Bible in Basic English

MATTHEW, 21
Questions about authority

21:1     And when they were near Jerusalem, and had come to Beth-phage, to the Mountain of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 Saying to them, Go into the little town in front of you, and straight away you will see an ass with a cord round her neck, and a young one with her ; let them loose and come with them to me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you will say, The Lord has need of them; and straight away he will send them. 4 Now this took place so that these words of the prophet might come true, 5 Say to the daughter of Zion, See, your King comes to you, gentle and seated on an ass, and on a young ass. 6 And the disciples went and did as Jesus had given them orders, 7 And got the ass and the young one, and put their clothing on them, and he took his seat on it. 8 And all the people put their clothing down in the way ; and others got branches from the trees, and put them down in the way. 9 And those who went before him, and those who came after, gave loud cries, saying, Glory to the Son of David : A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord : Glory in the highest. 10 And when he came into Jerusalem, all the town was moved, saying, Who is this ? 11 And the people said, This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.

21:12     And Jesus went into the Temple and sent out all who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those trading in doves. 13 And he said to them, It is in the Writings, My house is to be named a house of prayer, but you are making it a hole of thieves.

21:14     And the blind and the broken in body came to him in the Temple, and he made them well. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the works of power which he did, and the children crying out in the Temple, Glory to the son of David, they were angry and said to him, 16 Have you any idea what these are saying ? And Jesus said to them, Yes : have you not seen in the Writings, From the lips of children and babies at the breast you have made your praise complete ? 17 And he went away from them, and went out of the town to Bethany, and was there for the night.

21:18     Now in the morning when he was coming back to the town, he had a desire for food. 19 And seeing a fig-tree by the wayside, he came to it, and saw nothing on it but leaves only ; and he said to it, Let there be no fruit from you from this time forward for ever. And straight away the fig-tree became dry and dead. 20 And when the disciples saw it they were surprised, saying, How did the fig-tree become dry in so short a time ? 21 And Jesus in answer said to them, Truly I say to you, If you have faith, without doubting, not only may you do what has been done to the fig-tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and put into the sea, it will be done. 22 And all things, whatever you make request for in prayer, having faith, you will get.

23     And when he had come into the Temple, the chief priests and those in authority over the people came to him while he was teaching, and said, By what authority do you do these things? and who gave you this authority ? 24 And Jesus said to them in answer, I will put one question to you, and if you give me the answer, I will say by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, where did it come from ? from heaven or from men ? And they were reasoning among themselves, saying, If we say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why then did you not have faith in him ? 26 But if we say, From men ; we are in fear of the people, because all take John to be a prophet. 27 And they made answer and said, We have no idea. Then he said to them, And I will not say to you by what authority I do these things.

21:28     But how does it seem to you ? A man had two sons ; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go and do work today in the vine-garden. 29 And he said in answer, I will not : but later, changing his decision, he went. 30 And he came to the second and said the same. And he made answer and said, I go, sir : and went not. 31 Which of the two did his father's pleasure ? They say, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you, that tax-farmers and loose women are going into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you had no faith in him, but the tax-farmers and the loose women had faith in him : and you, when you saw it, did not even have regret for your sins, so as to have faith in him.

21:33     Give ear to another story. A master of a house made a vine garden, and put a wall round it, and made a place for crushing out the wine, and made a tower, and let it out to field-workers, and went into another country. 34 And when the time for the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the workmen, to get the fruit. 35 And the workmen made an attack on his servants, giving blows to one, putting another to death, and stoning another. 36 Again, he sent other servants more in number than the first : and they did the same to them. 37 But after that he sent his son to them, saying, They will have respect for my son. 38 But when the workmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is he who will one day be the owner of the property ; come, let us put him to death and take his heritage. 39 And they took him and, driving him out of the vine-garden, put him to death. 40 When, then, the lord of the vine-garden comes, what will he do to those workmen ? 41 They say to him, He will put those cruel men to a cruel death, and will let out the vine-garden to other workmen, who will give him the fruit when it is ready.

21:42     Jesus says to them, Did you never see in the Writings, The stone which the builders put on one side, the same has been made the chief stone of the building : this was the Lord's doing, and it is a wonder in our eyes ? 43 For this reason I say to you, The kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation producing the fruits of it. 44 Any man falling on this stone will be broken, but he on whom it comes down will be crushed to dust.

45     And when his stories came to the ears of the chief priests and the Pharisees, they saw that he was talking of them. 46 And though they had a desire to take him, they were in fear of the people, because in their eyes he was a prophet.

