046 The Tenants

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This page forms part of the resources for 046 The Tenants in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 046 Literature | 046 Parallels | 046 Commentary | 046 Poetry | 046 Images


(1) GThom. 65
(2) Mark 12:1-9,12 = Matt 21:33-41,43-46 = Luke 20:9-16,19
(3) Herm. Sim. 5.2:4-7

Crossan analysis:

Item: 46
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Triple
Historicity: +


(1) Thom 65

He said, A [. . .] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. 2 He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. 3 They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. 4 His master said, "Perhaps he didn't know them." 5 He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. 6 Then the master sent his son and said, "Perhaps they'll show my son some respect." 7 Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. 8 Anyone here with two ears had better listen! [Complete Gospels]

No copies of this portion of Thomas survive in Greek. For the Coptic version see [Early Christian Writings]

(2) Mark 12:1-9,12

Then he began to speak to them in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. 4 And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. 5 Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, and others they killed. 6 He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7 But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 8 So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyard to others..." 12 When they realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowd. So they left him and went away.

Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν· ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. καὶ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς τῷ καιρῷ δοῦλον ἵνα παρὰ τῶν γεωργῶν λάβῃ ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος· καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν ἔδειραν καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν. καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον· κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν καὶ ἠτίμασαν. καὶ ἄλλον ἀπέστειλεν· κἀκεῖνον ἀπέκτειναν, καὶ πολλοὺς ἄλλους, οὓς μὲν δέροντες, οὓς δὲ ἀποκτέννοντες. ἔτι ἕνα εἶχεν υἱὸν ἀγαπητόν· ἀπέστειλεν αὐτὸν ἔσχατον πρὸς αὐτοὺς λέγων ὅτι ἐντραπήσονται τὸν υἱόν μου. ἐκεῖνοι δὲ οἱ γεωργοὶ πρὸς ἑαυτοὺς εἶπαν ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος· δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἡμῶν ἔσται ἡ κληρονομία. καὶ λαβόντες ἀπέκτειναν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος. τί [οὖν] ποιήσει ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος; ἐλεύσεται καὶ ἀπολέσει τοὺς γεωργοὺς καὶ δώσει τὸν ἀμπελῶνα ἄλλοις. Καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν ὄχλον, ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν εἶπεν. καὶ ἀφέντες αὐτὸν ἀπῆλθον. (Mark 12:1–9, 12 GNT T)

= Matt 21:33-41,45-46

Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. 34 When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. 35 But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance." 39 So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?" 41 They said to him, "He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time." ... 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. 46 They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε. ἄνθρωπος ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνὸν καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ. καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν, ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν, ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν. πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους πλείονας τῶν πρώτων, καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτοῖς ὡσαύτως. ὕστερον δὲ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ λέγων· ἐντραπήσονται τὸν υἱόν μου. οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἰδόντες τὸν υἱὸν εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος· δεῦτε ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτὸν καὶ σχῶμεν τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν ἐξέβαλον ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος καὶ ἀπέκτειναν. ὅταν οὖν ἔλθῃ ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος, τί ποιήσει τοῖς γεωργοῖς ἐκείνοις; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· κακοὺς κακῶς ἀπολέσει αὐτοὺς καὶ τὸν ἀμπελῶνα ἐκδώσεται ἄλλοις γεωργοῖς, οἵτινες ἀποδώσουσιν αὐτῷ τοὺς καρποὺς ἐν τοῖς καιροῖς αὐτῶν. Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι τὰς παραβολὰς αὐτοῦ ἔγνωσαν ὅτι περὶ αὐτῶν λέγει· καὶ ζητοῦντες αὐτὸν κρατῆσαι ἐφοβήθησαν τοὺς ὄχλους, ἐπεὶ εἰς προφήτην αὐτὸν εἶχον. (Matthew 21:33–41, 45–46 GNT-T)

= Luke 20:9-16,19

He began to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, and leased it to tenants, and went to another country for a long time. 10 When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants in order that they might give him his share of the produce of the vineyard; but the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11 Next he sent another slave; that one also they beat and insulted and sent away empty-handed. 12 And he sent still a third; this one also they wounded and threw out. 13 Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.' 14 But when the tenants saw him, they discussed it among themselves and said, 'This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance may be ours.' 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When they heard this, they said, "Heaven forbid!" … 19 When the scribes and chief priests realized that he had told this parable against them, they wanted to lay hands on him at that very hour, but they feared the people.

