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The Test of a Good Person

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The Test of a Good Person was a series of short sayings which were supposedly given by Jesus. Similar passages appear in the New Testament in Matthew and Luke, as well as in the apocryphal book, the Gospel of Thomas.

From Matthew 7:15–20 (KJV):

  • 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
  • 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
  • 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
  • 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
  • 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
  • 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


From Luke 6:43-45 (KJV):

  • 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
  • 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
  • 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

A similar passage appears in the Gospel of Thomas (Patterson-Meyer Translation):

43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?" "You don't understand who I am from what I say to you. Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."

It is also interesting to note that Matthew 7:15 makes a reference to one of Aesop's Fables, "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". Neither Luke nor Thomas includes this additional line, so it appears that this was added by Matthew himself.

The Test of a Good Person
Preceded by
Discourse on the Two Ways
in the Sermon on the Mount
New Testament
Events
Succeeded by
Parable of the Two Builders
in the Sermon on the Mount

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