple and proclaiming the Good News, the chief priests and the scribes came up, together with the elders,

20:2 and spoke to him. ‘Tell us’ they said ‘what authority have you for acting like this? Or who is it that gave you this authority?’

20:3 ‘And I’ replied Jesus ‘will ask you a question. Tell me:

20:4 John’s baptism: did it come from heaven, or from man?’

20:5 And they argued it out this way among themselves, ‘If we say from heaven, he will say, “Why did you refuse to believe him?”;

20:6 and if we say from man, the people will all stone us, for they are convinced that John was a prophet’.

20:7 So their reply was that they did not know where it came from.

20:8 And Jesus said to then, ‘Nor will I tell you my authority for acting like this’.

Parable of the wicked husbandmen

20:9 And he went on to tell the people this parable: ‘A man planted a vineyard and leased it to tenants, and went abroad for a long while.

20:10 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to get his share of the produce of the vineyard from them. But the tenants thrashed him, and sent him away empty-handed.

20:11 But he persevered and sent a second servant; they thrashed him too and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed.

20:12 He still persevered and sent a third; they wounded this one also, and threw him out.

20:13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, “What am I to do? I will send them my dear son. Perhaps they will respect him.”

20:14 But when the tenants saw him they put their heads together. “This is the heir,” they said “let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.”

20:15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Now what will the owner of the vineyard do to them?

20:16 He will come and make an end of these tenants and give the vineyard to others.’ Hearing this they said, ‘God forbid!’

20:17 But he looked hard at them and said, ‘Then what does this text in the scriptures mean: It was the stone rejected by the builders that became the keystone?[*a]

20:18 Anyone who falls on that stone will be dashed to pieces; anyone it falls on will be crushed.’

20:19 But for their fear of the people, the scribes and the chief priests would have liked to lay hands on him that very moment, because they realised that this parable was aimed at them.

On tribute to Caesar

20:20 So they waited their opportunity and sent agents to pose as men devoted to the Law, and to fasten on something he might say and so enable them to hand him over to the jurisdiction and authority of the governor.

20:21 They put to him this question, ‘Master, we know that you say and teach what is right; you favour no one, but teach the way of God in all honesty.

20:22 Is it permissible for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?’

20:23 But he was aware of their cunning and said,

20:24 ‘Show me a denarius. Whose head and name are on it?’ ‘Caesar’s’ they said.

20:25 ‘Well then,’ he said to them ‘give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar-and to God what belongs to God.’

20:26 As a result, they were unable to find fault with anything he had to say in public; his answer took them by surprise and they were silenced.

The resurrection of the dead

20:27 Some Sadducees-those who say that there is no resurrection-approached him and they put this question to him,

20:28 ‘Master, we have it from Moses in writing, that if a man’s married brother dies childless, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother.

20:29 Well then, there were seven brothers. The first, having married a wife, died childless.

20:30 The second

20:31 and then the third married the widow. And the same with all seven, they died leaving no children.

20:32 Finally the woman herself died

20:33 Now, at the resurrection, to which of them will she be wife since she had been married to all seven?’

20:34 Jesus replied, ‘The children of this world take wives and husbands,

20:35 but those who are judged worthy of a place in the other world and if’ the resurrection from the dead do not marry

20:36 because they can no longer die, for they are the same as the angels, and being children of the resurrection they are sons of God.

20:37 And Moses himself implies that the dead rise again, in the passage about the bush where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob[*b].

20:38 Now he is God, not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all men are in fact alive.’

20:39 Some scribes[*c] then spoke up. ‘Well put, Master’ they said

20:40 – because they would not dare to ask him any more questions.

Christ, not only son but also Lord of David

20:41 He then said to them, ‘How can people maintain that the Christ is son of David?

20:42 Why, David himself says in the Book of Psalms: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand

20:43 and I will make your enemies a footstool for you[*d].

20:44 David here calls him Lord; how then can he be his son?’

The scribes condemned by Jesus

20:45 While all the people were listening he said to the disciples,

20:46 ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes and love to be greeted obsequiously in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets,

20:47 who swallow the property of widows, while making a show of lengthy prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.

JB LUKE Chapter 21

The widow’s mite

21:1 As he looked up he saw rich people putting their, offerings into the treasury;

21:2 then he happened to notice a poverty-stricken widow putting in two small coins,

21:3 and he said, ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow has put in more than any of them;

21:4 for these have all contributed money they had over, but she from the little she had has put in all she had to live on.

Discourse on the destruction of Jerusalem[*a]: Introduction

21:5 When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned with fine stonework and votive offerings, he said,

21:6 ‘All these things you are staring at now-the time will come when not a single stone will be left on another: everything will be destroyed’.

21:7 And they put to him this question: ‘Master,’ they said ‘when will this happen, then, and what sign will there be that this is about to take place?’

The warning signs

21:8 ‘Take care not to be deceived,’ he said ‘because many will come using my name and saying, “I am he” and, “The time is near at hand”. Refuse to join them.

21:9 And when you hear of wars and revolutions, do not be frightened, for this is something that must happen but the end is not so soon.’

21:10 Then he said to them, ‘Nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

21:11 There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines here and there; there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

21:12 ‘But before all this happens, men will seize you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and to imprisonment, and bring you before kings and governors because of my name

21:13 – and that will be your opportunity to bear witness.

21:14 Keep this carefully in mind: you are not to prepare your defence,

21:15 because I myself shall give you an eloquence and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or contradict.

21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relations and friends; and some of you will be put to death.

21:17 You will be hated by all men on account of my name,

21:18 but not a hair of your head will be lost.

21:19 Your endurance will win you your lives.

The siege

21:20 ‘When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, you must realise that she will soon be laid desolate.

21:21 Then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains, those inside the city must leave it, and those in country districts must not take refuge in it.

21:22 For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says[*b] must be fulfilled.

21:23 Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!

The disaster and the age of the pagans

‘For great misery will descend on the land and wrath on this people.

21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive to every pagan country; and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the pagans until the age of the pagans is completely over.

Cosmic disasters and the coming of the Son of Man

21:25 ‘There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; on earth nations in agony, bewildered by the clamour of the ocean and its waves;

21:26 men dying of fear as they await what menaces the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

21:27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

21:28 When these things begin to take place, stand erect, hold your heads high, because your liberation[*c] is near at hand.’

The time of this coming

21:29 And he told them a parable, ‘Think of the fig tree and indeed every tree.

21:30 As soon as you see them bud, you know that summer is now near.

21:31 So with you when you see these things happening: know that the kingdom of God is near.

21:32 I tell you solemnly, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place.

21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Be on the alert

21:34 ‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly,

21:35 like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth.

21:36 Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

The last days of Jesus

21:37 In the daytime he would be in the Temple teaching, but would spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives.

21:38 And from early morning the people would gather round him in the Temple to listen to him.

JB LUKE Chapter 22


The conspiracy against Jesus: Judas betrays him

22:1 The feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was now drawing near,

22:2 and the chief priests and the scribes were looking for some way of doing away with him, because they mistrusted the people.

22:3 Then Satan entered into Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the Twelve.

22:4 He went to the chief priests and the officers of the guard[*a] to discuss a scheme for handing Jesus over to them.

22:5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money.

22:6 He accepted, and looked for an opportunity to betray him to them without the people knowing.

Preparation for the Passover supper

22:7 The day of Unleavened Bread came round, the day on which the passover had to be sacrificed,

22:8 and he sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make the preparations for us to eat the passover’.

22:9 ‘Where do you want us to prepare it?’ they asked.

22:10 ‘Listen,’ he said ‘as you go into the city you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him into the house he enters

22:11 and tell the owner of the house, “The Master has this to say to you: Where is the dining room in which I can eat the passover with my disciples?”

22:12 The man will show you a large upper room furnished with couches. Make the preparations there.’

22:13 They set off and found everything as he had told them, and prepared the Passover.

The supper

22:14 When the hour came he took his place at table, and the apostles with him.

22:15 And he said to them, ‘I have longed to eat this passover with you before I suffer;

22:16 because, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God’.

22:17 Then, taking a cup[*b], he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and share it among you,

22:18 because from now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the kingdom of God comes’.

The institution of the Eucharist

22:19 Then he took some bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body which will be given for you; do this as a memorial of me’.

22:20 He did the same with the cup after supper, and said, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood which will be poured out for you.

The treachery of Judas foretold

22:21 ‘And yet, here with me on the table is the hand of the man who betrays me.

22:22 The Son of Man does indeed go to his fate even as it has been decreed, but alas for that man by whom he is betrayed!’

22:23 And they began to ask one another which of them it could be who was to do this thing.

Who is the greatest?

22:24 A dispute arose also between them about which should be reckoned the greatest,

22:25 but he said to them, ‘Among pagans it is the kings who lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are given the title Benefactor.

22:26 This must not happen with you. No; the greatest among you must behave as if he were the youngest, the leader as if he were the one who serves.

22:27 For who is the greater: the one at table or the one who serves? The one at table, surely? Yet here am I among you as one who serves!

The reward promised to the apostles

22:28 ‘You are the men who have stood by me faithfully in my trials;

22:29 and now I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father conferred one on me:

22:30 you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.

Peter’s denial and repentance foretold

22:31 ‘Simon, Simon! Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat;

22:32 but I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail, and once you have recovered, you in your turn must strengthen your brothers.’

22:33 ‘Lord,’ he answered ‘I would be ready to go to prison with you, and to death.’

22:34 Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, Peter, by the time the cock crows today you will have denied three times that you know me

A time of crisis

22:35 He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything?’

22:36 ‘No’ they said. He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it; if you have a haversack, do the same; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one,

22:37 because I tell you these words of scripture have to be fulfilled in me: He let himself be taken for a criminal[*c] Yes, what scripture says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.’

22:38 ‘Lord,’ they said ‘there are two swords here now.’ He said to them, ‘That is enough!’

The Mount of Olives

22:39 He then left to make his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, with the disciples following.

22:40 When they reached the place he said to them, ‘Pray not to be put to the test’.

22:41 Then he withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed.

22:42 ‘Father,’ he said ‘if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine.’

22:43 Then an angel appeared to him, coming from heaven to give him strength.

22:44 In his anguish he prayed even more earnestly, and his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

22:45 When he rose from prayer he went to the disciples and found them sleeping for sheer grief.

22:46 ‘Why are you asleep?’ he said to them. ‘Get up and pray not to be put to the test.’

The arrest

22:47 He was still speaking when a number of men appeared, and at the head of them the man called Judas, one of the Twelve, who went up to Jesus to kiss him.

22:48 Jesus said, ‘Judas, are you betraying the son of Man with a kiss?’

22:49 His followers, seeing what was happening, said, ‘Lord, shall we use our swords?’

22:50 And one of them struck out at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.

22:51 But at this Jesus spoke. ‘Leave off!’ he said ‘That will do!’ And touching the man’s ear he healed him.

22:52 Then Jesus spoke to the chief priests and captains of the Temple guard and elders who had come for him. ‘Am I a brigand’ he said ‘that you had to set out with swords and clubs?

22:53 When I was among you in the Temple day after day you never moved to lay hands on me. But this is your hour; this is the reign of darkness.’

Peter’s denials

22:54 They seized him then and led him away, and they took him to the high priest’s house. Peter followed at a distance.

22:55 They had lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and Peter sat down among them,

22:56 and as he was sitting there by the blaze a servant-girl saw him, peered at him, and said, ‘This person was with him too’.

22:57 But he denied it. ‘Woman,’ he said ‘I do not know him.’

22:58 ‘Shortly afterwards someone else saw him and said, ‘You are another of them’. But Peter replied, ‘I am not, my friend’.

22:59 About an hour later another man insisted, saying, ‘This fellow was certainly with him. Why, he is a Galilean.’

22:60 ‘My friend,’ said Peter ‘I do not know what you are talking about.’ At that instant, while he was still speaking, the cock crew,

22:61 and the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter, and Peter remembered what the Lord had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will have disowned me three times’.

22:62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Jesus mocked by the guards

22:63 Meanwhile the men who guarded Jesus were mocking and beating him.

22:64 They blindfolded him and questioned him. ‘Play the prophet’ they said. ‘Who hit you then?’

22:65 And they continued heaping insults on him.

Jesus before the Sanhedrin

22:66 When day broke there was a meeting of the elders of the people, attended by the chief priests and scribes. He was brought before their council,

22:67 and they said to him, ‘If you are the Christ, tell us’. ‘If I tell you,’ he replied ‘you will not believe me,

22:68 and if I question you, you will not answer.

22:69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the Power of God[*d].

22:70 Then they all said, ‘So you are the Son of God then?’ He answered, ‘It is you who say I am’.

22:71 ‘What need of witnesses have we now?’ they said. ‘We have heard it for ourselves from his own lips.’

JB LUKE Chapter 23

23:1 The whole assembly then rose, and they brought him before Pilate.

Jesus before Pilate

23:2 They began their accusation by saying, ‘We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of the tribute to Caesar, and claiming to be Christ, a king’.

23:3 Pilate put to him this question, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ ‘It is you who say it’ he replied.

23:4 Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowd, ‘I find no case against this man’.

23:5 But they persisted, ‘He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judaea; it has come all the way from Galilee, where he started, down to here’.

23:6 When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man were a Galilean;

23:7 and finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction he passed him over to Herod who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Jesus before Herod

23:8 Herod was delighted to see Jesus; he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him; moreover, he was hoping to see some miracle worked by him.

23:9 So he questioned him at some length; but without getting any reply.

23:10 Meanwhile the chief priests and the scribes were there, violently pressing their accusations.

23:11 Then Herod, together with his guards, treated him with contempt and made fun of him; he put a rich cloak[*a] on him and sent him back to Pilate.

23:12 And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before, they were reconciled that same day.

Jesus before Pilate again

23:13 Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leading men and the people.

23:14 ‘You brought this man before me’ he said ‘as a political agitator. Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against the man in respect of all the charges you bring against him.

23:15 Nor has Herod either, since is he has sent him back to us. As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserves death,

23:16 So I shall have him flogged and then let him go.’

23:18 But as one man they howled, ‘Away with him! Give us Barabbas!’

23:19 (This man had been thrown into prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.)

23:20 Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again,

23:21 but they shouted back, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’

23:22 And for the third time he spoke to them, ‘Why? What harm has this man done? I have found no case against him that deserves death, so I shall have him punished and then let him go’

23:23 But they kept on shouting at the top of their voices, demanding that he should be crucified. And their shouts were growing louder.

23:24 Pilate then gave his verdict: their demand was to be granted.

23:25 He released the man they asked for, who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

The way to Calvary

23:26 As they were leading him away they seized on a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus.

23:27 Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too[*b], who mourned and lamented for him.

23:28 But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep rather for yourselves and for your children.

23:29 For the days will surely come when people will say, “Happy are those who are barren, the wombs that have never borne, the breasts that have never suckled!”

23:30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”; to the hills, “Cover us”[*c].

23:31 For if men use the green wood like this, what will happen when it is dry?’

23:32 Now with him they were also leading out two other criminals to be executed.

The crucifixion

23:33 When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left.

23:34 Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing’. Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.

The crucified Christ is mocked

23:35 The people stayed there watching him. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’

23:36 The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar

23:37 they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself’.

23:38 Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews’.

The good thief

23:39 One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’

23:40 But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did,

23:41 but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.

23:42 Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’

23:43 ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’

The death of Jesus

23:44 It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.

23:45 The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle;

23:46 and when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he said, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit'[*d] With these words he breathed his last.

After the death

23:47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he gave praise to God and said, ‘This was a great and good man’.

23:48 And when all the people who had gathered for the spectacle saw what had happened, they went home beating their breasts.

23:49 All his friends stood at a distance; so also did the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, and they saw all this happen.

The burial

23:50 Then a member of the council arrived, an upright and virtuous man named Joseph.

23:51 He had not consented to what the others had planned and carried out. He came from Arimathaea, a Jewish town, and he lived in the hope of seeing the kingdom of God.

23:52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

23:53 He then took it down, wrapped it in a shroud and put him in a tomb which was hewn in stone in which no one had yet been laid.

23:54 It was Preparation Day and the sabbath was imminent.

23:55 Meanwhile the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus were following behind. They took note of the tomb and of the position of the body.

23:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. And on the sabbath day they rested, as the Law required.

JB LUKE Chapter 24


The empty tomb. The angel’s message

24:1 On the first day of the week, at the first sign of dawn, they went to the tomb with the spices they had prepared.

24:2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb,

24:3 but on entering discovered that the body of the Lord Jesus was not there.

24:4 As they stood there not knowing what to think, two men in brilliant clothes suddenly appeared at their side.

24:5 Terrified, the women lowered their eyes. But the two men said to them, ‘Why look among the dead for someone who is alive?

24:6 He is not here; he has risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee:

24:7 that the Son of Man had to be handed over into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?’

24:8 And they remembered his words.

The apostles refuse to believe the women

24:9 When the women returned from the tomb they told all this to the Eleven and to all the others.

24:10 The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them also told the apostles,

24:11 but this story of theirs seemed pure nonsense, and they did not believe them.

Peter at the tomb

24:12 Peter, however, went running to the tomb. He bent down and saw the binding cloths but nothing else; he then went back home, amazed at what had happened.

The road to Emmaus

24:13 That very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles[*a] from Jerusalem,

24:14 and they were talking together about all that had happened.

24:15 Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side;

24:16 but something prevented them from recognising him.

24:17 He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.

24:18 Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only is person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days’.

24:19 ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people;

24:20 and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified.

24:21 Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened;

24:22 and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning,

24:23 and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive.

24:24 Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’

24:25 Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets!

24:26 Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’

24:27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.

24:28 When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on;

24:29 but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them.

24:30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them.

24:31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight.

24:32 Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’

24:33 They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions,

24:34 who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’

24:35 Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.

Jesus appears to the apostles

24:36 They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’

24:37 In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost.

24:38 But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts?

24:39 Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’

24:40 And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet.

24:41 Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’

24:42 And they offered him a piece of grilled fish,

24:43 which he took and ate before their eyes.

Last instructions to the apostles

24:44 Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled’.

24:45 He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures,

24:46 and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,

24:47 and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

24:48 You are witnesses to this.

24:49 ‘And now I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.’

The ascension

24:50 Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.

24:51 Now as he blessed them, he withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven.

24:52 They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy;

24:53 and they were continually in the Temple praising God.

END OF JB LUKE [24 Chapters].


JB JOHN Chapter 1


1:1 In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

1:2 He was with God in the beginning.

1:3 Through him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through him.

1:4 All that came to be had life in him and that life was the light of men,

1:5 a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower[*a].

1:6 A man came, sent by God. His name was John.

1:7 He came as a witness, as a witness to speak for the light, so that everyone might believe through him.

1:8 He was not the light, only a witness to speak for the light.

1:9 The Word was the true light that enlightens all men; and he was coming into the world.

1:10 He was in the world that had its being through him, and the world did not know him.

1:11 He came to his own domain and his own people did not accept him.

1:12 But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him

1:13 who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself.

1:14 The Word was made flesh, he lived among us[*b], and we saw his glory, the glory that is his as the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.

1:15 John appears as his witness. He proclaims: ‘This is the one of whom I said: He who comes after me ranks before me because he existed before me’.

1:16 Indeed, from his fulness we have, all of us, received – yes, grace in return for grace,

1:17 since, though the Law was given through Moses, grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ.

1:18 No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.



The witness of John

1:19 This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews[*c] sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’

1:20 he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, ‘I am not the Christ’.

1:21 ‘Well then,’ they asked ‘are you Elijah?'[*d] ‘I am not’ he said. ‘Are you the Prophet?'[*e] He answered, ‘No’.

1:22 So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’

1:23 So John said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied: a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord’.[*f]

1:24 Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees,

1:25 and they put this further question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?’

1:26 John replied, ‘I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you –

1:27 the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap’.

1:28 This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.

1:29 The next day, seeing Jesus coming towards him, John said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

1:30 This is the one I spoke of when I said: A man is coming after me who ranks before me because he existed before me.

1:31 I did not know him myself, and yet it was to reveal him to Israel that I came baptising with water.’

1:32 John also declared, ‘I saw the Spirit coming down on him from heaven like a dove and resting on him.

1:33 I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is going to baptise with the Holy Spirit”.

1:34 Yes, I have seen and I am the witness that he is the Chosen One of God.’

The first disciples

1:35 On the following day as John stood there again with two of his disciples,

1:36 Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, ‘Look, there is the lamb of God’.

1:37 Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus.

1:38 Jesus turned round, saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘Rabbi,’ – which means Teacher -‘where do you live?’

1:39 ‘Come and see’ he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of that day. It was about the tenth hour[*g].

1:40 One of these two who became followers of Jesus after hearing what John had said was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.

1:41 Early next morning, Andrew met his brother and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ – which means the Christ –

1:42 and he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked hard at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John; you are to be called Cephas’ – meaning Rock.

1:43 The next day, after Jesus had decided to leave for Galilee, he met Philip and said, ‘Follow me’.

1:44 Philip came from the same town, Bethsaida, as Andrew and Peter.

1:45 Philip found Nathanael[*h] and said to him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, the one about whom the prophets wrote: he is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth’.

1:46 ‘From Nazareth?’ said Nathanael ‘Can anything good come from that place?’ ‘Come and see’ replied Philip.

1:47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming he said of him, ‘There is an Israelite who deserves the name, incapable of deceit’.

1:48 ‘How do you know me?’ said Nathanael ‘Before Philip came to call you,’ said Jesus ‘I saw you under the fig tree.’

1:49 Nathanael answered, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel’.

1:50 Jesus replied, ‘You believe that just because I said: I saw you under the fig tree. so You will see greater things than that.’

1:51 And then he added ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will see heaven laid open and, above the Son of Man, the angels of God ascending and descending’.

JB JOHN Chapter 2
The wedding at Cana

2:1 Three days later there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there,

2:2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited.

2:3 When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine’.

2:4 Jesus said ‘Woman, why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’

2:5 His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you'[*a].

2:6 There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons.

2:7 Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’, and they filled them to the brim.

2:8 ‘Draw some out now’ he told them ‘and take it to the steward.’

2:9 They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom

2:10 and said; ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink; but you have kept the best wine till now’.

2:11 This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and the brothers, but they stayed there only a few days.


The cleansing of the Temple

2:13 Just before the Jewish Passover Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

2:14 and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and pigeons, and the money changers sitting at their counters there.

2:15 Making a whip out of some cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, cattle and sheep as well, scattered the money changers’ coins, knocked their tables over

2:16 and said to the pigeon-sellers, ‘Take all this out of here and stop turning my Father’s house into a market’.

2:17 Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: Zeal for your house will devour me.[*b]

2:18 The Jews intervened and said, ‘What sign can you show us to justify what you have done?’

2:19 Jesus answered, ‘Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up’.

2:20 The Jews replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary[*c]: are you going to raise it up in three days?’

2:21 But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body,

2:22 and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said.

2:23 During his stay in Jerusalem for the Passover many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he gave,

2:24 but Jesus knew them all and did not trust himself to them;

2:25 he never needed evidence about any man; he could tell what a man had in him.

JB JOHN Chapter 3


The conversation with Nicodemus

3:1 There was one of the Pharisees called Nicodemus, a leading Jew,

3:2 who came to Jesus by night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who comes from God; for no one could perform the signs that you do unless God were with him’.

3:3 Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God’.

3:4 Nicodemus said, ‘How can a grown man be born? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?’

3:5 Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, unless a man is born through water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God:

3:6 what is born of the flesh is flesh; what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

3:7 Do not be surprised when I say: You must be born from above.

3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases; you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. That is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit.’

3:9 ‘How can that be possible?’ asked Nicodemus.

3:10 ‘You, a teacher in Israel, and you do not know these things!’ replied Jesus.

3:11 ‘I tell you most solemnly, we speak only about what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence.

3:12 If you do not believe me when I speak about things in this world, how are you going to believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?

3:13 No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up

3:14 as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,

3:15 so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.

3:16 Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.

3:17 For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.

3:18 No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.

3:19 On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil.

3:20 And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions should be exposed;

3:21 but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God;’


John bears witness for the last time

3:22 After this, Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and baptised.

3:23 At the same time John was baptising at Aenon[*a] near Salim, where there was plenty of water, and people were going there to be baptised.

3:24 This was before John had been put in prison.

3:25 Now some of John’s disciples had opened a discussion with a Jew about purification,

3:26 so they went to John and said, ‘Rabbi, the man who was with you on the far side of the Jordan, the man to whom you bore witness, is baptising now; and everyone is going to him’.

3:27 John replied: ‘A man can lay claim only to what is given him from heaven.

3:28 ‘You yourselves can bear me out: I said: I myself am not the Christ; I am the one who has been sent in front of him.

3:29 ‘The bride is only for the bridegroom; and yet the bridegroom’s friend, who stands there and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This same joy I feel, and now it is complete.

3:30 He must grow greater, I must grow smaller.

3:31 He who comes from above is above all others; he who is born of the earth is earthly himself and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven

3:32 bears witness to the things he has seen and heard, even if his testimony is not accepted;

3:33 though all who do accept his testimony are attesting the truthfulness of God,

3:34 since he whom God has sent speaks God’s own words: God gives him the Spirit without reserve.

3:35 The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything to him.

3:36 Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life, but anyone who refuses to believe in the Son will never see life: the anger of God stays on him.’

JB JOHN Chapter 4
The saviour of the world revealed to the Samaritans

4:1 When Jesus heard that the Pharisees had found out that he was making and baptising more disciples than John –

4:2 though in fact it was his disciples who baptised, not Jesus himself –

4:3 he left Judaea and went back to Galilee.

4:4 This meant that he had to cross Samaria.

4:5 On the way he came to the Samaritan town called Sychar[*a], near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

4:6 Jacob’s well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour[*b].

4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’.

4:8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.

4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?’ – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans.

4:10 Jesus replied: ‘If you only knew what God is offering and who it is that is saying to you: Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask, and he would have given you living water’.

4:11 ‘You have no bucket, sir,’ she answered ‘and the well is deep: how could you get this living water?

4:12 Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?’

4:13 Jesus replied: ‘Whoever drinks this water will get thirsty again;

4:14 but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give will never be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will turn into a spring inside him, welling up to eternal life’.

4:15 ‘Sir,’ said the woman ‘give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water.’

4:16 ‘Go and call your husband’ said Jesus to her ‘and come back here.’

4:17 The woman answered, ‘I have no husband’. He said to her, ‘You are right to say, “I have no husband”;

4:18 for although you have had five, the one you have now is not your husband. You spoke the truth there.’

4:19 ‘I see you are a prophet, sir’ said the woman.

