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(0.11) (Joh 9:39)

tc ‡ Some early and significant witnesses (P75 א* W b sams ac2 mf) lack the words, “He said, ‘Lord, I believe,’ and he worshiped him. Jesus said,” (vv. 38-39a). This is weighty evidence for the omission of these words. It is difficult to overstate the value of P75 here, since it is the only currently available papyrus ms extant for the text of John 9:38-39. Further, א is a significant and early Alexandrian witness for the omission. The versional testimony and codex W also give strong support to the omission. Nearly all other mss, however, include these words. The omission may have been occasioned by parablepsis (both vv. 37 and 39 begin with “Jesus said to him”), though it is difficult to account for such an error across such a wide variety of witnesses. On the other hand, the longer reading appears to be motivated by liturgical concerns (so R. E. Brown, John [AB], 1:375), since the verb προσκυνέω (proskuneō, “I worship”) is used in John 4:20-25 of worshiping God, and again with the same sense in 12:20. If these words were authentic here, this would be the only place in John’s Gospel where Jesus is the explicit object of προσκυνέω. Even if these words are not authentic, such an omission would nevertheless hardly diminish John’s high Christology (cf. 1:1; 5:18-23; 14:6-10; 20:28), nor the implicit worship of him by Thomas (20:28). Nevertheless, a decision is difficult, and the included words may reflect a very early tradition about the blind man’s response to Jesus.

(0.11) (Joh 3:13)

sn The verb ascended is a perfect tense in Greek (ἀναβέβηκεν, anabebēken) which seems to look at a past, completed event. (This is not as much of a problem for those who take Jesus’ words to end at v. 12, and these words to be a comment by the author, looking back on Jesus’ ascension.) As a saying of Jesus, these words are a bit harder to explain. Note, however, the lexical similarities with 1:51: “ascending,” “descending,” and “son of man.” Here, though, the ascent and descent is accomplished by the Son himself, not the angels as in 1:51. There is no need to limit this saying to Jesus’ ascent following the resurrection, however; the point of the Jacob story (Gen 28), which seems to be the background for 1:51, is the freedom of communication and relationship between God and men (a major theme of John’s Gospel). This communication comes through the angels in Gen 28 (and John 1:51), but here (most appropriately) it comes directly through the Son of Man. Although Jesus could be referring to a prior ascent, after an appearance as the preincarnate Son of Man, more likely he is simply pointing out that no one from earth has ever gone up to heaven and come down again. The Son, who has come down from heaven, is the only one who has been ‘up’ there. In both Jewish intertestamental literature and later rabbinic accounts, Moses is portrayed as ascending to heaven to receive the Torah and descending to distribute it to men (e.g., Targum Ps 68:19.) In contrast to these Jewish legends, the Son is the only one who has ever made the ascent and descent.

(0.11) (Joh 2:13)

tn Grk “the Passover of the Jews.” This is first of at least three (and possibly four) Passovers mentioned in John’s Gospel. If it is assumed that the Passovers appear in the Gospel in their chronological order (and following a date of a.d. 33 for the crucifixion), this would be the Passover of the spring of a.d. 30, the first of Jesus’ public ministry. There is a clear reference to another Passover in 6:4, and another still in 11:55; 12:1; 13:1; 18:28, 39, and 19:14. The latter would be the Passover of a.d. 33. There is a possibility that 5:1 also refers to a Passover, in which case it would be the second of Jesus’ public ministry (a.d. 31), while 6:4 would refer to the third (a.d. 32) and the remaining references would refer to the final Passover at the time of the crucifixion. It is entirely possible, however, that the Passovers occurring in the Fourth Gospel are not intended to be understood as listed in chronological sequence. If the material of the Fourth Gospel originally existed in the form of homilies or sermons by the Apostle John on the life and ministry of Jesus, the present arrangement would not have to be in strict chronological order (it does not explicitly claim to be). In this case the Passover mentioned in 2:13, for example, might actually be later in Jesus’ public ministry than it might at first glance appear. This leads, however, to a discussion of an even greater problem in the passage, the relationship of the temple cleansing in John’s Gospel to the similar account in the synoptic gospels.

