Monday, May 1, 2017

Figurative Speech with a Twist!

Below is a rough translation and some initial comments regarding John 10:1-10, the revised lectionary reading for the fourth Sunday of Easter. I think this reading is an interesting, even curious, study in figurative speech, with a real twist!

1 Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὁ μὴ εἰσερχόμενος διὰ τῆς θύρας εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τῶν προβάτων ἀλλὰ ἀναβαίνων ἀλλαχόθεν ἐκεῖνος κλέπτης ἐστὶν καὶ λῃστής:
Amen amen I say to you, the one who does not enter through the gate into the pen of the sheep but goes up another way that one is a thief and a bandit.
λέγω: PAI 1s, λέγω, to speak, to say
εἰσερχόμενος: PMPart nsm, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter 
ἀναβαίνων: PAPart nsm, ἀναβαίνω, 1) ascend  1a) to go up  1b) to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up 
ἐστὶν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. The terms “thief” and “bandit” are interesting.
A. κλέπτης is the root of the transliterated “klepto-maniac.” It will appear 2 more times in this pericope and is used by John to describe Judas (12:6).
B. λῃστής is the term used in Matthew and Mark to identify the two persons crucified with Jesus. It is also the term used in the Synoptics when Jesus is arrested and asks why they came out for him as if for a thief. It is also how the Synoptics describe Jesus’ overturning of the temple because it had become a “den of thieves.” In John, it is how Barabbas is described (18:40).

2 ὁ δὲ εἰσερχόμενος διὰ τῆς θύρας ποιμήν ἐστιν τῶν προβάτων.
But the one who enters through the gate is a shepherd of the sheep.
εἰσερχόμενος: PMPart nsm, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter 
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. Chapter 10 is the only place where the word “shepherd” appears in John’s gospel (vv.2, 11, 12, 14, 16). It is an image that the early church had of Jesus, but it does not seem to be a primary image and none of the images – as far as I can tell – are a reference to the 23rd psalm. (Sorry.)
2. The word “Shepherd” does not have a definite article, so “a shepherd,” not “the shepherd.” (Not sorry for tis one.)

3 τούτῳ ὁ θυρωρὸς ἀνοίγει, καὶ τὰ πρόβατα τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ τὰ ἴδια πρόβατα φωνεῖ κατ' ὄνομα καὶ ἐξάγει αὐτά.
To this one the gatekeeper opens, and the sheep hear in his voice, and his own sheep he calls by name and goes out to them.
ἀνοίγει: PAI 3s, ἀνοίγω, 1) to open
ἀκούει: PAI 3s, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf  2) to hear 
φωνεῖ: PAI 3s, φωνέω, 1) to sound, emit a sound, to speak
ἐξάγει: PAI 3s, ἐξάγω, 1) to lead out 
1. I am translating ὁ θυρωρὸς as ‘the gatekeeper’ to keep it consistent with translating τῆς θύρας as ‘gate.’ This role is the porter or doorkeeper, such as the young girl who was keeping the door at the chief priest’s hall in c.18 (vv.16f) after Jesus’ arrest. I’m under the impression this is a walled-in sheep pen, not one with a split rail fence or low-lying stones. The sheep that are there are all of the sheep in that particular cooperative, not just this particular shepherd’s sheep. They build the wall and hire the porter to mind the gate and keep an eye out for predators, etc. Then the shepherd comes, calls his sheep and they hear his voice and he goes to them. The difference between entering the gate via the gatekeeper and scaling the wall is a difference of legitimate access for good or for evil.
2. τὰ ἴδια is means “one’s own” and by itself often means “one’s people.” We retain that meaning to some extent when we speak of idiom or idiomatic speech as a speech pattern peculiar to a specific people. I don’t know if the word “idiot” is directly related, but I do wonder if the ‘idiot’ is the one whose own manner of thinking and communicating is so particular that nobody else can make sense of it. If that is the root of the word “idiot,” then it does not mean that the person makes not sense, but that his/her communication only makes sense to him/her.
3. The use of τὰ ἴδια in this verse shows the relation between the shepherd and the sheep, as opposed to the one scaling the wall where the sheep are. This is a peculiar (might I say ‘idiomatic’) way of speaking about the whole occupation of shepherding. It is not just a consumer-trade, where the sheep are natural resources to be exploited. There is a relational component to the trade. Maybe that is why the image of the shepherd seems so endearing.  

