Why is there a difference between Mark 10:29-30 and Matthew 19:28-29?

Matthew 19:28-29 (NIV)
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Mark 10:29-30 (NIV)
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

Matthew seems to have Jesus talking about Heaven/the Kingdom of Heaven but Mark seems to have Jesus promising great rewards "now"? Which would make sense if you love your Church family as much as your genetic one but 'lands'??? What with the hey?! One of them must be misleading because they can't both be correct accounts of Jesus's words!

  • I hate to break it to you, but you're right.
    – Sparr
    Jan 6, 2014 at 22:57
  • Could you explain in more detail how these verses contradict one another? Could you also cite the verses?
    – Narnian
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:23
  • I'm not sure you can make that assertion simply because the material things are not repeated.
    – Narnian
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:33
  • 1
    I don't see Matthew as referring exclusively to the next life. Why do you think that is what it is saying?
    – fгedsbend
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:35
  • @Narnian The material things are repeated, it is because, in Matt he says that such will be the reward 'now'...while I took another meaning from Matthew because he was, a second before, talking about the Kingdom of Heaven- it seemed to follow that, whatever followed, unless stated otherwisde, would be on the same topic.
    – Sehnsucht
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:05

4 Answers 4


I don't see Matthew as referring exclusively to the next life. Why do you think that is what it is saying?

In fact, Matthew doesn't give a time frame, therefore, it is less exact, but not contradicting Mark. They are both saying the same thing. Even in other translations, I see it as reading into the text of Matthew to say that it is referring exclusively to the next life. The text of Matthew merely says that those things will be given one hundred fold, and the text of Mark says this as well, but clarifies that it will be given now, and eternal life will be in the next life.

  • Ah, shame. I prefered how I was originally reading Matthew's...
    – Sehnsucht
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:01
  • I'm having a run of bad luck reading Bible texts. I get overly excited when I think I read a quote saying that Heaven is joyous beyond even Earthly joys...then, pop, my balloon always deflates...Wish it hadn't taken me two days to notice the word "now."
    – Sehnsucht
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:12
  • @ThomasJennings That's okay. Generally, it is a good practice to read a series of verses five to ten times over three or four days, if you are intending to study and know it. This allows you to think on it and see it from a different perspective multiple times. If questions still exist, then start asking others what they think, if they see the same thing or think your conclusions are reasonable.
    – fгedsbend
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:26
  • I love The Bible; it's great. Just a shame it never overjoys with ideas of Heaven as much as, well, a ton and a half of writers who have 'made up' stuff about it since. No pain or tears? An atheist/materialist idea of death does that. Joy? Great but there is also some lovely joy here. Joy beyond Earthly joy? Ah, now that is what I believe in. A shame I can't back it up.
    – Sehnsucht
    Jan 7, 2014 at 0:44
  • It is also a good idea to read other bible translations. Doing so can point out different phrases that may not necessarily stand out in just one translation.
    – Jeff
    Jan 7, 2014 at 17:05

With Mark, in order to see the context for this promise of Jesus, we need to go back just one verse, to Mark 10:28:

Mark 10:28: Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

By 70 CE, when Mark is now believed to have been written, its author knew that there were followers who had left their "houses, brethren, sisters, fathers, mothers, wives, children, or lands" , or had perhaps even been rejected by families and friends, to spread the gospel of Jesus. To assure them that this was all worthwhile, he included Jesus' promise that by doing so, they would have brothers, sisters, mothers and children a hundredfold, because all his followers were their family. Not only this but they would receive eternal life.

We now know the author of Matthew's Gospel copied almost all the material in Mark, sometimes with elaborations. Ian Wilson, writing about the resurrection in Jesus: The Evidence, page 143, speaks of these as "pious embroideries." So, not content with Mark's promise of rewards a hundred times what Jesus' followers had given up, Matthew promises Peter (implicitly, without Mark's broader reference "There is no man that hath left ...", speaking to the twelve apostles alone) twelve thrones, from which they will judge the twelve tribes of Israel.


In addition to the reward in Mathew as having no specific time line, the reward mentioned in Mark is spiritual. Brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and even homes and fields are spiritual rewards. Seriously, how would receiving material gains such as houses and lands match up expectations of persecution?

“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15 (KJV)

If we take the apostle Paul as an example, what did Paul leave his country, his home, his family to gain? He gained countless Christian brethren, Timothy (who was like a son to him), founded numerous churches, and brought Christianity to countless lands. This is what Jesus promised if one responds to His call to do His work.

  • @Sehnsucht, in respond to your earlier comment, Heaven is indeed joyous beyond even Earthly joys, and God encourages us to look to it. "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face" (1 Corinthians 13:12). We do not understand what we've lost until we are there. You will not understand how true joy feels like until you experience it.
    – Beestocks
    Jul 30, 2015 at 22:31

In the Greek, it is much clearer that Jesus was not only referring to spiritual rewards. A literal translation of the Greek makes it sound very material:

And all who left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or a father, or a mother, or children, or property because of my name, will get many times much more. He shall also acquire a perpetual living.

See this article that explains all the Greek and compares the Greek to the most common English translations.

Though translated as "eternal," the Greek word αἰώνιον didn't clearly have the meaning at the time. The Greeks, and ancient people in general (my other work is in ancient Chinese) didn't think of anything as "eternal" in the modern sense. This is a Christian concept, arising from our view of the nature of God. The Greek word means "lasting for an age" or "lasting for a life time." "Perpetual" is about as close as its use gets to our modern "eternal."

Actually, this verses in the original Greek, especially the Mark versions, are very light-hearted. See explanation of the Greek in Mark 10:29 here.

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