Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Not Likely Luke by Easter 2: Luke 2

Luke 2 today, verses that grabbed me this time around.

2:10 I am announcing good news [that is] great joy to all the people.
Usually translated, "to all people." I think the passage more likely has Israel in mind. "To all the people" is a better translation.

2:23 Just as it is written in the Law of the Lord...
Notice that the author of Acts can refer to the Law as the Law of the Lord. Far more continuity in Luke-Acts on the Law than in Paul. Hard for me to imagine Paul referring to the Law this way.

2:24 ... and to give sacrifice according to what is spoken in the Law of the Lord.
No sense that the temple is on its way out, no sense that believers will soon stop sacrificing. Luke-Acts knows nothing of the end of the temple, with the possible exception of Acts 7, which stands out like a foreign body in the theology of Luke-Acts.

2:25-26 Symeon was ... a righteous and devout man awaiting the comforting of Israel... and it is revealed to him... not to see death before he should see the Christ of the Lord.
Again, no "all have sinned," he's really a dirty rotten scoundrel here--and he's pre-Christ's sacrifice. Also, no sense that Christ replaces Israel. The author has given us no reason to think he is not referring here to ethnic Israel and a literal, concrete political restoration at some point.

Notice that as in 2:23 and 24, the Lord refers to God rather than to Jesus.

2:32 ... a light for the revelation of Gentiles and a glory of your people Israel.
Israel is God's people here, not the Gentiles, although the Gentiles will get the revelation through Jesus, Messiah.

2:35 ... and a sword will go through your own soul, [Mary]
There is surely something behind this verse, something "Luke" and Theophilus know but it is only alluded to here. Is it Mary's resistance to his ministry while he was alive? Then her grievance to come to believe after his death. It seems to imply that Luke knows a tradition about Mary of some sort.

2:41 yearly to Jerusalem...
All the figures in these first two Lukan chapters (where he is not clearly dependent on sources) are portrayed as deeply Law observant Jews.

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