4 ὅταν τὰ ἴδια πάντα ἐκβάλῃ, ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν πορεύεται, καὶ τὰ πρόβατα αὐτῷ ἀκολουθεῖ, ὅτι οἴδασιν τὴν φωνὴν αὐτοῦ:
When he may drive his own out, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice;
ἐκβάλῃ: AASubj 3s, ἐκβάλλω, 1) to cast out, drive out, to send out  1a) with notion of violence  1a1) to drive out
πορεύεται: PMI 3s, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer 
ἀκολουθεῖ: PAI 3s, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes
οἴδασιν: PerfAI 3s,
1. This is a peculiar connection of words. ἐκβάλλω means ‘to drive out’ (literally ‘to throw out’) and often has a sense of violence or at least coercion – like Jn. 2:15 when Jesus ‘drives out’ the sheep and the oxen and the persons selling in the temple. Here, the shepherd ‘drives out’ the sheep, but by going before them and calling them and they hear his voice and follow. So far, signs of legitimate shepherding is to enter by the gate under the view of the porter; to be in relation to the sheep; and to lead as they willingly follow.
2. John uses φωνέω in v. 3 instead of λέγω – both of which could be translated ‘to speak’ or ‘to say.’ I suppose that is because of the connection between φωνέω and φωνὴν (voice), in vv. 3, 4 and 5. It may also signify some kind of unique sound that the shepherd makes, as opposed to simply saying, “C’mere, sheep!”

5 ἀλλοτρίῳ δὲ οὐ μὴ ἀκολουθήσουσιν ἀλλὰ φεύξονται ἀπ' αὐτοῦ, ὅτι οὐκ οἴδασιν τῶν ἀλλοτρίων τὴν φωνήν.
yet to a stranger they will not follow but will flee from him, because they have not known the voice of strangers.”
ἀκολουθήσουσιν: FAI 3p, ἀκολουθέω, 1) to follow one who precedes
φεύξονται: FMI 3p, φεύγω, 1) to flee away, seek safety by flight
οἴδασιν: PerfAI 3s, εἴδω, ἴδω, an obsol. form of the present tense, the place of which is supplied by ὁράω; to perceive.
1. I’m seeing ἀλλοτρίῳ (a stranger) as opposition to the shepherd and τὰ ἴδια (his own) sheep; the relatedness v. the strangeness.
2. John’s use of the perfect tense in this verse – ‘they have not known’ instead of ‘they don’t know’ – is a little jarring. It speaks to a long relationship between the sheep and the shepherd, cultivating familiarity with the sound of his voice. εἴδω is a favorite use of John’s for knowing or seeing and is often in the perfect tense.   

6 Ταύτην τὴν παροιμίαν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς: ἐκεῖνοι δὲ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν τίνα ἦνἐλάλει αὐτοῖς.
This figure of speech Jesus said to them: But they did not understand what the things were which he was speaking to them.
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, to speak, to say
ἔγνωσαν: AAI 3p, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἐλάλει: IAI 3s, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound  2) to speak 
1. The word παροιμίαν (which I follow others in translating as “figure of speech”) here, is sometimes misleadingly translated ‘parable’ (misleading because it is not the customary word for ‘parable’). It has this definition from something by or on the way, a wayside discourse, or a wayside illustration, lessons drawn from actions of ordinary life, and from objects and processes in nature; also, an out-of-the-way discourse; hence, an enigmatic speech, a dark saying (in opposite to παρρησίᾳ λαλεῖν, to speak openly or plainly).  It is used 4x in John (here, in 16:25 [2x], and 16:29), then only one more time in the NT (II Peter 2:22, with reference to a proverb).
2. The latter part of this verse sounds very awkward because I am trying to honor all of the verbs in it. The ἦν is particularly curious to those of us who are grounded in English grammar because it is odd to say “the did not understand ‘what the things were’ that Jesus was speaking….” But, since Jesus is using a ‘figure of speech,’ comprehension of what he is saying requires connecting the spoken words to the things that they signify. Those who were listening were not making that hermeneutical connection.
3. By the way, who are ‘those who were listening.’ Who is the ‘them’ of this verse? The NIV inserts “the Pharisees” because at the end of c.9 Jesus was addressing them. However, by the end of this chapter is it more generally “the Judeans” (v.19) who are processing what Jesus is saying.

