The Greek of the Gospel lection for Feb 9, 2014–Matthew 5:13-20

Matthew 5:13-20

Gospel lection for Feb. 9, 2014

Mt 5:13 Ὑμεῖς[A] ἐστε τὸ ἅλας τῆς γῆς· ἐὰν δὲ τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ[B], ἐν τίνι ἁλισθήσεται; εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει[C] ἔτι[D] εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων. You are the salt of the earth.  If salt becomes tasteless, in what [way] will it be salted?  It is no longer good for anything except having been thrown out to be trampled underfoot by people.
Mt 5:14 Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου[E]. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω[F] ὄρους κειμένη· You are the light of the world.  A city cannot be hidden [when it is] lying above a mountain.
Mt 5:15 οὐδὲ καίουσιν λύχνον καὶ τιθέασιν αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τὸν μόδιον[G] ἀλλ’ ἐπὶ τὴν λυχνίαν, καὶ λάμπει πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ. Nor do [people] ignite a lamp and set it under the basket, but [they place it] on the lampstand, and it shines on all those in the house.
Mt 5:16 οὕτως λαμψάτω τὸ φῶς ὑμῶν ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀνθρώπων,[H] ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. In this way, let your light shine in the presence of people, so that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in the heavens.
Mt 5:17 Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι[I] τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι[J]· Do not suppose that I came to destroy the law or the prophets.  I came not to destroy but to fulfill.
Mt 5:18 ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἕως ἂν παρέλθῃ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ ἡ γῆ, ἰῶτα ἓν ἢ μία κεραία[K] οὐ μὴ παρέλθῃ[L] ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου, ἕως ἂν πάντα[M] γένηται. For I solemnly tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one iota or one stroke [of a letter] will pass away from the law, until all things take place.
Mt 5:19 ὃς ἐὰν οὖν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων[N] καὶ διδάξῃ οὕτως τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ἐλάχιστος κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν· ὃς δ’ ἂν ποιήσῃ[O] καὶ διδάξῃ, οὗτος μέγας κληθήσεται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν. Therefore whoever loosens one of the least of these commandments and teaches people in this way will be called least in the kingdom of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches [them], this one will be called great in the kingdom of the heavens.
Mt 5:20 λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐὰν μὴ περισσεύσῃ ὑμῶν ἡ δικαιοσύνη πλεῖον τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων,[P] οὐ μὴ[Q] εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν. For I tell you that unless your righteousness abounds more than [that of] the scribes and the Pharisees, you will surely not enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.


[A] The Ὑμεῖς (“you”)  is plural (y’all), but the salt (τὸ ἅλας)  is singular (presumably a collective noun.)

[B] Literally “becomes foolish,” though many suggest an Aramaic or Hebrew word tpl which lies behind the double meaning, and has the connotation of becoming either foolish or insipid / tasteless.  The double meaning is probably intentional.

[C] Literally “it is not strong for anything” or “it does not have capacity or usefulness for anything”

[D] Literally “It is still good for nothing,” though the negatives don’t work so well literally in English.

[E] Probably an objective genitive—light which shines on the world.

[F] Or just “on the top of a mountain,” though this particular form is a little surprising here—one would expect the simple επι.

[G] A small basket holding 8.75 liters (=2.3 US gallons)—almost a peck.

[H] It’s important, (and requires some subtlety) to differentiate this verse from texts such as Matthew 6:1, since in both texts, the explicit purpose for good works/righteousness is “to be seen by them,” though the underlying goal is different (honor for the individual, or glory to God). The Greek words are different in the two texts, but it’s hard to get the distinction just from the Greek text, and the line between these two purposes can get blurry!

[I] or “undo,” “tear down,” “demolish”

[J] It’s ambiguous whether the implied object of “destroy” and “fulfill” is the law and the prophets particularly, or whether a wider meaning is intended (i.e. all God’s purposes).  Probably the former option, given the parallel use of “I came” in both clauses.

[K] Some scholars think that this refers, not to normal strokes that are part of letters, but to scribal ornamentation, making this an ironic reference.

[L] The Greek construction expresses emphatic future denial.

[M] Presumably all things anticipated in the law?  Or is it a reference to all the messianic tasks to be completed?  And what happens after that to the law?

[N] Note the somewhat emphatic position of “least” here.

[O] Note, for Matthew, the many places where “doing” and “teaching” belong together.

[P] Because, according to Matthew 23:3, they teach, but don’t do.

[Q] οὐ μὴ + aorist subjunctive = emphatic future denial (as also in 5:18).