4:20 ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain[*c], while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’

4:21 Jesus said: ‘Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

4:22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know: for salvation comes from the Jews.

4:23 But the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants.

4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth.’

4:25 The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything’.

4:26 ‘I who am speaking to you,’ said Jesus ‘I am he.’

4:27 At this point his disciples returned, and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, ‘What do you want from her?’ or, ‘Why are you talking to her?’

4:28 The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people.

4:29 ‘Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is the Christ?’

4:30 This brought people out of the town and they started walking towards him.

4:31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, do have something to eat;

4:32 but he said, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about’.

4:33 So the disciples asked one another, ‘Has someone been bringing him food?’

4:34 But Jesus said: ‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work.

4:35 Have you not got a saying: Four months and then the harvest? Well, I tell you: Look around you, look at the fields; already they are white, ready for harvest! Already

4:36 the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, and thus sower and reaper rejoice together.

4:37 For here the proverb holds good: one sows, another reaps;

4:38 I sent you to reap a harvest you had not worked for. Others worked for it; and you have come into the rewards of their trouble.’

4:39 Many Samaritans of that town had believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony when she said, ‘He told me all I have ever done’,

4:40 so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and

4:41 when he spoke to them many more came to believe;

4:42 and they said to the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world’.

The cure of the nobleman’s son

4:43 When the two days were over Jesus left for Galilee.

4:44 He himself had declared that there is no respect for a prophet in his own country,

4:45 but on his arrival the Galileans received him well, having seen all that he had done at Jerusalem during the festival which they too had attended.

4:46 He went again to Cana in Galilee, where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a court official there whose son was ill at Capernaum

4:47 and, hearing that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judaea, he went and asked him to come and cure his son as he was at the point of death.

4:48 Jesus said, ‘So you will not believe unless you see signs and portents!’

4:49 ‘Sir,’ answered the official ‘come down before my child dies.’

4:50 ‘Go home,’ said Jesus ‘your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said and started on his way;

4:51 and while he was still on the journey back his servants met him with the news that his boy was alive.

4:52 He asked them when the boy had begun to recover. ‘The fever left him yesterday’ they said ‘at the seventh hour.’

4:53 The father realised that this was exactly the time when Jesus had said, ‘Your son will live’; and he and all his household believed.

4:54 This was the second sign given by Jesus, on his return from Judaea to Galilee.

JB JOHN Chapter 5


The cure of a sick man at the Pool of Bethzatha

5:1 Some time after this there was a Jewish festival, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

5:2 Now at the Sheep Pool in Jerusalem there is a building, called Bethzatha in Hebrew, consisting of five porticos;

5:3 and under these were crowds of sick people – blind, lame, paralysed – waiting for the water to move;

5:4 for at intervals the angel of the Lord came down into the pool, and the water was disturbed, and the first person to enter the water after this disturbance was cured of any ailment he suffered from.

5:5 One man there had an illness which had lasted thirty-eight years,

5:6 and when Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had been in this condition for a long time, he said, ‘Do you want to be well again?’

5:7 ‘Sir,’ replied the sick man ‘I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is disturbed; and while I am still on the way, someone else gets there before me.’

5:8 Jesus said, ‘Get up, pick up your sleeping-mat and walk’.

5:9 The man was cured at once, and he picked up his mat and walked away. Now that day happened to be the sabbath,

5:10 so the Jews said to the man who had been cured, ‘It is the sabbath; you are not allowed to carry your sleeping-mat’.

5:11 He replied, ‘But the man who cured me told me, “Pick up your mat and walk”‘.

5:12 They asked, ‘Who is the man who said to you, “Pick up your mat and walk”?’

5:13 The man had no idea who it was, since Jesus had disappeared into the crowd that filled the place.

5:14 After a while Jesus met him in the Temple and said, ‘Now you are well again, be sure not to sin any more, or something worse may happen to you’.

5:15 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had cured him.

5:16 It was because he did things like this on the sabbath that the Jews began to persecute Jesus.

5:17 His answer to them was, ‘My Father goes on working, and so do I’.

5:18 But that only made the Jews even more intent on killing him, because, not content with breaking the sabbath, he spoke of God as his own Father, and so made himself God’s equal.

5:19 To this accusation Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees the Father doing: and whatever the Father does the Son does too.

5:20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he does himself, and he will show him even greater things than these, works that will astonish you.

5:21 Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses;

5:22 for the Father judges no one; he has entrusted all judgement to the Son,

5:23 so that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father. Whoever refuses honour to the Son refuses honour to the Father who sent him.

5:24 I tell you most solemnly, whoever listens to my words, and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgement he has passed from death to life.

5:25 I tell you most solemnly, the hour will come – in fact it is here already – when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and all who hear it will live.

5:26 For the Father, who is the source of life, has made the Son the source of life;

5:27 and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge.

5:28 Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice:

5:29 those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation.

5:30 I can do nothing by myself; I can only judge as I am told to judge, and my judging is just, because my aim is to do not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.

5:31 ‘Were I to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid;

5:32 but there is another witness who can speak on my behalf, and I know that his testimony is valid.

5:33 You sent messengers to John, and he gave his testimony to the truth:

5:34 not that I depend on human testimony; no, it is for your salvation that I speak of this.

5:35 John was a lamp alight and shining and for a time you were content to enjoy the light that he gave.

5:36 But my testimony is greater than John’s: the works my Father has given me to carry out, these same works of mine testify that the Father has sent me.

5:37 Besides, the Father who sent me bears witness to me himself. You have never heard his voice, you have never seen his shape,

5:38 and his word finds no home in you because you do not believe in the one he has sent.

5:39 ‘You study the scriptures, believing that in them you have eternal life; now these same scriptures testify to me,

5:40 and yet you refuse to come to me for life!

5:41 As for human approval, this means nothing to me.

5:42 Besides, I know you too well: you have no love of God in you.

5:43 I have come in the name of my Father and you refuse to accept me; if someone else comes in his own name you will accept him.

5:44 How can you believe, since you look to one another for approval and are not concerned with the approval that comes from the one God?

5:45 Do not imagine that I am going to accuse you before the Father: you place your hopes on Moses, and Moses will be your accuser.

5:46 If you really believed him you would believe me too, since it was I that he was writing about;

5:47 but if you refuse to believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?’

JB JOHN Chapter 6


The miracle of the loaves

6:1 Some time after this, Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias –

6:2 and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick.

6:3 Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples.

6:4 It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.

6:5 Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’

6:6 He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do.

6:7 Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each’.

6:8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said,

6:9 ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what is that between so many?’

6:10 Jesus said to them, ‘Make the people sit down’. There was plenty of grass there, and as many as five thousand men sat down.

6:11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and gave them out to all who were sitting ready; he then did the same with the fish, giving out as much as was wanted.

6:12 When they had eaten enough he said to the disciples, ‘Pick up the pieces left over, so that nothing gets wasted’.

6:13 So they picked them up, and filled twelve hampers with scraps left over from the meal of five barley loaves.

6:14 The people, seeing this sign that he had given, said, ‘This really is the prophet who is to come into the world’.

6:15 Jesus, who could see they were about to come and take him by force and make him king, escaped back to the hills by himself.

Jesus walks on the waters

6:16 That evening the disciples went down to the shore of the lake and

6:17 got into a boat to make for Capernaum on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark by now and Jesus had still not rejoined them.

6:18 The wind was strong, and the sea was getting rough.

6:19 They had rowed three or four miles when they saw Jesus walking on the lake and coming towards the boat. This frightened them,

6:20 but he said, ‘It is I. Do not be afraid.’

6:21 They were for taking him into the boat, but in no time it reached the shore at the place they were making for.

The discourse in the synagogue at Capernaum

6:22 Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves.

6:23 Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten.

6:24 When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus.

6:25 When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’

6:26 Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.

6:27 Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.’

6:28 Then they said to him, ‘What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?’

6:29 Jesus gave them this answer, ‘This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent’.

6:30 So they said, ‘What Sign will you give to show us that we should believe in you? What work will you do?

6:31 Our fathers had manna to eat in the desert; as scripture says: He gave them bread from heaven to eat'[*a].

6:32 Jesus answered: ‘I tell you most solemnly, it was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven, it is my Father who gives you the bread from heaven, the true bread;

6:33 for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world’.

6:34 ‘Sir,’ they said ‘give us that bread always.’

6:35 Jesus answered: ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst.

6:36 But, as I have told you, you can see me and still you do not believe.

6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I shall not turn him away;

6:38 because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, but to do the will of the one who sent me.

6:39 Now the will of him who sent me is that I should lose nothing of all that he has given to me, and that I should raise it up on the last day.

6:40 Yes, it is my Father’s will that whoever sees the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and that I shall raise him up on the last day.’

6:41 Meanwhile the Jews were complaining to each other about him, because he had said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven’.

6:42 ‘Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph’ they said. ‘We know his father and mother. How can he now say, “I have come down from heaven”?’

6:43 Jesus said in reply, ‘Stop complaining to each other.

6:44 ‘No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day.

6:45 It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God,[*b] and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it, is to come to me.

6:46 Not that anybody has seen the Father, except the one who comes from God: he has seen the Father.

6:47 I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.

6:48 I am the bread of life.

6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead;

6:50 but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.

6:51 I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’

6:52 Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.

6:53 Jesus replied: I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.

6:54 Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.

6:55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

6:56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.

6:57 As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me.

6:58 This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

6:59 He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.

6:60 After hearing it, many of his followers said, ‘This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?’

6:61 Jesus was aware that his followers were complaining about it and said, ‘Does this upset you?

6:62 What if you should see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before?

6:63 ‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh has nothing to offer. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.

6:64 ‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the outset those who did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.

6:65 He went on, ‘This is why I told you that no one could come to me unless the Father allows him’.

6:66 After this, many of his disciples left him and stopped going with him.

Peter’s profession of faith

6:67 Then Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘What about you, do you want to go away too?’

6:68 Simon Peter answered, ‘Lord, who shall we go to? You have the message of eternal life,

6:69 and we believe; we know that you are the Holy One of God.’

6:70 Jesus replied, ‘Have I not chosen you, you Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.’

6:71 He meant Judas son of Simon Iscariot, since this was the man, one of the Twelve, who was going to betray him.

JB JOHN Chapter 7


Jesus goes up to Jerusalem for the feast and teaches there

7:1 After this Jesus stayed in Galilee; he could not stay in Judaea, because the Jews were out to kill him.

7:2 As the Jewish feast of Tabernacles drew near,

7:3 his brothers[*a] said to him, ‘Why not leave this place and go to Judaea, and let your disciples[*b] see the works you are doing;

7:4 if a man wants to be known he does not do things in secret; since you are doing all this, you should let the whole world see’.

7:5 Not even his brothers, in fact, had faith in him.

7:6 Jesus answered, ‘The right time for me has not come yet, but any time is the right time for you.

7:7 The world cannot hate you, but it does hate me, because I give evidence that its ways are evil.

7:8 Go up to the festival yourselves: I am not going to this festival, because for me the time is not ripe yet.’

7:9 Having said that, he stayed behind in Galilee.

7:10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, but quite privately, without drawing attention to himself.

7:11 At the festival the Jews were on the look-out for him: ‘Where is he?’ they said.

7:12 People stood in groups whispering[*c] about him. Some said, ‘He is a good man’; others, ‘No, he is leading the people astray’.

7:13 Yet no one spoke about him openly, for fear of the Jews.

7:14 When the festival was half over, Jesus went to the Temple and began to teach.

7:15 The Jews were astonished and said, ‘How did he learn to read? He has not been taught.’

7:16 Jesus answered them: ‘My teaching is not from myself: it comes from the one who sent me;

7:17 and if anyone is prepared to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether my doctrine is my own.

7:18 When a man’s doctrine is his own he is hoping to get honour for himself; but when he is working for the honour of one who sent him, then he is sincere and by no means an impostor.

7:19 Did not Moses give you the Law? And yet not one of you keeps the Law! ‘Why do you want to kill me?’

7:20 The crowd replied, ‘You are mad! Who wants to kill you?’

7:21 Jesus answered, ‘One work I did, and you are all surprised by it.

7:22 Moses ordered you to practise circumcision – not that it began with him, it goes back to the patriarchs – and you circumcise on the sabbath.

7:23 Now if a man can be circumcised on the sabbath so that the Law of Moses is not broken, why are you angry with me for making a man whole and complete on a sabbath?

7:24 Do not keep judging according to appearances; let your judgement be according to what is right.’

The people discuss the origin of the Messiah

7:25 Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, ‘Isn’t this the man they want to kill?

7:26 And here he is, speaking freely, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have made up their minds that he is the Christ?

7:27 Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.[*d]

7:28 Then, as Jesus taught in the Temple, he cried out: ‘Yes, you know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of myself: no, there is one who sent me and I really come from him, and you do not know him,

7:29 but I know him because I have come from him and it was he who sent me.’

7:30 They would have arrested him then, but because his time had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.

Jesus foretells his approaching departure

7:31 There were many people in the crowds, however, who believed in him; they were saying, ‘When the Christ comes, will he give more signs than this man?’

7:32 Hearing that rumours like this about him were spreading among the people, the Pharisees sent the Temple police to arrest him.

7:33 Then Jesus said: ‘I shall remain with you for only a short time now; then I shall go back to the one who sent me.

7:34 You will look for me and will not find me: where I am you cannot come.’

7:35 The Jews then said to one another, ‘Where is he going that we shan’t be able to find him? Is he going abroad to the people who are dispersed among the Greeks and will he teach the Greeks?

7:36 What does he mean when he says: “You will look for me and will not find me: where I am, you cannot come”?’

The promise of living water

7:37 On the last day and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood there and cried out: ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink

7:38 who believes in me!’ As scripture says: From his breast shall flow fountains of living water.[*e]

7:39 He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Fresh discussions on the origin of the Messiah

7:40 Several people who had been listening said, ‘Surely he must be the prophet’,

7:41 and some said, ‘He is the Christ’, but others said, ‘Would the Christ be from Galilee?

7:42 Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem?’

7:43 So the people could not agree about him.

7:44 Some would have liked to arrest him, but no one actually laid hands on him.

7:45 The police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees who said to them, ‘Why haven’t you brought him?’

7:46 The police replied, ‘There has never been anybody who has spoken like him’.

7:47 ‘So’ the Pharisees answered ‘you have been led astray as well?

7:48 Have any of the authorities believed in him? Any of the Pharisees?

7:49 This rabble knows nothing about the Law – they are damned.’

7:50 One of them, Nicodemus – the same man who had come to Jesus earlier – said to them,

7:51 ‘But surely the Law does not allow us to pass judgement on a man without giving him a hearing and discovering what he is about?’

7:52 To this they answered, ‘Are you a Galilean too? Go into the matter, and see for yourself: prophets do not come out of Galilee.’

The adulterous woman[*f]

They all went home,

JB JOHN Chapter 8

8:1 and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

8:2 At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.

8:3 The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody,

8:4 they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery,

8:5 and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’

8:6 They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger.

8:7 As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her’.

8:8 Then be bent down and wrote on the ground again.

8:9 When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there.

8:10 He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’

8:11 ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and don’t sin any more.’

Jesus, the light of the world

8:12 When Jesus spoke to the people again, he said: ‘I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; he will have the light of life’.

A discussion on the testimony of Jesus to himself

8:13 At this the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid’.

8:14 Jesus replied: ‘It is true that I am testifying on my own behalf, but my testimony is still valid, because I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

8:15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one,

8:16 but if I judge, my judgement will be sound, because I am not alone: the one who sent me is with me;

8:17 and in your Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid.

8:18 I may be testifying on my own behalf, but the Father who sent me is my witness too.’

8:19 They asked him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered: ‘You do not know me, nor do you know my Father; if you did know me, you would know my Father as well’.

8:20 He spoke these words in the Treasury, while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him, because his time had not yet come.

The unbelieving Jews warned

8:21 Again he said to them: ‘I am going away; you will look for me and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’

8:22 The Jews said to one another, ‘Will he kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’

8:23 Jesus went on: ‘You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

8:24 I have told you already: You will die in your sins. Yes, if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.’

8:25 So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered: ‘What I have told you from the outset.

8:26 About you I have much to say and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is truthful, and what I have learnt from him I declare to the world.’

8:27 They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father.

8:28 So Jesus said: ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He and that I do nothing of myself: what the Father has taught me is what I preach;

8:29 he who sent me is with me, and has not left me to myself, for I always do what pleases him’.

8:30 As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.

Jesus and Abraham

8:31 To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: ‘If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples,

8:32 you will learn the truth and the truth will make you free’.

8:33 They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’

8:34 Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, everyone who commits sin is a slave.

8:35 Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured, but the son’s place is assured.

8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

8:37 I know that you are descended from Abraham; but in spite of that you want to kill me because nothing I say has penetrated into you.

8:38 What I; for my part, speak of is what I have seen with my Father; but you, you put into action the lessons learnt from your father.’

8:39 They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham’. Jesus said to them: ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did.

8:40 As it is, you want to kill me when I tell you the truth as I have learnt it from God; that is not what Abraham did.

8:41 What you are doing is what your father does.’ ‘We were not born of prostitution,'[*a] they went on ‘we have one father: God.’

8:42 Jesus answered: ‘If God were your father, you would love me, since I have come here from God; yes, I have come from him; not that I came because I chose, no, I was sent, and by him.

8:43 Do you know why you cannot take in what I say? It is because you are unable to understand my language.

8:44 The devil is your father, and you prefer to do what your father wants. He was a murderer from the start; he was never grounded in the truth; there is no truth in him at all: when he lies he is drawing on his own store, because he is a liar, and the father of lies.

8:45 But as for me, I speak the truth and for that very reason, you do not believe me.

8:46 Can one of you convict me of sin? If I speak the truth, why do you not believe me?

8:47 A child of God listens to the words of God; if you refuse to listen, it is because you are not God’s children.’

8:48 The Jews replied, ‘Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and possessed by a devil?’ Jesus answered:

8:49 ‘I am not possessed; no, I honour my Father, but you want to dishonour me.

8:50 Not that I care for my own glory, there is someone who takes care of that and is the judge of it.

8:51 I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death.’

8:52 The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death”.

8:53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’

8:54 Jesus answered: ‘If I were to seek my own glory that would be no glory at all; my glory is. conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, “He is our God”

8:55 although you do not know him. But I know him, and if I were to say: I do not know him, I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves. But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word.

8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.’

8:57 The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’

8:58 Jesus replied: ‘I tell you most solemnly, before Abraham ever was, I Am’.

8:59 At this they picked up stones to throw at him[*b]; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

JB JOHN Chapter 9

The cure of the man born blind

9:1 As he went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.

9:2 His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’

9:3 ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

9:4 ‘As long as the day lasts I must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work.

9:5 As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world.’

9:6 Having said this, he spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man.

9:7 and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam[*a] (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.

9:8 His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’

9:9 Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one’. Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him’. The man himself said, ‘I am the man’.

9:10 So they said to him, ‘Then how do your eyes come to be open?’

9:11 ‘The man called Jesus’ he answered ‘made a paste, daubed my eyes with it and said to me, “Go and wash at Siloam”; so I went, and when I washed I could see.’

9:12 They asked, ‘Where is he?’ ‘I don’t know’ he answered.

9:13 They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees.

9:14 It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes,

9:15 so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see’.

9:16 Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath’. Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them.

9:17 So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man.

9:18 However, the Jews would not believe that the man had been blind and had gained his sight, without first sending for his parents and

9:19 asking them, ‘Is this man really your son who you say was born blind? If so, how is it that he is now able to see?’

9:20 His parents answered, ‘We know he is our son and we know he was born blind,

9:21 but we don’t know how it is that he can see now, or who opened his eyes. He is old enough: let him speak for himself.’

9:22 His parents spoke like this out of fear of the Jews, who had already agreed to expel from the synagogue anyone who should acknowledge Jesus as the Christ.

9:23 This was why his parents said, ‘He is old enough; ask him’.

9:24 So the Jews again sent for the man and said to him, ‘Give glory to God![*b] For our part, we know that this man is a sinner.’

9:25 The man answered, ‘I don’t know if he is a sinner; I only know that I was blind and now I can see’.

9:26 They said to him, ‘What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?’

9:27 He replied, ‘I have told you once and you wouldn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it all again? Do you want to become his disciples too?’

9:28 At this they hurled abuse at him: ‘You can be his disciple,’ they said ‘we are disciples of Moses:

9:29 we know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from’.

9:30 The man replied, ‘Now here is an astonishing thing! He has opened my eyes, and you don’t know where he comes from!

9:31 We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but God does listen to men who are devout and do his will.

9:32 Ever since the world began it is unheard of for anyone to open the eyes of a man who was born blind;

9:33 if this man were not from God, he couldn’t do a thing.’

9:34 ‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

9:35 Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’

9:36 ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’

9:37 Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you’.

9:38 The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.

9:39 Jesus said: ‘It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight turn blind’.

9:40 Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘We are not blind, surely?’

9:41 Jesus replied: ‘Blind? If you were, you would not be guilty, but since you say, “We see”, your guilt remains.

JB JOHN Chapter 10

The good shepherd

10:1 ‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand.

10:2 The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock;

10:3 the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out.

10:4 When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice.

10:5 They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’

10:6 Jesus told them[*a] this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.

10:7 So Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold.

10:8 All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them

10:9 I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture.

10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.

10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.

10:12 The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;

10:13 this is because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.

10:14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,

10:15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.

10:16 And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.

10:17 The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

10:18 No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as it is in my power to lay it down, so it is in my power to take it up again; and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’

10:19 These words caused disagreement among the Jews.

10:20 Many said, ‘He is possessed, he is raving; why bother to listen to him?’

10:21 Others said, ‘These are not the words of a man possessed by a devil: could a devil open the eyes of the blind?’


Jesus claims to he the Son of God

10:22 It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter,

10:23 and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon.

10:24 The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’

10:25 Jesus replied: ‘I have told you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;

10:26 but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.

10:27 The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.

10:28 I give them eternal life; they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me.

10:29 The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone, and no one can steal from the Father.

10:30 The Father and I are one.’

10:31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,

10:32 so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’

10:33 The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’

10:34 Jesus answered: ‘Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods?[*b]

10:35 So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected.

10:36 Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, “You are blaspheming”, because he says, “I am the son of God”.

10:37 If I am not doing my Father’s work, there is no need to believe me;

10:38 but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.’

10:39 They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them.

Jesus withdraws to the other side of the Jordan

10:40 He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising.

10:41 Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’;

10:42 and many of them believed in him.

JB JOHN Chapter 11
The resurrection of Lazarus

11:1 There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. –

11:2 It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.

11:3 The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill’.

11:4 On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified’.

11:5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,

11:6 yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days

11:7 before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea’.

11:8 The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’

11:9 Jesus replied: ‘Are there not twelve hours in the day? A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling because he has the light of this world to see by;

11:10 but if he walks at night he stumbles, because there is no light to guide him.’

11:11 He said that and then added, ‘Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him’.

11:12 The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better’.

11:13 The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by ‘rest’ he meant ‘sleep’, so

11:14 Jesus put it plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead;

11:15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.’

11:16 Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the other disciples, ‘Let us go too, and die with him’.

11:17 On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already.

11:18 Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem,

11:19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother.

11:20 When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house.

11:21 Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died,

11:22 but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you’.

11:23 ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’

11:24 Martha said, ‘1 know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day’.

11:25 Jesus said: ‘I am the resurrection. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

11:26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’

11:27 ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

11:28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, ‘The Master is here and wants to see you’.

11:29 Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him.

11:30 Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him.

11:31 When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

11:32 Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’.

11:33 At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart,

11:34 ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see’.

11:35 Jesus wept;

11:36 and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’

11:37 But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’

11:38 Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening.

11:39 Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away’. Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day’.

11:40 Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’

11:41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said: ‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

11:42 I knew indeed that you always hear me, but I speak for the sake of all these who stand round me, so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’

11:43 When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’

11:44 The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free’.

The Jewish leaders decide on the death of Jesus

11:45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him,

11:46 but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.

11:47 Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. ‘Here is this man working all these signs’ they said ‘and what action are we taking?

11:48 If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.’

11:49 One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, ‘You don’t seem to have grasped the situation at all;

11:50 you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed’.

11:51 He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophecy that Jesus was to die for the nation –

11:52 and not for the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God.

11:53 From that day they were determined to kill him.

11:54 So Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples.



The Passover draws near

11:55 The Jewish Passover drew near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem to purify themselves

11:56 looked out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple, ‘What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?’

11:57 The chief priests and Pharisees had by now given their orders: anyone who knew where he was must inform them so that they could arrest him.

JB JOHN Chapter 12

The anointing at Bethany

12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead.

12:2 They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table.

12:3 Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment.

12:4 Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said,

12:5 ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor?’

12:6 He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contributions.

12:7 So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial.

12:8 You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’

12:9 Meanwhile a large number of Jews heard that he was there and came not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead.

12:10 Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well,

12:11 since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.

The Messiah enters Jerusalem

12:12 The next day the crowds who had come up for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.

12:13 They took branches of palm and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessings on the King of Israel, who comes in the name of the Lord.'[*a]

12:14 Jesus found a young donkey and mounted it – as scripture says:

12:15 Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, mounted on the colt of a donkey.[*b]

12:16 At the time his disciples did not understand this, but later, after Jesus had been glorified, they remembered that this had been written about him and that this was in fact how they had received him.

12:17 All who had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead were telling how they had witnessed it;

12:18 it was because of this, too, that the crowd came out to meet him: they had heard that he had given this sign.

12:19 Then the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see, there is nothing you can do; look, the whole world is running after him!’

Jesus foretells his death and subsequent glorification

12:20 Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.[*c]

12:21 These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus’.

12:22 Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus.

12:23 Jesus replied to them: ‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

12:24 I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

12:25 Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.

12:26 If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too. If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

12:27 Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say: Father, save me from this hour? But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.

12:28 Father, glorify your name!’ A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’

12:29 People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him’.

12:30 Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

12:31 ‘Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.[*d]

12:32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself.’

12:33 By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.

12:34 The crowd answered, ‘The Law has taught us that the Christ will remain for ever. How can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this Son of Man?’

12:35 Jesus then said: ‘The light will be with you only a little longer now. Walk while you have the light, or the dark will overtake you; he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.

12:36 While you still have the light, believe in the light and you will become sons of light.’ Having said this, Jesus left them and kept himself hidden.

Conclusion: the unbelief of the Jews

12:37 Though they had been present when he gave so many signs, they did not believe in him;

12:38 this was to fulfil the words of the prophet Isaiah: Lord, who could believe what we have heard said, and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?[*e]

12:39 Indeed, they were unable to believe because, as Isaiah says again:

12:40 He has blinded their eyes, he has hardened their heart, for fear they should see with their eyes and understand with their heart, and turn to me for healing.[*f]

12:41 Isaiah said this when saw his glory,[*g] and his words referred to Jesus.

