Matthew 18:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

New Living Translation
But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

English Standard Version
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

New American Standard Bible
"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED.

King James Bible
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if he won't listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.

International Standard Version
But if he doesn't listen, take one or two others with you so that 'every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

NET Bible
But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you, so that at the testimony of two or three witnesses every matter may be established.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if he does not hear you, take one or two with you, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word will be established.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you so that every accusation may be verified by two or three witnesses.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

King James 2000 Bible
But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

American King James Version
But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

American Standard Version
But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.

Darby Bible Translation
But if he do not hear [thee], take with thee one or two besides, that every matter may stand upon the word of two witnesses or of three.

English Revised Version
But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Weymouth New Testament
But if he will not listen to you, go again, and ask one or two to go with you, that every word spoken may be attested by two or three witnesses.

World English Bible
But if he doesn't listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Young's Literal Translation
and if he may not hear, take with thee yet one or two, that by the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may stand.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16. - This gives the second step or stage in discipline. Take with thee one or two more. If the offender is obdurate to secret remonstrance, do not yet resort to public measures, but make a fresh effort accompanied by a friend or two, who will support your view and confirm your expostulation, which might otherwise be considered partial or self-interested. In the mouth of two or three witnesses. The idea is derived from the requirement of the Jewish Law in a case of litigation (see Deuteronomy 19:15; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1). By the testimony of these witnesses, every word that has passed between you may be fully certified. There will be forthcoming, if necessary, the regular legal evidence, should the matter come to other ears.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if he will not hear thee,..... But will either deny the fact, or extenuate and excuse it, or defend it, or at least is obstinate and incorrigible, shows no signs of repentance, but is angry, gives hard words, and ill language:

then take with thee one or two more; members of the church, and perhaps of weight, reputation, and character, who either know some thing of the matter, and so can confirm, by their testimony, what has been alleged, in order to bring the person to conviction and acknowledgment; or if they do not, and which seems rather to be the sense, they may, by hearing what is said on both sides, judge where the truth lies, and join with the offended person in the admonition, that it may fall with the greater weight, and become more effectual:

that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established, referring to Deuteronomy 19:15. So that should the matter be brought before the whole church, these witnesses would be able to testify the truth of the case, and report the steps that had been taken, and what effect they had had; so that things being thus prepared, the case would appear plain and easy, and without difficulty. The whole of this is very agreeable to the rules and customs of the Jews, and is founded on the law, in Leviticus 19:17, upon which they form rules very much like to these. They represent God himself taking such a method as this, with the sons of men (m):

"When the holy blessed God reproves a man, he reproves him in love, privately: if he receives it, it is well; if not, he reproves him among his friends: if he receives it, it is well; if not he reproves him openly before the eyes of all; if he receives it is well; if not, he leaves him, and reproves him no more.''

And this is an instruction to men, how they should reprove their friends. They say (n), "he that sees anything in his friend that is not becoming, he ought to reprove him." And which is elsewhere more (o) largely expressed:

"he that seeth his friend walking in a way that is not good, he is bound to reprove him, even a disciple his master; and this he shall do for his good, and in order to bring him to the life of the world to come, or eternal life; and "if he takes it of him, it is well": but if not, he must reprove again, "a second and a third time"; and so he must reprove him many times, if, or until he hears him.''

And this they require to be done, in the most private manner:

"reproof out of love (they (p) say) is secret from the children of men; whoever reproves his friend in love, seeks to secrete his words from the sons of men, that he may not expose him thereby to shame and reproach.''

That is, as the gloss (q) on it observes,

"he seeks to reprove him in secret, so that he may not be put to shame before many.''

If this way does not succeed, they allow of a public reproof, for so it is said (r);

"thou mayest not reprove him with hard words, till his countenance changes; for whoever causes the face of his friend to turn pale publicly, has no portion in the world to come; but thou mayest reprove in the words of heaven, or God; and if he does not return privately, thou mayest make him ashamed publicly, and expose his sin before him; and reproach and curse him, until he returns to do well; so did all the prophets to Israel.''

They plead also for a second reproof, from the text in Leviticus 19:17 (s).

"From whence does it appear, that he that sees anything in his friend unbecoming, ought to reprove him? As it is said, "thou shalt in any wise rebuke", &c. if he reproves him, , "and he does not receive it", (he does not take it kindly, or, as here, he does not hear him,) from whence is it manifest, that he must return and reprove him (or repeat the reproof)? from what is said, reproving thou shall reprove.''

continued...



Matthew 18:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Brother who Sins
15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. 17"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.…
Cross References
Numbers 35:30
"'Anyone who kills a person is to be put to death as a murderer only on the testimony of witnesses. But no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Deuteronomy 17:6
On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.

Deuteronomy 19:15
One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

John 8:17
In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.

2 Corinthians 13:1
This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

1 Timothy 5:19
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28
Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

1 John 5:7
For there are three that testify:
Treasury of Scripture

But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

that in.

Numbers 35:30 Whoever kills any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the …

Deuteronomy 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that …

Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or …

1 Kings 21:13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: …

John 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or …

1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

1 John 5:7,8 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, …

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy …

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