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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

According to Luke 8:1-56

8  Shortly afterward he traveled from city to city and from village to village, preaching and declaring the good news of the Kingdom of God.+ And the Twelve were with him,  as were certain women who had been cured of wicked spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magʹda·lene,+ from whom seven demons had come out;  Jo·anʹna+ the wife of Chuʹza, Herod’s man in charge; Su·sanʹna; and many other women, who were ministering to them from their belongings.+  Now when a large crowd had gathered together with those who went to him from city to city, he spoke by means of an illustration:+  “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he was sowing, some of them fell alongside the road and were trampled on, and the birds of heaven ate them up.+  Some landed on the rock, and after sprouting, they dried up because they had no moisture.+  Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns that grew up with them choked them.+  But others fell on the good soil, and after sprouting, they produced 100 times more fruit.”+ As he said these things, he called out: “Let the one who has ears to listen, listen.”+  But his disciples asked him what this illustration meant.+ 10  He said: “To you it is granted* to understand the sacred secrets of the Kingdom of God, but for the rest it is in illustrations+ so that, though looking, they may look in vain, and though hearing, they may not get the sense.+ 11  Now the illustration means this: The seed is the word of God.+ 12  Those alongside the road are the ones who have heard, and then the Devil comes and takes the word away from their hearts so that they may not believe and be saved.+ 13  Those on the rock are the ones who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy, but these have no root. They believe for a while, but in a season of testing, they fall away.+ 14  As for that which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but by being carried away by anxieties, riches,+ and pleasures of this life,+ they are completely choked and bring nothing to maturity.+ 15  As for that on the fine soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word with a fine and good heart,+ retain it and bear fruit with endurance.+ 16  “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a vessel or puts it underneath a bed, but he puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in may see the light.+ 17  For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest, nor anything carefully concealed that will never become known and not come out in the open.+ 18  Therefore, pay attention to how you listen, for whoever has will be given more,+ but whoever does not have, even what he imagines he has will be taken away from him.”+ 19  Now his mother and brothers+ came to him, but they were unable to get near him because of the crowd.+ 20  So it was reported to him: “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” 21  In reply he said to them: “My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”+ 22  One day he and his disciples got into a boat, and he said to them: “Let us cross to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail.+ 23  But as they were sailing along, he fell asleep. And a violent windstorm descended on the lake, and their boat began to fill up with water and to be in danger.+ 24  So they went and woke him up, saying: “Instructor, Instructor, we are about to perish!” With that he got up and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they subsided, and a calm set in.+ 25  Then he said to them: “Where is your faith?” But they were filled with fear and were astounded, saying to one another: “Who really is this? For he orders even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”+ 26  And they put in to shore in the region of the Gerʹa·senes,+ which is on the side opposite Galʹi·lee. 27  As Jesus got out onto land, a demon-possessed man from the city met him. For a considerable time he had not worn clothing, and he was staying, not in a house, but among the tombs.*+ 28  At the sight of Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him, and with a loud voice, he said: “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”+ 29  (For Jesus had been ordering the unclean spirit to come out of the man. It had seized him on many occasions,*+ and he was repeatedly bound with chains and fetters and kept under guard, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the isolated places.) 30  Jesus asked him: “What is your name?” He said: “Legion,” for many demons had entered into him. 31  And they kept pleading with him not to order them to go away into the abyss.+ 32  Now a large herd of swine+ was feeding there on the mountain, so they pleaded with him to permit them to enter into the swine, and he gave them permission.+ 33  With that the demons came out of the man and went into the swine, and the herd rushed over the precipice* into the lake and drowned. 34  But when the herders saw what had happened, they fled and reported it in the city and in the countryside. 35  Then people went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had come out, clothed and in his right mind, sitting at the feet of Jesus,+ and they grew fearful. 36  Those who had seen it reported to them how the demon-possessed man had been made well.* 37  Then a great number from the surrounding region of the Gerʹa·senes asked Jesus to go away from them, because they were gripped by great fear. Then he went aboard the boat to depart. 38  However, the man from whom the demons had gone out kept begging to continue with him, but he sent the man away, saying:+ 39  “Go back home, and keep on relating what God did for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city what Jesus had done for him. 40  When Jesus returned, the crowd received him kindly, for they were all expecting him.+ 41  But look! a man named Jaʹi·rus came; this man was a presiding officer of the synagogue. And he fell at the feet of Jesus and began to plead with him to come to his house,+ 42  because his only daughter, who was about 12 years old, was dying. As Jesus was going, the crowds pressed in on him. 43  Now there was a woman who had a flow of blood+ for 12 years, and she had not been able to get a cure from anyone.+ 44  She approached from behind and touched the fringe* of his outer garment,+ and immediately her flow of blood stopped. 45  So Jesus said: “Who touched me?” When they were all denying it, Peter said: “Instructor, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.”+ 46  But Jesus said: “Someone touched me, for I know* that power+ went out of me.” 47  Seeing that she had not escaped notice, the woman came trembling and fell down before him and declared before all the people why she touched him and how she was healed immediately. 48  But he said to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well.* Go in peace.”+ 49  While he was yet speaking, a representative of the presiding officer of the synagogue came, saying: “Your daughter has died; do not bother the Teacher any longer.”+ 50  On hearing this, Jesus answered him: “Have no fear, only have faith, and she will be saved.”+ 51  When he reached the house, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John, James, and the girl’s father and mother. 52  But people were all weeping and beating themselves in grief for her. So he said: “Stop weeping,+ for she did not die but is sleeping.”+ 53  At this they began to laugh at him scornfully, because they knew she had died. 54  But he took her by the hand and called to her: “Child, get up!”*+ 55  And her spirit+ returned, and she rose immediately,+ and he ordered that something be given her to eat. 56  Well, her parents were beside themselves, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened.+


