Mark 12

‘Isa began to speak to them in parables. A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a pit for the winepress, built a tower, rented it out to a farmer, and went into another country. 2When it was time, he sent a servant to the farmer to get from the farmer his share of the fruit of the vineyard. 3They took him, beat him, and sent him away empty. 4Again, he sent another servant to them; and they threw stones at him, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. 5Again he sent another; and they killed him; and many others, beating some, and killing some. 6Therefore still having one, his beloved son, he sent him last to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7But those farmers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8They took him, killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10Haven’t you even read this in Al-Kitab:

‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.

11This is Allah’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes'[1]?

12They tried to seize him, but they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spoke the parable against them. They left ‘Isa, and went away. 13They sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. 14When they had come, they asked him, Teacher, we know that you are honest, and do not defer to anyone; for you aren’t partial to anyone, but truly teach the way of Allah. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15Shall we give, or shall we not give?

But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, Why do you test me? Bring me a denarius, that I may see it.

16They brought it.

He said to them, Whose is this image and inscription?

They said to him, Caesar’s.

17‘Isa answered them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to Allah the things that are Allah’s.

They marveled greatly at him.

18There came to him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. They asked him, saying, 19Teacher, Musa wrote to us, ‘If a man’s brother dies, and leaves a wife behind him, and leaves no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up offspring for his brother.'[2] 20There were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and dying left no offspring. 21The second took her, and died, leaving no children behind him. The third likewise; 22and the seven took her and left no children. Last of all the woman also died. 23In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be of them? For the seven had her as a wife.

24‘Isa answered them, Isn’t this because you are mistaken, not knowing Al-Kitab, nor the power of Allah? 25For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 26But about the dead, that they are raised; haven’t you read in the Book of Musa, about the bush, how Allah spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Ibrahim, the God of Ishaq, and the God of Yaqub[3]?’ 27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are therefore badly mistaken.

28One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, Which commandment is the greatest of all?

29‘Isa answered, The greatest is, ‘Hear, Israel: Allah is our God, Allah is one: 30you shall love Allah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'[4] This is the first commandment. 31The second is like this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'[5] There is no other commandment greater than these.

32The scribe said to him, Truly, teacher, you have said well that he is one, and there is none other but he, 33and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

34When ‘Isa saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, You are not far from the Kingdom of Allah.

No one dared ask him any question after that. 35‘Isa responded, as he taught in the temple, How is it that the scribes say that al-Masih is Ibn Dawud? 36For Dawudhimself said in the Holy Spirit,

‘Allah said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

Until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”‘[6]

37Therefore Dawud himself calls him Lord, so how can he be his son?

The common people heard him gladly. 38In his teaching he said to them, Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and to get greetings in the marketplaces, 39and the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts: 40those who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.

41‘Isa sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. 42A poor widow came, and she cast in two small bronze coins,[7] which equal a quadrans coin.[8] 43He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, Most assuredly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, 44for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.


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[1] 12:10-11 Quoting the Zabur 118:22-23.

[2] 12:19 See the Taurat, Deuteronomy 25:5-7.

[3] 12:26 Quoting the Taurat, Exodus 3:6.

[4] 12:29,30 Quoting the Taurat, Deuteronomy 6:4,5.

[5] 12:31 Quoting the Taurat, Levitic us 19:18.

[6] 12:36 Quoting the Zabur 110:1.

[7] 12:42 Literally, lepta (or widow’s mites). Lepta are very small bronze coins worth half a quadrans each, which is a quarter of the copper assarion. Lepta are worth less than 1% of an agricultural worker’s daily wages.

[8] 12:42 A quadrans is a coin worth about 1/64 of a denarius. A denarius is about one day’s wages for an agricultural labourer.