Matthew 5:47
 
Matthew 5:47
(KJV) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(1611 KJV) And if yee salute your brethren only, what do you more then others? Doe not euen the Publicanes so?
(1587 Geneva Bible) And if ye be friendly to your brethren onely, what singular thing doe ye? doe not euen the Publicanes likewise?
(1526 Tyndale) And yf ye be frendly to youre brethren onlye: what singuler thynge doo ye? Do not the Publicans lyke wyse?
 
Counterfeit Versions
(1881 RV) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same?
(1901 ASV) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same?
(AMP) And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?
(CEB) And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?
(CEV) If you greet only your friends, what’s so great about that? Don’t even unbelievers do that?
(1899 Douay Rheims American Version) And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?
(ERV) And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends.
(ESV) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
(GNB) And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that!
(HCSB) And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same?
(J.B. Phillips) And if you exchange greetings only with your own circle, are you doing anything exceptional? Even the pagans do that much.
(THE MESSAGE) If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
(NASV) If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
(NCV) And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don't know God are nice to their friends.
(2011 NIV) And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
(NLV) If you say hello only to the people you like, are you doing any more than others? The people who do not know God do that much.
(NLT) If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
(RSV) And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
(2010 NAB-Roman Catholic) And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same?
(NWT-Jehovah’s Witness Bible) And if YOU greet YOUR brothers only, what extraordinary thing are YOU doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing?
Textus Receptus - Traditional Text
και εαν ασπασησθε τους αδελφους υμων μονον τι περισσον ποιειτε ουχι και οι τελωναι ουτως ποιουσιν
 
Hort-Westcott - Critical Text
και εαν ασπασησθε τους αδελφους υμων μονον τι περισσον ποιειτε ουχι και οι εθνικοι το αυτο ποιουσιν
 
Corrupted Manuscripts
This verse is corrupted in the following manuscripts:
Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Fourth century
A 02 - Alexandrinus - Fifth century
B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
D 05 - Bezae Cantabrigiensis - Fifth century
1 (Minuscule) - Seventh century
33 (Minuscule) - Ninth Century
892 - (Minuscule) - Ninth century
 
Manuscripts Which Agree with the Textus Receptus for this verse
Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
K 017 - Ninth century
L 019 - Seventh century
W 032 - Fourth/fifth century
Delta 037 - Ninth century
Theta 038 - Ninth century
13 (Minuscule) - Eighth century
28 (Minuscule) - Eleventh century
565 - (Minuscule) - Ninth century
 
Published Critical Greek Texts with Corruptions
Reads “heathens” or “Gentiles” Instead of “Publicans”
Greisbach, Johann - 1805
Lachmann, Karl - 1842
Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
Wordsworth, Christopher - 1856 revised in 1870
Westcott and Hort - 1881
Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
Von Soden, Freiherr - 1902
 
Affected Teaching
The word “telônai” (τελωναι) is the Greek word for “publican or revenue officer.” In the New Testament, it is used 23 times in 22 verses and is always translated “publican or publicans.” In Matthew 5:46, we read, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?” Jesus is specifically referencing the publicans in verse 46 that they only greet or deal with those who love them or are friends with them. Jesus had just finished speaking about the fact that Christians are to love those who persecute and abuse them, then He references the publicans that how can you show a difference as a child of God if you only love the way the world loves, that is, those who love you back. We are to love those who do not love us, that is, our enemies. He shows the difference between the way the publicans love and the way the Christians love. Then Jesus continues His comparison in verse 47.
(Matthew 5:47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
 
Salute - Embraced, cherished or greeted
 
One who salutes their own brethren are no better than the unbelieving publicans who socialize with their own kind. The true believer is to show they are more than just a mere religious group and to show compassion and love to those who are not of their social strata. The publicans would never socialize with someone who is lame or sick because they were considered the outcasts or the dregs of society and it would not look good if they were seen with those who were outcasts. Let’s bring it up to today. When was the last time a multi-millionaire came to your house? When was the last time some CEO of some company looked at you as his equal? These people only salute those of like status and wealth. Jesus is saying that we must have a different outlook and realize the fact that within every person, wealthy or not, is an eternal soul and their social status will mean nothing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Their social standing means nothing in the Kingdom of God either, because we are all equal at the foot of the cross. If we salute only those of like status, then everyone will make an assessment that Christians are just like the rest of the world.
 
The modern versions change the word from “publican” to “Gentiles or heathens.” When they do this they break the continuity of the two verses which complement each other on how true Christians are to show true love. The publicans were hated because they represented the Roman Empire as their tax collectors and the publicans would always collect more than required so they would be able to increase their own wealth. The Romans did not care because they set an amount and when that was reached, anything left over the publican could take. It is like Jesus is using a Hebrew Parallelism in that He is coming to the same truth from two different examples. So by replacing “publican“ with “heathen or Gentile,” it breaks continuity of the teaching, plus the publicans were normally taken from among the Jews so they would not be Gentiles. It completely destroys the example which Jesus is emphasizing.

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