With a spirit
That had crippled her
For eighteen years.
She was bent over.
She was unable
To stand up straight.”
καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ πνεῦμα ἔχουσα ἀσθενείας ἔτη δέκα οκτώ, καὶ ἦν συνκύπτουσα καὶ μὴ δυναμένη ἀνακύψαι εἰς τὸ παντελές.
Luke uniquely said that there was a woman (καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ) with a spirit that had crippled her (ἔχουσα ἀσθενείας) for 18 years (ἔτη δέκα οκτώ). She was bent over (καὶ ἦν συνκύπτουσα). This is the only appearance of the word συνκύπτουσα in the biblical literature, since it means bent forward, or doubled up. She was unable to stand up straight or lift herself to her full height (αὶ μὴ δυναμένη ἀνακύψαι εἰς τὸ παντελές). No one else had this story about the crippled lady, who for 18 years was possessed by some evil spirit that caused her problem. Illness and the role of evil spirits was always connected. Due to some evil spirit, she could not stand up straight. Do you know anyone who is bent over?
You know how
The appearance of earth
And the sky.
But why do you not know
How to interpret
This present time?”
ὑποκριταί, τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν, τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε;
Luke indicated that Jesus called these people hypocrites (ὑποκριταί). They were able to know how to interpret (οἴδατε δοκιμάζειν) the appearances of the earth (τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς) and the sky (καὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ). However, they did not know how to interpret (πῶς οὐ δοκιμάζετε) this present time (τὸν καιρὸν δὲ τοῦτον). There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 16:3, perhaps indicating a Q source, where Jesus asked them how come they were so good at discerning the overcast stormy weather signs in the heavens (τὸ μὲν πρόσωπον τοῦ οὐρανοῦ γινώσκετε διακρίνειν), but they were unable to interpret the signs of the times (τὰ δὲ σημεῖα τῶν καιρῶν οὐ δύνασθε), since the weather signs were in the heavenly skies also. In other words, they were very good at predicting the weather, but had no idea about other heavenly things to come. Are you good at predicting the weather?
καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο συνελάλουν αὐτῷ, οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας,
Luke said that suddenly, the 3 apostles saw 2 men (καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες), Moses (οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), talking to Jesus (συνελάλουν αὐτῷ). This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:34, Mark, chapter 9:4, and here in Luke. Mark said that Elijah with Moses, talking with Jesus, appeared to the 3 disciples. Matthew also said that suddenly Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus in front of the 3 apostles. How did they know what Moses and Elijah looked like? They had never seen them before. They were nearly 1,000 years removed from their existence. Jesus, however, recognized and talked with them, so that is why they might have realized who they were. Thus, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law of Moses and at the same time the fulfillment of the prophets with Elijah, one of the earliest prophets from the 9th century BCE. Moses and Elijah also represented the ancient righteous people. How would you recognize an ancient historical figure?
Of his face
Became dazzling white.”
καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων.
Luke said that while Jesus was praying (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν), the appearance of his face changed or altered (τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον). Also, his clothes became dazzling white (καὶ ὁ ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων). This description of the face and clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Mark, chapter 9:3, and here in Luke, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Mark said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles. There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes. There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew and Luke. However, Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white, so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter. Matthew also said that Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles. He said that Jesus’ face was shining like the sun, just like what happened to Moses, in Exodus, chapter 34:35. There the face of Moses was so bright that he had to put a veil on after talking to Yahweh, before he could talk to Aaron, his brother. Jesus’ clothes or garments also became a dazzling white, like a bright light or white snow. Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine. White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad. What is the whitest white that you have seen?
In another form
To two of them,
As they were going walking
Into the country.”
Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν ἐφανερώθη ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν·
This appearance of Jesus to these 2 men walking in the country is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 24:13-35, with the 2 disciples walking near the village of Emmaus, but in an abbreviated form. This long ending of Mark said that after this initial announcement by Mary Magdalene (Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα), Jesus appeared in another form (ἐφανερώθη ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ) to 2 of his disciples as they were walking (δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσιν) into the country (πορευομένοις εἰς ἀγρόν). These disciples are not named, nor is there any mention of where they are.
