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Luke 11:47-48

11:47 Woe to you! You build 1  the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors 2  killed. 11:48 So you testify that you approve of 3  the deeds of your ancestors, 4  because they killed the prophets 5  and you build their 6  tombs! 7 

1 sn The effect of what the experts in the law were doing was to deny the message of the prophets and thus honor their death by supporting those who had sought their removal. The charge that this is what previous generations did shows the problem is chronic. As T. W. Manson said, the charge here is “The only prophet you honor is a dead prophet!” (The Sayings of Jesus, 101).

2 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

3 tn Grk “you are witnesses and approve of.”

4 tn Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”

5 tn Grk “them”; the referent (the prophets) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn “Their,” i.e., the prophets.

7 tc The majority of mss list a specific object (“their tombs”), filling out the sentence (although there are two different words for “tombs” among the mss, as well as different word orders: αὐτῶν τὰ μνημεῖα (autwn ta mnhmeia; found in A C W Θ Ψ 33 Ï) and τοὺς τάφους αὐτῶν (tou" tafou" autwn; found in Ë1,[13] 2542 pc). This suggests that early copyists had no term in front of them but felt the verb needed an object. But since a wide distribution of early Alexandrian and Western mss lack these words (Ì75 א B D L 579 1241 it sa), it is likely that they were not part of the original text of Luke. Nevertheless, the words “their tombs” are inserted in the translation because of requirements of English style.

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