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.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Matthew 3:13-17 What the text says: Pr. Fourman

Matthew 3:13-17

v13 The baptism τοτε adv. "then" = temporal; παραγινεται (παραγινομαι) pres. "came" a historic present = consummative aorist, a cessation of the act of coming. του βαπτισθηναι (βαπτιζω) aor. pas. inf. "to be baptized" – a genitive articular infinitive expressing purpose; "in order to be baptized." Matthew brings out the purpose of Jesus' coming to John.
διεκωλυεν (διακωλυω) imperf. "he (John) tried to deter/forbid [him]" - a connotative imperfect indicating action attempted but not achieved; "John unsuccessfully protested.
λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "saying" attendant circumstance, "he forbid him and said"
βαπτισθηναι (βαπτιζω) aor. pas. inf. "to be baptized" - υπο + gen. "by [you]" - Instrumental, expressing agency. και συ ερχη τρος με "and you come to me?" – a rhetorical.

v15 αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "[he] answered” a common Semitic construction, somewhat awkward in modern English.
αρτι adv. "[enough for] now" – a temporal, the "now" underlines the idea that Jesus' submission to John is "for the present" so John has no need to be reticent. 
ουτως γαρ "for thus”. causal, giving the reason why it is proper.
πρεπον (πρεπω) pres. part. "[it is] proper" for John to baptize Jesus; an idiom, "for now this is how it should be, because we must....".
πληρωσαι (πληροω) aor. inf. "fulfill/complete [all righteousness]" - to complete, accomplish [all righteousness]. The infinitive is epexegetic, explaining what is proper. "Righteousness", δικαιοσυνη, is being used in the sense of "conformity to God's will. Israel's ‘baptism’ in the Red Sea serves as a type for Jesus' baptism in the river as he serves to fulfill/accomplish God's will for Israel. Some scholars suggest Jesus' baptism prefigures his crucifixion, others that Jesus is fulfilling prophecy.

v16 βαπτισθεις (βαπτιζω) aor. mid. part. "having been baptized" - translators treat the participle as temporal, ευθυς adv. “immediately” (Mark’s favorite word). Most translators link "immediately" with the verb "rise up", i.e. "just then, when he came out of the water, the Spirit fell..."
οι ουρανοι (ος) "heaven" lit. "the heavenlies", i.e. the dwelling place of the divine.
νεω χθησαν (ανοιγω) aor. pas. "was opened/split open” this invokes LUjke’s images of the angels in the fields outside of Bethelhem, also in Matthew,k the curtain of the temple is “split open” at the crucifixion; at any rate the separation of the heavenlies from the earth is breached.
του θεου (ος) gen. "[the Spirit] of God" -  ablative of source/origin; "from God." The definite articles both for "God" and "Spirit" only appear in some manuscripts. A spirit of God" would not be an acceptable translation; the Holy Spirit is obviously intended, although this may still be rendered as a possessive; "God's Spirit."
καταβαινον (καταβαινω) pres. part. "descending" - As with "coming = alighting [on 
him]", the participle forms a dependent statement of perception expressing what Jesus saw.
ωσει "like" a dove in appearance or descending as a dove would descend. The image is likely to reflect the rabbinic interpretation of Genesis 1:2 - the Spirit moves over the face of the waters "like a dove that broods over her young, but does not touch them." As such we have a "new creation" image.
περιστεραν (α) "dove" - The actual bird intended is unclear, but a dove is probably intended. A dove is used in the OT as an image of Israel more often than an Image of God's Spirit. 

v17 This divine declaration is usually viewed as a melding of Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 
42:1. See above on the possible allusion to Genesis 22:1.
λεγουσα (λεγω) pres. part. "saying”- attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the implied verb "came"; "a voice came from heaven and said."
ο υιος "Son" - probably in a messianic sense rather than identifying a filial relationship.
ο αγαπητος (ος) "whom I love" implying an intimate association with the divine, think "dearest child", although the word here probably implies more "singular" or “unique”.

εν + dat. "in [him I am well pleased]" - expressing space, although an adverbial usage expressing manner is possible; i.e. "with whom." The NIV, and other translations, understands this phrase in the terms of God being pleased with the way and who Jesus is, but it seems more likely that God is announcing his favor rests on his beloved. With this translation the verb ευδοκεω is taken to mean "give consent", rather than "think it good  or pleasing." As such God's announcement is messianic, designating Jesus as God's servant messiah viz. Isaiah 42:1, 44:2.  

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