“The Scribes devour
For the sake of appearance,
They say long prayers.
They will receive
The greater condemnation.”
οἱ κατεσθίοντες τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι, οὗτοι λήμψονται περισσότερον κρίμα.
Next Mark talked about how these Scribes took advantage of widows and pretended to be men of prayer. Something similar can be found in Luke, chapter 20:47, but not in Matthew. Mark indicated that Jesus said that these Scribes devoured widows’ houses. What did he mean by that? They obviously took advantage of the generosity of widows. For the sake of appearances, these Scribes said long prayers. Thus, they would receive a great severe condemnation for their behavior. Once again, there was no mention of any Pharisees, just the Scribes.
Such as no one
Could bleach them.”
καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν, οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι.
This description of the clothing of Jesus can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 17:2, Luke, chapter 9:29, and here in Mark, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts. Jesus was transfigured in front of the 3 apostles. There was a metamorphosis, as the appearance of Jesus changed right before their very eyes. There was no mention of the face of Jesus changing, as in Matthew. Mark indicated that Jesus’ clothes or garments became a dazzling white (καὶ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο στίλβοντα λευκὰ λίαν). They were so white that not even any cleaner on earth could bleach them any whiter (οἷα γναφεὺς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς οὐ δύναται οὕτως λευκᾶναι). Suddenly, the human Jesus seemed more brightly divine with his amazing glittering white clothes. White and light were good, while black and darkness were bad.
“When they saw him,
They worshiped him.
But some doubted.”
καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν προσεκύνησαν, οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν.
This is unique to Matthew. While most of these 11 disciples worshiped him (προσεκύνησαν) when they saw him (καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν), Matthew remarked that there may have been a few who hesitated, wavered or doubted his presence (οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν). This is interesting because ir indicates that some of the 11 apostles doubted the appearance of the post-resurrection Jesus, perhaps Thomas and a few others.
Of the Lord
Descended from heaven.
He rolled back
He sat upon it.
His appearance was
Was as white
ἄγγελος γὰρ Κυρίου καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ.
ἦν δὲ ἡ εἰδέα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀστραπὴ, καὶ τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ λευκὸν ὡς χιών.
Matthew is the only one to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb. In Mark, chapter 16:5, the women found a young man with a white robe sitting in the tomb, while in Luke, chapter 24:4, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb. John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb. Matthew uniquely said that an angel of the Lord (ἄγγελος γὰρ Κυρίου) descended from heaven (καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ). He came and rolled back the stone (καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον), so that he was sitting on this stone (καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ). He looked like a bright flash of lightning (ἦν δὲ ἡ εἰδέα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀστραπὴ) because his clothing was as white as snow (καὶ τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ λευκὸν ὡς χιών). Once again, Matthew was more dramatic in his descriptions.
“Woe to you!
Woe to you!
You devour widow’s houses!
For the sake of appearance,
You make long prayers!
You will receive
The greater condemnation.”
Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, γραμματεῖς καὶ Φαρισαῖοι, ὑποκριταί, ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν, καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι· διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα.
This verse is missing in a number of manuscripts but can be found in other Greek Orthodox versions of this unique saying of Matthew. This first part of the opening verse is exactly the same as the preceding verse. Woe to you (Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν)! Scribes (γραμματεῖς)! Woe to you! Pharisees (καὶ Φαρισαῖοι)! Hypocrites (ὑποκριταί)! There is no doubt that here Jesus was cursing the Scribes and the Pharisees, who were devouring widow’s houses (ὅτι κατεσθίετε τὰς οἰκίας τῶν χηρῶν), as they were taking advantage of widows. They also made long lengthy prayers (καὶ προφάσει μακρὰ προσευχόμενοι·), so that they would look better and more pious. However, they were about to receive a greater condemnation (διὰ τοῦτο λήψεσθε περισσότερον κρίμα) than they had expected.