12:42 And yet there were many who did believe in him, even among the leading men, but they did not admit it, through fear of the Pharisees and fear of being expelled from the synagogue:

12:43 they put honour from men before the honour that comes from God.

12:44 Jesus declared publicly: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in the one who sent me,

12:45 and whoever sees me, sees the one who sent me.

12:46 I, the light, have come into the world, so that whoever believes in me need not stay in the dark any more.

12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully, it is not I who shall condemn him, since I have come not to condemn the world, but to save the world:

12:48 he who rejects me and refuses my words has his judge already: the word itself that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.

12:49 For what I have spoken does not come from myself; no, what I was to say, what I had to speak, was commanded by the Father who sent me,

12:50 and I know that his commands mean eternal life. And therefore what the Father has told me is what I speak.’

JB JOHN Chapter 13


Jesus washes his disciples’ feet

13:1 It was before the festival of the Passover, and Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had always loved those who were his in the world, but now he showed how perfect his love was.

13:2 They were at supper, and the devil had already put it into the mind of Judas Iscariot son of Simon, to betray him.

13:3 Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God,

13:4 and he got up from table, removed his outer garment and, taking a towel, wrapped it round his waist;

13:5 he then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet[*a] and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing.

13:6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’

13:7 Jesus answered, ‘At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand’.

13:8 ‘Never!’ said Peter ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus replied, ‘If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me’.

13:9 ‘Then, Lord,’ said Simon Peter ‘not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!’

13:10 Jesus said, ‘No one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are.’

13:11 He knew who was going to betray him, that was why he said, ‘though not all of you are’.

13:12 When he had washed their feet and put on his clothes again he went back to the table. ‘Do you understand’ he said ‘what I have done to you?

13:13 You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am.

13:14 If I, then, the Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet.

13:15 I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you.

13:16 ‘I tell you most solemnly, no servant is greater than his master, no messenger is greater than the man who sent him.

13:17 ‘Now that you know this, happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly.

13:18 I am not speaking about all of you: I know the ones I have chosen; but what scripture says must be fulfilled: Someone who shares my table rebels against me.[*b]

13:19 ‘I tell you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe that I am He.

13:20 I tell you most solemnly, whoever welcomes the one I send welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.’

The treachery of Judas foretold

13:21 Having said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, ‘I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me’.

13:22 The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant.

13:23 The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus;

13:24 Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means’,

13:25 so leaning back on Jesus’ breast he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’

13:26 ‘lt is the one’ replied Jesus ‘to whom I give the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.’ He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.

13:27 At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly’.

13:28 None of the others at table understood the reason he said this.

13:29 Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’, or telling him to give something to the poor.

13:30 As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen.

13:31 When he had gone Jesus said: ‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified, and in him God has been glorified.

13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will in turn glorify him in himself,[*c] and will glorify him very soon.

Farewell discourses

13:33 ‘My little children, I shall not be with you much longer. You will look for me, and, as I told the Jews, where I am going, you cannot come.

13:34 I give you a new commandment: love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.

13:35 By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples.’

13:36 Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later’.

13:37 Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’

13:38 ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.

JB JOHN Chapter 14

14:1 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me.

14:2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you,

14:3 and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too.

14:4 You know the way to the place where I am going.’

14:5 Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

14:6 Jesus said: ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

14:7 If you know me, you know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

14:8 Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied’.

14:9 ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me? ‘To have seen me is to have seen the, Father, so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?

14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.

14:11 You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.

14:12 I tell you most solemnly, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father.

14:13 Whatever you ask for in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

14:14 If you ask for anything in my name, I will do it.

14:15 If you love me you will keep my commandments.

14:16 I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate[*a] to be with you for ever,

14:17 that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.

14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you.

14:19 In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see me, because I live and you will live.

14:20 On that day you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.

14:21 Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me; and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

14:22 Judas[*b] – this was not Judas Iscariot – said to him, ‘Lord, what is all this about? Do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’

14:23 Jesus replied: ‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him.

14:24 Those who do not love me do not keep my words. And my word is not my own: it is the word of the one who sent me.

14:25 I have said these things to you while still with you;

14:26 but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

14:27 Peace[*c] I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

14:28 You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return. If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

14:29 I have told you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.

14:30 I shall not talk with you any longer, because the prince of this world is on his way. He has no power over me,

14:31 but the world must be brought to know that I love the Father and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me. Come now, let us go.

JB JOHN Chapter 15

The true vine

15:1 ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

15:2 Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more.

15:3 You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

15:4 Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.

15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing.

15:6 Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire, and they are burnt.

15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it.

15:8 It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.

15:9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love,

15:10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

15:11 I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.

15:12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.

15:13 A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

15:14 You are my friends, if you do what I command you.

15:15 I shall not call you servants any more, because a servant does not know his master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.

15:16 You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.

15:17 What I command you is to love one another.

The hostile world

15:18 ‘If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you.

15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice withdrew you from the world, therefore the world hates you.

15:20 Remember the words I said to 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 as well.

15:21 But it will be on my account that they will do all this, because they do not know the one who sent me.

15:22 If I had not come, if I had not spoken to them, they would have been blameless; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.

15:23 Anyone who hates me hates my Father.

15:24 If I had not performed such works among them as no one else has ever done, they would be blameless; but as it is, they have seen all this, and still they hate both me and my Father.

15:25 But all this was only to fulfil the words written in their Law: They hated me for no reason.[*a]

15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who issues from the Father, he will be my witness.

15:27 And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with me from the outset.

JB JOHN Chapter 16

16:1 ‘I have told you all this that your faith may not be shaken.

16:2 They will expel you from the synagogues, and indeed the hour is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is doing a holy duty for God.

16:3 They will do these things because they have never known either the Father or myself.

16:4 But I have told you all this, so that when the time for it comes you may remember that I told you.

The coming of the Advocate

‘I did not tell you this from the outset, because I was with you;

16:5 but now I am going to the one who sent me. Not one of you has asked, “Where are you going?”

16:6 Yet you are sad at heart because I have told you this.

16:7 Still, I must tell you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going because unless I go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I do go, I will send him to you.

16:8 And when he comes, he will show the world how wrong it was, about sin, and about who was in the right, and about judgement:

16:9 about sin: proved by their refusal to believe in me;

16:10 about who was in the right: proved by my going to the Father and your seeing me no more;

16:11 about judgement: proved by the prince of this world being already condemned.

16:12 I still have many things to say to you but they would be too much for you now.

16:13 But when the Spirit of truth comes he will lead you to the complete truth, since he will not be speaking as from himself but will say only what he has learnt; and he will tell you of the things to come.

16:14 He will glorify me, since all he tells you will be taken from what is mine.

16:15 Everything the Father has is mine; that is why I said: All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.

Jesus to return very soon

16:16 ‘In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.’

16:17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What does he mean, “In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again” and, “I am going to the Father”?

16:18 What is this “short time”? We don’t know what he means.’

16:19 Jesus knew that they wanted to question him, so he said, ‘You are asking one another what I meant by saying: In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.

16:20 ‘I tell you most solemnly, you will be weeping and wailing while the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.

16:21 A woman in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering in her joy that a man has been born into the world.

16:22 So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you.

16:23 When that day comes, you will not ask me any questions. I tell you most solemnly, anything you ask for from the Father he will grant in my name.

16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and so your joy will be complete.

16:25 I have been telling you all this in metaphors, the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in metaphors; but tell you about the Father in plain words.

16:26 When that day comes you will ask in my name; and I do not say that I shall pray to the Father for you,

16:27 because the Father himself loves you for loving me and believing that I came from God.

16:28 I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I leave the world to go to the Father.’

16:29 His disciples said, ‘Now you are speaking plainly and not using metaphors!

16:30 Now we see that you know everything, and do not have to wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.’

16:31 Jesus answered them: ‘Do you believe at last?

16:32 Listen; the time will come – in fact it has come already – when you will be scattered, each going his own way and leaving me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

16:33 I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world.’

JB JOHN Chapter 17

The priestly prayer of Christ

After saying this, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

17:1 ‘Father, the hour has come: glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you;

17:2 and, through the power over all mankind[*a] that you have given him, let him give eternal life to all those you have entrusted to him.

17:3 And eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

17:4 I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do.

17:5 Now, Father, it is time for you to glorify me with that glory I had with you before ever the world was.

17:6 I have made your name known to the men you took from the world to give me. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

17:7 Now at last they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you;

17:8 for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have truly accepted this, that I came from you, and have believed that it was you who sent me.

17:9 I pray for them; I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you:

17:10 all I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified.

17:11 I am not in the world any longer, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us.

17:12 While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name. I have watched over them and not one is lost except the one who chose to be lost,[*b] and this was to fulfil the scriptures.

17:13 But now I am coming to you and while still in the world I say these things to share my joy with them to the full.

17:14 I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world.

17:15 I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the evil one.

17:16 They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.

17:17 Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth.

17:18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,

17:19 and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.

17:20 I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me.

17:21 May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.

17:22 I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one.

17:23 With me in them and you in me, may they be so completely one that the world will realise that it was you who sent me and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.

17:24 Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may always see the glory you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

17:25 Father, Righteous One, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.

17:26 I have made your name known to them and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and so that I may be in them.’

JB JOHN Chapter 18


The arrest of Jesus

18:1 After he had said all this Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples.

18:2 Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there,

18:3 and he brought the cohort[*a] to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons.

18:4 Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said, ‘Who are you looking for?’

18:5 They answered, ‘Jesus the Nazarene’. He said, ‘I am he’. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them.

18:6 When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground.

18:7 He asked them a second time, ‘Who are you looking for?’ They said, ‘Jesus the Nazarene’.

18:8 ‘I have told you that I am he’ replied Jesus. ‘If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.’

18:9 This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost’.

18:10 Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.

18:11 Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’

Jesus before Annas and Caiaphas. Peter disowns him

18:12 The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him.

18:13 They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.

18:14 It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people’.

18:15 Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest’s palace,

18:16 but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in.

18:17 The maid on duty at the door said to Peter, ‘Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?’ He answered, ‘I am not’.

18:18 Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.

18:19 The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

18:20 Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together: I have said nothing in secret.

18:21 But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.’

18:22 At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying, ‘Is that the way to answer the high priest?’

18:23 Jesus replied, ‘If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?’

18:24 Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

18:25 As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him, ‘Aren’t you another of his disciples?’ He denied it saying, ‘I am not’.

18:26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said, ‘Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?’

18:27 Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.

Jesus before Pilate

18:28 They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium.[*b] It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled[*c] and unable to eat the passover.

18:29 So Pilate came outside to them and said, ‘What charge do you bring against this man?’ They replied,

18:30 ‘If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you’.

18:31 Pilate said, ‘Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law’. The Jews answered, ‘We are not allowed to put a man to death’.

18:32 This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.

18:33 So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ he asked.

18:34 Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’

18:35 Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’

18:36 Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’

18:37 ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’

18:38 ‘Truth?’ said Pilate ‘What is that?’; and with that he went out again to the Jews and said, ‘I find no case against him.

18:39 But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?’

18:40 At this they shouted: ‘Not this man,’ they said ‘but Barabbas’. Barabbas was a brigand.

JB JOHN Chapter 19

19:1 Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged;

19:2 and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe.

19:3 They kept coming up to him and saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’; and they slapped him in the face.

19:4 Pilate came outside again and said to them, ‘Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case’.

19:5 Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said, ‘Here is the man’.

19:6 When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ Pilate said, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him’.

19:7 ‘We have a Law,’ the Jews replied ‘and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.’

19:8 When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased.

19:9 Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus, ‘Where do you come from?’ But Jesus made no answer.

19:10 Pilate then said to him, ‘Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?’

19:11 ‘You would have no power over me’ replied Jesus ‘if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.’

Jesus is condemned to death

19:12 From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted, ‘If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar’.

19:13 Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha.

19:14 It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour.[*a] ‘Here is your king’ said Pilate to the Jews.

19:15 ‘Take him away, take him away!’ they said. ‘Crucify him!’ ‘Do you want me to crucify your king?’ said Pilate. The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king except Caesar’.

19:16 So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The crucifixion

They then took charge of Jesus,

19:17 and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha,

19:18 where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle.

19:19 Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews’.

19:20 This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek.

19:21 So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate, ‘You should not write “King of the Jews”, but “This man said: I am King of the Jews”‘.

19:22 Pilate answered, ‘What I have written, I have written’.

Christ’s garments divided

19:23 When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem;

19:24 so they said to one another, ‘Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it’. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: They shared out my clothing among them. They cast lots for my clothes.[*b] This is exactly what the soldiers did.

Jesus and his mother

19:25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.

19:26 Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.

19:27 Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother’. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

The death of Jesus

19:28 After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said: ‘I am thirsty’.[*c]

19:29 A jar-full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth.

19:30 After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

The pierced Christ

19:31 It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken[*d] and the bodies taken away.

19:32 Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other.

19:33 When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs

19:34 one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.

19:35 This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well.

19:36 Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture: Not one bone of his will be broken;[*e]

19:37 and again, in another place scripture says: They will look on the one whom they have pierced.[*f]

The burial

19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus – though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away.

19:39 Nicodemus came as well – the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time – and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

19:40 They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom.

19:41 At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried.

19:42 Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.

JB JOHN Chapter 20


The empty tomb

20:1 It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the tomb

20:2 and came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved. ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb’ she said ‘and we don’t know where they have put him.’

20:3 So Peter set out with the other disciple to go to the tomb.

20:4 They ran together, but the other disciple, running faster than Peter, reached the tomb first;

20:5 he bent down and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground, but did not go in.

20:6 Simon Peter who was following now came up, went right into the tomb, saw the linen cloths on the ground,

20:7 and also the cloth that had been over his head; this was not with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.

20:8 Then the other disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in; he saw and he believed.

20:9 Till this moment they had failed to understand the teaching of scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

20:10 The disciples then went home again.

The appearance to Mary of Magdala

20:11 Meanwhile Mary stayed outside near the tomb, weeping. Then, still weeping, she stooped to look inside,

20:12 and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head, the other at the feet.

20:13 They said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ ‘They have taken my Lord away’ she replied ‘and I don’t know where they have put him.’

20:14 As she said this she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, though she did not recognise him.

20:15 Jesus said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him’.

20:16 Jesus said, ‘Mary!’ She knew him then and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuni!’ – which means Master.

20:17 Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go and find the brothers, and tell them: I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’

20:18 So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that he had said these things to her.

Appearances to the disciples

20:19 In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’,

20:20 and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord,

20:21 and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

20:22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:23 For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained.’

20:24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

20:25 When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe’.

20:26 Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said.

20:27 Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’

20:28 Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’

20:29 Jesus said to him: ‘You believe because you can see me. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’


20:30 There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book.

20:31 These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

JB JOHN Chapter 21


The appearance on the shore of Tiberias

21:1 Later on, Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this:

21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together.

21:3 Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing’. They replied, ‘We’ll come with you’. They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.

21:4 It was light by now and there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.

21:5 Jesus called out, ‘Have you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No’,

21:6 he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something’. So they dropped the net, and there were so many fish that they could not haul it in.

21:7 The disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord’. At these words ‘It is the Lord’, Simon Peter, who had practically nothing on, wrapped his cloak round him and jumped into the water.

21:8 The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net and the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.

21:9 As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there, and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it.

21:10 Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught’.

21:11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken.

21:12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast’. None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’; they knew quite well it was the Lord.

21:13 Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish.

21:14 This was the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.

21:15 After the meal Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs’.

21:16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep’.

21:17 Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you’. Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.

21:18 ‘I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.’

21:19 In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me’.

21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on his breast at the supper and had said to him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray you?’

21:21 Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’

21:22 Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow me.’

21:23 The rumour then went out among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus had not said to Peter, ‘He will not die’, but, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come’.


21:24 This disciple is the one who vouches for these things and has written them down, and we know that his testimony is true.

21:25 There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written.

END OF JB JOHN [21 Chapters].




1:1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.


1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth. Your love is more delightful than wine;

1:3 delicate is the fragrance of your perfume, your name is an oil poured out, and that is why the maidens love you.

1:4 Draw me in your footsteps, let us run. The King has brought me into his rooms; you will be our joy and our gladness. We shall praise your love above wine; how right it is to love you.



1:5 I am black but lovely, daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the pavilions of Salmah,

1:6 Take no notice of my swarthiness, it is the sun that has burnt me. My mother’s sons turned their anger on me, they made me look after the vineyards. Had I only looked after my own!

1:7 Tell me then, you whom my heart loves: Where will you lead your flock to graze, where will you rest it at noon? That I may no more wander like a vagabond beside the flocks of your companions.


1:8 If you do not know this, O loveliest of women, follow the tracks of the flock, and take your kids to graze close by the shepherds’ tents.


1:9 To my mare harnessed to Pharaoh’s chariot I compare you, my love.

1:10 Your cheeks show fair between their pendants and your neck within its necklaces.

1:11 We shall make you golden earrings and beads of silver.


1:12 – While the King rests in his own room my nard yields its perfume.

1:13 My Beloved is a sachet of myrrh lying between my breasts.

1:14 My Beloved is a cluster of henna flowers among the vines of Engedi.

1:15 – How beautiful you are, my love, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves.

1:16 – How beautiful you are, my Beloved, and how delightful! All green is our bed.

1:17 – The beams of our house are of cedar, the panelling of cypress.


2:1 – I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys.

2:2 – As a lily among the thistles, so is my love among the maidens.

2:3 – As an apple tree among the trees of the orchard, so is my Beloved among the young men. In his longed-for shade I am seated and his fruit is sweet to my taste.

2:4 He has taken me to his banquet hall, and the banner he raises over me is love.

2:5 Feed me with raisin cakes, restore me with apples, for I am sick with love.

2:6 His left arm is under my head, his right embraces me.

2:7 – I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, by the hinds of the field, not to stir my love, nor rouse it, until it please to awake.



2:8 I hear my Beloved. See how he comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills.

2:9 My Beloved is like a gazelle, like a young stag. See where he stands behind our wall. He looks in at the window, he peers through the lattice.

2:10 My Beloved lifts up his voice, he says to me, ‘Come then, my love, my lovely one, come.

2:11 For see, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.

2:12 The flowers appear on the earth. The season of glad songs has come, the cooing of the turtledove is heard in our land.

2:13 The fig tree is forming its first figs and the blossoming vines give out their fragrance. Come then, my love, my lovely one, come.

2:14 My dove, hiding in the clefts of the rock, in the coverts of the cliff, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful.’

2:15 Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that make havoc of the vineyards, for our vineyards are in flower.

2:16 My Beloved is mine and I am his. He pastures his flock among the lilies.

2:17 Before the dawn-wind rises, before the shadows flee, return! Be, my Beloved, like a gazelle, a young stag, on the mountains of the covenant.


3:1 On my bed, at night, I sought him whom my heart loves. I sought but did not find him.

3:2 So I will rise and go through the City; in the streets and the squares I will seek him whom my heart loves. … I sought but did not find him.

3:3 The watchmen came upon me on their rounds in the City: ‘Have you seen him whom my heart loves?’

3:4 Scarcely had I passed them than I found him whom my heart loves. I held him fast, nor would I let him go till I had brought him into my mother’s house, into the room of her who conceived me.


3:5 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles, by the hinds of the field, not to stir my love, nor rouse it, until it please to awake.


3:6 What is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, breathing of myrrh and frankincense and every perfume the merchant knows?

3:7 See, it is the litter of Solomon. Around it are sixty champions, the flower of the warriors of Israel;

3:8 all of them skilled swordsmen, veterans of battle. Each man has his sword at his side, against alarms by night.

3:9 King Solomon has made himself a throne of wood from Lebanon.

3:10 The posts he has made of silver, the canopy of gold, the seat of purple; the back is inlaid with ebony.

3:11 Daughters of Zion, come and see King Solomon, wearing the diadem with which his mother crowned him on his wedding day, on the day of his heart’s joy.



4:1 How beautiful you are, my love, how beautiful you are! Your eyes, behind your veil, are doves; your hair is like a flock of goats frisking down the slopes of Gilead.

4:2 Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes as they come up from the washing. Each one has its twin, not one unpaired with another.

4:3 Your lips are a scarlet thread and your words enchanting. Your cheeks, behind your veil, are halves of pomegranate.

4:4 Your neck is the tower of David built as a fortress, hung round with a thousand bucklers, and each the shield of a hero.

4:5 Your two breasts are two fawns, twins of a gazelle, that feed among the lilies.

4:6 Before the dawn-wind rises, before the shadows flee, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense.

4:7 You are wholly beautiful, my love, and without a blemish.

4:8 Come from Lebanon, my promised bride, come from Lebanon, come on your way. Lower your gaze, from the heights of Amana, from the crests of Senir and Hermon, the haunt of lions, the mountains of leopards.

4:9 You ravish my heart, my sister,[*a] my promised bride, you ravish my heart with a single one of your glances, with one single pearl of your necklace.

4:10 What spells lie in your love, my sister, my promised bride! How delicious is your love, more delicious than wine! How fragrant your perfumes, more fragrant than all other spices!

4:11 Your lips, my promised one, distil wild honey. Honey and milk are under your tongue; and the scent of your garments is like the scent of Lebanon.

4:12 She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride; a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain.

4:13 Your shoots form an orchard of pomegranate trees, the rarest essences are yours:

4:14 nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all the incense-bearing trees; myrrh and aloes, with the subtlest odours.

4:15 Fountain that makes the gardens fertile, well of living water, streams flowing down from Lebanon.


4:16 Awake, north wind, come, wind of the south! Breathe over my garden, to spread its sweet smell around. Let my Beloved come into his garden, let him taste its rarest fruits.



5:1 I come into my garden, my sister, my promised bride, I gather my myrrh and balsam, I eat my honey and my honeycomb, I drink my wine and my milk. Eat, friends, and drink, drink deep, my dearest friends.



5:2 I sleep, but my heart is awake. I hear my Beloved knocking. ‘Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my perfect one, for my head is covered with dew, my locks with the drops of night.’

5:3 – ‘I have taken off my tunic, am I to put it on again? I have washed my feet, am I to dirty them again?’

5:4 My Beloved thrust his hand through the hole in the door; I trembled to the core of my being.

5:5 Then I rose to open to my Beloved, myrrh ran off my hands, pure myrrh off my fingers, on to the handle of the bolt.

5:6 I opened to my Beloved, but he had turned his back and gone! My soul failed at his flight. I sought him but I did not find him, I called to him but he did not answer.

5:7 The watchmen came upon me as they made their rounds in the City. They beat me, they wounded me, they took away my cloak, they who guard the ramparts.

5:8 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, if you should find my Beloved, what must you tell him…? That I am sick with love.


5:9 What makes your Beloved better than other lovers, O loveliest of women? What makes your Beloved better than other lovers, to give us a charge like this?


5:10 My Beloved is fresh and ruddy, to be known among ten thousand.

5:11 His head is golden, purest gold, his locks are palm fronds and black as the raven.

5:12 His eyes are doves at a pool of water, bathed in milk, at rest on a pool.

5:13 His cheeks are beds of spices, banks sweetly scented. His lips are lilies, distilling pure myrrh.

5:14 His hands are golden, rounded, set with jewels of Tarshish. His belly a block of ivory covered with sapphires.

5:15 His legs are alabaster columns set in sockets of pure gold. His appearance is that of Lebanon, unrivalled as the cedars.

5:16 His conversation is sweetness itself, he is altogether lovable. Such is my Beloved, such is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.



6:1 Where did your Beloved go, O loveliest of women? Which way did your Beloved turn so that we can help you to look for him?


6:2 My Beloved went down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to pasture his flock in the gardens and gather lilies.

6:3 I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved is mine. He pastures his flock among the lilies.



6:4 You are beautiful as Tirzah, my love, fair as Jerusalem.

6:5 Turn your eyes away, for they hold me captive. Your hair is like a flock of goats frisking down the slopes of Gilead.

6:6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep as they come up from the washing. Each one has its twin, not one unpaired with another.

6:7 Your cheeks, behind your veil, are halves of pomegranate.

6:8 There are sixty queens and eighty concubines (and countless maidens).

6:9 But my dove is unique, mine, unique and perfect. She is the darling of her mother, the favourite of the one who bore her. The maidens saw her, and proclaimed her blessed, queens and concubines sang her praises:

6:10 ‘Who is this arising like the dawn, fair as the moon, resplendent as the sun, terrible as an army with banners?’

6:11 I went down to the nut orchard to see what was sprouting in the valley, to see if the vines were budding and the pomegranate trees in flower.

6:12 Before I knew … my desire had hurled me on the chariots of my people, as their prince.



7:1 Return, return, O maid of Shulam, return; return, that we may gaze on you!


Why do you gaze on the maid of Shulam dancing as though between two rows of dancers?

7:2 How beautiful are your feet in their sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curve of your thighs is like the curve of a necklace, work of a master hand.

7:3 Your navel is a bowl well rounded with no lack of wine, your belly a heap of wheat surrounded with lilies.

7:4 Your two breasts are two fawns, twins of a gazelle.

7:5 Your neck is an ivory tower. Your eyes, the pools of Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose, the Tower of Lebanon, sentinel facing Damascus.

7:6 Your head is held high like Carmel, and its plaits are as dark as purple; a king is held captive in your tresses.

7:7 How beautiful you are, how charming, my love, my delight!

7:8 In stature like the palm tree, its fruit-clusters your breasts.

7:9 ‘I will climb the palm tree,’ I resolved, ‘I will seize its clusters of dates.’ May your breasts be clusters of grapes, your breath sweet-scented as apples,

7:10 your speaking, superlative wine.


Wine flowing straight to my Beloved, as it runs on the lips of those who sleep.

7:11 I am my Beloved’s, and his desire is for me.

7:12 Come, my Beloved, let us go to the fields. We will spend the night in the villages,

7:13 and in the morning we will go to the vineyards. We will see if the vines are budding, if their blossoms are opening, if the pomegranate trees are in flower. Then I shall give you the gift of my love.

7:14 The mandrakes yield their fragrance,[*a] the rarest fruits are at our doors; the new as well as the old, I have stored them for you, my Beloved.


8:1 Ah, why are you not my brother, nursed at my mother’s breast! Then if I met you out of doors, I could kiss you without people thinking ill of me.

8:2 I should lead you, I should take you into my mother’s house, and you would teach me! I should give you spiced wine to drink, juice of my pomegranates.

8:3 His left arm is under my head and his right embraces me.


