In Luke 9:23 in the HCSB Jesus is quoted saying

"If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me."

In the parallel passages in Mark 8, and Matthew 16 the word daily is omitted.

"If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." - Mark 8:34b

"If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me." - Matthew 16:24b

I have a note in my Bible saying that some manuscripts omit "daily" in Luke. Since Mark was completed prior to Luke, and since the majority of the parallel passages do not include "daily", is the best reading to not include it in Luke? It doesn't really change the meaning of the passage (that is to die to follow Christ), except to potentially add emphasis where it may not have originally been there. I can see how some could put too much emphasis on the word daily, and not on the original decision to take up the death march after being drawn by God according to John 6.

  • I suppose that if we make it a habit crucifying our flesh daily we won't forget doing it during the weekend when it really counts. Jan 30, 2019 at 0:39

1 Answer 1


The adverb, "daily" in Luke 9:23 is unique, ie, it is not reported by Matthew and Mark. According to NA28:

  • the texts (MSS) which support its inclusion are: p75, Sinaiticus (*2b), 01, 02, 017, 019, 032, 038, 040, 044, f1, f13, 33, 700, 892, 2542, aur, f, vulgate, Syriac (c p h**), sa, bo
  • The texts (MSS) that have it omitted include: Sinaiticus (2a), 04, 05, 036, 037, 565, 579, 1424, majority and byzantine texts, itala, Syriac (s hmg), sa(ms)

It is the judgement of NA28 that it should be included because the evidence from early witnesses appears conclusive. As Ellicott points out,

Take up his cross daily.--The adverb is peculiar to St. Luke's report, and at least reminds us of St. Paul's "I die daily" ( 1 Corinthians 15:31).

Any discussion about whether Luke should be corrected because Mark excludes the word "daily" on the basis that Luke borrowed from Mark is a discussion based entirely on speculation - information we do not have. Even if it were true, Luke might have found better information but we do not know. This is one of many cases where the evangelists report Jesus' words in different forms. That is, the early writers sometimes paraphrased without apology.

  • Thanks, I wasn't aware of the manuscript evidence for or against it's inclusion.
    – WnGatRC456
    Jan 30, 2019 at 0:00
  • As a physician, Luke was perhaps more educated in addition to probably being more of a word-smith. Physicians also had to be precise in their patient analysis, diagnosis, & treatment, including precise prescriptions of medicine. All of that practiced precision may have led Luke to synthesize & specify the ideas he learned from Jesus more specifically & more accurately. Thanks for your research on the manuscript authority of inclusion of the word "daily" as I think it is important that we develop a strong habit & pattern of entering into the fellowship of the cross of Jesus, multiplying love. Jul 26, 2022 at 2:51

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