Brood of Vipers

Why Is This Word Used Twice in Luke and Acts?


Welcome to Grace where you can belong before you believe! We'd love you to share your thoughts and interact here! We all grow stronger when we share our thoughts, questions and answers with each other as we believe church is designed to be done together!

Discussion Questions

  1. What made Jesus refer to the Pharisees as a Brood of Vipers? 
  2. What's the purpose of fire? 
  3. What was Paul's defense against the viper? What's your defense? 

Must be logged in to submit

Chris Absher Chrisabsher
I love learning how Luke-Acts are tied together in so many interesting ways—add a literary thread to the mix! Brett's comment below is so insightful I think comparing the "venom" of the pharisees with tradition, practice and doctrine. How often do we put those things in the way of people coming to Jesus?
Brett Griffin brettgriffin
A viper can strike quickly, injecting fatal venom that can be a defensive mechanism, or kill prey. In a sense, the pharisees were injecting tradition, practice, or doctrine that was counter to what Jesus was teaching. A form of the truth without love. Jesus teaches that the application of love is the truth. I agree with Gavin’s perspective in regards to fire. Aside from purification, fire could also represent a form of punishment. Seeking the truth and attempting to apply it to everyday life is my defense.
Gavin Walsh GavinW
1- I think it's interesting that the pharisees - one of the most powerful and respected positions of the day that claimed to honor God - were essentially accused of belonging to the devil. They claimed to honor God, but were completely opposed to Him. Had I lived in that day I don't know if I'd have had the courage to call them out. 2- Fire is sometimes used for purification. It allows anything not worthy to be burnt up. 3 - Paul shook it off into the fire. He could have shook it elsewhere, but then it could have come back to bite him.
Mark Martell Marktell1
I had always assumed vipers was a serpent reference intended to point towards Satan, who will also end up in fire. Brood has a specific meaning, usually referring to a animals that are children, so I have also assumed that Luke was essentially accusing the pharisees of being children of Satan. As for the shaking off of the viper, I always took this to be somewhat instructional, though I want to be careful with this one. This viper like someone who harms us or sins against us. My caution is that we should always be willing to share the Gospel with those who come against us. However, Luke's reaction doesn't seem to be an intentional killing of the viper. Instead, the instruction I see here is - when someone wrongs you, just shake it off - don't take it into your own hands - they will come to the end they deserve on their own.

"accusing the pharisees of being children of Satan" -> man that's very interesting. These pharisees I'm sure didn't enjoy being called that at all yet the truth was told.