8:4 I charge you, daughters of Jerusalem, not to stir my love, nor rouse it, until it please to awake.



8:5 Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her Beloved?


I awakened you under the apple tree, there where your mother conceived you, there where she who gave birth to you conceived you.

8:6 Set me like a seal on your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is strong as Death, jealousy relentless as Sheol.[*a] The flash of it is a flash of fire, a flame of Yahweh himself.

8:7 Love no flood can quench, no torrents drown.


Aphorism of a sage

Were a man to offer all the wealth of his house to buy love, contempt is all he would purchase.

Two epigrams[*b]

8:8 Our sister is little: her breasts are not yet formed. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for?

8:9 If she is a rampart, on the crest we will build a battlement of silver; if she is a door, we will board her up with planks of cedar.

8:10 – I am a wall, and my breasts represent its towers. And under his eyes I have found true peace.

8:11 Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon. He entrusted it to overseers, and each one was to pay him the value of its produce, a thousand shekels of silver.

8:12 But I look after my own vineyard myself. You, Solomon, may have your thousand shekels, and those who oversee its produce their two hundred.

Final additions

8:13 You[*c] who dwell in the gardens, my companions listen for your voice; deign to let me hear it.

8:14 Haste away, my Beloved. Be like a gazelle, a young stag, on the spicy mountains.[*d]



JB SIRACH Chapter 1


1:1 Many and wonderful are the gifts we have been granted by means of the Law and the Prophets

1:2 and the others that followed them,

1:3 an education in wisdom on which Israelis indeed to be complimented.

1:4 But it is not enough merely for those who read the scriptures to be learned in them;

1:5 students should also be able to be of use to people outside

1:6 by what they say and write.

1:7 So it was that my grandfather Jesus,

1:8 having devoted himself more and more to reading the Law

1:9 and the prophets and

1:10 the other volumes of the fathers,

1:11 and having gained ability enough in these matters,

1:12 was brought to the point of himself writing down of the things that have a bearing on education and wisdom,

1:13 in order that those studiously inclined and with obligations in these maters

1:14 might make all the more progress in living according to the Law.

1:15 You are therefore asked

1:16 to read this book

1:17 with good will and attention :

1:18 and to show indulgence

1:19 in those places where, notwithstanding our efforts at interpretation, we may seem

1:20 to have failed ,to give an adequate rendering of this or that expression;

1:21 the fact is that you cannot find an equivalent

1:22 for things originally written in Hebrew when you come to translate them into another language;

1:23 what is more,

1:24 you will find on examination that the Law itself, the Prophets

1:25 and the other books

1:26 differ considerably in translation from what appears in the original text.

1:27 It was in the thirty-eighth year of the late King Euergetes[*a],

1:28 when after my arrival in Egypt I had already spent some time there,

1:29 that I found a work of more than common instructional worth,

1:30 which convinced me of the urgency of applying myself in my turn with pains and diligence to the translation of the book that follows;

1:31 and I spent much time and learning on it

1:32 in the course of this period,

1:33 to complete the work and to publish the book

1:34 for the benefit especially of those who, domiciled abroad, wish to study how to fit themselves

1:35 and their manners for living according to the Law.

JB SIRACH Chapter 2


The mystery of wisdom

2:1 All wisdom is from the Lord, and it is his own for ever.

2:2 The sand of the sea and the raindrops, and the days of eternity, who can assess them?

2:3 The height of the sky and the breadth of the earth, and the depth of the abyss, who can probe them?

2:4 Before all other things wisdom was created, shrewd understanding is everlasting.

2:6 For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered? Her resourceful ways, who knows them?

2:8 Only the wise, terrible indeed, seated on his throne,

2:9 the Lord. He himself has created her, looked on her and assessed her, and poured her out on all his works

2:10 to be with all mankind as his gift, and he conveyed her to those who love him.

The fear of God

2:11 The fear of the Lord is glory and pride, and happiness and a crown of joyfulness.

2:12 The fear of the Lord will gladden the heart giving happiness and joy and long life.

2:13 With him who fears the Lord it will be well at the last, and he will be blessed on the day of his death.

2:14 To fear the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, she was created with the faithful in their mothers’ womb;

2:15 she has made a nest among men, an age-old foundation, and to their offspring she will cling faithfully.

2:16 To fear the Lord is the perfection of wisdom; she intoxicates them with her fruits;

2:17 she fills their whole house with their heart’s desire, and their storerooms with her produce.

2:18 The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom; it makes peace and health to flourish.

2:19 The Lord has looked on her and assessed her, he has showered down learning and discernment, and exalted the renown of those who hold her close.

2:20 To fear the Lord is the root of wisdom, and her branches are long life.

Patience and self-control

2:22 The rage of the wicked man cannot justify him, for the weight of his rage is his downfall.

2:23 The patient man will hold out till the time comes, but his joy will break out in the end.

2:24 He will hide his words till the time comes, and stories of his discernment will be on many lips.

Wisdom and uprightness

2:25 In wisdom’s treasuries there are learned sayings, but reverence for God is loathsome to the sinner.

2:26 If you desire wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will convey her to you.

2:27 For wisdom and instruction mean the fear of the Lord, and what pleases him is faithfulness and gentleness.

2:28 Do not be unsubmissive to the fear of the Lord, do not practise it with a double heart.

2:29 Do not act a part in public, and keep a watch over your lips.

2:30 Do not raise yourself up, in case you fall and bring disgrace on yourself, for the Lord would then reveal your secrets and humiliate you before the whole community for not having attained the fear of the Lord, and for having a heart full of deceit.

The fear of God in time of ordeal

2:1 My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.

2:2 Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.

2:3 Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days.

2:4 Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient,

2:5 since gold is tested in the fire, and chosen men in the furnace of humiliation.

2:6 Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him.

2:7 You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not turn aside in case you fall

2:8 You who fear the Lord, trust him, and you will not be baulked of your reward

2:9 You who fear the Lord hope for good things, for everlasting happiness and mercy.

2:10 Look at the generations of old and see: who ever trusted in the Lord put to shame? Or who ever feared him steadfastly and was left forsaken? Or who ever called out to him, and was ignored?

2:11 For the Lord is compassionate and merciful he forgives sins, and saves in days of distress.

2:12 Woe to faint hearts and listless hands, and to the sinner who treads two paths.

2:13 Woe to the listless heart that has no faith, for such will have no protection.

2:14 Woe to you who have lost the will to endure; what will you do at the Lord’s visitation?

2:15 Those who fear the Lord do not disdain his words, and those who love him keep his ways.

2:16 Those who fear the Lord do their best to please him, and those who love him find satisfaction in his Law.

2:17 Those who fear the Lord keep their hearts prepared and humble themselves in his presence.

2:18 Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, not into the hands of men; for as his majesty is, so too is his mercy.

JB SIRACH Chapter 3

Duties towards parents

3:1 Children, listen to me your father, do what I tell you, and so be safe;

3:2 for the Lord honours the father in his children, and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.

3:3 Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,

3:4 he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.

3:5 Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own, he shall be heard on the day when he prays.

3:6 Long life comes to him who honours his father, he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.

3:7 He serves his parents as he does his Lord.

3:8 Respect your father in deed as well as word, so that blessing may come on you from him;

3:9 since a father’s blessing makes the houses of his children firm, while a mother’s curse tears up their foundations.

3:10 Do not make a boast of disgrace overtaking your father, your father’s disgrace reflects no honour on you;

3:11 for a man’s honour derives from the respect shown to his father, and a mother held in dishonour is a reproach to her children.

3:12 My son, support your father in his old age, do not grieve him during his life.

3:13 Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy, do not despise him in your health and strength;

3:14 for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten but will serve as reparation for your sins.

3:15 In the days of your affliction it will be remembered of you, like frost in sunshine, your sins will melt away.

3:16 The man who deserts his father is no better than a blasphemer, and whoever angers his mother is accursed of the Lord.


3:17 My son, be gentle in carrying out your business, and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.

3:18 The greater you are, the more you should behave humbly, and then you will find favour with the Lord;

3:20 for great though the power of the Lord is, he accepts the homage of the humble.

3:21 Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you, or try to discover what is beyond your powers.

3:22 Concentrate on what has been assigned you, you have no need to worry over mysteries.

3:23 Do not meddle with matters that are beyond you; what you have been taught already exceeds the scope of the human mind.

3:24 For many have been misled by their own presumption, and wrong-headed opinions have warped their ideas.


3:26 A stubborn heart will come to a bad end at last, and whoever loves danger will perish in it.

3:27 A stubborn heart is weighed down with troubles, the sinner heaps sin on sin.

3:28 There is no cure for the proud man’s malady, since an evil growth has taken root in him.

3:29 The heart of a sensible man will reflect on parables, an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.

Charity to the poor

3:30 Water quenches a blazing fire, almsgiving atones for sins.

3:31 Whoever gives favours in return is mindful of the future; at the moment of his fall he will find support.

JB SIRACH Chapter 4

4:1 My son, do not refuse the poor a livelihood, do not tantalise the needy.

4:2 Do not add to the sufferings of the hungry, do not bait a man in distress.

4:3 Do not aggravate a heart already angry, nor keep the destitute waiting for your alms.

4:4 Do not repulse a hard-pressed beggar, nor turn your face from a poor man.

4:5 Do not avert your eyes from the destitute, give no man occasion to curse you;

4:6 for if a man curses you in the bitterness of his soul, his maker will hear his imprecation.

4:7 Gain the love of the community, bow your head to a man of authority.

4:8 To the poor man lend an ear, and return his greeting courteously.

4:9 Save the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, and do not be mean-spirited in your judgements.

4:10 Be like a father to orphans, and as good as a husband to widows. And you will be like a son to the Most High, whose love for you will surpass your mother’s.

Wisdom as educator

4:11 Wisdom brings up her own sons, and cares for those who seek her.

4:12 Whoever loves her loves life, those who wait on her early will be filled with happiness.

4:13 Whoever holds her close will inherit honour, and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.

4:14 Those who serve her minister to the Holy One, and the Lord loves those who love her.

4:15 Whoever obeys her judges aright, and whoever pays attention to her dwells secure.

4:16 If he trusts himself to her he will inherit her, and his descendants will remain in possession of her;

4:17 for though she takes him at first through winding ways, bringing fear and faintness on him, plaguing him with her discipline until she can trust him, and testing him with her ordeals,

4:18 in the end she will lead him back to the straight road, and reveal her secrets to him.

4:19 If he wanders away she will abandon him, and hand him over to his fate.

Shame and human respect

4:20 My son, bide your time and be on your guard against evil, and have no cause to be ashamed of yourself;

4:21 for there is a shame that leads to sin, as well as a shame that is honourable and gracious.

4:22 Do not show partiality, to your own detriment, or deference, to your own downfall.

4:23 Do not refrain from speech at an opportune time, and do not hide your wisdom;

4:24 for wisdom shall be recognised in speech, and instruction by what the tongue utters.

4:25 Do not contradict the truth, rather blush for your own ignorance.

4:26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, do not strive against the current of a river.

4:27 Do not grovel to a foolish man, do not show partiality to a man of influence.

4:28 Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side.

4:29 Do not be bold of tongue, yet idle and slack in deed;

4:30 do not be like a lion at home, or a coward before your servants.

4:31 Do not let your hands be outstretched to receive, yet closed when the time comes to give back.

4:1 My son, do not refuse the poor a livelihood, do not tantalise the needy.

4:2 Do not add to the sufferings of the hungry, do not bait a man in distress.

4:3 Do not aggravate a heart already angry, nor keep the destitute waiting for your alms.

4:4 Do not repulse a hard-pressed beggar, nor turn your face from a poor man.

4:5 Do not avert your eyes from the destitute, give no man occasion to curse you;

4:6 for if a man curses you in the bitterness of his soul, his maker will hear his imprecation.

4:7 Gain the love of the community, bow your head to a man of authority.

4:8 To the poor man lend an ear, and return his greeting courteously.

4:9 Save the oppressed from the hand of the oppressor, and do not be mean-spirited in your judgements.

4:10 Be like a father to orphans, and as good as a husband to widows. And you will be like a son to the Most High, whose love for you will surpass your mother’s.

Wisdom as educator

4:11 Wisdom brings up her own sons, and cares for those who seek her.

4:12 Whoever loves her loves life, those who wait on her early will be filled with happiness.

4:13 Whoever holds her close will inherit honour, and wherever he walks the Lord will bless him.

4:14 Those who serve her minister to the Holy One, and the Lord loves those who love her.

4:15 Whoever obeys her judges aright, and whoever pays attention to her dwells secure.

4:16 If he trusts himself to her he will inherit her, and his descendants will remain in possession of her;

4:17 for though she takes him at first through winding ways, bringing fear and faintness on him, plaguing him with her discipline until she can trust him, and testing him with her ordeals,

4:18 in the end she will lead him back to the straight road, and reveal her secrets to him.

4:19 If he wanders away she will abandon him, and hand him over to his fate.

Shame and human respect

4:20 My son, bide your time and be on your guard against evil, and have no cause to be ashamed of yourself;

4:21 for there is a shame that leads to sin, as well as a shame that is honourable and gracious.

4:22 Do not show partiality, to your own detriment, or deference, to your own downfall.

4:23 Do not refrain from speech at an opportune time, and do not hide your wisdom;

4:24 for wisdom shall be recognised in speech, and instruction by what the tongue utters.

4:25 Do not contradict the truth, rather blush for your own ignorance.

4:26 Do not be ashamed to confess your sins, do not strive against the current of a river.

4:27 Do not grovel to a foolish man, do not show partiality to a man of influence.

4:28 Fight to the death for truth, and the Lord God will war on your side.

4:29 Do not be bold of tongue, yet idle and slack in deed;

4:30 do not be like a lion at home, or a coward before your servants.

4:31 Do not let your hands be outstretched to receive, yet closed when the time comes to give back.
JB SIRACH Chapter 5

Wealth and presumption

5:1 Do not give your heart to your money, or say, ‘With this I am self-sufficient’.

5:2 Do not be led by your appetites and energy to follow the passions of your heart.

5:3 And do not say, ‘Who has authority over me?’ for the Lord will certainly be avenged on you.

5:4 Do not say, ‘I sinned, and what happened to me?’ for the Lord’s forbearance is long.

5:5 Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin.

5:6 And do not say, ‘His compassion is great, he will forgive me my many sins’; for with him are both mercy and wrath, and his rage bears heavy on sinners.

5:7 Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, and at the time of vengeance you will be utterly destroyed.

5:8 Do not set your heart on ill-gotten gains, they will be of no use to you on the day of disaster.

Straightforwardness and self-possession

5:9 Do not winnow in every wind, or walk along every by-way (such is the practice of the deceitful sinner).

5:10 Be steady in your convictions, sincere in your speech.

5:11 Be quick to listen, and deliberate in giving an answer.

5:12 If you understand the matter, give your neighbour an answer, if not, put your hand over your mouth.

5:13 Both honour and disgrace come from talking, a man’s tongue can cause his downfall.

5:14 Do not get a name for scandal-mongering, do not set traps with your tongue; for as shame lies in store for the thief, so harsh condemnation awaits the deceitful.

5:15 Avoid offences in great as in small matters, and do not become an enemy where you should stay a friend;

JB SIRACH Chapter 6

6:1 for a bad name will earn you shame and reproach, as happens to the deceitful sinner.

6:2 Do not give in to the promptings of your temper, in case it gores your soul like a mad bull;

6:3 in case it gobbles up your leaves and you lose your fruits, and are left like a withered tree.

6:4 An evil temper destroys the man who has it and makes him the laughing-stock of his enemies.


6:5 A kindly turn of speech multiplies a man’s friends, and a courteous way of speaking invites many a friendly reply.

6:6 Let your acquaintances be many, but your advisers one in a thousand.

6:7 If you want to make a friend, take him on trial, and be in no hurry to trust him;

6:8 for one kind of friend is only so when it suits him but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

6:9 Another kind of friend will fall out with you and to your dismay make your quarrel public,

6:10 and a third kind of friend will share your table, but not stand by you in your day of trouble:

6:11 when you are doing well he will be your second self, ordering your servants about;

6:12 but if ever you are brought low he will turn against you and will hide himself from you.

6:13 Keep well clear of your enemies, and be wary of your friends.

6:14 A faithful friend is a sure shelter, whoever finds one has found a rare treasure.

6:15 A faithful friend is something beyond price, there is no measuring his worth.

6:16 A faithful friend is the elixir of life, and those who fear the Lord will find one.

6:17 Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for as a man is, so is his friend.

Apprenticeship to wisdom

6:18 My son, from your earliest youth choose instruction, and till your hair is white you will keep finding wisdom.

6:19 Cultivate her like the ploughman and the sower, and wait for her fine harvest, for in tilling her you will toil a little while, but very soon you will be eating her crops.

6:20 How very harsh she is to the undisciplined! The senseless man does not stay with her for long:

6:21 she will weigh on him like a heavy stone, and he will lose no time in throwing her off;

6:22 for discipline is true to her name, she is not accessible to many.

6:23 Listen, son, and take my warning, do not reject my advice:

6:24 put your feet into her fetters, and your neck into her harness;

6:25 give your shoulder to her yoke, do not be restive in her reins;

6:26 court her with all your soul, and with all your might keep in her ways;

6:27 go after her and seek her; she will reveal herself to you; once you hold her, do not let her go.

6:28 For in the end you will find rest in her and she will take the form of joy for you:

6:29 her fetters you will find are a strong defence, her harness, a robe of honour.

6:30 Her yoke will be a golden ornament, her reins, purple ribbons;

6:31 you will wear her like a robe of honour, you will put her on like a crown of honour.

6:32 If you wish, my son, you can acquire instruction, if you give your mind to it, subtlety will be yours.

6:33 If you love listening you will learn, if you lend an ear, wisdom will be yours.

6:34 Attend the gathering of elders; if there is a wise man there, attach yourself to him.

6:35 Listen willingly to any discourse coming from God, do not let shrewd proverbs escape you.

6:36 If you see a man of understanding, visit him early, let your feet wear out his doorstep.

6:37 Reflect on the injunctions of the Lord, busy yourself at all times with his commandments. He will strengthen your mind, and the wisdom you desire will be granted you.

JB SIRACH Chapter 7

Miscellaneous advice

7:1 Do no evil, and evil will not befall you;

7:2 shun wrong, and it will avoid you.

7:3 Son, do not sow in the furrows of wrong-doing, or you may reap it seven times over.

7:4 Do not ask the Lord for the highest place, or the king for a seat of honour.

7:5 Do not parade your virtue before the Lord, or your wisdom before the king.

7:6 Do not scheme to be appointed judge, in case you are not strong enough to stamp out injustice, in case you let yourself be swayed by an influential man, and so risk the loss of your integrity.

7:7 Do not wrong the general body of citizens and so lower yourself in popular esteem.

7:8 Do not be drawn to sin twice over, for you will not go unpunished even once.

7:9 Do not say, ‘God will consider the great number of my gifts; when I make my offerings to the Most High God he will accept them’.

7:10 Do not be impatient in prayer; do not neglect to give alms.

7:11 Do not laugh at a man when he is sad of heart, for he who brings him low can lift him high.

7:12 Do not draw up a lying indictment against your brother, do not do it against a friend either.

7:13 Mind you tell no lies, for no good can come of it.

7:14 Do not make long-winded speeches in the gathering of elders, and do not repeat yourself at your prayers.

7:15 Do not shirk wearisome labour, or farm work, which the Most High created.

7:16 Do not swell the ranks of the sinners, remember that the wrath will not delay.

7:17 Be very humble, since the punishment for the godless is fire and worms.

7:18 Do not barter a friend for profit, nor a real brother for the gold of Ophir.

7:19 Do not turn against a wise and good wife, for her charm is worth more than gold.

7:20 Do not ill-treat a slave who is an honest worker, or a wage-earner who does his best for you.

7:21 Love an intelligent slave like your own self, and do not deny him his freedom.


7:22 Have you cattle? Look after them; if they are making you a profit, keep them.

7:23 Have you children? Educate them, make them bow the neck from childhood.

7:24 Have you daughters? Take care of their bodies, but do not be over-indulgent.

7:25 Marry a daughter off, and you have finished a great work; but give her to a man of sense.

7:26 Have you a wife to your liking? Do not turn her out; but if you dislike her, never trust her.


7:27 With all your heart honour your father, never forget the birthpangs of your mother.

7:28 Remember that you owe your birth to them; how can you repay them for what they have done for you?


7:29 With all your soul hold the Lord in awe, and revere his priests.

7:30 With all your might love him who made you, and do not abandon his ministers.

7:31 Fear the Lord and honour the priest and give him the portion enjoined on you: first-fruits and sacrifices of reparation and the shoulder-gift, the sacrifice of sanctification, and first-fruits of the holy things.

The poor and afflicted

7:32 Stretch your hand out also to the poor man, that your blessing may be perfect.

7:33 Be generous in your gifts to all the living, do not withhold your favour even from the dead.

7:34 Do not fail those who weep, but share the grief of the grief-stricken.

7:35 Do not shrink from visiting the sick; in this way you will make yourself loved.

7:36 In everything you do, remember your end, and you will never sin.

JB SIRACH Chapter 8

Prudence and common-sense

8:1 Do not try conclusions with an influential man, in case you later fall into his clutches.

8:2 Do not quarrel with a rich man, in case he turns the scales against you; for gold has destroyed many, and has swayed the hearts of kings.

8:3 Do not quarrel with a man of quick tongue, do not pile logs on his fire.

8:4 Do not jest with an ill-mannered man, in case you hear your ancestry insulted.

8:5 Do not revile a repentant sinner; remember that we all are guilty.

8:6 Do not despise a man in his old age; after all, some of us too are growing old.

8:7 Do not gloat over a man’s death; remember that we all must die.


8:8 Do not ignore the talk of the wise, be conversant with their proverbs, since from these you will learn the theory and art of serving the great.

8:9 Do not underrate the talk of old men, after all, they themselves learned it from their fathers; from them you will learn how to think, and the art of the timely answer.


8:10 Do not kindle the coals of the sinner, in case you scorch yourself in his blaze.

8:11 Refuse to be drawn by an arrogant man, for fear he tries to trap you in your words.

8:12 Do not lend to anyone who is stronger than you are – if you do lend, resign yourself to loss.

8:13 Do not stand surety beyond your means; if you do stand surety, be prepared to pay up.

8:14 Do not go to law with a judge, since judgement will be given in his favour.

8:15 Do not travel with a reckless fellow, in case he imposes on you; he will act as the whim takes him, and you will both be ruined by his folly.

8:16 Do not argue with a quick-tempered man, or travel with him through the wilderness; since blood counts for nothing in his eyes, and where no help is to be had, he will strike you down.

8:17 Do not ask a fool for advice, since he will not be able to keep a confidence.

8:18 In a stranger’s presence do nothing that should be kept secret, since you cannot tell what use he will make of it.

8:19 Do not open your heart to every man, or solicit favours from all comers.

JB SIRACH Chapter 9


9:1 Do not be jealous of the wife you love, or teach her lessons in evil to your detriment.

9:2 Do not give your soul to a woman, for her to trample on your strength.

9:3 Do not keep company with a harlot, in case you get entangled in her snares.

9:4 Do not dally with a singing girl, in case you get caught by her wiles.

9:5 Do not stare at a virgin, in case you and she incur the same punishment.

9:6 Do not give your soul to whores, or you will ruin your inheritance.

9:7 Keep your eyes to yourself in the streets of a town, do not prowl about its unfrequented quarters.

9:8 Turn your eyes away from a handsome woman, do not stare at the beauty that belongs to someone else. Woman’s beauty has led many astray; it kindles desire like a flame.

9:9 Never sit down with a married woman, or sit at table with her drinking wine, in case you succumb to her charms, and in your ardour you slide down to your ruin.

Relations with men

9:10 Do not desert an old friend; the new one will not be his match. New friend, new wine; when it grows old, you drink it with pleasure.

9:11 Do not envy the sinner his success; you do not know what turn his career will take.

9:12 Do not take pleasure in what pleases the godless; remember they will not go unpunished to their grave.

9:13 Keep your distance from the man who has the power to put to death, and you will not be haunted by the fear of dying. If you do approach him, make no false move, or he may take your life. Realise that you are treading among trip-lines, that you are strolling on the battlements.

9:14 Cultivate your neighbours as far as you can, and consult with wise men.

9:15 For conversation seek intelligent men, let all your discussions bear on the law of the Most High.

9:16 Have virtuous men for your table companions, and let your pride be in fearing the Lord.

9:17 Work from skilled hands will earn its praise, but a leader of the people must be shrewd of speech.

9:18 A phrase-maker is a terror to his town, a loose talker is detested.

JB SIRACH Chapter 10


10:1 The wise magistrate will be strict with his people, and the government of a prudent man will be well-regulated.

10:2 As the magistrate is, so will his officials be, as the governor is, so will be the inhabitants of his city.

10:3 An uneducated king will be the ruin of his people, a city owes its prosperity to the intelligence of its leading men.

10:4 The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, he sets the right man over it at the right time.

10:5 A man’s success is in the hands of the Lord, it is he who invests the lawgiver with honour.

Against pride

10:6 Do not resent your neighbour’s every offence, and never act in a fit of passion.

10:7 Pride is hateful to God and man, and injustice is abhorrent to both.

10:8 Empire passes from nation to nation because of injustice, arrogance and money.

10:9 What has dust and ashes to pride itself on? Even in life its guts are repellent.

10:10 A long illness mocks the doctor; a king today is a corpse tomorrow.

10:11 When a man comes to die, his inheritance will be creeping things, beasts of prey, worms.

10:12 The beginning of human pride is to desert the Lord, and to turn one’s heart away from one’s maker.

10:13 Since the beginning of pride is sin, whoever clings to it will pour forth filth. For which reason the Lord inflicted extraordinary punishments on them and utterly overthrew them.

10:14 The Lord has thrown down rulers’ thrones, and seated the humble in their place.

10:15 The Lord has plucked up proud men by the roots, and planted the lowly in their place.

10:16 The Lord has overthrown the lands of the heathens and destroyed them to the very foundations of the earth.

10:17 He has taken some of them away and destroyed them, and blotted out their memory from the earth.

10:18 Pride was not created for men, nor furious rage for those born of woman.

Persons deserving honour

10:19 What race deserves honour? The human race. What race deserves honour? Those who fear the Lord. What race deserves contempt? The human race. What race deserves contempt? Those who break the commandments.

10:20 Among brothers the leader of them deserves honour, and those who fear the Lord deserve honour in his sight.

10:22 Let rich and noble and poor take pride in fearing the Lord.

10:23 It is not right to despise a poor but intelligent man, and it is not good to honour a man who is a sinner.

