Matthew 19:

29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for the sake of My name will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.

Why didn't Jesus say "wife or husband"?

  • 1
    It would have been overly verbose if Jesus listed every single possible family relationship. As a good communicator, Jesus provided a few examples and expected the listener to extrapolate that to mean "any family relationship." Jesus did not need to accommodate 21st century scholars who would parse the written account of his words when teaching the people who were right in front of Him. As good scholars, we would do well to take these things into consideration.
    – OCDev
    Oct 29, 2021 at 7:54
  • Good point. Find another case in point and expand it into an answer and I'll upvote it. Thanks :)
    – user35953
    Oct 29, 2021 at 13:24
  • 1
    @TonyChan I think, He does not need to comply to the Political Correctness idolatry to which so many of modern preachers pay homage and libation. He spoke to men, for in the context of those times the initiative of divorce and abandoning a spouse could only come from man, in a patriarchal society. Had He spoken today, He might have said "spouse", quite possibly so. The same reason why Paul addresses in his letters "brothers" and not "brothers and sisters". Somebody has erased my brilliant and glowing comment on lesbians and the tennis lesbian superstar Martina Navratilova! :) Oct 29, 2021 at 15:33
  • @LevanGigineishvili - Somebody deleted your comment? My own persuasion about the subject aside, how are people supposed to find truth about things in a culture where comments are deleted? And why am I not surprised? :(
    – OCDev
    Oct 30, 2021 at 11:21
  • @TonyChan - No, but many thanks. I deeply love Jesus, but I hesitate to be part of a culture that deletes comments under the pretext of finding truth.
    – OCDev
    Oct 30, 2021 at 11:21

2 Answers 2


You have chosen to ask what in today’s defiant culture is viewed as contentious, however in the context of the Scriptures, there is an order to Creation with purpose. This is to be respected if an individual is to function orderly in God’s creation and not come up against God Himself, the ultimate authority and enforcer of His design

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. For man was NOT made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:3, 8-9, 11-12, 16‬ ‭

A woman unmarried was still under the authority of her father. The only time a woman steps out from the authority of her father or husband is if her husband has passed, but she remains under the authority of God. 1 Corinthians 7:39

As such to answer your question, a man if he is single is under God’s authority and if he is married he is under God’s authority but a single woman or a married woman in God’s eyes will always have a man as an authority over her, so Jesus is addressing the person who will be held accountable and this takes a large burden away from women, not because they are not capable but because it was not intended for them by design/creation to carry.

  • 2
    In the light of the other answer, this answer and the upvotes that it has received are hilarious to me.
    – Carsten S
    Oct 29, 2021 at 11:31
  • The other answer is addressing a different issue, the omission of a word in certain versions. I’m addressing context which is what hermeneutics demands. So with it without the word context shows same outcome Oct 29, 2021 at 11:43

NKJV recognized in its Footnotes [fn] that the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (N) & United Bible Societies’ fourth edition (U) does not include : "Or Wife" (ē gynē) ἢ γυναῖκά .

NKJV [Matthew 19:29] - “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[fn] or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life." (19:29 καὶ πᾶς ὅς ἀφῆκεν οἰκίας ἢ ἀδελφοὺς ἢ ἀδελφὰς ἢ πατέρα ἢ μητέρα ἢ γυναῖκά ἢ τέκνα ἢ ἀγροὺς ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου ἑκατονταπλασίονα λήψεται καὶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσει)


NU-Text : These variations from the traditional text generally represent the Alexandrian or Egyptian type of text described previously in "The New Testament Text." They are found in the Critical Text published in the twenty-seventh edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament (N) and in the United Bible Societies’ fourth edition (U), hence the acronym, "NU-Text."


NU-Text : [Matthew 19:29] καὶ πᾶς ὅστις ἀφῆκεν οἰκίας ἢ ἀδελφοὺς ἢ ἀδελφὰς ἢ πατέρα ἢ μητέρα [?] ἢ τέκνα ἢ ἀγροὺς ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου, ἑκατονταπλασίονα λήμψεται καὶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσει.

[?] No sign of "Or Wife" (ē gynē) ἢ γυναῖκά...


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