New English Translation
The Death of John the Baptist
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch[a] heard reports about Jesus, 2 and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead! And because of this, miraculous powers are at work in him.” 3 For Herod had arrested John, bound him,[b] and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 because John had repeatedly told[c] him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”[d] 5 Although[e] Herod[f] wanted to kill John,[g] he feared the crowd because they accepted John as a prophet. 6 But on Herod’s birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, 7 so much that he promised[h] with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Instructed by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” 9 Although it grieved the king,[i] because of his oath and the dinner guests he commanded it to be given. 10 So[j] he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His[k] head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. 12 Then John’s[l] disciples came and took the body and buried it and went and told Jesus.
The Feeding of the Five Thousand
13 Now when Jesus heard this he went away from there privately in a boat[m] to an isolated place. But when the crowd heard about it,[n] they followed him on foot from the towns.[o] 14 As he got out he saw the large crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 When evening arrived, his disciples came to him saying, “This is an isolated place[p] and the hour is already late. Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But he[q] replied, “They don’t need to go. You[r] give them something to eat.” 17 They[s] said to him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” 18 “Bring them here to me,” he replied. 19 Then[t] he instructed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke the loaves. He gave them to the disciples,[u] who in turn gave them to the crowds.[v] 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the broken pieces left over, twelve baskets full. 21 Not counting women and children, there were about 5,000 men who ate.
Walking on Water
22 Immediately Jesus[w] made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dispersed the crowds. 23 And after he sent the crowds away, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile the boat, already far from land,[x] was taking a beating from the waves because the wind was against it. 25 As the night was ending,[y] Jesus came to them walking on the sea.[z] 26 When[aa] the disciples saw him walking on the water[ab] they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out with fear. 27 But immediately Jesus[ac] spoke to them:[ad] “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 Peter[ae] said to him,[af] “Lord, if it is you, order me to come to you on the water.” 29 So he said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong wind he became afraid. And starting to sink, he cried out,[ag] “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they went up into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 After they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.[ah] 35 When the people[ai] there recognized him, they sent word into all the surrounding area, and they brought all their sick to him. 36 They begged him if[aj] they could only touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.
- Matthew 14:1 sn A tetrarch, a ruler with rank and authority lower than a king, ruled only with the approval of the Roman authorities. This was roughly equivalent to being governor of a region. Several times in the NT, Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, is called a king (Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29), reflecting popular usage rather than an official title.
- Matthew 14:3 tc ‡ Most witnesses (א1 C D L N W Z Γ Δ Θ 0106 ƒ1, 13 33 565 579 1241 1424 M lat) read αὐτόν (auton, “him”) here as a way of clarifying the direct object; various significant witnesses lack the word, however (א* B 700 ff1 h q al). The original wording most likely lacked it, but it has been included here due to English style. NA28 includes the word in brackets, indicating reservations about its authenticity.
- Matthew 14:4 tn The imperfect tense verb is here rendered with an iterative force.
- Matthew 14:4 sn This marriage of Herod to his brother Philip’s wife was a violation of OT law (Lev 18:16; 20:21). In addition, both Herod Antipas and Herodias had each left marriages to enter into this union.
- Matthew 14:5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:5 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Herod) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 14:5 tn Grk “him” (also in the following phrase, Grk “accepted him”); in both cases the referent (John) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 14:7 tn The Greek text reads here ὁμολογέω (homologeō); though normally translated “acknowledge, confess,” BDAG (708 s.v. 1) lists “assure, promise” for certain contexts such as here.
- Matthew 14:9 tn Grk “and being grieved, the king commanded.”sn Herod was technically not a king, but this reflects popular usage. See the note on tetrarch in 14:1.
- Matthew 14:10 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
- Matthew 14:11 tn Grk “And his”; the referent (John the Baptist) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 14:12 tn Grk “his”; the referent (John) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then.”
- Matthew 14:13 sn See the note at Matt 4:21 for a description of the first-century fishing boat discovered in 1986 near Tiberias on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
- Matthew 14:13 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- Matthew 14:13 tn Or “cities.”
- Matthew 14:15 tn Or “a desert” (meaning a deserted or desolate area with sparse vegetation).
- Matthew 14:16 tc ‡ The majority of witnesses read ᾿Ιησοῦς (Iēsous, “Jesus”) here, perhaps to clarify the subject. Although only a few Greek mss, along with several versional witnesses (א* D Zvid 579 1424 e k sys,c,p sa bo), lack the name of Jesus, the omission does not seem to be either accidental or malicious and is therefore judged to be most likely the original reading. Nevertheless, a decision is difficult. NA28 has the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
- Matthew 14:16 tn Here the pronoun ὑμεῖς (humeis) is used, making “you” in the translation emphatic.
- Matthew 14:17 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then.”
- Matthew 14:19 tn Grk “And after instructing the crowds to recline for a meal on the grass, after taking the five loaves and the two fish, after looking up to heaven, he gave thanks, and after breaking the loaves he gave them to the disciples.” Although most of the participles are undoubtedly attendant circumstance, there are but two indicative verbs—“he gave thanks” and “he gave.” The structure of the sentence thus seems to focus on these two actions and has been translated accordingly.
- Matthew 14:19 tn Grk “to the disciples, and the disciples to the crowds.”
- Matthew 14:22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 14:24 tn Grk “The boat was already many stades from the land.” A stade (στάδιον, stadion) was a unit of distance about 607 feet (185 meters) long.
- Matthew 14:25 tn Grk “In the fourth watch of the night,” that is, between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
- Matthew 14:25 tn Or “on the lake.”
- Matthew 14:26 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:26 tn Grk “on the sea”; or “on the lake.” The translation “water” has been used here for stylistic reasons (cf. the same phrase in v. 25).
- Matthew 14:27 tc Most witnesses have ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς (ho Iēsous, “Jesus”), while a few lack the words (א* D 073 892 ff1 syc sa bo). Although such additions are often suspect (due to liturgical influences, piety, or for the sake of clarity), in this case it is likely that ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς dropped out accidentally. Apart from a few albeit significant witnesses, as noted above, the rest of the tradition has either ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς αὐτοῖς (ho Iēsous autois) or αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς (autois ho Iēsous). In majuscule letters, with Jesus’ name as a nomen sacrum, this would have been written as autoisois_ or ois_autois. Thus homoioteleuton could explain the reason for the omission of Jesus’ name. (This same phenomenon occurs in P137 at Mark 1:17 where the original text no doubt read αὐτοῖς ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς, but this papyrus accidentally omits the nomen sacrum.)
- Matthew 14:27 tn Grk “he said to them, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant and has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:28 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:28 tn Grk “answering him, Peter said.” The participle ἀποκριθείς (apokritheis) is redundant and has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:30 tn Grk “he cried out, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant and has not been translated.
- Matthew 14:34 sn Gennesaret was a fertile plain south of Capernaum (see also Mark 6:53). The Sea of Galilee was also sometimes known as the Sea of Gennesaret (Luke 5:1).
- Matthew 14:35 tn Grk “men”; the word here (ἀνήρ, anēr) usually indicates males or husbands, but occasionally is used in a generic sense of people in general, as here (cf. BDAG 79 s.v. 1.a, 2).
- Matthew 14:36 tn Grk “asked that they might touch.”