10:24 Ruler, magistrate, influential man, all are to be honoured, but none of them is greater than him who fears the Lord.

10:25 A wise slave will have free men waiting on him, and the man of sense will not grumble.

Frankness and humility

10:26 Do not try to be smart when you do your work, do not put on airs when you are in difficulties.

10:27 Better a hardworking man who has plenty of everything, than a pretentious man at a loss for a meal.

10:28 My son, be modest in your self-esteem, and value yourself at your proper worth.

10:29 Who can justify a man who runs himself down, or respect a man who despises himself?

10:30 A poor man is honoured for his wits, and a rich man for his wealth.

10:31 Honoured in poverty, how much the more in wealth! Dishonoured in wealth, how much the more in poverty!

JB SIRACH Chapter 11

Do not go by appearances

11:1 The poor man’s wisdom keeps his head erect, and gives him a place with the great.

11:2 Do not praise a man for his good looks, nor dislike anybody for his appearance.

11:3 Small among winged creatures is the bee but her produce is the sweetest of the sweet.

11:4 Do not preen yourself on your fine clothes, nor be swollen headed on your day of glory; for the Lord’s deeds are marvellous, though hidden from mankind.

11:5 Many monarchs have been made to sit on the ground, and the man nobody thought of has worn the crown.

11:6 Many influential men have been utterly disgraced, and prominent men have fallen into the power of others.

Deliberation and reflection

11:7 Do not find fault before making thorough inquiry; first reflect, then give a reprimand.

11:8 Listen before you answer, and do not interrupt a speech in the middle.

11:9 Do not wrangle about something that does not concern you, nor interfere in the squabbles of sinners.

11:10 My son, do not take on a great amount of business; if you multiply your interests, you are bound to suffer for it; hurry as fast as you can, yet you will never arrive, nor will you escape by running away.

11:11 A man labours and toils and forges ahead, only to find himself the more out-distanced.

Trust in God alone

11:12 Another man is a poor creature begging for assistance, badly off for support, but rich in poverty, and the Lord turns a favourable eye on him, sets him on his feet out of his abject condition,

11:13 and enables him to hold his head high, to the utter amazement of many.

11:14 Good and bad, life and death, poverty and wealth, all come from the Lord.

11:17 The Lord’s gift remains constant to the devout, and his goodwill means a good journey for ever.

11:18 A man grows rich by his sharpness and grabbing, and here is the reward he receives. for it:

11:19 he says, ‘I have found rest, and now I can enjoy my goods’; but he does not know how long this will last; he will have to leave his goods for others and die.

11:20 Persevere at your duty, take pleasure in doing it, and grow old at your work.

11:21 Do not be astonished at the sinner’s achievements; trust the Lord and keep to your duty; since it is a trifle in the eyes of the Lord, in a moment, suddenly to make a poor man rich.

11:22 The devout man receives the Lord’s blessing as his reward, in a moment God brings his blessing to flower.

11:23 Do not say, ‘What are my needs, what will be my profits in future?’

11:24 And do not say, ‘I am self-supporting, what losses can I suffer in future?’

11:25 In a time of profit, losses are forgotten, and in a time of loss, no one remembers profits.

11:26 Yet it is a trifle for the Lord on the day a man dies to repay him as his conduct deserves.

11:27 A moment’s adversity, and pleasures are forgotten; in a man’s last hour his deeds will stand revealed.

11:28 Call no man fortunate before his death; it is by his end that a man will be known.

Distrust the wicked

11:29 Do not bring every man home with you, for many are the traps of the crafty.

11:30 Like a decoy partridge in a basket, such is the proud man’s heart; like a spy he watches for your downfall.

11:31 The slanderer twists good into evil, will cast a slur on what deserves most praise.

11:32 A hearthful of glowing coals starts from a single spark, and the sinner lurks for the chance to spill blood.

11:33 Beware of a scoundrel and his evil contrivances, in case he puts a smear on you for ever.

11:34 Bring a stranger home with you and he will start trouble, and estrange you from your own family.

JB SIRACH Chapter 12

Rules for doing good[*a]

12:1 If you do a good turn, know for whom you are doing it, and your good deeds will not go to waste.

12:2 Do good to a devout man, and you will receive a reward, if not from him, then certainly from the Most High.

12:3 No good will come to a man who persists in evil, or who refuses to give alms.

12:4 Give to a devout man, do not go to the help of a sinner.

12:5 Do good to a humble man, give nothing to a godless one. Refuse him bread, do not give him any, it might make him stronger than you are; then you would be repaid evil twice over for all the good you had done him.

12:6 For the Most High himself detests sinners, and will repay the wicked with a vengeance.

12:7 Give to the good man, and do not go to the help of a sinner.

True and false friends

12:8 In prosperity you cannot always tell a true friend, but in adversity you cannot mistake an enemy.

12:9 When a man is doing well his enemies are sad, when he is doing badly, even a friend will keep his distance.

12:10 Do not ever trust an enemy; as bronze tarnishes, so does his malignity.

12:11 Even if he behaves humbly and comes bowing and scraping, maintain your reserve and be on your guard against him. Behave towards him as if you were polishing a mirror, you will find that his tarnish cannot last.

12:12 Do not stand him beside you in case he thrusts you out and takes your place. Do not seat him at your right hand, or he will be after your position, and you will end up by admitting the truth of my words, and feeling the sting in them.

12:13 Who feels sorry for a snake-charmer bitten by a snake, or for those who take risks with savage animals?-

12:14 just so for someone consorting with a sinner, and being accomplice to his sins.

12:15 As long as you maintain your stand he will not reveal himself, but if you once give way he will press his advantage.

12:16 An enemy may have sweetness on his lips, and in his heart a scheme to throw you in the ditch. An enemy may have tears in his eyes, but if he gets a chance not even blood will satisfy him.

12:17 If you meet with misfortune, you will find him there before you, and, pretending to help you, he will trip you up.

12:18 He will wag his head and clap his hands, he will whisper a lot and his expression will change.

JB SIRACH Chapter 13

Mix with your equals

13:1 Whoever touches pitch will be defiled, and anyone who associates with a proud man will come to be like him.

13:2 Do not try to carry a burden too heavy for you, do not associate with someone more powerful and wealthy than yourself. Why put the clay pot next to the iron cauldron? It will only break when they collide.

13:3 The rich man wrongs a man and puts on airs, while the poor man is wronged and apologises.

13:4 If you are useful he will exploit you, if you cannot keep up with him he will desert you.

13:5 Are you well off?-he will live with you, he will clean you out without a single qualm.

13:6 Does he need you?-he will hoodwink you, smile at you and raise your hopes; he will speak to you with smooth words and say, ‘I wonder what you would like?’

13:7 And he will put you to shame with his grand dinners, until he has cleaned you out two or three times over, and he will finish by making you ridiculous. When he sees you afterwards he will snub you, and wag his head about you.

13:8 Take care you are not hoodwinked and thus humiliated through your own stupidity.

13:9 When an influential man invites you, show reluctance, and he will press his invitation all the more.

13:10 Do not thrust yourself forward, in case you are pushed aside, but do not stand aloof, or you will be overlooked.

13:11 Do not affect to treat him as an equal, do not trust his flow of words; since all this talking is expressly meant to test you, under cover of geniality he will be weighing you up.

13:12 Pitiless is the man who is too free with his words, he will not spare you either blows or chains.

13:13 Be wary, take very great care, because you are walking with your own downfall.

13:15 Every living thing loves its own sort, and every man his neighbour.

13:16 Every creature mixes with its kind, and man sticks to his own sort.

13:17 How can a wolf and lamb agree? – Just so with sinner and devout.

13:18 What peace can there be between hyena and dog? And what peace between rich man and poor?

13:19 Wild donkeys are the prey of desert lions; so too, the poor are the quarry of the rich.

13:20 The proud man thinks humility abhorrent; so too, the rich abominate the poor.

13:21 When the rich man stumbles he is supported by friends; when the poor man falls, his friends push him away.

13:22 When the rich man slips, there are many hands to catch him, if he talks nonsense he is congratulated.

13:27 The poor man slips, and is blamed for it, he may talk good sense, but no room is made for him.

13:23 The rich man speaks and everyone stops talking, and then they praise his discourse to the skies. The poor man speaks and people say, ‘Who is this?’ and if he staggers they push him down.

13:24 Wealth is good where there is no sin, poverty is evil, the godless say.

13:25 A man’s heart moulds his expression whether for better or worse.

13:26 The mark of a good heart is a cheerful expression; inventing proverbs is weary work.

JB SIRACH Chapter 14

True happiness

14:1 Happy the man who has not sinned in speech and who need feel no remorse for sins.

14:2 Happy the man whose own soul does not accuse him, and who has never given up hope.

Envy and greed

14:3 Wealth is not the right thing for a niggardly man, and what use are possessions to a covetous one?

14:4 A man who hoards by stinting himself is hoarding for others, and others will live sumptuously on his riches.

14:5 If a man is mean to himself, to whom will he be good? He does not even enjoy what is his own.

14:6 No one is meaner than the man who is mean to himself, and this is how his wickedness pays him back.

14:7 If he does good at all, he does it without intending to, and in the end he himself reveals his wickedness.

14:8 Evil is the man who has a grudging eye, averting his face, and careless of others’ lives.

14:9 The eye of the grasping man is not content with his portion, greed shrivels up the soul

14:10 The miser is grudging of bread, there is famine at his table.

14:11 My son, treat at yourself as well as you can afford and bring worthy offerings to the Lord.

14:12 Remember that death will not delay and that the covenant of Sheol[*a] has not been revealed to you.

14:13 Be kind to your friend before you die treat him as generously as you can afford.

14:14 Do not refuse yourself the good things of today, do not let your share of what is lawfully desired pass you by.

14:15 Will you not have to leave your fortune to another, and the fruit of your labour to be divided by lot?

14:16 Then give and receive, and take your ease, for in Sheol you cannot look for pleasure.

14:17 Every living thing grows old like a garment, the age-old law is ‘Death must be’.

14:18 Like foliage growing on a bushy tree, some leaves falling, others growing, so are the generations of flesh and blood: one dies, another is born.

14:19 Every achievement rots away and perishes, and with it goes its author.

The happiness of the sage

14:20 Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, and reasons with good sense,

14:21 who studies her ways in his heart, and ponders her secrets.

14:22 He pursues her like a hunter, and lies in wait by her path;

14:23 he peeps in at her windows, and listens at her doors;

14:24 he lodges close to her house, and fixes his peg in her walls;

14:25 he pitches his tent at her side, and lodges in an excellent lodging;

14:26 he sets his children in her shade, and camps beneath her branches;

14:27 he is sheltered by her from the heat, and in her glory he makes his home.

JB SIRACH Chapter 15

15:1 Whoever fears the Lord will act like this, and whoever grasps the Law will obtain wisdom.

15:2 She will come to meet him like a mother, and receive him like a virgin bride.

15:3 She will give him the bread of understanding to eat, and the water of wisdom to drink.

15:4 He will lean on her and will not fall, he will rely on her and not be put to shame.

15:5 She will raise him high above his neighbours, and in full assembly she will open his mouth.

15:6 He will find happiness and a crown of joy, he will inherit an everlasting name.

15:7 Foolish men will not gain possession of her, nor will sinful men set eyes on her.

15:8 She stands remote from pride, and liars cannot call her to mind

15:9 Praise is unseemly in a sinner’s mouth, since it has not been put there by the Lord.

15:10 For praise should only be uttered in wisdom, and the Lord himself then prompts it.

Man is free

15:11 Do not say, ‘The Lord was responsible for my sinning’, for he is never the cause of what he hates.

15:12 Do not say, ‘It was he who led me astray’, for he has no use for a sinner.

15:13 The Lord hates all that is foul, and no one who fears him will love it either.

15:14 He himself made man in the beginning, and then left him free to make his own decisions.

15:15 If you wish, you can keep the commandments, to behave faithfully is within your power.

15:16 He has set fire and water before you; put out your hand to whichever you prefer.

15:17 Man has life and death before him; whichever a man likes better will be given him.

15:18 For vast is the wisdom of the Lord; he is almighty and all-seeing.

15:19 His eyes are on those who fear him, he notes every action of man.

15:20 He never commanded anyone to be godless, he has given no one permission to sin.

JB SIRACH Chapter 16

Curses reaped by the wicked

16:1 Do not long for a brood of worthless children, and take no pleasure in godless sons.

16:2 However many you have, take no pleasure in them, unless the fear of the Lord lives among them.

16:3 Do not count on their having long life, do not put too much faith in their future; for better have one than a thousand, better die childless than have godless ones.

16:4 One man of sense can populate a city, but the race of lawless men will be destroyed.

16:5 My eyes have seen many such things, my ears have heard things still more impressive.

16:6 Fire will be kindled in a community of sinners; the wrath was kindled in a disobedient nation.

16:7 God did not pardon the giants of old who, confident in their strength, rebelled.

16:8 He did not spare the people with whom Lot lived, whom he abhorred for their pride.

16:9 He had no pity on that people doomed to destruction, who were wiped out in their sins,

16:10 nor on the six hundred thousand men on the march who banded together in their obstinacy[*a].

16:11 Had there been even only one stubborn man, it would have been astonishing if he had escaped unpunished, since mercy and wrath alike belong to the Lord who is mighty to forgive and to pour out wrath.

16:12 His mercy is great, but his severity is as great; he judges every man as his deeds deserve:

16:13 the sinner shall not escape with his ill-gotten gains, nor the devout man’s patience go for nothing.

16:14 He allows free play to his mercy; yet every man shall be treated as his deeds deserve.

Certainty of retribution

16:17 Do not say, ‘I will hide from the Lord, who will remember me up there? I shall certainly not be noticed among so many; what am I in the immensity of creation?’

16:18 Why look, the sky and the heavens above the sky, the deep and the earth tremble at his visitation.

16:19 The mountains and the base of the earth together quail and tremble when he looks at them.

16:20 But who bothers his head about such things? Who attempts to understand the way he moves?

16:21 The storm wind itself is invisible, and most of what he does goes undetected.

16:22 ‘Who will report whether justice has been done? Who will be expecting it? The covenant is far away.’

16:23 Such are the thoughts of the man of little sense, the rash misguided man, who loves his illusions.

Man in creation

16:24 Listen to me, my son, and learn knowledge, and give your whole mind to my words.

16:25 I will expound discipline to a nicety, and proclaim knowledge with precision.

16:26 When God created his works in the beginning, he allotted them their portions as soon as they were made.

16:27 He determined his works for all time, from their beginnings to their distant future. They know neither hunger nor weariness, and they never desert their duties.

16:28 None has ever jostled its neighbour, they will never disobey his word[*b].

16:29 And afterwards the Lord looked at the earth, and filled it with his good things.

16:30 He covered its surface with every kind of animal, and to it they will return.

JB SIRACH Chapter 17

17:1 The Lord fashioned man from the earth, to consign him back to it.

17:2 He gave them so many days’ determined time, he gave them authority over everything on earth.

17:3 He clothed them with strength like his own, and made them in his own image.

17:4 He filled all living things with dread of man, making him master over beasts and birds.

17:6 He shaped for them a mouth and tongue, eyes and ears, and gave them a heart to think with.

17:7 He filled them with knowledge and understanding, and revealed to them good and evil.

17:8 He put his own light in their hearts to show them the magnificence of his works.

17:10 They will praise his holy name, as they tell of his magnificent works.

17:11 He set knowledge before them, he endowed them with the law of life.

17:12 He established an eternal covenant with them, and revealed his judgements to them.

17:13 Their eyes saw his glorious majesty, and their ears heard the glory of his voice.

17:14 He said to them, ‘Beware of all wrong doing’; he gave each a commandment concerning his neighbour.

The divine judge

17:15 Their ways are always under his eye, they cannot be hidden from his sight.

17:17 Over each nation he has set a governor, but Israel is the Lord’s own portion.[*a]

17:19 All their works are as the sun to him, and his eyes rest constantly on their ways.

17:20 Their iniquities are not hidden from him, all their sins are before the Lord.

17:22 A man’s almsgiving is like a signet ring to him, he cherishes a man’s generosity like the pupil of his eye.

17:23 One day he will rise and reward them, he will pay back their deserts on their own heads.

17:24 But to those who repent he permits return, and he encourages those who were losing hope.

Exhortation to repentance

17:25 Return to the Lord and leave sin behind, plead before his face and lessen your offence.

17:26 Come back to the Most High and turn away from iniquity, and bold in abhorrence all that is foul.

17:27 Who will praise the Most High in Sheol, if the living do not do so by giving glory to him?

17:28 To the dead, as to those who do not exist, praise is unknown, only those with life and health can praise the Lord.

17:29 How great is the mercy of the Lord, his pardon on all those who turn towards him!

17:30 Man cannot have everything, since the son of man is not immortal.

17:31 What is brighter than the sun? Yet it suffers eclipse. Flesh and blood think of nothing but evil.

17:32 He surveys the armies of the lofty sky, while all men are no more than dust and ashes.

JB SIRACH Chapter 18

The greatness of God

18:1 He who lives for ever created all the universe.

18:2 The Lord alone will be found righteous.

18:4 He has given no one the power to proclaim his works, and who can fathom his magnificent deeds?

18:5 Who can assess his magnificent strength, and who can go further and tell of his mercies?

18:6 Nothing can be added to them, nothing subtracted, it is impossible to fathom the marvels of the Lord.

18:7 When a man finishes he is only beginning, and when he stops he is as puzzled as ever.

The nothingness of man

18:8 What is man, what purpose does he serve? What is the good in him, and what the bad?

18:9 Take the number of a man’s days; a hundred years is very long.

18:10 Like a drop of water from the sea, or a grain of sand, such are these few years compared with eternity.

18:11 For this reason the Lord shows them forbearance, and pours out his mercy on them.

18:12 He sees and recognises how wretched their end is, and so he makes his forgiveness the greater.

18:13 Man’s compassion extends to his neighbour, but the compassion of the Lord extends to everything that lives; rebuking, correcting and teaching, bringing them back as a shepherd brings back a flock.

18:14 He has compassion on those who accept correction, who fervently look for judgements.

The art of giving

18:15 My son, do not temper your favours with disparagement, nor any of your gifts with words that hurt.

18:16 Does not dew relieve the heat? In the same way a word is worth more than a gift.

18:17 Why surely, a word is better than a good present, but a generous man is ready with both.

18:18 A fool will offer nothing but insult, and a grudging man’s gift makes the eyes smart.

Reflection and foresight

18:19 Learn before you speak, take care of yourself before you fall ill.

18:20 Examine yourself before judgement comes, and on the day of visitation you will find yourself acquitted.

18:21 Humble yourself before you fall ill, and when you sin, repent.

18:22 Let nothing prevent your discharging a vow in good time, and do not wait till death before setting matters to rights.

18:23 Prepare yourself before making a vow, and do not be like a man who tempts the Lord.

18:24 Bear the wrath of the last days in mind, the time of vengeance when God averts his face.

18:25 In a time of plenty remember times of famine, poverty and want in days of wealth.

18:26 The time slips by between dawn and dusk, all things pass swiftly in the presence of the Lord.

18:27 A wise man will be cautious in everything, and in sinful days he will take care not to offend.

18:28 Every man of sense recognises wisdom, and will respect anyone who has found her.

18:29 Those who understand sayings have themselves grown wise and have poured out apt proverbs.


18:30 Do not follow your lusts, restrain your desires.

18:31 If you allow yourself to satisfy your desires, this will make you the laughing-stock of your enemies.

18:32 Do not indulge in luxurious living, nor get involved in such society.

18:33 Do not beggar yourself by banqueting on credit when there is nothing in your pocket.

JB SIRACH Chapter 19

19:1 Behave like that and you will never grow rich; he who despises trifles will sink down little by little.

19:2 Wine and women corrupt sensible men, the customer of whores loses all sense of shame.

19:3 Grubs and worms will have him as their legacy, and the man who knows no shame shall lose his life.

Against loose talk

19:4 Being too ready to trust shows shallowness of mind, by committing sin a man does wrong to himself.

19:5 Taking pleasure in evil earns condemnation,

19:6 by hating gossip a man avoids evil.

19:7 Never repeat what you are told and you will come to no harm;

19:8 whether to friend or foe, do not talk about it, unless it would be sinful not to, do not reveal it;

19:9 you would be heard out, then mistrusted, and in due course you would be hated.

19:10 Have you heard something? Let it die with you. Courage! It will not burst you!

19:11 A fool will suffer birthpangs over something told him, like a woman labouring with child.

19:12 Like an arrow stuck in the flesh of the thigh, such is a piece of news inside a fool.

Do not trust everything you hear

19:13 Question your friend, he may have done nothing at all, and if he has done anything, he will not do it again.

19:14 Question your neighbour, he may have said nothing at all, and if he has said anything, he will not say it again.

19:15 Question your friend, for slander is very common, do not believe all you hear.

19:16 A man sometimes makes a slip, without meaning what he says; and which of us has never sinned by speech?

19:17 Question your neighbour before you threaten him, and leave scope for the Law of the Most High.

True and false wisdom

19:20 Wisdom consists entirely in fearing the Lord, and wisdom is entirely constituted by the fulfilling of the Law.

19:22 But being learned in evil is not wisdom, and there is no shrewd judgement in the advice of sinners.

19:23 There is a cleverness that is foul, he who does not have wisdom is a fool.

19:24 Better be short of sense and full of fear, than abound in shrewdness and violate the Law.

19:25 There is an adroit sort of cleverness promoting injustice, there is the man who will abuse favours to establish his case.

19:26 There is the man who will walk bowed down with grief, when inwardly this is nothing but deceit:

19:27 he hides his face and pretends to be deaf, and when you are off your guard he takes advantage of you.

19:28 This man may think he lacks the power to sin, but he will do wrong when he gets the chance.

19:29 You can tell a man by his appearance, you can tell a thinking man by the look on his face.

19:30 A man’s dress tells you what he does, and a man’s walk tells you what he is.

JB SIRACH Chapter 20

Silence and speech

20:1 There is the rebuke that is untimely, and there is the man who keeps quiet, and he is the shrewd one.

20:2 But how much better to rebuke than to fume!

20:3 The man who acknowledges a fault wards off punishment.

20:4 Like a eunuch longing to take a girl’s virginity so is he who uses force to argue cases.

20:5 There is the man who keeps quiet and is considered wise, another incurs hatred for talking too much.

20:6 There is the man who keeps quiet, not knowing how to answer, another keeps quiet, because he knows when to speak.

20:7 A wise man will keep quiet till the right moment, but a garrulous fool will always misjudge it.

20:8 The man who talks too much will get himself disliked, and the self-appointed oracle will make himself hated.


20:9 There is the man who finds misfortune the saving of him, and the lucky find that may turn to loss.

20:10 There is the gift that affords you no profit, and the gift that repays you double.

20:11 There is the honour that leads to humiliation, and there are men in a low state who raise their heads.

20:12 There is the man who buys much for little; yet pays for it seven times over.

20:13 The wise man will win love by his words, while fools may shower favours in vain.

20:14 A stupid man’s gift will bring you no advantage, his eyes look for seven times as much in return.

20:15 He gives little and reviles much, he opens his mouth like the town crier, he lends today and demands payment tomorrow; he is a detestable fellow.

20:16 The fool will say, ‘I have no friends, I get no gratitude for my good deeds;

20:17 those who eat my bread have malicious tongues’. How often he will be laughed at, and by how many!

Inappropriate talk

20:18 Better a slip on the pavement than a slip of the tongue; this is how ruin takes the wicked by surprise.

20:19 A coarse-grained man is like an indiscreet story endlessly retold by the ignorant.

20:20 A maxim is rejected when coming from a fool, since he does not utter it on the apt occasion.

20:21 Take a man who is prevented from sinning by poverty; no qualms of conscience disturb his rest.

20:22 Take a man who destroys himself out of false shame, destroys himself for the sake of a fool’s opinion.

20:23 Take a man who, out of false shame, makes promises to a friend, and so makes an enemy for nothing.


20:24 Lying is an ugly blot on a man, and ever on the lips of the ignorant.

20:25 A thief is preferable to an inveterate liar, but both are heading for ruin.

20:26 Lying is an abominable habit, so that disgrace is the liar’s for ever.

The wise man: his dignity and his dangers

20:27 A wise man advances himself by his words, a shrewd man will please princes.

20:28 He who tills the soil will have a full harvest, he who pleases princes will secure pardon for his offences.

20:29 Presents and gifts blind wise men eyes and stifle rebukes like a muzzle on the mouth.

20:30 Wisdom concealed, and treasure undiscovered, what use is either of these?

20:31 Better a man who conceals his folly than a man who conceals his wisdom.

JB SIRACH Chapter 21

Various sins

21:1 My son, have you sinned? Do not do it again, and ask forgiveness for your previous faults.

21:2 Flee from sin as from a snake, if you approach it, it will bite you; its teeth are lion’s teeth, they deprive men of their lives.

21:3 All law-breaking is like a two-edged sword, the wounds it inflicts are beyond cure.

21:4 Panic and violence make havoc of palaces, similarly, desolation overtakes the houses of the proud.

21:5 A plea from a poor man’s mouth goes straight to the ear of God, whose judgement comes without delay.

21:6 Whoever resents reproof walks in the sinner’s footsteps; the man who fears the Lord bears repentance in his heart.

21:7 The glib speaker is known far and wide, but when he makes a slip the thinking man detects it.

21:8 To build your house on other people’s money is like collecting stones for your own tomb.

21:9 A meeting of lawless men is like a heap of tow: they will end in a blazing fire.

21:10 The sinner’s road is smoothly paved, but it ends at the pit of Sheol.

The wise man and the fool

21:11 Whoever keeps the Law will master his instincts; the fear of the Lord is made perfect in wisdom.

21:12 The man who lacks intelligence cannot be taught, but intelligence can increase a man’s bitterness.

21:13 The wise man’s knowledge will increase like a flood, and his advice is like a living spring.

21:14 The heart of a fool is like a broken jar, it will not hold any knowledge.

21:15 If a cultured man hears a wise saying, he praises it and caps it with another; if an imbecile hears it, he laughs at it, and tosses it behind his back.

21:16 The talk of a fool is like a load on a journey, but it is a pleasure to listen to an intelligent man.

21:17 The shrewd man’s utterance will be eagerly awaited in the assembly, what he says will be given serious consideration.

21:18 The wisdom of a fool is like the wreckage of a house, the knowledge of a dolt is incoherent talk.

21:19 To the senseless fellow instruction is like fetters on his feet, like manacles on his right hand.

21:20 A fool laughs at the top of his voice, but a man of intelligence quietly smiles.

