Matthew 22:14

New Testament

11 But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. 13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

4 Ezra 8:3

2 Esdras

1 The angel said to me in reply: ‘The Most High has made this world for many, but the next world for only a few. 2 Let me give you an illustration, Ezra. Ask the earth, and it will tell you that it can produce plenty of clay for making earthenware, but very little gold-dust. The same holds good 3 for the present world: many have been created, but only a few will be saved. 4 I Said: ‘My soul, drink deep of understanding and eat your fill of wisdom! 5 Without your consent you came here, and unwillingly you go away; only a brief span of life is given you.

 Notes and References

"... There are few references to Jesus traditions in the Epistle of Barnabas. Given this letter’s concentration on the interpretation of OT passages, this is not surprising (see Old Testament in Apostolic Fathers). In Barnabas 4:14 a terse saying, “many are called but few chosen,” is introduced by a phrase that points to use of a written document: “it is written.” This may well be a reference to Matthew 22:14 in its written form, but since there is a similar proverbial saying in 4 Ezra 8:3, the question cannot be readily answered. In Barnabas 5:9 the writer states that Jesus “came not to call the righteous but sinners” (Mark 2:17 and parallels). There is no indication in the context that this is a Jesus tradition. Perhaps readers of Barnabas were so familiar with this saying that they would have recognized it immediately as a saying of Jesus. Or perhaps the writer knows many Jesus traditions and quotes one here instinctively, without any awareness that it is a saying of Jesus ..."

Martin, Ralph P. Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments (p. 759) InterVarsity Press, 1997

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.