Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 18:9

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bigotry;   Confidence;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Publicans;   Self-Righteousness;   Works;   Thompson Chain Reference - Confidence, False;   Parables;   Security-Insecurity;   Self-Confidence;   Self-Justification-Self-Condemnation;   Self-Righteousness;   Truth;   The Topic Concordance - Abasement;   Exaltation;   Humbleness;   Hypocrisy;   Self-Righteousness;   Tithe;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Contempt;   Parables;   Pharisees, the;   Righteousness;   Self-Righteousness;   Trust;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Pharisees;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Adultery;   Humility;   Luke, gospel of;   Parables;   Pride;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Ethics;   Humility;   Pharisees;   Righteousness;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hearing the Word of God;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Tithe;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Pharisees;   Publican;   Simeon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Pride;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Parable;   Prayer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Annunciation, the ;   Character;   Common Life;   Communion (2);   Despise;   Discourse;   Error;   Forgiveness (2);   Humility;   Illustrations;   Impotence;   Mission;   Parable;   Pharisees (2);   Pride (2);   Profession (2);   Property (2);   Repentance (2);   Sympathy;   Trinity (2);   Winter ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Pharisee;   Publican;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Pharisees;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Forgiveness;   Gospels, the Synoptic;   Guilt;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Prayer;   Prayers of Jesus;   Salvation;   Self-Righteousness;   Tax;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for April 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Despised - Εξουθενουντας, Disdained, made nothing of others, treated them with sovereign contempt. Our Lord grants that the Pharisees made clean the outside: but, alas! what pride, vain glory, and contempt for others, were lodged within!

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Unto certain - Unto some.

Which trusted in themselves - Who confided in themselves, or who supposed that they were righteous. They did not trust to God or the Messiah for righteousness, but to their own works. They vainly supposed they had themselves complied with the demands of the law of God.

Despised others - Others who were not as externally righteous as themselves. This was the character of the Pharisees. They trusted in their outward conformity to the ceremonies of the law. They considered all who did not do that as sinners. This, moreover, is the true character of self-righteousness. Men of that stamp always despise all others. They think they are far above them in holiness, and are disposed to say to them, Stand by thyself, for I am holier than thou, Isaiah 65:5. True religion, on the contrary, is humble. Those who trust in Christ for righteousness feel that “they” are, in themselves, poor, and miserable, and guilty, and they are willing to admit that others may be much better than themselves. Certain it is, they “despise” no one. They love all people; they regard them, however vile, as the creatures of God and as going to eternity, and are disposed to treat them well, and to aid them in their journey toward another world.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-18.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he spake also this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at naught.

THE PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND THE TAX COLLECTOR

With the strange reversal of values which is the hallmark of evil in all ages, the people in this generation who "set others at naught" are not the careful observers of the outward forms and ceremonies of holy religion; but they are the gross sinners who "set at naught" those people who are striving to live as Christ commanded, styling them "self-righteous bigots"! Significantly, in this parable, there is no indication whatever that the publican "set at naught" the Pharisee; and those who seek the publican's reward by "setting others at naught" are on very precarious ground. It is just as easy to set others at naught because "we are not self-righteous like them" as it is to set them at naught for gross sins. Much of the comment one encounters with reference to this parable fails to note this significant fact.

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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 18:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he spake this parable unto certain,.... Or with respect to certain men; having a view to them, in order to expose their pride, vanity, arrogance, and self confidence:

which trusted in themselves that they were righteous; or, as if they were righteous; or because they were so in their own eyes, and in the esteem of others: the ground of their trust and confidence were themselves, their hearts, and the supposed goodness of them, their outward holiness, their moral behaviour, their duties, and good works, their almsdeeds, and religious exercises, their ceremonial observances, and fleshly privileges; on account of which they thought themselves very righteous persons, such as could not fail of being accepted with God, and justified in his sight; whereas there are none righteous in, and of themselves, no, not one. All the descendants of Adam, as such, are sinners, destitute of a righteousness, and filled with all unrighteousness, and are enemies to true righteousness: no man is naturally righteous, nor is he capable of making himself so, by any thing he can do: none are righteous by their obedience to the law of works, for that is imperfect, and cannot justify before God, in whose sight no flesh living can be justified on this account, however righteous they may appear before men, or may be in their own eyes: for this is contrary to God's way of making men righteous, and would disannul the death of Christ, and encourage boasting in men. Such trust and confidence must be very vain, and arise from ignorance; from ignorance of God, of the perfection of his justice, and of the nature of his righteous law; and of themselves, of the impurity of their hearts, and the imperfection of their obedience. These were of the "pharisaical" sort, and of which complexion were the generality of the Jews; and many of these were now standing by Christ, and within the hearing of this parable, and for whose sake it was delivered:

and despised others; or, "every man", as the Syriac and Persic versions read; all the rest of mankind, all but themselves; they made nothing of them, had them in no account; treated them as persons unworthy of the regard of God, and not fit to stand near them, or to be named with them.