7 Εἶπεν οὖν πάλιν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ θύρα τῶν προβάτων.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Amen amen I say to you that I am the gate of the sheep.
Εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, to speak, to say
λέγω: PAI 1s, λέγω, to speak, to say
εἰμι: PAI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
1. Surprise! It turns out that I “did not understand what the things were which he was speaking to them” either! I would have assumed that Jesus was the shepherd that enters the gate legitimately, or perhaps even the porter who grants access through the gate. As it turns out, he is the gate itself. Didn’t see that coming. And, frankly, I’m not sure that I can make sense of it still.

8 πάντες ὅσοι ἦλθον [πρὸ ἐμοῦ] κλέπται εἰσὶν καὶ λῃσταί: ἀλλ' οὐκ ἤκουσαν αὐτῶν τὰ πρόβατα.
All of those who entered [before me] are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not hear of them.
ἦλθον: AAI 3p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come 
εἰσὶν: PAI 3p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
ἤκουσαν: AAI 3p, ἀκούω, 1) to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf  2) to hear 
1. An early scribe has edited this text to include the words “before me.” I’m wondering if that scribe also “did not understand what they were which he was speaking to them.” To say ‘before me’ is to make the figure of speech temporal, when it seems like it ought to be spatial. The thieves and bandits do not come off-time, but off-site – they scale the wall instead of entering the gate. Perhaps “through me” would have been a better insertion.
2. I think ἤκουσαν αὐτῶν means ‘hear of them’ more than ‘hear/listen to them’ (which would be the dative case, wouldn’t it?).  “Listen to” seems to make more sense, though.
3. Thieves and bandits, again (see v.1).

9 ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ θύρα: δι' ἐμοῦ ἐάν τις εἰσέλθῃ σωθήσεται καὶ εἰσελεύσεται καὶ ἐξελεύσεται καὶ νομὴν εὑρήσει.
I am the gate; through me anyone who may enter will be saved and will come in and will go out and find pasture.
εἰμι: PAI 1s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
εἰσέλθῃ: AASubj 3s, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter 
σωθήσεται: FPI 3s, σῴζω, 1) to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction
εἰσελεύσεται: FMI 3s, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter 
ἐξελεύσεται: FMI 3s, ἐξέρχομαι, 1) to go or come forth of  1a) with mention of the place out of which one goes, or the  point from which he departs
εὑρήσει: FAI 3s, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with 
1. Okay, I’m genuinely getting tangled up in the thicket of metaphors here, but here is where my mind is:
- Lest we think we misheard Jesus the first time, he is indeed the gate, not the porter or the shepherd that enters via the gate (at least not yet).
- The gate swings in 2 directions: in for safekeeping from thieves and bandits; out for gaining access to pastures for nourishment.
- The word for ‘pasture’ can also be translated ‘eating.’ It is a nourishment term.
- While the phrase ‘will be saved’ evokes notions of eternal salvation from the fires of hell, here the threats are strangers or false shepherds who are thieves and bandits.
- I wonder if the narrator has persons like Judas or Barabbas in mind as those who would lead the people wrongly, who do not enter through Jesus and whom the sheep should refuse to follow.
2. I know we want to make this a “Jesus only” kind of text, but if the metaphor is that Jesus is the gate, the sheep do not enter and exit at will. In addition to the gate there is a shepherd. To this point, the pericope is about whether the shepherds are legitimate or illegitimate. The shepherd either enters through the gate to save the sheep or the thief/bandit scales the wall to steal or destroy.

10 ὁ κλέπτης οὐκ ἔρχεται εἰ μὴ ἵνα κλέψῃ καὶ θύσῃ καὶ ἀπολέσῃ: ἐγὼ ἦλθον ἵνα ζωὴν ἔχωσιν καὶ περισσὸν ἔχωσιν.
The thief does not come except in order that he may steal and kill and destroy; I came in order that you may have life and you may have abundance.  
ἔρχεται: PMI 3s, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come
κλέψῃ: AASubj 3s, κλέπτω, 1) to steal  1a) to commit a theft  1b) take away by theft i.e take away by stealth
θύσῃ: AASubj 3s, θύω, 1) to sacrifice, immolate  2) to slay, kill  2a) of the paschal lamb  3) slaughter 
ἀπολέσῃ: AASubj 3s, ἀπόλλυμι, 1) to destroy 
ἦλθον: AAI 3p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come 
ἔχωσιν: PASubj 3p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
ἔχωσιν: PASubj 3p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
1. The word περισσὸν is listed as an adjective, therefore many translations make it modify ‘life’ or add a pronoun ‘it’ to read, “… that you may have life and have it abundantly.” I am treating it like a substantive adjective (abundance) because the verb is repeated. That may not be the best alternative.

