New English Translation
The Plot Against Jesus
26 When[a] Jesus had finished saying all these things, he told his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over[b] to be crucified.”[c] 3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people met together in the palace of the high priest, who was named Caiaphas. 4 They[d] planned to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. 5 But they said, “Not during the feast, so that there won’t be a riot among the people.”[e]
6 Now while Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,[f] 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar[g] of expensive perfumed oil,[h] and she poured it on his head as he was at the table.[i] 8 When[j] the disciples saw this, they became indignant and said, “Why this waste? 9 It[k] could have been sold at a high price and the money[l] given to the poor!” 10 When[m] Jesus learned of this, he said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She[n] has done a good service for me. 11 For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me![o] 12 When[p] she poured this oil on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13 I tell you the truth,[q] wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”
The Plan to Betray Jesus
14 Then one of the twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me to betray him into your hands?”[r] So they set out thirty silver coins for him. 16 From that time[s] on, Judas[t] began looking for an opportunity to betray him.
17 Now on the first day of the feast of[u] Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus and said,[v] “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?”[w] 18 He[x] said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near. I will observe the Passover with my disciples at your house.”’” 19 So[y] the disciples did as Jesus had instructed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When[z] it was evening, he took his place at the table[aa] with the twelve.[ab] 21 And while they were eating he said, “I tell you the truth,[ac] one of you will betray me.”[ad] 22 They[ae] became greatly distressed[af] and each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He[ag] answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me[ah] will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born.” 25 Then[ai] Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus[aj] replied, “You have said it yourself.”
The Lord’s Supper
26 While[ak] they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after giving thanks he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” 27 And after taking the cup and giving thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood, the blood[al] of the covenant,[am] that is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I[an] tell you, from now on I will not drink of this fruit[ao] of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 After[ap] singing a hymn,[aq] they went out to the Mount of Olives.
The Prediction of Peter’s Denial
31 Then Jesus said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of me, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[ar]
32 But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” 33 Peter[as] said to him, “If they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away!” 34 Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth,[at] on this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you.” And all the disciples said the same thing.
36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and became anguished and distressed. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed,[au] “My Father, if possible,[av] let this cup[aw] pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He[ax] said to Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with me for one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed,[ay] “My Father, if this cup[az] cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will must be done.” 43 He came again and found them sleeping; they could not keep their eyes open.[ba] 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same thing once more. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is approaching, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us go. Look! My betrayer[bb] is approaching!”
Betrayal and Arrest
47 While he was still speaking, Judas,[bc] one of the twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 (Now the betrayer[bd] had given them a sign, saying, “The one I kiss is the man.[be] Arrest him!”)[bf] 49 Immediately[bg] he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi,” and kissed him.[bh] 50 Jesus[bi] said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and took hold[bj] of Jesus and arrested him. 51 But[bk] one of those with Jesus grabbed[bl] his sword, drew it out, and struck the high priest’s slave,[bm] cutting off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back in its place![bn] For all who take hold of the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot call on my Father, and that he would send me more than twelve legions[bo] of angels right now? 54 How then would the scriptures that say it must happen this way be fulfilled?” 55 At that moment Jesus said to the crowd, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me like you would an outlaw?[bp] Day after day I sat teaching in the temple courts, yet[bq] you did not arrest me. 56 But this has happened so that the scriptures of the prophets would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Condemned by the Sanhedrin
57 Now the ones who had arrested Jesus led him to Caiaphas, the high priest, in whose house[br] the experts in the law[bs] and the elders had gathered. 58 But Peter was following him from a distance, all the way to the high priest’s courtyard. After[bt] going in, he sat with the guards[bu] to see the outcome. 59 The[bv] chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were trying to find false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find anything, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally[bw] two came forward 61 and declared, “This man[bx] said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 So[by] the high priest stood up and said to him, “Have you no answer? What is this that they are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus was silent. The[bz] high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ,[ca] the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand[cb] of the Power[cc] and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[cd] 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and declared,[ce] “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? Now[cf] you have heard the blasphemy! 66 What is your verdict?”[cg] They[ch] answered, “He is guilty and deserves[ci] death.” 67 Then they spat in his face and struck him with their fists. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy for us, you Christ![cj] Who hit you?”[ck]
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. A[cl] slave girl[cm] came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it in front of them all:[cn] “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71 When[co] he went out to the gateway, another slave girl[cp] saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.” 72 He denied it again with an oath, “I do not know the man!” 73 After[cq] a little while, those standing there came up to Peter and said, “You really are one of them too—even your accent[cr] gives you away!” 74 At that he began to curse, and he swore with an oath, “I do not know the man!” At that moment a rooster crowed.[cs] 75 Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.[ct]
- Matthew 26:1 tn Grk “And it happened when.” The introductory phrase καὶ ἐγένετο (kai egeneto, “it happened that”) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:2 tn Or “will be delivered up.”
- Matthew 26:2 sn See the note on crucified in 20:19.
- Matthew 26:4 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:5 sn The suggestion here is that Jesus was too popular to openly arrest him.
- Matthew 26:6 sn See the note on leper in Matt 8:2.
