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Poems for study » The Convent Threshold » Synopsis and commentary

Synopsis

The female speaker (who may now be a voice beyond the grave) tells her lover that their (illicit?) relationship cannot continue and that she wishes to enter a purer life in a convent, as a precursor for entry to heaven. Meanwhile, her lover remains focussed on the physical joys of love. Mindful of the death and judgement which may be imminent for them both, the speaker urges her lover to repent as sincerely as she does – even the angels are aware of the extent of her grief.

The speaker tries to withdraw physically from her lover but still offers her lips, now forming them into pleas for repentance rather than kisses. She wonders how she would survive without him in heaven, again urging her lover to repent and so be forgiven (and thus able to enter heaven).

The speaker then recalls two dreams she had the previous night. In the first, ‘A spirit with transfigured face' demonstrated to her the power of love over the desire for knowledge (lines 86, 105). In the second, her lover returned to her and found her (dying?) drenched in blood and ready to be ‘Crushed downwards thro' the sodden earth' (line 123). In the morning, she claims that she woke to find,

My face was pinched, my hair was grey,
And frozen blood was on the sill
Where stifling in my struggle I lay (lines 134-6).

This may be a metaphor for the denial of self involved in entering a religious order, or an actual depiction of the speaker's death. The speaker has now ‘Gone before' her lover, either into the convent (as a first step) or by being already in paradise where she looks forward to meeting her lover again and loving ‘with old familiar love' (line 148).

Commentary

Rossetti composed The Convent Threshold in 1858 and published it in her first volume of poetry, Goblin Market and Other Poems, in 1862. In this volume, it is the penultimate poem of the section of non-devotional poetry.

A dramatic monologue

Written in the form of a dramatic monologue, The Convent Threshold employs several Gothic motifs such as depictions of bloodshed, dreams, visions and the struggle of a woman on the verge of entering a convent or of dying as she renounces physical love (for more information on Gothic motifs, see Literary context > Gothic literature). Calling her lover to ‘Repent, repentant be forgiven!' (line 79), the speaker emphases the urgency of responding to the message of Christ before it is too late, so as to ensure a place in heaven.

More on the dramatic monologue: Whilst the term ‘dramatic' indicates notions of performance, the term ‘monologue' denotes an uninterrupted speech. The dramatic monologue is a poem written as a direct speech and given by a speaker who is distinguished from the poet herself. It was developed in the Victorian period by Robert Browning in poems such as My Last Duchess (1842) and Porphyria's Lover (1836) and Alfred Lord Tennyson in poems such as Ulysses (1842). See Aspects of literature > Recognising poetic form > Dramatic monologues.

         

Investigating The Convent Threshold

  • What are the advantages to presenting the narrative in the form of a dramatic monologue?
  • How is the speaker of the poem represented?
  • What are your associations with the idea of a convent?
    • Are these associations met in the poem?

New Anglican convents in Victorian England

In 1845, in the parish of Christ Church where Rossetti worshipped each week, the first Anglican convent since the Reformation was established. This convent was called the Park Village Sisterhood. Although it began with only a few women dedicated to living as nuns, it quickly grew and more convents were established. In 1873, Rossetti's sister Maria joined the nearby convent of All Saints and Rossetti herself became closely involved with this order. It was an active order which emphasised the importance of education and of helping the downtrodden.

Women chose to become nuns because they wished to dedicate their lives to God. Since many roles in the Church were denied to them because of their gender, becoming a nun was one way in which a woman could remain single, serve the community and belong to a larger, affirming and positive female network.

Since they adopted Roman Catholic customs and practices, early Anglican convents received a lot of ridicule from the Victorian public. It was believed by many that the convents were a threat to a patriarchal (male-run) society, whilst suspicion of Roman Catholicism was widespread.

The threshold

The word ‘threshold' was originally used to describe the piece of timber or stone which lies below the bottom of a door and has to be crossed in entering a house. From its original use, the word has come to indicate a border or entrance that must be crossed in the entering of a new space. In the context of The Convent Threshold, the threshold serves to divide of the convent from the rest of the world. The speaker remains on this threshold because she struggles to leave her past behind and fully immerse herself in current or future circumstances.