If one ends the reading at v.10, and does not include vv.11ff, then Jesus is not the Good Shepherd. Someone else is the good shepherd; Jesus is the gate which is the legitimate entry for those shepherds who will do well and not for those thieves who will do violence or harm. One hermeneutical question for vv.1-10 is, who is the shepherd and who is the thief?

But, of course, v.11 does indeed identify Jesus as the “good shepherd.” Another interpretive question, then, is whether we stop at v.10 or not. I believe the lectionary committee is correct in ending the pericope with v.10 because v.11 starts a new thought that is not easily reconciled with vv. 1-10. Being the ‘gate’ and being the ‘good shepherd’ are different things. One implication that keeping vv.1-10 as the pericope has is that a sermon title this week ought not to be about Jesus as the “good shepherd.” It should be about the less endearing “gate.”

While the language of ‘shepherd’ was adopted before long to mean ‘pastors,’ I would lean toward ‘the church’ being the shepherds and the sheep being the world, who are subject to abuse and destruction; or who might be loved and led.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Two Idiots and a Lord Walk Into an Inn

Luke 24: 13-35
Below is a rough translation and some preliminary notes regarding Luke 24:13-35, the Revised Common Lectionary Reading for the Third Sunday of Easter. What a profound and marvelous Easter story this is of the various ways that the early church experienced the presence of Christ. 

The title I have given this entry may seem a bit harsh, but it is Jesus who uses the rough term. The point of the story seems to be that these two travelers are discussing their ignorance. It is, to be sure, broken-hearted ignorance, but ignorance anyway. Then, Jesus interprets the meaning of the Scriptures to them. Even so, when they see him breaking and sharing bread, it all comes together. 

13 Καὶ ἰδοὺ δύο ἐξ αὐτῶν ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἦσαν πορευόμενοι εἰς κώμην ἀπέχουσαν σταδίους ἑξήκοντα ἀπὸ Ἰερουσαλήμ,  ὄνομα Ἐμμαοῦς, 
And behold two out of them in that day were traveling into a village distancing sixty stadia from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.
ἰδοὺ: AMImpv εἶδον, 1) to see; a particle serving to call attention 
ἦσαν: IAI 3p εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
πορευόμενοι PMPart, nmp πορεύομαι, to pursue a journey
ἀπέχουσαν PAPart, afs ἀπέχω, to be away, absent, distant

14 καὶ αὐτοὶ ὡμίλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους περὶ πάντων τῶν συμβεβηκότων τούτων. 
And they were speaking to one another about all of those things that had taken place.
ὡμίλουν : IAI 3p, ὁμιλέω, 1) to be in company with  2) to associate with  3) to stay with  4) to converse with
συμβεβηκότων: PerfAPart, gnp συμβαίνω, to walk with feet near together, come to pass
1. The verb ὁμιλέω, with its hard breathing, sounds like the English word ‘homily.’ I wonder if this verb is to distinguish their conversation from a simple “Wow, did ya hear what happened?” kind of conversation.
2. “All those things that had taken place.” It would be interesting to know what the narrator means by this phrase. I’ll return to this thought in v.20, n.1 below. In the NT, it is used in this verse, the next verse, and twice in Acts (20:11, 24:26).

15 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὁμιλεῖν αὐτοὺς καὶ συζητεῖν καὶ αὐτὸς Ἰησοῦς ἐγγίσας συνεπορεύετο αὐτοῖς, 
And it happened in their speaking and examining Jesus himself having approached was journeying with them. 
γένετο: AMI 3s γίνομαι, to appear, to be, to become
ὁμιλεῖν: PAInf, ὁμιλέω, 1) to be in company with  2) to associate with  3) to stay with  4) to converse with, talk about: with one
συζητεῖν: PAInf, συζητέω, 1) to seek or examine together  2) in the NT to discuss, dispute, question 
γγίσας: AAPart nms, ἐγγίζω, to make near, to approach
συνεπορεύετο: IMI 3s, συμπορεύομαι, to journey together
1. Now the two are speaking ὁμιλέω and examining συζητέω what had happened. συζητέω is used within the Lucan corpus, in Luke 22:23 and in Acts 6:9 and 9:29. In the Acts text, the word is often translated as “disputed.” This sounds like quite a conversation!
2. Jesus sneaks up. Cool.