- Matthew 26:7 sn A jar made of alabaster stone was normally used for very precious substances like perfumes. It normally had a long neck which was sealed and had to be broken off so the contents could be used.
- Matthew 26:7 tn Μύρον (muron) was usually made of myrrh (from which the English word is derived) but here it is used in the sense of ointment or perfumed oil (L&N 6.205).sn Mark specifies that the perfumed oil was Nard or spikenard, which is a fragrant oil from the root and spike of the nard plant of northern India (Mark 14:3). This perfumed oil, if made of something like nard, would have been extremely expensive, costing up to a year’s pay for an average laborer.
- Matthew 26:7 tn Grk “as he was reclining.”sn 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
- Matthew 26:8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:9 tn Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:9 tn The words “the money” are not in the Greek text, but are implied (as the proceeds from the sale of the perfumed oil).
- Matthew 26:10 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:10 tn Grk “For she.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:11 tn In the Greek text of this clause, “me” is in emphatic position (the first word in the clause). To convey some impression of the emphasis, an exclamation point is used in the translation.
- Matthew 26:12 tn Grk “For when.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:13 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
- Matthew 26:15 tn Grk “What will you give to me, and I will deliver him over to you?”
- Matthew 26:16 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:16 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 26:17 tn The words “the feast of” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied for clarity.
- Matthew 26:17 tn Grk “the disciples came to Jesus, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) has been translated as a finite verb to make the sequence of events clear in English.
- Matthew 26:17 sn This required getting a suitable lamb and finding lodging in Jerusalem where the meal could be eaten. The population of the city swelled during the feast, so lodging could be difficult to find. The Passover was celebrated each year in commemoration of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt; thus it was a feast celebrating redemption (see Exod 12). The Passover lamb was roasted and eaten after sunset in a family group of at least ten people (m. Pesahim 7.13). People ate the meal while reclining (see the note on table in 26:20). It included, besides the lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs as a reminder of Israel’s bitter affliction at the hands of the Egyptians. Four cups of wine mixed with water were also used for the meal. For a further description of the meal and the significance of the wine cups, see E. Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 523-24.
- Matthew 26:18 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.
- Matthew 26:20 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:20 tn Grk “he was reclining at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
- Matthew 26:20 tc Many witnesses, some of them quite significant, have μαθητῶν (mathētōn, “disciples”; א A L W Δ Θ 33 892 1241 1424 pm lat) or μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ (mathētōn autou, “his disciples”; 0281 it) after δώδεκα (dōdeka, “twelve”). However, such clarifications are typical scribal expansions to the text. Further, the shorter reading (the one that ends with δώδεκα) has strong support in P37vid,45vid B D K Γ ƒ1,13 565 579 700 pm. Thus both internally and externally the reading that ends the verse with “the twelve” is to be preferred.
- Matthew 26:21 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
- Matthew 26:21 tn Or “will hand me over.”
- Matthew 26:22 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:22 tn The participle λυπούμενοι (lupoumenoi) has been translated as a finite verb to make the sequence of events clear in English.
- Matthew 26:23 tn Grk “answering, he said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:23 sn The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me. The point of Jesus’ comment here is not to identify the specific individual per se, but to indicate that it is one who was close to him—somebody whom no one would suspect. His comment serves to heighten the treachery of Judas’ betrayal.
- Matthew 26:25 tn Grk “answering, Judas.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to reflect the sequence of events in the narrative.
- Matthew 26:25 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 26:26 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:28 tn Grk “for this is my blood of the covenant that is poured out for many.” In order to avoid confusion about which is poured out, the translation supplies “blood” twice so that the following phrase clearly modifies “blood,” not “covenant.”
- Matthew 26:28 tc Most witnesses, including several significant ones, read καινῆς (kainēs, “new”) here. Homoioteleuton is a possible reason for the omission, since the article, adjective, and noun are all first declension genitive singulars (τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης, tēs kainēs diathēkēs, “the new covenant”), but the likelihood of excellent, early, and sufficiently diverse witnesses all making the same mistake is remote. A much more probable scenario is that the addition of καινῆς was motivated by the parallel in Luke 22:20. It is a natural expansion on the text. Coupled with the fact that the shorter reading is found in such good and diverse witnesses (e.g., P37,45vid א B L Z Θ 0298vid 33 mae), it most likely is the initial text.sn Jesus’ death established the forgiveness promised in the new covenant of Jer 31:31. Jesus is reinterpreting the symbolism of the Passover meal, indicating the presence of a new era.
- Matthew 26:29 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:29 tn Grk “produce” (“the produce of the vine” is a figurative expression for wine).
- Matthew 26:30 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:30 sn After singing a hymn. The Hallel Psalms (Pss 113-118) were sung during the meal. Psalms 113 and 114 were sung just before the second cup and 115-118 were sung at the end of the meal, after the fourth, or hallel cup.
- Matthew 26:31 sn A quotation from Zech 13:7.
- Matthew 26:33 tn Grk “answering, Peter said to him.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:34 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”
- Matthew 26:39 tn Grk “ground, praying and saying.” Here the participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:39 tn Grk “if it is possible.”
