Woe to the false prophets! (Lk 6:26-6:26)

“Woe to you

When all speak

Well of you!

That is what

Your ancestors did

To the false prophets.”

 

οὐαὶ ὅταν καλῶς ὑμᾶς εἴπωσιν πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι· κατὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς ψευδοπροφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.

 

Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said they would be cursed (οὐαὶ), using the second person plural.  If people spoke well of them (ὅταν καλῶς ὑμᾶς εἴπωσιν πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι), that is what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors or fathers (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) did (γὰρ ἐποίουν) to the false or pseudo-prophets (τοῖς ψευδοπροφήταις).  This is the reverse of verses 22-23, where Jesus said that they would be blessed, happy, and fortunate (μακάριοί ἐστε), when people hated them (ὅταν μισήσωσιν ὑμᾶς οἱ ἄνθρωποι) or excluded them (καὶ ὅταν ἀφορίσωσιν ὑμᾶς) on account of the Son of Man (ἕνεκα τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  They would be blessed (μακάριοί ἐστε), when people insulted them (καὶ ὀνειδίσωσιν) or defamed them.  There is something equivalent to Matthew, chapter 5:11.  This persecution is precisely what (κατὰ αὐτὰ) their ancestors (οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν) had done to the ancient prophets (γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις).  In a certain sense, they were a continuation of the Old Testament persecuted prophets who had gone before them.  However, if people spoke well of them and treated them nice, perhaps they were the false prophets.

False Christs (Mk 13:22-13:22)

“False Messiah Christs

Will appear!

False prophets

Will appear!

They will produce

Signs!

They will produce

Omens

To lead astray,

If possible,

The elect.”

 

ἐγερθήσονται δὲ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται καὶ ποιήσουσιν σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς·

 

This is almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:24.  Mark said that both false or pseudo-Christs and false and pseudo-prophets would appear (ἐγερθήσονται δὲ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται).  They would give signs and wonders (καὶ ποιήσουσιν σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα), in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect or the chosen ones (πρὸς τὸ ἀποπλανᾶν εἰ δυνατὸν τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς).  The 3 synoptic gospels often warned against people who might lead them astray.  Some people would come saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them.  Apparently, there were quite a few deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.

 

False Christs (Mt 24:23-24:24)

“If anyone says to you.

‘Look!

Here is the Messiah Christ!’

Or

‘There he is!’

Do not believe it.

False Christs

And false prophets

Will appear!

They will produce

Great signs

And wonders,

To lead astray,

If possible,

Even the elect.”

 

τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε, μὴ πιστεύσητε·

ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται, καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα μεγάλα καὶ τέρατα ὥστε πλανῆσαι, εἰ δυνατὸν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς

 

This is exactly the same, almost word for word, in Mark, chapter 13:21-22, with a hint of this in Luke, chapter 17:22-23.  Matthew also spoke about the false Messiahs earlier in this chapter 24:5.  Jesus warned his disciples that if anyone said to them to look because the Messiah Christ was there (τότε ἐάν τις ὑμῖν εἴπῃ Ἰδοὺ ὧδε ὁ Χριστός, ἤ Ὧδε), they were not to believe it (μὴ πιστεύσητε).  Both false or pseudo Christs and false and pseudo prophets would appear (ἐγερθήσονται γὰρ ψευδόχριστοι καὶ ψευδοπροφῆται).  They would produce great signs and wonders (καὶ δώσουσιν σημεῖα μεγάλα καὶ τέρατα), in order to lead astray even the elect or the chosen ones (ὥστε πλανῆσαι, εἰ δυνατὸν, καὶ τοὺς ἐκλεκτούς).  Both Mark, chapter 13:5-6, and Luke, chapter 21:8, also warned them against people who might lead them astray.  Many people would come saying that they were the Messiah Christ in order to deceive them.  Apparently, there were many deceptive Jewish messianic leaders who were saying that they were the Christ Messiah.  John the Baptist was an example of a messianic leader in the 1st century CE.  Other political Jewish leaders had messianic ambitions also, especially those who led the revolt against the Romans in the 2nd half of the 1st century.  Jesus was warning against all of them.

 

False prophets (Mt 24:11-24:11)

“Many false prophets

Will arise up.

They will lead

Many astray.”

 

καὶ πολλοὶ ψευδοπροφῆται ἐγερθήσονται καὶ πλανήσουσιν πολλούς

 

This little saying about false prophets is unique to Matthew.  Jesus said that many false prophets or pseudo prophets would rise up (καὶ πολλοὶ ψευδοπροφῆται ἐγερθήσονται), so that they would deceive or lead many astray (καὶ πλανήσουσιν πολλούς).  In the midst of their tribulations, false prophets would lead many of the followers of Jesus astray.  Who were these false prophets?

False prophets (Mt 7:15-7:15)

“Beware of false prophets!

They come to you

In sheep’s clothing.

But inwardly they are

Ravenous wolves.”

 

Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν, οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες.

 

Another great Old Testament theme was the warning against false prophets, as can be found in Jeremiah, chapters 5:6, 5:31, and 6:12-15, Ezekiel, chapter 22:27-28, Zechariah, chapter 13:2, and Micah, chapter 3:5-8.  Mark, chapter 13:22 had a similar warning from Jesus.  The followers of Jesus should be on guard, should pay attention, and be aware (Προσέχετε) of these false or pseudo prophets (ἀπὸ τῶν ψευδοπροφητῶν).  They come to them with their sheep’s clothing (οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων), but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (ἔσωθεν δέ εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες).  These false prophets look like meek sheep, but they are really like veracious wolves.