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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 18:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

(2) Two things especially make our prayers void and of no effect: confidence of our own righteousness, and our contempt of others; but a humble heart is contrary to both of these.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-18.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Luke 18:9-14. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.

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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 18:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

He spake this parable, etc. The persons described in this verse are so much like the Pharisees that we can hardly believe that they were not. Rabbi Simeon, one of them, said, that if there were only thirty religious men in the world like Abraham, he and his son would be two of them; if only two, he and his son would be those; and if only one, that would be himself.

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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.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-18.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Set all others at naught (εχουτενουντας τους λοιπουςexouthenountas tous loipous). A late verb εχουτενεωexoutheneō like ουδενεωoudeneō from ουτενouthen (ουδενouden), to consider or treat as nothing. In lxx and chiefly in Luke and Paul in the N.T.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Despised ( ἐξουθενοῦντας )

Lit., made nothing of. Rev., set at nought.

Others ( τοὺς λοιποὺς )

The expression is stronger. Lit., the rest. They threw all others beside themselves into one class. Rev., correctly, all others.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

He spake this parable — Not to hypocrites; the Pharisee here mentioned was no hypocrite, no more than an outward adulterer: but he sincerely trusted in himself that he was righteous, and accordingly told God so, in the prayer which none but God heard.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-18.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought1:
    PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN. Luke 18:9-14

  1. And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought. It is commonly said that this parable teaches humility in prayer, but the preface and conclusion show that it is indeed to show forth generally the difference between self-righteousness and humility, and that an occasion of prayer is chosen because it best illustrates the point which the Lord desired to teach. The parable shows that the righteousness in which these parties trusted was devoid of that true charity or heart-love toward God and man without which our characters are worthless in the sight of God (Proverbs 30:12,13; Isaiah 65:5; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

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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 18:9". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

righteous

(See Scofield "Romans 10:3").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 18:9". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-18.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Ver. 9. That they were righteous, and despised others.] Pray to be preserved from this perilous pinnacle of self-exaltation.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 18:9. And he spake this parable Our Saviour, having encouraged and enforced the duty of importunity and perseverance in prayer, proceeded, in another instance, to caution against a self-righteous Pharisaical spirit, which must be renounced, and to recommend humility and self-abasement, which must have a place in the heart, if ever we find acceptance of our persons and prayers: and he directed this discourse to a set of people, who had high confidence in their own merit, and made this their great plea with God for acceptance, and who looked with contempt and disdain upon others, as not worthy to be compared with themselves, or regarded of God.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-18.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The design and scope of our Saviour in this parable is, to reprove and condemn the Pharisees, and in them all other self-justiciaries, who having an high opinion of, and trusting in, their own righteousness, despised others as vile persons, whose religion is not accompanied with ostentation, and who pretend not to such extraordinary degrees of sanctity as themselves.

And the parable further shows, that an humble, self-condemned sinner, who though he has been wicked, is now sensible of it, and with shame and sorrow confesses it before God, is more acceptable than he that vaunts of his virtue, and rests in the outward duties of religion: his pride and exaltation of himself shall abases him, while the other's humility shall exalt him.

This is the general scope of the parable; the particular observations from it are these: 1. The Pharisee and the publican both pray, they both pray together in the place of prayer, the holy temple, and they both pray, with and within themselves. Where the duty and action is the same, there may be a vast difference in the purpose and intention: Does an humble saint pray? So may a haughty hypocrite: Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, the other a publican.

Observe, 2. The Pharisee's prayer, He stood and prayed with himself, God, I thank thee, etc.

Where note, his gesture, He stood and prayed. Standing and kneeling are praying gestures, but sitting is a rude indecency, except in case of necessity. "In prayer," says pious bishop Hall, "I will either stand as a servant to my Master, or kneel as a subject to my prince."

Note farther, it is said, He prayed; but here is not one petition, but thanksgiving! God, I thank thee, etc.

