1 NOW THE FESTIVAL of Passover and Unleavened Bread was only two days off; and the chief priests and the doctors of the law were trying to devise some cunning plan to seize him and put him to death. 2 'It must not be during the festival,' they said, 'or we should have rioting among the people.'
3 Jesus was at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper. As he sat at table, a woman came in carrying a small bottle of very costly perfume, oil of pure nard. She broke it open and poured the oil over his head. 4 Some of those present said to one another angrily, 'Why this waste? 5 The perfume might have been sold for thirty pounds and the money given to the poor'; and they turned upon her with fury. 6 But Jesus said, 'Let her alone. Why must you make trouble for her? 7 It is a fine thing she has done for me. You have the poor among you always, and you can help them whenever you like; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what lay in her power; she is beforehand with anointing my body for burial. 9 I tell you this: wherever in all the world the Gospel is proclaimed, what she has done will be told as her memorial.'
10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray him to them. 11 When they heard what he had come for, they were greatly pleased, and promised him money; and he began to look for a good opportunity to betray him.
12 NOW ON THE FIRST DAY of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lambs were being slaughtered, his disciples said to him, 'Where would you like us to go and prepare for your Passover supper?' 13 So he sent out two of his disciples with these instructions: 'Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a jar of water. 14 Follow him, and when he enters a house give this message to the householder: "The Master says, 'Where is the room reserved for me to eat the Passover with my disciples?'" 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, set out in readiness. Make the preparations for us there.' 16 Then the disciples went off, and when they came into the city they found everything just as he had told them. So they prepared for Passover.
17 In the evening he came to the house with the Twelve. 18 As they sat at supper Jesus said, 'I tell you is this: one of you will betray me - one who is eating with me.' 19 At this they were dismayed; and one by one they said to him, 'Not I, surely?' 20 'It is one of the Twelve', he said, 'who is dipping into the same bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man is going the way appointed for him in the scriptures; but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had never been born.'
22 During supper he took bread, and having said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them, with the words: 'Take this; this is my body.' 23 Then he took a cup, and having offered thanks to God he gave it to them; and they all drank from it. 24 And he said, 'This is my blood of the covenant, shed for many. 25 I tell you this: never again shall I drink from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.'
26 After singing the Passover Hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said, 'You will all fall from your faith; for it stands written: "I will strike the shepherd down and the sheep will be scattered." 28 Nevertheless, after I am raised again I will go on before you into Galilee.' 29 Peter answered, 'Everyone else may fall away, but I will not.' 30 Jesus said, 'I tell you this: today, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you yourself will disown me three times.' 31 But he insisted and repeated: 'Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you.' And they all said the same.
32 WHEN THEY REACHED a place called Gethsemane, he said to his disciples, 'Sit here while I pray.' 33 And he took Peter and James and John with him. Horror and dismay came over him, 34 and he said to them, 'My heart is ready to break with grief; stop here, and stay awake.' 35 Then he went forward a little, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, this hour might pass him by. 36 'Abba, Father,' he said, 'all things are possible to thee; take this cup away from me. Yet not what I will, but what thou wilt.'
37 He came back and found them asleep; and he said to Peter, 'Asleep, Simon? Were you not able to keep awake for one hour? 38 Stay awake, all of you; and pray that you may be spared the test: the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.' 39 Once more he went away and prayed. 40 On his return he found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know how to answer him.
41 The third time he came and said to them, 'Still sleeping? Still taking your ease? Enough! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed to sinful men. 42 Up, let us go forward! My betrayer is upon us.'
43 Suddenly, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him was a crowd armed with swords and cudgels, sent by the chief priests, lawyers, and elders. 44 Now the traitor had agreed with them upon a signal: 'The one I kiss is your man; seize him and get him safely away.' 45 When he reached the spot, he stepped forward at once and said to Jesus, 'Rabbi', and kissed him. 46 Then they seized him and held him fast.