Or “You have been allowed (permitted).”
Or “memorial tombs.”
Or possibly, “Over a long time, it had held him fast.”
Or “steep bank.”
Or “had been saved.”
Or “edge; border; tassel.”
Or “perceived.”
Or “has saved you.”
Or “wake up!”

Study Notes

preaching: The Greek word basically means “to make proclamation as a public messenger.” It stresses the manner of the proclamation: usually an open, public declaration rather than a sermon to a group.

preaching: See study note on Mt 3:1.

Mary who was called Magdalene: The woman often called Mary Magdalene is first mentioned here in the account of Jesus’ second year of preaching. Her distinguishing name, Magdalene (meaning “Of, or Belonging to, Magdala”), likely stems from the town of Magdala. This town was located on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, about halfway between Capernaum and Tiberias. It has been suggested that Magdala was this Mary’s hometown or place of residence. Mary Magdalene is mentioned most prominently in connection with the death and resurrection of Jesus.—Mt 27:55, 56, 61; Mr 15:40; Lu 24:10; Joh 19:25.

ministering: Or “serving.” Related to the Greek verb di·a·ko·neʹo, used here, is the noun di·aʹko·nos (minister; servant), which refers to one who does not let up in humbly rendering service in behalf of others. The term is used to describe Christ (Ro 15:8); ministers or servants of Christ, both male and female (Ro 16:1; 1Co 3:5-7; Col 1:23); ministerial servants (Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8); as well as household servants (Joh 2:5, 9) and government officials.—Ro 13:4.

Chuza: Herod Antipas’ man in charge, or steward, possibly of domestic affairs.

were ministering to them: Or “were supporting (providing for) them.” The Greek word di·a·ko·neʹo can refer to caring for the physical needs of others by obtaining, cooking, and serving food, and so forth. It is used in a similar sense at Lu 10:40 (“attend to things”), Lu 12:37 (“minister”), Lu 17:8 (“serve”), and Ac 6:2 (“distribute food”), but it can also refer to all other services of a similar personal nature. Here it describes how the women mentioned in verses 2 and 3 supported Jesus and his disciples, helping them to complete their God-given assignment. By doing so, these women glorified God, who showed his appreciation by preserving in the Bible a record of their merciful generosity for all future generations to read. (Pr 19:17; Heb 6:10) The same Greek term is used about women at Mt 27:55; Mr 15:41.—See study note on Lu 22:26, where the related noun di·aʹko·nos is discussed.

region of the Gadarenes: A region on the other (the eastern) shore of the Sea of Galilee. It may have been the region extending from the sea to Gadara, which was 10 km (6 mi) from the sea. Supporting this idea, coins from Gadara often depict a ship. Mark and Luke call the area “the region of the Gerasenes.” (See study note on Mr 5:1.) The different regions may have been overlapping.​—See App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.

