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Luke 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Preaching of John

It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar [C the Roman emperor, ad 14–37]. ·These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, [L …when Pontius Pilate was] the ·ruler [or governor; C his official title was “prefect”; Pilate governed from ad 26–36] of Judea; Herod [C Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great], the ·ruler [L tetrarch; C the title meant “ruler of a fourth,” but came to be used of any minor ruler] of Galilee; Philip [C another son of Herod the Great], the ·ruler [L tetrarch] of Iturea and Traconitis; and Lysanias, the ·ruler [L tetrarch] of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests [C Annas was the former high priest and father-in-law of Caiaphas, the official high priest]. At this time, ·the word of [a message from] God came to John son of Zechariah in the ·desert [wilderness]. He went all over the ·area [country; region] around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of ·changed hearts and lives [repentance] for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the ·book of [L book of the words/oracles of] Isaiah the prophet:

“This is a voice of one
    who ·calls out [shouts; cries out] in the ·desert [wilderness]:
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
    Make ·the road straight [a clear path] for him.
Every ·valley [ravine; wadi] should be filled in,
    and every mountain and hill should be made ·flat [level; low].
·Roads with turns [L Curved/T Crooked places] should be made straight,
    and rough ·roads [paths; ways] should be made smooth.
And all ·people [humanity; T flesh] will ·know about [L see] the salvation of God [Is. 40:3–5]!’”

[L So; Therefore] To the crowds of people who came to be baptized by John, he said, “You ·are all snakes [T brood/offspring of vipers]! Who warned you to ·run [slither; L flee] away from God’s coming ·punishment [wrath; retribution]? ·Do the things [L Produce the fruit] ·that show you really have changed your hearts and lives [that prove your repentance; L of repentance]. Don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father [C a claim to be God’s special people, since their ancestor Abraham was chosen and blessed by God; Gen. 12:1–3].’ [L For] I tell you that God could ·make [L raise up] children for Abraham from these rocks. The ax ·is now ready to cut down [L already lies at the root of] the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire [C a metaphor for judgment against those who disobey God].”

10 The ·people [crowd] asked John, “Then what should we do?”

11 John answered, “If you have two ·shirts [tunics], share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also [Is. 58:7].”

12 Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized [C tax collectors were despised because they worked for the Roman rulers and were notorious for corruption and extortion]. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”

13 John said to them, “Don’t take more taxes from people than ·you have been ordered to take [is prescribed/authorized].”

14 The soldiers asked John, “What about us? What should we do?”

John said to them, “Don’t ·force people to give you [extort] money, and don’t ·lie about them [make false accusations]. Be satisfied with the pay you get.”

15 Since the people were ·hoping [waiting expectantly] for the ·Christ [Messiah] to come, they [L all] wondered if John might be the ·one [L Christ; Messiah].

16 John answered everyone, “I baptize you with water, but there is one coming who is ·greater [more powerful; mightier] than I am. I am not ·good enough [fit; qualified] to untie [L the thong/strap of] his sandals [C a task of a servant or slave]. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 ·He will come ready [L The winnowing fork is in his hand] to ·clean the grain, separating the good grain from the chaff [L clear his threshing floor]. He will put ·the good part of the grain [L the grain/wheat] into his ·barn [storehouse], but he will burn the chaff with ·a fire that cannot be put out [never-ending/unquenchable fire; C a metaphor for judgment, when Jesus will separate the righteous from the wicked].” 18 And John continued to preach the ·Good News [Gospel], saying many other things to ·encourage [exhort] the people.

19 But John ·spoke against [criticized; rebuked] Herod [C Antipas], the ·governor [L tetrarch; 3:1], ·because of his sin with [L concerning] Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother [C Herod had divorced his wife and illicitly married the wife of his brother Philip; Lev. 18:16], and because of the many other evil things Herod did. 20 So Herod ·did something even worse [L added this to all his sins]: He ·put [locked; shut up] John in prison.

