The Transfiguration
1 Six days latertn Grk “And after six days.” Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John the brother of James,tn Grk “John his brother” with “his” referring to James. and led them privately up a high mountain.
2 And he was transfigured before them.sn In 1st century Judaism and in the NT, there was the belief that the righteous get new, glorified bodies in order to enter heaven (1 Cor 15:42-49; 2 Cor 5:1-10). This transformation means the righteous will share the glory of God. One recalls the way Moses shared the Lord’s glory after his visit to the mountain in Exod 34. So the disciples saw Jesus transfigured, and they were getting a sneak preview of the great glory that Jesus would have (only his glory is more inherent to him as one who shares in the rule of the kingdom). Histn Here καί (kai) has not been translated. face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.
3 Then Mosestn Grk “And behold, Moses.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). and Elijahsn Commentators and scholars discuss why Moses and Elijah are present. The most likely explanation is that Moses represents the prophetic office (Acts 3:18-22) and Elijah pictures the presence of the last days (Mal 4:5-6), the prophet of the eschaton (the end times). also appeared before them, talking with him.
4 Sotn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that the appearance of Moses and Elijah prompted Peter’s comment. Peter saidtn Grk “Peter answering said.” This construction is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, I will maketc Instead of the singular future indicative ποιήσω (poihsw, “I will make”), most witnesses (C3 D L W Θ [Φ] 0281 Ë[1],13 33 Ï lat sy co) have the plural aorist subjunctive ποιήσωμεν (poihswmen, “let us make”). But since ποιήσωμεν is the reading found in the parallel accounts in Mark and Luke, it is almost surely a motivated reading. Further, the earliest and best witnesses, as well as a few others (א B C* 700 pc) have ποιήσω. It is thus more likely that the singular verb is authentic. three shelterstn Or “booths,” “dwellings” (referring to the temporary booths constructed in the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles).sn Peter apparently wanted to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles or Booths that looked forward to the end and wanted to treat Moses, Elijah, and Jesus as equals by making three shelters (one for each). It was actually a way of expressing honor to Jesus, but the next verse makes it clear that it was not enough honor. – one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, atn Grk “behold, a.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated here or in the following clause because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). bright cloudsn This cloud is the cloud of God’s presence and the voice is his as well. overshadowedtn Or “surrounded.” them, and a voice from the cloud said,tn Grk “behold, a voice from the cloud, saying.” This is an incomplete sentence in Greek which portrays intensity and emotion. The participle λέγουσα (legousa) was translated as a finite verb in keeping with English style. “This is my one dear Son,tn Grk “my beloved Son,” or “my Son, the beloved [one].” The force of ἀγαπητός (agaphtos) is often “pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished” (L&N 58.53; cf. also BDAG 7 s.v. 1). in whom I take great delight. Listen to him!”sn The expression listen to him comes from Deut 18:15 and makes two points: 1) Jesus is a prophet like Moses, a leader-prophet, and 2) they have much yet to learn from him.
6 When the disciples heard this, they were overwhelmed with fear and threw themselves down with their faces to the ground.tn Grk “they fell down on their faces.” BDAG 815 s.v. πίπτω 1.b.α.ב. has “fall down, throw oneself to the ground as a sign of devotion, before high-ranking persons or divine beings.”
7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Do not be afraid.”
8 Whentn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. they looked up, all they saw was Jesus alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them,tn Grk “Jesus commanded them, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant and has not been translated. “Do not tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.”
10 The disciples asked him,tn Grk “asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant and has not been translated. “Why then do the experts in the lawtn Or “do the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4. say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Hetn Grk “And answering, he said.” This has been simplified in the translation. answered, “Elijah does indeed come first and will restore all things.
12 And I tell you that Elijah has already come. Yet they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wanted. Intn Here καί (kai) has not been translated. the same way, the Son of Man will suffer at their hands.”
13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.