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Feb. 9, 2014 Epistle lection–1 Corinthians 2:1-12

1 Corinthians 2:1-12

Epistle lection for Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014

1Co 2:1 Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, ἦλθον οὐ καθ’ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν τὸ μαρτύριον[A] τοῦ θεοῦ. As for me, when I came to you, brothers [and sisters,] I did not come in accordance with excellence of speech or of wisdom when I was proclaiming to you the testimony [or in some texts, “mystery”] of God
1Co 2:2 οὐ γὰρ ἔκρινά τι εἰδέναι[B] ἐν ὑμῖν εἰ μὴ Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον· For I made the judgement to recognize nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 κἀγὼ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ καὶ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ ἐν τρόμῳ πολλῷ ἐγενόμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς[C], And I was in your presence in weakness, and in fear and in much trembling,
1Co 2:4 καὶ ὁ λόγος μου καὶ τὸ κήρυγμά[D] μου οὐκ ἐν πειθοῖ σοφίας[E] ἀλλ’ ἐν ἀποδείξει[F] πνεύματος καὶ δυνάμεως, and my speech and my preaching was not [done] in [words of] persuasion [from] wisdom, but in [a] demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1Co 2:5 ἵνα ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν μὴ ᾖ ἐν σοφίᾳ ἀνθρώπων ἀλλ’ ἐν[G] δυνάμει θεοῦ. so that your faith might not be in [the] wisdom of humans, but in [the] power of God.
1Co 2:6 Σοφίαν δὲ λαλοῦμεν ἐν τοῖς τελείοις[H], σοφίαν δὲ οὐ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου οὐδὲ τῶν ἀρχόντων[I] τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου τῶν καταργουμένων[J]· But we do speak a wisdom among the mature, a wisdom not of this age nor of the rulers of this age who are coming to an end;
1Co 2:7 ἀλλὰ λαλοῦμεν θεοῦ[K] σοφίαν ἐν μυστηρίῳ, τὴν ἀποκεκρυμμένην, ἣν προώρισεν[L] ὁ θεὸς πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων εἰς δόξαν ἡμῶν· Rather, we speak a wisdom of God in a hidden mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory,
1Co 2:8 ἣν οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀρχόντων τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου ἔγνωκεν, εἰ γὰρ ἔγνωσαν, οὐκ ἂν τὸν κύριον τῆς δόξης ἐσταύρωσαν[M]· which none of the rulers of this age recognized.  For if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Co 2:9 ἀλλὰ καθὼς γέγραπται[N]· Ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδεν καὶ οὖς οὐκ ἤκουσεν καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἀνέβη, ὅσα[O] ἡτοίμασεν ὁ θεὸς τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν. But as it is written, “What [things] eye did not see and ear did not hear, and [what] did not arise upon [the] heart of a human being—what [or “all that”] God prepared for those who love him.”
1Co 2:10               ἡμῖν γὰρ ἀπεκάλυψεν ὁ θεὸς διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος, τὸ γὰρ πνεῦμα πάντα ἐραυνᾷ[P], καὶ τὰ βάθη[Q] τοῦ θεοῦ. For God revealed [this] to us through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1Co 2:11               τίς γὰρ οἶδεν ἀνθρώπων τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰ μὴ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ; οὕτως καὶ τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐδεὶς ἔγνωκεν[R] εἰ μὴ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ. For who of [all] people knows the things of someone except the spirit of the person [which resides] within him [or her]?  So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12               ἡμεῖς δὲ οὐ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ κόσμου ἐλάβομεν ἀλλὰ τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα εἰδῶμεν[S] τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ χαρισθέντα[T] ἡμῖν· But we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, so that we might know the things granted to us by God.

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.


[A] Other manuscripts have μυστήριον “mystery.”  This is probably the better reading.

[B] The word could mean either “to know” or “to recognize”

[C] Or “I came to you”

[D] or “my message”

[E] Some textual variants here are knotty from a lexical perspective, but a substantive difference in meaning is not really at stake.

[F] The word occurs only here in the NT, so meaning is a little uncertain.  It could refer to miraculous events which “demonstrate” or “prove” the power of the Spirit, or it could (more likely) refer to preaching which relies on the Spirit’s power to be convincing proof, rather than on eloquence.

[G] Could either be “in the power of God” in the sense of “your faith might come to existence by means of the power of God,” or else “your faith might have the power of God as its object.”  I think that the former is more likely.  Otherwise Paul is just substituting another jazzy display for eloquence.

[H] An interesting word to show up here, particularly when Paul is tilting so hard against claims of superiority.  Cf. the other Pauline uses of this word in Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 13:10; 14:20; Phil 3:15; Col 1:28; 4:12.

[I] It’s not entirely clear from this text whether human rulers, or transcendent rulers are in view, though the word can have both of these connotations in the NT outside of Pauline usage.

[J] Note that the plural makes it clear that it is the rulers who are coming to an end; it is not “the age” which is in view here.

[K] I translated “of God” to keep the parallel with the genitives in the previous verse, but one might also render this as a genitive of source:  “wisdom from God.”

[L] The only use of the verb “predestine” in Paul where the object is not people.

[M] Contrary to fact conditional sentence—that’s why the tenses are rendered the way they are.