In the context of the poem, a threshold is also created between the natural and the supernatural realms. This threshold is crossed in dreams and in prayer. The speaker claims to look forward to standing, with her lover, safe ‘within the door' of heaven (line 143). Thus, she imagines having finally crossed the threshold that separates heaven from earth and looks forward to remaining secure.

Repentance

Throughout the poem, the speaker calls on her lover to ‘Repent', be forgiven and to receive eternal life. It is only through repentance that, she suggests, he will be able to ‘purge' or rid his soul of sin (line 81).

In the context of the Bible, repentance can be defined as the act of turning away, or turning around from, one's sins. This includes feeling genuinely sorry for them, asking for the forgiveness of God and being willing to live in a different way in the future. The speaker emphasises the importance of not leaving the act of repentance too long.

The dangers of delay

Aware that the Day of Judgement is approaching upon which, the Bible states, God will judge men and women according to the way they have lived, the speaker stresses the need to accept Christ and to turn away from wrongdoing. She warns her lover:

You linger, yet the time is short:     
Flee for your life, gird up your strength   
To flee; the shadows stretched at length   Show that day wanes, that night draws nigh; Flee to the mountain, tarry not. (lines 38-42)

Throughout her poetry, Rossetti emphasises the problems that come to those who ‘linger' and ‘tarry' (see Poems for study > Jessie Cameron).

The need to turn aside

In Rossetti's warnings, she alludes to various passages in the Bible which encourage the believer to ‘flee' from their sins. For instance, the apostle Paul instructs the early Christians to:

Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 TNIV

Whilst the speaker urges her lover to turn away from ‘looking earthward', watching ‘Young men and women come and go' (lines 30, 37) and to renounce the unspecified ‘pleasant sin' he committed (line 51), she acknowledges that she has already repented.

Despite that, the speaker claims that she is still in the process of ‘unlearn[ing]' her mistakes (line 53):

The righteous

The speaker repeatedly declares her intention to follow the example of ‘the righteous' (line 21) who have overcome the difficulties of earth and persevered in following Christ. She imagines the ‘mansions' where they eat and the ‘trees' among which they now sleep in Paradise (lines 21-2). Before they could reach this place of tranquillity, however, she acknowledges that:

They bore the Cross, they drained the cup,    
Racked, roasted, crushed, wrenched limb from limb,  They the offscouring of the world:
The heaven of starry heavens unfurled,
The sun before their face is dim (lines 25-9)
‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it'. Matthew 16:24-5 TNIV

