Luke 4:29

I experienced an unusual disappointment as I read both the NIV (both 1984 and 2011) and the NLT this morning.

As I read Luke 4:29 (which is part of the passage I’m preaching on Sunday morning) I noticed that they both don’t translate a personal pronoun.

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Luke 4:3 Satan doesn’t doubt Jesus’ sonship

In reading and thinking about Luke 4:1-13 (which I’m preaching on Sunday am) I’ve notices that I (and lots of other Christians) tend to read the devil’s words in v3 as if they are calling Jesus’ sonship into question.

We read them as, “Jesus, if you really are the son of God (which I doubt) then prove it by…”

However, this cannot be what the text means. What the devil says to Jesus is Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, which is a 1st class conditional protasis which is followed by an apodosis (that doesn’t include ἀν). The significance of 1st class conditional statements is that they are assumed to be true, at least for the sake of the argument.

Satan is assuming that Jesus is the Son of God.

This is just one of the ways that I am starting to see how this passage is generally badly handled, misunderstood and misapplied.

New King James and Isaiah 5:22

Why, oh why are the translators of the NKJV so stupid as to start the second line of Isaiah 5:22 with the word “woe”?

You have to be really dull to not notice that Isa 5:8-30 is a section which is characterised by and structured around the six-fold appearance of the word “woe” (vv8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22).

In every other of the woe’s, the NKJV (as with all other translations) simply joins clauses with “and” or “who”. In Hebrew the second line begins with “and”. So why do they add this extra woe in v22? I really don’t know – any suggestions are welcome.

The problem I have with this is that they are making it very difficult for an English reader to pick up on what Isaiah is doing – they are distorting and disguising the authorial intention. I don’t like it!

Luke 4v14-15

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written…

14 Καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ᾽ ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ.

15 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων.

16 Καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς Ναζαρά, οὗ ἦν τεθραμμένος, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν κατὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν καὶ ἀνέστη ἀναγνῶναι.

17 καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου Ἠσαΐου καὶ ἀναπτύξας τὸ βιβλίον εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον,

Why do Bible publishers and commentators insist on dividing Luke 4:14-15 from 4:16ff. There are no discourse features which suggest there is a division, in fact there are a lot of cohesive features:

  • There is a long series of καί conjoined clauses running from v14 down to v17 (at least)
  • there is repetition of ‘synagogue’ between v15 and v16 (also v20)
  • and the idea of teaching (v15 cf. vv18-19, 20, 22)
  • the geographical notes are linked (Galilee (v14) and Nazareth (v16)) – this also ties in to later (v22-24)

If Luke had intended vv14-15 to be read separately from v16ff you would expect at the very least, a δέ at the start of v16…?