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16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered[a] from thorns or figs from thistles, are they?[b] 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad[c] tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 7:16 tn Grk “They do not gather.” This has been simplified to the passive voice in the translation since the subject “they” is not specified further in the context.
  2. Matthew 7:16 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative answer. This is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ question “are they?” at the end of the sentence.sn The statement illustrates the principle: That which cannot produce fruit does not produce fruit.
  3. Matthew 7:17 tn Grk “rotten.” The word σαπρός, modifying “tree” in both v. 17 and 18, can also mean “diseased” (L&N 65.28).

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