(0.11) (Luk 22:44)

tc Several significant Greek mss (P75 א1 A B N T W 579 1071*) along with diverse and widespread versional witnesses lack 22:43-44. In addition, the verses are placed after Matt 26:39 by ƒ13. Floating texts typically suggest both spuriousness and early scribal impulses to regard the verses as historically authentic. These verses are included in א*,2 D L Θ Ψ 0171 ƒ1 M lat Ju Ir Hipp Eus. However, a number of mss mark the text with an asterisk or obelisk, indicating the scribe’s assessment of the verses as inauthentic. At the same time, these verses generally fit Luke’s style. Arguments can be given on both sides about whether scribes would tend to include or omit such comments about Jesus’ humanity and an angel’s help. But even if the verses are not literarily authentic, they are probably historically authentic. This is due to the fact that this text was well known in several different locales from a very early period. Since there are no synoptic parallels to this account and since there is no obvious reason for adding these words here, it is very likely that such verses recount a part of the actual suffering of our Lord. Nevertheless, because of the serious doubts as to these verses’ authenticity, they have been put in brackets. For an important discussion of this problem, see B. D. Ehrman and M. A. Plunkett, “The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43-44, ” CBQ 45 (1983): 401-16.

(0.11) (Luk 3:16)

sn With the Holy Spirit and fire. There are differing interpretations for this phrase regarding the number of baptisms and their nature. (1) Some see one baptism here, and this can be divided further into two options. (a) The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire could refer to the cleansing, purifying work of the Spirit in the individual believer through salvation and sanctification, or (b) it could refer to two different results of Christ’s ministry: Some accept Christ and are baptized with the Holy Spirit, but some reject him and receive judgment. (2) Other interpreters see two baptisms here: The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the salvation Jesus brings at his first advent, in which believers receive the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of fire refers to the judgment Jesus will bring upon the world at his second coming. One must take into account both the image of fire and whether individual or corporate baptism is in view. A decision is not easy on either issue. The image of fire is used to refer to both eternal judgment (e.g., Matt 25:41) and the power of the Lord’s presence to purge and cleanse his people (e.g., Isa 4:4-5). The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, a fulfillment of this prophecy no matter which interpretation is taken, had both individual and corporate dimensions. It is possible that since Holy Spirit and fire are governed by a single preposition in Greek, the one-baptism view may be more likely, but this is not certain. Simply put, there is no consensus view in scholarship at this time on the best interpretation of this passage.

(0.11) (Mat 3:11)

sn With the Holy Spirit and fire. There are differing interpretations for this phrase regarding the number of baptisms and their nature. (1) Some see one baptism here, and this can be divided further into two options. (a) The baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire could refer to the cleansing, purifying work of the Spirit in the individual believer through salvation and sanctification, or (b) it could refer to two different results of Christ’s ministry: Some accept Christ and are baptized with the Holy Spirit, but some reject him and receive judgment. (2) Other interpreters see two baptisms here: The baptism of the Holy Spirit refers to the salvation Jesus brings at his first advent, in which believers receive the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of fire refers to the judgment Jesus will bring upon the world at his second coming. One must take into account both the image of fire and whether individual or corporate baptism is in view. A decision is not easy on either issue. The image of fire is used to refer to both eternal judgment (e.g., Matt 25:41) and the power of the Lord’s presence to purge and cleanse his people (e.g., Isa 4:4-5). The pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, a fulfillment of this prophecy no matter which interpretation is taken, had both individual and corporate dimensions. It is possible that since Holy Spirit and fire are governed by a single preposition in Greek, the one-baptism view may be more likely, but this is not certain. Simply put, there is no consensus view in scholarship at this time on the best interpretation of this passage.