[N] A big debate on what Paul is quoting here—it’s not clear.

[O] not much difference in meaning in the textual variant here.

[P] Interesting image of the “searching” Spirit.

[Q] Cf. Rom 11:33 for an interesting parallel use of this word.

[R] Note the perfect form, literally “has come to know.”

[S]very close connection between the Spirit and knowledge in this entire section.

[T] of “freely given”

Luke 2:22-40; Feb 2 2014 lectionary gospel text

Luke 2:22-40

Gospel lection for Feb. 2, 2014

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.

Lk 2:22  Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν[A] κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ κυρίῳ, And when the days of their purification were fulfilled according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present [him] to the Lord,
Lk 2:23  καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ κυρίου ὅτι Πᾶν ἄρσεν[B] διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ κυρίῳ κληθήσεται, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male [child] opening a womb shall be called holy to the Lord,”
Lk 2:24  καὶ τοῦ δοῦναι[C] θυσίαν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου, ζεῦγος τρυγόνων ἢ δύο νοσσοὺς περιστερῶν. and to offer a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of pigeons or two young doves.”
Lk 2:25  Καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλὴμ [D] ὄνομα Συμεών, καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβής, προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ πνεῦμα ἦν ἅγιον[E] ἐπ’ αὐτόν· And look!  A man was in Jerusalem, whose name was Symeon, and this man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
Lk 2:26  καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον[F] ὑπὸ τοῦ[G] πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον[H] πρὶν ἢ ἂν ἴδῃ τὸν χριστὸν κυρίου. And it was made known to him by the Spirit [that he would] not see death until he would see the Lord’s Christ [or Messiah].
Lk 2:27  καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι[I] εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς[J] τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ[K] ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον[L] τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and while the parents were bringing in the child Jesus, so that they might do concerning him according to what was customary [in] the law,
Lk 2:28  καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας[M] καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν θεὸν καὶ εἶπεν· and he received [the child] into [his] arms, and blessed God, and said,
Lk 2:29  Νῦν ἀπολύεις[N] τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ· Now, master, you are dismissing your servant, according to your word, in peace,
Lk 2:30  ὅτι εἶδον[O] οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν[P] σου because my eyes saw your saving act
Lk 2:31  ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν[Q], which you prepared in the presence of all the peoples,
Lk 2:32  φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν[R] καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ. a light for [the purpose of] revelation of Gentiles, and [for the purpose of the] glory of your people Israel.
Lk 2:33  καὶ ἦν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ μήτηρ θαυμάζοντες ἐπὶ τοῖς λαλουμένοις περὶ αὐτοῦ. And his father and mother were marveling at the things spoken about him,
Lk 2:34  καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς Συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς Μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ· Ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον[S], and Symeon blessed them and said to Mary his morther, “Look!  This one is appointed for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign [that is] opposed,
Lk 2:35  καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς[T] τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία, ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί. (and your own soul will be pierced with a sword), in order that the disputations [flowing from] many hearts may be revealed.
Lk 2:36  Καὶ ἦν Ἅννα προφῆτις[U], θυγάτηρ Φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς Ἀσήρ (αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς, And there was a prophet Anna, daughter of Phanuel, from the tribe of Asher.  (She was advanced in many days, having lived with [her] husband seven years after her virginity,
Lk 2:37  καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων,) ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν. and [by] herself as a widow [all the way to] 84 years.)  She did not depart from the temple, worshipping night and day with fastings and prayers.
Lk 2:38  καὶ αὐτῇ[V] τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐπιστᾶσα ἀνθωμολογεῖτο[W] τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς προσδεχομένοις λύτρωσιν Ἰερουσαλήμ. And she, coming upon [or standing above] [them] at that hour, began to give thanks to God and to speak about him to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.
Lk 2:39  Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον κυρίου, ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν Ναζαρέθ. And when they finished everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Lk 2:40  Τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν[X] καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ, καὶ χάρις[Y] θεοῦ ἦν ἐπ’ αὐτό. And the child continued to grow and strengthen, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

[A] I.e., both Jesus’ and Mary’s, apparently.

[B] This is neuter because the implied noun is “child,” which is neuter in gender in Greek.

[C] A second infinitive grammatically parallel to παραστῆσαι in 2:22.

[D] Greek never uses the genitive with respect to names, to speak of “his” name, but always the dative—the name “for him.”

[E] Note the absence of a definite article, making it ambiguous whether we should render “a holy Spirit was upon him,” or “the Holy Spirit was upon him.”

[F] Could be either “revealed to him” or “prophesied to him” by someone else.

[G] This time we get the article with the Holy Spirit! Go figure.

[H] Grammatically, could be either a command (“Don’t die until you see the Lord’s Messiah,”) or a promise (“you will not die until you see the Lord’s Messiah.”)  Most commentators rightly opt for the latter one.

