Bible in Basic English
NEW TESTAMENT STORIES
Luke 2:1-22 Now it came about in those days that an order went out from Caesar Augustus that there was to be a numbering of all the world.
This was the first numbering, which was made when Quirinius was ruler of Syria.
And all men went to be numbered, everyone to his town.
And Joseph went up from Galilee, out of the town of Nazareth, into Judaea, to Bethlehem, the town of David, because he was of the house and family of David,
To be put on the list with Mary, his future wife, who was about to become a mother.
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
And she had her first son; and folding him in linen, she put him to rest in the place where the cattle had their food, because there was no room for them in the house.
And in the same country there were keepers of sheep in the fields, watching over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord was shining round about them: and fear came on them.
And the angel said, Have no fear; for truly, I give you good news of great joy which will be for all the people:
For on this day, in the town of David, a Saviour has come to birth, who is Christ the Lord.
And this is the sign to you: you will see a young child folded in linen, in the place where the cattle have their food.
And suddenly there was with the angel a great band of spirits from heaven, giving praise to God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on the earth peace among men with whom he is well pleased!"
And when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the keepers of the sheep said to one another, Let us go now to Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come about, which the Lord has made clear to us.
And they came quickly, and saw Mary and Joseph, and the child in the place where the cattle had their food.
And when they saw it, they gave them an account of the things which had been said to them about the child.
And all those to whose ears it came were full of wonder at the things said by the keepers of the sheep.
But Mary kept all these words in her heart, and gave much thought to them.
Then the keepers of the sheep went back, giving glory and praise to God for all the things which had come to their ears and which they had seen, as it had been said to them.
And after hearing the king, they went on their way; and the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the young child was.
And when they saw the star they were full of joy.
And they came into the house, and saw the young child with Mary, his mother; and falling down on their faces they gave him worship; and from their store they gave him offerings of gold, perfume, and spices.
SERMON on the MOUNT
And seeing great masses of people he went up into the mountain; and when he was seated his disciples came to him.
And with these words he gave them teaching, saying,
You are the salt of the earth; but if its taste goes from the salt, how will you make it salt again? it is then good for nothing but to be put out and crushed under foot by men.
- Happy are the poor in spirit : for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
- Happy are those who are sad : for they will be comforted.
- Happy are the gentle : for the earth will be their heritage.
- Happy are those whose heart's desire is for righteousness : for they will have their desire.
- Happy are those who have mercy : for they will be given mercy.
- Happy are the clean in heart : for they will see God.
- Happy are the peacemakers : for they will be named sons of God.
- Happy are those who are attacked on account of righteousness : for the kingdom of heaven will be theirs.
- Happy are you when men give you a bad name, and are cruel to you, and say all evil things against you falsely, because of me.
Be glad and full of joy; for great is your reward in heaven: for so were the prophets attacked who were before you.
You are the light of the world. A town put on a hill may be seen by all.
And a burning light is not put under a vessel, but on its table; so that its rays may be shining on all who are in the house.
Even so let your light be shining before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Let there be no thought that I have come to put an end to the law or the prophets. I have not come for destruction, but to make complete.
Truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth come to an end, not the smallest letter or part of a letter will in any way be taken from the law, till all things are done.
Whoever then goes against the smallest of these laws, teaching men to do the same, will be named least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who keeps the laws, teaching others to keep them, will be named great in the kingdom of heaven.
For I say to you, If your righteousness is not greater than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never go into the kingdom of heaven.
You have knowledge that it was said in old times, You may not put to death; and, Whoever puts to death will be in danger of being judged :
But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be in danger of being judged; and he who says to his brother, Raca, will be in danger from the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, You foolish one, will be in danger of the hell of fire.
If then you are making an offering at the altar and there it comes to your mind that your brother has something against you,
While your offering is still before the altar, first go and make peace with your brother, then come and make your offering.
Come to an agreement quickly with him who has a cause against you at law, while you are with him on the way, for fear that he may give you up to the judge and the judge may give you to the police and you may be put into prison.
Truly I say to you, You will not come out from there till you have made payment of the very last farthing.
You have knowledge that it was said, You may not have connection with another man's wife :
But I say to you that everyone whose eyes are turned on a woman with desire has had connection with her in his heart.
