"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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Lacey, WA 98503




Chapters Twenty-three and Twenty-four

Thus it is written, that the anointed one should suffer and should rise from the dead on the third day; and that repentance in his name and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And - look you - I send out the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in this city until you will be clothed with power from on high.

The whole assembly rose up and brought Jesus to Pilate. They began to accuse him. "We found this man," they said, "perverting our nation and trying to stop men paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is the anointed one, a king." Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He answered, "You say so." Pilate said to the chief priests and to the crowds, "I find nothing to condemn in this man." They were the more urgent. "He is setting the people in turmoil," they said, "throughout all Judaea, beginning from Galilee to this place." When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilaean. When he realized that he was under Herod's jurisdiction, he referred him to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem in these days. When Herod saw Jesus he was very glad, because for a long time he had been wishing to see him, because he had heard about him; and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. He questioned him in many words; but he answered him nothing. The chief priests and the scribes stood by vehemently hurling their accusations against him. Herod with his soldiers treated Jesus contemptuously, and after he had mocked him and arrayed him in a gorgeous dress, he referred him back again to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that same day, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, "You brought me this man as one who was seducing the people from their allegiance; and - look you - I have examined him in your presence, and of the accusations with which you charge him, I have found nothing in this man to condemn; and neither has Herod; for he sent him back to us. Look you - nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore scourge him and release him." All together they shouted out, "Take this man away! And release Barabbas for us." Barabbas had been thrown into prison because a certain disorder had arisen in the city, and because of murder. Again Pilate addressed them, because he wished to release Jesus. But they kept shouting, "Crucify, crucify him!" The third time he said to them, "Why? What evil has he done? I have found nothing in him which merits sentence of death. I will chastise him and release him." But they insisted with shouts, demanding that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for disorder and murder, the man they asked for, and Jesus he delivered to their will.

As they led Jesus away, they took Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and on him they laid the cross to carry it behind Jesus.

There followed him a great crowd of the people and of women who bewailed and lamented him. Jesus turned to them. "Daughters of Jerusalem," he said, "do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children, because - look you - days are on the way in which they will say, 'Happy are those who are barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts which never fed a child.' Then they will begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' For if they do these things when the sap is in the wood, what will they do when the tree is dry?"

Two others who were criminals were brought to be put to death with Jesus. When they came to the place which is called the place of a skull, there they crucified him, and the two criminals, one on his right hand, and one on his left. And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And, as they divided his garments, they cast lots for them. The people stood watching, and the rulers gibed at him. "He saved others," they said. "Let him save himself if he really is the anointed one of God, the chosen one." The soldiers also mocked him, coming and offering vinegar to him, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews save yourself." There was also an inscription over him; "This is the King of the Jews."

One of the criminals who were hanged kept hurling insults at Jesus. "Are you not the anointed one?" he said. "Save yourself and us." The other rebuked him. "Do you not even fear God?" he said. "For we too are under the same sentence and justly so, for we have done things which deserve the reward that we are reaping; but this man has done nothing unseemly." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He said to him, "This is the truth - I tell you - today you will be with me in Paradise."

By this time it was about midday, and there was darkness over the whole land until 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and the light of the sun failed. And the veil of the Temple was rent in the midst. When Jesus had cried with a great voice, he said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." When he had said this he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God. "Truly, " he said, "this was a good man." All the crowds, who had come together to see the spectacle, when they saw the things that had happened, went home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances, and the women who had accompanied him from Galilee, stood far off and saw these things.

Look you - there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, a good and a just man. He had not consented to their counsel and their action. He came from Arimathaea, a town of the Jews, and he lived in expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a rockhewn tomb where no one had ever yet been laid. It was the day of preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women, who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went back home and prepared spices and ointments. And they rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment.

On the first day of the week, at the first streaks of dawn, the women came to the tomb, bearing the spices which they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They entered in, but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were at a loss what to make of this - look you - two men stood by them in flashing raiment. They were afraid, and they bowed their faces to the ground. But they said to them, "Why are you looking for him who is alive among the dead? He is not here; he is risen. Remember how he said to you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and that he must be crucified, and that on the third day he would rise again." Then they remembered his words; and they returned from the tomb and brought the news of all these things to the eleven and to the others. Mary Magdalene was there, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James. They, and the other women with them, kept telling these things to the apostles. But their words seemed to them an idle tale, and they refused to believe them. But Peter rose up and ran to the tomb; and he stooped down and saw the linen clothes lying all by themselves; and he went away wondering in himself at what had happened.

Now - look you - on that same day two of them were on the way to a village called Emmaus, which is about seven miles from Jerusalem; and they talked with each other about all the things which had happened. As they talked about them, and discussed them, Jesus himself came up to them and joined them on their way. But their eyes were fastened so that they did not recognize him. He said to them, "What words are these that you are exchanging with each other as you walk?" And they stood with faces twisted with grief. One of them, called Cleopas, answered, "Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know the things that happened in it in these days?" "What kind of things?" he said to them. They said to him, "The story of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and in word before God and all the people; and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to sentence of death and how they crucified him. As for us - we were hoping that he was the one who was going to rescue Israel. Yes - and to add to it all - this is the third day since these things happened. Yes and some women of our number astonished us, for they went early to the tomb, and, when they did not find his body, they came saying that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. And some of our company went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said - but they did not see him."

He said to them, "O foolish ones and slow in heart to believe in all the things that the prophets said! Was it not necessary that the anointed one should suffer and enter into his glory?" And beginning from Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them the things concerning himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he made as if he would have gone on; and they pressed him. "Stay with us," they said, "because it is towards evening, and the day is already far spent."

So he came in to stay with them. When he had taken his place at table with them, he took bread, and blessed it and broke it, and gave it to them; and their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Was not our heart burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, as he opened the scriptures to us?" And they arose that very hour and went back to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together and those with them, and found that they were saying, "It is a fact that the Lord has risen, and he has appeared to Simon." So they recounted all that had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking, Jesus stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you!" They were terrified and afraid, because they thought that they were seeing a spirit. He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do the questions arise in your heart? See my hands and my feet - that it is I - myself. Handle me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have." And when he had said this he showed them his hands and his feet. When they still thought it too good to be true, and when they were astonished he said to them, "Have you anything to eat here?" They gave him part of a cooked fish, and he took it and ate it before them.

He said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you while I was still with you - that all the things which stand written about me in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds so that they understood the scriptures; and he said to them, "Thus it is written, that the anointed one should suffer and should rise from the dead on the third day; and that repentance in his name and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. And - look you - I send out the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in this city until you will be clothed with power from on high.

Jesus led them out as far as Bethany; and he raised his hands and blessed them; and as he was blessing them he parted from them, and was borne up into heaven. And when they had worshipped him they returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the Temple praising God.

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