As promised, I have posted my translation from the Greek New Testament of the Gospel readings for the first week of Advent.
It happened on one of those days as he was teaching and evangelizing the people in the temple that the chief priests and the scribes with the elders attacked. They said to him, “Exactly what authority do you speak in and do these things? Who is giving you this authority?” He answered them, “I will answer you just as you said if you say to me whether the baptism of John was from heaven or was it from humans?” They debated with themselves saying, “If we say ‘from heaven’ he will say ‘why then did you not believe him?’ but if we say, ‘from man’ the people all will stone us for they are convinced John is a prophet. So they answered, “We do not know from where.” Jesus said to them, “Neither will I myself say to where the authority I do these things is from.”
He began to speak this parable to the people, “Once upon a time someone planted a vineyard and leased it to farmers then he went out of town for a long while. In time, he sent a servant to the farmers so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard but those farmers flogged him and drove him away empty handed. Again he sent another servant and they also flogged, disrespected, and drove him out empty handed. Again a third time he sent to them and this time they wounded and threw the servant out. Then the lord of the vineyard pondered, “What will I do? I will send my beloved son. Perhaps this one they will respect. But seeing him, the farmers discussed among themselves saying, “This is the heir! Let us kill him so that the inheritance will become ours. So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, therefore, will the lord of the vineyard do to them? He will come and he will execute those farmers and give the vineyard to others.” Then Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Therefore who is it written of? ‘A stone, the one rejected by the builders, this one has become as the capstone.’ All those falling upon this stone will be smashed to pieces. Whoever it falls on will be crushed to powder.” The scribes and the chief priests wanted to seize him right then for they knew this parable was against them yet they feared the people.
They watched and sent spies, pretending to be righteous themselves so that they might collect his words and then hand him over to the police and prosecutors. The spy asked him saying, “Teacher, we know that you say what is right and teach the way of God without showing favoritism. Is it permissible for us to give Caesar his tax or not?” But he knew their trickery and said, “Show me a coin. Whose icon does it have embossed on it?” And they replied, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore, you give to Caesar the things of Caesar and the things of God to God.” They were no longer able to use his words against him because of the people. Meanwhile they were in stunned silence.
Some of the Sadducees—those saying there is no resurrection—came to him asking, “Teacher, Moses wrote us that if someone’s brother should happen to die and he has a wife and no children that his brother should take the wife and raise up seed for his brother’s sake. Therefore, once upon a time there were seven brothers. The first took a wife then he died childless. And the second, and the third, and likewise all seven and they did not leave any children and they died. At last the woman died. So, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her.” And Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and are married but those who are deemed worthy to attain the age to come and the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are married. They will not be able to die anymore either. When they become children of the resurrection they will be as angels and as children of God. The dead are raised. By the way, Moses pointed this out at the bush when he said, “The Lord God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob” because he is not the God of the dead but those who are living. Everyone is alive to him. Now one of the scribes answered him saying, “You did a good job, teacher,” because no one dared to ask him anything any longer.
Now he said to them, “How do you say the Christ is David’s son? For David himself said in the Book of Psalms, “The Lord said to my lord, sit down at my right until such a time as I will put your enemies as a footstool for your feet.” Notice David called him lord, and how then is he his son? When all the people heard this he said to his disciples, “Watch out for the scribes, those people who enjoy walking in robes and love greetings in the market and the best seats in the synagogues and the best chair at the dinner table. They devour the houses of the widows and in pretense make long prayers. They will receive greater judgment. Now looking up he saw the gifts of the rich being thrown into the treasury but he also saw some poor widow throwing in two small coins. Then he said, “Truly I say to you the poor widow’s offering is greater than everything else thrown in. For they, out of their abundance threw in their gift. But she, out of her poverty, threw in all she has in this life.
Some were talking about the temple’s beautiful stones and adorned offering altars when he said, “A day will come when these things you look at will be destroyed. Not one stone will remain upon stone.” They asked him saying, “Teacher, when will these days be and what sign will be when these things are going to happen?” He said, “See that you are not led astray; because many will come in my name say, ‘I am myself’ and ‘the time is near,’ do not follow out after them! Do not panic when you hear the noise of battle and revolutions for these things must happen first, and even then the end is not immediately after. Then he said to them, “Ethnicity will rise against ethnicity and kingdom against kingdom. Great earthquakes, famine and plague will be in various places and cause terror. There will also be a great sign from heaven. But before all these things happen they will seize you and persecute you, handing you over in the synagogues and prisons, bring you before kings and rulers all because of my name. This will be your chance to testify. Decide in your heart and do not prepare ahead to defend yourself because I myself will give you words and wisdom. Not one of your opponents will be able to resist your reasoning or contradict anything about you. Nevertheless, you will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will kill some of you and you will be hated by many because of my name but not a hair from your head will be lost. By your endurance you yourselves will gain your souls.