Gerasenes: In the parallel accounts of this event (Mt 8:​28-​34; Mr 5:​1-​20; Lu 8:​26-​39), different names are used for where this event took place. For each account, there are also different readings in ancient manuscripts. According to the best available manuscripts, Matthew originally used “Gadarenes,” whereas Mark and Luke employed “Gerasenes.” However, as shown in the study note on region of the Gerasenes in this verse, both of these terms refer to the same general region.

region of the Gerasenes: A region on the side opposite, that is, the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The exact limits of this region are unknown today, and its identification is uncertain. Some link “the region of the Gerasenes” with the area around Kursi, near the steep slopes on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Others think that it was the large district radiating from the city of Gerasa (Jarash), which was 55 km (34 mi) SSE of the Sea of Galilee. Mt 8:28 calls it “the region of the Gadarenes.” (See the study note on Gerasenes in this verse and the study note on Mt 8:28.) Although different names are used, they refer to the general area of the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and the regions may have been overlapping. Thus, there is no contradiction between the accounts.—See also App. A7, Map 3B, “Activity at the Sea of Galilee,” and App. B10.

Gerasenes: See study note on Mr 5:1.

a demon-possessed man: Matthew (8:28) mentions two men, but Mark (5:2) and Luke refer to one. Mark and Luke evidently drew attention to just one demon-possessed man because Jesus spoke to him and because his case was more outstanding. Possibly, that man was more violent or had suffered under demon control for a longer time. It could also be that after the two men were healed, only one of them wanted to accompany Jesus.—Lu 8:37-39.

What have I to do with you, . . . ?: Or “What is there in common between me and you?” Literally translated, this rhetorical question reads: “What to me and to you?” This Semitic idiom is found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Jg 11:12, ftn.; Jos 22:24; 2Sa 16:10; 19:22; 1Ki 17:18; 2Ki 3:​13; 2Ch 35:21; Ho 14:8), and a corresponding Greek phrase is used in the Christian Greek Scriptures (Mt 8:​29; Mr 1:​24; 5:7; Lu 4:​34; 8:​28; Joh 2:4). The exact meaning may vary, depending on context. In this verse (Mr 5:7), the idiom expresses hostility and repulsion, and some have suggested such a rendering as: “Do not bother me!” or “Leave me alone!” In other contexts, it is used to express a difference in viewpoint, or opinion, or to refuse involvement in a suggested action without indicating disdain, arrogance, or hostility.​—See study note on Joh 2:4.

What have I to do with you, . . . ?: See study note on Mr 5:7.

torment me: A related Greek term is used of “the jailers” at Mt 18:34. So in this context, the “torment” would seem to refer to a restraining or a confining to “the abyss” mentioned at Lu 8:31.

Legion: Likely, this was not the demon-possessed man’s actual name, but it indicates that the man was possessed by many demons. Possibly, the chief one of these demons caused this man to say that his name was Legion. In the first century C.E., a Roman legion usually consisted of some 6,000 men, which may indicate that a large number of demons were involved.​—See study note on Mt 26:53.

Legion: See study note on Mr 5:9.

torment us: A related Greek term is used of “the jailers” at Mt 18:34, so in this context, the “torment” would seem to refer to a restraining or a confining to “the abyss” mentioned in the parallel account at Lu 8:31.

the abyss: Or “the deep.” The Greek word aʹbys·sos, meaning “exceedingly deep” or “unfathomable, boundless,” refers to a place or condition of confinement or imprisonment. It occurs nine times in the Christian Greek Scriptures—here, at Ro 10:7, and seven times in the book of Revelation. The account at Re 20:1-3 describes the future casting of Satan into the abyss for a thousand years. The legion of demons who entreated Jesus not to send them “into the abyss” may have had that future event in mind. In verse 28, one of the demons asked Jesus not to “torment” him. In the parallel account at Mt 8:29, the demons asked Jesus: “Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” So the “torment” the demons feared would seem to refer to their being confined or imprisoned in “the abyss.”—See Glossary and study note on Mt 8:29.

keep on relating what God did for you: In contrast with Jesus’ usual instructions not to publicize his miracles (Mr 1:44; 3:12; 7:36; Lu 5:14), he instructed this man to tell his relatives what had happened. This may have been because Jesus was asked to leave the region and would not personally give them a witness. The man’s testimony would also serve to counteract unfavorable reports that might circulate over the loss of the swine.

the whole city: The parallel account at Mr 5:20 says “in the Decapolis.” So the city mentioned here apparently refers to one of the cities in the Decapolis region.—See Glossary, “Decapolis.”

