Matthew 19:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

King James Bible
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Darby Bible Translation
And he said to him, What askest thou me concerning goodness? one is good. But if thou wouldest enter into life, keep the commandments.

World English Bible
He said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments."

Young's Literal Translation
And he said to him, 'Why me dost thou call good? no one is good except One -- God; but if thou dost will to enter into the life, keep the commands.'

Matthew 19:17 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Why callest thou me good? - Or, Why dost thou question me concerning that good thing? τι με ερωτας περι του αγαθου. This important reading is found in BDL, three others, the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Ethiopic, latter Syriac, Vulgate, Saxon, all the Itala but one, Origen, Eusebius, Cyril, Dionysius Areop., Antiochus, Novatian, Jerome, Augustin, and Juvencus. Erasmus, Grotius, Mill, and Bengel approve of this reading. This authority appears so decisive to Griesbach that he has received this reading into the text of his second edition, which in the first he had interlined. And instead of, None is good but the one God, he goes on to read, on nearly the same respectable authorities, εις εϚιν ο αγαθος. There is one who is good. Let it be observed also that, in the 16th verse, instead of διδασκαλε αγαθε, good teacher, διδασκαλε only is read by BDL, one other, one Evangelistarium, the Ethiopic, three of the Itala, Origen, and Hilary. The whole passage therefore may be read thus: O teacher! what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why dost thou question me concerning that good thing? There is one that is good. (Or he who is good is one). But If thou art willing to enter into that life, keep the commandments. This passage, as it stood in the common editions, has been considered by some writers as an incontrovertible proof against the Divinity or Godhead of Christ. A very learned person, in his note on this place, thus concludes concerning it: "Therefore our Savior cannot be God: and the notion of, I know not what, a trinity in unity, Three Gods in One, is here proved beyond all controversy, by the unequivocal declaration of Jesus Christ Himself, to be Erroneous and Impossible." Not so. One of the greatest critics in Europe, not at all partial to the Godhead of Christ, has admitted the above readings into his text, on evidence which he judged to be unexceptionable. If they be the true readings, they destroy the whole doctrine built on this text; and indeed the utmost that the enemies of the trinitarian doctrine can now expect from their formidable opponents, concerning this text, is to leave it neuter.

Keep the commandments - From this we may learn that God's great design, in giving his law to the Jews, was to lead them to the expectation and enjoyment of eternal life. But as all the law referred to Christ, and he became the end of the law for righteousness (justification) to all that believe, so he is to be received, in order to have the end accomplished which the law proposed.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside you: neither is there any rock like our God.

Psalm 52:1 Why boast you yourself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endures continually.

Psalm 145:7-9 They shall abundantly utter the memory of your great goodness, and shall sing of your righteousness...

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss...

1 John 4:8-10,16 He that loves not knows not God; for God is love...


Leviticus 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 20:11,12 And I gave them my statutes, and showed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them...

Luke 10:26-28 He said to him, What is written in the law? how read you...

Romans 10:5 For Moses describes the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them.

Galatians 3:11-13 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith...

The Requirements of the King
'And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And He said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18. He saith unto Him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xix. 28, "Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour and are Heavy Laden," Etc.
1. We heard in the Gospel that the Lord, rejoicing greatly in Spirit, said unto God the Father, "I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight. All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." [2306] I have
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Journey to Jerusalem - Departure from Ephraim by Way of Samaria and Galilee - Healing of Ten Lepers - Prophetic Discourse of the Coming
The brief time of rest and quiet converse with His disciples in the retirement of Ephraim was past, and the Saviour of men prepared for His last journey to Jerusalem. All the three Synoptic Gospels mark this, although with varying details. [4875] From the mention of Galilee by St. Matthew, and by St. Luke of Samaria and Galilee - or more correctly, between (along the frontiers of) Samaria and Galilee,' we may conjecture that, on leaving Ephraim, Christ made a very brief detour along the northern
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Last Incidents in Peræa - the Young Ruler who Went Away Sorrowful - to Leave all for Christ - Prophecy of his Passion - The
As we near the goal, the wondrous story seems to grow in tenderness and pathos. It is as if all the loving condescension of the Master were to be crowded into these days; all the pressing need also, and the human weaknesses of His disciples. And with equal compassion does He look upon the difficulties of them who truly seek to come to Him, and on those which, springing from without, or even from self and sin, beset them who have already come. Let us try reverently to follow His steps, and learn of
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Leviticus 18:5
Keep my decrees and laws, for the person who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD.

Nehemiah 9:29
"You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, 'The person who obeys them will live by them.' Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen.

Psalm 119:68
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.

Psalm 145:9
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Ezekiel 20:21
"'But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws, of which I said, "The person who obeys them will live by them," and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness.

Luke 10:28
"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

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