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.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Greek Text of Luke 7:36-50

Luke 7:36-50

v36 των Φαρισαιων (ος) gen. "[one] of the Pharisees" ηρωτα (ερωτεω) imperf. "invited" The extended time between the asking and the accepting prompts an imperfect tense completed when Jesus "went". Only Luke records such invitations by Pharisees and Jesus' willingness to share table fellowship with them.

v37 και ιδου γυνη "and a woman" ητις ην εν τη πολει αμαρτωλος "[living] a sinful life in that city" …so a well-known prostitute and local resident?  It is traditionally argued that it was Mary Magdalene (sometimes identified with Mary of Bethany) but as Origin noted Jesus was probably anointed by different women on different occasions.
κομισασα (κομιζω) part. "brought [an alabaster jar]" - either scented rubbing oil, or embalming oil - alabaster was used for expensive scents as it believed it preserved the μυρου (ος) gen. "perfume" literally the myrrh which was embalming oil. 

v38 στασα (ιστημι) aor. part. "she stood" οπισω παρα "behind him, at [his feet]" – i.e. behind him as he reclined at table. It appears the meal was on the verandah facing the inside courtyard; not unusual for members of the local community to be invited to gather in the courtyard of a prominent citizen while he was entertaining a public figure. The crowd would be gathered to eaves drop on the conversation; so it entirely plausible (even easy) for a strange woman to step forward and tend Jesus' feet.
κλαιουσα (κλαιω) pres. part. "weeping" with tears –expressing the manner of her standing, i.e. "she stood weeping." The question here is what prompted her outburst. Either she is expressing repentance to forgiveness or gratitude for forgiveness. 
τοις δακρυσιν (ον) dat. "with her tears" - instrumental, expressing means.
ταις θριξιν (ιξ ιχος) dat. "[she wiped them] with her hair – instrumental expressing means.
της καφαλης (η) gen. "of her head” either dative, i.e. the hair belonging to her head (as in a wig) or ablative i.e. the hair from her head, i.e. her actual hair.  Either is possible, the first is more likely! We all love the image of her bending down to wipe his feet with her hair except that there is no parallel anywhere for such an action and it is physically awkward. To use a wig is also unparalleled, just not as awkward.  Does it matter? Only to the issue of intent.
ηλειφεν (αλειφω) imperf. "poured [perfume] on [them]" - anointing – the dative
τω μυρω, "with the ointment", is instrumental expressing means. And massaged his feet with the scented oil- anointing was done on the forehead, not feet, which implies humility on the woman's part. It is doubtful whether this is an embalming image (unlike John). It is rather an act of gratitude.
ιδων (ειδον) aor. part. "when [the Pharisee who had invited him] saw" ο καλεσας
(καλεω) aor. part. "who had invited [him]" - adjectival limiting "Pharisee".
ει + imperf. ind. with αν in the apodosis. "if" - a 2nd class conditional clause. As far as the Pharisee is concerned, Jesus is anything but a prophet since, if he were he would know who this woman was and never let her touch him. 
αυτου gen. pro. "[who was touching] him" - Genitive of direct object after the verb απτομαι, "touch".

v40 διδασκαλε (ος) "teacher" - equivalent to rabbi.
χρεοφειλεται (ης) "[two] men owed money" - Luke uses the nominative case, as distinct from the dative, which is often used where a comparison is being drawn.
δανιστη τινι dat. "to a certain moneylender" - indirect object
δηναρια (ον) "denarii" - daily wage of a laborer was a denarius, the point here has to do with the disparity, not the size of the debt.

v42 αυτων gen. pro. "[neither] of them" εχοντων (εχω) pres. part. "had the money" - genitive absolute participle forms a temporal clause; "when they were unable to...
αποδουναι (αποδιδωμι) aor. inf. "to pay him back" - The 
εχαρισατο (χαριζομαι) aor. "he cancelled the debts of" – a colorful word but in the context means remission of a debt. The bland nature of the parable serves to draw out the point Jesus wants to make, that there was a great disparity in the debts and both were cancelled.
αυτων gen. pro. "of them [will love him more]?" - clause draws a comparison due to the presence of the comparative adverb πλειον; "of these two men, which will loved him more?" This is the punch line, - the parable is not about mercy but that a person who is forgiven much will love much. The word "love" is used since there is no actual word for "gratitude" in Aramaic.
αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "[Simon] replied".
υπολαμβανω "I suppose" – to regard something as true but without particular certainty. 
ω dat. rel. pro. "the one [who had the bigger debt canceled]".
ορθως adv. an idiom "exactly!” 