Ἤρξατο δὲ πρὸς τὸν λαὸν λέγειν τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην· ἄνθρωπός [τις] ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν χρόνους ἱκανούς. καὶ καιρῷ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος δώσουσιν αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν δείραντες κενόν. καὶ προσέθετο ἕτερον πέμψαι δοῦλον· οἱ δὲ κἀκεῖνον δείραντες καὶ ἀτιμάσαντες ἐξαπέστειλαν κενόν. καὶ προσέθετο τρίτον πέμψαι· οἱ δὲ καὶ τοῦτον τραυματίσαντες ἐξέβαλον. εἶπεν δὲ ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος· τί ποιήσω; πέμψω τὸν υἱόν μου τὸν ἀγαπητόν· ἴσως τοῦτον ἐντραπήσονται. ἰδόντες δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ γεωργοὶ διελογίζοντο πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες· οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ κληρονόμος· ἀποκτείνωμεν αὐτόν, ἵνα ἡμῶν γένηται ἡ κληρονομία. καὶ ἐκβαλόντες αὐτὸν ἔξω τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος ἀπέκτειναν. τί οὖν ποιήσει αὐτοῖς ὁ κύριος τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος; ἐλεύσεται καὶ ἀπολέσει τοὺς γεωργοὺς τούτους καὶ δώσει τὸν ἀμπελῶνα ἄλλοις. ἀκούσαντες δὲ εἶπαν· μὴ γένοιτο. Καὶ ἐζήτησαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐπιβαλεῖν ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν τὰς χεῖρας ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν τὸν λαόν, ἔγνωσαν γὰρ ὅτι πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην. (Luke 20:9–16, 19 GNT-T)

(3) HermSim 5.2:4-7

Listen to the parable I am about to tell you about fasting. 2 A certain person had a field and many slaves, and in a part of the field, cultivated a vineyard. The owner chose a slave who was trustworthy and pleasing to him, and when about to leave, the owner called him and said to him: ‘Take charge of this vineyard that I planted, build an enclosure for it, and, until I come, do nothing else to the vineyard. Keep this command of mine and you will have your freedom from me.’ Then the owner of the slave went away. 3 When the owner had gone, the slave enclosed the vineyard. When he had finished enclosing it, he saw that the vineyard was full of weeds. 4 He deliberated to himself saying: ‘I have completed the lord’s command. Now I will dig up this vineyard, and it will look better when it is dug; without weeds it will give better fruit, since the weeds will not be choking it.’ So he dug up the vineyard and pulled out all the weeds that were in it. That vineyard improved and was thriving without weeds choking it. 5 After a while, the owner of the slave and the vineyard returned and went to the vineyard. Seeing the vineyard nicely enclosed and even dug and weeded, and the vines thriving, he was extremely happy about what the slave did. 6 Calling his loved son whom he held as heir, and his friends whom he held as advisors, he told them what he had commanded the slave and what he found achieved. These congratulated the slave according to the testimony given by the owner. 7 He said to them: ‘I promised freedom to this slave if he kept the commandment I gave him. He kept my commandment and added good work to the vineyard, and so has pleased me greatly. In return for this work he has done, I want to make him joint heir with my son, for he appreciates the good and did not neglect it, but completed it.’ 8 The son of the owner was pleased with this opinion, that the slave would be joint heir with the son. 9 After several days the householder prepared a banquet and sent him much food from it. But the slave took the food sent from the owner, kept only what he needed, and distributed the rest of it to the other slaves. 10 His fellow slaves were very happy to receive the food and began to intercede on his behalf, that he might find great favor with the owner because he treated them in this way. 11 The owner heard all this and once again rejoiced over his behavior. Calling his friends and his son together once more, the owner told them what the slave had done with the food that he had received. They were even more pleased that the slave would be joint heir with the son. [Hermeneia, 170]