Investigating The Convent Threshold

  • Compare the attitude of the speaker to the attitude of her lover
    • Why do you think that he is unwilling to ‘repent'?
    • Why do you think that she is so urgent in her requests for him to turn away from the past?
  • List all the references to ‘turning' in the poem
    • What effect do these references have?
  • King James Version
  • Today's New International Version
1Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 3Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 6The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits. 7Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. 8Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 9Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. 10Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. 14Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. 19Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 20But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. 21If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 24And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
1You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No-one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs; rather, they try to please their commanding officer. 5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor's crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 14Keep reminding God's people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and, 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.' 20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for disposal of refuse. 21Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
  • King James Version
  • Today's New International Version
1The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven. 2He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 3And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? 4A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. 5And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. 6Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 13When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. 21From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. 24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. 28Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
1The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2He replied, 'When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.' Jesus then left them and went away. 5When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6'Be careful,' Jesus said to them. 'Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' 7They discussed this among themselves and said, 'It is because we didn't bring any bread.' 8Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, 'You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9Do you still not understand? Don't you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11How is it you don't understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' 12Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'Who do people say the Son of Man is?' 14They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' 15'But what about you?' he asked. 'Who do you say I am?' 16Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' 17Jesus replied, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of death will not overcome it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.' 20Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. 21From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. 22Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 'Never, Lord!' he said. 'This shall never happen to you!' 23Jesus turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.' 24Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for you to gain the whole world, yet forfeit your soul? Or what can you give in exchange for your soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward everyone according to what they have done. 28'Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'
  • King James Version
  • Today's New International Version
1For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. 6And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. 8So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. 10But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. 11And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? 14Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. 17And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, 18Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, 19And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. 20Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 29And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 31And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David. 32And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? 33They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
1'For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3'About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the market-place doing nothing. 4He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' 5So they went. 'He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. 6About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 7''Because no-one has hired us,' they answered. 'He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' 8'When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his supervisor, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' 9'The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. 10So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' 13'But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' 16'So the last will be first, and the first will be last.' 17Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 18'We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death 19and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!' 20Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him. 21'What is it you want?' he asked. She said, 'Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.' 22'You don't know what you are asking,' Jesus said to them. 'Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?' 'We can,' they answered. 23Jesus said to them, 'You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.' 24When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25Jesus called them together and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.' 29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!' 31The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!' 32Jesus stopped and called them. 'What do you want me to do for you?' he asked. 33'Lord,' they answered, 'we want our sight.' 34Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
  • King James Version
  • Today's New International Version
1And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 2Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. 3Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. 5But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people. 6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, 7There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. 8But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? 9For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. 11For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. 12For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. 13Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her. 14Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. 17Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 18And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover. 20Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 25Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. 26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. 30And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. 32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 35Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. 36Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. 47And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. 50And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him. 51And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear. 52Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. 57And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest's palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end. 59Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days. 62And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? 63But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. 67Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, 68Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? 69Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. 70But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. 71And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. 72And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. 73And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. 74Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
1When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2'As you know, the Passover is two days away - and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.' 3Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, 4and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. 5'But not during the Feast,' they said, 'or there may be a riot among the people.' 6While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. 8When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. 'Why this waste?' they asked. 9'This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.' 10Aware of this, Jesus said to them, 'Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.' 14Then one of the Twelve - the one called Judas Iscariot - went to the chief priests 15and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. 17On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, 'Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?' 18He replied, 'Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: my appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'' 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. 20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21And while they were eating, he said, 'Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.' 22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, 'Surely not I, Lord?' 23Jesus replied, 'The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.' 25Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, 'Surely not I, Rabbi?' Jesus answered, 'You have said so.' 26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' 27Then he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.' 