Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 10:26

And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Decalogue;   Duty;   Immortality;   Jesus, the Christ;   Lawyer;   Love;   Neighbor;   Readings, Select;   Self-Righteousness;   The Topic Concordance - Commandment;   Eternal Life;   Inheritance;   Law;   Life;   Love;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Law;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Clean, Unclean;   Friend, Friendship;   Golden Rule;   Mercy;   Neighbor;   Wealth;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Acceptance;   Brotherly Love;   Life;   Love;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the New Testament;   Ethics;   Law;   Martha;   Mary;   Pity;   Writing;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Character;   Commandments;   Discourse;   Lamb;   Man (2);   Nationality;   Neighbour (2);   Religious Experience;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Samaritan, the Good ;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Scripture (2);   Searching;   Trinity (2);   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Bethsaida;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Law in the New Testament;   Neighbor;   Righteousness;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Brotherly Love;   Jesus of Nazareth;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for May 19;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

What is written … - Jesus referred him to the “law” as a safe rule, and asked him what was said there. The lawyer was doubtless endeavoring to justify himself by obeying the law. He trusted to his own works. To bring him off from that ground - to make him feel that it was an unsafe foundation, Jesus showed him what the law “required,” and thus showed him that he needed a better righteousness than his own. This is the proper use of the law. By comparing ourselves with “that” we see our own defects, and are thus prepared to welcome a better righteousness than our own - that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the law becomes a schoolmaster to lead us to him, Galatians 3:24.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Luke 10:26

How readest thou?
--

Profitable reading of the Bible

As there are always among violets some that are very much sweeter to us than others, so among texts there are some that are more precious to us than others. When I go to the Bible, it is not once in a hundred times that I react a whole chapter for my own devotions. As one that goes out into the field to rest does not take the first spot that presents itself, but waits till he finds a nook where the mosses and the flowers and the shrubs are right, and then sits down and feasts his eyes on the beauties around, so I wander along till I come to a passage which, though I cannot tell why, I read over and over and over again. One or two verses or sentences, perhaps, will linger in my head all day, like some sweet passage in a letter, or like some felicitous word spoken by a friend, coming and going all the time. I find often that one single text, taking possession of the mind in the morning, and ringing through it during the whole day, does one more good than the reading of a whole chapter. Frequently some one thing that Christ said fixes itself in my mind, and remains there from morning till night. (H. W. Beecher.)

The law of God, the guide of youth

I. In following out this question to a satisfactory reply, we may, in the first place, inquire, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW, AND HOW WE SHOULD READ, ON THE SUBJECT OF FAITH, IN THE GOSPEL? Does not the law of God tell you what the faith of the gospel is, especially all that God has revealed respecting His Son

II. But, in the second place, we must not only TAKE WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW, IN ORDER TO OUR BELIEF, BUT IN ORDER TO OUR PRACTICE. The “law” holds out, not only testimony to be believed, but precepts to be obeyed.

III. But, in the third place, let us inquire, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW CONCERNING THOSE FEELINGS WHICH WE OUGHT TO CULTIVATE?

IV. But again, there is another important subject, on which it is our duty to be informed. WHAT IS WRITTEN OF THOSE ENJOYMENTS HELD OUT IN THE GOSPEL?

V. Then, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW ON THE SUBJECT OF TRUST IN THE LORD?

VI. For again, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE WORD OF GOD CONCERNING DANGER? It states, the only danger to be apprehended is, the danger arising from sin.

VII. Let us inquire, however, further, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW CONCERNING HOPE?

VIII. But next, WHAT IS WRITTEN IN THE LAW CONCERNING THE TIME WHEN THE MIND SHOULD THUS GIVE ITSELF WHOLLY TO GOD? (J. Burner.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Luke 10:26". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/luke-10.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

How readest thou ...? A number of important deductions are mandatory from this response of Jesus. First, there is the premise that one may find in the sacred Scriptures the true answer to the question of what must be done to inherit eternal life. Second, there is the deduction that every man is responsible for reading the answer himself. Third, there is the implication that the sacred Scriptures give the same answer to all who faithfully read them. This verse has the impact of saying, "Look, Lawyer; God has told men what to do to be saved; it is written in the Scriptures; and you, like every other man, may surely read it. What does the Bible say?" This is still the only way to receive the correct answer to so important a question.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

What is written in the law?.... Christ, with great propriety, sends him to the law, to see and observe what was written there, what are the terms and conditions of life, as fixed there; partly, because this man, by his office and character, was an interpreter of the law; and partly, because his question was, what shall I do?

how readest thou? in the law, every day; referring to the "Keriat Shema", the reading of the Shema, i.e. those words in Deuteronomy 6:4, &c, "Hear, O Israel, &c." morning and eveningF9Vid. Misn. Beracot, c. 1. sect. 1, 2. as appears by his answer

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-10.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

What is written in the law — apposite question to a doctor of the law, and putting him in turn to the test [Bengel].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

26. He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

[How readest thou?] An expression very common in the schools, What readest thou? when any person brought a text of Scripture for the proof of any thing. The Rabbins have a tradition, that the disease of the squinancy came into the world upon the account of tithes. (The Gloss hath it: "For eating of fruits that had not been tithed.") "R. Eliezer Ben R. Jose saith, 'It was for an evil tongue.' Rabba saith, and it is the saying also of R. Joshua Ben Levi, What readest thou? The king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by himself shall glory: for the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped." And a little after, upon another subject: "R. Simeon Ben Gezirah saith, What or how readest thou? If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock": Canticles 1:8.