(0.11) (Nah 2:6)

sn Nineveh employed a system of dams and sluice gates to control the waters of the Tebiltu and Khoser Rivers which flowed through the city (R. C. Thompson and R. W. Hutchinson, A Century of Exploration at Nineveh, 120-132). However, the Tebiltu often flooded its banks inside the city, undermining palace foundations and weakening other structures. To reduce this flooding, Sennacherib changed the course of the Tebiltu inside the city. Outside the city, he dammed up the Khoser and created a reservoir, regulating the flow of water into the city through an elaborate system of double sluice gates (D. D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylon, 99-100; J. Reade, “Studies in Assyrian Geography, Part I: Sennacherib and the Waters of Nineveh,” RA 72 [1978]: 47-72; idem, “Studies in Assyrian Geography, Part II: The Northern Canal System,” RA 72 [1978]: 157-80). According to classical tradition (Diodorus and Xenophon), just before Nineveh fell, a succession of very high rainfalls deluged the area. The Khoser River swelled and the reservoir was breached. The waters rushed through the overloaded canal system, breaking a hole twenty stades (about 2.3 miles or 3.7 km) wide in the city wall and flooding the city. When the waters receded, the Babylonians stormed into Nineveh and conquered the city (Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 2.26-27, especially 27.1-3; Xenophon, Anabasis, 3.4.12; P. Haupt, “Xenophon’s Account of the Fall of Nineveh,” JAOS 28 [1907]: 65-83). This scenario seems to be corroborated by the archaeological evidence (A. T. Olmstead, History of Assyria, 637).

(0.11) (Exo 17:1)

sn The location is a bit of a problem. Exod 19:1-2 suggests that it is near Sinai, whereas it is normally located near Kadesh in the north. Without any details provided, M. Noth concludes that two versions came together (Exodus [OTL], 138). S. R. Driver says that the writer wrote not knowing that they were 24 miles apart (Exodus, 157). Critics have long been bothered by this passage because of the two names given at the same place. If two sources had been brought together, it is not possible now to identify them. But Noth insisted that if there were two names there were two different locations. The names Massah and Meribah occur alone in Scripture (Deut 9:22, and Num 20:1 for examples), but together in Ps 95 and in Deut 33:8. But none of these passages is a clarification of the difficulty. Most critics would argue that Massah was a secondary element that was introduced into this account because Exod 17 focuses on Meribah. From that starting point they can diverge greatly on the interpretation, usually having something to do with a water test. But although Num 20 is parallel in several ways, there are major differences: 1) it takes place 40 years later than this, 2) the name Kadesh is joined to the name Meribah there, and 3) Moses is punished there. One must conclude that if an event could occur twice in similar ways (complaint about water would be a good candidate for such), then there is no reason a similar name could not be given.

(0.11) (Gen 1:1)

sn In the beginning. The verse refers to the beginning of the world as we know it; it affirms that it is entirely the product of the creation of God. But there are two ways that this verse can be interpreted: (1) It may be taken to refer to the original act of creation with the rest of the events on the days of creation completing it. This would mean that the disjunctive clauses of v. 2 break the sequence of the creative work of the first day. (2) It may be taken as a summary statement of what the chapter will record, that is, vv. 3-31 are about God’s creating the world as we know it. If the first view is adopted, then we have a reference here to original creation; if the second view is taken, then Genesis itself does not account for the original creation of matter. To follow this view does not deny that the Bible teaches that God created everything out of nothing (cf. John 1:3)—it simply says that Genesis is not making that affirmation. This second view presupposes the existence of pre-existent matter, when God said, “Let there be light.” The first view includes the description of the primordial state as part of the events of day one. The following narrative strongly favors the second view, for the “heavens/sky” did not exist prior to the second day of creation (see v. 8) and “earth/dry land” did not exist, at least as we know it, prior to the third day of creation (see v. 10).