[I] i.e., in the power, or by the direction of the Holy Spirit, rather than coming in some immaterial way.  The Spirit is active in these verses!

[J] Remember that in Greek, the subject of infinitive clauses is in the accusative case, which is what we see here.

[K] τοῦ with infinitive clauses commonly expresses purpose.

[L] A somewhat odd juxtaposition of “custom” and “law.”

[M] The only time this word occurs in the NT.  The focus is on bent arms cradling the child.

[N] Neither future nor imperative, but simple indicative second singular.  “You are dismissing . . .”

[O] Many translations render this as a perfect (“my eyes have seen”), but it is aorist tense—simple past.

[P] Not the abstract noun “salvation,” but neuter singular “saving act.”

[Q] i.e. people-groups, not just a general collective.  One of these “people groups”—Israel—is singled out in the next verse.

[R] Could be either “revelation of Gentiles [who belong to God], or “revelation directed to the Gentiles,” though the latter would be clearer if it were in the dative case.

[S] Note the strongly oppositional/controversial character of these words!

[T] This is probably the intensive use of autos.  “The soul of you yourself.”

[U] The feminine form.  Could also be rendered “prophetess.”

[V] A textual problem here.  Should we read this as a dative with an iota subscript under the last letter, or as a nominative?  If the latter, it reads as I have translated; if the former, it is better rendered “at that very hour.”

[W] This and the next verb are imperfect, which I have rendered as the inchoative imperfect (began to . . .), indicating the beginning of a continuous action in the past.

[X] Again, note the imperfect tenses here, which indicate ongoing or continuous action in the past.

[Y] Or “the favor of God was upon him.”

Feb 2 Epistle lection, 1 Cor 1:18-31

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Epistle lection, Feb. 2, 2014

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.

1Co 1:18          Ὁ λόγος[A] γὰρ ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῖς μὲν ἀπολλυμένοις μωρία ἐστίν, τοῖς δὲ σῳζομένοις ἡμῖν δύναμις θεοῦ ἐστιν. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is [the] power of God.
1Co 1:19          γέγραπται γάρ· Ἀπολῶ[B] τὴν σοφίαν τῶν σοφῶν, καὶ τὴν σύνεσιν[C] τῶν συνετῶν ἀθετήσω. For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise ones, and the intelligence of the understanding ones I will nullify.
1Co 1:20          ποῦ σοφός; ποῦ γραμματεύς; ποῦ συζητητὴς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου; οὐχὶ ἐμώρανεν ὁ θεὸς τὴν σοφίαν τοῦ κόσμου; Where [is the] wise one?  Where is [the] scribe?  Where is [the] debater of this age?  Did not God make moronic the wisdom of the world?
1Co 1:21          ἐπειδὴ γὰρ ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐκ ἔγνω ὁ κόσμος διὰ τῆς σοφίας τὸν θεόν, εὐδόκησεν ὁ θεὸς διὰ τῆς μωρίας τοῦ κηρύγματος[D] σῶσαι τοὺς πιστεύοντας. For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased, through the folly of what is preached, to save those who believe.
1Co 1:22          ἐπειδὴ καὶ[E] Ἰουδαῖοι σημεῖα αἰτοῦσιν καὶ Ἕλληνες σοφίαν ζητοῦσιν· Since Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek wisdom,
1Co 1:23          ἡμεῖς δὲ κηρύσσομεν Χριστὸν ἐσταυρωμένον[F], Ἰουδαίοις μὲν σκάνδαλον ἔθνεσιν δὲ μωρίαν, But we preach Christ crucified, on the one hand to Jews a stumbling block, and other the other hand, to gentiles, foolishness;
1Co 1:24          αὐτοῖς δὲ τοῖς κλητοῖς[G], Ἰουδαίοις τε καὶ Ἕλλησιν, Χριστὸν[H] θεοῦ δύναμιν[I] καὶ θεοῦ σοφίαν. But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ [is the] power of God and [the] wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25          ὅτι τὸ μωρὸν[J] τοῦ θεοῦ σοφώτερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων[K] ἐστίν, καὶ τὸ ἀσθενὲς τοῦ θεοῦ ἰσχυρότερον τῶν ἀνθρώπων. For the folly of God is wiser than humans, and the weakness of God is stronger than humans.
1Co 1:26          Βλέπετε γὰρ τὴν κλῆσιν ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι οὐ πολλοὶ σοφοὶ κατὰ σάρκα, οὐ πολλοὶ δυνατοί, οὐ πολλοὶ εὐγενεῖς[L]· Look at your calling, brothers [and sisters,]  since not many [were] wise according to the flesh; not many [were] strong; not many [were] well-born;
1Co 1:27          ἀλλὰ τὰ μωρὰ[M] τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός, ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τοὺς σοφούς, καὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός, ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τὰ ἰσχυρά[N], But God chose the foolish things of the world, in order that he might put the wise ones to shame, and God chose the weak things of the world, in order that he might put the strong things to shame.
1Co 1:28          καὶ τὰ ἀγενῆ[O] τοῦ κόσμου καὶ τὰ ἐξουθενημένα ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός, τὰ μὴ ὄντα, ἵνα τὰ ὄντα καταργήσῃ,[P] Indeed, the common things of the world, and the despised things God chose—the things that are nothing, so that he might nullify the things that are something,
1Co 1:29          ὅπως μὴ καυχήσηται[Q] πᾶσα[R] σὰρξ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ. So that no flesh [i.e. human being] might boast before God.
1Co 1:30          ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,[S] ὃς ἐγενήθη σοφία ἡμῖν[T] ἀπὸ θεοῦ, δικαιοσύνη τε καὶ ἁγιασμὸς[U] καὶ ἀπολύτρωσις, But from him, you are in Christ Jesus, who became wisdom for us from God, and righteousness and holiness and redemption,
1Co 1:31          ἵνα καθὼς γέγραπται· Ὁ καυχώμενος ἐν κυρίῳ καυχάσθω. so that , as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

