My question is about an apparent contridiction in Luke 21:16-19. Luke 21:16-19 (ESV) says,

You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish.19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Jesus first says that some of them would be put to death and then immediately says that not a hair of their head will perish. How can the promise of verse 18 be real if he already told them some will die?

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    Notice that verse 19 says by [their] endurance [they] will gain [their] lives, and compare this now to Luke 9:24 and 17:33, echoed by all other Gospels (Matthew 10:39, 16:25; Mark 8:35; John 12:25).
    – Lucian
    Aug 4, 2017 at 6:38

3 Answers 3


Luke 21:18 relates with Matthew 10:30 and Luke 12:7, where Jesus teaches his disciples the hairs on their heads are all numbered. The context of those verses is Jesus teaching His disciples how much God cares for them, and yet to fear spiritual death more than physical death, because man can do no more than kill their physical bodies, whereas God is more than able to know what everyone is due for their actions, because He knows everything, and not even the sparrows die without God knowing. So, relating the context of those two verses back to Luke 21:18, Jesus is telling His disciples that even though they should suffer physical death through persecution, their spiritual bodies will be saved and they will lose no-thing of what they need to live with Him, forever, when the Son of Man enters His kingdom and the saints receive their inheritance in the kingdom of God - it will be as though they had not suffered any loss, if they hold firm to the end. The overall context of this verse, Luke 21:18, is Jesus showing His disciples that even though they are going to suffer because of their belonging to Him, and bearing His name, God is more than able to look after them in their sorrows, even to the point of persecution and death.


They may be put to death.

But they shall rise from the dead in resurrection.

Not a hair shall perish.

All will be restored in resurrection.


This is Lukes recollection of Jesus statement. In Luke 12:6 the author expresses the original idea and builds upon the information he has already related in Luke 21:18.

Luke 12:6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?

Luke is building upon his previous concept of God overseeing all that happens. This divine oversight would then also pertain to the deaths of some of Jesus followers.

Luke 12:6 is followed by 12:7 which expresses Lukes recollection of the "hairs of a person's head" being numbered.

The idea being addressed by Luke is that of God's knowledge of every event that happens in the life of the believer.

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