Matthew 23:3

All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not according to their works: for they say, and do not.
Read Chapter 23

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
All therefore whatsoever they shall say. St. Augustine, in his defence of the Apostolic See, thus argues, contra lit. Petil. "Why dost thou call the apostolic chair the chair of pestilence? If, for the men that sit therein, I ask: did our Lord Jesus Christ, on account of the Pharisees, reflect upon the chair, wherein they sat? Did he not commend that chair of Moses, and, preserving the honour of the chair, reprove them? For he sayeth: they have sat on the chair of Moses. All therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do. These points if you did well consider, you would not, for the men whom you defame, blaspheme the Apostolic See, wherewith you do not hold communion. "(lib. ii. chap. 51) And again, chap. 61 Ibid. "Neither on account of the Pharisees, to whom you maliciously compare us, did our Lord command the chair of Moses to be forsaken; (in which chair he verily figured his own) for he warned the people to do what they say, and not what they do, and that the holiness o...


AD 420
He is tempted by the Pharisees and surrounded by their lies. According to the psalmist, “The arrows of children are their snares.” Nevertheless, on account of the dignity of the priests and their reputation, he encourages the people to obey them, considering not their works but their teaching. What he says is this: “The scribes and Pharisees sit upon the throne of Moses,” showing this as a throne of teaching about the law. And we ought to accept this because of what is said in the psalms: “He does not sit in the seat of scoffers” and “He overturned the seats of those who sold pigeons.” .

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But to me He seems, in addition to what has been said, to be providing for another object, in saying these things. For since He was on the point of accusing them, that He might not seem in the sight of the foolish to set His heart on this authority of theirs, or for enmity to be doing these things, first He removed this thought, and having set himself clear from suspicion, then begins His accusation. And for what intent does He convict them, and run out into a long discourse against them? To set the multitude on their guard, so that they might not fall into the same sins. For neither is dissuading like pointing out those that have offended; much as recommending what is right, is not like bringing forward those that have done well. For this cause also He is beforehand in saying, Do not after their works. For, lest they should suppose, because of their listening to them, they ought also to imitate them, He uses this means of correction, and makes what seems to be their dignity a charge a...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
When He has shut the mouths of the Pharisees and shown them to be incurably diseased, then He speaks about them. He speaks about their life and manner of living, admonishing His listeners not to despise their teachers even if they have a corrupt life. At the same time He shows that He is not in opposition to the law, but rather desires that the law be practiced even though those who teach it are unworthy. For, He says, whatever the teachers say, you must treat as if it had been spoken by Moses, and indeed by God. Then should everything be done that they say, even if it is bad? We would answer, first, that a true teacher would never even dare to exhort someone to do evil. But then, supposing that there were someone encouraging an evil life, we would say that such a man is not from the seat of Moses, nor does he give utterance from the law. The Lord speaks of those sitting in the seat of Moses, that is, those who teach the law. Therefore, one must listen to those who teach something from...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

App Store LogoPlay Store Logo