2
The Census and the Birth of Jesus
1 Now#tn Grk “Now it happened that.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. in those days a decree#sn This decree was a formal decree from the Roman Senate. went out from Caesar#tn Or “from the emperor” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor). Augustus#sn Caesar Augustus refers to Octavian, who was Caesar from 27 b.c. to a.d. 14. He was known for his administrative prowess. to register#tn Grk “that all the empire should be registered for taxes.” The passive infinitive ἀπογράφεσθαι (apografesqai) has been rendered as an active in the translation to improve the English style. The verb is regarded as a technical term for official registration in tax lists (BDAG 108 s.v. ἀπογράφω a).sn This census (a decree…to register all the empire) is one of the more disputed historical remarks in Luke. Josephus (Ant. 18.1.1 [18.1-2]) only mentions a census in a.d. 6, too late for this setting. Such a census would have been a massive undertaking; it could have started under one ruler and emerged under another, to whose name it became attached. This is one possibility to explain the data. Another is that Quirinius, who became governor in Syria for the later census, may have been merely an administrator for this census. See also Luke 2:2. all the empire#tn Grk “the whole (inhabited) world,” but this was a way to refer to the Roman empire (L&N 1.83). for taxes. 2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor#tn Or “was a minister of Syria.” This term could simply refer to an administrative role Quirinius held as opposed to being governor (Josephus, Ant. 18.4.2 [18.88]). See also Luke 2:1. of Syria. 3 Everyone#tn Grk “And everyone.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. went to his own town#tn Or “hometown” (so CEV). to be registered. 4 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the consequential nature of the action. Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth#sn On Nazareth see Luke 1:26.map For location see Map1-D3; Map2-C2; Map3-D5; Map4-C1; Map5-G3. in Galilee to Judea, to the city#tn Or “town.” The translation “city” is used here because of its collocation with “of David,” suggesting its importance, though not its size. of David called Bethlehem,#sn The journey from Nazareth to the city of David called Bethlehem was a journey of about 90 mi (150 km). Bethlehem was a small village located about 7 miles south-southwest of Jerusalem.map For location see Map5-B1; Map7-E2; Map8-E2; Map10-B4. because he was of the house#sn Luke’s use of the term “house” probably alludes to the original promise made to David outlined in the Nathan oracle of 2 Sam 7:12-16, especially in light of earlier connections between Jesus and David made in Luke 1:32. Further, the mention of Bethlehem reminds one of the promise of Mic 5:2, namely, that a great king would emerge from Bethlehem to rule over God’s people. and family line#tn Or “family,” “lineage.” of David. 5 He went#tn The words “He went” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to begin a new sentence in the translation. The Greek sentence is longer and more complex than normal contemporary English usage. to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him,#tn Traditionally, “Mary, his betrothed.” Although often rendered in contemporary English as “Mary, who was engaged to him,” this may give the modern reader a wrong impression, since Jewish marriages in this period were typically arranged marriages. The term ἐμνηστευμένῃ (emnhsteumenh) may suggest that the marriage is not yet consummated, not necessarily that they are not currently married. Some mss read “the betrothed to him wife”; others, simply “his wife.” These readings, though probably not original, may give the right sense. and who was expecting a child. 6 While#tn Grk “And it happened that while.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.#tn The words “her child” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied to clarify what was being delivered. The wording here is like Luke 1:57. Grk “the days for her to give birth were fulfilled.” 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth#sn The strips of cloth (traditionally, “swaddling cloths”) were strips of linen that would be wrapped around the arms and legs of an infant to keep the limbs protected. and laid him in a manger,#tn Or “a feeding trough.” because there was no place for them in the inn.#tn The Greek word κατάλυμα is flexible, and usage in the LXX and NT refers to a variety of places for lodging (see BDAG 521 s.v.). Most likely Joseph and Mary sought lodging in the public accommodations in the city of Bethlehem (see J. Nolland, Luke [WBC], 1:105), which would have been crude shelters for people and animals. However, it has been suggested by various scholars that Joseph and Mary were staying with relatives in Bethlehem (e.g., C. S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 194; B. Witherington, “Birth of Jesus,” DJG, 69-70); if that were so the term would refer to the guest room in the relatives’ house, which would have been filled beyond capacity with all the other relatives who had to journey to Bethlehem for the census.sn There was no place for them in the inn. There is no drama in how this is told. There is no search for a variety of places to stay or a heartless innkeeper. (Such items are later, nonbiblical embellishments.) Bethlehem was not large and there was simply no other place to stay. The humble surroundings of the birth are ironic in view of the birth’s significance.
