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 4, 2017

The Greek Text of Matthew 3:13-17

Greek Study 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.
v14   διεκωλυεν (διακωλυω) imperf. "he (John) tried to deter/forbid [him]" aor. pas. inf. a connotative imperfect indicating action attempted but not achieved.
λεγων (λεγω) pres. part. "saying" attendant circumstance, "he forbid him and said"
και συ ερχη τρος με "and you come to me?" – a rhetorical question; “Surely you are not coming to me are you?”.

v15  αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "[he] answered” a common Semitic construction which somewhat vouches for the authenticity of this particular saying.
αρτι adv. "[enough for] now" – a temporal, the "now" underlines the idea that Jesus' submission to John is only "in the moment" so John has no need to be concerned about hierarchy or authority. 
ουτως γαρ "for thus” πρεπον (πρεπω) pres. part. "[it is] proper"; another Aramaic  idiom" this is how it should be now because we must...".
πληρωσαι (πληροω) aor. inf. "fulfill [all righteousness]" infinitive is epexegetic, explaining what is proper. "Righteousness", δικαιοσυνη, is 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 a river as he serves to accomplish God's will for Israel. Some scholars suggest Jesus' baptism prefigures crucifixion, others that he 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 split open” which invokes Luke’s imagery of the angels in the fields outside Bethlehem and Matthew later imagery of the curtain of the temple being “split open” at the moment of crucifixion; regardless the separation of the heavenlies from the earth is breached and ewe have a true theophany.
του αγιου (ος) του θεου (ος) gen. "Spirit of God" -  an ablative of origin; while the definite articles for both "God" and "Spirit" only appear in some manuscripts; “a spirit " would not work as the Holy Spirit is obviously intended, although it can be rendered as a possessive; "God's Spirit" – but it would infer the same.
καταβαινον (καταβαινω) pres. part. "descending (alighting) [on him]", a dependent statement of perception expressing what Jesus saw.
ωσει "like" a dove in appearance or descending as a dove might descend, the image may reflect the rabbinic interpretation of Genesis 1:2 i.e. the Spirit moved over the face of the waters "like a dove that broods but does not touch", i.e. a "new creation" image.
περιστεραν (α) "dove" – the actual bird intended is not clear but a dove is probably intended as a dove is used in the OT as an image of Israel more often than God's Spirit. 

v17  λεγουσα (λεγω) pres. part. "saying”- attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the implied verb "came"; "a voice came from heaven and said" which m may be another allusion back to Genesis 1 - God’s speaking creation into being.
ο υιος "Son" - probably in the messianic sense rather than a filial relationship.
ο αγαπητος (ος) "whom I love" implying an intimate association with the divine, think "dearest child" although the word here more likely implies “unique”.

εν + dat. "in [him] ευδοκεω "I give consent", rather than "I am pleased" - God's announcement is messianic, designating Jesus as God's messiah as in Isaiah 42:1 & 44:2.  

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