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Matthew 5:20

    Matthew 5:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    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 (ASV)

    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.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For I say to you, If your righteousness is not greater than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never go into the kingdom of heaven.

    Webster's Revision

    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.

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    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.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 5:20

    Except your righteousness shall exceed - περισσευση, Unless your righteousness abound more - unless it take in, not only the letter, but the spirit and design of the moral and ritual precept; the one directing you how to walk so as to please God; the other pointing out Christ, the great Atonement, through and by which a sinner is enabled to do so - more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, who only attend to the letter of the law, and had indeed made even that of no effect by their traditions - ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. This fully explains the meaning of the preceding verse. The old English word is right-wiseness, i.e. complete, thorough, excellent Wisdom. For a full explanation of this verse, see Luke 18:10, etc.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 5:20

    Your righteousness - Your holiness; your views of the nature of righteousness, and your conduct and lives. Unless you are more holy than they are, you cannot be saved.

    Shall exceed - Shall excel, or abound more. The righteousness of true Christians is seated in the heart, and is therefore genuine. Jesus means that unless they had more real holiness of character than the scribes and Pharisees, they could not be saved.

    The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees - See the notes at Matthew 3:7. Their righteousness consisted in outward observances of the ceremonial and traditional law. They offered sacrifices, fasted often. prayed much, were punctilious about ablutions, and tithes, and the ceremonies of religion, but neglected justice, truth, purity, and holiness of heart. See Matthew 23:13-33. The righteousness that Jesus required in his kingdom was purity, chastity, honesty, temperance, the fear of God, and the love of man. It is pure, eternal, reaching the motives, and making the life holy.

    The kingdom of heaven - See the notes at Matthew 3:2. Shall not be a suitable subject of his kingdom here, or saved in the world to come.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 5:20

    5:20 The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees - Described in the sequel of this discourse.