The Shepherds’ Visit
8 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. there were shepherds#sn Some argue that shepherds were among the culturally despised, but the evidence for this view of shepherds is late, coming from 5th century Jewish materials. December 25 as the celebrated date of Jesus’ birth arose around the time of Constantine (ca. a.d. 306-337), though it is mentioned in material from Hippolytus (a.d. 165-235). Some think that the reason for celebration on this date was that it coincided with the pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia, and Christians could celebrate their own festival at this time without fear of persecution. On the basis of the statement that the shepherds were living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night it is often suggested that Jesus’ birth took place in early spring, since it was only at lambing time that shepherds stood guard over their flocks in the field. This is not absolutely certain, however. nearby#tn Grk “in that region.” living out in the field, keeping guard#tn Grk “living in the field (see BDAG 15 s.v. ἀγραυλέω) and guarding their flock.” over their flock at night. 9 An#tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. angel of the Lord#tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 1:11. appeared to#tn Or “stood in front of.” them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified.#tn Grk “they feared a great fear” (a Semitic idiom which intensifies the main idea, in this case their fear).sn Terrified. See similar responses in Luke 1:12, 29. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully,#tn Grk “behold.” for I proclaim to you good news#tn Grk “I evangelize to you great joy.” that brings great joy to all the people: 11 Today#sn The Greek word for today (σήμερον, shmeron) occurs eleven times in the Gospel of Luke (2:11; 4:21; 5:26; 12:28; 13:32-33; 19:5, 9; 22:34, 61; 23:43) and nine times in Acts. Its use, especially in passages such as 2:11, 4:21, 5:26; 19:5, 9, signifies the dawning of the era of messianic salvation and the fulfillment of the plan of God. Not only does it underscore the idea of present fulfillment in Jesus’ ministry, but it also indicates salvific fulfillment present in the church (cf. Acts 1:6; 3:18; D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:412; I. H. Marshall, Luke, [NIGTC], 873). your Savior is born in the city#tn Or “town.” See the note on “city” in v. 4. of David.#tn This is another indication of a royal, messianic connection. He is Christ#tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn The term χριστός (cristos) was originally an adjective (“anointed”), developing in LXX into a substantive (“an anointed one”), then developing still further into a technical generic term (“the anointed one”). In the intertestamental period it developed further into a technical term referring to the hoped-for anointed one, that is, a specific individual. In the NT the development starts there (technical-specific), is so used in the gospels, and then develops in Paul to mean virtually Jesus’ last name. the Lord. 12 This#tn Grk “And this.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. will be a sign#sn The sign functions for the shepherds like Elizabeth’s conception served for Mary in 1:36. for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.”#tn Or “a feeding trough,” see Luke 2:7. 13 Suddenly#tn Grk “And suddenly.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. a vast, heavenly army#tn Grk “a multitude of the armies of heaven.” appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory#sn Glory here refers to giving honor to God. to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among people#tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") referring to both males and females. with whom he is pleased!”#tc Most witnesses (א2 B2 L Θ Ξ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï sy bo) have ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία (en anqrwpoi" eudokia, “good will among people”) instead of ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας (en anqrwpoi" eudokia", “among people with whom he is pleased”), a reading attested by א* A B* D W pc (sa). Most of the Itala witnesses and some other versional witnesses reflect a Greek text which has the genitive εὐδοκίας but drops the preposition ἐν. Not only is the genitive reading better attested, but it is more difficult than the nominative. “The meaning seems to be, not that divine peace can be bestowed only where human good will is already present, but that at the birth of the Saviour God’s peace rests on those whom he has chosen in accord with his good pleasure” (TCGNT 111).