Jesus Is Baptized by John

21 When all the people were being baptized by John, Jesus also was baptized. [L And] While Jesus was praying, heaven opened 22 and the Holy Spirit came down on him in ·the form of [L bodily appearance like] a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my ·Son, whom I love [dearly beloved Son; Gen. 22:2; Ps. 2:7], ·and I am very pleased with you [in whom I take great delight [Is. 42:1].”

The Family History of Jesus

23 When Jesus began his ministry, he was about thirty years old. People thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son [C they were unaware of the virginal conception].

Joseph was the son of Heli [C “son” in Hebrew can mean “descendant,” so there may be gaps in the genealogy].
24 Heli was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
Levi was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Jannai.
Jannai was the son of Joseph.
25 Joseph was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Amos.
Amos was the son of Nahum.
Nahum was the son of Esli.
Esli was the son of Naggai.
26 Naggai was the son of Maath.
Maath was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Semein.
Semein was the son of Josech.
Josech was the son of Joda.
27 Joda was the son of Joanan.
Joanan was the son of Rhesa.
Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the son of Neri.
28 Neri was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Addi.
Addi was the son of Cosam.
Cosam was the son of Elmadam.
Elmadam was the son of Er.
29 Er was the son of Joshua.
Joshua was the son of Eliezer.
Eliezer was the son of Jorim.
Jorim was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
30 Levi was the son of Simeon.
Simeon was the son of Judah.
Judah was the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Jonam.
Jonam was the son of Eliakim.
31 Eliakim was the son of Melea.
Melea was the son of Menna.
Menna was the son of Mattatha.
Mattatha was the son of Nathan.
Nathan was the son of David.
32 David was the son of Jesse.
Jesse was the son of Obed.
Obed was the son of Boaz.
Boaz was the son of Salmon.[a]
Salmon was the son of Nahshon.
33 Nahshon was the son of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the son of Admin.
Admin was the son of Arni.[b]
Arni was the son of Hezron.
Hezron was the son of Perez.
Perez was the son of Judah.
34 Judah was the son of Jacob.
Jacob was the son of Isaac.
Isaac was the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the son of Terah.
Terah was the son of Nahor.
35 Nahor was the son of Serug.
Serug was the son of Reu.
Reu was the son of Peleg.
Peleg was the son of Eber.
Eber was the son of Shelah.
36 Shelah was the son of Cainan.
Cainan was the son of Arphaxad.
Arphaxad was the son of Shem.
Shem was the son of Noah.
Noah was the son of Lamech.
37 Lamech was the son of Methuselah.
Methuselah was the son of Enoch.
Enoch was the son of Jared.
Jared was the son of Mahalalel.
Mahalalel was the son of Kenan.
38 Kenan was the son of Enosh.
Enosh was the son of Seth.
Seth was the son of Adam.
Adam was the son of God.


  1. Luke 3:32 Salmon Some Greek copies read “Sala.”
  2. Luke 3:33 Admin…Arni Some Greek copies omit Admin and Arni from the genealogy; others include the names Ram (or Aram) and/or Joram.
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Luke 3 New International Version (NIV)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,

the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,

the son of Levi, the son of Melki,

the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,

the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,

the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath,

the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,

the son of Josek, the son of Joda,

27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,

the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,

the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki,

the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,

the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,

29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,

the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,

the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon,

the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,

the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,

31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,

the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,

the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse,

the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,

the son of Salmon,[d] the son of Nahshon,

33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,[e]

the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,

the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob,

the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,

the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,

the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,

the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,

the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,

the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,

the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,

the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh,

the son of Seth, the son of Adam,

the son of God.


  1. Luke 3:6 Isaiah 40:3-5
  2. Luke 3:16 Or in
  3. Luke 3:16 Or in
  4. Luke 3:32 Some early manuscripts Sala
  5. Luke 3:33 Some manuscripts Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni; other manuscripts vary widely.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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