And if your right eye is a cause of trouble to you, take it out and put it away from you; because it is better to undergo the loss of one part, than for all your body to go into hell.
And if your right hand is a cause of trouble to you, let it be cut off and put it away from you; because it is better to undergo the loss of one part, than for all your body to go into hell.
Again, it was said, Whoever puts away his wife has to give her a statement in writing for this purpose :
But I say to you that everyone who puts away his wife for any other cause but the loss of her virtue, makes her false to her husband; and whoever takes her as his wife after she is put away, is no true husband to her.
Again, you have knowledge that it was said in old times, Do not take false oaths, but give effect to your oaths to the Lord :
But I say to you, Take no oaths at all: not by the heaven, because it is the seat of God;
Or by the earth, because it is the resting-place for his foot; or by Jerusalem, because it is the town of the great King.
You may not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black.
But let your words be simply, Yes or No; and whatever is more than these is of the Evil One.
You have knowledge that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth :
But I say to you, do not make use of force against an evil man; but to him who gives you a blow on the right side of your face let the left be turned.
And if any man goes to law with you and takes away your coat, do not keep back your robe from him.
And whoever makes you go one mile, go with him two.
Give to him who comes with a request, and keep not your property from him who would for a time make use of it.
You have knowledge that it was said, Have love for your neighbour, and hate for him who is against you :
But I say to you, Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you;
So that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for his sun gives light to the evil and to the good, and he sends rain on the upright man and on the sinner.
For if you have love for those who have love for you, what credit is it to you? Do not the tax-farmers the same?
And if you say, Good day, to your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles the same?
Be then complete in righteousness, even as your Father in heaven is complete.
Take care not to do your good works before men, to be seen by them; or you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
When then you give money to the poor, do not make a noise about it, as the false-hearted men do in the Synagogues and in the streets, so that they may have glory from men. Truly, I say to you, They have their reward.
But when you give money, let not your left hand see what your right hand does:
So that your giving may be in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward.
And when you make your prayers, be not like the false-hearted men, who take pleasure in getting up and saying their prayers in the Synagogues and at the street turnings so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.
But when you make your prayer, go into your private room, and, shutting the door, say a prayer to your Father in secret, and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward.
And in your prayer do not make use of the same words again and again, as the Gentiles do: for they have the idea that God will give attention to them because of the number of their words.
So be not like them; because your Father has knowledge of your needs even before you make your requests to him.
Let this then be your prayer :
Our Father in heaven,
For if you let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will have forgiveness from your Father in heaven.
But if you do not let men have forgiveness for their sins, you will not have forgiveness from your Father for your sins.
may your name be kept holy.
Let your kingdom come.
Let your pleasure be done,
as in heaven, so on earth.
Give us this day bread for our needs.
And make us free of our debts,
as we have made those free who are in debt to us.
And let us not be put to the test,
but keep us safe from the Evil One.
And when you go without food, be not sad-faced as the false-hearted are. For they go about with changed looks, so that men may see that they are going without food. Truly I say to you, They have their reward.
But when you go without food, put oil on your head and make your face clean;
So that no one may see that you are going without food, but your Father in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will give you your reward.
Make no store of wealth for yourselves on earth, where it may be turned to dust by worms and weather, and where thieves may come in by force and take it away.
But make a store for yourselves in heaven, where it will not be turned to dust and where thieves do not come in to take it away:
For where your wealth is, there will your heart be.
The light of the body is the eye; if then your eye is true, all your body will be full of light.
But if your eye is evil, all your body will be dark. If then the light which is in you is dark, how dark it will be!
No man is able to be a servant to two masters: for he will have hate for the one and love for the other, or he will keep to one and have no respect for the other. You may not be servants of God and of wealth.
So I say to you, take no thought for your life, about food or drink, or about clothing for your body. Is not life more than food, and the body more than its clothing?
See the birds of heaven; they do not put seeds in the earth, they do not get in grain, or put it in store-houses; and your Father in heaven gives them food. Are you not of much more value than they?
And which of you by taking thought is able to make himself a cubit taller?
And why are you troubled about clothing? See the flowers of the field, how they come up; they do no work, they make no thread ;
but I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.
But if God gives such clothing to the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is put into the oven, will he not much more give you clothing, O you of little faith?
