Two Witnesses

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”  Matthew 18:20 

Take a look at Matthew 18. This passage has often been taken to mean something different than its foundation and entire context, possibly one of the most misused passages in the entire New Testament. This passage has its root in the Torah, specifically Deuteronomy, and is not talking about gathering together as people of God for worship or going to church. "Name" is all about authority and reputation in the Hebraic context. If you doubt, read the entire chapter. 

"But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed…Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven." Matthew 18:16

There is nothing in this passage about church attendance as used by pastors through the years in an attempt to provide a biblical foundation for that dictate. Actually, such an idea (as we know it today) was not to develop in Christianity for many years and certainly was not in Jesus' vocabulary. I cringe when I hear this passage used as if Jesus' intent was to command people to “go to church.” This is not what this passage is speaking about.

"A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed." Deut. 19:15

"This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses." 2 Cor. 13:1

"Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses." 1Ti. 5:19

"Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses." Heb. 10:28


Jesus in his context, using his Bible was saying that when “two or three” (of his followers) come together or are agreed, he is also in or a part of that decision. This is a prime example of how modern thought or understanding from tradition and later development is incorporated back into (eisegete) the passage as if it were the original intent.

My intent is not to insinuate that believers and followers of God shouldn’t come together in mutual edification on a regular basis, I think we have an obligation to uphold and strengthen one another (which is not what the modern Church for the most part does anyway, but that is another post). That however is not what this passage is about. Context.

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