15 When#tn Grk “And it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map7-E2; Map8-E2; Map10-B4. and see this thing that has taken place, that the Lord#sn Note how although angels delivered the message, it was the Lord whose message is made known, coming through them. has made known to us.” 16 So they hurried off and located Mary and Joseph, and found the baby lying in a manger.#tn Or “a feeding trough.” 17 When#tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. they saw him,#tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. they related what they had been told#tn Grk “the word which had been spoken to them.” about this child, 18 and all who heard it were astonished#tn Grk “marveled.” It is a hard word to translate with one term in this context. There is a mixture of amazement and pondering at work in considering the surprising events here. See Luke 1:21, 63; 2:33. at what the shepherds said. 19 But Mary treasured up all these words, pondering in her heart what they might mean.#tn The term συμβάλλουσα (sumballousa) suggests more than remembering. She is trying to put things together here (Josephus, Ant. 2.5.3 [2.72]). The words “what they might mean” have been supplied in the translation to make this clear. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. 20 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion of the topic. the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising#sn The mention of glorifying and praising God is the second note of praise in this section; see Luke 2:13-14. God for all they had heard and seen; everything was just as they had been told.#tn Grk “just as [it] had been spoken to them.” This has been simplified in the English translation by making the prepositional phrase (“to them”) the subject of the passive verb.sn The closing remark just as they had been told notes a major theme of Luke 1-2 as he sought to reassure Theophilus: God does what he says he will do.
21 At#tn Grk “And when eight days were completed.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel#sn Jesus’ parents obeyed the angel as Zechariah and Elizabeth had (1:57-66). These events are taking place very much under God’s direction. before he was conceived in the womb.
Jesus’ Presentation at the Temple
22 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. when the time came for their#tc The translation follows most mss, including early and important ones ({א A B L}). Some copyists, aware that the purification law applied to women only, produced mss ({76 itpt vg} [though the Latin word eius could be either masculine or feminine]) that read “her purification.” But the extant evidence for an unambiguous “her” is shut up to one late minuscule ({codex 76}) and a couple of patristic citations of dubious worth ({Pseudo-Athanasius} whose date is unknown, and the {Catenae in euangelia Lucae et Joannis}, edited by J. A. Cramer. The Catenae is a work of collected patristic sayings whose exact source is unknown [thus, it could come from a period covering hundreds of years]). A few other witnesses (D pc lat) read “his purification.” The KJV has “her purification,” following Beza’s Greek text (essentially a revision of Erasmus’). Erasmus did not have it in any of his five editions. Most likely Beza put in the feminine form αὐτῆς (auths) because, recognizing that the eius found in several Latin mss could be read either as a masculine or a feminine, he made the contextually more satisfying choice of the feminine. Perhaps it crept into one or two late Greek witnesses via this interpretive Latin back-translation. So the evidence for the feminine singular is virtually nonexistent, while the masculine singular αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) was a clear scribal blunder. There can be no doubt that “their purification” is the authentic reading.tn Or “when the days of their purification were completed.” In addition to the textual problem concerning the plural pronoun (which apparently includes Joseph in the process) there is also a question whether the term translated “purification” (καθαρισμός, kaqarismo") refers to the time period prescribed by the Mosaic law or to the offering itself which marked the end of the time period (cf. NLT, “it was time for the purification offering”).sn Exegetically the plural pronoun “their” creates a problem. It was Mary’s purification that was required by law, forty days after the birth (Lev 12:2-4). However, it is possible that Joseph shared in a need to be purified by having to help with the birth or that they also dedicated the child as a first born (Exod 13:2), which would also require a sacrifice that Joseph would bring. Luke’s point is that the parents followed the law. They were pious. purification according to the law of Moses, Joseph and Mary#tn Grk “they”; the referents (Joseph and Mary) have been specified in the translation for clarity. brought Jesus#tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. up to Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male#tn Grk “every male that opens the womb” (an idiom for the firstborn male). will be set apart to the Lord#sn An allusion to Exod 13:2, 12, 15.), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is specified in the law of the Lord, a pair of doves#sn The offering of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, instead of a lamb, speaks of the humble roots of Jesus’ family – they apparently could not afford the expense of a lamb. or two young pigeons.#sn A quotation from Lev 12:8; 5:11 (LXX).
