1 tc A few witnesses, especially Latin
2 sn The following passage has been typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing, not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a passage is poetic or hymnic: “(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary, particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from the surrounding context” (P. T. O’Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188-89). Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However, not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a tentative decision about its genre.
3 tn Or “lifts up the Lord in praise.”
4 sn This psalm (vv. 46-55) is one of the few praise psalms in the NT. Mary praises God and then tells why both in terms of his care for her (vv. 46-49) and for others, including Israel (vv. 50-55). Its traditional name, the “Magnificat,” comes from the Latin for the phrase My soul magnifies the Lord at the hymn’s start.
5 tn Or “rejoices.” The translation renders this aorist, which stands in contrast to the previous line’s present tense, as ingressive, which highlights Mary’s joyous reaction to the announcement. A comprehensive aorist is also possible here.
7 tn Grk “for behold.”
9 sn Mary is seen here as an example of an object of God’s grace (blessed) for all generations.
10 tn Traditionally, “the Mighty One.”
11 tn Grk “and from.” Here καί (kai) has been translated by a semicolon to improve the English style.
12 sn God’s mercy refers to his “loyal love” or “steadfast love,” expressed in faithful actions, as the rest of the psalm illustrates.
13 tn That is, “who revere.” This refers to those who show God a reverential respect for his sovereignty.
15 tn Grk “in the imaginations of their hearts.” The psalm rebukes the arrogance of the proud, who think that power is their sovereign right. Here διανοίᾳ (dianoia) can be understood as a dative of sphere or reference/respect.
16 tn Or “rulers.”
17 tn Or “those of humble position”
sn The contrast between the mighty and those of lowly position is fundamental for Luke. God cares for those that the powerful ignore (Luke 4:18-19).
18 sn Good things refers not merely to material blessings, but blessings that come from knowing God.
20 tn Or “because he remembered mercy,” understanding the infinitive as causal.
21 tn Or “his [God’s] loyal love.”