Matthew 5:20
New International Version
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

New Living Translation
"But I warn you--unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

English Standard Version
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Berean Study Bible
For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Berean Literal Bible
For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall abound above that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall never enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

New American Standard Bible
"For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

King James Bible
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Christian Standard Bible
For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Contemporary English Version
You must obey God's commands better than the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law obey them. If you don't, I promise you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

Good News Translation
I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

International Standard Version
because I tell you, unless your righteousness greatly exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom from heaven!"

NET Bible
For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

New Heart English Bible
For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For I say to you, that unless your goodness will exceed that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I can guarantee that unless you live a life that has God's approval and do it more faithfully than the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

New American Standard 1977
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

King James 2000 Bible
For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

American King James Version
For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

American Standard Version
For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
For I say unto you, that unless your righteousness surpass [that] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

English Revised Version
For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Weymouth New Testament
For I assure you that unless your righteousness greatly surpasses that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, you will certainly not find entrance into the Kingdom of the Heavens.

World English Bible
For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
'For I say to you, that if your righteousness may not abound above that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye may not enter to the reign of the heavens.
Study Bible
The Fulfillment of the Law
19So then, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do likewise will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever practices and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 21You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’…
Cross References
Matthew 16:12
Then they understood that He was not telling them to beware of the yeast used in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Luke 18:11
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, 'God, I thank You that I am not like the other men--swindlers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

Luke 18:12
I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I receive.'

2 Corinthians 3:9
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry of righteousness!

Treasury of Scripture

For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

exceed.

Matthew 23:2-5,23-28
Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: …

Luke 11:39,40,44
And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness…

Luke 12:1
In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

ye.

Matthew 3:10
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 18:5
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.







Lexicon
For
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

I tell
λέγω (legō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

you
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

that
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

unless
ἐὰν (ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

your
ὑμῶν (hymōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

righteousness
δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosynē)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1343: From dikaios; equity; specially justification.

exceeds
περισσεύσῃ (perisseusē)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4052: From perissos; to superabound, be in excess, be superfluous; also to cause to superabound or excel.

[that] of the
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Masculine 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.

scribes
γραμματέων (grammateōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 1122: From gramma. A writer, i.e. scribe or secretary.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

Pharisees,
Φαρισαίων (Pharisaiōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5330: Of Hebrew origin; a separatist, i.e. Exclusively religious; a Pharisean, i.e. Jewish sectary.

you will never enter
εἰσέλθητε (eiselthēte)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1525: To go in, come in, enter. From eis and erchomai; to enter.

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine 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.

kingdom
βασιλείαν (basileian)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 932: From basileus; properly, royalty, i.e. rule, or a realm.

of
τῶν (tōn)
Article - Genitive Masculine 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.

heaven.
οὐρανῶν (ouranōn)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 3772: Perhaps from the same as oros; the sky; by extension, heaven; by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel.
(20) Shall exceed.--Better, Shall abound more than.

Scribes and Pharisees.--Here, for the first time, the scribes are mentioned in our Lord's teaching. The frequent combination of the two words (thirteen times in the first three Gospels) implies that for the most part they were of the school of the Pharisees, just as the "chief priests" were, for the most part, of that of the Sadducees. Where "scribes and chief priests" are united, it is with a different import, as the two chief divisions of the Sanhedrim, or Great Council. The New Testament use of the word differs from the Old. There the scribe is simply the man who writes, the secretary or registrar of the king's edicts and official documents (2Samuel 8:17; 2Samuel 20:25; 2Kings 18:18). After the return of Babylon, as in the case of Ezra (Ezra 7:6; Ezra 7:12), it was used first of the transcribers and editors of the sacred books, and then, by a natural transition, of their interpreters; and this is the dominant sense of the word in the New Testament. As interpreters they were much occupied with the traditional comments of previous teachers, and these as descending more into particulars, and so affording a better basis for a casuistic system, had come to usurp the rightful place of the Law. As far as the three Gospels are concerned this is the first direct protest of our Lord against their teaching. St. John's record, however, shows that the conflict had begun already in Jerusalem (John 5:10), and that the Sabbath question was prominent in it.

