No sandals, no staff
9 “Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts,
10 or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support…”

NASBu  Matthew 10:9-10

3 And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece…”
NASBu  Luke 9:3

Sandals and staff!
8 … and He instructed them that they should take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff, no bread, no bag, no money in their belt,
9 but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not put on two tunics.”

NASBu  Mark 6:8-9

SAB contradiction 844 (by book)

Two contradictions?

SAB (Skeptic’s Annotations Bible) questions: Did Jesus tell his apostles to go barefoot and without a staff?
SAB answers: He told them to go barefoot, without a staff (according to Matthew and Luke), but (according to Mark): He told them to wear sandals and carry a staff.
SAB claims two contradictions: Did the apostles travel barefoot or with sandals? Did they have a staff or didn’t they?

Forbidden extra’s

In Matthew and Luke Jesus forbids a bag and a ‘stick’, not a ‘staff’ as in the translation. The Greek rabdon can mean: staff, stick, rod, sceptre and the context of course determines the correct word choice. Here ‘stick’ is to be chosen, as the apostles were forbidden to take a bag with all sorts of extra’s and therefore, of course, a ‘stick’ to carry the bag (wallet) over their shoulder. Extra sandals also were forbidden according to Matthew.

Prescribed necessities

In Mark another saying of Jesus is given, in which not only is spoken about forbidden things as in Matthew and Luke, but also about prescribed things, as a stick – of course a walking-staff – and sandals on their feet, as they had a long journey before them.


The translation ‘staff’ in Matthew and Luke may be a little bit misleading, but – I’m sorry to say – I can’t see any contradictions in these verses. Reading the context, anyone can quickly discover what Jesus’ intentions were. And the conclusion must be: SAB is wrong, the Word is right.

No Bible Contradiction