[A] λόγος has a wide range of meaning.    In this context, it could mean “word,” “meaning,” “message,” etc.

[B] Note that this is the same verb translated “perishing” in the previous verse (though in a different tense).  A search on this verb in Paul more widely will yield some interesting results.  You can do that online here:  http://biblewebapp.com/study/.  When you click on the English word, the correct Greek word is highlighted.  Click on the Greek verb, scroll down, and click on “find all occurrences.”

[C] Definitions include intelligence, acuteness, shrewdness, insight, and understanding.

[D] Or possibly “the foolishness of preaching.”  Both the act and the content are possible meanings.

[E] The double καὶ construction is hard to translate, but the meaning is to treat Jews and Greeks in a parallel way to each other.

[F] A perfect passive participle—“in the present and enduring state of having been crucified.”

[G] Don’t miss the verbal allusion back to 1:2.

[H] The accusative case makes it clear that this verse looks back to the same Christ who is preached in the previous verse.  It’s hard to render this in translation into English.

[I] Interesting to speculate:  does Christ the power of God correspond to the “stumbling block” to Jews referenced above, and Christ the wisdom correspond to the foolishness of the gospel to Greeks in the previous verse?  In any case, we see a second theme introduced here.  In addition to the polarity of foolishness and wisdom, Paul begins to develop the contrast between strength and weakness.

[J] Note that these are both neuter singular noun substantives—“the foolish thing”  and “the weak thing—rather than the abstract noun “foolishness” which Paul has used earlier in vv. 21 & 23 (Paul doesn’t reference weakness earlier).

[K] Most likely just the genitive of comparison (as I have translated).  But it could also be a possessive genitive, with an implied noun, rendering the verse:   “For the folly of God is wiser than [the wisdom] of humans, and the weakness of God is stronger than [the strength] of humans.”

[L] Now Paul adds a third category:  not just wisdom and power, but social status/standing.

[M] Note the neuter gender.  It’s not foolish people but foolish things.

[N] Even here we see the neuter plural—it’s the strong things that are shamed, in contrast to the wise ones who are shamed earlier in the verse.

[O] Note again the high-born/commoner polarity here.

[P] Again—the neuter plurals are worth noting.  God does not nullify people, but things—values, assumptions, etc.  Also, check the Bauer lexicon on this verb—some interesting nuances.

[Q] One gets the sense that this negation of boasting is the goal toward which this whole passage has been moving.  C f. 1:31.

[R] The construction μὴ . . . πᾶσα does not suggest ‘not all, but perhaps some.”  Rather, it has the connotation “none at all.”

[S] This phrase could be understood several  ways.  The two most likely:  (1) By God’s doing, you are in Christ Jesus.” (2) “You are from God, in Christ Jesus.”

[T] A huge soteriological bundle is tied up in these words “who became for us . . .”  We access all these things (wisdom, power, and status) by becoming joined to the one who became for us righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (three huge soteriological terms).

[U] Could be “holiness” or “sanctification.”