47 One of the party drew his sword, and struck at the High Priest's servant, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus spoke: 'Do you take me for a bandit, that you have come out with swords and cudgels to arrest me? 49 Day after day I was within your reach as I taught in the temple, and you did not lay hands on me. But let the so scriptures be fulfilled.' 50 Then the disciples all deserted him and ran away.
51 Among those following was a young man with nothing on but a linen cloth. They tried to seize him, 52 but he slipped out of the linen cloth and ran away naked.
53 THEN THEY LED JESUS away to the High Priest's house, where the chief priests, elders, and doctors of the law were all assembling. 54 Peter followed him at a distance right into the High Priest's courtyard; and there he remained, sitting among the attendants, warming himself at the fire.
55 The chief priests and the whole Council tried to find some evidence against Jesus to warrant a death-sentence, but failed to find any. 56 Many gave false evidence against him, but their statements did not tally. 57 Some stood up and gave this false evidence against him: 58 'We heard him say, "I will throw down this temple, made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands." ' 59 But even on this point their evidence did not agree.
60 Then the High Priest stood up in his place and questioned Jesus: 'Have you no answer to the charges that these witnesses bring against you?' 61 But he kept silence; he made no reply.
Again the High Priest questioned him: 'Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?' 62 Jesus said, 'I am; and you will see the Son of Man seated on the right hand of God and coming with the clouds of heaven.' 63 Then the High Priest tore his robes and said, 'Need we call further witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy. What is your opinion?' Their judgement was unanimous: that he was guilty and should be put to death.
65 Some began to spit on him, blindfolded him, and struck him with their fists, crying out, 'Prophesy!' And the High Priest's men set upon him with blows.
66 Meanwhile Peter was still in the courtyard down-stairs. One of the High Priest's serving-maids came by and saw him there warming himself. 67 She looked into his face and said, 'You were there too, with this man from Nazareth, this Jesus.' 68 But he denied it: 'I know nothing,' he said; 'I do not understand what you mean.' 69 Then he went outside into the porch; and the maid saw him there again and began to say to the bystanders, 'He is one of them'; 70 and again he denied it.
Again, a little later, the bystanders said to Peter, 'Surely you are one of them. You must be; you are a Galilean.' 71 At this he broke out into curses, and with an oath he said, 'I do not know this man you speak of.' 72 Then the cock crew a second time; and Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, 'Before the cock crows twice you will disown me three times.' And he burst into tears.
1 WHEN MORNING CAME the chief priests, having made their plan with the elders and lawyers and all the Council, put Jesus in chains; then they led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, 'Are you the king of the Jews?' He replied, 'The words are yours.' 3 And the chief priests brought many charges against him. 4 Pilate questioned him again: 'Have you nothing to say in your defence? You see how many charges they are bringing against you.' 5 But, to Pilate's astonishment, Jesus made no further reply.
6 At the festival season the Governor used to release one prisoner at the people's request. 7 As it happened, the man known as Barabbas was then in custody with the rebels who had committed murder in the rising. 8 When the crowd appeared asking for the usual favour, 9 Pilate replied, 'Do you wish me to release for you the king of the Jews?' 10 For he knew it was out of spite that they had brought Jesus before him. 11 But the chief priests incited the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas rather than Jesus. 12 Pilate spoke to them again: 'Then what shall I do with the man you call king of the Jews?' 13 They shouted back, 'Crucify him!' 14 'Why, what harm has he done?' Pilate asked. They shouted all the louder, 'Crucify him!' 15 So Pilate, in his desire to satisfy the mob, released Barabbas to them; and he had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers took him inside the courtyard (the Governor's headquarters) and called together the whole company. 17 They dressed him in purple, and having plaited a crown of thorns, placed it on his head. 18 Then they began to salute him with, 'Hail, is King of the Jews!' 19 They beat him about the head with a cane and spat upon him, and then knelt and paid mock homage to him. 20 When they had finished their mockery, they stripped him of the purple and dressed him in his own clothes.
21 THEN THEY TOOK HIM OUT to crucify him. A man called Simon, from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they pressed him into service to carry his cross.
