Luke 20

Luke 20
Codex Cyprius Luke 20,9.JPG
Facsimile from 1861 of Luke 20:9 in Codex Cyprius (9th-10th century).
BookGospel of Luke
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part3

Luke 20 is the twentieth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the teaching of Jesus Christ in the temple in Jerusalem, especially his responses to questions raised by the Pharisees and Sadduccees.[1] The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles.[2]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 47 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references[edit]

Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers[edit]

The Wicked Husbandmen from the Bowyer Bible, 19th century.

This parable of Jesus, also known as the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen, found in three of the four canonical gospels (Luke 20:9–19, Mark 12:1–12, and Matthew 21:33–46), and also in the non-canonical Gospel of Thomas. It describes a householder planting a vineyard and letting it out to husbandmen, who failed in their duty. The owner sent various servants successively to collect a share of the proceeds of the harvest, but each time the husbandmen rejected them. Unlike the texts in Matthew and Mark, Luke states that "perhaps" (Greek: ἴσως, isōs, "probably" in the NKJV and in Marvin Vincent's interpretation) [4] they will respect the owner's son. The word ἴσως is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. It appears once in the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible, at 1 Samuel 25:21, where the Greek is translated as "perhaps", but as "surely" in many English translations based on the Hebrew text.[5][6]

Verses 17–18[edit]

17Then He looked at them and said, "What then is this that is written:
'The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone'?
18Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."[7]

Jesus is alluding to Isaiah 8:1415.[8]

This parable was about chief priests and Pharisees and was given to the people present in the Temple during the final week before the death of Jesus.

No further questions[edit]

Luke 20:40 and similarly Matthew 22:46 record that after a series of partisan questions, the scribes concluded that they were not able to outwit Jesus and "after that they dared not question Him anymore".

American theologian Albert Barnes suggests that "never was wisdom more clear, never more triumphant";[9] the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges reflects that at this point events became more perilous for Jesus as his opponents recognised that they would be unable "to pose themselves as superiors to [him] in wisdom and knowledge" and contempt was therefore "deepened into real hatred".[10]

Beware of the scribes[edit]

Verse 46 ("Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts ...") recalls the second of Luke's woes to the Pharisees:

Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary. 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  2. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  3. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 839. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Vincent, M. (1886), Vincent's Word Studies on Luke 20, accessed 13 July 2018
  5. ^, Translations of 1 Samuel 25:21, accessed 13 July 2018
  6. ^ Bengel, J., Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament on Luke 20, accessed 13 July 2018
  7. ^ Luke 20:17–18 NKJV NKJV
  8. ^ Kidner, Derek (1994). "Isaiah". In Carson, D. A.; France, R. T.; Motyer, J. A.; Wenham, G. J. (eds.). New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (4, illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Inter-Varsity Press. p. 640. ISBN 9780851106489.
  9. ^ Barnes, A., Barnes' Notes on Matthew 22, references in his Notes on Luke 20, accessed 14 July 2018
  10. ^ Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Luke 20, accessed 14 July 2018
  11. ^ Luke 11:43

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Luke 19
Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of Luke
Succeeded by
Luke 21