The Disciples’ Failure to Heal
14 Whentn Here καί (kai) has not been translated. they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him,
15 and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizurestn Grk “he is moonstruck,” possibly meaning “lunatic” (so NAB, NASB), although now the term is generally regarded as referring to some sort of seizure disorder such as epilepsy (L&N 23.169; BDAG 919 s.v. σεληνιάζομαι). and suffers terribly, for he often falls into the fire and into the water.
16 I brought him to your disciples, buttn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. they were not able to heal him.”
17 Jesus answered,tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation. “Youtn Grk “O.” The marker of direct address, ὦ (w), is functionally equivalent to a vocative and is represented in the translation by “you.” unbelievingtn Or “faithless.”sn The rebuke for lack of faith has OT roots: Num 14:27; Deut 32:5, 30; Isa 59:8. and perverse generation! How much longertn Grk “how long.” must I be with you? How much longer must I enduretn Or “put up with.” See Num 11:12; Isa 46:4. you?sn The pronouns you…you are plural, indicating that Jesus is speaking to a group rather than an individual. Bring him here to me.”
18 Thentn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then.” Jesus rebukedtn Or “commanded” (often with the implication of a threat, L&N 33.331). the demon and it came out of him, and the boy was healed from that moment.
19 Then the disciples cametn Grk “coming, the disciples said.” The participle προσελθόντες (proselqontes) has been translated as a finite verb to make the sequence of events clear in English. to Jesus privately and said, “Why couldn’t we cast it out?”
20 He told them, “It was because of your little faith. I tell you the truth,tn Grk “For truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated. if you have faith the size oftn Grk “faith as,” “faith like.” a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothingtn Here καί (kai) has not been translated. will be impossible for you.”tc Many important mss (א* B Θ 0281 33 579 892* pc e ff1 sys,c sa) do not include 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” The verse is included in א2 C D L W Ë1,13 Ï lat, but is almost certainly not original. As B. M. Metzger notes, “Since there is no satisfactory reason why the passage, if originally present in Matthew, should have been omitted in a wide variety of witnesses, and since copyists frequently inserted material derived from another Gospel, it appears that most manuscripts have been assimilated to the parallel in Mk 9.29” (TCGNT 35). The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number as well, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.
Second Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
22 Whentn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. they gathered together in Galilee, Jesus told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.tn The plural Greek term ἀνθρώπων (anqrwpwn) is considered by some to be used here in a generic sense, referring to both men and women (cf. NRSV “into human hands”; TEV, CEV “to people”). However, because this can be taken as a specific reference to the group responsible for Jesus’ arrest, where it is unlikely women were present (cf. Matt 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:2-12), the word “men” has been retained in the translation. There may also be a slight wordplay with “the Son of Man” earlier in the verse.
23 They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.” And they became greatly distressed.
The Temple Tax
24 Aftertn Here δέ (de) has not been translated. they arrived in Capernaum,map For location see Map1-D2; Map2-C3; Map3-B2. the collectors of the temple taxtn Grk “Collectors of the double drachma.” This is a case of metonymy, where the coin formerly used to pay the tax (the double drachma coin, or δίδραχμον [didracmon]) was put for the tax itself (cf. BDAG 241 s.v.). Even though this coin was no longer in circulation in NT times and other coins were used to pay the tax, the name for the coin was still used to refer to the tax itself.sn The temple tax refers to the half-shekel tax paid annually by male Jews to support the temple (Exod 30:13-16). came to Peter and said, “Your teacher pays the double drachma tax, doesn’t he?”
25 He said, “Yes.” When Peter came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first,tn Grk “spoke first to him, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in English and has not been translated. “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings collect tolls or taxes – from their sonssn The phrase their sons may mean “their citizens,” but the term “sons” has been retained here in order to preserve the implicit comparison between the Father and his Son, Jesus. or from foreigners?”
26 After he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sonssn See the note on the phrase their sons in the previous verse. are free.
27 But so that we don’t offend them, go to the lake and throw out a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a four drachma coin.sn The four drachma coin was a stater (στατήρ, stathr), a silver coin worth four drachmas. One drachma was equivalent to one denarius, the standard pay for a day’s labor (L&N 6.80). Take that and give it to them for me and you.”