30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31Then Jesus told them, 'This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ''I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.' 32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.' 33Peter replied, 'Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.' 34'Truly I tell you,' Jesus answered, 'this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.' 35But Peter declared, 'Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.' And all the other disciples said the same. 36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, 'Sit here while I go over there and pray.' 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, 'My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.' 39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, 'My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.' 40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. 'Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?' he asked Peter. 41'Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.' 42He went away a second time and prayed, 'My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.' 43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, 'Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!' 47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.' 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'Greetings, Rabbi!' and kissed him. 50Jesus replied, 'Friend, do what you came for.' Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus' companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 52'Put your sword back in its place,' Jesus said to him, 'for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?' 55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, 'Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.' Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. 57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61and declared, 'This fellow said, 'I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.'' 62Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, 'Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?' 63But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, 'I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.' 64'You have said so,' Jesus replied. 'But I say to all of you: from now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.' 65Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, 'He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. 66What do you think?' 'He is worthy of death,' they answered. 67Then they spat in his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped him 68and said, 'Prophesy to us, Messiah. Who hit you?' 69Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came to him. 'You also were with Jesus of Galilee,' she said. 70But he denied it before them all. 'I don't know what you're talking about,' he said. 71Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant-girl saw him and said to the people there, 'This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.' 72He denied it again, with an oath: 'I don't know the man!' 73After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said, 'Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away.' 74Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, 'I don't know the man!' Immediately a cock crowed. 75Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: 'Before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.' And he went outside and wept bitterly.
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1I AM the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. 2He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. 3Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. 4My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. 5He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. 6He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. 7He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. 8Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. 9He hath inclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. 10He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. 11He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate. 12He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. 13He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins. 14I was a derision to all my people; and their song all the day. 15He hath filled me with bitterness, he hath made me drunken with wormwood. 16He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, he hath covered me with ashes. 17And thou hast removed my soul far off from peace: I forgat prosperity. 18And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD: 19Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. 20My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. 21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. 27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke of his youth. 28He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him. 29He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope. 30He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach. 31For the LORD will not cast off for ever: 32But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. 33For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. 34To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth. 35To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High, 36To subvert a man in his cause, the LORD approveth not. 37Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? 38Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? 39Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins? 40Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. 41Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. 42We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. 43Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. 44Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through. 45Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the people. 46All our enemies have opened their mouths against us. 47Fear and a snare is come upon us, desolation and destruction. 48Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. 49Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission. 50Till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven. 51Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city. 52Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause. 53They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me. 54Waters flowed over mine head; then I said, I am cut off. 55I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. 56Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry. 57Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. 58O LORD, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life. 59O LORD, thou hast seen my wrong: judge thou my cause. 60Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their imaginations against me. 61Thou hast heard their reproach, O LORD, and all their imaginations against me; 62The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day. 63Behold their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their musick. 64Render unto them a recompence, O LORD, according to the work of their hands. 65Give them sorrow of heart, thy curse unto them. 66Persecute and destroy them in anger from under the heavens of the LORD.
1I am one who has seen affliction by the rod of the LORD's wrath. 2He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; 3indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. 4He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. 5He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. 6He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. 7He has walled me in so that I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. 8Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. 9He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. 10Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, 11he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help. 12He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. 13He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. 14I became the laughing-stock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. 15He has filled me with bitter herbs and sated me with gall. 16He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. 17I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is. 18So I say, 'My splendour is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.' 19I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.' 25The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 27It is good for people to bear the yoke while they are young. 28Let them sit alone in silence, for the LORD has laid it on them. 29Let them bury their faces in the dust - there may yet be hope. 30Let them offer their cheeks to one who would strike them, and let them be filled with disgrace. 31For people are not cast off by the Lord for ever. 32Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. 33For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to any human being. 34To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, 35to deny people their rights before the Most High, 36to deprive them of justice - would not the Lord see such things? 37Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? 38Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? 39Why should the living complain when punished for their sins? 40Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD. 41Let us lift up our hearts and our hands to God in heaven, and say: 42'We have sinned and rebelled and you have not forgiven. 43'You have covered yourself with anger and pursued us; you have slain without pity. 44You have covered yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can get through. 45You have made us scum and refuse among the nations. 46'All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. 47We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction.' 48Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. 49My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief, 50until the LORD looks down from heaven and sees. 51What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. 52Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. 53They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; 54the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. 55I called on your name, LORD, from the depths of the pit. 56You heard my plea: 'Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.' 57You came near when I called you, and you said, 'Do not fear.' 58You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life. 59LORD, you have seen the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! 60You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. 61LORD, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me - 62what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. 63Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. 64Pay them back what they deserve, LORD, for what their hands have done. 65Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them! 66Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the LORD.
