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Luke 1:77-79

Context

1:77 to give his people knowledge of salvation 1  through the forgiveness 2  of their sins.

1:78 Because of 3  our God’s tender mercy 4 

the dawn 5  will break 6  upon us from on high

1:79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, 7 

to guide our feet into the way 8  of peace.”

Luke 7:47

Context
7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which were many, are forgiven, thus she loved much; 9  but the one who is forgiven little loves little.”

Luke 24:47

Context
24:47 and repentance 10  for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed 11  in his name to all nations, 12  beginning from Jerusalem. 13 

1 sn John’s role, to give his people knowledge of salvation, is similar to that of Jesus (Luke 3:1-14; 5:31-32).

2 sn Forgiveness is another major Lukan theme (Luke 4:18; 24:47; Acts 10:37).

3 tn For reasons of style, a new sentence has been started in the translation at this point. God’s mercy is ultimately seen in the deliverance John points to, so v. 78a is placed with the reference to Jesus as the light of dawning day.

4 sn God’s loyal love (steadfast love) is again the topic, reflected in the phrase tender mercy; see Luke 1:72.

5 sn The Greek term translated dawn (ἀνατολή, anatolh) can be a reference to the morning star or to the sun. The Messiah is pictured as a saving light that shows the way. The Greek term was also used to translate the Hebrew word for “branch” or “sprout,” so some see a double entendre here with messianic overtones (see Isa 11:1-10; Jer 23:5; 33:15; Zech 3:8; 6:12).

6 tn Grk “shall visit us.”

7 sn On the phrases who sit in darkness…and…death see Isa 9:1-2; 42:7; 49:9-10.

8 tn Or “the path.”

9 tn Grk “for she loved much.” The connection between this statement and the preceding probably involves an ellipsis, to the effect that the ὅτι clause gives the evidence of forgiveness, not the ground. For similar examples of an “evidentiary” ὅτι, cf. Luke 1:22; 6:21; 13:2. See discussion in D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 1:703-5. Further evidence that this is the case here is the final statement: “the one who is forgiven little loves little” means that the one who is forgiven little is thus not able to love much. The REB renders this verse: “her great love proves that her many sins have been forgiven; where little has been forgiven, little love is shown.”

sn She loved much. Jesus’ point is that the person who realizes how great a gift forgiveness is (because they have a deep sense of sin) has a great love for the one who forgives, that is, God. The woman’s acts of reverence to Jesus honored him as the one who brought God’s message of grace.

10 sn This repentance has its roots in declarations of the Old Testament. It is the Hebrew concept of a turning of direction.

11 tn Or “preached,” “announced.”

12 sn To all nations. The same Greek term (τὰ ἔθνη, ta eqnh) may be translated “the Gentiles” or “the nations.” The hope of God in Christ was for all the nations from the beginning.

13 sn Beginning from Jerusalem. See Acts 2, which is where it all starts.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.



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