What does Matthew 22:23 mean?
ESV: The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question,
NIV: That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
NASB: On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him,
CSB: That same day some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came up to him and questioned him:
NLT: That same day Jesus was approached by some Sadducees — religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. They posed this question:
KJV: The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
Verse Commentary:
A mixed group from the Pharisees and the Herodians had tried to trip Jesus up with a dangerous question about paying taxes. Now Jesus is approached by a religious group known as the Sadducees. This group based nearly all their theology on the Pentateuch: the first five books of the Old Testament, also known as the Law of Moses. Since those books do not explicitly discuss an afterlife, the Sadducees had become committed to the teaching that there was no resurrection and no afterlife. Life simply ended with death and was no more. They also did not believe in spirits or angels (Acts 23:8).

In effect, Sadducees were more of a political party than a denomination. Compared to the highly spiritual Pharisees, the Sadducees were notably more aristocratic and secular in their approach. This made them popular with the Roman occupiers, but much less beloved with the common people. Though there was a diversity of religious beliefs on some issues in Judaism at this time, the views of the Sadducees were not especially common and the group's influence seems to have died entirely when Rome destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
Verse Context:
Matthew 22:23–33 contains another challenge for Jesus. This one comes from the Sadducees: a Jewish religious group that did not believe in an afterlife. Attempting to prove their view, they describe a hypothetical situation based on a requirement from the Law of Moses. A woman is married to seven brothers, one after another, as each dies and passes her on. Whose wife will she be in the resurrection? Jesus replies that the question is flawed: there is no marriage in the resurrection. He then references Scripture to show that the Lord is God of the living, including faithful patriarchs such as Abraham and Jacob. Parallel accounts are recorded in Mark 12:18–27 and Luke 20:27–40.
Chapter Summary:
Continuing a dialogue with hostile religious leaders, Jesus tells a parable comparing the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast which ends up being attended by those not initially invited. He answers trick questions about taxes, marriage, resurrection, and the Law of Moses. These responses are the source of common English idioms such as "render to Caesar…" and "many are called but few are chosen." Finally, Jesus asks how the Messiah can be both the son of David and the Lord of David. None can answer Him, so they stop challenging Him in public.
Chapter Context:
This chapter extends an exchange between Jesus and several groups of religious leaders in the temple. The previous chapter concluded with two parables about the failures of the religious leaders. This chapter begins with a third parable, about chosen guests who refuse to attend a wedding feast. Jesus then fields questions from several religious groups, who fail in their attempts to trip Him up. His wise and profound answers silence all of them. At this point, Jesus launches into a full-throated condemnation of the Pharisees in chapter 23.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 4/17/2024 8:29:54 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.