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1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 6And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 8Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. 14I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. 17For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church. 18Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 19But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 21What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?
1This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of people's hearts. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 6Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, 'Do not go beyond what is written.' Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 8Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! You have begun to reign - and that without us! How I wish that you really had begun to reign so that we also might reign with you! 9For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honoured, we are dishonoured! 11To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world - right up to this moment. 14I am writing this not to shame you but to warn you as my dear children. 15Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. 18Some of you have become arrogant, as if I were not coming to you. 19But I will come to you very soon, if the Lord is willing, and then I will find out not only how these arrogant people are talking, but what power they have. 20For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?
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  • Today's New International Version
1The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 20But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 24Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. 31Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof. 33Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened. 34All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 44Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. 47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 51Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. 52Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. 53And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence. 54And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? 55Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? 57And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. 58And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2Such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3Then he told them many things in parables, saying: 'A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9Whoever has ears, let them hear.' 10The disciples came to him and asked, 'Why do you speak to the people in parables?' 11He replied, 'The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12Those who have will be given more, and they will have an abundance. As for those who do not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13This is why I speak to them in parables: 'Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ''You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18'Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19when people hear the message about the kingdom and do not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their hearts. This is the seed sown along the path. 20The seed falling on rocky ground refers to people who hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 21But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22The seed falling among the thorns refers to people who hear the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23But the seed falling on good soil refers to people who hear the word and understand it. They produce a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.' 24Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed ears, then the weeds also appeared. 27'The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28''An enemy did this,' he replied. 'The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29''No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling up the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: first collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'' 31He told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.' 33He told them still another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about thirty kilograms of flour until it worked all through the dough.' 34Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: 'I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.' 36Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.' 37He answered, 'The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40'As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear. 44'The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. 45'Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. 47'Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 51'Have you understood all these things?' Jesus asked. 'Yes,' they replied. 52He said to them, 'Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.' 53When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54Coming to his home town, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. 'Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?' they asked. 55'Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?' 57And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, 'Only in their own towns and in their own homes are prophets without honour.' 58And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
In many religions, the place where God dwells, and to which believers aspire after their death. Sometimes known as Paradise.
1. Wisdom. 2. A decision about guilt, and / or the passing of sentence by the person presiding over a court of justice. 3. In the Bible, God's verdict on human behaviour especially on the Day of Judgement at the end of time.
The act of turning away, or turning around from, one's sins, which includes feeling genuinely sorry for them, asking for the forgiveness of God and being willing to live in a different way in the future.
Supernatural beings closely linked with the work of God; his messengers, traditionally portrayed as having a winged human form.
1. Devout, involved in religious practice 2. Member of a religious order, a monk or nun.
A religious order is a group of men or of women who have taken vows to live a religious life in a certain way, usually by living, worshipping and working together.
A place of beauty and perfection, associated in the Bible and literature with both the Garden of Eden before the Fall, and heaven. Often used as a synonym for heaven.
The quality or actions of the religious life of a person; the practical expression of their spirituality. In literature, writing which may enhance a person's religious faith or life.
Title (eventually used as name) given to Jesus, refering to an anointed person set apart for a special task such as a king.
Area with its own church, served by a priest who has the spiritual care of all those living within it.
1. Doing homage and giving honour and respect, especially to God. Acts of devotion. Human response to the perceived presence of the divine. 2. The part of the Christian liturgy usually consisting of sung material and prayers of thanksgiving.
The Anglican church is the 'Established' or state church of England, the result of a break with the Catholic church under Henry VIII and further developments in the reign of Elizabeth I.
Set of buildings occupied by a female religious order.
Term given to the movements of church reform which in the sixteenth century resulted in new Protestant churches being created as an alternative to the Roman Catholic Church.
A woman who has chosen to enter a religious order for women, and taken the appropriate vows.
A religious order is a group of men or of women who have taken vows to live a religious life in a certain way, usually by living, worshipping and working together.
The Bible describes God as the unique supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe.
1. Term for a worshipping community of Christians. 2. The building in which Christians traditionally meet for worship. 3. The worldwide community of Christian believers.
Member of a worldwide Christian church which traces its origins from St. Peter, one of Jesus' original disciples. It has a continuous history from earliest Christianity.
Communication, either aloud or in the heart, with God.
A new quality of life, beginning in the present but continuing after death, which Jesus is said to offer to those who believe in him.
The act of turning away, or turning around from, one's sins, which includes feeling genuinely sorry for them, asking for the forgiveness of God and being willing to live in a different way in the future.
The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament scriptures inherited from Judaism, together with the New Testament, drawn from writings produced from c.40-125CE, which describe the life of Jesus and the establishment of the Christian church.
1. The action of forgiving; pardon of a fault, remission of a debt. 2. Being freed from the burden of guilt, after committing a sin or crime, through being pardoned by the one hurt or offended.
Christians believe that after death / upon the return of Christ, every human life will be brought to a final account by God with Jesus as the judge.
The twelve disciples chosen and commissioned by Jesus to share his mission.
The 'Apostle to the Gentiles' (d. c. CE 65). Paul had a major role in setting up the Early Church and is believed to be the author of several letters in the Bible.
Name originally given to disciples of Jesus by outsiders and gradually adopted by the Early Church.
The name given to the man believed by Christians to be the Son of God. Also given the title Christ, meaning 'anointed one' or Messiah. His life is recorded most fully in the Four Gospels.
1. Term meaning learner or follower. 2. Used in the New Testament in particularly of the twelve apostles of Jesus. 3. Now applied more generally to all Christians.
The killing of a person in defence of a belief or cause.