We will not be very curious in inquiring whether our Saviour used the very same form of speech, or any other. In this only he departs from their common use of speech, in that he calls to another to allege some text of Scripture; whereas it was usual in the schools that he that spoke that would allege some place himself.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-10.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

How readest thou? (πως αναγινωσκεισpōs anaginōskeis̱). As a lawyer it was his business to know the facts in the law and the proper interpretation of the law. See note on Luke 7:30 about nomikos (lawyer). The rabbis had a formula, “What readest thou?”

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Read

See on Luke 4:16.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

  1. What is written in the law? how readest thou? Looking upon Jesus as a sabbath-breaker and a despiser of tradition, the lawyer no doubt expected that Jesus would lay down some new rule for obtaining salvation. If so, he was surprised to be thus referred to the law of Moses for his answer.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-10.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

26. πῶς ἀν.;] A common Rabbinical formula for eliciting a text of Scripture.

πῶς is not merely = τί, but implies how? i.e. to what purport; so that the answer should contain a summary of his reading in the Law.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-10.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 10:26. νόμῳ, in the law) This is apposite in reference to νόμικον, a lawyer, a teacher of the law, Luke 10:25.— πῶς, how) The Jews used daily to repeat the subsequent text. We must read Scripture often, but also daily [with due care to ascertain its spiritual meaning] [It is your duty to strive to attain the scope of Scripture.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 10:25"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 10:26". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-10.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The attention of those who inquire what they shall do to be saved, should be directed to the great fact, that by the works of the law they cannot be justified, and that the only way of salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, who is "the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

26.What is written’ how readest thou?—It is right to refer the lawyer to his own law-books, the minister to his Bible. Stier makes some beautiful points as to the how, here, as distinguished from the what. How we read, the spirit with which we inquire or study, is often of even more importance than what we read.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-10.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” ’

In dealing with his question Jesus followed a favourite technique of the Rabbis and replied with a question. He asked him what he thought the Instruction (Law - Torah) of Moses taught on the matter. Note His emphasis on ‘written’. He is not thinking of the traditions of the elders but of the Scriptures, and particularly the Law of Moses. He is pointing to that as the sole arbiter of religious response and behaviour.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-10.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Rather than answering the lawyer"s question outright Jesus directed him to the authority they both accepted, the Old Testament. Moreover by asking this counter-question Jesus put Himself in the position of evaluating the lawyer"s answer rather than having the lawyer evaluate His answer.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-10.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 10:26. In the law. These words are emphatic; as if our Lord would say, the answer to your question is in the law you teach.

How readest thou? This form was used by the Rabbins to call out a quotation from Scripture. ‘How’ means ‘to what purport.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-10.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 10:26. ., ., how stands it written? how readest thou? double question with a certain empressement.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-10.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

What is written . . . ? = What standeth written? See App-143.

the law. See note on Matthew 5:17, and App-117

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? - `an apposite question,' says Bengel, 'to a doctor of the law, and putting himself in turn to the test.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Isaiah 8:20; Romans 3:19; 4:14-16; 10:5; Galatians 3:12,13,21,22
Reciprocal: Nehemiah 13:1 - they read;  Isaiah 58:7 - thine own;  Matthew 9:13 - go;  Matthew 12:3 - Have;  Matthew 19:4 - Have;  Matthew 19:17 - but;  Mark 2:25 - Have;  Mark 10:19 - knowest;  Luke 18:20 - knowest;  Romans 2:23 - that makest

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-10.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 10:26.What is written in the law? He receives from Christ a reply different from what he had expected. And, indeed, no other rule of a holy and righteous life was prescribed by Christ than what had been laid down by the Law of Moses; for the perfect love of God and of our neighbors comprehends the utmost perfection of righteousness. Yet it must be observed, that Christ speaks here about obtaining salvation, in agreement with the question which had been put to him; for he does not teach absolutely, as in other passages, how men may arrive at eternal life, but how they ought to live, in order to be accounted righteous in the sight of God. Now it is certain that in the Law there is prescribed to men a rule by which they ought to regulate their life, so as to obtain salvation in the sight of God. That the Law can do nothing else than condemn, and is therefore called the doctrine of death, and is said by Paul to increase transgressions, (Romans 7:13,) arises not from any fault of its doctrine, but because it is impossible for us to perform what it enjoins. Therefore, though no man is justified by the Law yet the Law itself contains the highest righteousness, because it does not falsely hold out salvation to its followers, if any one fully observed all that it commands. (72) Nor ought we to look upon this as a strange manner of teaching, that God first demands the righteousness of works, and next offers a gratuitous righteousness without works; for it is necessary that men should be convinced of their righteous condemnation, that they may betake themselves to the mercy of God. Accordingly, Paul (Romans 10:5) compares both kinds of righteousness, in order to inform us that the reason why we are freely justified by God is, that we have no righteousness of our own. Now Christ in this reply accommodated himself to the lawyer, and attended to the nature of his question; for he had inquired not how salvation must be sought, but by what works it must be obtained.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:26". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-10.html. 1840-57.