Then do not be full of care, saying, What are we to have for food or drink? or, With what may we be clothed?
Because the Gentiles go in search of all these things : for your Father in heaven has knowledge that you have need of all these things.
But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition.
Then have no care for tomorrow : tomorrow will take care of itself. Take the trouble of the day as it comes.
Be not judges of others, and you will not be judged.
For as you have been judging, so you will be judged, and with your measure will it be measured to you.
And why do you take note of the grain of dust in your brother's eye, but take no note of the bit of wood which is in your eye?
Or how will you say to your brother, Let me take out the grain of dust from your eye, when you yourself have a bit of wood in your eye?
You false one, first take out the bit of wood from your eye, then will you see clearly to take out the grain of dust from your brother's eye.
Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, or put your jewels before pigs, for fear that they will be crushed under foot by the pigs whose attack will then be made against you.
Make a request, and it will be answered; what you are searching for you will get; give the sign, and the door will be open to you :
because to everyone who makes a request, it will be given; and he who is searching will get his desire, and to him who gives the sign, the door will be open.
Or which of you, if his son makes a request for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he makes a request for a fish, will give him a snake?
If you, then, being evil, are able to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who make requests to him?
All those things, then, which you would have men do to you, even so do you to them: because this is the law and the prophets.
Go in by the narrow door; for wide is the door and open is the way which goes to destruction, and great numbers go in by it.
For narrow is the door and hard the road to life, and only a small number make discovery of it.
Be on the watch for false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inside they are cruel wolves.
By their fruits you will get knowledge of them. Do men get grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?
Even so, every good tree gives good fruit; but the bad tree gives evil fruit.
It is not possible for a good tree to give bad fruit, and a bad tree will not give good fruit.
Every tree which does not give good fruit is cut down and put in the fire.
So by their fruits you will get knowledge of them.
Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will go into the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the pleasure of my Father in heaven.
A great number will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, were we not prophets in your name, and did we not by your name send out evil spirits, and by your name do works of power?
And then will I say to them, I never had knowledge of you: go from me, you workers of evil.
Everyone, then, to whom my words come and who does them, will be like a wise man who made his house on a rock;
and the rain came down and there was a rush of waters and the winds were driving against that house, but it was not moved; because it was based on the rock.
And everyone to whom my words come and who does them not, will be like a foolish man who made his house on sand;
and the rain came down and there was a rush of waters and the winds were driving against that house; and it came down and great was its fall.
And it came about, when Jesus had come to the end of these words, that the people were surprised at his teaching,
for he was teaching as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
Matthew 27:1-54 Now when it was morning, all the chief priests and those in authority took thought together with the purpose of putting Jesus to death.
And they put cords on him and took him away, and gave him up to Pilate, the ruler.
Then Judas, who was false to him, seeing that he was to be put to death, in his regret took back the thirty bits of silver to the chief priests and those in authority,
Saying, I have done wrong in giving into your hands an upright man. But they said, What is that to us? it is your business.
And he put down the silver in the Temple and went out, and put himself to death by hanging.
And the chief priests took the silver and said, It is not right to put it in the Temple store for it is the price of blood.
And they made a decision to get with the silver the potter's field, as a place for the dead of other countries.
For this cause that field was named, The field of blood, to this day.
Then came true that which was said by Jeremiah the prophet, And they took the thirty bits of silver, the price of him who was valued by the children of Israel;
And they gave them for the potter's field, as I had word from the Lord.
And Jesus was before the ruler, who put a question to him, Are you the King of the Jews? And Jesus said to him, You say so.
But when the chief priests and those in authority made statements against him, he gave no answer.
Then says Pilate to him, Do you give no attention to what their witnesses say against you?
And he gave him no answer, not even a word: so that the ruler was greatly surprised.
Now at the feast it was the way for the ruler to let free to the people one prisoner, at their selection.
And they had then an important prisoner, whose name was Barabbas.
So when they came together, Pilate said to them, Whom will you have? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is named Christ?
For he saw that for envy they had given him up.
And while he was on the judge's seat, his wife sent to him, saying, Have nothing to do with that upright man, for I have had much trouble this day in a dream because of him.
Now the chief priests and those in authority got the people to make request for Barabbas, and for Jesus to be put to death.