v44 Verses 44 to 46 seem like a diversion. What has Simon's lack of hospitality got to do with the woman's affectionate gratitude? It seems likely Simon represents those who have not been forgiven much and therefore shows little gratitude toward Jesus and little understanding of the woman's actions. The woman has been given much; i.e. is forgiven, and so her gratitude overflows. Simon, on the other hand, the one who judges, is condemned not for his lack of gratitude, but for the missing ingredient that would prompt gratitude, namely, forgiveness accessed by repentance.
στρεφεις (στρεφω) aor. pas. part. "then he turned" expressing action accompanying the main verb "said", "he turned .... and said" τω Σιμωνι (ων) dat. "to Simon"
βλεπεις (βλεπω) "do you see" - question indicates that the parable applies to the woman and to Simon.
εισηλθον (εισερχομαι) aor. ind. "I came [into your house]" came as a guest accepting hospitality.
ουκ εδωκας (διδωμι) aor. ind. "you did not give me [any water]" - proper custom, indicated that Simon should have provided water for Jesus to wash his feet before inviting him in. Often, servants would provide a bowl of water and towel and assist. Simon's failure to do this is actually an intentional insult.
τοις δακρυσιν (ον) "[she wet my feet] with her tears
 v45 Simon's lack of hospitality is again identified. He did not give Jesus the greeting of peace.
μοι dat. pro. "[you did not give] me [a kiss]"
αφ (απο) + gen. "from the time [I entered]" - temporal use of the preposition; "from the moment I entered." With ης, as here, or ου, is idomatic of a point of time from which something begins. The trouble is that the woman has entered after Jesus, but the point is that Jesus is emphasizing her hospitality in comparison with the lack of Simon’s.
καταφιλουσα (καταφιλεω) pres. part. "[has not stopped] kissing" - participle is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "cease". 

v46 ελαιω (ον) dat. "[you did not put] oil [on my head]" - [you did not anoint the head of me] with olive oil. The dative is instrumental, expressing means. Again, anointing is an act of courtesy toward a guest. As with the other "courtesies", it was not expected of a host, but again Simon's failure to do it exposed his attitude toward Jesus. The two words for "oil" in this verse emphasize the point. Simon didn't even use "olive oil", but the woman used μυρον , a strong aromatic oil.

v47 ου χαριν "therefore, [I tell you]" - neuter relative pronoun "which" has an external referent, namely, the principle formed in v43 (a person who is forgiven much loves much), and the demonstration of this in the woman's gratitude shown toward Jesus, v44-46. On account of which (ie. the evidence of the demonstrative love shown by this woman) Jesus is able to say that her sins have been forgiven. She loves much because she has been forgiven much. It is of course grammatically possibly to link "therefore" with "her many sins have been forgiven", which then implies that on the basis of her gratitude, she is forgiven. Given that the more literal translations are misleading, TJHIS SEESM BEST, "And so, I tell you, her great love proves that her many sins have ", 
αφεωνται (αφιημι) perf. pas. "been forgiven" - perfect passive indicates Jesus is not declaring forgiveness, but affirming her already forgiven state

v48 αφεωνται (αφιημι) perf. pas. ind. "[your sins] are forgiven" - The seemingly unnecessary addition of v48, 49, has prompted some commentators to discard the verses, or view them as a secondary expansion of the text. Even more concerning, there is the implication that Jesus may now be actually declaring forgiveness consequent upon the woman's exuberant affection, or even bestowing a second forgiveness. Both views are theologically untenable. The simple way through this maize is to view Jesus' words as a confirmation of her forgiveness, but confirmation to whom? Verse 50 is surely the woman's confirmation, while v48, backed up by v49, serves as a self disclosure by Jesus to the unbelieving spectators.

v49 οι συνανακειμενοι (συνανακειμαι) "the other guests" - the ones reclining with. The participle serves as a substantive; "those at the table with him."
λεγειν (λεγω) pres. inf. "[began] to say" - infinitive is complementary, completing verb "began". εν "among [themselves]
τις ουτος εστιν "who is this....?" - " A similar reference in 5:21 carries a negative sense, here it is positive. There is no indication Jesus' words are taken as blasphemy, nor is it Simon or a "Pharisee" who makes/thinks this comment. Obviously, in recording this comment, Luke is indicating something of Jesus' character, although it is really not central to the story.

v50 η πιστις "faith" - Given the context, it is sometimes argued genuine faith is expressed in a public response of gratitude. This is way off the mark. Faith is a reliance, a firm dependence on the revealed will of God in Christ. This woman had obviously heard the gospel and relied on Christ for the forgiveness of her sins, She did not have to act out her gratitude to validate her faith and so confirm her salvation, but thankfully for our sake, she did.
σεσωκεν (σωζω) perf. "has saved [you]" On a number of occasions Jesus made this statement in relation to healing and so the clause is translated "your faith has made you well." Here, given that the context is forgiveness of sins, "saved" in the sense of rescued from judgment is likely what is intended. 
πορευου (πορευομαι) imp. "go [in peace]" - a common farewell formula, it is unlikely that Jesus is bestowing the peace of God.


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