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21 He said to her, “What do you want?” She replied,[a] “Permit[b] these two sons of mine to sit, one at your[c] right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus[d] answered, “You don’t know what you are asking![e] Are you able to drink the cup I am about to drink?”[f] They said to him, “We are able.”[g] 23 He told them, “You will drink my cup,[h] but to sit at my right and at my left is not mine to give. Rather, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

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  1. Matthew 20:21 tn Grk “said to him.”
  2. Matthew 20:21 tn Grk “Say that.”
  3. Matthew 20:21 tc A majority of witnesses read σου (sou, “your”) here, perhaps as a clarifying addition. At the same time, it is possible that the pronoun dropped out through haplography or was excised because of perceived redundancy (there are two other such pronouns in the verse) by א B. All things considered, σου is most likely authentic.
  4. Matthew 20:22 tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said.” This is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
  5. Matthew 20:22 tn The verbs in Greek are plural here, indicating that Jesus is not answering the mother but has turned his attention directly to the two disciples.
  6. Matthew 20:22 tc Most mss (C N W Γ Δ 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M al, as well as some versional and patristic authorities) add “or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” But this is surely due to a recollection of the fuller version of this dominical saying found in Mark 10:38. The same mss also have the Lord’s response, “and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” in v. 23, again due to the parallel in Mark 10:39. The shorter reading, in both v. 22 and v. 23, is to be preferred both because it better explains the rise of the other reading and is found in superior witnesses (א B D L Z Θ 085 ƒ1, 13 lat sa, as well as other versional and patristic authorities).
  7. Matthew 20:22 sn No more naïve words have ever been spoken as those found here coming from James and John, “We are able.” They said it with such confidence and ease, yet they had little clue as to what they were affirming. In the next sentence Jesus confirms that they will indeed suffer for his name.
  8. Matthew 20:23 tc See the tc note on “about to drink” in v. 22.