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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 6

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1From there he went to his home town accompanied by his disciples. 2When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue; and the large congregation who heard him asked in amazement, ‘Where does he get it from? What is this wisdom he has been given? How does he perform such miracles? 3Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary a 6:3 the carpenter … Mary: some witnesses read the son of the carpenter and Mary. , the brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not his sisters here with us?’ So they turned against him. 4Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet never lacks honour except in his home town, among his relations and his own family.’ 5And he was unable to do any miracle there, except that he put his hands on a few sick people and healed them; 6and he was astonished at their want of faith.

As HE went round the villages teaching, 7he summoned the Twelve and sent them out two by two with authority over unclean spirits. 8He instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a stick—no bread, no pack, no money in their belts. 9They might wear sandals, but not a second coat. 10‘When you enter a house,’ he told them, ‘stay there until you leave that district. 11At any place where they will not receive you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet as you leave, as a solemn warning.’ 12So they set out and proclaimed the need for repentance; 13they drove out many demons, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

14Now King Herod heard of Jesus, for his fame had spread, and people were saying b 6:14 and … saying: some witnesses read and he said. , ‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.’ 15Others said, ‘It is Elijah.’ Others again, ‘He is a prophet like one of the prophets of old.’ 16But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘This is John, whom I beheaded, raised from the dead.’

17It was this Herod who had sent men to arrest John and put him in prison at the instance of his brother Philip's wife, Herodias, whom he had married. 18John had told him, ‘You have no right to take your brother's wife.’ 19Herodias nursed a grudge against John and would willingly have killed him, but she could not, 20for Herod went in awe of him, knowing him to be a good and holy man; so he gave him his protection. He liked to listen to him, although what he heard left him greatly disturbed.

21Herodias found her opportunity when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet to his chief officials and commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22Her daughter came in and danced, and so delighted Herod and his guests that the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything you like and I will give it to you.’ 23He even said on oath: ‘Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.’ 24She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’ 25The girl hurried straight back to the king with her request: ‘I want you to give me, here and now, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.’ 26The king was greatly distressed, yet because of his oath and his guests he could not bring himself to refuse her. 27He sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John's head; and the soldier went to the prison and beheaded him; 28then he brought the head on a dish, and gave it to the girl; and she gave it to her mother.

29When John's disciples heard the news, they came and took his body away and laid it in a tomb.

30 THE apostles rejoined Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. 31He said to them, ‘Come with me, by yourselves, to some remote place and rest a little.’ With many coming and going they had no time even to eat. 32So they set off by boat privately for a remote place. 33But many saw them leave and recognized them, and people from all the towns hurried round on foot and arrived there first. 34When he came ashore and saw a large crowd, his heart went out to them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35It was already getting late, and his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place and it is already very late; 36send the people off to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’ 37‘Give them something to eat yourselves,’ he answered. They replied, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii c 6:37 denarii: see p. xxvii. to provide them with food?’ 38‘How many loaves have you?’ he asked. ‘Go and see.’ They found out and told him, ‘Five, and two fish.’ 39He ordered them to make the people sit down in groups on the green grass, 40and they sat down in rows, in companies of fifty and a hundred. 41Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to distribute. He also divided the two fish among them. 42They all ate and were satisfied; 43and twelve baskets were filled with what was left of the bread and the fish. 44Those who ate the loaves numbered five thousand men.

45As soon as they had finished, he made his disciples embark and cross to Bethsaida ahead of him, while he himself dismissed the crowd. 46After taking leave of them, he went up the hill to pray. 47It was now late and the boat was already well out on the water, while he was alone on the land. 48Somewhere between three and six in the morning, seeing them labouring at the oars against a head wind, he came towards them, walking on the lake. He was going to pass by them; 49but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them: ‘Take heart! It is I; do not be afraid.’ 51Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. At this they were utterly astounded, 52for they had not understood the incident of the loaves; their minds were closed.

53So they completed the crossing and landed at Gennesaret, where they made fast. 54When they came ashore, he was recognized at once; 55and the people scoured the whole countryside and brought the sick on their beds to any place where he was reported to be. 56Wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid the sick in the market-place and begged him to let them simply touch the edge d 6:56 edge: or tassel. of his cloak; and all who touched him were healed.


a 6:3 the carpenter … Mary: some witnesses read the son of the carpenter and Mary.

b 6:14 and … saying: some witnesses read and he said.

c 6:37 denarii: see p. xxvii.

d 6:56 edge: or tassel.

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