- Matthew 26:39 sn This cup alludes to the wrath of God that Jesus would experience (in the form of suffering and death) for us. See Pss 11:6; 75:8-9; Isa 51:17, 19, 22 for this figure.
- Matthew 26:40 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:42 tn Grk “saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:42 tn Grk “this”; the referent (the cup) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Matthew 26:43 tn Grk “because their eyes were weighed down,” an idiom for becoming extremely or excessively sleepy (L&N 23.69).
- Matthew 26:46 tn Grk “the one who betrays me.”
- Matthew 26:47 tn Grk “behold, Judas.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
- Matthew 26:48 tn Grk “the one who betrays him.”
- Matthew 26:48 tn Grk “The one I kiss is he.”
- Matthew 26:48 sn This remark is parenthetical within the narrative and has thus been placed in parentheses.
- Matthew 26:49 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:49 sn Judas’ act of betrayal when he kissed Jesus is especially sinister when it is realized that it was common in the culture of the times for a disciple to kiss his master when greeting him.
- Matthew 26:50 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:50 tn Grk “and put their hands on Jesus.”
- Matthew 26:51 tn Grk “And behold one.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
- Matthew 26:51 tn Grk “extending his hand, drew out his sword, and struck.” Because rapid motion is implied in the circumstances, the translation “grabbed” was used.
- Matthew 26:51 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.
- Matthew 26:52 tn The translation “put your sword back in its place” for this phrase is given in L&N 85.52.
- Matthew 26:53 sn A legion was a Roman army unit of about 6,000 soldiers, so twelve legions would be 72,000.
- Matthew 26:55 tn Or “a revolutionary.” This term can refer to one who stirs up rebellion: BDAG 594 s.v. λῃστής 2 has “revolutionary, insurrectionist, guerrilla” citing evidence from Josephus (J. W. 2.13.2-3 [2.253-254]). However, this usage generally postdates Jesus’ time. It does refer to a figure of violence. Luke uses the same term for the highwaymen who attack the traveler in the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30).
- Matthew 26:55 tn Grk “and” (καί, kai), a conjunction that is elastic enough to be used to indicate a contrast, as here.
- Matthew 26:57 tn Grk “where.”
- Matthew 26:57 tn Or “where the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.
- Matthew 26:58 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:58 sn The guards would have been the guards of the chief priests who had accompanied Judas to arrest Jesus.
- Matthew 26:59 tn Grk “Now the.” Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:60 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:61 tn Grk “This one.”
- Matthew 26:62 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the false testimony.
- Matthew 26:63 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:63 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.
- Matthew 26:64 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1. This is a claim that Jesus shares authority with God in heaven. Those present may have thought they were his judges, but, in fact, the reverse was true.
- Matthew 26:64 sn The expression the Power is a circumlocution for referring to God. Such indirect references to God were common in 1st century Judaism out of reverence for the divine name.
- Matthew 26:64 sn An allusion to Dan 7:13 (see also Matt 24:30).
- Matthew 26:65 tn Grk “the high priest tore his clothes, saying.”
- Matthew 26:65 tn Grk “Behold now.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
- Matthew 26:66 tn Grk “What do you think?”
- Matthew 26:66 tn Grk “answering, they said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:66 tn Grk “he is guilty of death.” L&N 88.313 states, “pertaining to being guilty and thus deserving some particular penalty—‘guilty and deserving, guilty and punishable by.’ οἱ δὲ ἀποκριθέντες εἶπαν, ᾿Ενοχος θανάτου ἐστίν ‘they answered, He is guilty and deserves death’ Mt 26:66.”
- Matthew 26:68 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn See the note on Christ in 1:16.
- Matthew 26:68 tn Grk “Who is the one who hit you?”sn Who hit you? This is a variation of one of three ancient games that involved blindfolds.
- Matthew 26:69 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:69 tn The Greek term here is παιδίσκη (paidiskē), referring to a slave girl or slave woman.
- Matthew 26:70 tn Grk “he denied it…saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in English and has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:71 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:71 tn The words “slave girl” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by the feminine singular form ἄλλη (allē).
- Matthew 26:73 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
- Matthew 26:73 tn Grk “your speech.”
- Matthew 26:74 tn It seems most likely that this refers to a real rooster crowing, although a number of scholars have suggested that “cockcrow” is a technical term referring to the trumpet call which ended the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3 a.m.). This would then be a reference to the Roman gallicinium (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, alektorophōnia; the term is used in Mark 13:35 and is found in some mss [P37vid,45 ƒ1] in Matt 26:34) which would have been sounded at 3 a.m.; in this case Jesus would have prophesied a precise time by which the denials would have taken place. For more details see J. H. Bernard, St. John (ICC), 2:604. However, in light of the fact that Mark mentions the rooster crowing twice (Mark 14:72) and in Luke 22:60 the words are reversed (ἐφώνησεν ἀλέκτωρ, ephōnēsen alektōr), it is more probable that a real rooster is in view. In any event natural cockcrow would have occurred at approximately 3 a.m. in Palestine at this time of year (March-April) anyway.
- Matthew 26:75 sn When Peter went out and wept bitterly it shows he really did not want to fail here and was deeply grieved that he had.