Matthew 21:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
John's baptism--where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'

New Living Translation
"Did John's authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?" They talked it over among themselves. "If we say it was from heaven, he will ask us why we didn't believe John.

English Standard Version
The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’

New American Standard Bible
"The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'

King James Bible
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Where did John's baptism come from? From heaven or from men?" They began to argue among themselves, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'

International Standard Version
Where did John's authority to baptize come from? From heaven or from humans?" They began discussing this among themselves: "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'

NET Bible
Where did John's baptism come from? From heaven or from people?" They discussed this among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Then why did you not believe him?'

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“From where was the baptism of Yohannan, from Heaven or was it from men?” But they were counseling among themselves and saying, “If we say, 'From Heaven', he will say to us, 'And why did you not trust him?' “

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Did John's right to baptize come from heaven or from humans?" They discussed this among themselves. They said, "If we say, 'from heaven,' he will ask us, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'

Jubilee Bible 2000
The baptism of John, where was it from? from heaven or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

King James 2000 Bible
The baptism of John, from where was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did you not then believe him?

American King James Version
The baptism of John, from where was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why did you not then believe him?

American Standard Version
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him?

Douay-Rheims Bible
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? But they thought within themselves, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
The baptism of John, whence was it? of heaven or of men? And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we should say, Of heaven, he will say to us, Why then have ye not believed him?

English Revised Version
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him?

Webster's Bible Translation
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or from men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, if we shall say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why then did ye not believe him?

Weymouth New Testament
John's Baptism, whence was it? --had it a heavenly or a human origin?" So they debated the matter among themselves. "If we say 'a heavenly origin,'" they argued, "he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'

World English Bible
The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?" They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Why then did you not believe him?'

Young's Literal Translation
the baptism of John, whence was it? -- from heaven, or from men?' And they were reasoning with themselves, saying, 'If we should say, From heaven; he will say to us, Wherefore, then, did ye not believe him?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:23-27 As our Lord now openly appeared as the Messiah, the chief priests and scribes were much offended, especially because he exposed and removed the abuses they encouraged. Our Lord asked what they thought of John's ministry and baptism. Many are more afraid of the shame of lying than of the sin, and therefore scruple not to speak what they know to be false, as to their own thoughts, affections, and intentions, or their remembering and forgetting. Our Lord refused to answer their inquiry. It is best to shun needless disputes with wicked opposers.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 25. - The baptism of John (τὸ βάπτισμα τὸ Ἰωάννου). By "the baptism which was of John" Christ means his whole ministry, doctrine, preaching, etc.; as by circumcision is implied the whole Mosaic Law, and the doctrine of the cross comprises all the teaching of the gospel, the chief characteristic connoting all particulars. From heaven, or of men? Did they regard John as one inspired and commissioned by God, or as a fanatic and impostor, who was self-sent and had received no external authorization? Now, two facts were plain and could not be denied. The rulers and the people with them had allowed John to be a prophet, and had never questioned his claims hitherto. This was one fact; the other was that John had borne unmistakable evidence to Christ. "Behold the Lamb of God!" etc. (John 1:32-36), he had said. He came and asserted that he came as Christ's forerunner; his mission was to prepare Christ's way, and had no meaning or intention but this. Here was a dilemma. They had asked for Jesus' credentials; the prophet, whose mission they had virtually endorsed testified that Jesus was the Messiah; if they believed that John spoke by inspiration, they must accept Christ; if now they discredited John, they would stultify themselves and endanger their influence with the people. They reasoned with themselves (παρ ἑαυτοῖς). The somewhat unusual introduction of this preposition instead of the more common ἐν implies that the reflection was not confined to their own breast, but passed in consultation from one to another. They saw the difficulty, and deliberated how they could meet it without compromising themselves, seeking, not truth, but evasion. Why did ye not then (διατί οϋν: why then did ye not) believe him? i.e. when he bore such plain testimony to me. This appeal could be silenced only by denying John's mission, or asserting that he was mistaken in what he said,