MATTHEW, 22
Paying taxes fo Caesar

22:1     And Jesus, talking to them again in stories, said : 2 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a feast when his son was married, 3 And sent out his servants to get in the guests to the feast ; and they would not come. 4 Again he sent out other servants, with orders to say to the guests, See, I have made ready my feast; my oxen and my fat beasts have been put to death, and all things are ready : come to the feast. 5 But they gave no attention, and went about their business, one to his farm, another to his trade : 6 And the rest put violent hands on his servants, and did evil to them, and put them to death. 7 But the king was angry; and he sent his armies, and those who had put his servants to death he gave to destruction, burning down their town with fire. 8 Then he said to his servants, The feast is ready but the guests were not good enough. 9 Go then to the cross-roads, and get all those whom you see to come to the bride-feast. 10 And those servants went out into the streets, and got together all those whom they came across, bad and good : and the feast was full of guests.

11     But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a guest's robe ; 12 And he says to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a guest's robe ? And he had nothing to say. 13 Then the king said to the servants, Put cords round his hands and feet and put him out into the dark ; there will be weeping and cries of sorrow. 14 For out of all to whom the good news has come, only a small number will get salvation.

22:15     Then the Pharisees went and had a meeting to see how they might make use of his words to take him. 16 And they sent to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Master, we see that you are true, and that you are teaching the true way of God, and have no fear of anyone, because you have no respect for a man's position. 17 Give us, then, your opinion of this : Is it right to give tax to Caesar, or not ? 18 But Jesus saw their trick and said, Oh false ones, why are you attempting to put me in the wrong ? 19 Let me see the tax money. And they gave him a penny. 20 And he said to them, Whose is this image and name on it ? 21 They say to him, Caesar's. Then he said to them, Give to Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and to God the things which are God's. 22 And hearing it, they were full of wonder, and went away from him. 23 On the same day there came to him the Sadducees, who say that there is no coming back from the dead : and they put a question to him, saying, 24 Master, Moses said, If a man, at the time of his death, has no children, let his brother take his wife, and get a family for his brother ; 25 Now there were among us seven brothers ; and the first was married and at his death, having no seed, gave his wife to his brother ; 26 In the same way the second and the third, up to the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman came to her end. 28 When they come back from the dead, then, whose wife will she be of the seven ? because they all had her.

22:29     But Jesus said to them in answer, You are in error, not having knowledge of the Writings, or of the power of God. 30 For when they come back from the dead there are no husbands and wives, but they are as the angels in heaven. 31 But about the dead coming back to life, have you no knowledge of what was said to you by God in the Writings : 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? God is not the God of the dead but of the living. 33 And the people hearing it were surprised at his teaching. 34     But the Pharisees, hearing how the mouths of the Sadducees had been stopped, came together ; 35 And one of them, a teacher of the law, put a question to him, testing him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the chief rule in the law ? 37 And he said to him, Have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest rule. 39 And a second like it is this, Have love for your neighbor as for yourself. 40 On these two rules all the law and the prophets are based.

22:41     Now while the Pharisees were together, Jesus put a question to them, saying, 42 What is your opinion of the Christ? whose son is he ? They say to him, The Son of David. 43 He says to them, How then does David in the Spirit give him the name of Lord, saying, 44 The Lord said to my Lord, Be seated at my right hand, till I put under your feet all those who are against yo u? 45 If David then gives him the name of Lord, how is he his son ? 46 And no one was able to give him an answer, and so great was their fear of him, that from that day no one put any more questions to him.

MATTHEW, 23
Woe to scribe and Pharisee

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

13     But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! because you are shutting the kingdom of heaven against men : for you do not go in yourselves, and those who are going in, you keep back. 23:14  15 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! for you go about land and sea to get one disciple and, having him, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16     A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! A curse is on you, blind guides, who say, Whoever takes an oath by the Temple, it is nothing; but whoever takes an oath by the gold of the Temple, he is responsible. 17 You foolish ones and blind : which is greater, the gold, or the Temple which makes the gold holy ? 18 And, Whoever takes an oath by the altar, it is nothing ; but whoever takes an oath by the offering which is on it, he is responsible. 19 You blind ones : which is greater, the offering, or the altar which makes the offering holy ? 20 He, then, who takes an oath by the altar, takes it by the altar and by all things on it. 21 And he who takes an oath by the Temple, takes it by the Temple and by him whose house it is. 22 And he who takes an oath by heaven, takes it by the seat of God, and by him who is seated on it.

23:23     A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! for you make men give a tenth of all sorts of sweet-smelling plants, but you give no thought to the more important things of the law, righteousness, and mercy, and faith ; but it is right for you to do these, and not to let the others be undone. 24 You blind guides, who take out a fly from your drink, but make no trouble over a camel.

23:25     A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of violent behavior and uncontrolled desire. 26 You blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may become equally clean.

23:27     A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! for you are like the resting-places of the dead, which are made white, and seem beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and of all unclean things. 28 Even so you seem to men to be full of righteousness, but inside you are all false and full of wrongdoing.

