English Standard Version
Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
King James Bible
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
American Standard Version
And there came also publicans to be baptized, and they said unto him, Teacher, what must we do?
And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?
English Revised Version
And there came also publicans to be baptized, and they said unto him, Master, what must we do?
Webster's Bible Translation
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said to him, Master, what shall we do?
Weymouth New Testament
There came also a party of tax-gatherers to be baptized, and they asked him, "Rabbi, what are we to do?"
Luke 3:12 Parallel
CommentaryVincent's Word Studies
From τέλος, a tax, and ὠνέομαι, to buy. The collectors of Roman imposts. The Romans farmed out the direct taxes and customs-duties to capitalists, on their payment of a certain sum in publicum, into the public treasury, whence they were called publicani, publicans. Sometimes this sum, being greater than any one person could pay, was paid by a company. Under these were the submagistri, living in the provinces; and under these again the portitores, or actual custom-house officers, who are referred to by the term τελῶναι in the New Testament. They were often chosen from the dregs of the people, and were so notorious for their extortions that they were habitually included in the same category with harlots and sinners. "If a Jew could scarcely persuade himself that it was right to pay taxes, how much more heinous a crime must it have been in his eyes to become the questionably honest instrument for collecting them. If a publican was hated, how still more intense must have been the disgust entertained against a publican who was also a Jew" (Farrar, "Life of Christ"). The word "publican," as a popular term of reproach, was used even by our Lord (Matthew 18:17). Even the Gentiles despised them. Farrar cites a Greek saying, "All publicans are robbers."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"
And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."
(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John,
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.