Whence learn, that thanksgiving is a part of prayer. Hannah's prayer, as it is called, 1 Samuel 2:1-10 is a canticle, or song of praise. We then pray best when we praise God most.

Again, see the Pharisee's pride in this his prayer: this proud beggar shows not his wounds, but his worth, not his rags, but his robes, not his misery, but his bravery; he brings God Almighty in a reckoning of his services: I fast twice a week, I give alms of all that I possess, and thanks God more that others were bad, than that himself was good. Had the Pharisee with an humble mind thanked God for his restraining grace, that though he was not so good as he should be, that yet he was not so vile and bad as some others, this had been no fault; but when he comes before God with a proud and scornful mind, inwardly pleased that others were so bad, and so much worse than himself; giving thinks rather for others' badness, than his own goodness: this is a wickedness incident to none but devilish dispositions.

Learn hence, that whatsoever shows of goodness an hyocrite may make, yet he is inwardly glad of, and takes a secret delight in, others' badness; God, I thank thee that I am not as this publican; which was a kind of triumph, and proud insultation over the poor publican; he would seem to thank God that he was not so bad as the publican, when indeed he was glad that the publican was not so good as himself.

Observe, 3. The publican's behavior, in an humble sight and sense of his own sinfulness and unworthiness, he stood afar off, probably in the court of the Gentiles, where all sorts of sinners might come; acknowledging thereby that he was unworthy to come near the holy majesty of God; not presuming to lift up his eyes to heaven, that place of perfect holiness and purity; but, like a true self-condemned penitent, smote upon his breast, and in bitter remorse of soul said, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Hence learn, that a truly humble temper of mind well becomes us in all our approaches and addresses to God, and is more acceptable to him than all pompous performances whatsoever.

For observe lastly, the publican being thus condemned of himself, departs justified by God: He went down to his house justified rather than the Pharisee; the Pharisee justified himself, but the publican was justified by God.

Thence learn, that a penitent sinner, who is indeed poor in spirit, is far more esteemed of God, that he that makes long prayers, fasts often, tithes all his substance, and prides himself in all this. Without humility all is vain-glory and hypocrisy; and the seeming most sanctified person that has it not, is like a painted sepulchre, beautiful without, but full of rottenness within.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-18.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

9.] πρός, to, not concerning: it was concerning them, it is true:—but this word expresses that it was spoken to them. The usage of πρός in Luke 18:1 is no example for the sense concerning, for it is not there so used of persons, but with a neuter article and infinitive: εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς παρ. is too general a phrase, to allow of any other interpretation than the ordinary one, where the context will bear it.

πεποιθ. ἐφʼ ἑαυτ., not, ‘were persuaded of themselves,’ as Greswell renders; but as E. V., trusted in themselves: see reff.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-18.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 18:9. It is the more arbitrary to assume that the following doctrinal narrative was originally delivered in another connection (Paulus, Olshausen, de Wette; comp. Kuinoel), that it rather affords a confirmation of the probability (see on Luke 17:22) that the Pharisees, after our Lord’s rejoinder to them, Luke 17:20 f., were no longer present. The historical connection with what precedes is not more closely to be indicated than is pointed out by the characterization of the τινές as τοὺς πεποιθ. κ. τ. λ. These men, according to Luke 18:9, must in some way or another have made manifest their disposition, and thereby have given occasion to Jesus to deliver the following discourse as far as Luke 18:14. Who are the people? Assuredly not Pharisees, since it is actually a Pharisee that Jesus presents as a warning example. Possibly they were conceited followers of Jesus (Schleiermacher, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius), but more probably: Jews of a Pharisaic disposition, since Luke does not here, as at Luke 18:1, designate the disciples expressly, and it was just for Jews of this kind that not only the example of the Pharisee, but also that of the publican, was the most humiliating.

πρός] He spoke to them. To take it as at Luke 18:1 (Kuinoel, de Wette, and many others) is unsuitable, since there are persons in this place, and the context suggests no occasion for departing from the usual ad quosdam (Vulgate).

τινας τοὺς πεποιθότας] designates the persons in the abstract indefinitely, but in the quality in question specifically. See on Galatians 1:7, and Bornemann, Schol. p. 113; Bernhardy, p. 318.

