Luke 20:2
And spoke to him, saying, Tell us, by what authority do you these things? or who is he that gave you this authority?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Tell us, by what authority . . .?—The form of the question is nearly identical in the three Gospels.

20:1-8 Men often pretend to examine the evidences of revelation, and the truth of the gospel, when only seeking excuses for their own unbelief and disobedience. Christ answered these priests and scribes with a plain question about the baptism of John, which the common people could answer. They all knew it was from heaven, nothing in it had an earthly tendency. Those that bury the knowledge they have, are justly denied further knowledge. It was just with Christ to refuse to give account of his authority, to those who knew the baptism of John to be from heaven, yet would not believe in him, nor own their knowledge.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 21:23-27. 2. these things—particularly the clearing of the temple. See Poole on "Luke 20:1" And spoke unto him, saying, tell us by what authority doest thou these things?.... The Arabic and Ethiopic versions read, "this thing"; as if the sanhedrim only referred to his preaching the Gospel, which is mentioned in the preceding verse, and was what he was about when they came to him: but the Persic version reads, "all these things"; not only preaching, but working miracles; and particularly driving the buyers and sellers out of the temple, which especially affected them, they losing their rents thereby:

or who is he that gave thee this authority? God or man? See Gill on Matthew 21:23.

And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 20:2. εἰπὸν ἡμῖν: peculiar to Lk., makes the question pointed.—ταῦτα ought to refer to the preaching, not to the cleansing of the temple, which in Lk. is very slightly noticed.—τίς ἐστιν, etc.: a direct question introduced by , not dependent on εἰπὸν, not altogether distinct from the first question; an alternative form putting it more specifically and more pointedly than in parallels = who is it that gives, who can it be? Authority everything for the interrogants. Every Rabbi had his diploma, every priest his ordination (Farrar).2. by what authority] Rather, by what kind of authority. The implication is ‘you are only called a Rabbi by courtesyyou are not a ‘pupil of the wise you are not a priest, or a scribe, or a political functionary. Yet you usurp functions which rather belong to Caiaphas, or the President of the Sanhedrin, or the Romans, or Herod. If you act as a Prophet shew us a sign. Practically it was the old taunt by which he had been grieved in Galilee (Matthew 12:39; Matthew 16:4).

who is he that gave thee this authority?] Every recognised Rabbi had received his diploma; every Priest his ordination.
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