Below is a rough translation and some preliminary notes regarding Luke 24:36-48, the Revised Common Lectionary gospel reading for the third Sunday of Easter, Year B.
Your comments are always welcomed.
36 Ταῦτα δὲ αὐτῶν λαλούντωναὐτὸς ἔστηἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν καὶ λέγειαὐτοῖς, Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν.
Yet while they were speaking these things he stood in the midst of them and says to them, “Peace to you.”
λαλούντων: PAPart gpm, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound 2) to speak
ἔστη: AAI 3s, ἵστημι, 1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set 1a) to bid to stand by, [set up] 1a1) in the presence of others, in the midst,
λέγει: PAI 3s, λέγω 1) to say, to speak 1a) affirm over, maintain
1. The “these things” they were speaking about would be the preceding story as Jesus is made known through breaking bread with the two travelers to Emmaus. The travelers seem to be greeted with the words “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!’” But, that section of the story only has plural 3rdperson pronouns, so two possibilities arise, both of which have challenges. Either, one of the two travelers is named Simon and the other bursts in announcing Simon’s news, so that Simon can tell the story. Or, Jesus had a separate appearance to a Simon (Peter?) and that is what the eleven are talking about as they enter. The first possibility seems odd because the only name among the two travelers is Cleopas, not Simon. The second possibility is the customary reading, I guess, but that, too, is a little odd. Why would the appearance to Simon not be a story in itself? And if the Simon in question is Simon Peter, well, it’s even odder. The last we saw of Simon Peter was in v.12, where Peter leaves the tomb amazed at notseeing Jesus.
I don't really know who is speaking and about whom they are speaking in v.34 when they refer to the risen Lord appearing to Simon. It’s a good thing that is part of last week’s pericope – we can leave it hanging!
37 πτοηθέντεςδὲ καὶ ἔμφοβοιγενόμενοιἐδόκουνπνεῦμα θεωρεῖν.
Yet having been terrified and having become fearful they were supposing to be viewing a spirit.
πτοηθέντες: APPart npm, πτοέω, to terrify; pass. to be terrified
γενόμενοι: AMPart npm, γίνομαι, 1) to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being 2) to become,
ἐδόκουν: IAI 3p, δοκέω, 1) to be of opinion, think, suppose 2) to seem, to be accounted, reputed 3) it seems to me
θεωρεῖν: PAInf, θεωρέω, 1) to be a spectator, look at, behold 1a) to view attentively, take a view of, survey
1. The appearances of Jesus continue to be mystical in nature. The two on the road to Emmaus do not recognize him until he breaks the bread. Here, they may know that it is Jesus, but fearfully reckon that it is a spirit. The gospels offer elusive accounts of what the risen body of Jesus is like, exactly.
2. The terror and confusion here may be due to the fact that they witnessed Jesus die; but most of them had just been hearing that he is risen. (A preaching moment here might be to wonder how true this is of the church today. Sure, we are marvelous at “speaking of these [resurrection] things,” but do we flail around in terror whenever the risen Christ actually appears among us in some embodied form?)
38 καὶ εἶπεναὐτοῖς, Τί τεταραγμένοιἐστέ, καὶ διὰ τί διαλογισμοὶ ἀναβαίνουσινἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν;
And he said to them, “Why are you having been troubled and on what account are deliberations arising in your heart?
εἶπεν: AAI 3s, , λέγω 1) to say, to speak 1a) affirm over, maintain
τεταραγμένοι: PerfPPart, npm, ταράσσω, 1) to agitate, trouble (a thing, by the movement of its parts to and fro) 1a) to cause one inward commotion, take away his calmness of mind, disturb his equanimity
ἐστέ: PAI 2p, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
ἀναβαίνουσιν: PAI 3p, ἀναβαίνω, 1) ascend 1a) to go up 1b) to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up
1. I know that “Why are you having been troubled” is very awkward, but I want to point out that there are two verbs, “are” (ἐστέ in the present tense) and “having been troubled” (τεταραγμένοι in the perfect tense) together.
39 ἴδετετὰς χεῖράς μου καὶ τοὺς πόδας μου ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι αὐτός: ψηλαφήσατέμε καὶ ἴδετε, ὅτι πνεῦμα σάρκα καὶ ὀστέα οὐκ ἔχεικαθὼς ἐμὲ θεωρεῖτεἔχοντα.
See my hands and my feet that I am he; touch me and see, because a spirit does not have flesh and bone just as you view me having.
