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Luke 10:38-42

Context
Jesus and Martha

10:38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus 1  entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. 2  10:39 She 3  had a sister named Mary, who sat 4  at the Lord’s feet 5  and listened to what he said. 10:40 But Martha was distracted 6  with all the preparations she had to make, 7  so 8  she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care 9  that my sister has left me to do all the work 10  alone? Tell 11  her to help me.” 10:41 But the Lord 12  answered her, 13  “Martha, Martha, 14  you are worried and troubled 15  about many things, 10:42 but one thing 16  is needed. Mary has chosen the best 17  part; it will not be taken away from her.”

1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tc Most mss have “into the house” (Ì3vid א C L Ξ 33 579 pc) or “into her house” (א1 A C2 D W Θ Ψ 070 Ë1,13 Ï lat) at the end of the sentence. But the English translation masks the multitude of variants: Different forms of “house” (οἰκίαν [oikian], οἶκον [oikon]) and “her” occur (see TCGNT 129). These variations argue against authenticity; they no doubt arose because of the abrupt ending of the sentence (the Greek is more literally translated simply as “Martha received him”), prompting copyists to add the location. The shorter reading is found in Ì45,75 B sa.

tn For the meaning “to welcome, to have as a guest” see L&N 34.53.

3 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

4 tn This reflexive makes it clear that Mary took the initiative in sitting by Jesus.

5 sn The description of Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet and listening to him makes her sound like a disciple (compare Luke 8:35).

6 sn The term distracted means “to be pulled away” by something (L&N 25.238). It is a narrative comment that makes clear who is right in the account.

7 tn Grk “with much serving.”

8 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that the following was a result of Martha’s distraction.

9 tn The negative οὐ (ou) used with the verb expects a positive reply. Martha expected Jesus to respond and rebuke Mary.

10 tn Grk “has left me to serve alone.”

11 tn The conjunction οὖν (oun, “then, therefore”) has not been translated here.

12 tc Most mss (A B* C D W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï it) read “Jesus” instead of “the Lord” here, but κύριος (kurios, “Lord”) has the support of some weighty papyri, uncials, and other witnesses (Ì3,[45],75 א B2 L 579 892 pc lat sa).

13 tn Grk “answering, said to her.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “answered her.”

14 sn The double vocative Martha, Martha communicates emotion.

15 tn Or “upset.” Here the meanings of μεριμνάω (merimnaw) and θορυβάζομαι (qorubazomai) reinforce each other (L&N 25.234).

16 tc Or, with some mss (Ì3 [א] B C2 L 070vid Ë1 33 [579] pc), “few things are needed – or only one” (as well as other variants). The textual problem here is a difficult one to decide. The shorter reading is normally preferred, but it is not altogether clear how the variants would arise from it. However, the reading followed in the translation has good support (with some internal variations) from a number of witnesses (Ì45,75 A C* W Θ Ψ Ë13 Ï lat sa).

17 tn Or “better”; Grk “good.” This is an instance of the positive adjective used in place of the superlative adjective. According to ExSyn 298, this could also be treated as a positive for comparative (“better”).



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