The Prophecy of Simeon
25 Now#tn Grk “And behold.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1). there was a man in Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. named Simeon who was righteous#tn Grk “This man was righteous.” The Greek text begins a new sentence here, but this was changed to a relative clause in the translation to avoid redundancy. and devout, looking for the restoration#tn Or “deliverance,” “consolation.”sn The restoration of Israel refers to Simeon’s hope that the Messiah would come and deliver the nation (Isa 40:1; 49:13; 51:3; 57:18; 61:2; 2 Bar 44:7). of Israel, and the Holy Spirit#sn Once again, by mentioning the Holy Spirit, Luke stresses the prophetic enablement of a speaker. The Spirit has fallen on both men (Zechariah, 1:67) and women (Elizabeth, 1:41) in Luke 1–2 as they share the will of the Lord. was upon him. 26 It#tn Grk “And it.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. had been revealed#tn The use of the passive suggests a revelation by God, and in the OT the corresponding Hebrew term represented here by κεχρηματισμένον (kecrhmatismenon) indicated some form of direct revelation from God (Jer 25:30; 33:2; Job 40:8). to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die#tn Grk “would not see death” (an idiom for dying). before#tn On the grammar of this temporal clause, see BDF §§383.3; 395. he had seen the Lord’s Christ.#tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”sn The revelation to Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ is yet another example of a promise fulfilled in Luke 1-2. Also, see the note on Christ in 2:11. 27 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the consequential nature of the action. Simeon,#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Simeon) has been specified in the translation for clarity. directed by the Spirit,#tn Grk “So in the Spirit” or “So by the Spirit,” but since it refers to the Spirit’s direction the expanded translation “directed by the Spirit” is used here. came into the temple courts,#tn Grk “the temple.”sn The temple courts is a reference to the larger temple area, not the holy place. Simeon was either in the court of the Gentiles or the court of women, since Mary was present. and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what was customary according to the law,#tn Grk “to do for him according to the custom of the law.” See Luke 2:22-24. 28 Simeon#tn Grk “he”; the referent (Simeon) has been specified in the translation for clarity. took him in his arms and blessed God, saying,#tn Grk “and said.” The finite verb in Greek has been replaced with a participle in English to improve the smoothness of the translation.
29 “Now, according to your word,#sn The phrase according to your word again emphasizes that God will perform his promise. Sovereign Lord,#tn The Greek word translated here by “Sovereign Lord” is δεσπότης (despoth"). permit#sn This short prophetic declaration is sometimes called the Nunc dimittis, which comes from the opening phrase of the saying in Latin, “now dismiss,” a fairly literal translation of the Greek verb ἀπολύεις (apolueis, “now release”) in this verse. your servant#tn Here the Greek word δοῦλος (doulos, “slave”) has been translated “servant” since it acts almost as an honorific term for one specially chosen and appointed to carry out the Lord’s tasks.sn Undoubtedly the background for the concept of being the Lord’s slave or servant is to be found in the Old Testament scriptures. For a Jew this concept did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege. It was used of national Israel at times (Isa 43:10), but was especially associated with famous OT personalities, including such great men as Moses (Josh 14:7), David (Ps 89:3; cf. 2 Sam 7:5, 8) and Elijah (2 Kgs 10:10); all these men were “servants (or slaves) of the Lord.” to depart#tn Grk “now release your servant.” in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation#sn To see Jesus, the Messiah, is to see God’s salvation.
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples:#sn Is the phrase all peoples a reference to Israel alone, or to both Israel and the Gentiles? The following verse makes it clear that all peoples includes Gentiles, another key Lukan emphasis (Luke 24:47; Acts 10:34-43).
32 a light,#tn The syntax of this verse is disputed. Most read “light” and “glory” in parallelism, so Jesus is a light for revelation to the Gentiles and is glory to the people for Israel. Others see “light” (1:78-79) as a summary, while “revelation” and “glory” are parallel, so Jesus is light for all, but is revelation for the Gentiles and glory for Israel. Both readings make good sense and either could be correct, but Luke 1:78-79 and Acts 26:22-23 slightly favor this second option.
for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory#sn In other words, Jesus is a special cause for praise and honor (“glory”) for the nation. to your people Israel.”