21:21 To the shrewd man instruction is like a golden ornament, like a bracelet on his right arm.

21:22 The foot of a fool goes straight into a house, but a man of much experience is respectful in his approach;

21:23 a stupid man peeps inside through the door, a well-bred man waits outside.

21:24 Listening at doors is a sign of bad upbringing, a perceptive man would be ashamed to do so.

21:25 The lips of gossips repeat the words of others, the words of wise men are carefully weighed.

21:26 The heart of fools is exposed in their words; the words of wise men reveal their heart

21:27 When a godless man curses his enemy, he is cursing himself.

21:28 The scandal-monger sullies himself and earns the hatred of the neighbourhood.

JB SIRACH Chapter 22

The idler

22:1 An idler is comparable to a stone covered in filth, everyone whistles at his disgrace.

22:2 An idler is comparable to a lump of dung, anyone picking it up shakes it off his hand.

Degenerate children

22:3 It is a disgrace to have fathered a badly brought-up son, and the birth of a daughter is a loss.

22:4 A sensible daughter is a treasure to her husband, but a shameless one is a grief to her father.

22:5 An insolent daughter puts father and mother to shame, and will be disowned by both.

22:6 An untimely remonstrance is like music at a funeral, but a thrashing and correction are wisdom at all times.

Wisdom and folly

22:9 You are gluing the broken pieces of a pot together if you try to teach a fool, you are rousing a man who is besotted with sleep.

22:10 A fool is the same as a drowsing man if you have to explain anything to him, when you have finished he will say, ‘What is it all about?’

22:11 Shed tears for the dead man, since he has left the light behind; shed tears for the fool, since he has left his wits behind; Shed quieter tears for the dead, since he is at rest. For the fool, life is sadder than death.

22:12 Mourning for the dead lasts seven days, for the foolish and ungodly all the days of their lives.

22:13 Do not waste many words on a stupid man, do not go near a dolt. Beware of him, or he will give you trouble; and will leave you soiled by contact with him. Avoid him, and you will find rest and not be exasperated by his folly.

22:14 What is heavier than lead, and what is its name if not ‘fool’?

22:15 Sand, and salt, and a lump of iron are all easier to bear than a dolt.

22:16 A tie-beam bonded into a building will not be dislodged by an earthquake; so too, a heart resolved after due reflection will not flinch at the critical moment.

22:17 A heart founded on intelligent reflection is like a stucco decoration on a smooth wall.

22:18 Pebbles placed on top of a wall will not stand up to the wind; no more can the heart of a fool frightened at his own thoughts stand up to fear.


22:19 Prick an eye and you will draw a tear, prick a heart and you bring its feelings to light.

22:20 Throw stones at birds and you scare them away, revile a friend and you break up friendship.

22:21 If you have drawn your sword on a friend, do not despair; there is a way back.

22:22 If you have opened your mouth against your friend, do not worry; there is hope for reconciliation; but insult, arrogance, betrayal of secrets, and the stab in the back – in these cases any friend will run away.

22:23 Win your neighbour’s confidence when he is poor, so that you may enjoy his later good fortune with him; stand by him in times of trouble, in order to have your share when he comes into a legacy.

22:24 Fire is heralded by the reek of the furnace and smoke, so too bloodshed by insults.

22:25 I will not be ashamed to shelter a friend, nor will I hide from his face;

22:26 and if evil comes to me through him, everyone who hears about it will beware of him.


22:27 Who will set a guard on my mouth, and a seal of prudence on my lips to keep me from falling, and my tongue from causing my ruin?

JB SIRACH Chapter 23

23:1 Lord, father and master of my life, do not abandon me to their whims, do not let me fall because of them.

23:2 Who will lay whips to my thoughts, and the discipline of wisdom to my heart, to be unmerciful to my errors, and let none of my sins go unchecked

23:3 in case my errors multiply, and my sins increase in number, and I fall before my adversaries, and my enemy gloats over me?

23:4 Lord, father and God of my life, do not give me proud eyes,

23:5 turn lust away from me,

23:6 do not let lechery and lust grip me, do not give me over to shameless desire.


23:7 Listen, children, to the instruction I have to give; whoever keeps it will not be caught out.

23:8 The sinner is ensnared by his own lips, both the abusive and the proud man are tripped by them.

23:9 Do not accustom your mouth to swearing, nor get into the habit of naming the Holy One;

23:10 for just as a slave who is constantly overseen will never be without bruises, so too the man who is continually swearing oaths and uttering the name will not be exempt from sin.

23:11 A man forever swearing is full of iniquity, and the scourge will not depart from his house. If he offends, his sin will be on him, if he swears lightly, he sins twice over; if he swears a false oath, he will not be treated as innocent, for his house will be filled with calamities.

Foul talk

23:12 There is a manner of talking that is fraught with death; let it not be found in the inheritance of Jacob, for devout men will keep all that far from them, they will not wallow in sin.

23:13 Do not habituate your mouth to coarseness and foul language, for this means sinful talk.

23:14 Remember your father and mother when you are sitting among princes, in case you forget yourself in their presence, and behave like a fool, and then wish you had not been born, and curse the day of your birth.

23:15 A man in the habit of using improper words will never break himself of it however long he lives.

Incest and adultery

23:16 Two kinds of men multiply sins, and a third draws down wrath:

23:17 there is a desire that, blazing like a furnace, cannot be quenched until it is slaked; there is the man who lusts for his own flesh: he will not give up until the fire consumes him; to a fornicator all food is sweet, and he will not weary of it until he dies:

23:18 The man who sins against his own marriage bed, and says to himself, ‘Who can see me? There is darkness all round me, the walls hide me, nobody sees me; why should I worry? The Most High will not call my sins to mind’: what he fears is the eyes of men,

23:19 he does not realise that the eyes of the Lord are ten thousand times brighter than the sun, observing every aspect of human behaviour, seeing into the most secret corners.

23:20 All things were known to him before they were created, and are still, now that they are finished.

23:21 This man will be punished in view of the whole town, and will be seized where he least expects it.

The adulteress

23:22 Similarly the woman who deserts her husband, and provides him with an heir by another man:

23:23 first, she has disobeyed the Law of the Most High; secondly, she has been false to her husband; and thirdly, she has gone whoring in adultery and conceived children by another man.

23:24 She will be led before the assembly, an enquiry will be held about her children.

23:25 Her children will strike no root, her branches will bear no fruit.

23:26 She will leave an accursed memory behind her, her shame will never be wiped out.

23:27 And those who survive her will recognise that nothing is better than fearing the Lord, and nothing sweeter than adherence to the Lord’s commandments.

JB SIRACH Chapter 24

Discourse of Wisdom

24:1 Wisdom speaks her own praises, in the midst of her people she glories in herself.

24:2 She opens her mouth in the assembly of the Most High, she glories in herself in the presence of the Mighty One;

24:3 ‘I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and I covered the earth like mist.

24:4 I had my tent in the heights, and my throne in a pillar of cloud.

24:5 Alone I encircled the vault of the sky, and I walked on the bottom of the deeps.

24:6 Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway.

24:7 Among all these I searched for rest, and looked to see in whose territory I might pitch camp.

24:8 Then the creator of all things instructed me, and he who created me fixed a place for my tent. He said, “Pitch your tent in Jacob, make Israel your inheritance”.

24:9 From eternity, in the beginning, he created me, and for eternity I shall remain.

24:10 I ministered before him in the holy tabernacle, and thus was I established on Zion.

24:11 In the beloved city he has given me rest, and in Jerusalem I wield my authority.

24:12 I have taken root in a privileged people, in the Lord’s property, in his inheritance.

24:13 I have grown tall as a cedar on Lebanon, as a cypress on Mount Hermon;

24:14 I have grown tall as a palm in Engedi, as the rose bushes of Jericho; as a fine olive in the plain, as a plane tree I have grown tall.

24:15 I have exhaled a perfume like cinnamon and acacia, I have breathed out a scent like choice myrrh, like galbanum, onycha and stacte, like the smoke of incense in the tabernacle.

24:16 I have spread my branches like a terebinth, and my branches are glorious and graceful.

24:17 I am like a vine putting out graceful shoots, my blossoms bear the fruit of glory and wealth.

24:19 Approach me, you who desire me, and take your fill of my fruits,

24:20 for memories of me are sweeter than honey, inheriting me is sweeter than the honeycomb.

24:21 They who eat me will hunger for more, they who drink me will thirst for more.

24:22 Whoever listens to me will never have to blush, whoever acts as I dictate will never sin’.

Wisdom and the Law

24:23 All this is no other than the book of the covenant of the Most High God, the Law that Moses enjoined on us, an inheritance for the communities of Jacob.

24:25 That is what makes wisdom brim like the Pishon[*a], like the Tigris in the season of fruit,

24:26 what makes understanding brim over like the Euphrates, like the Jordan at harvest time

24:27 and makes discipline flow like the Nile, like the Gihon at the time of vintage.

24:28 The first man never managed to grasp her entirely, nor has the most recent one fully comprehended her

24:29 for her thoughts are wider than the sea, and her designs more profound than the abyss.

24:30 And I, like a conduit from a river, like a watercourse running into a garden,

24:31 I said, ‘I am going to water my orchard, I intend to irrigate my flower beds’ And see, my conduit has grown into a river, and my river has grown into a sea.

24:32 Now I shall make discipline shine out, I shall send its light far and wide.

24:33 I shall pour out teaching like prophecy, as a legacy to all future generations.

24:34 Observe that I have not toiled for myself alone, but for all who are seeking wisdom.

JB SIRACH Chapter 25


25:1 There are three things my soul delights in, and which are delightful to God and to men: concord between brothers, friendship between neighbours, and a wife and husband who live happily together.

25:2 There are three sorts of people my soul hates, and whose existence I consider an outrage: a poor man swollen with pride, a rich man who is a liar and an adulterous old man who has no sense.

Old men

25:3 If you have gathered nothing in your youth, how can you find anything in your old age?

25:4 How fine a thing: sound judgement with grey hairs, and for greybeards to know how to advise!

25:5 How fine a thing: wisdom in the aged, and considered advice coming from men of distinction!

25:6 The crown of old men is ripe experience, their true glory, the fear of the Lord.

Numerical proverbs

25:7 There are nine things I can think of which strike me as happy, and a tenth which is now on my tongue: a man whose joy is in his children, he who lives to see the downfall of his enemies;

25:8 happy the man who keeps house with a sensible wife; he who does not toil with ox and donkey[*a]; he who has never sinned with his tongue; he who does not serve a man less worthy than himself;

25:9 happy the man who has acquired good sense and can find attentive ears for what he has to say;

25:10 how great the man is who has acquired wisdom; but no one excels the man who fears the Lord.

25:11 The fear of the Lord surpasses everything; what can compare with a man who has mastered that?


25:13 Any wound rather than a wound of the heart! Any spite rather than the spite of woman!

25:14 Any evil rather than an evil caused by an enemy! Any vengeance rather than the vengeance of a foe!

25:15 There is no poison worse than the poison of a snake, there is no fury worse than the fury of an enemy.

25:16 I would sooner keep house with a lion or a dragon than keep house with a spiteful wife.

25:17 A woman’s spite changes her appearance and makes her face as grim as any bear’s.

25:18 When her husband goes out to dinner with his neighbours, he cannot help heaving bitter sighs.

25:19 No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman, may a sinner’s lot be hers!

25:20 As climbing up a sandhill is for elderly feet such is a garrulous wife for a quiet husband.

25:21 Do not be taken in by a woman’s beauty, never lose your head over a woman.

25:22 Bad temper, insolence and shame hold sway where the wife supports the husband.

25:23 Low spirits, gloomy face, stricken heart: such the achievements of a spiteful wife. Slack hands and sagging knees indicate a wife who makes her husband wretched.

25:24 Sin began with a woman, and thanks to her we all must die.

25:25 Do not let water find a leak, do not allow a spiteful woman free rein for her tongue.

25:26 If she will not do as you tell her, get rid of her[*b].

JB SIRACH Chapter 26

26:1 Happy the husband of a really good wife; the number of his days will be doubled.

26:2 A perfect wife is the joy of her husband, he will live out the years of his life in peace.

26:3 A good wife is the best of portions, reserved for those who fear the Lord; rich or poor,

26:4 they will be glad of heart, cheerful of face, whatever the season.

26:5 There are three things my heart dreads, and a fourth which terrifies me: slander by a whole town, the gathering of a mob, and a false accusation-these are all worse than death;

26:6 but a woman jealous of a woman means heartbreak and sorrow, and all this is the scourge of the tongue.

26:7 A bad wife is a badly fitting ox yoke, trying to master her is like grasping a scorpion.

26:8 A drunken wife will goad anyone to fury, she makes no effort to hide her degradation.

26:9 A woman’s wantonness shows in her bold look, and can be recognised by her sidelong glances.

26:10 Keep a headstrong daughter under firm control, or she will abuse any indulgence she receives.

26:11 Keep a strict watch on her shameless eye, do not be surprised if she disgraces you.

26:12 Like a thirsty traveller she will open her mouth and drink any water she comes across; she will sit in front of every peg, and open her quiver to any arrow.

26:13 The grace of a wife will charm her husband, her accomplishments will make him the stronger.

26:14 A silent wife is a gift from the Lord, no price can be put on a well-trained character.

26:15 A modest wife is a boon twice over, a chaste character cannot be weighed on scales.

26:16 Like the sun rising over the mountains of the Lord is the beauty of a good wife in a well-kept house.

26:17 Like the lamp shining on the sacred lamp-stand is a beautiful face on a well-proportioned body.

26:18 Like golden pillars on a silver base are shapely legs on firm-set heels.

Depressing things

26:28 There are two things which grieve my heart and a third arouses my anger: a warrior wasting away through poverty, intelligent men treated with contempt, a man turning back from virtue to sin-the Lord marks this man out for a violent death.


26:29 It is difficult for a merchant to avoid doing wrong and for a salesman not to incur sin.

JB SIRACH Chapter 27

27:1 Many have sinned for the sake of profit, he who hopes to be rich must be ruthless.

27:2 A peg will stick in the joint between two stones, and sin will wedge itself between selling and buying.

27:3 If a man does not hold earnestly to the fear of the Lord, his House will soon be overthrown.


27:4 In a shaken sieve the rubbish is left behind, so too the defects of a man appear in his talk.

27:5 The kiln tests the work of the potter, the test of a man is in his conversation.

27:6 The orchard where the tree grows is judged on the quality of its fruit, similarly a man’s words betray what he feels.

27:7 Do not praise a man before he has spoken, since this is the test of men.


27:8 If you pursue justice you will achieve it and put it on like a festal gown.

27:9 Birds consort with their kind, justice comes home to those who practise it.

27:10 The lion lies in wait for its prey, so does sin for those who do wrong.

27:11 The devout man’s conversation is wisdom at all times, but the fool is as changeable as the moon.

27:12 Among stupid people look for your opportunity to leave, but among thoughtful men take your time.

27:13 The conversation of fools is disgusting, raucous their laughter at their sinful orgies.

27:14 The talk of hard-swearing men makes your hair stand on end, their brawls make you stop your ears.

27:15 A quarrel between proud men leads to bloodshed, their abuse is painful to hear.


27:16 A betrayer of secrets forfeits all esteem and will never find the kind of friend he wants.

27:17 Be fond of a friend and keep faith with him, but if you have betrayed his secrets, do not pursue him any more;

27:18 for as a man destroys his enemy, so you have destroyed the friendship of your neighbour,

27:19 and as you let a bird slip through your fingers, so you have let your friend go, and will not catch him

27:20 Do not go after him – he is far away, he has fled like a gazelle from the snare.

27:21 For a wound can be bandaged and abuse forgiven, but for the man who has betrayed a secret there is no hope.


27:22 The man with a sly wink is plotting mischief, no one can dissuade him from it.

27:23 Honey-tongued to your face, he is lost in admiration at your words; but behind your back he has other things to say, and makes your own words sound offensive.

27:24 I have found many things to hate, but nothing to equal this man, and the Lord hates him too.

27:25 The man who throws a stone in the air, throws it on to his own head; a treacherous blow cuts both ways.

27:26 The man who digs a pit falls into it, he who sets a snare will be caught by it.

27:27 On the man who does evil, evil will recoil, though where it came from he will not know.

27:28 Sarcasm and abuse are the mark of an arrogant man, but vengeance lies in wait like a lion for him.

27:29 The trap will close on all who rejoice in the downfall of the devout, and pain will eat them up before they die.


27:30 Resentment and anger, these are foul things too, and both are found with the sinner.

JB SIRACH Chapter 28

28:1 He who exacts vengeance will experience the vengeance of the Lord, who keeps strict account of sin.

28:2 Forgive your neighbour the hurt he does you, and when you pray, your sins will be forgiven.

28:3 If a man nurses anger against another, can he then demand compassion from the Lord?

28:4 Showing no pity for a man like himself, can he then plead for his own sins?

28:5 Mere creature of flesh, he cherishes resentment; who will forgive him his sins?

28:6 Remember the last things, and stop hating, remember dissolution and death, and live by the commandments.

28:7 Remember the commandments, and do not bear your neighbour ill-will; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook the offence.


28:8 Avoid quarrelling and you will sin less; for a hot-tempered man provokes quarrels,

28:9 a sinner sows trouble between friends, introducing discord among men at peace.

28:10 The way a fire burns depends on its fuel, a quarrel spreads in proportion to its violence; a man’s rage depends on his strength, his fury grows fiercer in proportion to his wealth.

28:11 A sudden quarrel kindles fire, a hasty dispute leads to bloodshed.

28:12 Blow on a spark and up it flares, spit on it and out it goes; both are the effects of your mouth.

The tongue

28:13 A curse on the scandal-monger and the deceitful, he has ruined many who lived in concord.

28:14 That third tongue has shaken many,[*a] and driven them from nation to nation; it has pulled down fortified cities, and overturned the houses of princes.

28:15 The third tongue has driven virtuous wives out of house and home, and deprived them of the due reward for their hard work.

28:16 Anyone who listens to it will never know peace of mind, will never live in peace again.

28:17 A stroke of the whip raises a weal, but a stroke of the tongue breaks bones.

28:18 Many have fallen by the edge of the sword, but many more have fallen by the tongue.

28:19 Happy the man who has been sheltered from it, and has not experienced its fury, who has not dragged its yoke about, or been bound in its chains;

28:20 for its yoke is an iron yoke, its chains are bronze chains;

28:21 the death it inflicts is a miserable death, Sheol is preferable to it.

28:22 It cannot gain a hold over the devout, they are not burnt by its flames.

28:23 Those who desert the Lord will fall into it, it will flare up inextinguishably among them, it will be let loose against them like a lion, it will tear them like a leopard.

28:24 Look, fence your property round with a quickthorn hedge, lock away your silver and gold;

28:25 then make scales and weights for your words, then make and put a door with bolts across your mouth.

28:26 Take care you take no false step through it, in case you fall a prey to him who lies in wait.

JB SIRACH Chapter 29


29:1 Making your neighbour a loan is an act of mercy, to lend him a helping hand is to keep the commandments.

29:2 Lend to your neighbour in his time of need, and in your turn repay your neighbour on time.

29:3 Be as good as your word and keep faith with him, and you will find your needs met every time.

29:4 Many treat a loan as a windfall, and embarrass those who have come to their rescue.

29:5 Until he gets something, a man will kiss his neighbour’s hand, and refer to his wealth in respectful tones; but when the loan falls due, he puts this off, he repays with offhand words, and pleads the inconvenience of the time.

29:6 Even if he can be made to pay, his creditor will barely recover half, and consider even that a windfall. But otherwise he will be cheated of his money, and undeservedly gain himself an enemy; the man will pay him back in curses and recriminations, and instead of respect will have contempt for him.

29:7 Many, not out of malice, refuse to lend; they are merely anxious not to be cheated for nothing.


29:8 Nevertheless, be patient with those who are badly-off, do not keep them waiting on your generosity.

29:9 For the commandment’s sake go to the poor man’s help, do not turn him away empty-handed in his need.

29:10 Better let your silver go on brother or friend, do not let it go to waste, rusting under a stone.

29:11 Invest your treasure as the Most High orders, and you will find it more profitable than gold.

29:12 Deposit generosity in your storerooms and it will release you from every misfortune.

29:13 Better than sturdy shield or weighty spear, it will fight for you against the enemy.


29:14 A good man will go surety for his neighbour; a man has lost all shame if he fails him.

29:15 Do not forget the favour your guarantor has done you; he has given his life for you.

29:16 A sinner is careless of his guarantor’s prosperity, an ungrateful man forgets the one who saved him.

29:17 Going surety has ruined many prosperous men and rocked them like a wave of the sea.

29:18 It has driven powerful men from home to wander among foreign nations.

29:19 The sinner who involves himself with guarantees, in pursuit of a deal, will find himself involved in lawsuits.

29:20 Come to your neighbour’s help as far as you can, but take care not to fall into the same plight.

Home and hospitality

29:21 The first thing in life is water, and bread, and clothing, and a house for the sake of privacy.

29:22 Better a poor man’s life under a roof of planks, than lavish fare in the house of another.

29:23 Whether you have little or much, be content with it, and you will not be dubbed an intruder.

29:24 It is a miserable life, going from house to house; wherever you stay, not daring to open your mouth;

29:25 you are a stranger, you know the taste of humiliation, not to mention the sound of embittering words,

29:26 ‘Come along, stranger, lay the table, if you have anything with you, give it to me to eat’.

29:27 ‘Go away, stranger, make room for someone important; my brother is coming to stay, I need the house.’

29:28 It is hard for a cultured man to hear himself begrudged hospitality and treated like an undischarged debtor.

JB SIRACH Chapter 30

Bringing up children

30:1 A man who loves his son will beat him frequently so that in after years the son may be his comfort.

30:2 A man who is strict with his son will reap the benefit, and be able to boast of him to his acquaintances.

30:3 A man who educates his son will be the envy of his enemy, and will be proud of him among his friends.

30:4 Even when the father dies, he might well not be dead, since he leaves his likeness behind him.

30:5 In life he has had the joy of his company, dying, he has no anxieties.

30:6 He leaves an avenger against his enemies, and a rewarder of favours for his friends.

30:7 A man who coddles his son will bandage his wounds, his heart will turn over at every shout.

30:8 A horse badly broken-in turns out stubborn, an uncontrolled son turns out headstrong.

30:9 Pamper your child, and he will give you a fright, play with him, and he will bring you sorrow.

30:10 Do not share his laughter, if you do not wish to share his sorrow and to end by grinding your teeth.

30:11 Allow him no independence in childhood, and do not wink at his mistakes.

30:12 Bend his neck in youth, bruise his ribs while he is a child, or else he will grow stubborn and disobedient, and hurt you very deeply.

30:13 Be strict with your son, and persevere with him, or you will rue his insolence.


30:14 Better a poor man healthy and fit than a rich man tormented in body.

30:15 Health and strength are better than any gold, a robust body than untold wealth.

30:16 No riches can outweigh bodily health, no enjoyment surpass a cheerful heart.

30:17 Better death than a wretched life, and everlasting rest than chronic illness.

30:18 Good things lavished on a closed mouth are like food offerings put on a grave.

30:19 What use is an offering to an idol which can neither eat nor smell? How describe a man pursued by the Lord’s displeasure?[*a]

30:20 He looks and sighs as a eunuch embracing a virgin sighs.


30:21 Do not abandon yourself to sorrow, do not torment yourself with brooding.

30:22 Gladness of heart is life to a man, joy is what gives him length of days.

30:23 Beguile your cares, console your heart, chase sorrow far away; for sorrow has been the ruin of many, and is no use to anybody.

30:24 Jealousy and anger shorten your days, and worry brings premature old age.

30:25 A genial heart makes a good trencherman, one who benefits from his food.

JB SIRACH Chapter 31


31:1 The sleeplessness brought by wealth makes a man lose weight, the worry it causes drives away sleep.

31:2 The worries of the daytime interfere with slumber, as a serious illness drives away sleep.

31:3 The rich man toils, piling up money, and when he leaves off, he stuffs himself with luxuries;

31:4 the poor man toils, his livelihood dwindling, and when he leaves off, is destitute.

31:5 The man who loves gold will not be reckoned virtuous, the man who chases after profit will be caught out by it.

31:6 Many have gone to their ruin for the sake of gold, though their destruction stared them in the face;

31:7 it is a snare for those who sacrifice to it, and every fool will be caught in it.

31:8 Happy the rich man who is found to be blameless and does not go chasing after gold.

31:9 Who is he, for us to congratulate him, since he has achieved wonders among his kind?

31:10 Who has been through this test and emerged perfect? He may well be proud of that! Who has had the power to sin and has not sinned, to wrong another and not done it?

31:11 His fortune will be firmly based and the assembly will acclaim his generosity.

Dinner parties

31:12 Have you sat down at a lavish table? Do not gape at it, do not say, ‘What a feast!’

31:13 Remember how bad it is to have a greedy eye; is anything in creation greedier than the eye? That is why it waters on every occasion.

31:14 Do not reach out for anything your host has his eye on, do not jostle him at the dish.

31:15 Judge your fellow guest’s needs by your own, be thoughtful in every way.

31:16 Eat what is offered you like a well brought-up person, do not wolf your food or you will earn dislike.

31:17 For politeness’ sake be the first to stop; do not act the glutton, or you will give offence,

31:18 and if you are sitting with a large party, do not help yourself before the others do.

31:19 A little is quite enough for a well-bred person; his breathing is easy when he gets to bed.

31:20 A moderate diet ensures sound sleep, a man gets up early, in the best of spirits. Sleeplessness, biliousness and gripe are what the glutton has to endure.

31:21 If you are forced to eat too much, get up, go and be sick, and you will feel better.

31:22 Listen to me my son, do not disregard me, eventually you will see the force of my words. Be moderate in all your activities and illness will never overtake you.

31:23 People praise the man who keeps a splendid table, and their opinion of his munificence is sound;

31:24 similarly, the man who keeps a mean table will be notorious throughout the town, and their opinion of his meanness is not doubtful either.


31:25 Do not play the valiant at your wine, for wine has been the undoing of many.

31:26 The furnace proves the temper of steel, and wine proves hearts in the drinking bouts of braggarts.

31:27 Wine is life for man if drunk in moderation. What is life worth without wine? It was created to make men happy.

31:28 Drunk at the right time and in the right amount, wine makes for a glad heart and a cheerful mind.

31:29 Bitterness of soul comes of wine drunk to excess out of temper or bravado.

31:30 Drunkenness excites the stupid man to a fury to his own harm, it reduces his strength while leading to blows.

