Bible Question:

In Matthew 22:29-30, we read that, “Jesus answered and said unto them, 'Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.'” I was wondering to which scriptures Jesus is referring since He states, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures. ” I'm not a Bible scholar, but I can't seem to find this scripture anywhere in the Old Testament. I am thinking it can't be from Jewish or Rabbinic tradition seeing Jesus said, “Scripture. ”

Bible Answer:

In the New American Standard Bible, Matthew 22:29-30 reads as follows,

But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” (NASB) Matthew 22:29-30

When Jesus said that they did not understand the scriptures, He was not referring to a single Old Testament passage but to the fact that the Sadducees did not accept the teaching of the scriptures that angels existed (Acts 23:8). Apparently, they also believed that after death people continued with the relationships they had while in this life. The Sadducees were blind to the fact that the first five books of the Old Testament, or the Pentateuch, referred to angels 32 times. They also ignored Job 19:25-27 and Daniel 12:2 which clearly teach that a future resurrection will occur. The Sadducees also did not believe in the resurrection (Matthew 22:23), even though the following people returned to life: the son of a Zarephath widow (1 Kings 17:17-22), the son of a Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:32-35), and a man whose body touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21). The Sadducees did not understand the Old Testament scriptures even though they read it and had large portions of it memorized. When Jesus said that angels were not given into marriage in heaven, He was not referring to a passage in the scriptures. He was teaching them. The angels existed since they were created by God (Neh. 9:6; Ps. 148:2-5). They are His servants (Luke 1:26). Jesus taught the Sadducees that the angels do not have families or have children. In fact, the scriptures do not teach what the Sadducees believed about angels and the resurrection. What irony! They did not believe what the scriptures clearly teach. Instead, they believed something that the scriptures did not teach. The scriptures did not teach that human relationships continued after death. Yet, they believed it!

Conclusion:

In order to understand the scriptures, one must believe in Jesus and be trusting Him for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43), and be empowered by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12-14; 1 John 2:20, 27). The Jewish leaders were incapable of understanding because they were not born again. As a result, the Holy Spirit was not living within them. May we encourage you to read the following: “Teaching The Truth” and “Why is the Bible at times difficult to understand?

Reference Links:

Who are the nine people mentioned in the Bible that were raised from the dead?
Teaching The Truth
Why is the Bible at times difficult to understand?