ἴδετε: AAImpv 2p, ὁράω, 1) to see with the eyes 2) to see with the mind, to perceive, know
ψηλαφήσατέ: AAImpv 2p, ψηλαφάω, 1) to handle, touch and feel 2) metaph. mentally to seek after tokens of a person or a thing
ἔχει: PAI 3s, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
θεωρεῖτε: PAI 2p, θεωρέω, 1) to be a spectator, look at, behold 1a) to view attentively, take a view of, survey
ἔχοντα: PAPart asm, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
1. Most translations have “as you see I have” at the end of this verse. I want to show that there are two different verbs here: “see” (ἴδετε) and “view” (θεωρέω). 2. Technically, θεωρέω could be translated as “see,” but then the English would lose the distinctions that are in the Greek.
40 καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼνἔδειξεναὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας.
And having said this he showed to them the hands and the feet.
εἰπὼν: AAPart nsm, λέγω 1) to say, to speak 1a) affirm over, maintain
ἔδειξεν: AAI 3s, δεικνύεις, to show, exhibit;
1. Theological moment (proceed with caution): It strikes me that the physicality of Jesus’ resurrected body can be taken in a couple of different directions. At one level, which I think is kind of superficial but very popular, these ‘touch and see’ stories could be interpreted as attempts to prove that Jesus did, in fact, arise bodily. One might respond, “Okay, and so what?” The answer to the “so what?” is what either takes us to a deeper level of meaning or gets us off track (IMHO). The “off track” would be something like, “So, unless you believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead, then you’re not a real believer” – which would make resurrection a litmus test doctrine or orthodoxy of some sort. The better and deeper level of meaning would be to wonder why it is significant for the gospels that Jesus’ resurrected presence is an embodied presence. It would be so easy just to say that death releases us from the confines of the body and allows our spirits to be free as the wind. That would have been compatible with the popular Greek notions of the mind/body or spirit/body relationship. It would give credence to popular current notions about the body as some kind of shell with which we are stuck for a time, to be released one day. But, that’s not what the gospels say. The risen Christ is the embodied Christ. And that is profound. Simply profound.
41 ἔτι δὲ ἀπιστούντωναὐτῶν ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς καὶ θαυμαζόντωνεἶπεν αὐτοῖς, Ἔχετέτι βρώσιμον ἐνθάδε;
Yet while they were disbelieving from the joy and were wondering he said to them, “Do you have something edible here?”
ἀπιστούντων: PAPart gpm, ἀπιστέω, 1) to betray a trust, be unfaithful 2) to have no belief, disbelieve
θαυμαζόντων: PAPart gpm, θαυμάζω, 1) to wonder, wonder at, marvel 2) to be wondered at, to be had in admiration
Ἔχετέ: PAI 2p, ἔχω, 1) to have, i.e. to hold
1. It seems that we have a couplet “disbelieving (from joy) and wondering” (ἀπιστούντων ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς καὶ θαυμαζόντων) to answer for the couplet of “terrified and becoming fearful” (πτοηθέντες καὶ ἔμφοβοι γενόμενοι) in v. 37.
2. “Disbelieving from joy” is worth a month of reflection in itself, no?
42 οἱ δὲ ἐπέδωκαναὐτῷ ἰχθύος ὀπτοῦ μέρος:
Yet they gave to him a piece of cooked fish;
ἐπέδωκαν: AAI 3p, ἐπιδίδωμι, 1) to hand, give by hand 2) to give over 2a) give up to the power or will of one
43 καὶ λαβὼνἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ἔφαγεν.
and having taken he ate in front of them.
λαβὼν: AAPart nsm, λαμβάνω, 1) to take 1a) to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it
ἔφαγεν: AAI 3s, ἐσθίω, 1) to eat 2) to eat (consume) a thing 2a) to take food, eat a meal 3) metaph. to devour, consume
1. There is a comment in Mark and Matthew (Mk. 12:25, Mt. 22:30) that in the resurrection there will no longer be marriage, because the resurrected ones will be like angels. One could read that comment in a way that says the resurrected body will be unlike the body we know, with our drive/need for sex and marriage. Here, the resurrected body eats, which is a drive/need that we know in our current bodies. So, again, the description of the similarities/differences of the resurrected body from the current bodies that we know are either elusive or inconsistent or something else.
44 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς, Οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι μου οὓς ἐλάλησαπρὸς ὑμᾶς ἔτι ὢνσὺν ὑμῖν, ὅτι δεῖπληρωθῆναιπάντα τὰ γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ νόμῳ Μωϋσέως καὶ τοῖς προφήταις καὶ ψαλμοῖς περὶ ἐμοῦ.
Yet he said to them, “These my words which I spoke to you while I was with you, that it is necessary for all the writings in the law of Moses and in the prophets and the psalms concerning me to be fulfilled.”
