“The inner thoughts
Will be revealed.
Your own soul too.”
καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία, ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί.
Luke explained that Simeon warned Mary about her future suffering. This is often thought of as the beginning of the many sorrows that Mary will endure because of her son, Jesus. Luke said that a sword would pierce or go through the soul of Mary (καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία). Simeon said that the inner thoughts of many would be revealed (ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί). Thus, the later medieval devotion to the Sorrowful Mother Mary is based on this passage and further developed in this gospel of Luke.
“When it was evening,
There came a rich man
He was also
A disciple of Jesus.”
Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης ἦλθεν ἄνθρωπος πλούσιος ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας, τοὔνομα Ἰωσήφ, ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἐμαθητεύθη τῷ Ἰησοῦ·
There is less confusion about this Joseph since he is mentioned in all 4 gospel stories. This text is similar to Mark, chapter 15:43. Luke, chapter 23:50-51, mentioned that Joseph was a member of the elder’s council in Jerusalem who had not voted for the plan to destroy Jesus. John, chapter 19:38, said that Joseph was a secret disciple of Jesus. Matthew said that when it was evening (Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), a rich man from Arimathea (ἦλθεν ἄνθρωπος πλούσιος ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθαίας), named Joseph (τοὔνομα Ἰωσήφ), who was also a disciple of Jesus (ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς ἐμαθητεύθη τῷ Ἰησοῦ) came forward. Notice that it was evening since no burials were permitted on the Sabbath or feast days. Many legends have developed around this wealthy Joseph from Arimathea, a town in Judea near Jerusalem.
“They bound Jesus.
They led him away.
They delivered him
καὶ δήσαντες αὐτὸν ἀπήγαγον καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ τῷ ἡγεμόνι.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:1, except there was no mention that Pilate was the governor, but just assumes that. In Luke, chapter 23:1, there is just the simple statement that they brought Jesus to Pilate. In John, chapter 18:28-32, there was a long discussion of Pilate with the Jewish leaders. Who is this Pontius Pilate? He was the rather cruel Roman ruler, prefect, or governor of Judea from 26-36 CE, the exact time frame of Jesus. These chief priests and elders of the people tied up Jesus (καὶ δήσαντες αὐτὸν). They led him away and delivered him to Pilate (ἀπήγαγον καὶ παρέδωκαν Πειλάτῳ), the Roman governor (τῷ ἡγεμόνι) of Judea who had jurisdiction over death penalties in the Judean territory, since Judea was within the Roman Empire. Interesting enough, a whole literature and artistic presentation of Pontius Pilate developed in 20th century with movie and TV portrayals of him. He was certainly a central figure in this Passion of Jesus presentation.
“But I say to you!
That everyone angry
With his brother
Shall be liable
By calling him
Shall be liable
To the Sanhedrin council.
‘You impious fool!’
Shall be liable
To the hell of fire.”
ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.
Matthew once again showed the importance of this saying of Jesus with “But I say or tell you (ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν)!” This time it is about anger and insults. Anyone who was angry with his brother would be liable to the local Jewish council judgment (ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει). If he insulted his brother, by calling him, an empty head without brains (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ Ῥακά), he was liable to the Jerusalem Sanhedrin Council (ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ). Calling someone a “Ῥακά” was a worse crime than a mere insult. If he called his brother an insensitive non-religious or impious fool (ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ Μωρέ), the punishment for this outrageous insult would be to be thrown into to the fiery hell (ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός). The Greek term “Μωρέ” developed into the English term moron. The Greek word for hell “γέενναν” or the English Gehenna was based on the Hebrew word Gehinnom that was the name of the valley south of Jerusalem where burning child sacrifices would take place. There seemed to be 3 stages of punishment, depending on what they had said to their brother. Insulting them was bad. Calling them empty-headed was worse. But worst of all was calling them an insensitive non-religious fool. Be careful what you say to your brother or sister.
A particular form of American Evangelicalism developed in the 1920s to combat the secular culture after World War I, during the Roaring Twenties with its jazz age Gatsby morality. From 1890-1920 over 20,000,000 people, mostly Roman Catholic Europeans, immigrated into the major American cities. These new immigrants brought an end to the Victorian morals with their gambling and their bootlegging alcohol drinking during the Prohibition era. The League of Nations and the growth of international communism were other factors. Most fundamentalists were against the scriptural criticism of Protestant liberalism and the various other modernism trends. They feared losing their world, because others were aggressively posing a threat to their traditions. This was an apocalyptic view of history, where the past was great, the present cloudy and the future assured.
The German theologian Hermann Gunkel (1862-1932) first developed Formgechichte in an attempt to establish fixed literary patterns. These patterns then could go behind the present text to help establish the meaning and significance of the literary pattern in its original context. However, the meaning of form criticism has become fluid. The study of the biblical texts using form criticism has revealed a marvelous multiplicity of literary styles, forms, and methods used in the Bible.
Dennis the Short (470-544 CE) or Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk who worked in Rome, came up with the idea of dating everything from the birth of Christ, instead of the Roman counsels who had held office. In 525 CE, he developed his Christocentric calendar, but he was off by a few years in his calculations, since Jesus may have lived from 6 BCE-26 CE. His dating system was known as Anno Domini, the year of Our Lord. This AD system did not become popular until the Carolingian Reform of the 9th ninth century and the promulgation of the Gregorian calendar in the 16th century. Since then, all world events have centered on the birth of Christ. At the 2000 millennium year celebrations even non-Christian countries such as China and India celebrated the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ. In the twentieth century, Jewish and Christian scholars adopted the term CE, or Common Era, showing a neutral stance towards Christ. Now practically every country dates things from the birth of Christ, whether they consider themselves Christian or not. 2018 CE means 2018 years since the birth of Christ, the Common Era. The time before Christ is called BC, before the Common Era, BCE.
The Acts of the Apostles, from 70-90 CE, has been associated with Luke, the gospel writer. This book described the activities of the early Christians in their various missionary efforts. The Book of Revelation, from around 70-100 CE, is apocalyptic in nature, as it describes the end times. Some have claimed that this belongs to John, the apostle. Both these books emphasize the role of the Christian community as it developed and what might happen to it in the future.
The Law, the Torah, or the Pentateuch, consisted of first five books that were developed over a number of years, but firmly established around 400 BCE. The five books of the Pentateuch include Genesis, a 10th-5th century BCE writing about the pre-existence of the Israelites, and the particular stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The Exodus, finished around 450 BCE, recalls the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt for years in the desert. Leviticus and Numbers, worked on between 550-400 BCE, lay out the particular codes, rules and regulations for the Israelites, as well the numbers of people that were involved in the exodus from Egypt. Deuteronomy, developed in the 7th-6th century BCE, told the story of Moses in the wilderness with emphasis on the laws of the heart. This Law or Torah explained the early or pre-history of the Israelites before they entered the promised land. These books also contained all the commands, statutes, or rules for the Israelites after they entered the promised land. All further Jewish developments were based on the Torah or the Law.
Written languages are nothing more than symbols on a page to confer some thoughts or ideas. Oral language, written numbers, and written symbols existed before written languages. Most of the world’s ancient languages began to take shape about 3,000-1,500 BCE, about 5,000 years ago. The Semitic languages developed in Egypt from about 1,800 to 1,300 BCE. Thus, the Hebrew of the Bible would have been practically the only written sources. The Greek language also stems from about the same time around 1,500 BCE.