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Luke 11:39-46

Context
11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean 1  the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 2  11:40 You fools! 3  Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 4  11:41 But give from your heart to those in need, 5  and 6  then everything will be clean for you. 7 

11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! 8  You give a tenth 9  of your mint, 10  rue, 11  and every herb, yet you neglect justice 12  and love for God! But you should have done these things without neglecting the others. 13  11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the best seats 14  in the synagogues 15  and elaborate greetings 16  in the marketplaces! 11:44 Woe to you! 17  You are like unmarked graves, and people 18  walk over them without realizing it!” 19 

11:45 One of the experts in religious law 20  answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things you insult 21  us too.” 11:46 But Jesus 22  replied, 23  “Woe to you experts in religious law as well! 24  You load people 25  down with burdens difficult to bear, yet you yourselves refuse to touch 26  the burdens with even one of your fingers!

Luke 11:52

Context
11:52 Woe to you experts in religious law! You have taken away 27  the key to knowledge! You did not go in yourselves, and you hindered 28  those who were going in.”

Luke 20:46

Context
20:46 “Beware 29  of the experts in the law. 30  They 31  like walking around in long robes, and they love elaborate greetings 32  in the marketplaces and the best seats 33  in the synagogues 34  and the places of honor at banquets.

1 sn The allusion to washing (clean the outside of the cup) shows Jesus knew what they were thinking and deliberately set up a contrast that charged them with hypocrisy and majoring on minors.

2 tn Or “and evil.”

3 sn You fools is a rebuke which in the OT refers to someone who is blind to God (Ps 14:1, 53:1; 92:6; Prov 6:12).

4 tn The question includes a Greek particle, οὐ (ou), that expects a positive reply. God, the maker of both, is concerned for what is both inside and outside.

5 tn Grk “Give the things inside as alms.” Three different approaches have been taken to the syntax and meaning of this phrase: (1) τὰ ἐνόντα (ta enonta, “the things inside”) is an accusative of respect (“give alms with respect to the things inside”); (2) τὰ ἐνόντα is an adverbial accusative (“give alms inwardly,” i.e., from the heart); (3) the word translated “alms” represents a mistranslation of the original Aramaic term “cleanse,” so the statement urges the hearers to “cleanse the things inside.” According to D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 2:1115) the latter meaning is unlikely because the present verse is independent of Matt 23:26, not parallel to it, and makes good sense as it stands.

sn In Jewish culture giving alms to the poor was a very important religious observance; it was meant to be an act of mercy, kindness, and love (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1114). The implication from the text is that the Pharisees gave alms, but without any of the spiritual concern which should have motivated those generous actions. Here Jesus commands the Pharisees to give from within themselves to those in need instead of just giving of their possessions. In so doing they would show true inner purity acceptable to God. This is in keeping with the author’s social concerns elsewhere in the Gospel (cf., e.g., 1:52-53, 4:18-19, 6:20-21, 14:13).

6 tn Grk “and behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this clause has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

7 sn The expression everything will be clean for you refers to the agreement that should exist between the overt practice of one’s religious duties, such as almsgiving, and the inner condition of one’s heart, including true love for God and the poor; one is not only to wash the outside of the cup and plate, but the inside as well, since as Jesus said, God created the inside too. Religious duties are not to be performed hypocritically, i.e., for the applause and esteem of people, but rather they are to be done out of a deep love for God and a sensitivity to and concern for the needs of others. Then, everything will be clean, both hearts and lives.

8 tn Grk “Woe to you…because you…” The causal particle ὅτι (Joti) has not been translated here for rhetorical effect (and so to the end of this chapter).

9 tn Or “you tithe mint.”

10 sn These small herbs were tithed with great care (Mishnah, m. Demai 2:1).

11 tn Grk “and rue.” Καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

sn Rue was an evergreen herb used for seasoning.

12 sn Justice was a major theme of OT ethics (Mic 6:8; Zech 7:8-10).

13 tn Grk “those”; but this has been translated as “the others” to clarify which are meant.

14 tn Or “seats of honor.” The term here is plural and is not a reference only to the lead “seat of Moses” in the synagogue, but includes the front seats near the ark.

15 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

16 tn Grk “and the greetings.”

sn The later Jewish summary of oral tradition, the Talmud, notes elaborate greetings for rabbis. The rebuke here is for pride.

17 tc Most mss (A [D] W Θ Ψ Ë13 Ï it) have “experts in the law and Pharisees, hypocrites” after “you,” but this looks like an assimilation to the parallel in Matt 23:25, 27, 29. The shorter reading has earlier attestation from a variety of reliable mss (Ì45,75 א B C L Ë1 33 1241 2542 lat sa).

18 tn Grk “men.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.

19 sn In Judaism to come into contact with the dead or what is associated with them, even without knowing it, makes one unclean (Num 19:11-22; Lev 21:1-3; Mishnah, m. Demai 2:3). To Pharisees, who would have been so sensitive about contracting ceremonial uncleanness, it would have been quite a stinging rebuke to be told they caused it.

20 sn That is, an expert in the interpretation of the Mosaic law. They worked closely with the Pharisees.

21 tn For this term, see Matt 22;6; Luke 18:32; Acts 14:5; 1 Thess 2:2.

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

23 tn Grk “said.”

24 tn Here “as well” is used to translate καί (kai) at the beginning of the statement.

25 tn Grk “men.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.

26 tn Grk “you yourselves do not touch.” This could mean one of two things: (1) Either they make others do what they themselves do not (through various technical exceptions) or (2) they make no effort to help the others fulfill what they are required to do. Considering the care these religious figures are said to have given to the law, the second option is more likely (see L&N 18.11).

27 sn You have taken away the key to knowledge is another stinging rebuke. They had done the opposite of what they were trying to do.

28 tn Or “you tried to prevent.”

29 tn Or “Be on guard against.” This is a present imperative and indicates that pride is something to constantly be on the watch against.

30 tn Or “of the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 5:21.

31 tn Grk “who,” continuing the sentence begun by the prior phrase.

32 sn There is later Jewish material in the Talmud that spells out such greetings in detail. See D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 2:1642; H. Windisch, TDNT 1:498.

33 sn See Luke 14:1-14.

34 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.



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