33 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the consequential nature of the action. the child’s#tn Grk “his”; the referent (the child) has been specified in the translation for clarity. father#tc Most mss ([A] Θ [Ψ] Ë13 33 Ï it) read “Joseph,” but in favor of the reading ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ (Jo pathr autou, “his father”) is both external (א B D L W 1 700 1241 pc sa) and internal evidence. Internally, the fact that Mary is not named at this point and that “Joseph” is an obviously motivated reading, intended to prevent confusion over the virgin conception of Christ, argues strongly for ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ as the authentic reading here. See also the tc note on “parents” in 2:43. and mother were amazed#tn The term refers to the amazement at what was happening as in other places in Luke 1–2 (1:63; 2:18). The participle is plural, while the finite verb used in the periphrastic construction is singular, perhaps to show a unity in the parents’ response (BDF §135.1.d: Luke 8:19). at what was said about him. 34 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “Listen carefully:#tn Grk “behold.” This child#tn Grk “this one”; the referent (the child) is supplied in the translation for clarity. is destined to be the cause of the falling and rising#sn The phrase the falling and rising of many emphasizes that Jesus will bring division in the nation, as some will be judged (falling) and others blessed (rising) because of how they respond to him. The language is like Isa 8:14-15 and conceptually like Isa 28:13-16. Here is the first hint that Jesus’ coming will be accompanied with some difficulties. of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be rejected.#tn Grk “and for a sign of contradiction.” 35 Indeed, as a result of him the thoughts#tn Or “reasonings” (in a hostile sense). See G. Schrenk, TDNT 2:97. of many hearts will be revealed#sn The remark the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed shows that how people respond to Jesus indicates where their hearts really are before God. – and a sword#sn A sword refers to a very large, broad two-edged sword. The language is figurative, picturing great pain. Though it refers in part to the cross, it really includes the pain all of Jesus’ ministry will cause, including the next event in Luke 2:41-52 and extending to the opposition he faced throughout his ministry. will pierce your own soul as well!”#sn This remark looks to be parenthetical and addressed to Mary alone, not the nation. Many modern English translations transpose this to make it the final clause in Simeon’s utterance as above to make this clear.
The Testimony of Anna
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old,#tn Her age is emphasized by the Greek phrase here, “she was very old in her many days.” having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. 37 She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years.#tn Grk “living with her husband for seven years from her virginity and she was a widow for eighty four years.” The chronology of the eighty-four years is unclear, since the final phrase could mean “she was widowed until the age of eighty-four” (so BDAG 423 s.v. ἕως 1.b.α). However, the more natural way to take the syntax is as a reference to the length of her widowhood, the subject of the clause, in which case Anna was about 105 years old (so D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:251-52; I. H. Marshall, Luke, [NIGTC], 123-24). She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.#sn The statements about Anna worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day make her extreme piety clear. 38 At that moment,#tn Grk “at that very hour.” she came up to them#tn Grk “And coming up.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The participle ἐπιστᾶσα (epistasa) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style. and began to give thanks to God and to speak#tn The imperfect ἐλάλει (elalei) here looks at a process of declaration, not a single moment. She clearly was led by God to address men and women about the hope Jesus was. The testimony of Luke 1—2 to Jesus has involved all types of people. about the child#tn Grk “him”; the referent (the child) has been specified in the translation for clarity. to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.#tc A few mss (1216 pc) read ᾿Ισραήλ (Israhl, “Israel”) or ἐν τῷ ᾿Ισραήλ (en tw Israhl, “in Israel”), but this reading does not have enough ms support to be considered authentic. More substantial is the reading ἐν ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ (en Ierousalhm, “in Jerusalem”; found in A D L Θ Ψ 0130 Ë13 33 Ï), though the preposition was almost surely added to clarify (and perhaps alter) the meaning of the original. The simple ᾿Ιερουσαλήμ, without preposition, is found in א B W Ξ 1 565* lat co.map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.
39 So#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion of the topic. when Joseph and Mary#tn Grk “when they”; the referents (Joseph and Mary) have been specified in the translation for clarity. had performed#tn Or “completed.” everything according to the law of the Lord,#sn On the phrase the law of the Lord see Luke 2:22-23. they returned to Galilee, to their own town#tn Or “city.” of Nazareth.#map For location see Map1-D3; Map2-C2; Map3-D5; Map4-C1; Map5-G3. 40 And the child grew and became strong,#tc Most mss (A Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï) read πνεύματι (pneumati, “in spirit”) after “became strong,” but this looks like an assimilation to Luke 1:80. The better witnesses (א B D L N W pc lat co) lack the word. filled with wisdom,#sn With the description grew and became strong, filled with wisdom Luke emphasizes the humanity of Jesus and his growth toward maturity. and the favor#tn Or “grace.” of God#sn On the phrase the favor of God see Luke 1:66. was upon him.