ἐλάλησα: AAI 1s, λαλέω, 1) to utter a voice or emit a sound 2) to speak
ὢν: PAPart nsm, εἰμί, 1) to be, to exist, to happen, to be present
δεῖ: PAI 3s, δέω, 1) to bind tie, fasten 1a) to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains
πληρωθῆναι: APInf, πληρόω, 1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
1. The phrase “these my words” is awkward. One can supply a verb ‘to be’ (“are”) here and treat ‘these’ as the nominative subject and ‘my words’ as the nominative predicate, which is what most translations seem to be doing.
2. The ὅτι could be translated as ‘that’ or it could simply introduce a quote: “These my words …”
45 τότε διήνοιξεναὐτῶν τὸν νοῦν τοῦ συνιέναιτὰς γραφάς.
Then he made open-minded their mind to the like-mindedness of the writings/scriptures.
διήνοιξεν: AAI 3s, διανοίγω, 1) to open by dividing or drawing asunder, to open … to open one's soul, i.e. to rouse in one the faculty of understanding or the desire of learning
συνιέναι: PAInf, συνίημι, 1) to set or bring together 1a) in a hostile sense, of combatants 2) to put (as it were) the perception with the thing perceived 2a) to set or join together in the mind 2a1) i.e. to understand: the man of understanding 2a2) idiom for: a good and upright man (having the knowledge of those things which pertain to salvation)
1. This is a very awkward translation, I admit. But, I want to pick up on the duplicity of the words “open one’s mind” (διήνοιξεν) and “mind” (νοῦν). I think the word “meaning” (συνιέναι) is also in this vocabulary family – especially considering that one definition is “to join together the mind”.
2. The phrase that is typically translated to “love God with all your … mind” has the noun διάνοια, which is the nominal version of this verb “open the mind” διήνοιξεν.
3. I have written a blogpost for The Politics of Scripture, centering on this verse, at http://www.politicaltheology.com/blog/the-politics-of-resurrection-hermeneutics-luke-2436-48/.
46 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὅτι Οὕτως γέγραπταιπαθεῖντὸν Χριστὸν καὶ ἀναστῆναιἐκ νεκρῶν τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ,
And he said to them “Thus it has been written the Christ to suffer and to rise out of death on the third day,
γέγραπται: PerfPI 3s, γράφω, 1) to write, with reference to the form of the letters 1a) to delineate (or form) letters on a tablet, parchment, paper, or other material 2) to write, with reference to the contents of the writing
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 1b1) of a sick person
ἀναστῆναι: AAInf. ἀνίστημι, 1) to cause to rise up, raise up 1a) raise up from laying down 1b) to raise up from the dead
1. Grammatically, what has been written is described with the noun in the accusative case “the Christ” and an infinitive verb “to suffer”. The pattern is repeated in the second part of this sentence in v.47 with the noun “repentance” and the verb “to be preached.”
47 καὶ κηρυχθῆναιἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ μετάνοιαν εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ἀρξάμενοιἀπὸ Ἰερουσαλήμ:
and repentance into release of sins to be preached in his name into all the nations which are beginning from Jerusalem;
κηρυχθῆναι: APInf, κηρύσσω, 1) to be a herald, to officiate as a herald 1a) to proclaim after the manner of a herald 1b) always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed … 3) used of the public proclamation of the gospel and matters pertaining to it, made by John the Baptist, by Jesus, by the apostles and other Christian teachers
ἀρξάμενοι: AMPart npm, ἄρχω, 1) to be chief, to lead, to rule
48 ὑμεῖς μάρτυρες τούτων.
you [are] witnesses of these things.
1. This sentence has no verb, so I supplied one.
This resurrection appearance moves from convincing “the eleven and their companions” (including now Cleopas and the other Emmaus road traveler) that he really is the risen Christ and not a spook, to opening their minds to understanding. I really wish we had an English word that could make v.45 work as well as it does in Greek, with Jesus mind-blowing their minds to mind the scriptures. (See, it just doesn’t work with “mind.” Got a better option?)
The content of what Jesus reveals to them is given in this way:
A: v.44: The words that Jesus spoke before the crucifixion came to this: “It is necessary for all the writings in the law of Moses and in the prophets and the psalms concerning me to be fulfilled.”
B: v.45: Then, after the resurrection, he opened their minds to the meaning of
A1: v.46-8: What the Scriptures mean is this: “Christ is to suffer and to rise out of death on the third day, and repentance into release of sins is to be preached in his name into all the nations which are beginning from Jerusalem.”
B1: v.48: The community’s commission is this: You [are] witnesses of these