Jan. 26 Matthew 4:12-23 lectionary commentary on the Greek text

Jan. 26 2014 Lectionary, Matthew 4:12-23

Mt 4:12 Ἀκούσας δὲ ὅτι Ἰωάννης παρεδόθη[A] ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. But when he [i.e. Jesus] heard that John was handed over, he withdrew into Galilee
Mt 4:13 καὶ καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρὰ ἐλθὼν κατῴκησεν εἰς Καφαρναοὺμ τὴν παραθαλασσίαν ἐν ὁρίοις Ζαβουλὼν καὶ Νεφθαλίμ· And leaving Nazareth, he went [and] settled in Capernaum—the [place] beside the sea—in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,
Mt 4:14 ἵνα πληρωθῇ[B] τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος· So that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled, when he said,
Mt 4:15 Γῆ Ζαβουλὼν καὶ γῆ Νεφθαλίμ, ὁδὸν θαλάσσης, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου[C], Γαλιλαία τῶν ἐθνῶν,[D] “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles–
Mt 4:16 ὁ λαὸς ὁ καθήμενος ἐν σκοτίᾳ φῶς εἶδεν μέγα, καὶ τοῖς καθημένοις ἐν χώρᾳ καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου φῶς ἀνέτειλεν[E] αὐτοῖς. The people sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those sitting in a region and shadow of death, light arose for them.”
Mt 4:17 Ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο ὁ Ἰησοῦς κηρύσσειν καὶ λέγειν· Μετανοεῖτε, ἤγγικεν[F] γὰρ ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.[G] From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”
Mt 4:18 Περιπατῶν δὲ παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας εἶδεν δύο ἀδελφούς, Σίμωνα τὸν λεγόμενον Πέτρον καὶ Ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, βάλλοντας ἀμφίβληστρον εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, ἦσαν γὰρ ἁλιεῖς· And walking beside the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (the one called Peter) and Andrews his brother, throwing a net into the lake, for they were fishers.
Mt 4:19 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· Δεῦτε ὀπίσω μου, καὶ ποιήσω ὑμᾶς ἁλιεῖς ἀνθρώπων. And he says to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of people.”
Mt 4:20 οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὰ δίκτυα[H] ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ. And they immediately leaving the fishnets followed him.
Mt 4:21 Καὶ προβὰς ἐκεῖθεν εἶδεν ἄλλους δύο ἀδελφούς, Ἰάκωβον τὸν τοῦ Ζεβεδαίου καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ μετὰ Ζεβεδαίου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν καταρτίζοντας[I] τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν, καὶ ἐκάλεσεν αὐτούς. And going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James the [son] of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, arranging their nets, and he called them.
Mt 4:22 οἱ δὲ εὐθέως ἀφέντες τὸ πλοῖον καὶ τὸν πατέρα[J] αὐτῶν ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ. And they, immediately leaving the boat and their father, followed him.
Mt 4:23 Καὶ περιῆγεν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ, διδάσκων ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν[K] ἐν τῷ λαῷ. And he led [them] around in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom and healing every illness and every disability among the people.

[A] The same word used later in the gospel of Judas’ betrayal, but here carrying simply the connotation of being “handed over” to the authorities.

[B] One of 13 references to the fulfillment of Scripture in Matthew, using this verb.

[C] A difficult reference (but found in Isaiah), because it suggests that the speaker is located to the east of the Jordan, since Capernaum is to the west of the Sea of Galilee (which feeds into the Jordan river).

[D] Given the way in which the Great Commission at the end of Matthew commands the disciples to “disciple all the nations” using the same word for nations/Gentiles found here, this is probably significant for Matthew.

[E] Probably a reference to the dawn and the rising of the sun.

[F] A particularly interesting interaction of meaning and tense.  The root verb ἐγγίζω means to draw near or approach.  The perfect tense of the form here indicates a present and continuing state as a result of a prior action.  Hence the Kingdom of Heaven is in the present and enduring state of having drawn near or approached.  So is it here or not?  It’s ambiguous!

[G] Identical to John’s language in 3:2.

[H] Interestingly a different word for “nets” from v. 18!  Apparently there was more than one kind of net that they left, and this latter term is the more inclusive one?

[I] Could be either “arranging” or “repairing.”

[J] Given the references elsewhere in the gospels to the way in which Jesus’ proclamation creates disruption for families, this is not insignificant.

[K] Literally “softness” or “weakness” but when combined with “illness” above, this seemed like an appropriate modern equivalent.

Jan. 26 1 Corinthians 1:10-18

1 Cor 1:10-18

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.

