Matthew 19:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

New Living Translation
"Why ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. But to answer your question--if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments."

English Standard Version
And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”

New American Standard Bible
And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."

King James Bible
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Why do you ask Me about what is good?" He said to him. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.""

International Standard Version
Jesus asked him, "Why ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to get into that life, you must keep the commandments."

NET Bible
He said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But he said to him, “Why do you call me good? There is none good except God alone. But if you want to enter life, keep the commandments.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter into life, obey the commandments."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he said unto him, Why dost thou call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God, but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

King James 2000 Bible
And he said unto him, Why do you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.

American King James Version
And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.

American Standard Version
And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who said to him: Why asketh thou me concerning good? One is good, God. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to him, What askest thou me concerning goodness? one is good. But if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.

English Revised Version
And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he said to him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Weymouth New Testament
"Why do you ask me," He replied, "about what is good? There is only One who is truly good. But if you desire to enter into Life, keep the Commandments."

World English Bible
He said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Young's Literal Translation
And he said to him, 'Why me dost thou call good? no one is good except One -- God; but if thou dost will to enter into the life, keep the commands.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

19:16-22 Christ knew that covetousness was the sin which most easily beset this young man; though he had got honestly what he possessed, yet he could not cheerfully part with it, and by this his want of sincerity was shown. Christ's promises make his precepts easy, and his yoke pleasant and very comfortable; yet this promise was as much a trial of the young man's faith, as the precept was of his charity and contempt of the world. It is required of us in following Christ, that we duly attend his ordinances, strictly follow his pattern, and cheerfully submit to his disposals; and this from love to him, and in dependence on him. To sell all, and give to the poor, will not serve, but we are to follow Christ. The gospel is the only remedy for lost sinners. Many abstain from gross vices who do not attend to their obligations to God. Thousands of instances of disobedience in thought, word, and deed, are marked against them in the book of God. Thus numbers forsake Christ, loving this present world: they feel convictions and desires, but they depart sorrowful, perhaps trembling. It behoves us to try ourselves in these matters, for the Lord will try us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - Why callest thou me good? Such is the reading of the received text here, and without any variation in the parallel passages of Mark and Luke. Our Lord takes the ruler to task for applying this epithet to him. unless the youth believed in his Divinity. You think of me only as a learned Teacher: how, then, can you speak of me in a term which can really be predicated of no child of man? Christ answers the ruler's address before he touches the subject of his interrogation, reproving him for using a form of words without realizing its full import. This is all plain enough; but many good manuscripts, including א B, D, etc., Vulgate, and other versions, read, Why askest thou me concerning the good? Most modern editors and the Revised Version have adopted this reading, which they hold to be genuine, and to have been altered subsequently in order to conform it to the other synoptists. If this is so, it is difficult to see whence Mark and Luke obtained their wording, unless - which is improbable - our Lord used both interrogations on the same occasion. The revised reading expresses Christ's astonishment at having this question asked; and it may be taken, as Bengel suggests, "He who is good ought to be interrogated about the good;" or, "What is right to do, you ought to know; it can only be obedience to the Author of all goodness." There is none good but one, that is, God. Here again the reading varies. The other synoptists agree with the received text of Matthew, except that Luke has εῖς Θεὸς instead of εῖς Θεός. Late editors, following א, B, D, etc., have printed, εῖς ἐστὶν ὁ ἀγαθός: one there is who is good, or one is the good. God alone is the absolutely good; he alone can instruct you and put you certainly in the right way. Persons have been found to argue from this sentence that Christ renounces all claim to be God Almighty. But it is not so. He replies to what was in the young man's mind. The ruler regarded Jesus as man only; Jesus intimates that, in comparison with God, no man is good. He does not deny the applicability of the epithet to himself, but turns the questioner's thoughts to the Source of all good. He will not have himself regarded simply as a pre-eminently good man, but as Son of God, one with the Father. If thou wilt (θέλεις, willest to) enter into life; i.e. enjoy eternal life. Christ uses a term equivalent to that of the ruler in ver. 16. So Christ said on another occasion to a lawyer who tempted him. "This do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:28). There is no real life without obedience. Keep the commandments of him who is good. The Law was given to prepare men to receive Christianity, and in proportion as they carefully observed it, so were they made ready to inherit the life which Christ gives. No mere external compliance without faith is here approved, but it is laid down that, in order to win eternal life, there must be strict observance of God's laws - not some one extraordinary performance, but constant attention to known duties from the highest motive. Faith, indeed, is belief in action, and is dead and profitless if inoperative; so that true obedience is the outcome of true faith.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And he said unto him,.... By way of reply, first taking notice of, and questioning him about, the epithet he gave him:

why callest thou me good? not that he denied that he was so; for he was good, both as God and man, in his divine and human natures; in all his offices, and the execution of them; he was goodness itself, and did good, and nothing else but good. But the reason of the question is, because this young man considered him only as a mere man, and gave him this character as such; and which, in comparison of God, the fountain of all goodness, agrees with no mere man: wherefore our Lord's view is, by his own language; and from his own words, to instruct him in the knowledge of his proper deity. Some copies read, "why dost thou ask me concerning good". And so the Vulgate Latin, and the Ethiopic versions, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read; but the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, read as we do, and this the answer of Christ requires.

There is none good but one, that is God; who is originally, essentially, independently, infinitely, and immutably good, and the author and source of all goodness; which cannot be said of any mere creature. This is to be understood of God considered essentially, and not personally; or it is to be understood, not of the person of the Father, to the exclusion of the Son, or Spirit: who are one God with the Father, and equally good in nature as he. Nor does this contradict and deny that there are good angels, who have continued in that goodness in which they were created; or that there are good men, made so by the grace of God; but that none are absolutely and perfectly good, but God. What Christ here says of God, the (b) Jews say of the law of Moses, whose praise they can never enough extol; "there is nothing good but the law". The law is good indeed; but the author of it must be allowed to be infinitely more so. Christ next directly answers to the question,

but if thou wilt enter into life: eternal life, which is in the question, and which being sometimes expressed by a house, a city, and kingdom, by mansions, and everlasting habitations, enjoyment of it is fitly signified by entering into it; which, if our Lord suggests, he had a desire of having a right to by doing any good thing himself, he must

keep the commandments; that is, perfectly: he must do not only one good thing, but all the good things the law requires; he must not be deficient in any single action, in anyone work of the law, either as to matter, or manner of performance; everything must be done, and that just as the Lord in his law has commanded it. Our Lord answers according to the tenor of the covenant of works, under which this man was; and according to the law of God, which requires perfect obedience to it, as a righteousness, and a title to life; and in case of the least failure, curses and condemns to everlasting death; see Deuteronomy 6:25. This Christ said, in order to show, that it is impossible to enter into, or obtain eternal life by the works of the law, since no man can perfectly keep it; and to unhinge this man from off the legal foundation on which he was, that he might drop all his dependencies on doing good things, and come to him for righteousness and life.

(b) T. Hieroa. Roshhashanah, fol. 59. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 151. 2.



Matthew 19:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Rich Young Man
16And someone came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" 17And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18Then he said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS;…
Cross References
Leviticus 18:5
Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.

Nehemiah 9:29
"You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, 'The person who obeys them will live by them.' Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.

Psalm 119:68
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Ezekiel 20:21
"'But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, "The person who obeys them will live by them," and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.

Luke 10:28
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
Treasury of Scripture

And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.

there.

1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside you: neither …

Psalm 52:1 Why boast you yourself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of …

Psalm 145:7-9 They shall abundantly utter the memory of your great goodness, and …

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down …

1 John 4:8-10,16 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love…

but.

Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if …

Ezekiel 20:11,12 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which …

Luke 10:26-28 He said to him, What is written in the law? how read you…

Romans 10:5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the …

Galatians 3:11-13 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is …

Jump to Previous
Askest Commandments Commands Desire Enter Good Jesus Life Obey Questioning Rules Want Wilt Wish Wouldest
Jump to Next
Askest Commandments Commands Desire Enter Good Jesus Life Obey Questioning Rules Want Wilt Wish Wouldest
Links
Matthew 19:17 NIV
Matthew 19:17 NLT
Matthew 19:17 ESV
Matthew 19:17 NASB
Matthew 19:17 KJV

Matthew 19:17 Bible Apps
Matthew 19:17 Bible Suite
Matthew 19:17 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 19:17 Chinese Bible
Matthew 19:17 French Bible
Matthew 19:17 German Bible

Alphabetical: about And are ask asking but commandments do enter good He him If into is Jesus keep life me obey One only replied said the There to want what who Why wish you

NT Gospels: Matthew 19:17 He said to him Why do you (Matt. Mat Mt) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Matthew 19:16
Top of Page
Top of Page