(0.09) (1Th 3:2)

tc A variety of readings occurs in this verse. Instead of “and fellow worker for God” (καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, kai sunergon tou theou), B and 1962 have “and fellow worker” (καὶ συνεργόν); א A P Ψ 0278 6 81 629* 1241 1739 1881 2464 lat co read “and servant of God” (καὶ διάκονον τοῦ θεοῦ, kai diakonon tou theou); D2 1505 M al and a few versional witnesses read “and a servant of God and our fellow worker” (καὶ διάκονον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ συνεργὸν ἡμῶν); and F G have “servant and fellow worker for God” (διάκονον καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ). The reading of the text (καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ) is found in D* 33 b d m o Ambst Pel. It may be argued that all readings that do not collocate συνεργόν with θεοῦ are secondary, as this is certainly the harder reading. Indeed, in only one other place in the NT are human beings said to be συνεργοὶ θεοῦ (sunergoi theou; 1 Cor 3:9), and the simplest (though by no means the only) interpretation is that the genitive should be taken associatively (“a fellow worker in association with God”). It is difficult to account for συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ here unless it is authentic because of the theological difficulty that would be easily seen in this wording. (However, the text in 1 Cor 3:9 is solid [Χριστοῦ(Christou) is found in 2400, a thirteenth-century minuscule; no other variants are known]. This gives some pause to attributing theological difficulty as a cause for scribal alteration in our passage.) A genealogy of the readings suggests that various scribes may have deleted τοῦ θεοῦ or swapped διάκονον for συνεργόν to remove the offense. The readings of the Byzantine text and two Western mss (F G) appear to be conflations of earlier readings, but the reading of F G nevertheless indirectly supports καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ since it does not remove the offense. Although the witnesses for καὶ συνεργὸν τοῦ θεοῦ are minimal, the internal evidence is quite strong in favor of this reading. With hesitation, it is adopted as authentic.

(0.09) (1Co 15:49)

tc ‡ A few significant witnesses have the future indicative φορέσομεν (phoresomen, “we will bear”; B I 6 630 1881 al sa) instead of the aorist subjunctive φορέσωμεν (phoresōmen, “let us bear”; P46 א A C D F G Ψ 075 0243 33 1739 M latt bo). If the original reading is the future tense, then “we will bear” would be a guarantee that believers would be like Jesus (and unlike Adam) in the resurrection. If the aorist subjunctive is original, then “let us bear” would be a command to show forth the image of Jesus, i.e., to live as citizens of the kingdom that believers will one day inherit. The future indicative is not widespread geographically. At the same time, it fits the context well: Not only are there indicatives in this section (especially vv. 42-49), but the conjunction καί (kai) introducing the comparative καθώς (kathōs) seems best to connect to the preceding by furthering the same argument (what is, not what ought to be). For this reason, though, the future indicative could be a reading thus motivated by an early scribe. In light of the extremely weighty evidence for the aorist subjunctive, it is probably best to regard the aorist subjunctive as autographic. This connects well with v. 50, for there Paul makes a pronouncement that seems to presuppose some sort of exhortation. G. D. Fee (First Corinthians [NICNT], 795) argues for the originality of the subjunctive, stating that “it is nearly impossible to account for anyone’s having changed a clearly understandable future to the hortatory subjunctive so early and so often that it made its way into every textual history as the predominant reading.” The subjunctive makes a great deal of sense in view of the occasion of 1 Corinthians. Paul wrote to combat an over-realized eschatology in which some of the Corinthians evidently believed they were experiencing all the benefits of the resurrection body in the present, and thus that their behavior did not matter. If the subjunctive is the correct reading, it seems Paul makes two points: (1) that the resurrection is a bodily one, as distinct from an out-of-body experience, and (2) that one’s behavior in the interim does make a difference (see 15:32-34, 58).

(0.09) (1Co 13:3)

