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|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
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1 When Jesus finished all these words, 2
he said to his disciples,
"You know that in two days' time it will be
Passover, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the
people assembled in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
and they consulted together to arrest Jesus by
treachery and put him to death.
But they said, "Not during the festival, 4
that there may not be a riot among the people."
5 Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of
Simon the leper,
a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of
costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table.
When the disciples saw this, they were
indignant and said, "Why this waste?
It could have been sold for much, and the money
given to the poor."
Since Jesus knew this, he said to them,
"Why do you make trouble for the woman? She has done a good thing for me.
The poor you will always have with you; but you
will not always have me.
6 In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she
did it to prepare me for burial.
Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed
in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of
Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas
Iscar iot, 7 went to the chief priests
8 and said, "What are you willing to give
me if I hand him over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an
opportunity to hand him over.
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened
Bread, 9 the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?"
10 He said, "Go into the city to a certain
man and tell him, 'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near; in your
house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." 11
Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to
him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply, "He who has dipped his
hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.
12 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written
of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be
better for that man if he had never been born."
13 Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He answered, "You have said
14 15 While they were eating,
Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples
said, "Take and eat; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, 16
and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you,
for this is my blood of the covenant, which
will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.
17 I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this
fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of
18 Then, after singing a hymn, they went out to
the Mount of Olives.
Then Jesus said to them, "This night all
of you will have your faith in me shaken, 19 for it is
written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be
but after I have been raised up, I shall go
before you to Galilee."
Peter said to him in reply, "Though all
may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be."
20 Jesus said to him, "Amen, I say to you,
this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times."
Peter said to him, "Even though I should
have to die with you, I will not deny you." And all the disciples spoke
21 Then Jesus came with them to a place called
Gethsemane, 22 and he said to his disciples, "Sit here
while I go over there and pray."
He took along Peter and the two sons of
Zebedee, 23 and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them, "My soul is
sorrowful even to death. 24 Remain here and keep watch with
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in
prayer, saying, "My Father, 25 if it is possible, let
this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will."
When he returned to his disciples he found them
asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the
test. 26 The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
27 Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again,
"My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking
it, your will be done!"
Then he returned once more and found them
asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a
third time, saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to
them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at
hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the
Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had
come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them,
saying, "The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him."
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said,
"Hail, Rabbi!" 28 and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him, "Friend, do what you
have come for." Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus
put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant,
cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword
back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father
and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of
But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled
which say that it must come to pass in this way?"
29 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds,
"Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me?
Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass that the writings
of the prophets may be fulfilled." Then all the disciples left him and
30 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to
Caiaphas 31 the high priest, where the scribes and the
elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance as far as
the high priest's courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to
see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin 32
kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to
but they found none, though many false
witnesses came forward. Finally two 33 came forward
who stated, "This man said, 'I can destroy
the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.'"
The high priest rose and addressed him,
"Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?"
But Jesus was silent. 34
Then the high priest said to him, "I order you to tell us under oath
before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "You have said
so. 35 But I tell you: From now on you will see 'the Son of
Man seated at the right hand of the Power' and 'coming on the clouds of
Then the high priest tore his robes and said,
"He has blasphemed! 36 What further need have we of
witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy;
what is your opinion?" They said in reply,
"He deserves to die!"
37 Then they spat in his face and struck him,
while some slapped him,
saying, "Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is
it that struck you?"
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard.
One of the maids came over to him and said, "You too were with Jesus the
38 But he denied it in front of everyone, saying,
"I do not know what you are talking about!"
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw
him and said to those who were there, "This man was with Jesus the
Again he denied it with an oath, "I do not
know the man!"
39 A little later the bystanders came over and
said to Peter, "Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you
At that he began to curse and to swear, "I
do not know the man." And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had
spoken: "Before the cock crows you will deny me three times." He went
out and began to weep bitterly.
[1-⇒ 28:20] The five books with alternating
narrative and discourse (⇒ Matthew
3:1-⇒ 25:46) that give this gospel its
distinctive structure lead up to the climactic events that are the center of
Christian belief and the origin of the Christian church, the passion and
resurrection of Jesus. In his passion narrative (⇒ Matthew
26:26-27) Matthew follows his Marcan source closely but with
omissions (e.g., ⇒ Mark 14:51-52) and additions
(e.g., ⇒ Matthew 27:3-10,
⇒ 19). Some of the additions indicate that he
utilized traditions that he had received from elsewhere; others are due to his
own theological insight (e.g., ⇒ Matthew 26:28
". . . for the forgiveness of sins"; ⇒ Matthew
27:52). In his editing Matthew also altered Mark in some minor
details. But there is no need to suppose that he knew any passion narrative
other than Mark's.
