3:21 Now when 1 all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. And while he was praying, 2 the heavens 3 opened, 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. 4 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; 5 in you I take great delight.” 6
1 tn Grk “Now it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
2 tn Grk “and while Jesus was being baptized and praying.” The first of these participles has been translated as a finite verb to be more consistent with English style.
3 tn Or “the sky”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. In this context, although the word is singular, the English plural “heavens” connotes the Greek better than the singular “heaven” would, for the singular does not normally refer to the sky.
4 tn This phrase is a descriptive comparison. The Spirit is not a dove, but descends like one in some type of bodily representation.
5 tn Grk “my beloved Son,” or “my Son, the beloved [one].” The force of ἀγαπητός (agaphtos) is often “pertaining to one who is the only one of his or her class, but at the same time is particularly loved and cherished” (L&N 58.53; cf. also BDAG 7 s.v. 1).
6 tc Instead of “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight,” one Greek ms and several Latin
tn Or “with you I am well pleased.”
sn The allusions in the remarks of the text recall Ps 2:7a; Isa 42:1 and either Isa 41:8 or, less likely, Gen 22:12,16. God is marking out Jesus as his chosen one (the meaning of “[in you I take] great delight”), but it may well be that this was a private experience that only Jesus and John saw and heard (cf. John 1:32-33).