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Luke 21:12-19

Context
21:12 But before all this, 1  they will seize 2  you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues 3  and prisons. You 4  will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 21:13 This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses. 5  21:14 Therefore be resolved 6  not to rehearse 7  ahead of time how to make your defense. 21:15 For I will give you the words 8  along with the wisdom 9  that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, 10  brothers, relatives, 11  and friends, and they will have some of you put to death. 21:17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name. 12  21:18 Yet 13  not a hair of your head will perish. 14  21:19 By your endurance 15  you will gain 16  your lives. 17 

1 sn But before all this. Another note of timing is present, this one especially important in understanding the sequence in the discourse. Before the things noted in vv. 8-11 are the events of vv. 12-19.

2 tn Grk “will lay their hands on you.”

3 sn Some of the persecution is of Jewish origin (the synagogues). Some fulfillment of this can be seen in Acts. See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

4 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

5 tn Grk “This will turn out to you for [a] testimony.”

6 tn Grk “determine in your hearts.”

7 tn This term could refer to rehearsing a speech or a dance. On its syntax, see BDF §392.2.

8 tn Grk “a mouth.” It is a metonymy and refers to the reply the Lord will give to them.

9 tn Grk “and wisdom.”

10 sn To confess Christ might well mean rejection by one’s own family, even by parents.

11 tn Grk “and brothers and relatives,” but καί (kai) has not been translated twice here since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

12 sn See Luke 6:22, 27; 1 Cor 1:25-31.

13 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

14 sn Given v. 16, the expression not a hair of your head will perish must be taken figuratively and refer to living ultimately in the presence of God.

15 sn By your endurance is a call to remain faithful, because trusting in Jesus is the means to life.

16 tc Some important Greek witnesses plus the majority of mss (א D L W Ψ Ë1 Ï) read the aorist imperative κτήσασθε (kthsasqe) here, though some mss (A B Θ Ë13 33 pc lat sa) read the future indicative κτήσεσθε (kthsesqe). A decision is difficult because the evidence is so evenly balanced, but the aorist imperative is the harder reading and better explains the rise of the other. J. A. Fitzmyer assesses the translation options this way: “In English one has to use something similar [i.e., a future indicative], even if one follows the [aorist imperative]” (Luke [AB], 2:1341); in the same vein, although this translation follows the aorist imperative, because of English requirements it has been translated as though it were a future indicative.

17 tn Grk “your souls,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. In light of v. 16 that does not seem to be the case here. The entire phrase could be taken as an idiom meaning “you will save yourselves” (L&N 21.20), or (as in v. 18) this could refer to living ultimately in the presence of God.



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