The good and evil man (Lk 6:45-6:45)

“The good person,

Out of the good treasure

Of his heart,

Produces good.

The evil person,

Out of his evil treasure,

Produces evil.

Out of the abundance

Of the heart,

The mouth speaks.”

 

ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν, καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν· ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his sayings.  The good person (ὁ ἀγαθὸς ἄνθρωπος), out of the good treasure of his heart (ἐκ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ θησαυροῦ τῆς καρδίας), produces good things (προφέρει τὸ ἀγαθόν).  The evil person (καὶ ὁ πονηρὸς), out of his evil treasure (ἐκ τοῦ πονηροῦ), produces evil (προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν).  Out of the abundance of the heart (ἐκ γὰρ περισσεύματος καρδίας), the mouth speaks (λαλεῖ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ).  The heart was considered the moral center of a person.  Thus, we often say a person has a good heart.  Just like a tree, if the heart is good or evil, it will show up in either good or evil deeds and words.  This is similar to Matthew, chapter 12:35, thus indicating a possible Q source.  Matthew had Jesus speak about the same theme that only good can come from good people and only bad can come from bad people.  This is a common-sense statement that talks about the good and the evil people.  The good or kind person brought good things out of his good treasure or storehouse.  The evil or wicked person brought evil things out of his evil treasure or storehouse.  There never was any ambiguity.  Your treasure, your storehouse, your heart, or your morality would be revealed in your words or deeds.  What do you reveal in your activities?

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Offer your shirt! (Lk 6:29-6:29)

“From anyone

Who takes away

Your coat

Do not withhold

Even your shirt!”

 

καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντός σου τὸ ἱμάτιον καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα μὴ κωλύσῃς.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that if anyone wanted to take away their coat (καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντός σου τὸ ἱμάτιον), they should also offer them their shirt or tunic (καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα μὴ κωλύσῃς).  Once again Luke had Jesus use the second person plural to address his followers.  A similar saying to this can be found in Matthew, chapter 5:40, where he also indicated that the followers of Jesus should be kind people.  We might even call these activities unusual acts of kindness.  In Matthew, Jesus said that not only should they give a person their inner tunic coat (τὸν χιτῶνά σου λαβεῖν), but also their outer cloak as well (ἄφες αὐτῷ καὶ τὸ ἱμάτιον).  This seems like they would give all the clothes off their back, since most people did not own more than 2 coats.  There should be no end to their generosity.

Control over unclean spirits (Lk 4:36-4:36)

“They were all amazed.

They said to one another.

‘What kind of utterance

Is this?

With authority

And power

He commands

The unclean spirits.

Then out they come.’”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο θάμβος ἐπὶ πάντας, καὶ συνελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες Τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ καὶ δυνάμει ἐπιτάσσει τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις πνεύμασιν καὶ ἐξέρχονται;

 

This is very similar, almost word for word, to Mark, chapter 1:27.  Luke said, that amazement or astonishment came over all of them (καὶ ἐγένετο θάμβος ἐπὶ πάντας).  This was a common reaction that people had to the activities of Jesus.  The people were saying or speaking to one another (καὶ συνελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες).  What is this new teaching with authority (Τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ)?  Thus, he commands with power even the unclean spirits (καὶ δυνάμει ἐπιτάσσει τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις πνεύμασιν), so that they come out of that person (καὶ ἐξέρχονται).  Jesus seemed to have some special spiritual powers that no one else had ever seen.

Soldiers (Lk 3:14-3:14)

“Soldiers

Also asked him.

‘What shall we do?’

John said to them.

‘Do not intimidate

People!

Do not falsely

Accuse people!

Be content

With your wages!’”

 

ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε, καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν.

 

This final unique saying of Luke about John and his preaching was a dialogue with some soldiers, that is not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that some soldiers also asked John (ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες) what they should do (Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς).  John told them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) not to intimidate people or use false accusations (Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε).  They should be content with their wages (καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν).  Once again Luke has John respond with a call for justice, fairness, and honesty.  These Jewish soldiers of Herod Antipas were perhaps a little cruel or crude in their everyday life activities.

The Jewish high priests (Lk 3:2-3:2)

“The high-priest

Was Annas

And Caiaphas.”

 

ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως Ἄννα καὶ Καϊάφα,

 

Luke further set the historical background, as he indicated that there were two Jewish high priests (ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως) Annas (Ἄννα) and Caiaphas (καὶ Καϊάφα).  The role of the Jewish high priest in Jerusalem was determined by the Roman authorities.  Annas had been the high priest from 6-15 CE, before he was deposed.  His sons took over, but eventually Caiaphas, his son in law, became the high priest from 18-36 CE, the correct timeframe for the activities of John and Jesus.  Annas had some prestige, connection, or power over Caiaphas as the former high priest and father in law.

The traditional canonical Greek bible

The standard collection of twenty-seven books of the New Testament, centers on the good news about Jesus the “Christ,” literally “the anointed one,” and his followers.  The collected canon of biblical books during the first four centuries is in itself an indication of how the value of these texts developed slowly and emerged over time.  These diverse inspired authors of the second half of the first century of the Christian era provide a basic insight into the thought and practices of the primitive Christian communities.  Our shared sacred documents also reveal information about the perceived role of the Holy Spirit in the activities and expectations of the newly forming Christian communities.

The wicked officials (Ezek 22:27-22:27)

“The Jerusalem officials

Are within it

Like wolves

Tearing their prey.

They shed blood.

They destroyed lives

In order to get

Dishonest gain.”

The officials of Jerusalem were like the princes of Jerusalem. However, these city officials were like wolves instead of lions, seeking their prey. They too destroyed lives and shed blood. They had hoped to get some dishonest gain from these activities.