tc The reading καυχήσωμαι (kauchēsōmai, “I might boast”) is well supported by P46 א A B 048 33 1739* co Hiermss. The competing reading, καυθήσομαι (kauthēsomai, “I will burn”), is found in C D F G L 81 1175 1881* al latt and a host of patristic writers. From this reading other variants were obviously derived: καυθήσωμαι (kauthēsōmai), a future subjunctive (“I might burn”) read by the Byzantine text and a few others (Ψ 1739c 1881c M); and καυθῇ (kauthē, “it might be burned”) read by 1505. On an external level, the Alexandrian reading is obviously superior, though the Western and Byzantine readings need to be accounted for. (The following discussion is derived largely from TCGNT 497-98). Internally, καυχήσωμαι is superior for the following reasons: (1) Once the Church started suffering persecution and martyrdom by fire, the v.l. naturally arose. Once there, it is difficult to see why any scribe would intentionally change it to καυχήσωμαι. (2) Involving as it does the change of just two letters (χ to θ [ch to th], ω to ο [ō to o]), this reading could be accomplished without much fanfare. Yet, it appears cumbersome in the context, both because of the passive voice and especially the retention of the first person (“If I give up my body that I may be burned”). A more logical word would have been the third person passive, καυθῇ, as read in 1505 (“If I give up my body that it may be burned”). (3) Although the connection between giving up one’s body and boasting is ambiguous, this very ambiguity has all the earmarks of being from Paul. It may have the force of giving up one’s body into slavery. In any event, it looks to be the harder reading. Incidentally, the Byzantine reading is impossible because the future subjunctive did not occur in Koine Greek. As the reading of the majority of Byzantine minuscules, its roots are clearly post-Koine and as such is a “grammatical monstrosity that cannot be attributed to Paul” (TCGNT 498). Cf. also the notes in BDF §28; MHT 2:219.

(0.09) (Joh 1:21)

sn According to the 1st century rabbinic interpretation of 2 Kgs 2:11, Elijah was still alive. In Mal 4:5 it is said that Elijah would be the precursor of Messiah. How does one reconcile John the Baptist’s denial here (“I am not”) with Jesus’ statements in Matt 11:14 (see also Mark 9:13 and Matt 17:12) that John the Baptist was Elijah? Some have attempted to remove the difficulty by a reconstruction of the text in the Gospel of John which makes the Baptist say that he was Elijah. However, external support for such emendations is lacking. According to Gregory the Great, John was not Elijah, but exercised toward Jesus the function of Elijah by preparing his way. But this avoids the real difficulty, since in John’s Gospel the question of the Jewish authorities to the Baptist concerns precisely his function. It has also been suggested that the author of the Gospel here preserves a historically correct reminiscence—that John the Baptist did not think of himself as Elijah, although Jesus said otherwise. Mark 6:14-16 and Mark 8:28 indicate the people and Herod both distinguished between John and Elijah—probably because he did not see himself as Elijah. But Jesus’ remarks in Matt 11:14, Mark 9:13, and Matt 17:12 indicate that John did perform the function of Elijah—John did for Jesus what Elijah was to have done for the coming of the Lord. C. F. D. Moule pointed out that it is too simple to see a straight contradiction between John’s account and that of the synoptic gospels: “We have to ask by whom the identification is made, and by whom refused. The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as identifying, or comparing, the Baptist with Elijah, while John represents the Baptist as rejecting the identification when it is offered him by his interviewers. Now these two, so far from being incompatible, are psychologically complementary. The Baptist humbly rejects the exalted title, but Jesus, on the contrary, bestows it on him. Why should not the two both be correct?” (The Phenomenon of the New Testament [SBT], 70).

(0.09) (Mar 10:2)