Ye shall in no case enter . . . .--The "kingdom of heaven" is here neither what we speak of as the visible Church--for there the evil and the good grow together till the harvest--nor yet the Church triumphant in the far future. It stands here rather for the ideal and invisible Church on earth--that which answers to its name, that to which belong the blessings and the promises. Into that Church none enter who are content with an outward conventional standard of righteousness. All who strive after a high standard, sooner or later, in spite of wanderings and mistakes, find their way into it (Matthew 25:34; John 7:17).

Verse 20. - Matthew only. The verse from "except" to the end is quoted verbally in Justin Martyr ('Trypho,' § 105), as being in "the Memoirs." For I say. So far from you my disciples (ver. 13) being right in despising any of the commands contained in the Law, they are all to be specially honoured by you; for your righteousness (i.e. the righteousness you show in observing them; there is no thought here of the imputed righteousness of Christ) must far exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees; otherwise there is no entrance for you into the kingdom of heaven. But wherein lay the superiority of the righteousness which the disciples were to have? Did our Lord mean that his disciples were to painfully toil through the various enactments, ceremonial and other, of the Law as the scribes and Pharisees did, only with more serious and earnest purpose than they? That were in the case of many scribes and Pharisees hardly possible. For notwithstanding our Lord's occasional denunciations, many of them were men of the severest earnestness and the deepest conscientiousness, e.g. Gamaliel and Saul of Tarsus. Our Lord must refer to the Law otherwise than as a system of enactments. His thought is similar to that of his words addressed to Nicodemus (John 3:5), where he says that change of heart evidenced by public profession (cf. Romans 10:10) is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of God (cf. also Matthew 18:8). So here; while the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, even when joined to earnestness of purpose, nevertheless consists in the observance of external rules, there is a higher principle in the Law, by observing which a higher righteousness can be attained. Christ points, that is to say, away from the Law as a system of external rules to the Law in its deeper meaning, affecting the relation of the heart to God (cf. further Weiss, 'Life,' 2:147). Shall exceed; rather, shall abound still more than. The statement is not merely comparative, but implies an abundance (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:10)even in the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. The Jewish spirit reckons up good actions as producing in many cases even a superfluity of righteousness. But the righteousness which Christ's disciples must have needs to be still more abundant. The righteousness; omitted in the Greek (Westcott and Herr) by condensation. The scribes and Pharisees. The most learned (scribes) and the most zealous (Pharisees) in the Law (cf. Nosgen) are here placed in one class (τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων). Ye shall in no case; Revised Version, in no wise. "The emphatic negative οὐ μή is not elsewhere so rendered in the Authorized Version. The previous versions have in this place simply . ye shall not,' following the Vulgate,. non intrabitis" (Humphry) Enter into the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matthew 18:3; Matthew 7:21). A much stronger statement than that of ver. 19, though some would identify the two. There Christ was comparing one disciple with another; here his disciples with non-disciples. "Such a relaxing for yourselves and others of the commandments will set you low in the true kingdom of obedience and holiness; but this of having a righteousness so utterly false and hollow as that of the scribes and Pharisees will not merely set you low, but will exclude you from that kingdom altogether (ver. 20); for while that marks an impaired spiritual vision, this marks a vision utterly darkened and destroyed" (Trench, ' Sermon on the Mount'). 5:17-20 Let none suppose that Christ allows his people to trifle with any commands of God's holy law. No sinner partakes of Christ's justifying righteousness, till he repents of his evil deeds. The mercy revealed in the gospel leads the believer to still deeper self-abhorrence. The law is the Christian's rule of duty, and he delights therein. If a man, pretending to be Christ's disciple, encourages himself in any allowed disobedience to the holy law of God, or teaches others to do the same, whatever his station or reputation among men may be, he can be no true disciple. Christ's righteousness, imputed to us by faith alone, is needed by every one that enters the kingdom of grace or of glory; but the new creation of the heart to holiness, produces a thorough change in a man's temper and conduct.
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