"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay

(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."


The Words of Jesus Christ
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Chapters Twenty-one and Twenty-two

...but let him who is greatest among you be as the youngest; and let him who is the leader be as him who serves. Who is the greater? He who sits at table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Jesus looked up and saw those who were putting their gifts into the treasury - rich people - and he saw a poor widow putting in two lepta. So he said, "I tell you truly that this poor widow has put in more than all, for all these contributed to the gifts out of their abundance, but she, out of her need, has put in everything she had to live on."

When some were speaking about the Temple, how it was adorned with lovely stones and offerings, Jesus said, "As for these things at which you are looking - days will come in which not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be pulled down." They asked him, "Teacher, when, then, will these things be? And what will be the sign when these things are going to happen?" He said, "Take care that you are not led astray. Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and, 'The time is at hand!' Do not go after them. When you hear of wars and upheavals, do not be alarmed; for these things must happen first; but the end will not come at once."

Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes; in some places there will be famines ands pestilences; there will be terrifying things, and great signs from heaven. Before all these things, they will lay hands upon you, and they will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for the sake of my name. It will all be an opportunity for you to bear witness to me. So, then, make up your minds not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom against which all your opponents will be unable to stand or argue. You will be handed over even by parents, and brothers, and kinsfolk and friends; some of you will be put to death; and you will be hated by all for the sake of my name. But not one hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will win your souls.

"When you shall see Jerusalem encircled by armies, the know that the time of the desolation is at hand. At that time let those in Jerusalem flee to the mountains; let those who are in the midst of her go out of her; and let not those in the country districts enter into her, because these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that stands written. Woe to those who, in those days, are carrying a child in the womb, or who have a babe at the breast. For great distress will be upon the earth and wrath upon all the people. They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and they will be taken away captive to all nations. Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the gentiles, until the times of gentiles are completed."

And there will be signs in sun, and moon, and stars, and on earth the nations will be in distress and will not know what to do in the roaring of the sea and of the wave, while men's hearts will swoon from fear and from foreboding of the things that are coming on the world. The power of the heavens will be shaken; and then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud, with power and much glory. When these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your hearts for your deliverance is near.

And he spoke this parable to them, "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; whenever they put out their leaves, you see it for yourselves and you know that the harvest is near. So, whenever you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. This is the truth I tell you, that this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. The heaven and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."

Take care lest your hearts grow heavy with dissipation and drunkenness and anxieties for the things of this life, and lest that day come suddenly upon you like a trap closing, for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the earth. Be watchful at all times, and keep praying that you may have strength to escape all the things that are going to happen, and to be able to stand before the Son of Man.

During the days Jesus was teaching in the Temple, but at night he went out and stayed in the Mount called the Mount of Olives; and all the people came early in the morning to listen to him in the Temple.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near, and the chief priests and the scribes searched to find a way to destroy Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. And Satan entered into Judas, who was called Iscariot, who belonged to the number of the Twelve. So he went away and discussed with the chief priests and captains how he might betray Jesus to them. They were glad and they undertook to give him money. So he agreed, and he began to look for a suitable time to betray him, when the mob were not there.

There came the day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover had to be sacrificed. Jesus dispatched Peter and John. "Go," he said, "and make ready the Passover for us that we may eat it." They said to him, "Where do you want us to make it ready?" "Look you," he said to them, "when you have gone into the city, a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him to the house into which he enters; and you will say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room that I may eat the Passover with my disciples?"' And he will show you a big upper room, ready furnished. There, get things ready." So they went away and found everything just as he had told them; and they made ready the Passover.

When the hour came he took his place at table, and so did his disciples. "I have desired with all my heart," he said to them, "to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you that I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." He received the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God has come." And he took the bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is being given for you. Do this so that you will remember me." In the same way, after the meal, he took the cup saying, "This cup is the new covenant made at the price of my blood, which is shed for you. But - look you - the hand of him who betrays me is on the table with me, for the Son of Man goes as it has been determined. But woe to that man by whom he has been betrayed"; and they began to question one another which of them it could be who was going to do this.

Strife arose amongst them about which was to be considered greatest. Jesus said to them, "The kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them and those who have authority over them claim the title of Benefactor. It must not be so with you; but let him who is greatest among you be as the youngest; and let him who is the leader be as him who serves. Who is the greater? He who sits at table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stayed with me in my tribulations; and I assign to you a kingdom, just as my Father has assigned one to me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit upon thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

"Simon, Simon," Jesus said, "Look you, Satan has been allowed to have you that he may sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not wholly fail. And you - when you have turned again - strengthen your brothers." He said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." "Peter," he said, "I tell you, the cock will not crow today before you have three times denied that you know me."

And he said to them, "When I sent you out without purse or wallet or shoes, did you lack for anything?" They said, "For nothing." But he said to them, "But now, let him who has a purse take it, and so with a wallet; and let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this which stands written must be fulfilled in me - 'And he was reckoned with the law breakers' - for that which was written of me is finding its fulfillment." They said, "Lord, here are two swords." He said to them, "It is enough."

So they seized Jesus and led him away, and brought him to the High Priest's house. Peter followed a long way away. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and were sitting there together, Peter sat in the midst of them. A maidservant saw him as he sat in the firelight. She looked intently at him. "This man, too," she said, "was with him." He denied it. "Woman," he said, "I do not know him." Soon after another man saw him and said, "You, too, were one of them," Peter said, "Man, I am not! About an hour elapsed and another insisted, "Truly this man, too, was with him. I know it for he is a Galilaean." Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you are talking about." And immediately - while he was still speaking - a cock crew. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered what the Lord had said, that he said to him, "Before the cock crows today you will deny me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

Jesus went out, and, as his custom was, made his way to the Mount of Olives. The disciples, too, accompanied him. When he came to the place, he said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." And he was withdrawn from them, about a stone's throw, and he knelt and prayed. "Father," he said, "if it is your will, take this cup from me; but not my will, but yours be done." And an angel from heaven appeared strengthening him. He was in an agony, and he prayed still more intensely, and his sweat was as drops of blood falling upon the ground. So he rose from prayer and came to his disciples, and found them sleeping from grief. "Why are you sleeping?" he said to them. "Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

While Jesus was still speaking - look you - there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the Twelve was leading them. He came up to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, "Judas, is it with a kiss that you would betray the Son of Man?" When those who were around him saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?" And one of them struck the servant of the High Priest and cut off his ear. Jesus answered, "Let it come even to this!" Jesus said to the chief priests and the Temple captains, and to the elders who had come to him, "Have you come out with swords and cudgels as against a brigand? When I was daily with you in the Temple you did not lift your hand against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness is here."

The men who were holding Jesus mocked him and beat him. They blindfolded him and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is it who hit you?" And many another insulting word they spoke to him.

And when it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people came together, the chief priests and the scribes; and they led him away to the Sanhedrin, saying, "Tell us if you are God's anointed one." He said to them, "If I tell you, you will not believe me; if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." They all said, "Are you then the Son of God?" He said to them, "You say that I am." They said, "What further evidence do we need? We ourselves have heard it from his own mouth."

turn to chapters twenty-three and twenty-four

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