Memory Verse: Matthew 17:20

Ted Armstrong, a frequent visitor and commenter on this (and my other) blogs, left a comment on a previous entry asking what my bible said about Matthew 17:20.

I thought this might be a good test for eSword. Below is Matthew 17:20, from several different bible translations:

Mat 17:20

(ALT) So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief. For positively I say to you, if you are having faith like a grain of mustard [or, a mustard seed], you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here [to] there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you*.

(ASV) And he saith unto them, Because of your little faith: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(Bishops) Iesus sayde vnto them: because of your vnbeliefe. For veryly I say vnto you: If ye haue fayth as a grayne of mustarde seede, ye shall say vnto this mountayne: remoue hence to yonder place, and it shall remoue, neither shall any thyng be vnpossible vnto you.

(CEV) Jesus replied: It is because you don’t have enough faith! But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you.

(Complete Apostles’ Bible) So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Be moved from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.

(DRB) (17:19) Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain: Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove: and nothing shall be impossible to you.

(EMTV) So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Be moved from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.

(ESV) He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

(Geneva) And Iesus said vnto them, Because of your vnbeliefe: for verely I say vnto you, if ye haue faith as much as is a graine of mustarde seede, ye shall say vnto this mountaine, Remooue hence to yonder place, and it shall remoue: and nothing shalbe vnpossible vnto you.

(GNB) “It was because you do not have enough faith,” answered Jesus. “I assure you that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this hill, ‘Go from here to there!’ and it will go. You could do anything!”

(GW) He told them, “Because you have so little faith. I can guarantee this truth: If your faith is the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

(ISV) He told them, “Because of your lack of faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

(KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(KJV-1611) And Iesus said vnto them, Because of your vnbeliefe: for verily I say vnto you, If yee haue faith as a graine of mustard seed, yee shall say vnto this mountaine; Remoue hence to yonder place: and it shall remoue, and nothing shall be vnpossible vnto you.

(KJVA) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(KJVR) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

(LITV) And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there! And it will move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.

(MKJV) And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief. For truly I say to you, If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Move from here to there. And it shall move. And nothing shall be impossible to you.

(MSG) “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”

(Murdock) Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For verily I say to you, That if there be in you faith like a grain of mustard seed, ye may say to this mountain, Remove hence, and it will remove: and nothing will be too hard for you.

(NET) He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth,36 if you have faith the size of37 a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing38 will be impossible for you.”39

(RSV) He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”

(Webster) And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say to you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

(WNT) “Because your faith is so small,” He replied; “for I solemnly declare to you that if you have faith like a mustard-seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Remove from this place to that,’ and it will remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Below, are several commentaries of the verse, as taken from different sources:

Barnes:
Mat 17:20 –
As a grain of mustard-seed – See the notes at Mat_13:31-32. The mustard-seed was the smallest of all seeds. It has been supposed by some, therefore, that he meant to say, If you have the smallest or feeblest faith that is genuine, you can do all things. The mustard-seed produced the largest of all herbs. It has been supposed by others, therefore, to mean, If you have increasing, expanding, enlarged faith, growing and strengthening from small beginnings, you can perform the most difficult undertaking. There is a principle of vitality in the grain of seed stretching forward to great results, which illustrates the nature of faith. Your faith should be like that. This is probably the true meaning.

Ye shall say unto this mountain … – Probably he pointed to a mountain near, to assure them that if they had such faith they might accomplish the most difficult undertakings – things that at first would appear impossible.

Clarke:
Mat 17:20 –
Because of your unbelief – Are we preachers of the Gospel? Do the things of God rest upon our minds with a deep and steady conviction? Can we expect that a doctrine which we do not, from conviction, credit ourselves, can be instrumental in our hands of begetting faith in others? So we preached, end so ye believed. The word preached generally begets in the people the same spirit which the preacher possesses. Instead of απιϚιαν, unbelief, the famous Vatican MS. and Cod. Cyprius, six others, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Arabic, Origen, and Chrysostom, read ολιγοπιϚιαν, littleness of faith. The disciples had some faith, but not enough – they believed, but not fully.

