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CHAPTERS: Luke 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24     

VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42




King James Bible - Luke 10:42

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

World English Bible

but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good part, which will not be taken away from her."

Douay-Rheims - Luke 10:42

But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Webster's Bible Translation

But one thing is needful; and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Greek Textus Receptus

1520 A-GSN δε 1161 CONJ εστιν 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S χρεια 5532 N-NSF μαρια 3137 N-NSF δε 1161 CONJ την 3588 T-ASF αγαθην 18 A-ASF μεριδα 3310 N-ASF εξελεξατο 1586 5668 V-AMI-3S ητις 3748 R-NSF ουκ 3756 PRT-N αφαιρεθησεται 851 5701 V-FPI-3S απ 575 PREP αυτης 846 P-GSF

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

VERSE (42) -
Lu 18:22 Ps 27:4; 73:25 Ec 12:13 Mr 8:36 Joh 17:3 1Co 13:3 Ga 5:6

SEV Biblia, Chapter 10:42

pero slo una cosa es necesaria; y María escogi la buena parte, la cual no le ser quitada.

Clarke's Bible Commentary - Luke 10:42

Verse 42. One thing is needful] This is the end of the sentence, according to Bengel. "Now
Mary hath chosen, &c.," begins a new one.

One single dish, the simplest and plainest possible, is such as best suits me and my disciples, whose meat and drink it is to do the will of our heavenly Father.

Mary hath chosen that good part] That is, of hearing my word, of which she shall not be deprived; it being at present of infinitely greater importance to attend to my teaching than to attend to any domestic concerns. While thou art busily employed in providing that portion of perishing food for perishing bodies, Mary has chosen that spiritual portion which endures for ever, and which shall not be taken away from her; therefore I cannot command her to leave her present employment, and go and help thee to bring forward a variety of matters, which are by no means necessary at this time. Our Lord both preached and practised the doctrine of self-denial; he and his disciples were contented with a little, and sumptuous entertainments are condemned by the spirit and design of his Gospel.

Multos morbos, multa fercula fecerunt. SENECA. "Many dishes, many diseases." Bishop PEARCE remarks that the word creia, needful, is used after the same manner for want of food in Mark ii. 25, where of David it is said, creian esce, he had need, when it means he was hungry. I believe the above to be the true meaning of these verses; but others have taken a somewhat different sense from them: especially when they suppose that by one thing needful our Lord means the salvation of the soul. To attend to this is undoubtedly the most necessary of all things, and should be the first, the grand concern of every human spirit; but in my opinion it is not the meaning of the words in the text. It is only prejudice from the common use of the words in this way that could make such an interpretation tolerable. KYPKE in loc. has several methods of interpreting this passage.

Many eminent commentators, both ancient and modern, consider the text in the same way I have done. But this is termed by some, "a frigid method of explaining the passage;" well, so let it be; but he that fears God will sacrifice every thing at the shrine of TRuth. I believe this alone to be the true meaning o the place, and I dare not give it any other. Bengelius points the whole passage thus: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: but one thing is needful. Now, Mary hath chosen that good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.

THAT the salvation of the soul is the first and greatest of all human concerns, every man must acknowledge who feels that he has a soul; and in humility of mind to hear Jesus, is the only way of getting that acquaintance with the doctrine of salvation without which how can he be saved? While we fancy we are in no spiritual necessity, the things which concern salvation will not appear needful to us! A conviction that we are spiritually poor must precede our application for the true riches. The whole, says Christ, need not the physician, but those who are sick.

Martha has been blamed, by incautious people, as possessing a carnal, worldly spirit; and as Mary Magdalene has been made the chief of all prostitutes, so has Martha of all the worldly-minded. Through her affectionate respect for our Lord and his disciples, and through that alone, she erred. There is not the slightest intimation that she was either worldly- minded or careless about her soul; nor was she at this time improperly employed, only so far as the abundance of her affection led her to make a greater provision than was necessary on the occasion. Nor are our Lord's words to be understood as a reproof; they are a kind and tender expostulation, tending to vindicate the conduct of Mary. The utmost that can be said on the subject is, Martha was well employed, but Mary, on this occasion, better.

If we attend to the punctuation of the original text, the subject will appear more plain. I shall transcribe the text from Bengel's own edition, Stutgardiae, 1734, 12mo. ver. 41, 42-v. 41, apokriqeiv de eipen auth o ihsouv, marqa, marqa, merimnav kai turbazh peri polla? enov de esti creia. maria de thn agaqhn merida exelexato, htiv ouk afaireqhsetai ap authv. "Then Jesus answered her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxiously careful and disturbed about many things; but one thing is necessary. But Mary hath chosen that good portion which shall not be taken away from her." I have shown, in my notes, that Martha was making a greater provision for her guests than was needful; that it was in consequence of this that she required her sister's help; that Jesus tenderly reproved her for her unnecessary anxiety and superabundant provision, and asserted that but one thing, call it course or dish, was necessary on the occasion, yet she had provided many; and that this needless provision was the cause of the anxiety and extra labour. Then, taking occasion, from the circumstances of the case, to vindicate Mary's conduct, and to direct his loving reproof more pointedly at Martha's heart, he adds, Mary hath chosen a good portion; that is, she avails herself of the present opportunity to hear my teaching, and inform herself in those things which are essential to the salvation of the soul. I cannot, therefore, order her to leave my teaching, to serve in what I know to be an unnecessary service, however kindly designed: for it would be as unjust to deprive her of this bread of life, after which she so earnestly hungers, as to deprive thee, or thy guests, of that measure of common food necessary to sustain life. All earthly portions are perishing: "Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but God will destroy both it and then; but the work of the Lord abideth for ever;" her portion, therefore, shall not be taken away from her. This is my view of the whole subject; and all the terms in the original, not only countenance this meaning, but necessarily require it. The words, one thing is needful, on which we lay so much stress, are wanting in some of the most ancient MSS., and are omitted by some of the fathers, who quote all the rest of the passage: a plain proof that the meaning which we take out of them was not thought of in very ancient times; and in other MSS., versions, and fathers, there is an unusual variety of readings where even the thing, or something like it, is retained. Some have it thus; Martha, Martha, thou labourest much, and yet a little is sufficient, yea, one thing only. Others: And only one thing is required. Others: Thou art curious and embarrassed about many things, when that which is needful is very small.

