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, February 28, 2017

Greek Text for the First Sunday in Lent 2017, Matt 4:1-11

Greek Study Matthew 4:1-11

v1 ανηχθη (αναγω) aor. pas. "[Jesus] was led" - Matthew's choice of word, as distinct from Mark and Luke, probably has exodus overtones. Jesus was led into the wilderness as Israel was led into the wilderness.
πειρασθηναι (παιραζω) aor. inf. pas. "to be tempted" - The infinitive expresses purpose, "in order to" (Mark and Luke use a participle). Note how Matthew has the temptation after the 40 days, while Mark and Luke has it during.
του διαβολου (ος) "the devil" – literally "the enemy; the tester, the accuser, the evil one".

v2 νηστευσας (νηστευω) aor. part. "after fasting" - adverbial, note how Matthew fills in the details of fasting, ie. going without food for a period, possibly pointing his readers to the "fast" of Israel in the wilderness (Ex.34:28, Deut.9:9). 
υστερον adv. "afterward”;  temporal adverb; he was hungry later – this was not a symbolic fast.

v3 The first temptation - stones into bread. As with all the temptations, this is a test of faith. Will God supply Jesus' needs in the journey to the cross or should he rely upon his own ingenuity? Israel failed this very test in the wilderness so, the first temptation tests Jesus willingness to rely upon God's provision.
ο πειραζων (πειραζω) pres. part. "the one testing”. A descriptive of the devil's persona; he tempts to an evil end, the wue4etion is can do more than just test/tempt?
προσελθων (προσερχομαι) aor. part. "having approached” 
ει + ind. "if" - a conditional clause 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be a reality; so maybe “Since you are the υιος "the Son [of God]" - not "a son of God."
ινα + subj. "so that [these stones become bread] - a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus should speak.  Sop the tempter is suggestion the content of his speech here, not his actions (this power belongs to God, not Jesus).
v4 ο ... αποκριθεις (αποκρινομαι) aor. pas. part. "the one {tempted} answered”
γεγραπται (γραφω) perf. pas. "it is written" - The formal introduction to quotations; literally “it stands written”.  Soooooo; Jesus’ first defense to the temptation of interpreting God’s will to favor his own needs is to quote Scripture!

v5 The second temptation – at the pinnacle of the temple, note that in Luke the order of the next two temptations is reversed, although Matthew's order seems more appropriate given the devil's "worship me" is the most serious temptation. 
παραλαμβανει (παραλαμβανω) pres. "took him" – the present tense is probably historic, used for dramatic effect.
το πτερυγιον (ον) "the highest point" – an actual place by the way, although the actual meaning here is unclear, tip or high-point of a building is commonly accepted but it has been suggested it simply describes the position of the temple itself, given that it was held to be the highest point in Israel and the center of the world.

v6 οτι a dependent statement of quotation. The Devil can also use Scripture, in this case the Psalms.  But now the reversal, and Jesus interprets Scripture, of course he does this by USING Scriptures – and where have we heard this principal applied before? Oh wait, I remember, that Luther feller! What a maroon!

v7 Jesus' quotes Deut.6:16, a verse which goes on to refer to the testing of God by Israel at Massa, Ex.17:1-7. It was there Israel questioned God's covenant promise for their security and sought to dictate his provision. The Deuteronomy reference encourages Israel to do better.
εφη (αφιημι) aor. "[Jesus] answered" – literally, he ‘revealed what he was thinking”.
ουκ εκπειρασεις (εκπειραζω) fut. "do not put [the Lord your God] to the test" - do no tempt - an imperatival future tense. In the sense that forcing God prove himself correct is faithless at its center. 

v8 υψηλον adj. "high" (literally high) δεικνυσιν (δεικνυμι) pres. "showed" - Probably more in the sense "revealed", exposed the mystery of the secular world; apparently the devil has a doctorate in sociology.
του κοσμου (ος) gen. "[kingdoms] of the world" – interesting use of cosmos….

v9 The third and most powerful temptation - a kingdom without a cross. Jesus will rightly possess an eternal kingdom by divine right, but like Israel of old, the way to glory is through the wilderness. This should be required reading for every evangleical pioliticans, Trump included…Satan's compromise will trouble Jesus at the end; in Gethsemane he prays; "if it is possible, don't let this bitter ordeal come to me", again, we have a test of faith, either rely on God and his promise or on the world and its comfortable compromises.
δωσω (διδωμι) fut. "I will give" - Is it the devil's to give; does he really have the “whole world in his hands?
προσκυνησης (προσκυνεω) "worship" - do obeisance. This word is sometimes translated "to serve" but it means "to adore" or “prostrate before."

v10 υπαγε (υπαγω) pres. imp. "away from me" – imperative, Jesus now commands.  And once again he appeals to Scripture; “it stands written”.
λατρευσεις (λατρευω) fut. ind. "you shall adore, venerate, worship”. There is some confusion over the meaning of this verb. "Service" is probably not its intended meaning - the parallelism of the text (προσκυνησεις, "to fall down before = to do obeisance") supports the translation "worship, venerate.”

v11 αφιησιν (αφιημι) pres. ind. "abandons him" note Luke's addition, until a suitable time

διηκονουν (διακονεω) "attended/served”; durative, sustained action, originally a word applied to waiting on tables; (Acts 6).  The angels' presence calls attention to the victory of obedience, i.e. the angels come and take care of him.

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