2 [1-2] When Jesus finished all these
words: see the note on ⇒ Matthew 7:28-29. "You
know . . . crucified": Matthew turns Mark's statement of the time
(⇒ Mark 14:1) into Jesus' final prediction of his
passion. Passover: see the note on ⇒ Mark 14:1.
3  Caiaphas was high priest from
A.D. 18 to 36.
4  Not during the festival: the
plan to delay Jesus' arrest and execution until after the festival was not
carried out, for according to the synoptics he was arrested on the night of
Nisan 14 and put to death the following day. No reason is given why the plan
5 [6-13] See the notes on
⇒ Mark 14:3-9 and ⇒ John
6  To prepare me for burial: cf
⇒ Mark 14:8. In accordance with the interpretation
of this act as Jesus' burial anointing, Matthew, more consistent than Mark,
changes the purpose of the visit of the women to Jesus' tomb; they do not go to
anoint him (⇒ Mark 16:1) but "to see the
tomb" (⇒ Matthew 28:1).
7  Iscariot: see the note on
⇒ Luke 6:16.
8  The motive of avarice is
introduced by Judas's question about the price for betrayal, which is absent in
the Marcan source (⇒ Mark 14:10-11). Hand him over:
the same Greek verb is used to express the saving purpose of God by which Jesus
is handed over to death (cf ⇒ Matthew 17:22;
⇒ 20:18; ⇒ 26:2) and the
human malice that hands him over. Thirty pieces of silver: the price of the
betrayal is found only in Matthew. It is derived from
⇒ Zechariah 11:12 where it is the wages paid to the
rejected shepherd, a cheap price (⇒ Zechariah
11:13). That amount is also the compensation paid to one whose slave
has been gored by an ox (⇒ Exodus 21:32).
9  The first day of the Feast of
Unleavened Bread: see the note on ⇒ Mark 14:1.
Matthew omits Mark's "when they sacrificed the Passover lamb."
10  By omitting much of
⇒ Mark 14:13-15, adding My appointed time draws
near, and turning the question into a statement, in your house I shall
celebrate the Passover, Matthew has given this passage a solemnity and majesty
greater than that of his source.
11  Given Matthew's interest in
the fulfillment of the Old Testament, it is curious that he omits the Marcan
designation of Jesus' betrayer as "one who is eating with me"
(⇒ Mark 14:18), since that is probably an allusion
to Ps 41, 10. However, the shocking fact that the betrayer is one who shares
table fellowship with Jesus is emphasized in ⇒ Matthew
12  It would be better . . . born:
the enormity of the deed is such that it would be better not to exist than to
13  Peculiar to Matthew. You have
said so: cf ⇒ Matthew 26:64;
⇒ 27:11. This is a half-affirmative. Emphasis is
laid on the pronoun and the answer implies that the statement would not have
been made if the question had not been asked.
14  See the note on
⇒ Mark 14:22-24. The Marcan-Matthean is one of the
two major New Testament traditions of the words of Jesus when instituting the
Eucharist. The other (and earlier) is the Pauline-Lucan (⇒ 1
Cor 11:23-25; ⇒ Luke 22:19-20). Each
shows the influence of Christian liturgical usage, but the Marcan-Matthean is
more developed in that regard than the Pauline-Lucan. The words over the bread
and cup succeed each other without the intervening meal mentioned in
⇒ 1 Cor 11:25; ⇒ Luke
22:20; and there is parallelism between the consecratory words (this
is my body . . . this is my blood). Matthew follows Mark closely but with some
15  See the note on
⇒ Matthew 14:19. Said the blessing: a prayer
blessing God. Take and eat: literally, Take, eat. Eat is an addition to Mark's
"take it" (literally, "take"; ⇒ Mark
14:22). This is my body: the bread is identified with Jesus himself.
