The canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, provide not only Jesus’ words but also his actions, the context within which the words are spoken. By presenting Jesus’ words without those intervening stories, we can experience Jesus’ teachings in a way that is fresh and immediate. When we are confronted directly with a saying in The Words of Jesus, we cannot glide over it as we follow the story; rather, we have the singular opportunity to linger over his words and reflect on their meanings. A valuable teaching tool and research resource in the classroom, The Words of Jesus is a new way to study the foundations of Christianity and is ideal for those who seek an introduction to Jesus’ ethical teachings.
*Section 1: Important Sayings
*Section 2: Other Sayings
*Section 3: Complete Sayings
Complete Sayings are arranged chronologically, with similar sayings from different gospels grouped together.
Taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
Other Important Sayings
The Complete Sayings from the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in Chronological Order
The canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, provide not only Jesus’ words, but also his actions, the context within which the words are spoken. Why then extract Jesus’ words alone?
There are three principal reasons for doing so. The first reason is that isolating his words makes them even more immediate and unmistakable. When we are confronted directly with a saying, we cannot glide over it as we follow the general contour of the story. A second reason is that the words taken alone are compact, 44,382 in all; so we can either linger over them and study them intently or read them all in one sitting. A third reason is that extracting words permits us to compare similar teachings from different gospels more directly than we can by using a standard concordance.
This collection of the words of Jesus is in some sense an experiment. The complete words have never been extracted and published alone, to the best of our knowledge, so we will have to see if readers find it useful. The layout is as follows. Part I provides a selection of particularly well known sayings from all four gospels presented as a kind of dramatic monologue. It is as if Jesus were speaking directly to each of us. Part II presents additional sayings that are not quite so often quoted but still seem very important. Some of these slightly less well known sayings may be initially startling, as in Matthew, chapter 10, verse 34 (“I came not to send peace but a sword”), by which Jesus presumably means that his teachings are inherently controversial and demanding and that they may even divide family members from one another.
Part III provides all of Jesus’ words from all the gospels in the order in which they appear to have been spoken. Thus it repeats material covered in Parts I and II but fills in the remainder of Jesus’ words. It is in part a chronology and, like all chronologies, inevitably involves some guesswork, since the gospels are not always concerned with the exact sequence of events, and it is not always clear where an episode presented in only one gospel might have fit into another. However, Part III is more than a chronology because it not only lists events but actually quotes the full text of the words spoken at each point in time. To the best of our knowledge, this has also never been attempted before.
The advantage of gathering the words from all four gospels in Part III in more or less chronological order is that it follows the story of Jesus’ life more closely than a random collection of sayings, and it enables us to group together different gospel accounts of the same or similar sayings so that we can readily compare them. In cases where Jesus’ words are the same or similar from gospel to gospel and where they seem to be spoken at more or less the same time to the same person or persons, we have simply presented the different gospel versions one after another. Where Jesus’ words are similar from gospel to gospel but seem to be spoken at a different time or to a different person or persons, we have placed the heading “Related Sayings” above the passages in question. Whether the similar sayings are contextually identical or contextually different, the objective of grouping them in Part III is to help us reflect on their meaning, not to compare them word for word as a biblical scholar might.
Finally and importantly, this book is in no sense meant to substitute for the gospels themselves. The editor assumes that the words of Jesus will lead readers back to the gospels themselves again and again to place passages in exact context.
From Part II
OTHER IMPORTANT SAYINGS
The Gospel According to St. Matthew
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
[G]o ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole.
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
And when ye come into a house, salute it.
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
From Part III
THE COMPLETE SAYINGS
From the Four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles in Chronological Order*
*Insofar as chronology can be determined
At the age of twelve Jesus disputes with scholars in the Temple.
How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
At about the age of thirty he is baptized in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.
Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.
After fasting forty days in the wilderness he is tempted by the Devil.
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
He begins to preach the kingdom of God in Galilee.
Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
He calls fishermen by the Sea of Galilee to fish for human catch.
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.