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Luke 1:59-63


1:59 On 1  the eighth day 2  they came to circumcise the child, and they wanted to name 3  him Zechariah after his father. 1:60 But 4  his mother replied, 5  “No! He must be named 6  John.” 7  1:61 They 8  said to her, “But 9  none of your relatives bears this name.” 10  1:62 So 11  they made signs to the baby’s 12  father, 13  inquiring what he wanted to name his son. 14  1:63 He 15  asked for a writing tablet 16  and wrote, 17  “His name is John.” And they were all amazed. 18 

1 tn Grk “And it happened that.” 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. Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

2 sn They were following OT law (Lev 12:3) which prescribed that a male child was to be circumcised on the eighth day.

3 tn This could be understood as a conative imperfect, expressing an unrealized desire (“they were trying to name him”). It has been given more of a voluntative nuance in the translation.

4 tn Grk “And,” but with clearly contrastive emphasis in context.

5 tn Grk “his mother answering, said.” The combination of participle and finite verb is redundant in English and has been simplified to “replied” in the translation.

6 tn This future passive indicative verb has imperatival force and thus has been translated “he must be named.”

7 snNo! He must be named John.” By insisting on the name specified by the angel, Elizabeth (v. 60) and Zechariah (v. 63) have learned to obey God (see Luke 1:13).

8 tn Grk “And they.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

9 tn The word “but” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

10 tn Grk “There is no one from your relatives who is called by this name.”

11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the consequential nature of the action described.

12 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the baby) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 sn The crowd was sure there had been a mistake, so they appealed to the child’s father. But custom was not to be followed here, since God had spoken. The fact they needed to signal him (made signs) shows that he was deaf as well as unable to speak.

14 tn Grk “what he might wish to call him.”

15 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

16 sn The writing tablet requested by Zechariah would have been a wax tablet.

17 tn Grk “and wrote, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant is English and has not been translated.

18 sn The response, they were all amazed, expresses a mixture of surprise and reflection in this setting where they were so certain of what the child’s name would be.

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