⇒ Matthew 26:26-29
16 [27-28] Gave thanks: see the note
on ⇒ Matthew 15:36. Gave it to them . . . all of
you: cf ⇒ Mark 14:23-24. In the Marcan sequence the
disciples drink and then Jesus says the interpretative words. Matthew has
changed this into a command to drink followed by those words. My blood: see
⇒ Lev 17:11 for the concept that the blood is
"the seat of life" and that when placed on the altar it "makes
atonement." Which will be shed: the present participle, "being
shed" or "going to be shed," is future in relation to the Last
Supper. On behalf of: Greek peri; see the note on ⇒ Mark
14:24. Many: see the note on ⇒ Matthew
20:28. For the forgiveness of sins: a Matthean addition. The same
phrase occurs in ⇒ Mark 1:4 in connection with John's
baptism but Matthew avoids it there (⇒ Matthew
3:11). He places it here probably because he wishes to emphasize that
it is the sacrificial death of Jesus that brings forgiveness of sins.
17  Although his death will
interrupt the table fellowship he has had with the disciples, Jesus confidently
predicts his vindication by God and a new table fellowship with them at the
banquet of the kingdom.
18  See the note on
⇒ Mark 14:26.
19  Will have . . . shaken:
literally, "will be scandalized in me"; see the note on
⇒ Matthew 24:9-12. I will strike . . . dispersed: cf
⇒ Zechariah 13:7.
20  Before the cock crows: see the
note on ⇒ Matthew 14:25. The third watch of the
night was called "cockcrow." Deny me: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 16:24.
21 [36-56] Cf ⇒ Mark
account of Jesus in Gethsemane is divided between that of his agony
(⇒ Matthew 26:36-46) and that of his betrayal and
arrest (⇒ Matthew 26:47-56). Jesus' sorrow and
distress (⇒ Matthew 26:37) in face of death is
unrelieved by the presence of his three disciples who, though urged to watch
with him (⇒ Matthew 26:38,
⇒ 41), fall asleep (⇒ Matthew
26:40, ⇒ 43). He prays that if . . .
possible his death may be avoided (⇒ Matthew 26:39)
but that his Father's will be done (⇒ Matthew
26:39, ⇒ 42,
⇒ 44). Knowing then that his death must take place,
he announces to his companions that the hour for his being handed over has come
(⇒ Matthew 26:45). Judas arrives with an armed band
provided by the Sanhedrin and greets Jesus with a kiss, the prearranged sign
for his identification (⇒ Matthew 26:47-49). After
his arrest, he rebukes a disciple who has attacked the high priest's servant
with a sword (⇒ Matthew 26:51-54), and chides those
who have come out to seize him with swords and clubs as if he were a robber
(⇒ Matthew 26:55-56). In both rebukes Jesus
declares that the treatment he is how receiving is the fulfillment of the
scriptures (⇒ Matthew 26:55,
⇒ 56). How should be now the subsequent flight of
all the disciples is itself the fulfillment of his own prediction (cf 31). In
this episode, Matthew follows Mark with a few alterations.
22  Gethsemane: the Hebrew name
means "oil press" and designates an olive orchard on the western
slope of the Mount of Olives; see the note on ⇒ Matthew
21:1. The name appears only in Matthew and Mark. The place is called
a "garden" in ⇒ John 18:1.
23  Peter and the two sons of
Zebedee: cf ⇒ Matthew 17:1.
24  Cf ⇒ Psalm
42:5, ⇒ 11. In the Septuagint (⇒ Psalm
41:4, ⇒ 11) the same Greek word for
sorrowful is used as here. To death: i.e., "enough to die"; cf
⇒ Jonah 4:9.
25  My Father: see the note on
⇒ Mark 14:36. Matthew omits the Aramaic 'abba' and
adds the qualifier my. This cup: see the note on ⇒ Mark
26  Undergo the test: see the note
on ⇒ Matthew 6:13. In that verse "the final
test" translates the same Greek word as is here translated the test, and
these are the only instances of the use of that word in Matthew. It is possible
that the passion of Jesus is seen here as an anticipation of the great tribulation
that will precede the parousia (see the notes on ⇒ Matthew
24:8; ⇒ 24:21) to which
⇒ Matthew 6:13 refers, and that just as Jesus prays
to be delivered from death (⇒ Matthew 26:39), so he
exhorts the disciples to pray that they will not have to undergo the great test
that his passion would be for them. Some scholars, however, understand not
undergo (literally, "not enter") the test as meaning not that the
disciples may be spared the test but that they may not yield to the temptation
of falling away from Jesus because of his passion even though they will have to
27  Your will be done: cf
⇒ Matthew 6:10.
28  Rabbi: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 23:6-7. Jesus is so addressed twice in
Matthew (⇒ Matthew 26:25), both times by Judas. For
the significance of the closely related address "teacher" in Matthew,
see the note on ⇒ Matthew 8:19.