31:31 Do not rebuke your neighbour at a wine feast, do not slight him when he is enjoying himself, do not speak reproachfully to him, or annoy him by reclaiming money owing.

JB SIRACH Chapter 32


32:1 Have they made you president?[*a] Do not let it go to your head, behave like everyone else in the party, see that they are happy and then sit down yourself.

32:2 Having discharged your duties, take your place and enjoy yourself with the others, and receive the crown for your competence.

32:3 Speak, old men, it is proper that you should; but know what you are talking about, and do not interrupt the music.

32:4 If entertainment is provided, do not keep up a running commentary, and do not play the sage at the wrong moment.

32:5 A carbuncle seal on a precious stone, such is a concert of music at a wine feast.

32:6 An emerald seal in a golden setting, such are strains of music with a vintage wine.

32:7 Speak, young men, if you have to; but twice at most, and then only if questioned.

32:8 Keep to the point, say much in few words; give the impression of knowing but not wanting to speak.

32:9 Among eminent men do not behave as though you were their equal; do not make frivolous remarks when someone else is speaking.

32:10 Lightning comes before the thunder, favour goes ahead of a modest man.

32:11 Rise in good time to take your leave, do not bring up the rear; hurry home without loitering.

32:12 There amuse yourself, and do what you have a mind to, but do not sin by arrogant talk.

32:13 And for all this bless him who made you and plies you with his good things.

The fear of God

32:14 The man who fears the Lord will accept his correction; those who eagerly look for him will win his favour.

32:15 The man who seeks the Law will be nourished by it, the hypocrite will find it a stumbling-block.

32:16 Those who fear the Lord will have justice done them, and make their good deeds shine like a light.

32:17 The sinner waves reproof aside, he finds excuses to do what he wants.

32:18 A sensible man never scorns a suggestion; a proud and godless man will be immune to fear.

32:19 Never act without reflection, and you will have nothing to regret when you have done it.

32:20 Do not venture on a rough road, for fear of stumbling over the stones.

32:21 Do not be over confident on an even road,

32:22 and beware of your own children.

32:23 Watch yourself in everything you do, this is what keeping the commandments means.

32:24 The man who trusts in the Law pays attention to the commandments, the man who has confidence in the Lord will come to no harm.

JB SIRACH Chapter 33

33:1 If a man fears the Lord, evil will not come his way, again and again he will be rescued in his trials.

33:2 The man who hates the Law is not wise, if hypocritical in observance, he is like a ship in a storm.

33:3 A man of understanding will put his faith in the Law, for him the Law is as dependable as an oracle.

33:4 Prepare what you have to say and you will get a hearing, marshal your information before you answer.

33:5 The feelings of a fool are like a cart-wheel, his thought revolves like a turning axle.

33:6 A rutting stallion is like a sarcastic friend; he neighs, whoever rides him.


33:7 Why is one day better than another, when each day’s light throughout the year comes from the sun?

33:8 They have been differentiated in the mind of the Lord, who has diversified the seasons and feasts;

33:9 some he has made more important and hallowed, others he has made ordinary days.

33:10 All men come from the ground, Adam himself was formed out of earth;

33:11 in the fulness of his wisdom the Lord has made distinctions between them, and diversified their conditions.

33:12 Some he has blessed and made more important, some he has hallowed and set near him; others he has cursed and humiliated by degrading them from their positions.

33:13 Like clay in the hands of the potter to mould as it pleases him, so are men in the hands of their Maker to reward as he judges right.

33:14 Opposite evil stands good, opposite death, life; so too, opposite the devout man stands the sinner.

33:15 This is the way to view all the works of the Most High; they go, in pairs, by opposites.

33:16 I myself have been the last to keep watch, like a gleaner following the vintagers.

33:17 By the blessing of the Lord I have come in first, and, like a vintager, filled the winepress.

33:18 Observe that I have not toiled for myself only, but for all who seek instruction.

33:19 Listen to me, you princes of the people, leaders of the assembly, lend ear.


33:20 Neither to son nor wife, brother nor friend, give power over yourself during your own lifetime. And do not give your property to anyone else, in case you regret it and have to ask for it back.

33:21 As long as you live and there is breath in your body, do not yield power over yourself to anyone;

33:22 since it is better for your children to be your suppliants, than for you to have to look to the generosity of your sons.

33:23 In all you do be the master, and do not spoil the honour that is rightly yours.

33:24 The day your life draws to a close, when death is approaching, is the time to distribute your inheritance.


33:25 Fodder, the stick and burdens for a donkey, bread, discipline and work for a slave.

33:26 Work your servant hard, and you will know peace of mind; leave his hands idle, and he will start thinking of his freedom.

33:27 Yoke and harness will bow the neck, for a criminal slave there is the rack and torture.

33:28 Keep him occupied, or he will idle; idleness teaches all sorts of mischief.

33:29 Keep him at his duties, where he should be, if he is disobedient, clap him in irons.

33:30 But do not be over-exacting with anyone, and do nothing contrary to justice.

33:31 You have only one slave? Treat him like yourself, since you have acquired him with blood.

33:32 You have only one slave? Treat him as a brother, since you need him as you need yourself.

33:33 If you ill-treat him and he runs away, which way will you go to look for him?

JB SIRACH Chapter 34


34:1 Vain and deceptive hopes are for the foolish, and dreams put fools in a flutter.

34:2 As well clutch at shadows and chase the wind as put any faith in dreams.

34:3 Mirror and dream are similar things: confronting a face, the reflection of that face.

34:4 What can be cleansed by uncleanness, what can be verified by falsehood?

34:5 Divinations, auguries and dreams are nonsense, like the delirious fancies of a pregnant woman.

34:6 Unless sent as emissaries from the Most High, do not give them a thought;

34:7 for dreams have led many astray, and those building their hopes on them have been disappointed.

34:8 Fulfilling the Law requires no such falsehood, and wisdom is most perfectly expressed by truthful lips.


34:9 A much travelled man knows many things, and a man of great experience will talk sound sense.

34:10 Someone who has never had his trials knows little; but the travelled man is master of every situation.

34:11 I have seen many things on my travels, I have understood more than I can put into words.

34:12 I have often been in danger of death, but I have been spared, and this is why:

34:13 the spirit of those who fear the Lord can survive, for their hope is in someone with power to save them.

34:14 The man who fears the Lord will not be faint-hearted, will not be daunted since the Lord is his hope.

34:15 Happy the soul of the man who fears the Lord. On whom does he rely? Who supports him?

34:16 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who love him, he is their powerful protection and their strong support, their screen from the desert wind, their shelter from the midday sun, a guard against stumbling, an assurance against a fall.

34:17 He revives the spirit and brightens the eyes, he gives healing, life and blessing.


34:18 The sacrifice of an offering unjustly acquired is a mockery; the gifts of impious men are unacceptable.

34:19 The Most High takes no pleasure in offerings from the godless, multiplying sacrifices will not gain his pardon for sin.

34:20 Offering sacrifice from the property of the poor is as bad as slaughtering a son before his father’s very eyes.

34:21 A meagre diet is the very life of the poor, he who withholds it is a man of blood.

34:22 A man murders his neighbour if he robs him of his livelihood, sheds blood if he withholds an employee’s wages.

34:23 If one man builds while another pulls down, what else do they gain but trouble?

34:24 If one man prays and another calls down a curse, whose voice will the master listen to?

34:25 If a man washes after touching a corpse, and then touches it again, what is the good of his washing?

34:26 Just so with a man who fasts for his sins, and then goes off and commits them again. Who will listen to his prayers? What is the good of his self-abasement?

JB SIRACH Chapter 35

The Law and sacrifices

35:1 A man multiplies offerings by keeping the Law; he offers communion sacrifices by following the commandments.

35:2 By showing gratitude he makes an offering of fine flour, by giving alms he offers a sacrifice of praise.

35:3 Withdraw from wickedness and the Lord will be pleased, withdraw from injustice and you make atonement.

35:4 Do not appear empty-handed in the Lord’s presence; for all these things are due under the commandment.

35:5 A virtuous man’s offering graces the altar, and its savour rises before the Most High.

35:6 A virtuous man’s sacrifice is acceptable, its memorial will not be forgotten.

35:7 Honour the Lord with generosity, do not stint the first-fruits you bring.

35:8 Add a smiling face to all your gifts, and be cheerful as you dedicate your tithes.

35:9 Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously as your means can afford;

35:10 for the Lord is a good rewarder, he will reward you seven times over.

The justice of God

35:11 Offer him no bribe, he will not accept it, do not put your faith in an unvirtuous sacrifice;

35:12 since the Lord is a judge who is no respecter of personages.

35:13 He shows no respect of personages to the detriment of a poor man, he listens to the plea of the injured party.

35:14 He does not ignore the orphan’s supplication, nor the widow’s as she pours out her story.

35:15 Do the widow’s tears not run down her cheeks, as she cries out against the man who caused them?

35:16 The man who with his whole heart serves God will be accepted, his petitions will carry to the clouds.

35:17 The humble man’s prayer pierces the clouds, until it arrives he is inconsolable,

35:18 nor will he desist until the Most High takes notice of him, acquits the virtuous and delivers judgement.

35:19 And the Lord will not be slow, nor will he be dilatory on their behalf,

35:20 until he has crushed the loins of the merciless and exacted vengeance on the nations,

35:21 until he has eliminated the hordes of the arrogant and broken the sceptres of the wicked,

35:22 until he has repaid each as his deeds deserve and human actions as their intentions merit,

35:23 until he has judged the case of his people and made them rejoice in his mercy.

35:24 Mercy is welcome in time of trouble, like rain clouds in time of drought.

JB SIRACH Chapter 36

Prayer for the deliverance and restoration of Israel

36:1 Have mercy on us, Master, Lord of all, and look on us, cast the fear of yourself over every nation.

36:2 Raise your hand against the foreign nations and let them see your might.

36:3 As in their sight you have proved yourself holy before us, so now in our sight prove yourself great before them.

36:4 Let them acknowledge you, just as we have acknowledged that there is no God but you, Lord.

36:5 Send new portents, do fresh wonders, win glory for your hand and your right arm.

36:6 Rouse your fury, pour out your rage, destroy the opponent, annihilate the enemy.

36:7 Hasten the day, remember the oath, and let men tell of your mighty deeds.

36:8 Let fiery wrath swallow up the survivor, and destruction overtake those who use your people badly.

36:9 Crush the heads of hostile rulers who say, ‘There is nobody else but us!’

36:10 Gather together all the tribes of Jacob, restore them their inheritance as in the beginning.[*a]

36:11 Have mercy, Lord, on the people who have invoked your name, on Israel whom you have treated as a first-born.

36:12 Show compassion on your holy city, on Jerusalem the place of your rest.

36:13 Fill Zion with songs of your praise, and your sanctuary with your glory.

36:14 Bear witness to those you created in the beginning, and bring about what has been prophesied in your name.

36:15 Give those who wait for you their reward, and let your prophets be proved worthy of belief.

36:16 Grant, Lord, the prayer of your servants, in accordance with Aaron’s blessing on your people,

36:17 so that all the earth’s inhabitants may acknowledge that you are the Lord, the everlasting God.


36:18 The stomach takes in all kinds of food but some foods are better than others.

36:19 As the palate discerns the flavour of game, so a shrewd man detects lying words.

36:20 A perverse heart causes sorrow, an experienced man knows how to pay him back.


36:21 A woman will accept any husband, but some daughters are better than others.

36:22 A woman’s beauty delights the beholder, a man likes nothing better.

36:23 If her tongue is kind and gentle, her husband has no equal among the sons of men.

36:24 The man who takes a wife has the makings of a fortune, a helper that suits him, and a pillar to lean on.

36:25 If a property has no fence, it will be plundered. When a man has no wife, he is aimless and querulous.

36:26 Will anyone trust a man carrying weapons who flits from town to town?

36:27 So it is with the man who has no nest, and lodges wherever night overtakes him.

JB SIRACH Chapter 37

False friends

37:1 Any friend will say, ‘I am your friend too’, but some friends are only friends in name.

37:2 Is it not a deadly sorrow, when a comrade or a friend turns enemy?

37:3 O evil inclination, why were you created, to cover the earth with deceit?

37:4 One sort of comrade takes advantage of his friend’s good fortune, but in time of trouble turns against him.

37:5 Another sort of comrade shares his friend’s hardships out of concern, when it comes to a fight, he springs to arms.

37:6 Do not forget the friend who fought your battles, do not put him out of mind once you are rich.


37:7 Any adviser will offer advice, but some are governed by self-interest.

37:8 Beware of a man who offers advice, first find out what he wants himself-since his advice coincides with his own interest-in case he has designs on you

37:9 and tells you, ‘You are on the right road’, but stands well clear to see what will happen to you.

37:10 Do not consult a man who looks at you askance, conceal your plans from people jealous of you.

37:11 Do not consult a woman about her rival, or a coward about war, a merchant about prices, or a buyer about selling, a mean man about gratitude, or a selfish man about kindness, a lazy fellow about any sort of work, or a casual worker about finishing a job, an idle servant about a major undertaking-do not rely on these for any advice.

37:12 But constantly have recourse to a devout man, whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, will be sympathetic.

37:13 Finally, stick to the advice your own heart gives you, no one can be truer to you than that;

37:14 since a man’s soul often forewarns him better than seven watchmen perched on a watchtower.

37:15 And besides all this beg the Most High to guide your steps in the truth.

True and false wisdom

37:16 Reason must be the beginning of every activity, reflection must come before any undertaking.

37:17 Thoughts are rooted in the heart, and this sends out four branches:

37:18 good and evil, life and death, and always mistress of them all is the tongue.

37:19 Think of a clever man who teaches many people, but does no good at all to himself.

37:20 Think of a man, a ready enough speaker, yet he is detested and will end up by starving,

37:21 not having won the favour of the Lord, and being destitute of all wisdom.

37:22 Think of a man who is wise in his own eyes, and the fruits of his understanding are, if you take his word for it, certain.

37:23 The truly wise will instruct his own people, the fruits of his understanding are certain.

37:24 This wise man will be filled with blessing, and those who see him will call him happy.

37:25 A man’s life lasts a number of days, but the days of Israel are beyond counting.

37:26 The wise man will earn confidence among his people, his name will live for ever.


37:27 My son, in the course of your life test your constitution, and do not allow it what you see is harmful to it;

37:28 for everything does not suit everybody, nor does everybody take pleasure in everything.

37:29 Do not be insatiable over any delicacy, do not be greedy over food,

37:30 for overeating leads to sickness, and gluttony brings on biliousness.

37:31 Many have died of gluttony; beware of this and you will prolong your life.

JB SIRACH Chapter 38

Medicine and illness

38:1 Honour the doctor with the honour that is his due in return for his services; for he too has been created by the Lord.

38:2 Healing itself comes from the Most High, like a gift from a king.

38:3 The doctor’s learning keeps his head high, he is regarded with awe by potentates.

38:4 The Lord has brought medicines into existence from the earth, and the sensible man will not despise them.

38:5 Did not a piece of wood once sweeten the water, thus giving proof of its virtue?[*a]

38:6 He has also given men learning so that they may glory in his mighty works.

38:7 He uses them[*b] to heal and to relieve pain, the chemist makes up a mixture from them.

38:8 Thus there is no end to his activities, and through him health extends across the world.

38:9 My son, when you are ill, do not be depressed, but pray to the Lord and he will heal you.

38:10 Renounce your faults, keep your hands unsoiled, and cleanse your heart from all sin.

38:11 Offer incense and a memorial of fine flour, and make as rich an offering as you can afford.

38:12 Then let the doctor take over-the Lord created him too-and do not let him leave you, for you need him.

38:13 Sometimes success is in their hands,

38:14 since they in turn will beseech the Lord to grant them the grace to relieve and to heal, that life may be saved.

38:15 If a man sins in the eyes of his Maker, may he fall under the care of the doctor.


38:16 My son, shed tears over a dead man, and intone the lament to show your own deep grief; bury his body with due ceremonial, and do not neglect to honour his grave.

38:17 Weep bitterly, wail most fervently; observe the mourning the dead man deserves, one day, or two, to avoid comment, and then be comforted in your sorrow;

38:18 for grief can lead to death, a grief-stricken heart undermines your strength.

38:19 Let grief end with the funeral; a life of grief oppresses the mind.

38:20 Do not abandon your heart to grief, drive it away, bear your own end in mind.

38:21 Do not forget, there is no going back; you cannot help the dead, and you will harm yourself.

38:22 ‘Remember my doom, since it will be yours too; yesterday was my day, today is yours.’

38:23 Once the dead man is laid to rest, let his memory rest too, do not fret for him, once his spirit departs.

Trades and crafts

38:24 Leisure is what gives the scribe the opportunity to acquire wisdom; the man with few business affairs grows wise.

38:25 How can the ploughman become wise, whose sole ambition is to wield the goad; driving his oxen, engrossed in their work, his conversation is of nothing but cattle?

38:26 His mind is fixed on the furrows he traces, and his evenings pass in fattening his heifers.

38:27 So it is with every workman and craftsman, toiling day and night; those who engrave seals, always trying to think of new designs: they set their heart on producing a good likeness, and stay up perfecting the work.

38:28 So it is with the blacksmith sitting by his anvil; he considers what to do with the pig-iron, the breath of the fire scorches his skin, as he contends with the heat of the furnace; he batters his ear with the din of the hammer, his eyes are fixed on the pattern; he sets his heart on completing his work, and stays up putting the finishing touches.

38:29 So it is with the potter, sitting at his work, turning the wheel with his feet; constantly on the alert over his work, each flick of the finger premeditated;

38:30 he pummels the clay with his arm, and puddles it with his feet; he sets his heart on perfecting the glaze, and stays up cleaning the kiln.

38:31 All these put their trust in their hands, and each is skilled at his own craft.

38:32 A town could not be built without them, there would be no settling, no travelling.

38:33 But they are not required at the council, they do not hold high rank in the assembly. They do not sit on the judicial bench, and have no grasp of the law.

38:34 They are not remarkable for culture or sound judgement, and are not found among the inventors of maxims. But they give solidity to the created world, while their prayer is concerned with what pertains to their trade.

JB SIRACH Chapter 39

The scholar

39:1 It is otherwise with the man who devotes his soul to reflecting on the Law of the Most High. He researches into the wisdom of all the Ancients, he occupies his time with the prophecies.

39:2 He preserves the discourses of famous men, he is at home with the niceties of parables.

39:3 He researches into the hidden sense of proverbs, he ponders the obscurities of parables.

39:4 He enters the service of princes, he is seen in the presence of rulers. He travels in foreign countries, he has experienced human good and human evil.

39:5 At dawn and with all his heart he resorts to the Lord who made him; he pleads in the presence of the Most High, he opens his mouth in prayer and makes entreaty for his sins.

39:6 If it is the will of the great Lord, he will be filled with the spirit of understanding, he will shower forth words of wisdom, and in prayer give thanks to the Lord.

39:7 He will grow upright in purpose and learning, he will ponder the Lord’s hidden mysteries.

39:8 He will display the instruction he has received, taking his pride in the Law of the Lord’s covenant.

39:9 Many will praise his understanding, and it will never be forgotten. His memory will not disappear, generation after generation his name will live.

39:10 Nations will proclaim his wisdom, the assembly will celebrate his praises.

39:11 If he lives long, his name will be more glorious than a thousand others, and if he dies, that will satisfy him just as well.

Invitation to praise God

39:12 I wish to develop my reflections further, they fill me as full as the moon at the full.

39:13 Listen to me, devout children, and blossom like the rose that grows on the bank of a watercourse.

39:14 Give off a sweet smell like incense, flower like the lily, spread your fragrance abroad, sing a song of praise blessing the Lord for all his works.

39:15 Declare the greatness of his name, proclaim his praise with song and with lyre, and this is how you must sing his praises:

39:16 how wonderful they are, all the works of the Lord! All that he orders is promptly carried out. You must not say, ‘What is this? Why is that?’ All will be studied in due time.

39:17 At his word water stops running and piles up, waters are stored at a word from his mouth.

39:18 At his bidding, all his pleasure is accomplished, no one can diminish his power to save.

39:19 The actions of every creature are before him, there is no hiding from his eyes;

39:20 his gaze stretches from eternity to eternity, and nothing can astonish him.

39:21 You must not say, ‘What is this? Why is that?’ All things have been created for their proper functions.

39:22 As his blessing covers the dry land like a river and soaks it like a flood,

39:23 so wrath is his legacy to the nations, just as he has turned fresh waters to salt.

39:24 His ways are as smooth for devout men, as they are full of obstacles for the wicked.

39:25 Good things were created from the beginning for good men, as evils were for sinners.

39:26 The prime needs of mankind for living are water and fire, iron and salt, wheat-flour, milk and honey, the juice of the grape, oil and clothing.

39:27 All these things are good for people who are good, just as they turn into bad for sinners.

39:28 Some winds were created to punish; he has made them the scourge of his anger; on the day of doom they unleash their force, and appease the anger of him who made them.

39:29 Fire and hail, famine and death, all these were created to punish.

39:30 The teeth of savage animals, scorpions, adders, and the avenging sword to destroy the godless,

39:31 all these exult in obeying his orders, they are ready on earth when he requires, and when the time comes they will not disobey his order.

39:32 That is why I was determined from the outset, I have pondered and I have written it down,

39:33 ‘All the works of the Lord are good, and he will supply every want in due time.

39:34 You must not say, “This is worse than that”, for everything will prove its value in its time.

39:35 So now, sing with all your heart and voice, and bless the name of the Lord!’

JB SIRACH Chapter 40

The wretchedness of man

40:1 Much hardship has been made for every man, a heavy yoke lies on the sons of Adam from the day they come out of their mother’s womb, till the day they return to the mother of them all.

40:2 What fills them with brooding and their hearts with fear is dread of the day of death.

40:3 From the man who sits on a glorious throne to the wretch on dust and ashes,

40:4 from the man who wears purple and a crown to the man clothed in sacking, all is fury and jealousy, turmoil and unrest, fear of death, rivalry, strife.

40:5 And even at night while he rests on his bed his sleep only gives a new twist to his worries:

40:6 scarcely has he lain down to rest, than in his sleep, as if in broad daylight, he is shaken by terrible sights like a man running away from a battle.

40:7 At the moment of rescue he awakens, astonished that his fear was imaginary.

40:8 For all creatures, from men to animals-and seven times more for sinners-

40:9 there is death and blood and strife and the sword, disasters, famine, affliction, plague.

40:10 All these were created for the godless, through them came the Flood.

40:11 All that comes from the earth returns to the earth, what comes from the water returns to the sea.

Various maxims

40:12 All bribery and injustice will be blotted out, but good faith will stand for ever.

40:13 The wealth of wrong-doers will dry up like a torrent, will crash like a clap of thunder in a downpour.

40:14 When he opens his hands he rejoices, by the same token defaulters will come to utter ruin.

40:15 The offshoots of the godless will not have many branches, unclean roots only find hard rock.

40:16 The reeds by every lake and river’s edge will be pulled up before any other grass.

40:17 Graciousness is like a paradise of blessing, and generosity stands firm for ever.


40:18 For the man of private means and the man who works hard, life is pleasant, better off than either, he who finds a treasure.

40:19 Children and the building of a city make a man’s reputation; better than either, the discovery of wisdom. Cattle and vineyards make you well known; better valued than either, a perfect wife.

40:20 Wine and music cheer the heart; better than either, the love of wisdom.

40:21 Flute and harp add sweetness to a song; better than either, a sweet voice.

40:22 The eye longs for grace and beauty; better than either, the green of spring corn.

40:23 Friend or comrade – it is always well met; better than either, a wife and husband.

40:24 Brothers and allies are good in times of trouble; better than either, generosity to the rescue.

40:25 Gold and silver will steady your feet; better valued than either, good advice.

40:26 Money and strength make a confident heart; better than either, the fear of the Lord. With the fear of the Lord a man lacks nothing; with that he need seek no ally.

40:27 The fear of the Lord is like a paradise of blessing, it clothes a man with more than glory.

On begging

40:28 My son, do not live by begging from others, better be dead than a beggar.

40:29 The life of a man ever eyeing the table of another cannot be reckoned as a life at all. He defiles his gullet with other people’s food; a man of culture and breeding will never do this.

40:30 Begging comes easily to the lips of the shameless man, but eventually it will set fire to his belly.

JB SIRACH Chapter 41


41:1 O death, how bitter it is to remember you for a man at peace among his goods, to a man without worries, who prospers in everything, and still has the strength to feed himself.

41:2 O death, your sentence is welcome to a man in want, whose strength is failing, to a man worn out with age, worried about everything, disaffected and beyond endurance.

41:3 Do not dread death’s sentence; remember those who came before you and those who will come after.

41:4 This is the sentence passed on all living creatures by the Lord, so why object to what seems good to the Most High? Whether your life lasts ten or a hundred or a thousand years, its length will not be held against you in Sheol.

The fate of the wicked

41:5 Hateful brats, such are the children of sinners, who forgather in the haunts of the godless.

41:6 The inheritance of sinners’ children is doomed to perish, their posterity will endure lasting reproach.

41:7 A godless father will be blamed by his children for the reproach he has brought on them.

41:8 A bad outlook for you, godless men, who have forsaken the Law of God Most High.

41:9 When you were born, you were born to be accursed, and when you die, that curse will be your portion.

41:10 All that comes from the earth returns to the earth, so too the wicked proceed from curse to destruction.

41:11 Men go into mourning for their dead, but the worthless name of sinners will be blotted out.

41:12 Be careful of your reputation, for it will last you longer than a thousand great hoards of gold.

41:13 A good life lasts a certain number of days, but a good reputation lasts for ever.

A sense of shame

41:14 Keep my instructions and be at peace, my children. Wisdom hidden away and treasure undisplayed, what use are either of these?

41:15 Better a man who hides his folly than one who hides his wisdom.

41:16 Now, keep your sense of shame with respect to what I am going to say, for not every kind of shame is right to harbour, nor is every situation correctly appraised by all.

41:17 Be ashamed, before father and mother, of licentious behaviour, and before prince or potentate of telling lies;

41:18 of wrong-doing before judge or magistrate, and of impiety before the assembly of the people;

41:19 of sharp practice before your companion and your friend, and of theft before the neighbourhood you live in.

41:20 Before the truth and covenant of God, be ashamed of leaning elbows on the table,

41:21 of making gifts before those who despise them, and of ignoring those who greet you:

41:22 of gazing at a loose woman and of turning your back on a relation,

41:23 of misappropriating another’s portion or gift, of paying court to another man’s wife,

41:24 of carrying on with his servant-girl do not go near her bed-

41:25 of words of abuse before your friends-do not follow up a gift with a taunt-

41:26 of repeating and retailing gossip and of betraying confidences.