tc The Western text (D it) and a few others have only καί (kai) here, rather than καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι (kai proselthontes Pharisaioi, here translated as “then some Pharisees came”). The longer reading, a specific identification of the subject, may have been prompted by the parallel in Matt 19:3. The fact that the mss vary in how they express this subject lends credence to this judgment: οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι προσελθόντες (hoi de Pharisaioi proselthontes, “now the Pharisees came”) in W Θ 565 2542; καὶ προσελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι (kai proselthontes hoi Pharisaioi, “then the Pharisees came”) in א C N (ƒ1: καὶ προσελθόντες ἐπηρώτησαν αὐτὸν οἱ Φαρισαῖοι) 579 1241 1424 pm; and καὶ προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι in A B K L Γ Δ Ψ ƒ13 28 700 892 pm. Further, the use of an indefinite plural (a general “they”) is a Markan feature, occurring over twenty times. Thus, internally the evidence looks rather strong for the shorter reading, in spite of the minimal external support for it. However, if scribes assimilated this text to Matt 19:3, a more exact parallel might have been expected: Matthew has καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Φαρισαῖοι (kai prosēlthon autō Pharisaioi, “then Pharisees came to him”). Although the verb form needs to be different according to syntactical requirements of the respective sentences, the word order variety, as well as the presence or absence of the article and the alternation between δέ and καί as the introductory conjunction, all suggest that the variety of readings might not be due to scribal adjustments toward Matthew. At the same time, the article with Φαρισαῖοι is found in both Gospels in many of the same witnesses (א M in Matt; א pm in Mark), and the anarthrous Φαρισαῖοι is likewise parallel in many mss (B L ƒ13 700 892). Another consideration is the possibility that very early in the transmissional history, scribes naturally inserted the most obvious subject (the Pharisees would be the obvious candidates as the ones to test Jesus). This may account for the reading with δέ, since Mark nowhere else uses this conjunction to introduce the Pharisees into the narrative. As solid as the internal arguments against the longer reading seem to be, the greatest weakness is the witnesses that support it. The Western mss are prone to alter the text by adding, deleting, substituting, or rearranging large amounts of material. There are times when the rationale for this seems inexplicable. In light of the much stronger evidence for “the Pharisees came,” even though it occurs in various permutations, it is probably wisest to retain the words. This judgment, however, is hardly certain.

(0.09) (Mat 24:36)

tc ‡ Some significant witnesses, including early Alexandrian and Western mss (א*,2b B D Θ ƒ13 it vgmss Irlat Hiermss), have the additional words οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός (oude ho huios, “nor the Son”) here (so NA28). Although the shorter reading (which lacks this phrase) is suspect in that it seems to soften the prophetic ignorance of Jesus, the final phrase (“except the Father alone”) already implies this. Further, the parallel in Mark 13:32 has οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, with almost no witnesses lacking the expression; significantly, Mark does not add “alone” to the Father. It is thus doubtful that the absence of “nor the Son” is due to pious scribal motives. In keeping with Matthew’s general softening of Mark’s harsh statements throughout his Gospel, it is more likely that the absence of “nor the Son” is part of the autographic text of Matthew, being an intentional change on the part of the author. Further, this shorter reading is supported by א2a as well as L W Γ Δ ƒ1 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M al vg sy co Hiermss. Although the external evidence is not as impressive for the shorter reading, it best explains the rise of the other reading (in particular, how does one account for virtually no mss excising οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός at Mark 13:32 if such an absence here is due to scribal alteration? Although copyists were hardly consistent, for such a theologically significant issue at least some consistency would be expected on the part of a few scribes). Further, although some have claimed that the doubled οὐδέ is “necessary on internal grounds” (Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament [New York: OUP, 1993], 92; see also Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew, SP 1 [Collegeville, MN: Liturgical, 1991], 342: “…the syntax of the sentence (‘neither the angels … but the Father alone’) demands it.”), this is hardly the case. Indeed, apart from one quotation from the LXX, Matthew never elsewhere uses the correlative οὐδέ construction. Thus, on a redactional, intrinsic, and source-critical basis, the shorter reading is to be strongly preferred. See D. B. Wallace, “The Son’s Ignorance in Matthew 24:36: An Exercise in Textual and Redaction Criticism,” Studies on the Text of the New Testament and Early Christianity: Essays in Honour of Michael W. Holmes, ed. Daniel Gurtner, Paul Foster, and Juan Hernández (Leiden: Brill) 182–209.

(0.09) (Amo 1:3)

