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The Bible in Living English
20 And on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple-precinct and giving them the gospel, in came the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, 2 and said to him “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things, or who it was that gave you this authority.” 3 But he answered them “I will ask you a question myself—tell me, 4 was John’s baptizing from heaven or from men?” 5 And they made a calculation, saying to themselves “If we say ‘From heaven’ he will say ‘Why did you not believe him?’ 6 but if we say ‘From men’ the whole people will stone us to death, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet”; 7 and they answered that they did not know where it was from, 8 and Jesus said to them “And neither do I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” 9 And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man set out a vineyard and rented it to farmers, and went abroad for a considerable time; 10 and in due season he sent a servant to the farmers to have them give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the farmers gave him a beating and sent him off empty-handed. 11 And he went on to send another servant; but him too they beat and insulted and sent off empty-handed. 12 And he went on to send a third, but this one too they wounded and drove out. 13 And the owner of the vineyard said ‘What shall I do? I will send my dear son, perhaps they will have some respect for him.’ 14 But at seeing him the farmers talked up a plan among them, saying ‘This is the heir; let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours’; 15 and they put him out of the vineyard and killed him. So what will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 he will come and kill off these farmers, and give the vineyard to others.” And at hearing it they said “Perish the thought!” 17 But he looked at them and said “Then what is this that is written, ‘The stone that the builders condemned, that stone has come to be the top of the corner’? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be mangled; but him on whom it falls it will scatter to the winds.” 19 And the scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on him on the spot, and were afraid of the people, for they perceived that he had aimed the parable at them; 20* and they watched their chance and sent emissaries, who pretended to be honest men, to get a hold on him by his talk so as to have him arrested by the authority of the governor’s administration; 21 and they put the question to him “Teacher, we know you are straightforward in what you say and teach, and show no fear or favor, but teach the way of God in good faith: 22 is it lawful for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 But, seeing into their duplicity, he said to them 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose portrait and inscription does it have?” And they said “Caesar’s.” 25 And he said to them “Well, then, pay what is Caesar’s to Caesar and what is God’s to God.” 26* And they were not able to get a hold on him before the people by any phrase; and they wondered at his answer, and kept silence. 27 And some of the Sadducees (those who deny that there is any such thing as resurrection) approached him and put the question to him 28 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, if one’s brother dies having a wife, and is childless, that his brother should take his widow and set up a posterity for his brother. 29 So there were seven brothers, and the first took a wife and died childless, 30 and the second 31 and the third took her, and in the same way the seven of them left no children and died. 32 Afterward the woman died too. 33 So at the resurrection which of them is the woman to be wife to? for the seven had her as wife.” 34 And Jesus said to them “The children of this world marry, 35 but those who are held worthy to enjoy that world and the resurrection from the dead do not; 36 for they cannot any longer die either, but are equal to the angels, and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37 But that the dead are raised even Moses informs us, in the part about the bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob— 38 but he is not the God of dead men but of living men, for all live to him.” 39 And some of the scribes answered “Well said, teacher”; 40 for they no longer dared to put any question to him. 41 And he said to them “How is it that they say the Messiah is to be a son of David? 42 for David himself says in the Book of Psalms ‘The Lord said to my lord “Sit at my right hand 43 till I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”; 44 so David calls him lord, and how is he going to be his son?’” 45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go in robes and are fond of greetings in the marketplaces and the first seats in synagogues and the first places at dinners, 47 those who eat up widows’ houses and make a pretense of long prayers; these shall receive more of a sentence.”