There's blood between us, love, my love,
There's father's blood, there's brother's blood,
And blood's a bar I cannot pass.
I choose the stairs that mount above,
Stair after golden sky-ward stair,
To city and to sea of glass.
My lily feet are soiled with mud,
With scarlet mud which tells a tale
Of hope that was, of guilt that was,
Of love that shall not yet avail;
Alas, my heart, if I could bare
My heart, this selfsame stain is there:
I seek the sea of glass and fire
To wash the spot, to burn the snare;
Lo, stairs are meant to lift us higher--
Mount with me, mount the kindled stair.

Your eyes look earthward, mine look up.
I see the far-off city grand,
Beyond the hills a watered land,
Beyond the gulf a gleaming strand
Of mansions where the righteous sup;
Who sleep at ease among their trees,
Or wake to sing a cadenced hymn
With Cherubim and Seraphim;
They bore the Cross, they drained the cup,
Racked, roasted, crushed, wrenched limb from limb,
They the offscouring of the world.
The heaven of starry heavens unfurled,
The sun before their face is dim.
You looking earthward, what see you?
Milk-white, wine-flushed among the vines,
Up and down leaping, to and fro,
Most glad, most full, made strong with wines,
Blooming as peaches pearled with dew,
Their golden windy hair afloat,
Love-music warbling in their throat,
Young men and women come and go.

You linger, yet the time is short:
Flee for your life, gird up your strength
To flee; the shadows stretched at length
Show that day wanes, that night draws nigh;
Flee to the mountain, tarry not.
Is this a time for smile and sigh,
For songs among the secret trees
Where sudden blue birds nest and sport?
The time is short and yet you stay:
To-day, while it is called to-day,
Kneel, wrestle, knock, do violence, pray;
To-day is short, to-morrow nigh:
Why will you die? why will you die?

You sinned with me a pleasant sin:
Repent with me, for I repent.
Woe's me the lore I must unlearn!
Woe's me that easy way we went,
So rugged when I would return!
How long until my sleep begin
How long shall stretch these nights and days?
Surely, clean Angels cry, she prays;
She laves her soul with tedious tears:
How long must stretch these years and years?

I turn from you my cheeks and eyes,
My hair which you shall see no more--
Alas for joy that went before,
For joy that dies, for love that dies.
Only my lips still turn to you,
My livid lips that cry, Repent.
O weary life, O weary Lent,
O weary time whose stars are few.

How shall I rest in Paradise,
Or sit on steps of heaven alone
If Saints and Angels spoke of love
Should I not answer from my throne:
Have pity upon me, ye my friends,
For I have heard the sound thereof:
Should I not turn with yearning eyes,
Turn earthwards with a pitiful pang?
Oh save me from a pang in heaven.
By all the gifts we took and gave,
Repent, repent, and be forgiven:
This life is long, but yet it ends;
Repent and purge your soul and save:
No gladder song the morning stars
Upon their birthday morning sang
Than Angels sing when one repents.

I tell you what I dreamed last night:
A spirit with transfigured face
Fire-footed clomb an infinite space.
I heard his hundred pinions clang,
Heaven-bells rejoicing rang and rang,
Heaven-air was thrilled with subtle scents,
Worlds spun upon their rushing cars.
He mounted, shrieking, ‘Give me light!’
Still light was poured on him, more light;
Angels, Archangels he outstripped,
Exulting in exceeding might,
And trod the skirts of Cherubim.
Still ‘Give me light,’ he shrieked; and dipped
His thirsty face, and drank a sea,
Athirst with thirst it could not slake.
I saw him, drunk with knowledge, take
From aching brows the aureole crown--
His locks writhe like a cloven snake--
He left his throne to grovel down
And lick the dust of Seraphs' feet;
For what is knowledge duly weighed?
Knowledge is strong, but love is sweet;
Yea, all the progress he had made
Was but to learn that all is small
Save love, for love is all in all.

I tell you what I dreamed last night:
It was not dark, it was not light,
Cold dews had drenched my plenteous hair
Through clay; you came to seek me there.
And ‘Do you dream of me?’ you said.
My heart was dust that used to leap
To you; I answered half asleep:
‘My pillow is damp, my sheets are red,
There's a leaden tester to my bed;
Find you a warmer playfellow,
A warmer pillow for your head,
A kinder love to love than mine.’
You wrung your hands, while I, like lead,
Crushed downwards through the sodden earth;
You smote your hands but not in mirth,
And reeled but were not drunk with wine.

For all night long I dreamed of you;
I woke and prayed against my will,
Then slept to dream of you again.
At length I rose and knelt and prayed.
I cannot write the words I said,
My words were slow, my tears were few;
But through the dark my silence spoke
Like thunder. When this morning broke,
My face was pinched, my hair was grey,
And frozen blood was on the sill
Where stifling in my struggle I lay.
If now you saw me you would say:
Where is the face I used to love?
And I would answer: Gone before;
It tarries veiled in paradise.
When once the morning star shall rise,
When earth with shadow flees away
And we stand safe within the door,
Then you shall lift the veil thereof.
Look up, rise up: for far above
Our palms are grown, our place is set;
There we shall meet as once we met,
And love with old familiar love.