Jesus Denounces Scribes and Pharisees Matthew 23.1-36; Mark 12.38-40; Luke 11.37-54, 20.45-47 

Then Jesus said to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2"The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' seat [of authority]. 3So observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach, but do not practice. 4They tie up heavy loads, hard to bear, and place them on men's shoulders, but they themselves will not lift a ginger to help bear them. 5They do all their works to be seen of men; for they make wide their phylacteries (small cases enclosing certain Scripture passages, worn during prayer on the left arm and forehead) and make long their fringes [worn by all male Israelites, according to the command]. [Exod 13.9; Num 15.38; Deut 6.8] 6And they take pleasure in and [thus] love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with honor in the marketplaces and to have people call them rabbi. 8But yo are not to be called rabbi (teacher), for you have one Teacher and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone [in the church] of earth father, for you have one Father, Who is in heaven. 10And you must not be called masters (leaders), for you have one Master (Leader), the Christ. 11He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12Whoever exalts himself [with haughtiness and empty pride] shall be humbled (brought low), and whoever humbles himself [whoever has a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly] shall be raised to honor.

13"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces; for you neither enter yourselves, nor do you allow those who are about to go int to do so.

[14"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you swallow up widows' houses and for a pretense to cover it up make long prayers; therefore you will receive the greater condemnation and the heavier sentence.]

15"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you travel over sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes one [a proselyte], you make him doubly as much a child of hell (Gehenna) as you are.

16"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If anyone swears by the sanctuary of the temple, it is nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the sanctuary, he is a debtor [bound by his oath].' 17You blind fools! For which is greater: the gold, or the sanctuary of the temple that has made the gold sacred? [Exod 30.29] 18You say too, 'Whoever swears by the altar is not duty bound; but whoever swears by the offering on the alter, his oath is binding.' 19You blind men! Which is greater; the gift, or the altar which makes the gift sacred? 20So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21And he who swears by the sanctuary of the temple swears by it and by Him Who dwells in it. [1Kings 8.13; Ps26.8] 22And whoever swears by the heaven swears by the throne of God and by Him Who sits upon it.

23"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you give a tenth of your mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected and omitted the weightier (more important) matters of the Law right and justice and mercy and fidelity. These you ought [particularly] to have done, without neglecting the others. 24You blind guides, filtering out a gnat and gulping down a camel! [Lev 27.30; Mic 6.8]

25"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion (prey, spoil, plunder) and grasping self-indulgence. 26You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the place, so that the outside may be clean also.

27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and everything impure. 28Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity. [Ps 5.9]

29"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you build tombs for the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30saying, 'IF we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have aided them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31Thus you are testifying against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your father's sins to the brim [so that nothing may be wanting to a full measure]. 33You serpents! You spawn of vipers! How can you escape the penalty to be suffered in hell (Gehenna)? 34Because of this, take notice: I am sending you prophets and wise men (interpreters and teachers) and scribes (men learned in the Mosaic Law and the Prophets); some of them you will kill, even crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue and persecute from town to town, 35so that upon your heads may come all the blood of the righteous (those who correspond to the divine standard of right) shed on earth, from the blood of the righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar [of burnt offering]. [Gen 4.8; 2Chron 24.21] 36Truly I declare to you, all these [evil, calamitous times] will come upon this generation. [2Chron 36.15]


The Lament over Jerusalem Matthew 23.37-39; Luke 13.34-35

37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, murdering the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a mother fowl gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! 38Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate (abandoned and left destitute of God's help). [1Kings 9.7; Jer 22.5] 39For I declare to you, you will not see Me again until you say,

'Blessed (magnified in worship, adored, and exalted) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!'" [Ps 118.26]