16 οἱ δὲ ὀφθαλμοὶ αὐτῶν ἐκρατοῦντο τοῦ μὴ ἐπιγνῶναι αὐτόν. 
But their eyes were held from him so not to recognize him. 
ἐκρατοῦντο: IPI, 3p, κρατέω, to have power to, to hold
ἐπιγνῶναι: 2ndAAInf, ἐπιγινώσκω, to know, to recognize (via senses)
1. This is interesting, yes? It is not that Jesus is incognito, but that they are disabled from seeing him. The word κρατέω means to hold and it is passive. Their eyes were held from seeing him. What does that mean? Is it still a thing? Are some people simply disabled from seeing Jesus’ presence with them? Am I?

17 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Τίνες οἱ λόγοι οὗτοι οὓς ἀντιβάλλετε πρὸς ἀλλήλους περιπατοῦντες; καὶ ἐστάθησαν σκυθρωποί.
Yet he said to them, “What words that you are tossing back and forth while walking?” And they stood still [with] sad faces.  (Or, “What words are you tossing back and forth and sad faces frozen?”)
εἶπεν: AAI 3s λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
ἀντιβάλλετε: PAI 2p, ἀντιβάλλω, to throw in turn, to toss
περιπατοῦντες: PAPart nmp, περιπατέω, to walk around
ἐστάθησαν: API 3p, ἵστημι, to stand still
1. The plural noun σκυθρωποί means “of sad and gloomy countenance.”
2. There are two interrelated challenges in translating this verse.
a. The noun σκυθρωποί is in the nominative case, meaning it is the subject. Also, the verb ἐστάθησαν is passive and aorist (simple past), which I have tried to capture with the phrase “sad faces frozen.”
b. There is question where the quoted question ends. Is the part of the verse about their countenance part of the question or a comment following?

18 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ εἷς ὀνόματι Κλεοπᾶς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν, Σὺ μόνος παροικεῖς Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ οὐκ ἔγνως τὰ γενόμενα ἐν αὐτῇ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις; 
Yet having answered one named Cleopas said to him, “Are you alone sojourning in Jerusalem who did not know the things that have come about in it in these days?” 
ἀποκριθεὶς: APPart nms, ἀποκρίνομαι, to answer
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
παροικεῖς: PAI 2s, παροικέω, to live, to dwell
ἔγνως: AAI 2s, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know
γενόμενα: AMPart apm, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being
1. The word παροικέω looks like it would literally mean “house alongside.”
2. This is genuinely funny material, asking Jesus if he’s the only person in town who doesn’t know what just happened to Jesus.

19 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ποῖα; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Τὰ περὶ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναζαρηνοῦ, ὃς ἐγένετο ἀνὴρ προφήτης δυνατὸς ἐν ἔργῳ καὶ λόγῳ ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ, 
And he said to them, “What things?”  And they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus the Nazorean, who was a prophet man powerful in work and word before God and all the people. 
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
εἶπαν: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
ἐγένετο: AMI 3s, γίνομαι, to become,  
1. The word γίνομαι has wide meaning. I repeat a comment from last week’s text:
“The verb γίνομαι is in the middle/passive voice, which is not uncommon in John’s gospel. Its primary meaning is ‘to become’ but it can simply mean ‘to be’ or it can take on many shades of meaning. This is the verb that the KJV often translates “it came to pass,” because it points to a state of being, rather than a particular action performed by a particular person. I don’t think γίνομαι really fits into our typical patterns of ‘active’ v. ‘passive’ v. ‘middle’ verbs, where the actor and action are clearly identified.”
In this verse, I think it practically means “to be” and, like the common word for “to be” (εἰμί) is followed by a nominative predicate.

20 ὅπως τε παρέδωκαν αὐτὸν οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ ἄρχοντες ἡμῶν εἰς κρίμα θανάτου καὶ ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτόν. 
“whom then our chief priests and our rulers both handed him over into a judgment of death and crucified him.
παρέδωκαν: AAI 3p, παραδίδωμι, 1) to give into the hands (of another)
ἐσταύρωσαν: AAI 3p, σταυρόω, 1) to stake, drive down stakes 2) to fortify with driven stakes, to palisade  3) to crucify
1. Curious that there is no mention of any disciples betraying, denying, or abandoning Jesus. That is a curious part of this story to me. Perhaps it is part of the “those things that had taken place” of v.14.
2. The activity of naming the culprit in the crucifixion story seems to be a fluid matter. In biblical studies over the last ten years the primary culprit seems to have changed from the Jewish leadership to the Roman Empire. While I applaud the attempt to reverse the anti-Semitic tone of so many commentaries and biblical studies over the years, I think the attempt to name a culprit is more of a reflection of the practice of scapegoating than good theology. I would say that the biblical writers get caught up in this activity as well – see the way Judas gets treated from book to book (including books other than the gospels) for an example. In the end, there are many who are responsible for the crucifixion, including God, who wills for Jesus to take the cup that he would rather not take. A biblically responsible theology of the crucifixion, or a theologically responsible presentation of the biblical story, should probably keep both the divine will and the complex of human actions (Romans, disciples, Jewish leaders, bystanders) open as pieces of the complex puzzle that makes up the crucifixion.