ἐφʼ ἑαυτ.] they put on themselves the confidence that they were righteous. For others they did not entertain this confidence, but assumed the contrary and despised them.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-18.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 18:9. καὶ πρός τινας, also to certain persons) Previously He had spoken to the disciples, exhorting them to perseverance in prayer: now He deters certain persons from rashness and perverse self-confidence.— πεποιθότας ἐφʼ ἑαυτοῖς, who trusted in themselves) in themselves, not in the grace of God, when praying; Luke 18:10. The antithesis is πίστιν, faith, which has respect to God, Luke 18:8. So πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τῇ δίκαιοσύνῃ αὐτοῦ, Ezekiel 33:13, LXX.— ὅτι, that) For the very question at issue turns upon that, who in prayer is to be counted righteous [the self-justiciary, or he who stands righteous by faith].— δικαιοι) righteous, needing no justification, Luke 18:14. The antithesis is τῷ ἁμαρτωλῷ, “me, the sinner,” Luke 18:13.— ἐξουθενοῦντας, who made nothing of, despised) accounting them unrighteous [as compared with themselves].— τοὺς λοιποὺς, the rest of men) all and each: Luke 18:11.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

By the term certain, or some, he unquestionably understandeth the Pharisees and their disciples, who (as we have all along in the history of the Gospel observed) were a generation of men who were eminently guilty both of a boasting of themselves, and a scorning and despising all others.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-18.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

В этой притче ценна истина учения об оправдании по вере. Она прекрасно иллюстрирует, как грешник, абсолютно не имеющий личной праведности, может быть признан праведным пред Богом благодаря действию веры через покаяние. Притча адресована фарисеям, которые надеялись на свою собственную праведность (ст. 10, 11). Такая уверенность во врожденной праведности является тщетной надеждой, влекущей за собой осуждение (ср. Рим. 10:3; Флп. 3:9), так как человеческая праведность – даже праведность самого требовательного фарисея – не соответствует Божьему стандарту (Мф. 5:48). Писание последовательно учит, что грешники оправдываются, когда им вменяется совершенная Божья праведность (ср. Быт. 15:6; Рим. 4:4, 5; 2Кор. 5:21; Флп. 3:4-9). И этот мытарь (или кто-либо другой) может быть спасен только на таком основании.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-18.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

A high opinion of our own goodness in comparison with that of others, and a disposition to exalt ourselves, are exceedingly offensive to God; while a deep conviction of our own unworthiness, hearty contrition for sin, and humble supplication for mercy, are his delight.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he spoke also this parable to certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought,’

The people described here are in direct contrast with those who will have faith on earth, or who will be the believing ones, when He comes (Luke 18:8). They were confident in their own righteousness, and considered all others as less righteous than they. They based that belief on their fulfilment of the requirements of the Law in accordance with their own traditions, which placed an emphasis on the outward aspects of it. They overlooked what was central to the Law, the love of God and neighbour. But worse still they set at nought and treated with contempt those who did not follow their ways. And so that none might be in any doubt who were mainly in mind He told a parable in order to illustrate His comment.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-18.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Unto certain—The best commentators decide that the Greek word for unto should be rendered concerning. The parable was addressed to the disciples concerning the trusters in themselves and despisers of others, of whom this Pharisee is selected as an example.

Trusted in themselves—So low was their estimate of sin, and so high their estimate of their own merit, that they proposed to stand before God, to be justified on the ground of their own excellence; nay, came into his presence, and under forms of prayer and thanks, paraded these laudations of themselves and depreciations of their fellows.

Despised others—Their great sin was, that, despising the work of elevating others, as Jesus did the publicans and Gentiles of this region, they really rejoiced in their sinfulness and degradation, over which they could glory as a superior and despotic caste. Their language was, This people that know not the law are accursed.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-18.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse sets the stage for the parable that follows (cf. Luke 18:1; Luke 19:11). "And" signals the continuation of immediately preceding lessons and themes for the reader. Obviously Pharisees are the people that Jesus was criticizing in this parable ( Luke 18:10), but Luke introduced Jesus" teaching by highlighting the characteristic about the Pharisees that Jesus addressed. This is a characteristic that many more people than the Pharisees possess, including many of Luke"s readers. The only alternative to believing in Jesus is trusting in one"s own righteousness for acceptance with God. This always results in elevating oneself at the expense of others and looking down on others.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-18.html. 2012.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 18:9. , with reference to certain persons; who not indicated, of what sort definitely described. This introduction is doubtless an editorial heading extracted from the story. It is true, but not necessarily the whole truth. The story may have been spoken to publicans to encourage them to hope in God’s mercy—at the Capernaum gathering, e.g. : it is not really a parable, but simply an imaginary incident within the sphere to which its moral belongs.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-18.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

this chapter we have three examples of prayer: one of the persevering widow; another of the poor publican, who solicits the divine mercy by the acknowledgment of his crimes; and the third of the proud Pharisee, who only goes to the temple to pronounce his own panegyric, and enter upon a accusation of his humble neighbour, whose heart is unknown to him. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

certain = some also.

