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Luke 23:35-41

Context
23:35 The people also stood there watching, but the rulers ridiculed 1  him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save 2  himself if 3  he is the Christ 4  of God, his chosen one!” 23:36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 5  23:37 and saying, “If 6  you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” 23:38 There was also an inscription 7  over him, “This is the king of the Jews.”

23:39 One of the criminals who was hanging there railed at him, saying, “Aren’t 8  you the Christ? 9  Save yourself and us!” 23:40 But the other rebuked him, saying, 10  “Don’t 11  you fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 12  23:41 And we rightly so, for we are getting what we deserve for what we did, but this man has done nothing 13  wrong.”

1 tn A figurative extension of the literal meaning “to turn one’s nose up at someone”; here “ridicule, sneer at, show contempt for” (L&N 33.409).

2 sn The irony in the statement Let him save himself is that salvation did come, but later, not while on the cross.

3 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.

4 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 2:11.

5 sn Sour wine was cheap wine, called in Latin posca, and referred to a cheap vinegar wine diluted heavily with water. It was the drink of slaves and soldiers, and the soldiers who had performed the crucifixion, who had some on hand, now used it to taunt Jesus further.

6 tn This is also a first class condition in the Greek text.

7 sn Mention of the inscription is an important detail, because the inscription would normally give the reason for the execution. It shows that Jesus was executed for claiming to be a king. It was also probably written with irony from the executioners’ point of view.

8 tc Most mss (A C3 W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï lat) read εἰ σὺ εἶ (ei su ei, “If you are”) here, while οὐχὶ σὺ εἶ (ouci su ei, “Are you not”) is found in overall better and earlier witnesses (Ì75 א B C* L 070 1241 pc it). The “if” clause reading creates a parallel with the earlier taunts (vv. 35, 37), and thus is most likely a motivated reading.

sn The question in Greek expects a positive reply and is also phrased with irony.

9 tn Or “Messiah”; both “Christ” (Greek) and “Messiah” (Hebrew and Aramaic) mean “one who has been anointed.”

sn See the note on Christ in 2:11.

10 tn Grk “But answering, the other rebuking him, said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.

11 tn The particle used here (οὐδέ, oude), which expects a positive reply, makes this a rebuke – “You should fear God and not speak!”

12 tn The words “of condemnation” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

13 sn This man has done nothing wrong is yet another declaration that Jesus was innocent of any crime.



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