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?
    – user3961
    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

5 Answers 5


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.
    – user3961
    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.


I would just like to point out another difference between these verses: according to the NIV translation, Matthew's Gospel includes "wife" as someone you could leave and then be rewarded for leaving. But in Mark's Gospel, (in the NIV), "wife" is not included.

But the KJV of Mark 10:29 does include "wife," and to that I say: a false translation. Nearly all other Bible translations (NIV, MSG, Einheitsübersetzung, +more) do not include "wife" as someone you could leave and then be rewarded for leaving. And why would Jesus say that, when just 18 verses earlier, Jesus was stressing how wrong it is to put away your wife... Regarding the "original text" - many Protestant Bibles (like KJV, Tyndale, Luther) include the word "wife" because of Erasmus' (the 16th century Dutch Priest who kindled the Reformation) first "comprehensive" Greek Bible (1516) that also included the word "wife" (or in Greek: Γυναίκα, in Latin: uxore). It served as a critical edition of Jerome's Vulgate in 384 AD and a synthesis of various Greek manuscripts available to him at the time (reaching as far back as the 4th century). ATTN: Jerome's Vulgate (the Latin Bible that the Catholic Church ascribes to) doesn't include the word "wife"! As grateful as the world can be for the sincere Christian efforts of Erasmus, his Greek Bible (since known as Textus Receptus, Latin for "received text") resulted in the Bibles of the early Protestant branches of Christianity to falsely include the word "wife" in their translations of Mark 10:29.

Since that time though, other and even older Greek manuscripts have been discovered. And many do not include the word "wife" in Mark 10:29. Now, of course the 1st edition manuscript of Mark's Gospel is lost. The oldest, complete Gospel-text manuscript is Codex Sinaiticus, a Greek translation from approximately 325 AD - it does not include the word "wife." But perhaps the oldest relevant manuscript is a text by Clement of Alexandria, a Christian-convert Theologian from Greece (c. 150 - 215 AD). He published "Quis dives salvetur" ("Which Kingdom Will Be Saved") in 200 AD and therein quoted Mark's record of Jesus speaking to the rich young man. When he quotes Mark 10:29, Clement does not include the word "wife." With Clement being only 2 generations away from Jesus Himself, his quotation appears to be the most definitive and reliable source of Mark 10's original text.

So, no - there isn't really a "leave your wife for the Gospel" teaching in this verse. One could say "well it appears that way in Matthew and Luke." Two things: First, Mark's Gospel was the first collected Gospel-narrative that was circulated among the early Saints. When the text came to the Matthean Saints, these were of course the more "Jewish" Saints that come from a tradition where a man actually could "leave his wife for God." So when the Matthean record was made approximately 10 years later, the text presents a conflict that the Markan doesn't... In Mark, there is a parallel if-then clause: IF you leave house, parents, land for the Gospel's sake, THEN you will receive hundredfold in houses, parents, and lands (no mention of "wife", because in Jesus' Christianity, we don't have any tenets of numerous - "hundredfold" - wives-reward in an afterlife). In Matthew, a conflict arises in the if-then clause, because, apparently, IF you leave house, parents, land, or wife, THEN you will receive a hundredfold... Wait, a hundredfold of wives??? That may align with Judaic or Muslim tenets, but not Christian. The same conflict arises in the Lukan record: IF you leave house, parents, wife, THEN you will receive "manifold more in this present time."

One might perhaps argue that the expression of receiving manifold "wives" through Christian conversion is simply a way of saying that you enter a big Christian family where everyone is related through Christ. No. Think of Paul: he was very clear in the expression of all female Saints in the Family of Christ as being "Sisters" to the male Saints. Not wives.

So in the search for the original words spoken by Jesus of Galilee, and in striving to resolve the discrepancy between the Gospel records in light of ancient manuscript discoveries, truth points to Jesus teaching that a Christian man will be blessed for leaving behind his land, his work, his friends if it is to magnify Christ's Kingdom. It is also appropriate for a man to leave behind parents (as Moses taught in Genesis, and Jesus quoted 22 verses earlier) to cleave unto his wife. A time will come in a Christian man's life that he will even have to let go of his children, let them grow up and follow their father's own pattern of Christian living. But a Christian man will always have devotion to his wife, in unity with his devotion to Christ. In fact, Paul taught that a husband's loyalty to his wife should reflect Christ's loyalty to His people, the Saints (Ephesians 5:25). Peter lived this teaching to the end. He not only took his wife with him on his Christian missions (1 Corinthians 9:5)... According to Clement of Alexandria, Peter led his Christian ministry so close with his wife, that they were both martyred and crucified on the same day. Living in Christ, dying in Christ, a Christian marriage goes on in the hope to live eternally in Christ. (Revelation 19:6-9)


Comparison of Greek manuscripts, oldest dating to 4th century https://prototypes.openscriptures.org/manuscript-comparator/?passage=Mark+10%3A29&view=parallel&ins%5B%5D=2&ins%5B%5D=4&del%5B%5D=7&del%5B%5D=5&del%5B%5D=6&strongs=1

Quotation of Clement's quoting Mark 10:29 in "Quis dives salvetur" https://books.google.de/books?id=1N0sDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT261&lpg=PT261&dq=The+Text+of+Mark+10:29%E2%80%9330+in+Quis+dives+salvetur?+by+Clement+of+Alexandria&source=bl&ots=ZBJd0DGTgu&sig=ACfU3U12wV1Dx2LBOk9st8pkk2d2vv-MWw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjBmbSShY_7AhWL-6QKHWyeA08Q6AF6BAggEAM#v=onepage&q=The%20Text%20of%20Mark%2010%3A29%E2%80%9330%20in%20Quis%20dives%20salvetur%3F%20by%20Clement%20of%20Alexandria&f=false

Overview of "Quis dives salvetur" https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_dives_salvetur

Comparison of KJV w/ other translations of Mark 10:29 https://www.bibleref.com/Mark/10/Mark-10-29.html

Westcott and Hort's odd commentary https://biblehub.com/commentaries/mark/10-29.htm

Mark 10:29 in Codex Sinaiticus https://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscript.aspx?book=34&chapter=10&lid=en&side=r&verse=29&zoomSlider=0

St Jerome's Vulgate, Mark 10:29 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0060%3Abook%3DMark%3Achapter%3D10%3Averse%3D29

For a future discussion point: https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/why-is-there-no-marriage-in-heaven

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