Matthew 25

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Matthew 25
Gospel of Matthew 25:41–46 on Papyrus 45, from c. AD 250
BookGospel of Matthew
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part1

Matthew 25, the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, continues the Olivet Discourse or "Little Apocalypse" spoken by Jesus Christ, also described as the Eschatological Discourse,[1] which had started in chapter 24.[2]

American theologian Jason Hood, writing in the Journal of Biblical Literature, argues that chapter 23, chapter 24, and chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew form the fifth and final discourse in the gospel. In his reading, these three chapters together "uniquely infuse Jesus' distinctive teaching on discipleship, Christology, and judgment with the dramatic tension running throughout Matthew's plot".[3]


Matthew 25:12–15 on the recto side of Papyrus 35 from 3rd/4th century

The original text was written in Koine Greek. Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

It is also found in quotations from Irenaeus (AD 180) in Adversus Haereses.[4]


This chapter is divided into 46 verses. Pope Francis treats this chapter as "the 'protocol' by which we will be judged at the end of the world":

What is the protocol by which the judge will evaluate us? We find it in Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew.[5]

Verses 1-30[edit]

This chapter includes the Parable of the Ten Virgins (verses 1-13) and the Parable of the Talents (verses 14-30), both unique to Matthew.[6]

The Parable of the Talents has a corollary in Luke 19:11-27.

Verses 31-46[edit]

The final section (verses 31-46) is sometimes referred to as The Sheep and the Goats[7] but other times referred to as "The Judgment of the Nations".[8] The section quotes Jesus regarding how he is said to have said that all of the people will be assembled before him and "he will separate them one from another" with some who will "inherit the kingdom" while others who will go to "the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels". Jesus is said to have said that the basis of this separation is whether or not someone:[8]

  • Gave food to the hungry
  • Gave drink to the thirsty
  • Welcomed the stranger
  • Clothed the naked
  • Took care of the sick
  • Took care of those in prison

Verse 14[edit]

Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.[9]

This verse begins a new parable, that of the talents or minas. There is no reference to the "kingdom of heaven" in this verse or in the parable, but the words, which mirror verse 1, are added in the King James Version and some other English translations "for the sake of grammatical completeness".[10]



"Matthew 25:21" is a song title inspired by this verse on the album The Life of the World to Come that was released by the American band The Mountain Goats in 2009.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jerusalem Bible (1966), sub-title for Matthew 24-25
  2. ^ Carr, A., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: Matthew 24, accessed 10 October 2019
  3. ^ Hood, Jason (2009). "Matthew 23-25: The Extent of Jesus' Fifth Discourse". Journal of Biblical Literature. 128 (3): 527–543. doi:10.2307/25610201. JSTOR 25610201.
  4. ^ Dwight Jeffrey Bingham. "Irenaeus' Use of Matthew's Gospel in Adversus Haereses". Volume 7 of Traditio exegetica Graeca. Peeters Publishers, 1998 ISBN 9789068319644
  5. ^ Pope Francis, General Audience, Wednesday 6 August 2014, accessed 12 November 2023
  6. ^ Alford, H. (1841-61), Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford: Matthew 25, accessed 21 March 2021
  7. ^ BBC Bitesize, Death and the afterlife: The Parable of the Sheep and Goats, accessed 21 March 2021
  8. ^ a b "Matthew Chapter 25". United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 2023. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  9. ^ Matthew 25:14: New International Version
  10. ^ Plumptre, E. H. (1905), Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on Matthew 25, accessed 20 December 2022
  11. ^ Strain, Lauren (2009-10-06). "The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come / Releases / Releases // Drowned In Sound". Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-02-28.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Matthew 24
Chapters of the New Testament
Gospel of Matthew
Succeeded by
Matthew 26