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Luke 3:21-23

Context
The Baptism of Jesus

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 

The Genealogy of Jesus

3:23 So 7  Jesus, when he began his ministry, 8  was about thirty years old. He was 9  the son (as was supposed) 10  of Joseph, the son 11  of Heli,

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 mss and church fathers (D it Ju [Cl] Meth Hil Aug) quote Ps 2:7 outright with “You are my Son; today I have fathered you.” But the weight of the ms testimony is against this reading.

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).

7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the summary nature of the statement.

8 tn The words “his ministry” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context, but must be supplied for the contemporary English reader.

9 tn Grk “of age, being.” Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the participle ὤν (wn) has been translated as a finite verb with the pronoun “he” supplied as subject, and a new sentence begun in the translation at this point.

10 sn The parenthetical remark as was supposed makes it clear that Joseph was not the biological father of Jesus. But a question still remains whose genealogy this is. Mary is nowhere mentioned, so this may simply refer to the line of Joseph, who would have functioned as Jesus’ legal father, much like stepchildren can have when they are adopted by a second parent.

11 tc Several of the names in the list have alternate spellings in the ms tradition, but most of these are limited to a few mss. Only significant differences are considered in the notes through v. 38.

tn The construction of the genealogy is consistent throughout as a genitive article (τοῦ, tou) marks sonship. Unlike Matthew’s genealogy, this one runs from Jesus down. It also goes all the way to Adam, not stopping at Abraham as Matthew’s does. Jesus has come for all races of humanity. Both genealogies go through David.



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