in. Greek. epi. App-104.

despised = made nothing of.

others = the rest. See Luke 8:10.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

9. Jesus also told this parable. He must mean the Pharisees, since they were sanctimonious. Rabbi Simeon, a Pharisee, is supposed to have said: “If there were only thirty righteous men in the world like Abraham, my son and I would be two of them; if only two, my son and I would be those; if only one, it would be myself.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-18.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Unto certain which trusted in themselves . . .—Here, as above, the purpose of the parable is stated at the outset. It is, perhaps, open for us to think that isolated fragments of our Lord’s teaching, treasured up here and there in the memory of disciples, and written down in answer to St. Luke’s inquiries in the second stage of the growth of the Gospel records, would be likely to have such an introduction.

The “certain which trusted” are not specified as being actually Pharisees, and included, we may believe, disciples in whom the Pharisee temper was gaining the mastery, and who needed to be taught as by a reductio ad absurdum, what it naturally led to.

Despised others.—Literally, the rest—viz., all others. The word for “despise,” literally, count as nothing, is again one of those which St. Luke has, and the other Evangelists have not (that in Mark 9:12 differs in form), but which is frequent in the vocabulary of St. Paul (Romans 14:3; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 16:11, et al.). This universal depreciation of others would seem almost an exaggeration, if experience did not show—e.g., as in the history of Montanism and analogous forms of error—how easily men and women, religious societies and orders, drift into it, and how hard it is to set any limits to the monomania of egotism—above all, of religious egotism. It never uttered itself, perhaps, in a more repulsive form than when the Pharisees came to speak of the great mass of their brother-Israelites as the brute people, the “people of the earth.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
which
10:29; 15:29; 16:15; Proverbs 30:12; Isaiah 65:5; 66:5; John 9:28,34; Romans 7:9; Romans 9:31,32; 10:3; Philippians 3:4-6
that they were righteous
or, as being righteous. and despised.
11; 7:39; 15:2,30; 19:7; John 7:47-49; 8:48; Acts 22:21; Romans 14:10
Reciprocal: Leviticus 13:32 - yellow hair;  Deuteronomy 25:3 - vile unto thee;  1 Samuel 15:30 - that I may worship;  Job 22:29 - he shall;  Proverbs 11:12 - that;  Proverbs 14:21 - that despiseth;  Proverbs 16:2 - the ways;  Song of Solomon 8:1 - I should not be despised;  Isaiah 43:26 - declare;  Isaiah 58:3 - have we fasted;  Ezekiel 33:13 - if he;  Matthew 9:14 - Why;  Luke 15:7 - which;  Romans 3:9 - are we;  Romans 3:27 - Where;  Romans 11:18 - Boast not;  Romans 12:12 - continuing;  Romans 14:3 - despise;  1 Corinthians 4:10 - but we;  2 Corinthians 1:9 - that;  Galatians 3:10 - as many

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Christ now gives directions about another virtue, which is necessary to acceptable prayer. Believers must not come into the presence of God but with humility and abasement. No disease is more dangerous than arrogance; and yet all have it so deeply fixed in the marrow of their bones, that it can scarcely be removed or extirpated by any remedy. It is no doubt strange that men should be so mad as to venture to raise their crests against God, and to plead their own merits before him. Though men are carried away by their ambition, yet when we come into the presence of God, all presumption ought to be laid aside; and yet every man thinks that he has sufficiently humbled himself, if he only presents a hypocritical prayer for forgiveness. Hence we infer that this warning which our Lord gives was far from being unnecessary.

There are two faults at which Christ glances, and which he intended to condemn, — wicked confidence in ourselves, and the pride of despising brethren, the one of which springs out of the other. It is impossible that he who deceives himself with vain confidence should not lift himself up above his brethren. Nor is it wonderful that it should be so; for how should that man not despise his equals, who vaunts against God himself? Every man that is puffed up with self-confidence carries on open war with God, to whom we cannot be reconciled in any other way than by denial of ourselves; that is, by laying aside all confidence in our own virtue and righteousness, and relying on his mercy alone.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-18.html. 1840-57.