But the ruler made answer and said to them, Which of the two is it your pleasure that I let go free? And they said, Barabbas.
Pilate says to them, What, then, am I to do with Jesus, who is named Christ? They all say, Let him be put to death on the cross.
And he said, Why, what evil has he done? But they gave loud cries, saying, To the cross with him!
So when Pilate saw that he was able to do nothing, but that trouble was working up, he took water and, washing his hands before the people, said, The blood of this upright man is not on my hands: you are responsible.
And all the people made answer and said, Let his blood be on us, and on our children.
Then he let Barabbas go free: but after having Jesus whipped, he gave him up to be put to death on the cross.
Then the ruler's armed men took Jesus into the open square, and got all their band together.
And they took off his clothing, and put on him a red robe.
And they made a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and put a rod in his right hand, and they went down on their knees before him, and made sport of him, saying, Long life to the King of the Jews.
And they put shame on him, and gave him blows on the head with the rod.
And when they had made sport of him, they took the robe off him, and put his clothing on him, and took him away to put him on the cross.
And while they were coming out, they saw a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they made him go with them, so that he might take up his cross.
And when they came to the place named Golgotha, that is to say, Dead Man's Head,
They gave him wine mixed with bitter drink: and after tasting it, he took no more.
And when they had put him on the cross, they made division of his clothing among them by the decision of chance.
And they were seated there watching him.
And they put up over his head the statement of his crime in writing, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then two thieves were put on crosses with him, one on the right and one on the left.
And those who went by said bitter words to him, shaking their heads and saying,
You who would give the Temple to destruction and put it up again in three days, get yourself free: if you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.
In the same way, the chief priests, making sport of him, with the scribes and those in authority, said,
A saviour of others, he has no salvation for himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will have faith in him.
He put his faith in God; let God be his saviour now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God.
And the thieves who were on the crosses said evil words to him.
Now from the sixth hour it was dark over all the land till the ninth hour.
And about the ninth hour Jesus gave a loud cry, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why are you turned away from me?
And some of those who were near by, hearing it, said, This man is crying to Elijah.
And straight away one of them went quickly, and took a sponge, and made it full of bitter wine, and put it on a rod and gave him drink.
And the rest said, Let him be; let us see if Elijah will come to his help.
And Jesus gave another loud cry, and gave up his spirit.
And the curtain of the Temple was parted in two from end to end; and there was an earth-shock; and the rocks were broken;
And the resting-places of the dead came open; and the bodies of a number of sleeping saints came to life;
And coming out of their resting-places, after he had come again from the dead, they went into the holy town and were seen by a number of people.
Now the captain and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earth-shock and the things which were done, were in great fear and said, Truly this was a son of God.
Now late on the Sabbath, when the dawn of the first day of the week was near, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the place where his body was.
And there was a great earth-shock; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, rolling back the stone, took his seat on it.
His form was shining like the light, and his clothing was white as snow:
And for fear of him the watchmen were shaking, and became as dead men.
And the angel said to the women, Have no fear: for I see that you are searching for Jesus, who was put to death on the cross.
He is not here, for he has come to life again, even as he said. Come, see the Lord's resting-place.
And go quickly and give his disciples the news that he has come back from the dead, and is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him, as I have said to you.
And they went away quickly, with fear and great joy, to give his disciples the news.
And on the way, Jesus came to them, saying, Be glad. And they came and put their hands on his feet, and gave him worship.
Then said Jesus to them, Have no fear: go and give word to my brothers to go into Galilee, and there they will see me.
Now, while they were going, some of the watchmen came into the town and gave news to the chief priests of all the things which had taken place.
And when they had come together with those in authority, and had made their decision, they gave much money to the watchmen, saying,
Say, His disciples came by night and took him away secretly while we were sleeping.
And if this comes to the ruler's ears, we will see that he does not make you responsible.
So they took the money, and did as they had been ordered: and this account has been current among the Jews till the present time.
But the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had given them orders to go.
And when they saw him they gave him worship: but some were in doubt.
And Jesus came to them and said, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
Go then, and make disciples of all the nations, giving them baptism in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
Teaching them to keep all the rules which I have given you: and see, I am ever with you, even to the end of the world.