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Matthew 5:17-20

Context
Fulfillment of the Law and Prophets

5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. 1  5:18 I 2  tell you the truth, 3  until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter 4  will pass from the law until everything takes place. 5:19 So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others 5  to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 5:20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law 6  and the Pharisees, 7  you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

1 tn Grk “not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Direct objects (“these things,” “them”) were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but have been supplied here to conform to contemporary English style.

2 tn Grk “For I tell.” Here an explanatory γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

3 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

4 tn Grk “Not one iota or one serif.”

sn The smallest letter refers to the smallest Hebrew letter (yod) and the stroke of a letter to a serif (a hook or projection on a Hebrew letter).

5 tn Grk “teaches men” ( in a generic sense, people).

6 tn Or “that of the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4.

7 sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.



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