21 ἡμεῖς δὲ ἠλπίζομεν ὅτι αὐτός ἐστιν  μέλλων λυτροῦσθαι τὸν Ἰσραήλ: ἀλλά γε καὶ σὺν πᾶσιν τούτοις τρίτην ταύτην ἡμέραν ἄγει ἀφ' οὗ ταῦτα ἐγένετο. 
“Yet we were hoping that he is the one about to redeem Israel; but indeed even with all of this in this passes into the third day since these things were done. 
ἠλπίζομεν: IAI 1p, ἐλπίζω, to hope
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
μέλλων: PAPart nms, μέλλω, 1) to be about
λυτροῦσθαι: PMInf, nms, to loosen, to redeem
ἄγει: PAI 3s, ἄγω, 1) to lead, take with one
ἐγένετο: AMI 3s, γίνομαι, to become
1. This verse is a bit of a dragon to translate and I’m not convinced that I’ve done it well. It does, however, capture well the deep disappointment that shook the early followers of Jesus.

22 ἀλλὰ καὶ γυναῖκές τινες ἐξ ἡμῶν ἐξέστησαν ἡμᾶς: γενόμεναι ὀρθριναὶ ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον 
“But also some of the women among us astonished us, having arrived early at the tomb
ἐξέστησαν: AAI 3p, ἐξίστημι, 1) to throw out of position, displace  1a) to amaze, to astonish, throw into wonderment 
γενόμεναι: AMPart, nfp, to become
The verb ἐξίστημι literaly means to stand outside, ἐξ/ίστημι just as it does in English, ‘ec/stacy.’ “Astonished” attempts to capture this experience of being “outside oneself.”

23καὶ μὴ εὑροῦσαι τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ ἦλθον λέγουσαι καὶ ὀπτασίαν ἀγγέλων ἑωρακέναι, οἳ λέγουσιν αὐτὸν ζῆν. 
and having not found his body came saying to have seen even a vision of angels, who said he is living.
εὑροῦσαι: AAPart npf, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with  1a) after searching, to find a thing sought 
ἦλθον: AAI 3p, ἔρχομαι, 1) to come 
λέγουσαι: PAPart npf, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ἑωρακέναι: PerfAInf, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes 
λέγουσιν: PAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
ζῆν: PAInf, ζάω, 1) to live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead)  2) to enjoy real life 

24 καὶ ἀπῆλθόν τινες τῶν σὺν ἡμῖν ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εὗρον οὕτως καθὼς καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες εἶπον,αὐτὸν δὲ οὐκ εἶδον. 
And certain of those with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women said, yet they did not see him.
ἀπῆλθόν: AAI 3p, ἀπέρχομαι, 1) to go away, depart  
εὗρον: AAI 3p, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with
εἶπον: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak
εἶδον: AAI 3p, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes

25καὶ αὐτὸς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, ω ἀνόητοι καὶ βραδεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ τοῦ πιστεύειν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἐλάλησαν οἱ προφῆται: 
And he said to them, “O fools and slow in the heart to believe in all the prophets spoke.
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
πιστεύειν: PAInf, πιστεύω, 1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place  confidence in
ἐλάλησαν: AAI 3p, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound
1. The first words of the risen Christ in Luke’s gospel are, “What are you two talking about?” The second: “You idiots!”
 2. ἀνόητοι would literally mean “without minds” I think. a/nous. Paul uses it twice to chastise the Galatians (3:1 and 3:3). βραδεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ would literally be “slow of heart.” The only other uses of βραδεῖς are in James 1:19, “be slow to speak, slow to wrath.” 