an only-begotten son: The Greek word mo·no·ge·nesʹ, traditionally translated “only-begotten,” has been defined as “the only one of its kind; one and only; unique.” The Bible uses the term in describing the relation of sons and daughters to their parents. (See study notes on Lu 7:12; 8:42; 9:38.) In the apostle John’s writings, this term is used exclusively of Jesus (Joh 3:16, 18; 1Jo 4:9) but never about Jesus’ human birth or existence as a man. Instead, John uses the term to describe Jesus in his prehuman existence as the Logos, or the Word, the one who “was in the beginning with God,” even “before the world was.” (Joh 1:1, 2; 17:5, 24) Jesus is the “only-begotten son” because he was Jehovah’s Firstborn and the only one created directly by God. While other spirit creatures are likewise called “sons of the true God” or “sons of God” (Ge 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7), all those sons were created by Jehovah through that firstborn Son (Col 1:15, 16). In summary, the term mo·no·ge·nesʹ refers both to Jesus’ being “one of a kind; unique; incomparable” and to his being the only son produced directly and solely by God.—1Jo 5:18; see study note on Heb 11:17.

only: The Greek word mo·no·ge·nesʹ, traditionally rendered “only-begotten,” has been defined as “the only one of its kind; one and only; the only one or member of a class or kind; unique.” The term is used in describing the relation of both sons and daughters to their parents. In this context, it is used in the sense of an only child. The same Greek word is also used of the “only” son of a widow in Nain and of a man’s “only” son whom Jesus cured of a demon. (Lu 7:12; 9:38) The Greek Septuagint uses mo·no·ge·nesʹ when speaking of Jephthah’s daughter, concerning whom it is written: “Now she was his one and only child. Besides her, he had neither son nor daughter.” (Jg 11:34) In the apostle John’s writings, mo·no·ge·nesʹ is used five times with reference to Jesus.—For the meaning of the term when used about Jesus, see study notes on Joh 1:14; 3:16.

Daughter: The only recorded instance in which Jesus directly addressed a woman as “daughter,” perhaps because of her delicate situation and her “trembling.” (Mr 5:​33; Lu 8:​47) By using this term of endearment, a form of address that signifies nothing about the woman’s age, Jesus emphasizes his tender concern for her.

Daughter: See study note on Mr 5:34.

yielded up his spirit: Or “expired; ceased to breathe.” The term “spirit” (Greek, pneuʹma) may here be understood to refer to “breath” or “life force,” which is supported by the use of the Greek verb ek·pneʹo (lit., “to breathe out”) in the parallel account at Mr 15:37 (where it is rendered “expired” or, as in the footnote, “breathed his last”). Some suggest that the use of the Greek term rendered “yielded up” means that Jesus voluntarily stopped struggling to stay alive, since all things had been accomplished. (Joh 19:30) He willingly “poured out his life even to death.”​—Isa 53:12; Joh 10:11.

spirit: Or “life force; breath.” The Greek word pneuʹma here likely refers to the life force that is active in an earthly creature or simply to breath.—See study note on Mt 27:50.


Domestic Lampstand
Domestic Lampstand

This domestic lampstand (1) is an artist’s concept based on first-century artifacts found in Ephesus and Italy. A lampstand of this kind was likely used in a wealthy household. In poorer homes, a lamp was hung from the ceiling, placed in a niche in the wall (2), or put on a stand made of earthenware or wood.

First-Century Fishing Boat
First-Century Fishing Boat

This rendering is based on the remains of a first-century fishing boat found buried in mud near the shores of the Sea of Galilee and on a mosaic discovered in a first-century home in the seaside town of Migdal. This kind of boat may have been rigged with a mast and sail(s) and may have had a crew of five​—four oarsmen and one helmsman, who stood on a small deck at the stern. The boat was approximately 8 m (26.5 ft) long and at midpoint was about 2.5 m (8 ft) wide and 1.25 m (4 ft) deep. It seems that it could carry 13 or more men.

Remains of a Galilean Fishing Boat
Remains of a Galilean Fishing Boat

A 1985/1986 drought caused the water level in the Sea of Galilee to fall, exposing part of the hull of an ancient boat that was buried in the mud. The remains of the boat are 8.2 m (27 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) wide and have a maximum height of 1.3 m (4.3 ft). Archaeologists say that the boat was built sometime between the first century B.C.E. and the first century C.E. This video animation reconstructs the boat, which is now displayed in a museum in Israel, showing what it may have looked like as it traversed the waters some 2,000 years ago.

Cliffs on the Eastern Side of the Sea of Galilee
Cliffs on the Eastern Side of the Sea of Galilee

It was along the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee that Jesus expelled demons from two men and sent the demons into a herd of swine.