Others: But here there need only a few things. Others: But a few things, or one only, is necessary. Now these are the readings of almost all the ancient versions; and we plainly perceive, by them, that what we term the one thing needful, is not understood by one of them as referring to the salvation of the soul, but to the provision THEN to be made. It would be easy to multiply authorities, but I spare both my own time and that of my reader. In short, I wonder how the present most exceptionable mode of interpretation ever obtained; as having no countenance in the text, ancient MSS. or versions, and as being false in itself; for even Christ himself could not say, that sitting at his feet, and hearing his word, was the ONE thing NEEDFUL. Repentance, faith, prayer, obedience, and a thousand other things are necessary to our salvation, besides merely hearing the doctrines of Christ, even with the humblest heart.

John Gill's Bible Commentary

Ver. 42. But one thing is needful , etc.] Meaning not that one dish of meat was sufficient, and there was no need of any more, in opposition to Martha's carefulness in preparing many; for this is too low a sense of the words; which yet some ancient writers have given into: but rather the hearing of the word, the Gospel of Christ, which Mary was engaged in; and which, ordinarily speaking, is necessary to the knowledge of Christ, and salvation by him, and to faith in him, ( Romans 10:14,17) not that this is the only needful thing; nor does Christ say there is but one thing needful, but that there is one thing needful; for there are other things that are also needful, and useful, as meditation and prayer, and attendance on, and submission to the ordinances of baptism, and the Lord's supper, and all the duties of religion: but Christ's meaning seems plainly to be, that Mary hearing the word from his mouth, and at his feet, was one necessary thing, in opposition to Martha's many unnecessary ones, about which she was cumbered: and Mary hath chosen that good part ; or the good part, or portion; Christ, the sum and substance of the word she heard, and eternal life and salvation by him. God himself is said to be the portion of his people, and a good one he is, and a portion that lasts for ever; and so is Christ; (see Psalm 73:26 Lamentations 3:24) where the Septuagint use the same word as here. The heavenly inheritance also, eternal glory and happiness, is the saints' portion; it is called in ( Colossians 1:12) the part, or portion of the inheritance with the saints in light. The word answers to the Hebrew word, qlj ; as in that saying of the Misnic doctors f367 , ``all Israel have, qlj , a part, or portion in the world to come.

All the Oriental versions add, for herself, and this choice she made, not from the natural power of her own freewill, but as directed, influenced, and assisted by the Spirit and grace of God, and in consequence of God's eternal choice of her unto salvation by Jesus Christ: and the part she chose is, that which shall not be taken away from her ; by men or devils: faith which comes by hearing of the word, and so every other grace of the Spirit is what can never be lost; nor an interest in God, as a covenant God, or in Christ as a Saviour, nor a right and title to, nor meetness for eternal life, nor that itself, can be taken away, or the believer ever be deprived thereof.

Matthew Henry Commentary

Verses 38-42 - A good sermon is not the worse for being preached in a house; and the visits of our friends should be so managed, as to make them turn to the good of their souls. Sitting at Christ's feet, signifies readiness to receive his word, and submission to the guidance of it. Martha wa providing for the entertainment of Christ, and those that came with him. Here were respect to our Lord Jesus and right care of he household affairs. But there was something to be blamed. She was for much serving; plenty, variety, and exactness. Worldly business is snare to us, when it hinders us from serving God, and getting good to our souls. What needless time is wasted, and expense often laid out even in entertaining professors of the gospel! Though Martha was of this occasion faulty, yet she was a true believer, and in her genera conduct did not neglect the one thing needful. The favour of God is needful to our happiness; the salvation of Christ is needful to ou safety. Where this is attended to, all other things will be rightl pursued. Christ declared, Mary hath chosen the good part. For one thin is needful, this one thing that she has done, to give up herself to the guidance of Christ. The things of this life will be taken away from us at the furthest, when we shall be taken away from them; but nothin shall separate from the love of Christ, and a part in that love. Me and devils cannot take it away from us, and God and Christ will not Let us mind the one thing needful more diligently __________________________________________________________________

Greek Textus Receptus

1520 A-GSN δε 1161 CONJ εστιν 2076 5748 V-PXI-3S χρεια 5532 N-NSF μαρια 3137 N-NSF δε 1161 CONJ την 3588 T-ASF αγαθην 18 A-ASF μεριδα 3310 N-ASF εξελεξατο 1586 5668 V-AMI-3S ητις 3748 R-NSF ουκ 3756 PRT-N αφαιρεθησεται 851 5701 V-FPI-3S απ 575 PREP αυτης 846 P-GSF

Robertson's NT Word Studies

10:42 {The good portion} (ten agaqen merida). The
best dish on the table, fellowship with Jesus. this is the spiritual application of the metaphor of the dishes on the table. Salvation is not "the good portion" for Martha had that also. {From her} (autes). Ablative case after afaireqesetai (future passive indicative). Jesus pointedly takes Mary's side against Martha's fussiness.

CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42


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