COMPARATIVE BIBLE STUDIES
THE TEMPTATION, PARALLELED
(The King James Version)
© 2002 by Cosmeta.
All Rights Reserved
Mark, Chapter 1
1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
12 And immediately the [same] Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
| Matthew, Chapter 3
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
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.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Matthew, Chapter 4
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
12 Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;
13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
Luke, Chapter 7
1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
18 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
36 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Does Not Apply
Mark tells us very little about the so-called temptation; and John's version omitts it completely. The only two versions that give us a full account are Matthew and Luke. Were we to place Matthew's version first, then it might appear as if Mark has omitted some valuable information. But when we place Mark's Gospel first it becomes clear that the tempatation scenes of both Matthew and Luke are without merit and are pure fiction. We certainly cannot compare them to Mark's Gospel because there is virtually very little to compare: Jesus was baptized and immediately after he is directed to the wilderness by Spirit. Please notice that I have added the word, [Holy] to denote a very high order of spirit, lest we think that a lower spirit were leading Jesus. Hence, according to Mark's Gospel, Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit. And he was with wild beasts and the angels ministered unto him declares Mark's Gospel.
On the surface, we can accept Mark's Gospel. Below the surface, we do wonder if something were not right here. We wonder, because for many hundreds of years the book of Matthew has always been placed first and that all the others were compared to his text. In other words, we wonder what was taken away or added to Mark's Gospel to have it fall in line with the Matthewian text. The temptation narrative is one of those scenes that warrants our attention and analysis. It at least warrants our caution. I say this because it is clear that all four accounts do not agree. And so we like Jesus are Spirit driven and will attempt to ascertain the truth.
By doing a brief, 1,2,3, we can discern the following from the Marcan text:
Just by looking at that brief list we can sense that something is not right. For example: If John had such a profound effect upon Jesus, and if Jesus were Spirit drvien, we need to ask, where did Jesus go? The traditional Marcan text says into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan. But wasn't Jesus aleady in the wilderness, for was not this the description given to the place out of which John was baptizing. Yes it is, but saying the word, "wilderness" does not tell us much, now does it? And so we ask, where in the wilderness? How far away from where John was baptizing? We might ask, for example: Where did John live? Where did he sleep? Where did he go after a full day of baptizing? Ultimately we ask: If John were put into prision and then beheaded, when was he killed?
When we read the traditional Marcan text we are told that soon after his forty day temptation scene Jesus returns to Galilee and that once there he begins to collect his own disciples. In other words, we realize that Jesus had not yet begun his ministry when John was put into prision and beheaded.
Mark, Chapter 1, verse 14 informs us that when John was put into prison Jesus departed for Galilee. The reader is led to believe that Jesus forsook him and departed before John was killed. In other words, without careful investigation of the script we might assume, and perhaps erroneously so, that Jesus was not effected by John's imprisionment. We might also assume that John was imprisioned for longer than fourty days and fourty nights, for example. In other words, if we accept the Marcan text the way it is we might deduce that after his own baptism, Jesus spent fourty days in the wilderness, John was put into prison, and that while imprisioned Jesus returned to Galilee. We can then reason that sometime afterwards John was killed. If this is the correct scenario, why doesn't Jesus return to the Jordan to attend John's funeral; for certianly there would have been a huge procession in his honor.
When I look at my 1,2,3 above, something is not right when I look at steps 14 and 15. Something is not right with Mark, Chapter 1, verse 14 and 15. And so we ask: Why are we not given any additional information about John. Why are we told only that he wore a girdle about his loins and that he ate milk and wild honey. And why for heavens' sake is Jesus presented as a man who was so effected by John and his baptism that he would dismiss his death so easily. In other words we ask: What really happened?
According to the Matthewian and Lucan text, nothing. Instead the reader is led to believe that the fourty-day, fourty-night departure were a satanic temptation. And they go through great pains to explain this to us and in great detail. In Matthew's version, Jesus is led by Spirit, asked to turn stone into bread like Moses; called the Son of God; shown a holy city and finally taken to a high mountain. And then after resisting all these temptations the Devil departs from him. It is only after this point that the angels minister onto him. By comparison, Mark's Gospel tells us that he were with wild beasts and that angels ministered unto him. From this we might conclude that Mark were trying to describe some sort of fast in which he were tempted to eat meat. 'Tis a feasible explanation, is it not? For was not fasting a common practice of the day... and moreso if someone were undergoing a spiritual purification ritual. And so, we might conclude that the ministering angels kept him from going hungry because he his soul was filled with and by the Holy Spirit. In other words, we might conclude that Jesus did not partake of the wild beasts. Still, Mark's Gospel does not go into the more lofty experiences the way Matthew and Luke do.
Now, let's look at Luke's version. The first thing we notice is that Luke wants his reader to know that this is a fast. For does he not state: "And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered." Except for slight variations it is almost identical to the book of Matthew. Jesus is led by Spirit, asked to turn stone into bread but refuses; is called the Son of God; and then taken to a high mountain. He is not shown a holy city, however. Neither is he ministered to by angels. The Devil departs and that ends Luke's temptation scene. We are led to believe, nah, we are told that after the temptation Jesus was still hungry. And so, even when we compare Luke to Matthew there is not much of a theologic. Not much difference. That is to say, if we become overly absorbed in a satanic temptation scene or side tracked by it; then we might overlook the underlying reason for inserting it. And so, we continue our search.
When we look closely, we notice that in Luke's narrative, Jesus was already in Galilee when he was led into the wilderness to be tempted by his Devil. We also notice an error on Luke's part because right after his temptation scene he has his Jesus departing for Galilee once more. And the fame of him was spread throughout the region of Galilee we are informed. In other words, we are led to believe that it was the temptation scene that made Jesus famous. This is a neat way of side stepping the importance of John; yet this author does not and cannot accept it. What we can conclude from his narrative is that the author of Luke's version wants to put some distance between John and his Jesus; and once again we do wonder why. Fourth gospel writer goes one step further by elliminating the temptation scene altogether; for his Jesus does not need a Satan to proclaim his Jesus the Christ, the son of God.
Still, we are met with that nagging feeling that something is not right with Mark's Gospel. And so we ask, was there a latter-day cover-up? a glossing over? a deception of facts? We can sense it, and taste it, but we cannot see it; not if we remain with Mark, Chapter 1 we cannot. And we cannot because it simply is not there. Instead, in order for us to glimpse the truth about Mark's Gospel we must jump to Chapter 6. For it is there that the Marcan text gives us further information about the 'Life of John'.
Once again I will direct the reader to my paraphrase of Mark's Gospel; because to do a complete analysis here would not only require too much time and space, it would be taking us away from our analysis of the temptation scene. For that is the intended purpose of this current document. Oh, it is not that we do not wish to do so, or that we cannot; but rather, the cover-up that I have found goes way beyond any temptation scene. It goes right to the heart of Mark's Gospel and his reason for writing it. And so, I will leave the reader waiting with baited breath until one at a time we uncover the many interpolations of Mark's originating Gospel. I will leave the reader with these thought provoking questions, however: How many followers do you suppose John had? Four thousand or perhaps five? Just how many people attended his funeral? I would also ask: Who made Jesus famous, John or Satan? Now, that is the real temptation, in my opinion.