Jesus in the Temple
41 Now#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. Jesus’#tn Grk “his”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. parents went to Jerusalem#map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. every#tn On the distributive use of the term κατά (kata), see BDF §305. year for the feast of the Passover.#sn The custom of Jesus and his family going to Jerusalem every year for the feast of the Passover shows their piety in obeying the law (Exod 23:14-17). 42 When#tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. he was twelve years old,#sn According to the Mishnah, the age of twelve years old is one year before a boy becomes responsible for his religious commitments (m. Niddah 5.6). they went up#tc Most mss, especially later ones (A Cvid Θ Ψ 0130 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat) have εἰς ῾Ιεροσόλυμα (eij" &ierosoluma, “to Jerusalem”) here, but the ms support for the omission is much stronger (א B D L W 579 1241 pc co); further, the longer reading clarifies what they went up to and thus looks like a motivated reading. according to custom. 43 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated contrastively in keeping with the context. This outcome is different from what had happened all the times before. when the feast was over,#tn Grk “when the days ended.” as they were returning home,#tn The word “home” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied for clarity. the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His#tn Grk “And his.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. parents#tc Most mss, especially later ones (A C Ψ 0130 Ë13 Ï it), read ᾿Ιωσὴφ καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ (Iwshf kai Jh mhthr aujtou, “[both] Joseph and his mother”), a reading evidently intended to insulate the doctrine of the virgin conception of our Lord. But א B D L W Θ Ë1 33 579 1241 pc lat sa read οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ (Joi gonei" autou, “his parents”) as in the translation. Such motivated readings as the former lack credibility, especially since the better witnesses affirm the virgin conception of Christ in Luke 1:34-35. did not know it, 44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers)#sn An ancient journey like this would have involved a caravan of people who traveled together as a group for protection and fellowship. they went a day’s journey. Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances.#tn Or “and friends.” See L&N 28.30 and 34.17. 45 When#tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem#sn The return to Jerusalem would have taken a second day, since they were already one day’s journey away. to look for him. 46 After#tn Grk “And it happened that after.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. three days#sn Three days means there was one day out, another day back, and a third day of looking in Jerusalem. they found him in the temple courts,#tn Grk “the temple.” sitting among the teachers,#tn This is the only place in Luke’s Gospel where the term διδάσκαλος (didaskalo", “teacher”) is applied to Jews. listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Jesus#tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. were astonished#sn There was wonder (all who heard…were astonished) that Jesus at such a young age could engage in such a discussion. The fact that this story is told of a preteen hints that Jesus was someone special. at his understanding and his answers. 48 When#tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. his parents#tn Grk “when they”; the referent (his parents) has been supplied in the translation for clarity. saw him, they were overwhelmed. His#tn Grk “And his.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. mother said to him, “Child,#tn The Greek word here is τέκνον (teknon) rather than υἱός (Juios, “son”). why have you treated#tn Or “Child, why did you do this to us?” us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.”#tn Or “your father and I have been terribly worried looking for you.” 49 But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast. he replied,#tn Grk “he said to them.” “Why were you looking for me?#tn Grk “Why is it that you were looking for me?” Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?”#tn Or “I must be about my Father’s business” (so KJV, NKJV); Grk “in the [things] of my Father,” with an ellipsis. This verse involves an idiom that probably refers to the necessity of Jesus being involved in the instruction about God, given what he is doing. The most widely held view today takes this as a reference to the temple as the Father’s house. Jesus is saying that his parents should have known where he was. 50 Yet#tn Grk “And they.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast. his parents#tn Grk “they”; the referent (his parents) has been specified in the translation for clarity. did not understand#sn This was the first of many times those around Jesus did not understand what he was saying at the time (9:45; 10:21-24; 18:34). the remark#tn Or “the matter.” he made#tn Grk “which he spoke.” to them. 51 Then#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. he went down with them and came to Nazareth,#map For location see Map1-D3; Map2-C2; Map3-D5; Map4-C1; Map5-G3. and was obedient#tn Or “was submitting.” to them. But#tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast. his mother kept all these things#tn Or “all these words.” in her heart.#sn On the phrase his mother kept all these things in her heart compare Luke 2:19.
52 And Jesus increased#tn Or “kept increasing.” The imperfect tense suggests something of a progressive force to the verb. in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.
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