29  Day after day . . . arrest me:
cf ⇒ Mark 14:49. This suggests that Jesus had
taught for a relatively long period in Jerusalem, whereas
⇒ Matthew 21:1-11 puts his coming to the city for
the first time only a few days before.
30 [57-68] Following
⇒ Mark 14:53-65 Matthew presents the nighttime
appearance of Jesus before the Sanhedrin as a real trial. After many false
witnesses bring charges against him that do not suffice for the death sentence
(Matthew 14:60), two came forward who charge
him with claiming to be able to destroy the temple . . . and within three days
to rebuild it (Matthew 14:60-61). Jesus makes
no answer even when challenged to do so by the high priest, who then orders him
to declare under oath . . . whether he is the Messiah, the Son of God (⇒ Matthew
26:62-63). Matthew changes Mark's clear affirmative response
(⇒ Mark 14:62) to the same one as that given to
Judas (⇒ Matthew 26:25), but follows Mark almost
verbatim in Jesus' predicting that his judges will see him (the Son of Man)
seated at the right hand of God and coming on the clouds of heaven
(⇒ Matthew 26:64). The high priest then charges him
with blasphemy (⇒ Matthew 26:65), a charge with
which the other members of the Sanhedrin agree by declaring that he deserves to
die (⇒ Matthew 26:66). They then attack him
(⇒ Matthew 26:67) and mockingly demand that he
prophesy (⇒ Matthew 26:68). This account contains
elements that are contrary to the judicial procedures prescribed in the
Mishnah, the Jewish code of law that dates in written form from ca. A.D. 200,
e.g., trial on a feast day, a night session of the court, pronouncement of a
verdict of condemnation at the same session at which testimony was received.
Consequently, some scholars regard the account entirely as a creation of the
early Christians without historical value. However, it is disputable whether
the norms found in the Mishnah were in force at the time of Jesus. More to the
point is the question whether the Matthean-Marcan night trial derives from a
combination of two separate incidents, a nighttime preliminary investigation
(cf ⇒ John 18:13,
⇒ 19-24) and a formal trial on the following
morning (cf ⇒ Luke 22:66-71).
31  Caiaphas: see the note on
⇒ Matthew 26:3.
32  Sanhedrin: see the note on
⇒ Luke 22:66.
33 [60-61] Two: cf
⇒ Deut 19:15. I can destroy . . . rebuild it: there
are significant differences from the Marcan parallel (⇒ Mark
14:58). Matthew omits "made with hands" and "not made
with hands" and changes Mark's "will destroy" and "will
build another" to can destroy and (can) rebuild. The charge is probably based
on Jesus' prediction of the temple's destruction; see the notes on
⇒ Matthew 23:37-39;
⇒ 24:2; and ⇒ John 2:19.
A similar prediction by Jeremiah was considered as deserving death; cf
⇒ Jeremiah 7:1-15;
34  Silent: possibly an allusion
to ⇒ Isaiah 53:7. I order you . . . living God:
peculiar to Matthew; cf ⇒ Mark 14:61.
35  + You have said so: see the
note on ⇒ Matthew 26:25. From now on . . . heaven:
the Son of Man who is to be crucified (cf ⇒ Matthew
20:19) will be seen in glorious majesty (cf ⇒ Psalm
110:1) and coming on the clouds of heaven (cf
⇒ Daniel 7:13). The Power: see the note on
⇒ Mark 14:61-62.
Blasphemed: the punishment for blasphemy was death by stoning (see
⇒ Lev 24:10-16). According to the Mishnah, to be
guilty of blasphemy one had to pronounce "the Name itself," i.e.
Yahweh; cf Sanhedrin 7, 4.5. Those who judge the gospel accounts of Jesus'
trial by the later Mishnah standards point out that Jesus uses the surrogate
"the Power," and hence no Jewish court would have regarded him as
guilty of blasphemy; others hold that the Mishnah's narrow understanding of
blasphemy was a later development.
37 [67-68] The
physical abuse, apparently done to Jesus by the members of the Sanhedrin
themselves, recalls the sufferings of the Isaian Servant of the Lord; cf
⇒ Isaiah 50:6. The mocking challenge to prophesy is probably
motivated by Jesus' prediction of his future glory (⇒ Matthew
38  Denied
it in front of everyone: see ⇒ Matthew 10:33.
Peter's repentance (⇒ Matthew 26:75) saves him from
the fearful destiny of which Jesus speaks there.
39  Your
speech . . . away: Matthew explicates Mark's "you too are a Galilean"
(⇒ Mark 14:70).
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