1Co 1:10               Παρακαλῶ δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, διὰ τοῦ ὀνόματος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἵνα τὸ αὐτὸ λέγητε[A] πάντες, καὶ μὴ ᾖ ἐν ὑμῖν σχίσματα, ἦτε δὲ κατηρτισμένοι[B] ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ[C] νοῒ καὶ ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ γνώμῃ[D]. I urge you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, and that there not be divisions among you, but that you may be formed in the same mind and in the same intention.
1Co 1:11               ἐδηλώθη γάρ μοι περὶ ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί μου, ὑπὸ τῶν Χλόης ὅτι ἔριδες[E] ἐν ὑμῖν εἰσιν. For it was revealed to me concerning you, my brothers, by those of Chloe, that there are quarrels among you.
1Co 1:12               λέγω δὲ τοῦτο ὅτι ἕκαστος ὑμῶν λέγει· Ἐγὼ μέν εἰμι Παύλου[F], Ἐγὼ δὲ Ἀπολλῶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Κηφᾶ, Ἐγὼ δὲ Χριστοῦ. I say this because each of you says, “I am of Paul,” and “I am of Apollos,” and “I am of Cepthas,” and “I am of Christ.”
1Co 1:13               μεμέρισται ὁ Χριστός; μὴ[G] Παῦλος ἐσταυρώθη ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ἢ εἰς τὸ ὄνομα [H]Παύλου ἐβαπτίσθητε; Has Christ become divided?  Paul was not crucified on your behalf, was he?  Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?
1Co 1:14               εὐχαριστῶ ὅτι οὐδένα ὑμῶν ἐβάπτισα εἰ μὴ Κρίσπον καὶ Γάϊον, I am thankful that I baptized none of you except Krispus and Gaius,
1Co 1:15               ἵνα μή[I] τις εἴπῃ ὅτι εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα ἐβαπτίσθητε· lest any [of you] should say that you were baptized into my name.
1Co 1:16               ἐβάπτισα δὲ καὶ τὸν Στεφανᾶ οἶκον· λοιπὸν[J] οὐκ οἶδα εἴ τινα ἄλλον ἐβάπτισα. I did also baptize the household of Stephen. Beyond that, I don’t know if I baptized anyone else.
1Co 1:17               οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλέν με Χριστὸς βαπτίζειν ἀλλὰ εὐαγγελίζεσθαι, οὐκ ἐν σοφίᾳ λόγου, ἵνα μὴ κενωθῇ[K] ὁ σταυρὸς τοῦ Χριστοῦ. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the good news—not in the wisdom of speech, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied.
1Co 1:18               Ὁ λόγος[L] γὰρ ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ τοῖς μὲν ἀπολλυμένοις μωρία[M] ἐστίν, τοῖς δὲ σῳζομένοις ἡμῖν δύναμις[N] θεοῦ ἐστιν. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.

[A] The NRSV translates this phrase as “that you all be in agreement,” but this loses some of the tangible quality of Paul’s rhetoric.  The issue is not only what people think, but how they speak, and whether that speech reveals conflict and disagreement.

[B] The passive voice suggests “that you allow yourself to be formed by Christ . . . .”

[C] Remember that αυτος in the attributive position (i.e., between the definite article and the noun it modifies) means “same.”

[D] The root meaning of this word is “opinion,” but it can also carry the connotation of intention or purpose, which seems more fitting here.

[E] There is a nuance of rivalry (in addition to mere conflict) here that should not be overlooked.

[F] The genitives here might convey possession (I belong to Paul, etc.), or origin (I come from Paul’s place/perspective).

[G] This form of the negative means that the expected answer is “no.”  That’s why I translated, “Paul was not . . . was he?”

[H] Cf. other places where the same formula “baptized into the name of” appears:  the Great Commission in Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5.

[I] This combo often translated “lest,” though the rendering is not exactly contemporary English—there isn’t a better equivalent that I know of.

[J] An accusative of respect:  “with respect to the rest . . .”

[K] Interesting uses of this verb elsewhere in Paul: Rom. 4:14, 1 Co. 9:15, 2 Co. 9:3, Phil. 2:7

[L] Could be “word,” “message” or “meaning.”

[M] The word is found only in 1 Cor, in the entire New Testament!  A key issue for Paul here.

[N] Given the use of μωρια earlier in the verse, we might expect “wisdom” here, but we get “power” instead.  I suspect that this is part of Paul’s attempt to reframe the conflict in Corinth.

Jan. 19 Gospel lectionary, John 1:29-42 Greek Text notes

John 1:29-42

On the left is the SBL text (pretty close to the best Greek texts).  On the right is my translation–as literal as possible while maintaining at least roughly comprehensible English. (Words I’ve added that I think are implied in the text, but not actually present, are enclosed in [brackets].)  I’ve also added footnotes to the Greek text in places where I’ve offered brief comments.  The goal here is not to offer a complete commentary on the text, but simply to highlight some issues where looking at the original language may help to illumine what is going on overall here.  One of my purposes for this whole approach is to encourage those who are preaching and teaching the lectionary text to explore the original languages, and to give them a head start on what they might discover.