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The baptism of John, whence was it?.... By the baptism of John, is meant the ordinance of water baptism, which was first administered by him; from whence he took the name of John the Baptist: and the doctrine which he preached concerning it, and previous to it, and even the whole of his ministry; which is denominated from a principal part of it, and which greatly distinguished his ministry from all others: and the question put by Christ concerning it is, whence it was? by what authority did John administer the ordinance of water baptism, which had never been administered before by any? who sent him to preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, a doctrine the world had never heard of before? who gave him a commission to discharge the several parts of his ministry, which he performed in such a wonderful and powerful manner? did he receive his authority

from heaven, or of men? that is, from God or man? as the opposition requires; and as it was usual for the Jews to call God by the name of "heaven": in this sense it is used by them, when they say (b), that such have no part in the world to come, who affirm, that the law is not , "from heaven", that is, from God; which is exactly the phrase here: and when they observe (c), that care should be taken that a man does not pronounce , "the name of heaven", that is, God, in vain: and when they tell (d) us of a certain man that built large buildings by the way side, and put food and drink there, so that everyone that came went in and eat, and drank, , "and blessed heaven"; that is blessed, or gave thanks to God; and when they speak of (e) , "death by heaven"; that is, death which is immediately inflicted by God. So when Christ here asks, whether John's baptism was from heaven, or of men, his meaning is, whether it was of divine institution, and that John acted by divine authority, and commission; or whether it was an human device of his own, or of other men, and that he took the office of preaching and baptizing upon himself of his own head, or by some human appointment: to this he requires a direct answer, as is said in Mark, "answer me"; whether it was from the one, or from the other,

and they reasoned with themselves; either "within themselves", as the Arabic version renders it, "in their own minds", as the Syriac; or they took some little time and privately conferred together, what answer they should return; when they argued the point among themselves,

saying, if we shall say from heaven; if we shall return for answer, that the baptism and ministry of John were of divine appointment, and that he acted by a divine authority,

he will say unto us, why did ye not believe him? why did not ye believe the doctrine that he preached? and receive the testimony that he gave concerning the Messiah? and why were ye not baptized by him? why did ye reject the counsel of God against yourselves? They saw plainly, that if they owned the divine authority of John's baptism and ministry, they must allow Jesus to be the true Messiah, John bore witness to; and consequently, that it was by a divine authority he did what he did; and then there was an end of the question, and is the very thing that Christ had in view,

(b) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 27. 3. Vid. ib. fol. 19. 3. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1.((c) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 3. 1. (d) Abot. R. Nathan, c. 7. fol. 3. 2. (e) Ib. c. 11. fol. 4. 1. Vid. ib. c. 14. fol. 4. 4. & 5. 1. & c. 27. fol. 7. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

25. The baptism of John—meaning his whole mission and ministry, of which baptism was the proper character.

whence was it? from heaven, or of men?—What wisdom there was in this way of meeting their question will best appear by their reply.

If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?—"Why did ye not believe the testimony which he bore to Me, as the promised and expected Messiah?" for that was the burden of John's whole testimony.

Matthew 21:25 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus' Authority Challenged
24Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25"The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 26"But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet."…
Cross References
Matthew 16:7
They discussed this among themselves and said, "It is because we didn't bring any bread."

Matthew 21:24
Jesus replied, "I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Matthew 21:26
But if we say, 'Of human origin'--we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet."

Luke 20:5
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'
Treasury of Scripture

The baptism of John, from where was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say to us, Why did you not then believe him?

baptism.

Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Matthew 11:7-15 And as they departed, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning …

Matthew 17:12,13 But I say to you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, …

Mark 1:1-11 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…

Mark 11:27-33 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, …

Luke 1:11-17,67-80 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right …

Luke 3:2-20 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to …

Luke 7:28-35 For I say to you, Among those that are born of women there is not …

John 1:6,15,25-34 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John…

John 3:26-36 And they came to John, and said to him, Rabbi, he that was with you …

Why.

Luke 20:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From …

John 3:18 He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not …

John 5:33-36,44-47 You sent to John, and he bore witness to the truth…

John 10:25,26 Jesus answered them, I told you, and you believed not: the works …

John 12:37-43 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed …

1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows …

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