“I tell you the truth”

I was doing a search yesterday on the phrase “tell you” in the Bible (NIV) using the Nuggets app and I noticed something very interesting.  Most of the places where it shows up are in the Gospels, embedded in the phrase “I tell you the truth”.  So, I became interested in that phrase and searched for it.  The Nuggets app allows you to email the search results and here they are:

***************
Below are the results for search phrase ‘i tell you the truth’
***************

1. daniel 11:2 (niv)

“Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will appear in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece.

2. matthew 5:18 (niv)
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

3. matthew 5:26 (niv)
I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

4. matthew 6:2 (niv)
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

5. matthew 6:5 (niv)
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

6. matthew 6:16 (niv)
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

7. matthew 8:10 (niv)
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

8. matthew 10:15 (niv)
I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

9. matthew 10:23 (niv)
When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

10. matthew 10:42 (niv)
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

11. matthew 11:11 (niv)
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

12. matthew 13:17 (niv)
For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

13. matthew 16:28 (niv)
I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

14. matthew 17:20 (niv)
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. “

15. matthew 18:3 (niv)
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

16. matthew 18:13 (niv)
And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

17. matthew 18:18 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

18. matthew 19:23 (niv)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

19. matthew 19:28 (niv)
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, 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.

20. matthew 21:21 (niv)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.

21. matthew 21:31 (niv)
“Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.

22. matthew 23:36 (niv)
I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

23. matthew 24:2 (niv)
“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

24. matthew 24:34 (niv)
I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

25. matthew 24:47 (niv)
I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

26. matthew 25:12 (niv)
“But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

27. matthew 25:40 (niv)
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

28. matthew 25:45 (niv)
“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

29. matthew 26:13 (niv)
I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

30. matthew 26:21 (niv)
And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

31. matthew 26:34 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

32. mark 3:28 (niv)
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.

33. mark 8:12 (niv)
He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.”

34. mark 9:1 (niv)
And he said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

35. mark 9:41 (niv)
I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

36. mark 10:15 (niv)
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

37. mark 10:29 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” 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

38. mark 11:23 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

39. mark 12:43 (niv)
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

40. mark 13:30 (niv)
I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

41. mark 14:9 (niv)
I tell you the truth, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

42. mark 14:18 (niv)
While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me–one who is eating with me.”

43. mark 14:25 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.”

44. mark 14:30 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “today–yes, tonight–before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”

45. luke 4:24 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown.

46. luke 9:27 (niv)
I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”

47. luke 12:37 (niv)
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

48. luke 12:44 (niv)
I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.

49. luke 18:17 (niv)
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

50. luke 18:29 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God

51. luke 21:3 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others.

52. luke 21:32 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

53. luke 23:43 (niv)
Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

54. john 1:51 (niv)
He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

55. john 3:3 (niv)
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. “

56. john 3:5 (niv)
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

57. john 3:11 (niv)
I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

58. john 5:19 (niv)
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

59. john 5:24 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

60. john 5:25 (niv)
I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

61. john 6:26 (niv)
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.

62. john 6:32 (niv)
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.

63. john 6:47 (niv)
I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

64. john 6:53 (niv)
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

65. john 8:34 (niv)
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.

66. john 8:51 (niv)
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.”

67. john 8:58 (niv)
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

68. john 10:1 (niv)
“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.

69. john 10:7 (niv)
Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.

70. john 12:24 (niv)
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

71. john 13:16 (niv)
I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

72. john 13:20 (niv)
I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

73. john 13:21 (niv)
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”

74. john 13:38 (niv)
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

75. john 14:12 (niv)
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

76. john 16:7 (niv)
But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

77. john 16:20 (niv)
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

78. john 16:23 (niv)
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

79. john 21:18 (niv)
I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

As you can see, it shows up 79 times in the Bible and only 1 of those times is not attributed to Jesus, but rather to Daniel.  The phrase shows up 3o times in Matthew, 13 times in Mark, 9 times in Luke and 26 times in John.  Interestingly, there’s not much of a difference between the synoptic gospels and the gospel of John.

I see this as a piece of evidence that these gospels are not legends and do describe a historical person – Jesus of Nazareth, who frequently used this phrase in His communication.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s