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Matthew 18:21-35 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven,[a] 23 because the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants' accounts. 24 He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. 26 The servant fell on his knees before the king. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay you everything!’ 27 The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.

28 “Then the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and started choking him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he said. 29 His fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ 30 But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. 32 So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. 33 You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you.’ 34 The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.”

35 And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 18:22 seventy times seven; or seventy-seven times.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Matthew 18:21-35 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Forgiveness

21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church[a] sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven[b] times.

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents[c] was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;[d] and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister[e] from your heart.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 18:21 Gk if my brother
  2. Matthew 18:22 Or seventy times seven
  3. Matthew 18:24 A talent was worth more than fifteen years’ wages of a laborer
  4. Matthew 18:28 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer
  5. Matthew 18:35 Gk brother
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 18:21-35 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

21 Then Kefa came up and said to him, “Rabbi, how often can my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” answered Yeshua, “but seventy times seven! 23 Because of this, the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared with a king who decided to settle accounts with his deputies. 24 Right away they brought forward a man who owed him many millions; 25 and since he couldn’t pay, his master ordered that he, his wife, his children and all his possessions be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the servant fell down before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 So out of pity for him, the master let him go and forgave the debt.

28 “But as that servant was leaving, he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him some tiny sum. He grabbed him and began to choke him, crying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ 29 His fellow servant fell before him and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he refused; instead, he had him thrown in jail until he should repay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were extremely distressed; and they went and told their master everything that had taken place. 32 Then the master summoned his servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt just because you begged me to do it. 33 Shouldn’t you have had pity on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And in anger his master turned him over to the jailers for punishment until he paid back everything he owed. 35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless you each forgive your brother from your hearts.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Matthew 18:21-35 The Message (MSG)

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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