26 οὐχὶ ταῦτα ἔδει παθεῖν τὸν Χριστὸν καὶ εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ; 
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?
ἔδει: IAI 3s, δέω, 1) it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper
παθεῖν: AAInf, πάσχω, 1) to be affected or have been affected, to feel, have a  sensible experience, to undergo  1a) in a good sense, to be well off, in good case  1b) in a bad sense, to suffer sadly, be in a bad plight
εἰσελθεῖν: AAInf, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter
1. If you use be aware that it says the root for ἔδει is ἐσθίω (to eat). That is incorrect. The verb is δέω, a term that I believe has very intentional meaning throughout the gospels.

27καὶ ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ Μωϋσέως καὶ ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν προφητῶν διερμήνευσεν αὐτοῖς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς γραφαῖς τὰ περὶ ἑαυτοῦ. 
And having begun with Moses and with all of the prophets he interpreted to them in all the writings the things about himself.
ἀρξάμενος: AMPart nsm, ἄρχω, 1) to be chief, to lead, to rule 2) to begin
διερμήνευσεν: AAI 3s, διερμηνεύω, 1) to unfold the meaning, 2) explain, expound
1. One of the post-resurrection realities for the early church was the ability to make the connection between the death and resurrection of Christ and the Scriptures. Almost all of the other uses of διερμηνεύω in the NT are about interpreting the meaning of one language to another. That’s an interesting way of looking at the relationship between the OT and the Jesus story. It reminds me of the episode from Nehemiah, when Ezra opened the book of the law and read it to the people while the Levites interpreted it. “So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8)

28 Καὶ ἤγγισαν εἰς τὴν κώμην οὗ ἐπορεύοντο, καὶ αὐτὸς προσεποιήσατο πορρώτερον πορεύεσθαι. 
And they came near to the village where they were going and he made as though he is going further.
ἤγγισαν: AAI 3p, ἐγγίζω, 1) to bring near, to join one thing to another
ἐπορεύοντο: IMI 3p, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer  
προσεποιήσατο: AMI 3s, προσποιέομαι, 1) to take or claim a thing to one's self
πορεύεσθαι: PMI, πορεύομαι, 1) to lead over, carry over, transfer 
1. This is a curious moment in the story. I wonder why the feint of Jesus going further is included.

29 καὶ παρεβιάσαντο αὐτὸν λέγοντες, Μεῖνον μεθ' ἡμῶν, ὅτι πρὸς ἑσπέραν ἐστὶν καὶ κέκλικεν ἤδη  ἡμέρα. καὶ εἰσῆλθεν τοῦ μεῖναι σὺν αὐτοῖς. 
And they constrained him saying, “Remain with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now setting.” And he entered to remain with them.
παρεβιάσαντο: AMI 3p, παραβιάζομαι, 1) to employ force contrary to nature and right
λέγοντες:  PAPart npm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
Μεῖνον: AAImpv 2p, μένω, 1) to remain, abide 
ἐστιν: PAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
κέκλικεν: PerfAI 3s, κλίνω, 1) transitively  1a) to incline, bow  1b) to cause to fall back  1c) to recline  1c1) in a place for repose  2) intransitively  2a) to incline one's self 
εἰσῆλθεν: AAI 3s, εἰσέρχομαι, 1) to go out or come in: to enter
μεῖναι: AAInf, μένω, 1) to remain, abide

30 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ κατακλιθῆναι αὐτὸν μετ' αὐτῶν λαβὼν τὸν ἄρτον εὐλόγησεν καὶ κλάσας ἐπεδίδου αὐτοῖς: 
And it happened in the reclining with them having taken the bread he blessed and having broken it was giving it to them. 
ἐγένετο: AMI 3s, γίνομαι, to become
κατακλιθῆναι: APInf, κατακλίνω, 1) in the NT in reference to eating, to make to recline 2) to recline (at a table) 
λαβὼν: AAPart nsm, λαμβάνω, 1) to take 
εὐλόγησεν: AAI 3s, εὐλογέω, 1) to praise, celebrate with praises  2) to invoke blessings 
κλάσας: AAPart nsm, κλάω, 1) to break  1a) used in the NT of the breaking of bread or communion 
ἐπεδίδου: IAI 3s, ἐπιδίδωμι, 1) to hand, give by hand  2) to give over  2a) give up to the power or will of one
1. According to, the verb κατακλίνω is only found in Luke. The typical meaning is ‘to sit at a table,’ but Luke uses it to describe how the people in the feeding of the 5,000 reclined in groups of fifty. I suppose, then, that it refers to the posture of eating, table or no table.

