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Matthew 3:15 Suffer it to be so now...

These are Jesus's first words in the Gospels.

Spoken to:
John the Baptist
Greek Verse:

Matthew 3:15 Ἄφες ἄρτι, οὕτω γὰρ πρέπον ἐστὶν ἡμῖν πληρῶσαι πᾶσαν δικαιοσύνην.

KJV Verse:

Matthew 3:15 Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

NIV Verse:

Matthew 3:15 Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.

Literal Alternative:

Let it go now because being seen is the way for us to fulfill every virtue.

Hidden Meaning:

It is a series of phrases that make more sense as spoken language than as written sentences (see this article on spoken versus written langauge).

The first word here is a command meaning "let it go" or "let it drop."

This command is followed by an explanatory phrase that combines and adverb meaning "in this way" with a participle that means "being obvious." The sense is "by being obvious." Then, there is an uncommon construction that puts the Greek verb "to be" with a dative. The literal meaning of this phrase is "it is for us," but in modern English we say "we have" in the sense of "we must."  So, Jesus is saying that they must be seen acting in this way.


 A wordplay on the word for "all" also meaning "sprinkling". 

At the beginning of his service, he talk about finishing it. 

The Spoken Version:

In response to John's concern with propriety, he said, "Just let it go."

Then he gestured to the surrounding crowd.

"Because this is how," he said with a flourish. "Being conspicuous, it is for us."

Then he bent down to the water and lifted a some water in one cupped hand.

"It fulfills," he said, sprinkling it out. "All the requirements of the law."

Christ's Words Articles

About this Site

I started this project over a decade ago. The initial goal was to satisfy my own curiosity about how the original Greek of Jesus's words was translated into English comparing it to my work in translating ancient Chinese. 

This site does not promote any religious point of view about Christianity. I purposely use nonreligious sources for Greek translation.  My goal is simply to identify how Jesus used words. His use of Greek words somewhat unique since his words were spoken, not written.

The range of quality of the articles on this site reflects that it is a personal site, not a commercial one. No one proofreads my work. Some articles are over a decade old when I knew much less ancient Greek. Matthew articles are best since I have updated them all at least once. The ones in Mark are the oldest and poorest. Luke is not yet complete.