29 Τῇ ἐπαύριον βλέπει τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ λέγει· Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ[1] ὁ αἴρων[2] τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου. The next day he sees Jesus coming to him, and he says, “Look!  The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
30 οὗτός ἐστιν ὑπὲρ[3] οὗ ἐγὼ εἶπον· Ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεται ἀνὴρ ὃς ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν[4], ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who has been before me, because he was first [in comparison to] me.’
· 31 κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν, ἀλλ ʼ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τῷ Ἰσραὴλ διὰ τοῦτο ἦλθον ἐγὼ ἐν ὕδατι βαπτίζων. Even I did not know him, but so that he might be manifested to Israel—for this reason I came baptizing in water.”
32 καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν Ἰωάννης λέγων ὅτι[5] Τεθέαμαι τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον ὡς  περιστερὰν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐπʼ αὐτόν[6]· And John testified, saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on [or over] him.
33 κἀγὼ[7] οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν, ἀλλ ʼ ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν· Ἐφʼ ὃν ἂν ἴδῃς τὸ πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον καὶ μένον ἐπʼ αὐτόν, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ·[8] Even I did not know him.  But the one who sent me to baptize in water—that one said to me, ‘[the one] on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining on him—this is the one who baptizes in holy Spirit.
34 κἀγὼ ἑώρακα, καὶ μεμαρτύρηκα ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἐκλεκτὸς τοῦ θεοῦ.[9] And I have seen, and have testified that this is the chosen one of God [or the one chosen by/from God].
35 Τῇ ἐπαύριον πάλιν εἱστήκει[10] ὁ Ἰωάννης καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο, The next day John stood [along with] two of his disciples,
36 καὶ ἐμβλέψας[11] τῷ Ἰησοῦ περιπατοῦντι λέγει· Ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. And looking intently at Jesus walking, [John] says “Look!  The lamb of God.”
37 καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ δύο μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ[12] λαλοῦντος καὶ ἠκολούθησαν[13] τῷ Ἰησοῦ. And the two disciples heard him [i.e. John] speaking and they followed Jesus.
38 στραφεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ θεασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἀκολουθοῦντας λέγει αὐτοῖς· Τί[14] ζητεῖτε; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ· Ῥαββί (ὃ λέγεται  μεθερμηνευόμενον Διδάσκαλε), ποῦ μένεις;[15] But Jesus, turning and seeing them following, says to them, “What are you looking for?”  And they said to him, “Rabbi (which means, when translated, ‘Teacher’), where are you staying?
39 λέγει αὐτοῖς· Ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε[16]. ἦλθαν οὖν καὶ εἶδαν ποῦ μένει, καὶ παρʼ αὐτῷ ἔμειναν[17] τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην· ὥρα ἦν ὡς δεκάτη. He says to them, “Come and you will see.”  So they came and saw where he [was] staying, and they stayed beside him during that day.  The hour was about the tenth.
40 ἦν Ἀνδρέας ὁ ἀδελφὸς Σίμωνος Πέτρου εἷς ἐκ τῶν δύο τῶν ἀκουσάντων παρὰ Ἰωάννου καὶ ἀκολουθησάντων αὐτῷ Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard from John and followed him [i.e. Jesus].
· 41 εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· Εὑρήκαμεν τὸν Μεσσίαν (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον χριστός). This one first finds his own brother Simon, and he says to him, “We have found the Messiah’ ( which is translated, “Christ.”)
42 ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· Σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωάννου,[18] σὺ κληθήσῃ Κηφᾶς (ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος). He led him to Jesus.  Looking intently at him, Jesus said, “You are Simon, the son of John.  You will be called Cephas (which is translated, “Peter”).

[1] Most commentators understand this to be an allusion to the Passover lamb, in light of the fact that Jesus dies in John at the time when the Passover lambs are being slaughtered.  What remains a bit puzzling is that in Jewish thought and the original story (Ex 12), the primary function of the Passover lamb was not the removal of sin, but rather the aversion of the death of the firstborn.

[2] Can have the connotation of “carries,” suggesting that the lamb carries what otherwise the world would have to carry; or it can have the connotation of take away, in the sense of remove.

[3] Could be either “on behalf of whom” or “about whom.”

[4] The perfect tense conveys at least something of the notion of pre-existence.

[5] Remember that sometimes ὅτι introduces indirect discourse “that . . .” and sometimes it is the equivalent of a quotation mark.

[6] Note the ambiguity of the preposition, which with the accusative case can mean either “above” or “on” in a more generic sense.

[7] Could be simple consecutive “And I” or concessive “Even I.”

[8] Note the absence of the definite article, rendering it at least a little ambiguous as to whether this is a reference to the Holy Spirit.

[9] A textual variant here.  Many MSS say “son of God” rather than “Chosen of God.”  If we adopt the text printed here, we have a rich Christological term with lots of layers of meaning.  Could be a genitive of possession (The chose one who belongs to God) or a genitive of source (the chosen one who came from God) or a subjective genitive (the one God chose.)

[10] The verb is pluperfect in form, but this particular verb uses the pluperfect as a simple past for the intransitive form “stood,” rather than “had been standing.”

[11] Could even be rendered, “staring at . . .”

[12] When akouo takes its object in the genitive, as we have here, the emphasis is on actually hearing the voice (rather than hearing about, which is connoted by an object in the accusative case).

[13] The normal word for discipleship.

[14] Note not “whom” are you seeking, but “what”.

[15] In classic Johannine style, questions simply raise more questions!

[16] Not sure why the NRSV renders this like an imperative “come and see” rather than “come and you will see” but it’s a simple future tense.

[17] The same verb from the “abide with me” text of John 15.

[18] Remember the ancient manuscripts had no punctuation, so it’s a judgment call whether this should be a statement (You are Simon, the son of John) or a question (Are you Simon, the son of John?)