tn Traditionally, “transgressions” or “sins.” The word refers to rebellion against authority and is used in the international political realm (see 1 Kgs 12:19; 2 Kgs 1:1; 3:5, 7; 8:22). There is debate over its significance in this context. Some relate the “rebellion” of the foreign nations to God’s mandate to Noah (Gen 9:5-7). This mandate is viewed as a treaty between God and humankind, whereby God holds humans accountable to populate the earth and respect his image as it is revealed in all people. While this option is a possible theological explanation of the message in light of the Old Testament as a whole, nothing in these oracles alludes to that Genesis passage. J. Barton suggests that the prophet is appealing to a common morality shared across the ancient Near East regarding the conduct of war, since all of the oracles can be related to activities and atrocities committed in warfare (Amos’s Oracles against the Nations [SOTSMS], 39-61). The “transgression” then would be a violation of what all cultures would take as fundamental human decency. Some argue that the nations cited in Amos 1-2 had been members of the Davidic empire. Their crime would consist of violating the mutual agreements that all should have exhibited toward one another (cf. M. E. Polley, Amos and the Davidic Empire). This interpretation is connected to the notion that Amos envisions a reconstituted Davidic empire for Israel and the world (9:11-15). Ultimately, we can only speculate what lay behind Amos’ thinking. He does not specify the theological foundation of his universal moral vision, but it is clear that Amos believes that all nations are responsible before the Lord for their cruelty toward other human beings. He also assumes that even those who did not know his God would recognize their inhumane treatment of others as inherently wrong. The translation “crimes” is general enough to communicate that a standard (whether human or divine) has been breached. For a survey of the possible historical events behind each oracle, see S. M. Paul, Amos (Hermeneia).

(0.09) (Hos 1:1)

tc The textual problems in Hosea are virtually unparalleled in the OT. The Masoretic Text (MT), represented by the Leningrad Codex (c. a.d. 1008), which served as the basis for both BHK and BHS, and the Aleppo Codex (c. a.d. 952), by all accounts have a multitude of scribal errors. Many medieval Masoretic mss preserve textual variants that differ from the Leningrad and Aleppo Codices. The Qumran materials (4QXIIc,d,g) contain numerous textual variants that differ from the MT; unfortunately, these texts are quite fragmentary (frequently in the very place that an important textual problem appears). The textual tradition and translation quality of the LXX and the early Greek recensions (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion) is mixed; in some places they are inferior to the MT but in other places they preserve a better reading. The textual apparatus of BHK and BHS contains many proposed emendations based on the ancient versions (Greek, Syriac, Latin, Aramaic) that often appear to be superior readings than what is preserved in the MT. In numerous cases, the MT readings are so difficult morphologically, syntactically, and contextually that conservative conjectural emendations are necessary to make sense of the text. Most major English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, RSV, NEB, NAB, NASB, NIV, TEV, NKJV, NJPS, NJB, NRSV, REB, NCV, CEV, NLT) adopt (either occasionally or frequently) textual variants reflected in the versions and occasionally adopt conservative conjectural emendations proposed in BHK and/or BHS. However, many of the textual problems in Hosea are so difficult that the English versions frequently are split among themselves. With this in mind, the present translation of Hosea must necessarily be viewed as only preliminary. Further work on the text and translation of Hosea is needed, not only in terms of the NET Bible but in Hosea studies in general. The text of Hosea should be better clarified when the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project completes work on the book of Hosea. For further study of textual problems in Hosea, see D. Barthélemy, ed., Preliminary and Interim Report on the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, 5:228-71.

(0.09) (Exo 25:9)

sn The expression “the pattern of the tabernacle” (תַּבְנִית הַמִּשְׁכָּן, tavnit hammishkan) has been the source of much inquiry. The word rendered “pattern” is related to the verb “to build”; it suggests a model. S. R. Driver notes that in ancient literature there is the account of Gudea receiving in a dream a complete model of a temple he was to erect (Exodus, 267). In this passage Moses is being shown something on the mountain that should be the pattern of the earthly sanctuary. The most plausible explanation of what he was shown comes from a correlation with comments in the Letter to the Hebrews and the book of Revelation, which describe the heavenly sanctuary as the true sanctuary, and the earthly as the copy or shadow. One could say that Moses was allowed to see what John saw on the island of Patmos, a vision of the heavenly sanctuary. That still might not explain what it was, but it would mean he saw a revelation of the true tent, and that would imply that he learned of the spiritual and eternal significance of all of it. The fact that Israel’s sanctuary resembled those of other cultures does not nullify this act of revelation; rather, it raises the question of where the other nations got their ideas if it was not made known early in human history. One can conclude that in the beginning there was much more revealed to the parents in the garden than Scripture tells about (Cain and Abel did know how to make sacrifices before Leviticus legislated it). Likewise, one cannot but guess at the influence of the fallen Satan and his angels in the world of pagan religion. Whatever the source, at Sinai God shows the true, and instructs that it all be done without the pagan corruptions and additions. U. Cassuto notes that the existence of these ancient parallels shows that the section on the tabernacle need not be dated in the second temple period, but fits the earlier period well (Exodus, 324).

