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Luke 1:31-35

Context
1:31 Listen: 1  You will become pregnant 2  and give birth to 3  a son, and you will name him 4  Jesus. 5  1:32 He 6  will be great, 7  and will be called the Son of the Most High, 8  and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father 9  David. 1:33 He 10  will reign over the house of Jacob 11  forever, and his kingdom will never end.” 1:34 Mary 12  said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with 13  a man?” 1:35 The angel replied, 14  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow 15  you. Therefore the child 16  to be born 17  will be holy; 18  he will be called the Son of God.

1 tn Grk “And behold.”

2 tn Grk “you will conceive in your womb.”

3 tn Or “and bear.”

4 tn Grk “you will call his name.”

5 tn See v. 13 for a similar construction.

sn You will name him Jesus. This verse reflects the birth announcement of a major figure; see 1:13; Gen 16:7; Judg 13:5; Isa 7:14. The Greek form of the name Ihsous, which was translated into Latin as Jesus, is the same as the Hebrew Yeshua (Joshua), which means “Yahweh saves” (Yahweh is typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT). It was a fairly common name among Jews in 1st century Palestine, as references to a number of people by this name in the LXX and Josephus indicate.

6 tn Grk “this one.”

7 sn Compare the description of Jesus as great here with 1:15, “great before the Lord.” Jesus is greater than John, since he is Messiah compared to a prophet. Great is stated absolutely without qualification to make the point.

8 sn The expression Most High is a way to refer to God without naming him. Such avoiding of direct reference to God was common in 1st century Judaism out of reverence for the divine name.

9 tn Or “ancestor.”

10 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. A new sentence is begun here in the translation because of the length of the sentence in Greek.

11 tn Or “over Israel.”

sn The expression house of Jacob refers to Israel. This points to the Messiah’s relationship to the people of Israel.

12 tn Grk “And Mary.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

13 tn Grk “have not known.” The expression in the Greek text is a euphemism for sexual relations. Mary seems to have sensed that the declaration had an element of immediacy to it that excluded Joseph. Many modern translations render this phrase “since I am a virgin,” but the Greek word for virgin is not used in the text, and the euphemistic expression is really more explicit, referring specifically to sexual relations.

14 tn Grk “And the angel said to her.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The pronoun αὐτῇ (auth, “to her”) has not been included in the translation since it is redundant in contemporary English.

15 sn The phrase will overshadow is a reference to God’s glorious presence at work (Exod 40:34-35; Ps 91:4).

16 tn Or “the one born holy will be called the Son of God.” The wording of this phrase depends on whether the adjective is a predicate adjective, as in the text, or is an adjective modifying the participle serving as the subject. The absence of an article with the adjective speaks for a predicate position. Other less appealing options supply a verb for “holy”; thus “the one who is born will be holy”; or argue that both “holy” and “Son of God” are predicates, so “The one who is born will be called holy, the Son of God.”

17 tc A few mss (C* Θ Ë1 33 pc) add “by you” here. This looks like a scribal addition to bring symmetry to the first three clauses of the angel’s message (note the second person pronoun in the previous two clauses), and is too poorly supported to be seriously considered as authentic.

18 tn Or “Therefore the holy child to be born will be called the Son of God.” There are two ways to understand the Greek phrase τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον (to gennwmenon {agion) here. First, τὸ γεννώμενον could be considered a substantival participle with ἅγιον as an adjective in the second predicate position, thus making a complete sentence; this interpretation is reflected in the translation above. Second, τὸ ἅγιον could be considered a substantival adjective with γεννώμενον acting as an adjectival participle, thus making the phrase the subject of the verb κληθήσεται (klhqhsetai); this interpretation is reflected in the alternative reading. Treating the participle γεννώμενον as adjectival is a bit unnatural for the very reason that it forces one to understand ἅγιον as substantival; this introduces a new idea in the text with ἅγιον when an already new topic is being introduced with γεννώμενον. Semantically this would overload the new subject introduced at this point. For this reason the first interpretation is preferred.



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