23:29     A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones ! because you put up buildings for housing the dead bodies of the prophets, and make fair the last resting-places of good men, and say, 30 If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 So that you are witnesses against yourselves that you are the sons of those who put the prophets to death. 32 Make full, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You snakes, offspring of snakes, how will you be kept from the punishment of hell ? 34 For this reason, I send you prophets, and wise men, and scribes : some of them you will put to death and put on the cross, and to some of them you will give blows in your Synagogues, driving them from town to town ; 35 So that on you may come all the blood of the upright on the earth, from the blood of upright Abel to the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, whom you put to death between the Temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, All these things will come on this generation.

23:37     O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, putting to death the prophets, and stoning those who are sent to her ! Again and again would I have taken your children to myself as a bird takes her young ones under her wings, and you would not ! 38 See, your house is made waste. 39 For I say to you, You will not see me from this time till you say, A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord.

MATTHEW, 24
Signs of the end

24:1     And Jesus went out of the Temple, and on the way his disciples came to him, pointing out the buildings of the Temple. 2 But he, answering, said to them, See you not all these things? truly I say to you that here there will not be one stone resting on another, which will not be pulled down.

24:3     And while he was seated on the Mountain of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Make clear to us, when will these things be ? and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world ? 4 And Jesus said to them in answer, Take care that you are not tricked. 5 For people will come in my name, saying, I am the Christ ; and a number will be turned from the true way through them. 6 And news will come to you of wars and talk of wars : do not be troubled, for these things have to be; but it is still not the end. 7 For nation will be moved against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and men will be without food, and the earth will be shaking in different places ; 8 But all these things are the first of the troubles.

24:9     Then they will be cruel to you, and will put you to death : and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 And numbers of people will be turned from the right way, and will give one another up and have hate for one another. 11 And a number of false prophets will come, causing error. 12 And because wrongdoing will be increased, the love of most people will become cold. 13 But he who goes through to the end will get salvation. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be given through all the world for a witness to all nations; and then the end will come.

24:15     When, then, you see in the holy place the unclean thing which makes destruction, of which word was given by Daniel the prophet (let this be clear to the reader), 16 Then let those who are in Judea go in flight to the mountains : 17 Let not him who is on the house-top go down to take anything out of his house : 18 And let not him who is in the field go back to get his coat. 19 But it will be hard for women who are with child and for those with babies at the breast in those days. 20 And say a prayer that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. 21 Because in those days there will be great sorrow, such as there has not been from the start of the world till now, or ever will be. 22 And if those days had not been made short there would have been no salvation for any, but because of the saints those days will be made short. 23 Then if any man says to you, See, here is the Christ, or, Here ; do not put faith in him ; 24 For there will come up false Christs, and false prophets, who will do great signs and wonders ; so that if possible even the saints might be tricked. 25 See, I have made it clear to you before it comes about. 26 If, then, they say to you, See, he is in the waste land ; go not out : See, he is in the inner rooms ; put no faith in it. 27 Because as in a thunderstorm the bright light coming from the east is seen even in the west; so will be the coming of the Son of man. 28 Wherever the dead body is, there will the eagles come together.

24:29     But straight away, after the trouble of those days, the sun will be made dark and the moon will not give her light and the stars will come down from heaven and the powers of heaven will be moved : 30 And then the sign of the Son of man will be seen in heaven : and then all the nations of the earth will have sorrow, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a great sound of a horn, and they will get his saints together from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

24:32     Now take an example from the fig-tree : when her branch has become soft and puts out its leaves, you are certain that the summer is near; 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you may be certain that he is near, even at the doors. 34 Truly I say to you, This generation will not come to an end till all these things are complete. 35 Heaven and earth will come to an end, but my words will not come to an end.

24:36     But of that day and hour no one has knowledge, not even the angels in heaven, or the Son, but the Father only. 37 And as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 Because as in those days before the overflowing of the waters, they were feasting and taking wives and getting married, till the day when Noah went into the ark, 39 And they had no care till the waters came and took them all away ; so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field ; one is taken, and one let go ; 41 Two women will be crushing grain ; one is taken, and one let go. 42 Be watching, then ! for you have no knowledge on what day your Lord will come. 43 But be certain of this, that if the master of the house had had knowledge of the time when the thief was coming, he would have been watching, and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Be ready then; for at a time which you have no thought of the Son of man will come.

24:45     Who is the true and wise servant, whom his lord has put over those in his house, to give them their food at the right time ? 46 A blessing on that servant, who will be doing so when his lord comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will put him over all he has. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, My lord is a long time in coming ; 49 And is cruel to the other servants, taking his pleasure with those who are overcome with wine; 50 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he is not looking for him, and in an hour of which he has no knowledge, 51 And will have him cut in two, and will give him a part in the fate of the false ones : there will be weeping and cries of sorrow.

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