22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which means 'Place of a skull'. 23 He was offered drugged wine, but he would not take it. 24 Then they fastened him to the cross. They divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should have.
25 The hour of the crucifixion was nine in the morning, 26 and the inscription giving the charge against him read, 'The king of the Jews.' 27 Two bandits were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left."
28 Some manuscripts add: Thus that text of Scripture came true which says, 'He was reckoned among criminals.'
29 The passers-by hurled abuse at him: 'Aha!' they cried, wagging their heads, 'you would pull the temple down, would you, and build it in three days? 30 Come down from the cross and save yourself!' 31 So too the chief priests and the doctors of the law jested with one another: 'He saved others,' they said, 'but he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the king of Israel, come down now from the cross. If we see that, we shall believe.' Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
33 At midday darkness fell over the whole land, which lasted till three in the afternoon; 34 and at three Jesus cried aloud, 'Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?', which means, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' 35 Some of the passers-by, on hearing this, said, 'Hark, he is calling Elijah.' 36 A man came running with a sponge, soaked in sour wine, on the end of a cane, and held it to his lips. 'Let us see', he said, 'if Elijah is coming to take him down.' 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and died. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw how he died, he said, 'Truly this man was a son of God.'
40 A NUMBER OF WOMEN were also present, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome, 41 who had all followed him and waited on him when he was in Galilee, and there were several others who had come up to Jerusalem with him.
42 By this time evening had come; and as it was Preparation-day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a respected member of the Council, a man who was eagerly awaiting the kingdom of God, bravely went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead; so he sent for the centurion and asked him whether it was long since he died. 45 And when he heard the centurion's report, he gave Joseph leave to take the dead body. 46 So Joseph bought a linen sheet, took him down from the cross, and wrapped him in the sheet. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance. 47 And Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where he was laid.
1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic oils intending to go and anoint him; 2 and very early on the Sunday morning, just after sunrise, they came to the tomb. 3 They were wondering among themselves who would roll away the stone for them from the entrance to the tomb, 4 when they looked up and saw that the stone, huge as it was, had been rolled back already. 5 They went into the tomb, where they saw a youth sitting on the right-hand side, wearing a white robe; and they were dumbfounded. 6 But he said to them, 'Fear nothing; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here; look, there is the place where they laid him. 7 But go and give this message to his disciples and Peter: "He will go on before you into Galilee and you will see him there, as he told you." ' 8 Then they went out and ran away from the tomb, beside themselves with terror. They said nothing to anybody, for they were afraid.
[At this point some of the most ancient manuscripts bring the book to a close.]
And they delivered all these instructions briefly to Peter and his companions. Afterwards Jesus himself sent out by them from east to west the sacred and imperishable message of eternal salvation.
9 [Some manuscripts add this paragraph, which in one of them is the conclusion of the book.]
When he had risen from the dead early on Sunday morning he appeared first to Mary of Magdala, from whom he had formerly cast out seven devils. 10 She went and carried the news to his mourning and sorrowful followers, 11 but when they were told that he was alive and that she had seen him they did not believe it.
12 Later he appeared in a different guise to two of them as they were walking, on their way into the country. 13 These also went and took the news to the others, but again no one believed them.
14 Afterwards while the Eleven were at table he appeared to them and reproached them for their incredulity and dullness, because they had not believed those who had seen him risen from the dead. 15 Then he said to them: 'Go forth to every part of the world, and proclaim the Good News to the whole creation. 16 Those who believe it and receive baptism will find salvation; those who do not believe will be condemned. 17 Faith will bring with it these miracles: believers will cast out devils in my name and speak in strange tongues; 18 if they handle snakes or drink any deadly poison, they will come to no harm; and the sick on whom they lay their hands will recover.'
19 So after talking with them the Lord Jesus was taken up into heaven, and he took his seat at the right hand of God; 20 but they went out to make their proclamation everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed their words by the miracles that followed."
[Some manuscripts give verses 9-20 either instead of, or in addition to, the paragraph - And they delivered ... eternal salvation - (here printed before verse 9), and so bring the book to a close. Others insert further additional matter.]