31 αὐτῶν δὲ διηνοίχθησαν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν αὐτόν: καὶ αὐτὸς ἄφαντος ἐγένετο ἀπ' αὐτῶν. 
Yet their eyes opened and they recognized him; and he became disappeared from them.
διηνοίχθησαν: API 3p, διανοίγω, 1) to open by dividing or drawing asunder, to open thoroughly  (what had been closed)
ἐπέγνωσαν: AAI 3p, ἐπιγινώσκω, 1) to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly
ἐγένετο: AMI 3s, γίνομαι, to become
1. The first part of the verse goes back to the disciples eyes were “held” (κρατέω ) from seeing Jesus (v.16).
2. I know that “he became disappeared” is too awkward for a refined translation. I have it this way to show that “disappear” is not the verb. The verb is again that word γίνομαι, which is quite generous in its meanings. The word “disappear” is ἄφαντος, literally “not apparent.”  This is the only use of ἄφαντος in the NT, but it is used in some apocryphal writings to describe the sudden disappearance of angels. I would use “disapparent” here but my computer keeps infesting it with a red squiggly underscore. 

32 καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, Οὐχὶ  καρδία ἡμῶν καιομένη ἦν [ἐν ἡμῖν] ὡς ἐλάλει ἡμῖν ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ, ὡς διήνοιγεν ἡμῖν τὰς γραφάς; 
And they said to one another, “Was not our heart burning [in us] when he spoke to us on the way, as he was opening to us the writings?”  
εἶπαν: AAI 3p, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
καιομένη: PPPart nsf, καίω, 1) to set on fire, light, burning  2) to burn, consume with fire
ἦν: IAI 3s, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present 
ἐλάλει: IAI 3s, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound  2) to speak
διήνοιγεν: IAI 3s, διανοίγω, 1) to open by dividing or drawing asunder, to open thoroughly  (what had been closed)
1. The word “heart” and “was” are singular, then modified by the plural “our” and the added phrase “in us.”
2. The word the two companions use is not διερμήνευσεν from v.27, as Jesus was interpreting to them the writings about himself. They use διήνοιγεν from the previous verse, where their eyes were “opened” as he blessed, broke, and gave them the bread. The parallel is that Jesus “opened” to them the Scriptures just as their eyes were no longer “held” but “opened” to recognize Jesus. 

33 καὶ ἀναστάντες αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς Ἰερουσαλήμ, καὶ εὗρον ἠθροισμένους τοὺς ἕνδεκα καὶ τοὺς σὺν αὐτοῖς,
And having risen up the same hour they returned into Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those with them who had gathered,
ἀναστάντες: AAPart npm, ἀνίστημι, 1) to cause to rise up, raise up  
ὑπέστρεψαν: AAI 3p, ὑποστρέφω, 1) to turn back  1a) to turn about  2) to return
εὗρον: AAI 3p, εὑρίσκω, 1) to come upon, hit upon, to meet with
ἠθροισμένους: PerfPPart npm, 1) to gather together with others 2) to assemble:
1. “That same hour” would be after they compelled Jesus to remain with them because the day was setting. And, if the inn where they had stopped were anything like the inns that I know, the process of being served a meal and having the experience with Jesus during the meal would push the time back even further. Still, it was too good to wait until the morning light to find their way back to Jerusalem.
2. It is interesting how quickly the language of “the twelve” became the language of “the eleven” in the gospel stories.  

34 λέγοντας ὅτι ὄντως ἠγέρθη  κύριος καὶ ὤφθη Σίμωνι. 
Saying, “Indeed the Lord was raised and was seen by Simon.”
λέγοντας: PAPart apm, λέγω, 1) to say, to speak 
ἠγέρθη: API 3s, ἐγείρω, 1) to arouse, cause to rise
ὤφθη: API 3s, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes
1. This event is unknown to us. V.12 of this chapter ended with Simon seeing the garments in the tomb, but not the risen lord.

35 καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐξηγοῦντο τὰ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ καὶ ὡς ἐγνώσθη αὐτοῖς ἐν τῇ κλάσει τοῦ ἄρτου. 
And they were recounting the things in the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
ἐξηγοῦντο: IMI 3p, ἐξηγέομαι, 1) to lead out, be leader, go before2) to recount  
ἐγνώσθη: API 3s, γινώσκω, 1) to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

1. The word I have translated as “made known” is from v.18 in this story, when Cleopas asks Jesus if he’s the only person in town who does not “know” what happened to Jesus. They do not use the words διερμήνευσεν or διήνοιγεν from vv. 27, 31, and 32 above.

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