(0.09) (Exo 16:14)

sn Translations usually refer to the manna as “bread.” In fact it appears to be more like grain because it could be ground in hand-mills and made into cakes. The word involved says it is thin, flakelike (if an Arabic etymological connection is correct). What is known about it from the Bible in Exodus is that it was a very small flakelike substance, it would melt when the sun got hot, if left over it bred worms and became foul, it could be ground, baked, and boiled, it was abundant enough for the Israelites to gather an omer a day per person, and they gathered it day by day throughout the wilderness sojourn. Num 11 says it was like coriander seed with the appearance of bdellium, it tasted like fresh oil, and it fell with the dew. Deut 8:3 says it was unknown to Israel or her ancestors; Psalm 78:24 parallels it with grain. Some scholars compare ancient references to honeydew that came from the heavens. F. S. Bodenheimer (“The Manna of Sinai,” BA 10 [1947]: 2) says that it was a sudden surprise for the nomadic Israelites because it provided what they desired—sweetness. He says that it was a product that came from two insects, making the manna a honeydew excretion from plant lice and scale insects. The excretion hardens and drops to the ground as a sticky solid. He notes that some cicadas are called man in Arabic. This view accounts for some of the things in these passages: the right place, the right time, the right description, and a similar taste. But there are major difficulties: Exodus requires a far greater amount, it could breed worms, it could melt away, it could be baked into bread, it could decay and stink. The suggestion is in no way convincing. Bodenheimer argues that “worms” could mean “ants” that carried them away, but that is contrived—the text could have said ants. The fact that the Bible calls it “bread” creates no problem. לֶחֶם (lekhem) is used in a wide range of meanings from bread to all kinds of food including goats (Judg 13:15-16) and honey (1 Sam 14:24-28). Scripture does not say that manna was the only thing that they ate for the duration. But they did eat it throughout the forty years. It simply must refer to some supernatural provision for them in their diet. Modern suggestions may invite comparison and analysis, but they do not satisfy or explain the text.

(0.09) (Exo 2:22)

sn Like the naming of Moses, this naming that incorporates a phonetic wordplay forms the commemorative summary of the account just provided. Moses seems to have settled into a domestic life with his new wife and his father-in-law. But when the first son is born, he named him גֵּרְשֹׁם (gereshom or gershom). There is little information available about what the name by itself might have meant. If it is linked to the verb “drive away” used earlier (גָּרַשׁ, garash), then the final mem (מ) would have to be explained as an enclitic mem. It seems most likely that that verb was used in the narrative to make a secondary wordplay on the name. The primary explanation is the popular etymology supplied by Moses himself. He links the name to the verb גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to live as an alien”). He then adds that he was a sojourner (גֵּר, ger, the participle) in a foreign land. The word “foreign” (נָכְרִיּה, nokhriyyah) adds to the idea of his being a resident foreigner. The final syllable in the name would then be connected to the adverb “there” (שָׁם, sham). Thus, the name is given the significance in the story of “sojourner there” or “alien there.” He no doubt knew that this was not the actual meaning of the name; the name itself had already been introduced into the family of Levi (1 Chr 6:1, 16). He chose the name because its sounds reflected his sentiment at that time. But to what was Moses referring? In view of naming customs among the Semites, he was most likely referring to Midian as the foreign land. If Egypt had been the strange land, and he had now found his place, he would not have given the lad such a name. Personal names reflect the present or recent experiences, or the hope for the future. So this naming is a clear expression by Moses that he knows he is not where he is supposed to be. That this is what he meant is supported in the NT by Stephen (Acts 7:29). So the choice of the name, the explanation of it, and the wordplay before it, all serve to stress the point that Moses had been driven away from his proper place of service.



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