On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 8 - Matt 3:1-12 What the Text Says, by Pr. Fourman

Matthew 3:1-12

3:1 Ιωαννης "John"  means "gift of Yahweh" – the title is more accurately translated as " who is called the baptizer."
παραγινεται (παραγινομαι) pres. "came" – appeared on the scene; 
κηρυσσων (κηρυσσω) pres. part. "preaching" – announcing in the wilderness 
της Ιουδαιας (a) gen. "of Judea" – an adjectival genitive locative i.e. "the wilderness located in Judea" which is the region of the lower part of the Jordan valley around the Dead sea and up to the mountainous area to the west of the Dead Sea.
λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "saying
μετανοειτε (μετανοεω) present imperative "repent" - not in the sense of regret ("to be sorry") but rather the reflecting the Greek agricultural usage (to turn an ox) or the Hebrew/Aramaic word which meant "to change direction". John's understanding is a changed direction, a turning from a life lived without God toward a life lived with God. It might entail the sense of “change of mind" but not sorrow.  Sorrow would be the consequence of such a change, not the cause of it.  John is asking for a change in conduct – not of thinking (reminiscent of the old AA saying, it is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting. 
ουρανων (ος) "[the kingdom] of heaven" - In deference to his Jewish readers, Matthew shows respect toward the divine name by using the phrase "of heaven" instead of " of God." 
ηγγικεν (εγγιζω)Äperf. "near" –  a visceral verb that stresses the nearness of the kingdom; it is “palpable ".
ο ρηθεις (ειπον) aor. pas. part. "[is] he who was spoken of" - [is] the one spoken of, the matter considered. 
δια "through" literally "by means of."
του προφητου (ος) gen. "the prophet [Isaiah]" - 
φωνη (η) "a voice" – 
βοωντος (βοαω)Ägen. pres. part. "of one calling" – literally shouting
ετοιμασατε (ετοιμαζω) aor. imp. "prepare" – an imperative expressing command.
ηοδοσ κυριου (ος) gen. "[the way] of the Lord" - the specific sense of this phrase is somewhat of a guess; "the road by which Yahweh will comes"?
ευθειας adj. "[make] straight" as compared to crooked - an image drawn from the Persians who revolutionized road building. 
τριβους (ος) "paths" - a well beaten track.

  v4 Mal.4:5 indicating the return of Elijah prior to the coming of the Messiah. John's dress is an allusion to that of Elijah in 2Kgs.1:8 (although locusts and wild honey are not part of the Elijah legend).
v5 εξεπορευετο (εξπορευομαι) imperf. "went out" - may imply repetition, ie., "were continually going out".
πασα "all" περιχωρος (ος) "region" του Ιορδανου (ος) gen. "of the Jordan" – people  from all over the Jordan valley flocked to him.
εξομολογουμενοι (εξομολογεομαι) pres. part. "confessing" - acknowledging. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "baptize". The present tense probably serves to indicate that the action of confessing proceeds the main verb, baptize. The word is being used of a public acknowledgement; "they declared openly their state of loss in the sight of God."
εβαπτιζοντο (βαπτιζω) imperf. pas. "he was baptizing". The word carries the sense of "immersed" either partially or wholly, so "dipped" or "dunked" also works. The literal sense is common in the NT, but this word is often used figuratively: i.e. immersed in suffering, teaching, or the Holy Spirit. The context determines the sense intended.

v7 The preaching of John the Baptist, v7-12.
Φαρισαιων και Σαδδουκαιων gen. " Pharisees and Sadducees" - both groups were lawyers, believing a faithful adherence to the law promoted appropriation of the covenant blessings. The difference between the two groups lay in the law's extent: the Sadducees limited the law to the Old Testament, the Pharisees added traditions and interpretations.
γεννηματα (α) "brood/offspring/family”.
εχιδνων (α ης) gen. "of vipers" - he genitive is adjectival, relational.
υπεδειξεν (υπεδεικνυμι) aor. "warned" the sense is that the religious leaders want to escape judgment, “Can it actually be the case that you have been persuaded to believe that the divine judgment is near and you will be exempt from it?" 
φυγειν (φευγω) inf. "to flee/escape”. 
της μελλουσης (μελλω) pres. part. "the coming" - a sense of immediacy = the imminent judgment of God.
οργης (η) "wrath" – often used of a divine wrath/holiness that repudiates the unholy.
ποιησατε (ποιεω) aor. imp. "do/make” - the aorist indicates a specific act is needed.
καρπον (ος) sing. "fruit" - the singular implies that "works" is not in John's mind, but rather a singularly changed life, a new orientation.
αξιον adj. "worthy/in keeping with" - lit. ‘weighty’
της μετανοιας (a) gen. "of repentance" - prove the sincerity of your repentance by your conduct.
μη δοξητε (δοκεω) aor. subj. "do not think" – a deliberative subjunctive forming a negative command. "Do not fool yourselves.”
πατερα (πατηρ ερος) "father" - ancestor. They are kidding themselves, if by claiming Abraham as ancestor, they have weight with God.
λιθων .... τεκνα "stones .... children" - a play on words since both words use the same consonants in Hebrew.
εγειραι (εγειρω) aor. inf. "can raise up" a Semitism;  literally "cause to be born."

v10 των δενδρων (ον) gen. "[the root] of the trees
μη ποιουν (ποιεω) pres. part. "that does not produce" –does not do
καλον adj. "good" literally ‘edible’.
εκκοπτεται (εκκοπτω) pres. pas. "will be cut down

v11 Luke leaves out 
εις μετανοιαν, "to repentance", indicating Matthew maybe adding a comment with regard John's baptism, ie., that John's baptism is significantly different from Jesus'. 
ισχυροτερος (ισχυρος) comp. adj. "[is] more powerful
βαστασαι (βασταζω) inf. "to carry" – 
ουκ ειμι ικανος, "I am not worthy"
διακαθαριει (διακαθαριζω) fut. he will clear - every speck of rubbish removed.
συναξει (συναγω) fut. "gathering together”.
κατακουσει (κατακαιω) fut. "burning up" - he will consume. 
ασβεστω adj. "unquenchable" πυρι (πυρ πυρος) dat. "fire".

After all the verbs being in the present tense; all of verse 12 verbs are future tense.

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