Matthew 19:17
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.”

Berean Study Bible
“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.”

Berean Literal Bible
And He said to him, "Why do you ask Me about what is good? Only One is good. But if you desire to enter into 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.

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."

Contemporary English Version
Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? Only God is good. If you want to have eternal life, you must obey his commandments."

Good News Translation
"Why do you ask me concerning what is good?" answered Jesus. "There is only One who is good. Keep the commandments if you want to enter life."

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."

New Heart English Bible
He said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? No one is good but one. 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."

New American Standard 1977
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.”

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.'
Study Bible
The Rich Young Man
16Just then, a man came up to Jesus and inquired, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?” 17“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.” 18“Which ones?” the man asked. Jesus answered, “‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness,…
Cross References
Leviticus 18:5
Keep My statutes and My judgments, for the man who does these things will live by them. I am the LORD.

Nehemiah 9:29
You admonished them to turn back to Your law, but they were arrogant and disobeyed Your commandments. They sinned against Your ordinances, by which a man will live if he practices them. They stubbornly shrugged their shoulders; they stiffened their necks and would not obey.

Psalm 119:68
You are good, and You do what is good; teach me Your statutes.

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

Ezekiel 20:21
But the children rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes or carefully observe My ordinances--though the man who does these things will live by them--and they profaned My Sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath upon them and vent My anger against them in the wilderness.

Luke 10:28
"You have answered correctly," Jesus said. "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 thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

Psalm 52:1
To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech. Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

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

but.

Leviticus 18:5
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 20:11,12
And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them…

Luke 10:26-28
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? …







Lexicon
“Why
Τί (Ti)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 5101: Who, which, what, why. Probably emphatic of tis; an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what.

do you ask
ἐρωτᾷς (erōtas)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2065: Apparently from ereo; to interrogate; by implication, to request.

Me
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

about
περὶ (peri)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4012: From the base of peran; properly, through, i.e. Around; figuratively with respect to; used in various applications, of place, cause or time.

what is
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

good?”
ἀγαθοῦ (agathou)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 18: A primary word; 'good'.

[Jesus] replied,
εἶπεν (eipen)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

“There is
ἐστιν (estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

only One
εἷς (heis)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1520: One. (including the neuter Hen); a primary numeral; one.

who is
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

good.
ἀγαθός (agathos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 18: A primary word; 'good'.

If
εἰ (ei)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

you want
θέλεις (theleis)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2309: To will, wish, desire, be willing, intend, design.

to enter
εἰσελθεῖν (eiselthein)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 1525: To go in, come in, enter. From eis and erchomai; to enter.

life,
ζωὴν (zōēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2222: Life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. From zao; life.

keep
τήρησον (tērēson)
Verb - Aorist Imperative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5083: From teros; to guard, i.e. To note; by implication, to detain; by extension, to withhold; by extension, to withhold.

the
τὰς (tas)
Article - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

commandments.”
ἐντολάς (entolas)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1785: An ordinance, injunction, command, law. From entellomai; injunction, i.e. An authoritative prescription.
(17) Why callest thou me good?--Here again the older MSS. give a different form to our Lord's answer: "Why askest thou Me concerning that which is good? There is One that is the Good." The alteration was probably made, as before, for the sake of agreement with the other Gospels. In either case the answer has the same force. The questioner had lightly applied the word "good" to One whom he as yet regarded only as a human teacher, to an act which, it seemed to him, was in his own power to perform. What he needed, therefore, was to be taught to deepen and widen his thoughts of goodness until they rose to Him in whom alone it was absolute and infinite, through fellowship with whom only could any teacher rightly be called good, and from whom alone could come the power to do any good thing. The method by which our Lord leads him to that conclusion may, without irreverence, be permitted to call up the thought of the method in which Socrates is related to have dealt with like questioners, both in the grave, sad irony of the process, and in the self-knowledge in which it was designed to issue.

Keep the commandments.--The questioner is answered as from his own point of view. If eternal life was to be won by doing, there was no need to come to a new Teacher for a new precept. It was enough to keep the commandments, the great moral laws of God, as distinct from ordinances and traditions (Matthew 15:3), with which every Israelite was familiar.

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. 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.
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