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Luke 11:33-36

Context
Internal Light

11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place 1  or under a basket, 2  but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, 3  your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased, 4  your body is full of darkness. 11:35 Therefore see to it 5  that the light in you 6  is not darkness. 11:36 If 7  then 8  your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark, 9  it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” 10 

1 tn Or perhaps “in a cellar” (L&N 28.78). The point is that the light of Jesus’ teaching has been put in public view.

2 tc The phrase “or under a basket” is lacking in some important and early mss (Ì45,75 L Γ Ξ 070 Ë1 700* 1241 2542 pc sys sa). It is hard to decide in this case, since the inclusion of “or under a basket” is widely attested by some early and decent witnesses, as well as the overwhelming majority of mss (א A B C D W Θ Ψ Ë13 Ï latt). The parallel passage in Luke 8:16 does not include “under a basket.” If the phrase “under a basket” were added as a harmonization with Mark 4:21 and Matt 5:15, it is perhaps surprising that scribes did not add the phrase at Luke 8:16 as well. It seems somewhat more likely that a scribe copying Luke would be inclined to harmonize 11:33 with 8:16 by omitting the phrase here. Thus, the words “or under a basket” seem to have the marks of authenticity.

tn Or “a bowl”; this refers to any container for dry material of about eight liters (two gallons) capacity. It could be translated “basket, box, bowl” (L&N 6.151).

3 tn Or “sound” (so L&N 23.132 and most scholars). A few scholars take this word to mean something like “generous” here (L&N 57.107), partly due to the immediate context of this saying in Matt 6:22 which concerns money, in which case the “eye” is a metonymy for the entire person (“if you are generous”).

4 tn Or “when it is sick” (L&N 23.149).

sn There may be a slight wordplay here, as this term can also mean “evil,” so the figure uses a term that points to the real meaning of being careful as to what one pays attention to or looks at.

5 tn This is a present imperative, calling for a constant watch (L&N 24.32; ExSyn 721).

6 sn Here you is a singular pronoun, individualizing the application.

7 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text, so the example ends on a hopeful, positive note.

8 tn Grk “Therefore”; the same conjunction as at the beginning of v. 35, but since it indicates a further inference or conclusion, it has been translated “then” here.

9 tn Grk “not having any part dark.”

10 tn Grk “it will be completely illumined as when a lamp illumines you with its rays.”



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