Ἄκουε τὴν παραβολὴν ἣν μέλλω σοι λέγειν ἀνήκουσαν τῇ νηστείᾳ. εἶχέ τις ἀγρὸν καὶ δούλους πολλούς, καὶ εἰς μέρος τι τοῦ ἀγροῦ ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα. καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος δοῦλόν τινα πιστὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον αὐτῷ, [102] ἀποδημῶν [103] προσεκαλέσατο αὐτὸν καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Λάβε τὸν ἀμπελῶνα τοῦτον ὃν ἐφύτευσα καὶ χαράκωσον αὐτὸν ἕως ἔρχομαι, καὶ ἕτερον δὲ μὴ ποιήσῃς τῷ ἀμπελῶνι· καὶ ταύτην μου τὴν ἐντολὴν φύλαξον, καὶ ἐλεύθερος ἔσῃ παρ᾿ ἐμοί. ἐξῆλθε δὲ ὁ δεσπότης τοῦ δούλου εἰς τὴν ἀποδημίαν. ἐξελθόντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἔλαβεν ὁ δοῦλος καὶ ἐχαράκωσε τὸν ἀμπελῶνα. καὶ τελέσας τὴν χαράκωσιν τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος εἶδε τὸν ἀμπελῶνα βοτανῶν πλήρη ὄντα. ἐν ἑαυτῷ οὖν ἐλογίσατο λέγων· ταύτην τὴν ἐντολὴν τοῦ κυρίου τετέλεκα· σκάψω λοιπὸν τὸν ἀμπελῶνα τοῦτον, καὶ ἔσται εὐπρεπέστερος ἐσκαμμένος, καὶ βοτάνας μὴ ἔχων δώσει καρπὸν πλείονα, μὴ πνιγόμενος ὑπὸ τῶν βοτανῶν. λαβὼν ἔσκαψε τὸν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ πάσας τὰς βοτάνας τὰς οὔσας ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι ἐξέτιλλε. καὶ ἐγένετο ὁ ἀμπελὼν ἐκεῖνος εὐπρεπέστατος καὶ εὐθαλής, μὴ ἔχων βοτάνας τὰς πνιγούσας αὐτόν. μετὰ χρόνον τινὰ ἦλθεν ὁ δεσπότης τοῦ δούλου καὶ τοῦ ἀγροῦ, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν ἀμπελῶνα. καὶ ἰδὼν τὸν ἀμπελῶνα κεχαρακωμένον εὐπρεπῶς, ἔτι δὲ καὶ ἐσκαμμένον καὶ πάσας τὰς βοτάνας ἐκτετιλμένας καὶ εὐθαλείς οὔσας τὰς ἀμπέλους, ἐχάρη λίαν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἔργοις τοῦ δούλου. προσκαλεσάμενος οὖν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν ἀγαπητόν, ὃν εἶχε κληρονόμον, καὶ τοὺς φίλους, οὓς εἶχε συμβούλους, λέγει αὐτοῖς ὅσα ἐνετείλατο τῷ δούλῳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὅσα εὗρε γεγονότα. κἀκεῖνοι συνεχάρησαν τῷ δούλῳ ἐπὶ τῇ μαρτυρίᾳ ᾗ ἐμαρτύρησεν αὐτῷ ὁ δεσπότης. καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἐγὼ τῷ δούλῳ τούτῳ ἐλευθερίαν ἐπηγγειλάμην ἐάν μου τὴν ἐντολὴν φυλάξῃ ἣν ἐνετειλάμην αὐτῷ· ἐφύλαξε δέ μου τὴν ἐντολὴν καὶ προσέθηκε τῷ ἀμπελῶνι ἔργον καλόν, καὶ ἐμοὶ λίαν ἤρεσεν. ἀντὶ τούτου οὖν τοῦ ἔργου οὗ εἰργάσατο θέλω αὐτὸν συγκληρονόμον τῷ υἱῷ μου ποιῆσαι, ὅτι τὸ καλὸν φρονήσας οὐ παρενεθυμήθη, ἀλλ᾿ ἐτέλεσεν αὐτό. ταύτῃ τῇ γνώμῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ δεσπότου συνηυδόκησεν αὐτῷ, ἵνα συγκληρονόμος γένηται ὁ δοῦλος τῷ υἱῷ. μετὰ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας δεῖπνον ἐποίησεν «ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης» [104] αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτῷ ἐκ τοῦ δείπνου ἐδέσματα πολλά. λαβὼν δὲ ὁ δοῦλος τὰ ἐδέσματα τὰ πεμφθέντα αὐτῷ παρὰ τοῦ δεσπότου τὰ ἀρκοῦντα αὐτῷ ἦρε, τὰ λοιπὰ δὲ τοῖς συνδούλοις αὐτοῦ διέδωκεν. οἱ δὲ σύνδουλοι αὐτοῦ λαβόντες τὰ ἐδέσματα ἐχάρησαν καὶ ἤρξαντο εὔχεσθαι ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ, ἵνα χάριν μείζονα εὕρῃ παρὰ τῷ δεσπότῃ, ὅτι οὕτως ἐχρήσατο αὐτοῖς. ταῦτα πάντα τὰ γεγονότα ὁ δεσπότης αὐτοῦ ἤκουσε, καὶ πάλιν λίαν ἐχάρη ἐπὶ τῇ πράξει αὐτοῦ. συγκαλεσάμενος πάλιν τοὺς φίλους ὁ δεσπότης καὶ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἀπήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς τὴν πρᾶξιν τοῦ δούλου [105] ἣν ἔπραξεν ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐδέσμασιν οἷς ἔλαβεν· οἱ δὲ ἔτι μᾶλλον συνευδόκησαν γενέσθαι τὸν δοῦλον συγκληρονόμον τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ. (Shepherd 55:1–11 AF)