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, May 3, 2016

Greek Studies for Ascension and the 7th Sunday of Easter.

Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21
12“See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates.
16“It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” 17The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let everyone who is thirsty come.  Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.  
20The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”   Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!  21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

v12 ερχομαι ταχυ pres. "I am coming soon" for people locked into linier time the concept of eschaton is not easy to grasp…but then time itself is a construct of creation, not of heaven. 
ο μισθος (ος) "[my] reward" - the translation "reward" –gives only a positive spin his coming entails both a blessing and a curse, so "compensation" is probably a better translation.
εκαστω dat. adj. "to each
το εργον "the work [of him] apparently when Jesus returns he will judge us on the basis of our work which seems to fly in the face of the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. But this judgment is not about our salvation, that has already been judged, but about our lives.  No one will escape judgment, and it may be discomforting, but it is real.  Whether we like them or not the charges will be made before the judgment seat and then the verdict “not guilty” will be rendered on the merit of Christ/s work, not our own.  This is in concert with Paul’s use of ‘forensic’ justification. Paul (and James) also speak of the “work”  of justification and the “work” of the spirit; we should not avoid the language of “work” altogether.

v14 οι πλυνοντες (πλυνω) pres. part. "those who wash" - washing image is used to describe being immersed in the death of Christ; the tense is durative present tense – a present action with ongoing consequence, so likely a reference to baptism. 

v16 μαρτυρησαι (μαρτυρεω) inf. "to give [you] this testimony" the infinitive forms a purpose clause, "to bear witness" meaning to “announce the revelation”.
η ριζα και το γενος Δαυιδ "The Rod and the Offspring of David" ο αστηρ ο λαμπρος ο πρωινος "The bright Morning Star" – are both Messianic titles.

v17 ερχου ... ερχου .... ερχεσθω (ερχομαι) imp. "come .... come .... let him come" – three invitations to come, from Christ and from His church to ο ακουων (ακουω) pres. part. "the one who hears" ο διψων (διψαω) pres. part. 
"[let] the one who is thirsty [come]" – recalls Isaiah and points to θωης (η) gen. "[the water] of life" - new life in the kingdom, and another Baptismal reference.

v20 ο μαρτυρων (μαρτυρεω) pres. part. "he who testifies" ερχου κυριε Ιησου "come Lord Jesus" - Greek equivalent to the Aramaic Marana tha, "Lord, come" – an early piece of liturgical worship another reference to the life of the church.

v21 του κυριου Ιησου gen. "[the grace] of the Lord Jesus" – an ablative of source, grace flows from Christ.
Gospel: Luke 24:44-53
44“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

v44 Ειπεν δε προς ουτους "He said to them" - phrase introduces a new scene.
πληρωθηναι (πληροω) aor. pas. inf. "be fulfilled" the infinitive forms a noun clause, Mark begins with this statement, "the time is fulfilled", that is the promises in scripture concerning the messiah and his kingdom are realized in Jesus. John echoes this.
τα γεγραμμενα (γραφω)  perf. pas. part. "that is written" a phrase used in Greek legal documents. 

v45 διηνοιξεν (διανοιγω) aor. "he revealed” either the spiritual gift of understanding, or a simple explanation of how the scriptures are fulfilled in him.
του συνιεναι (συνιημι) pres. inf. "so they could understand" – an idiomatic bit of snarkiness in the Greek, so; “Let me talk real slow here so I don’t lose you…” 
παθειν (πασχω) aor. inf. "will suffer" - as with "rise" and "will be preached", the infinitive forms a statement of indirect speech translated with the future tense. Luke gives a summary of scriptural teaching concerning messiah - he suffers, rises and is proclaimed to all peoples. This is a formulaic summary of the Gospel – another referent to the worship (or catechetical) life of the church.
αναστηναι (ανιστημι) aor. inf. "rise" - resurrection is always difficult to source in scripture. 
τη τριτη ημερα dat. "on the third day" – a dative of time and another liturgical element.
μετανοιαν (α) "repentance" - not so much a feeling sorry about or new-year's resolution to behave better, but a change of direction.
αμαρτιων (α) gen. "of sins" - epexegetic, making the "forgiveness" more specific.
κηρυχθηναι (κηρυσσω) aor. inf. "will be preached" (this proclamation of God's mercy to the nations fulfills the third element of the promised blessings to Abraham; a blessing to the nations”). 
αρξαμενοι (αρξω) aor. part. "beginning [at Jerusalem]" – idiom; "the mission begins in Jerusalem."

v49 αποστελλω pres. "I am going to send" – Luke calls disciples “apostles’ i.e. ‘sent ones’ and here the present tense is durative, present action but with continued impact, ie. the bestowal of this gift is ongoing.
του πατρος (ηρ ρος) gen. "[what my] Father [has promised]" - the substance of the promise is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
καθισατε (καθιζω) ω πολισ aor. imp. "stay [in the] city," continue/abide  - the image of the city is powerful,  not “a city” but “the” city!
ενδυσησθε (ενδυω) aor. pas. subj. "[until] you have been clothed with" - with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; which translate into δυναμιν (ις εως) "power" The words δυναμις
and πνευμα, "spirit", are virtually synonymous since power is what the Spirit supplies. As far as the fulfilment of scripture the promise of the new covenant is more the gift of divine presence than divine power.
εως προς "to the vicinity of [Bethany]" - possibly "in the sight of."
επαρας τας χειρας "he lifted up [his] hands" - the Jewish stance for prayer, so this is saying he ευλογησεν (ευλογεω) aor. "he blessed [them]" i.e. prayed for them.

v51 διεστη (διιστημι) aor. "he left/went away/moved on/ departed/separated from; a rare word with unclear meaning. Luke describes the ascension in Acts 1:9 mentioning a cloud and using verbs that imply upward movement, but is Jesus going up or is the cloud hiding him from their sight? It is possible Jesus is enveloped by a cloud, the shekinah glory representing the divine presence, and then the cloud και ανεφερετο ειν τον ουρανον
"was taken up into heaven" - some manuscripts have this clause and others don't. Some say it was removed to deal with a contradiction between the Gospel and Acts. Others argue it was added when the Gospel was separated from Acts. If added (which seems more likely) what we have is a resurrection appearance which ends with Jesus leaving. This serves as the end of the Gospel, with the ascension being described in Acts 1.
προσκυνησαντες (προσκυνεω) aor. part. "then they worshiped [him]" - not found in all manuscripts; the word carries the sense of obeisance, so “they knelt”.
v53 δια παντος "[they stayed] continually" - a contraction of δια παντος χρονου, "through all time". This doesn't mean they were in the temple continually, rather that the disciples continued with their practice of temple worship.  I say that this dates Luke to pre 90 AD (before Jamnia)!

ευλογουντες (ευλογεω) pres. part. "praising [God]" - the manner of their attendance at the temple doing the work to which they were called; witness and worship.

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