41:27 Then you will know what true shame is, and you will find yourself in every man’s graces.

JB SIRACH Chapter 42

42:1 These are the things you should not be ashamed of, and do not sin from fear of what others think:

42:2 of the Law of the Most High and the covenant, of a verdict that acquits the godless,

42:3 of keeping strict accounts with a travelling companion, of settling property on your friends,

42:4 of being accurate over scales and weights, of making small and large profits,

42:5 of gaining from commercial transactions, of disciplining your children strictly, of lashing a wicked slave till you draw blood.

42:6 With an interfering wife, it is as well to use your seal, and where there are many hands, lock things up.

42:7 Whatever stores you issue, do it by number and weight, spendings and takings, put everything in writing.

42:8 Do not be ashamed to correct a stupid man or a fool, or an old dotard who bickers with young people. Then you will show yourself really educated and win the approval of everyone.

The cares of a father over his daughter

42:9 Unknown to her, a daughter keeps her father awake, the worry she gives him drives away his sleep: in her youth, in case she never marries, married, in case she should be disliked,

42:10 as a virgin, in case she should be defiled and found with child in her father’s house, having a husband, in case she goes astray, married, in case she should be barren.

42:11 Your daughter is headstrong? Keep a sharp look-out that she does not make you the laughing-stock of your enemies, the talk of the town, the object of common gossip, and put you to public shame.


42:12 Do not stare at any man for his good looks, do not sit down with the women;

42:13 for moth comes out of clothes, and woman’s spite out of woman.

42:14 A man’s spite is preferable to a woman’s kindness; women give rise to shame and reproach.



42:15 Next, I will remind you of the works of the Lord, and tell of what I have seen. By the words of the Lord his works come into being and all creation obeys his will.

42:16 As the sun in shining looks on all things, so the work of the Lord is full of his glory.

42:17 The Lord has not granted to the holy ones[*a] to tell of all his marvels which the Almighty Lord has solidly constructed for the universe to stand firm in his glory.

42:18 He has fathomed the deep and the heart, and seen into their devious ways; for the Most High knows all the knowledge there is, and has observed the signs of the times.

42:19 He declares what is past and what will be, and uncovers the traces of hidden things.

42:20 Not a thought escapes him, not a single word is hidden from him.

42:21 He has imposed an order on the magnificent works of his wisdom, he is from everlasting to everlasting, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken away, he needs no one’s advice.

42:22 How desirable are all his works, how dazzling to the eye!

42:23 They all live and last for ever, whatever the circumstances all obey him.

42:24 All things go in pairs, by opposites, and he has made nothing defective;

42:25 the one consolidates the excellence of the other, who could ever be sated with gazing at his glory?

JB SIRACH Chapter 43

The sun

43:1 Pride of the heights, shining vault, so, in a glorious spectacle, the sky appears.

43:2 The sun, as he emerges, proclaims at his rising, ‘A thing of wonder is the work of the Most High!’

43:3 At his zenith he parches the land, who can withstand his blaze?

43:4 A man must blow a furnace to produce any heat, the sun burns the mountains three times as much; breathing out blasts of fire, flashing his rays he dazzles the eyes.

43:5 Great is the Lord who made him, and whose word speeds him on his course.

The moon

43:6 And then the moon, always punctual, to mark the months and make division of time:

43:7 the moon it is that signals the feasts, a luminary that wanes after her full.

43:8 The month derives its name from hers, she waxes wonderfully in her phases, banner of the hosts on high, shining in the vault of heaven.

The stars

43:9 The glory of the stars makes the beauty of the sky, a brilliant decoration to the heights of the Lord.

43:10 At the words of the Holy One they stand as he decrees, and never grow slack at their watch.

The rainbow

43:11 See the rainbow and praise its maker, so superbly beautiful in its splendour.

43:12 Across the sky it forms a glorious arc drawn by the hands of the Most High.

The wonders of nature

43:13 By his command he sends the snow, he speeds the lightning as he orders.

43:14 In the same way, his treasuries open and the clouds fly out like birds.

43:15 In his great might he banks up the clouds, and shivers them into fragments of hail.

43:16a At sight of him the mountains rock,

43:17a at the roar of his thunder the earth writhes in labour.

43:16b At his will the south wind blows,

43:17b or the storm from the north and the whirlwind.

43:18 He sprinkles snow like birds alighting, it comes down like locusts settling. The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness, and the mind is amazed at its falling.

43:19 Over the earth, like salt, he also pours hoarfrost, which, when it freezes, bristles like thorns.

43:20 The cold wind blows from the north, and ice forms on the water, settling on every watery expanse, and water puts it on like a breastplate.

43:21 He swallows up the mountains and scorches the desert, like a fire he consumes the vegetation.

43:22 But the mist heals everything in good time, after the heat falls the reviving dew.

43:23 By his own resourcefulness he has tamed the abyss, and planted it with islands.

43:24 Those who sail the sea tell of its dangers, their accounts fill our ears with amazement:

43:25 for there too there are strange and wonderful works, animals of every kind and huge sea creatures.

43:26 Thanks to him all ends well, and all things hold together by means of his word.

43:27 We could say much more and still fall short; to put it concisely, ‘He is all’.

43:28 Where shall we find sufficient power to glorify him, since he is the Great One, above all his works,

43:29 the awe-inspiring Lord, stupendously great, and wonderful in his power?

43:30 Exalt the Lord in your praises as high as you may-still he surpasses you. Exert all your strength when you exalt him, do not grow tired-you will never come to the end.

43:31 Who has ever seen him to give a description? Who can glorify him as he deserves?

43:32 Many mysteries remain even greater than these, for we have seen only a few of his works,

43:33 the Lord himself having made all things-and having given wisdom to devout men.

JB SIRACH Chapter 44


Eulogy of the ancestors

44:1 Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their successive generations.

44:2 The Lord has created an abundance of glory, and displayed his greatness from earliest times.

44:3 Some wielded authority as kings and were renowned for their strength; others were intelligent advisers and uttered prophetic oracles.

44:4 Others directed the people by their advice, by their understanding of the popular mind, and by the wise words of their teaching;

44:5 others composed musical melodies, and set down ballads;

44:6 others were rich and powerful, living peacefully in their homes.

44:7 All these were honoured by their contemporaries, and were the glory of their day.

44:8 Some of them left a name behind them, so that their praises are still sung.

44:9 While others have left no memory, and disappeared as though they had not existed, they are now as though they had never been, and so too, their children after them.

44:10 But here is a list of generous men whose good works have not been forgotten.

44:11 In their descendants there remains a rich inheritance born of them.

44:12 Their descendants stand by the covenants and, thanks to them, so do their children’s children.

44:13 Their offspring will last for ever, their glory will not fade.

44:14 Their bodies have been buried in peace, and their name lives on for all generations.

44:15 The peoples will proclaim their wisdom, the assembly will celebrate their praises.


44:16 Enoch pleased the Lord and was taken up, an example for the conversion of all generations.


44:17 Noah was found perfectly virtuous, in the time of wrath he became the scion: because of him a remnant was preserved for the earth at the coming of the Flood.

44:18 Everlasting covenants were made with him that never again should every living creature perish by flood.


44:19 Abraham, the great forefather of a host of nations, no one was ever his equal in glory.

44:20 He observed the Law of the Most High, and entered into a covenant with him. He confirmed the covenant in his own flesh, and proved himself faithful under ordeal.

44:21 The Lord therefore promised him on oath to bless the nations through his descendants, to multiply him like the dust on the ground, to exalt his descendants like the stars, and give them the land for their inheritance, from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth.

Isaac and Jacob

44:22 To Isaac too, for the sake of Abraham his father, he assured

44:23 the blessing of all mankind; he caused the covenant to rest on the head of Jacob. He confirmed him in his blessings and gave him the land for his inheritance; he divided it into portions, and shared it out among the twelve tribes.

JB SIRACH Chapter 45


45:1 From him he produced a generous man who found favour in the eyes of all mankind,[*a] beloved by God and men, Moses, of blessed memory.

45:2 He made him the equal of the holy ones in glory and made him strong, to the terror of his enemies.

45:3 At the word of Moses he made the miracles stop, he raised him high in the respect of kings; he gave him commandments for his people, and showed him something of his glory.

45:4 For his loyalty and gentleness he sanctified him, choosing him alone out of all mankind;

45:5 he allowed him to hear his voice, and led him into the darkness; he gave him the commandments face to face, the law of life and knowledge, to teach Jacob his ordinances and Israel his decrees.


45:6 He raised up Aaron, a holy man like Moses, his brother, of the tribe of Levi.

45:7 He made an everlasting covenant with him, and gave him the priesthood of the people. He adorned him with impressive vestments, he dressed him in a robe of glory.

45:8 He clothed him in glorious perfection and invested him with emblems of authority: the breeches, the long robe, the ephod.

45:9 To go round the robe he gave him pomegranates, and many gold bells all round to chime at every step, for their sound to be heard in the Temple as a reminder to the sons of his people;

45:10 and a sacred vestment of gold and purple, violet shade and red, the work of an embroiderer; the pectoral of judgement, the Urim and Thummim,[*b] of plaited crimson, the work of a craftsman;

45:11 precious stones cut like seals mounted in gold, the work of a jeweller, as a reminder with their engraved inscriptions of the number of the tribes of Israel;

45:12 and a golden diadem on his turban, engraved with the seal of consecration; superb ornamentation, magnificent work, adornment to delight the eye.

45:13 There had never been such lovely things before him, and no one else has ever put them on, but only his own sons, and his descendants for all time.

45:14 His sacrifices were to be burnt entirely, twice each day and for ever.

45:15 Moses consecrated him and anointed him with holy oil; and this was an everlasting covenant for him, and for his descendants as long as the heavens endure, that he should preside over worship, act as priest, and bless his people in the name of the Lord,

45:16 who chose him out of all the living to offer sacrifice to the Lord, incense and an appeasing fragrance as a memorial to make atonement for the people.

45:17 He entrusted him with his commandments, committed to him the statutes of the Law to teach Jacob his decrees, and enlighten Israel on his Law.

45:18 Others joined forces against him, they were jealous of him in the wilderness, Dathan and Abiram and their men, Korah and his crew in fury and rage.

45:19 The Lord saw it and was displeased, his raging fury made an end of them; he overwhelmed them with miracles and consumed them with his flaming fire.

45:20 And he added to Aaron’s glory, he gave him an inheritance; he allotted him the prime of the first-fruits, before all else ensured him bread in abundance.

45:21 Thus they eat the sacrifices of the Lord which he gave to him and his posterity.

45:22 But of the people’s territory he inherits nothing, he alone of all the people has no share, the Lord is his share and inheritance.


45:23 Phinehas son of Eleazar is third in glory because of his zeal in the fear of the Lord, because he stood firm when the people revolted, with a staunch and courageous heart; and in this way atoned for Israel.

45:24 Hence a covenant of peace was sealed with him, making him governor of both sanctuary and people, and securing to him and his descendants the high priestly dignity for ever.

45:25 There was also a covenant with David son of Jesse, of the tribe of Judah, a royal succession from father to one son exclusively, but the succession of Aaron passes to all his descendants.

45:26 May God endow your hearts with wisdom[*c] to judge his people virtuously, so that the virtues of your ancestors may never fade, and their glory may pass to all their descendants.

JB SIRACH Chapter 46


46:1 Mighty in war was Joshua son of Nun, successor to Moses in the prophetic office, who well deserved his name,[*a] and was a great saviour of the Chosen People, wreaking vengeance on the enemies who opposed him, and so bringing Israel into its inheritance.

46:2 How splendid he was when he raised his arms to brandish his sword against cities!

46:3 Who had ever shown such determination as his? He himself waged the wars of the Lord.

46:4 Was not the sun held back by his hand, and one day drawn out into two?

46:5 He called on God the Most High, as he pressed the enemy on every side; and the great Lord answered him with hard and violent hailstones.

46:6 He fell on that enemy nation, and at the Descent he destroyed all resistance; that the nations might acknowledge his warlike prowess and know that their foe was the Lord.


46:7 For he was a follower of the Mighty One, and in the time of Moses he did devoted service, he and Caleb son of Jephunneh, by opposing the whole community, by preventing the people from sinning, and by silencing the mutters of rebellion.

46:8 Hence these two alone were preserved out of six hundred thousand men on the march, and brought into their inheritance, into a land where milk and honey flow.

46:9 The Lord gave Caleb the strength-which he retained right into old age-to tread the highlands of the country which his descendants still hold as their inheritance,

46:10 for all the sons of Israel to see that it is good to follow the Lord

The judges

46:11 The judges too, each when he was called, all men whose hearts were never disloyal, who never turned their backs on the Lord-may their memory be blessed!

46:12 May their bones flower again from the tomb, and may the names of those illustrious men live again in their sons.


46:13 Samuel was the beloved of his Lord; prophet of the Lord, he instituted the kingdom, and anointed rulers over his people.

46:14 In the Law of the Lord he judged the assembly, and the Lord watched over Jacob.

46:15 By his loyalty he was recognised as a prophet, by his words he was known to be a trustworthy seer.

46:16 He called on the Lord, the Mighty One, when his enemies pressed him on every side, by offering a sucking lamb.

46:17 And the Lord thundered from heaven, and made his voice heard in a rolling peal;

46:18 he massacred the leaders of the enemy, and all the rulers of the Philistines.

46:19 Before the time of his everlasting rest he bore witness before the Lord and his anointed, ‘Of no property, not even a pair of sandals, have I ever deprived a soul’. Nor did anyone accuse him.

46:20 And after he fell asleep he prophesied again, warning the king of his death; he lifted up his voice from the earth in prophecy, to blot out the wickedness of the people.

JB SIRACH Chapter 47


47:1 After him arose Nathan, to prophesy in the time of David.


47:2 As the fat is set apart from the communion sacrifice, so David was chosen out of all the sons of Israel.

47:3 He played with lions as though with kids, and with bears as though with lambs of the flock.

47:4 While still a boy, did he not slay the giant, and relieve the people of their shame, by putting out a hand to sling a stone which brought down the arrogance of Goliath?

47:5 For he called on the Lord Most High, who gave strength to his right arm to put a mighty warrior to death, and lift up the horn of his people.

47:6 Hence they gave him credit for ten thousand, and praised him while they blessed the Lord, by offering him a crown of glory;

47:7 for he massacred enemies on every side, he annihilated his foes the Philistines, and crushed their horn to this very day.

47:8 In all his activities he gave thanks to the Holy One, the Most High, in words of glory;[*a] he put all his heart into his songs out of love for his Maker.

47:9 He placed harps before the altar to make the singing sweeter with their music;

47:10 he gave the feasts their splendour, the festivals their solemn pomp, causing the Lord’s holy name to be praised and the sanctuary to resound from dawn.

47:11 The Lord took away his sins, and exalted his horn for ever; he gave him a royal covenant, and a glorious throne in Israel.


47:12 A wise son succeeded him, who lived spaciously, thanks to him.

47:13 Solomon reigned in a time of peace, is and God gave him peace all round so that he could raise a house to his name and prepare an everlasting sanctuary.

47:14 How wise you were in your youth, brimming over with understanding like a river!

47:15 Your mind ranged the earth, you filled it with mysterious sayings.

47:16 Your name reached the distant islands, and you were loved for your peace.[*b]

47:17 Your songs, your proverbs, your sayings and your retorts made you the wonder of the world.

47:18 In the name of the Lord God, of him who is called the God of Israel, you amassed gold like so much tin, and made silver as common as lead.

47:19 You abandoned your body to women, you became the slave of your appetites.

47:20 You stained your honour, you profaned your stock, so bringing wrath on your children and grief on your posterity:

47:21 the sovereignty was split in two, from Ephraim arose a rebel kingdom.

47:22 But the Lord would not go back on his mercy, or undo any of his words, he would not obliterate the issue of his elect, nor destroy the stock of the man who loved him; and so he granted a remnant to Jacob, and to David a root springing from him.


47:23 Solomon rested with his ancestors, leaving one of his stock as his successor, the stupidest member of the nation, brainless Rehoboam, whose policy drove the nation to rebel.


47:24 Next, Jeroboam son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, and set Ephraim on the way of evil; from then on their sins multiplied so excessively as to drive them out of their country;

47:25 for they tried out every kind of wickedness, until vengeance overtook them.

JB SIRACH Chapter 48


48:1 Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire, his word flaring like a torch.

48:2 It was he who brought famine on them, and who decimated them in his zeal.

48:3 By the word of the Lord, he shut up the heavens, he also, three times, brought down fire.

48:4 How glorious you were in your miracles, Elijah! Has anyone reason to boast as you have?-

48:5 rousing a corpse from death, from Sheol by the word of the Most High;

48:6 dragging kings down to destruction, and high dignitaries from their beds;

48:7 hearing reproof on Sinai, and decrees of punishment on Horeb;

48:8 anointing kings as avengers, and prophets to succeed you;

48:9 taken up in the whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with fiery horses;

48:10 designated in the prophecies of doom to allay God’s wrath before the fury breaks, to turn the hearts of fathers towards their children,[*a] and to restore the tribes of Jacob,

48:11 Happy shall they be who see you, and those who have fallen asleep in love; for we too will have life.


48:12 Elijah was shrouded in the whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit; throughout his life no ruler could shake him, and no one could subdue him.

48:13 No task was too hard for him, and even in death his body prophesied.

48:14 In his lifetime he performed wonders, and in death his works were marvellous.

Infidelity and punishment

48:15 Despite all this the people did not repent, nor did they give up their sins, until they were herded out of their country and scattered all over the earth;

48:16 only a few of the people were left, with a ruler of the House of David. Some of them did what pleased the Lord, others piled sin on sin.


48:17 Hezekiah fortified his city, and laid on a water supply inside it; with iron he tunnelled through the rock and constructed cisterns.

48:18 In his days Sennacherib invaded and sent Rabshakeh;[*b] he lifted his hand against Zion, and boasted loudly in his arrogance.

48:19 Then their hearts and hands trembled, they felt the pangs of a woman in labour,

48:20 but they called on the merciful Lord, stretching out their hands towards him. Swiftly the Holy One heard them from heaven, and delivered them by the hand of Isaiah,

48:21 he struck the camp of the Assyrians and his angel massacred them.


48:22 For Hezekiah did what is pleasing to the Lord, and was steadfast in the ways of David his father, enjoined on him by the prophet Isaiah, a great man trustworthy in his vision.

48:23 In his days the sun moved back; he prolonged the life of the king.

48:24 In the power of the spirit he saw the last things, he comforted the mourners of Zion,

48:25 he revealed the future to the end of time, and hidden things long before they happened.

JB SIRACH Chapter 49


49:1 The memory of Josiah is like blended incense prepared by the perfumer’s art; it is as sweet as honey to all mouths, and like music at a wine feast.

49:2 He took the right course, of converting the people, he rooted out the iniquitous abominations,

49:3 he set his heart on the Lord, in godless times he upheld the cause of religion.

The last kings and prophets

49:4 Apart from David, Hezekiah and Josiah, they all heaped wrong on wrong; since they disregarded the Law of the Most High, the kings of Judah disappeared;

49:5 since they gave their strength to others and their honour to a foreign nation.

49:6 The holy, chosen city was burnt down, her streets were left deserted,

49:7 as Jeremiah had predicted; for they had ill-treated him though consecrated a prophet in his mother’s womb to tear up and afflict and destroy, but also to build up and to plant.[*a]

49:8 Ezekiel it was who saw a vision of glory which God showed to him above the chariot of the Cherubs,

49:9 for he remembered the enemies with torrential rain[*b] to the advantage of those who follow the right way.

49:10 As for the twelve prophets, may their bones flower again from the tomb, since they have comforted Jacob and redeemed him in faith and hope.

Zerubbabel and Joshua

49:11 How shall we extol Zerubbabel? He was like a signet ring on the right hand,

49:12 so too was Jeshua son of Jozadak; they who in their days built the Temple, and raised to the Lord a holy people, destined to everlasting glory.


49:13 Great too is the memory of Nehemiah, who rebuilt our walls which lay in ruins, erected the gates and bars and rebuilt our houses.


49:14 No one else has ever been created on earth to equal Enoch, for he was taken up from earth.

49:15 And no one else ever born has been like Joseph, the leader of his brothers, the prop of his people; his bones were honoured.

49:16 Shem and Seth were honoured among men, but above every living creature is Adam.

JB SIRACH Chapter 50

Simon the high priest

50:1 It was the High Priest Simon son of Onias who repaired the Temple during his lifetime and in his day fortified the sanctuary.

50:2 He laid the foundations of the double height, the high buttresses of the Temple precincts.

50:3 In his day the water cistern was excavated, a reservoir as huge as the sea.

50:4 Anxious to save the people from ruin, he fortified the city against siege.

50:5 How splendid he was with the people thronging round him, when he emerged from the curtained shrine,[*a]

50:6 like the morning star among the clouds, like the moon at the full,

50:7 like the sun shining on the Temple of the Most High, like the rainbow gleaming against brilliant clouds,

50:8 like roses in the days of spring, like lilies by a freshet of water, like a sprig of frankincense in summer-time,

50:9 like fire and incense in the censer, like a vessel of beaten gold encrusted with every kind of precious stone,

50:10 like an olive tree loaded with fruit, like a cypress soaring to the clouds;

50:11 when he put on his splendid vestments, and clothed himself in glorious perfection, when he went up to the holy altar, and filled the sanctuary precincts with his grandeur;

50:12 when he received the portions from the hands of the priests, himself standing by the altar hearth, surrounded by a crowd of his brothers, like a youthful cedar of Lebanon as though surrounded by the trunks of palm trees.

50:13 When all the sons of Aaron in their glory, with the offerings of the Lord in their hands, stood before the whole assembly of Israel,

50:14 while he completed the rites at the altars, presenting in due order the offering for the Most High, the Almighty,

50:15 reaching out his hand to the cup,[*b] and pouring a libation of the juice of the grape, pouring it at the foot of the altar, an appeasing fragrance to the Most High, the King of all,

50:16 then the sons of Aaron would shout and blow their trumpets of beaten metal, making a mighty sound ring out as a reminder before the Most High;

50:17 and immediately the people all together would fall on their faces to the ground, in adoration of their Lord, the Almighty, God Most High,

50:18 and with the cantors chanting their hymns of praise: sweet was the melody of all these voices,

50:19 as the people pleaded with the Lord Most High, and prayed in the presence of the Merciful, until the service of the Lord was completed and the ceremony at an end.

50:20 Then he would come down and raise his hands over the whole concourse of the sons of Israel, to give them the Lord’s blessing from his lips, being privileged to pronounce his name;[*c]

50:21 and once again the people would bow low to receive the blessing from the Most High.


50:22 And now bless the God of all things, the doer of great deeds everywhere, who has exalted our days from the womb and acted towards us in his mercy.

50:23 May he grant us cheerful hearts and bring peace in our time, in Israel for ages on ages.

50:24 May his mercy be faithfully with us, may he redeem us in our time.

Numerical proverb

50:25 There are two nations that my soul detests, the third is not a nation at all:

50:26 the inhabitants of Mount Seir, and the Philistines, and the stupid people living at Shechem.[*d]


50:27 Instruction in wisdom and knowledge has been committed to writing in this book by Jesus son of Sira, Eleazar, of Jerusalem, who has rained down wisdom from his heart.

50:28 Happy is he who busies himself with these things, and grows wise by taking them to heart.

50:29 If he practises them he will be strong enough for anything, since the light of the Lord is his path.

JB SIRACH Chapter 51


A hymn of thanksgiving

51:1 I will give thanks to you, Lord and King, and praise you, God my saviour, I give thanks to your name;

51:2 for you have been protector and support to me, and redeemed my body from destruction, from the snare of the lying tongue, from lips that fabricate falsehood; and in the presence of those around me you have been my support, you have redeemed me,

51:3 true to the greatness of your mercy and of your name, from the fangs of those who would devour me, from the hands of those seeking my life, from the many ordeals which I have endured,

51:4 from the stifling heat which hemmed me in, from the heart of a fire which I had not kindled,

51:5 from deep in the belly of Sheol, from the unclean tongue and the lying word-

51:6 the perjured tongue slandering me to the king. My soul has been close to death, my life had gone down to the brink of Sheol.

51:7 They were surrounding me on every side, there was no one to support me; I looked for someone to help-in vain.

51:8 Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, and your deeds from earliest times, how you deliver those who wait for you patiently, and save them from the clutches of their enemies.

51:9 And I sent up my plea from the earth, I begged to be delivered from death,

51:10 I called on the Lord, the father of my Lord, ‘Do not desert me in the days of ordeal, in the time of my helplessness against the proud. I will praise your name unceasingly, and gratefully sing its praises.’

51:11 And my plea was heard, for you saved me from destruction, you delivered me from that time of evil.

51:12 And therefore I will thank you and praise you, and bless the name of the Lord.

A poem on the quest for wisdom[*a]

51:13 When I was still a youth, before I went travelling, in my prayers I asked outright for wisdom.

51:14 Outside the sanctuary I would pray for her, and to the last I will continue to seek her.

51:15 From her blossoming to the ripening of her grape my heart has taken its delight in her. My foot has pursued a straight path, I have been following her steps ever since my youth.

51:16 By bowing my ear a little I have received her, and have found much instruction.

51:17 Thanks to her I have advanced; the glory be to him who has given me wisdom!

51:18 For I am determined to put her into practice, I have earnestly pursued what is good, I will not be put to shame.

51:19 My soul has fought to possess her, I have been scrupulous in keeping the Law; I have stretched out my hands to heaven and bewailed my ignorance of her;

51:20 I have directed my soul towards her, and in purity have found her; having my heart fixed on her from the outset, I shall never be deserted;

51:21 my very core having yearned to discover her, I have now acquired a good possession.

51:22 In reward the Lord has given me a tongue with which I shall sing his praises.

51:23 Come close to me, you uninstructed, take your place in my school.

51:24 Why complain about lacking these things when your souls are so thirsty for them?

51:25 I have opened my mouth and spoken: ‘Buy her without money,

51:26 put your necks under her yoke, and let your souls receive instruction; she is not far to seek.

51:27 See for yourselves: how slight my efforts have been to win so much peace.

51:28 Buy instruction with a large sum of silver, thanks to her you will gain much gold.

51:29 May your souls rejoice in the mercy of the Lord, may you never be ashamed of praising him.

51:30 Do your work before the appointed time and he in his time will give you your reward.’

(Subscript:) Wisdom of Jesus son of Sira.

END OF JB SIRACH [51 Chapters].