As a grain of mustard seed – Some eminent critics think this a proverbial expression, intimating a Great Degree of faith, because removing mountains, which St. Paul, 1Co_13:2, attributes to All Faith; i.e. the greatest possible degree of faith, is attributed here, by our Lord, to that faith which is as a grain of mustard seed. However this may be, there can be no doubt that our Lord means, as Bishop Pearce well remarks, a thriving and increasing faith; which like the grain of mustard seed, from being the least of seeds, becomes the greatest of all herbs; even a tree in whose branches the fowls of the air take shelter. See Wakefield’s Comment, and the note on Mat_13:32 (note).

Gill:
Mat 17:20 – And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief,…. The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, “because of your little faith”, or “the smallness of your faith”; and so does one Greek manuscript; and which is what is doubtless meant by their unbelief; for they were not altogether destitute of faith, but their faith was very low, and their unbelief very great. Christ says, not because of the unbelief of the parent of the child, and those that were with him, though that also was a reason; but because of their unbelief, being willing to convince them of their unbelief, as he had done the father of the child, who had confessed it, and desired it might be removed from him: but lest they should think they had lost their power of doing miracles, Christ adds;

for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed; which was a very small seed, the least of all seeds, and is used very often proverbially by the Jews, to signify anything of a small quantity or weight (b), and is sometimes used of faith, as here; so speaking of the congregation of Edom, meaning the Christians, they (c) say,

“they have not אמונה כמו גרעין של חרדל, “faith as a grain of mustard seed”.”

And it is used in like sense in other eastern nations; and by Mahomet in his Alcoran (d), who says,

“We will appoint just balances in the day of resurrection, neither shall any soul be injured at all, although the merit or guilt of an action be of the weight of “a grain of mustard seed”.”

So that it has no reference to the quality of mustard seed, being hot and acrimonious; which has led some interpreters wrong, to compare faith unto it, for its liveliness and fervency: when our Lord only means, that if his apostles had ever so small a degree of faith in exercise, which might be compared for its smallness to this least of seeds, such an effect as he after mentions would follow; and which therefore is to be understood, not of an historical faith, by which men assent to all that is in the Bible as true; nor of a special, spiritual faith, by which souls believe in Christ, as their Saviour and Redeemer; for of neither of these can the following things in common be said; but of a faith of miracles, peculiar to certain persons in those early times, for certain reasons; which such as had but ever so small a degree of, as the apostles here spoken to might say, as Christ observes to them,

ye shall say to this mountain; pointing perhaps to that he was just come down from, which might be in sight of the house where he was,

remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove: meaning, not that it would be ordinarily or ever done in a literal sense by the apostles, that they should remove mountains; but that they should be able to do things equally difficult, and as seemingly impossible, if they had but faith, when the glory of God, and the good of men, required it. So that it does not follow, because the apostles did not do it in a literal sense, therefore they could not, as the Jew insultingly says (e); since it was meant that they should, and besides, have done, things equally as great as this, and which is the sense of the words. So the apostle expresses the faith of miracles, by “removing mountains”, 1Co_13:2 i.e. by doing things which are difficult, seem impossible to be done: wherefore Christ adds,

and nothing shall be impossible to you; you shall not only be able to perform such a wonderful action as this, were it necessary, but any, and everything else, that will make for the glory of God, the enlargement of my kingdom and interest, the confirmation of truth, and the good of mankind.

Wesley:
Mat 17:20 – Because of your unbelief – Because in this particular they had not faith. If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed – That is, the least measure of it. But it is certain, the faith which is here spoken of does not always imply saving faith. Many have had it who thereby cast out devils, and yet will at last have their portion with them. It is only a supernatural persuasion given a man, that God will work thus by him at that hour. Now, though I have all this faith so as to remove mountains, yet if I have not the faith which worketh by love, I am nothing. To remove mountains was a proverbial phrase among the Jews, and is still retained in their writings, to express a thing which is very difficult, and to appearance impossible. Mat_21:21; Luk_17:6.

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