No stones untouched (Lk 21:5-21:6)

“Jesus said.

‘As for these things

That you see,

The days will come

When not one stone

Will be left upon another.

All will be thrown down.’”

 

εἶπεν Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said (εἶπεν) that these things that they saw or were looking at (Ταῦτα ἃ θεωρεῖτε,) would be different in the days to come (ἐλεύσονται ἡμέραι).  Not one stone would be left upon another (ἐν αἷς οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται λίθος ἐπὶ λίθῳ ὃς οὐ).  All would be thrown down (καταλυθήσεται).  There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 24:2, almost word for word, with Mark, chapter 13:2.  Mark said that Jesus asked this disciple (καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ) if he saw all these great buildings (Βλέπεις ταύτας τὰς μεγάλας οἰκοδομάς)?  Jesus told him that not one stone would be left on another stone of the Temple buildings (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down, thrown down, or destroyed (ὃς οὐ μὴ καταλυθῇ).  Matthew said that Jesus answered them (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς).  He asked them if they had not seen all these buildings (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Οὐ βλέπετε ταῦτα πάντα).  Then in a solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), that was not in Luke or Mark, he told them that not one stone would be left on another stone here at the Temple (οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ ὧδε λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον).  All of the Temple buildings would be torn down or thrown down (ὃς οὐ καταλυθήσεται).  In fact, in 70 CE, within 40 years after the time of Jesus, the Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by the Romans in their war with Israel.  However, threats against the Jerusalem Temple had been common among the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially before the Exile in the 7th and 6th century BCE.  Have you ever seen a church or temple destroyed?

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The astonished parents were to be silent (Lk 8:56-8:56)

“Her parents

Were astonished.

But Jesus

Ordered them

To tell no one about

What had happened.”

 

καὶ ἐξέστησαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτῆς· ὁ δὲ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ γεγονός

 

Luke said that her parents were astonished (καὶ ἐξέστησαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτῆς).  However, Jesus ordered them to tell no one what had happened (ὁ δὲ παρήγγειλεν αὐτοῖς μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν τὸ γεγονός).  The ending to this story is different in Matthew, chapter 9:26 than that of Mark, chapter 5:43 and Luke, who are similar.  Mark indicated that Jesus strictly instructed or ordered them that no one should know about this incident.  That would have been hard because this was such a public event.  In Matthew, this event spread all over this land or district without any attempt to keep it quiet, which was the opposite of Luke and Mark.  If you saw a miraculous event, would you be quiet about it or tell everyone?

What to do? (Lk 6:11-6:11)

“But they

Were filled

With fury.

They discussed

With one another

What they might do

To Jesus.”

 

αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας, καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

 

Luke said that they were filled with rage or fury (ὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας).  They discussed with one another (καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους) what they might do to Jesus (τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ).  Matthew, chapter 12:14, and Mark, chapter 3:6, are similar to Luke.  However, Mark was the only one to mention both the Pharisees and the Herodians.  Matthew mentioned just the Pharisees, while Luke used the vague “they”.  Mark said that the Pharisees conspired with the Herodians against Jesus.  They wondered how they could destroy or kill him.  The Herodians were not a religious group but a political group that backed the Galilean governor Herod Antipas (4-39 CE).  Right from the beginning, there was this animosity between Jesus and the religious leaders of the Pharisees and the local political leaders of Herod.  Matthew has this episode end with only the Pharisees getting together to conspire to destroy Jesus.  However, the wording was a little different among these synoptic writers, but all these people conspired on how to grab, destroy, or kill Jesus.

The harvest is coming (Lk 3:17-3:17)

“His winnowing fork

Is in his hand,

To clear

His threshing floors.

He will gather

The wheat

Into his granary.

But he will burn

The chaff

With an unquenchable fire.”

 

οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ διακαθᾶραι τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ καὶ συναγαγεῖν τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην αὐτοῦ, τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ.

 

Luke has John give this menacing saying that can be found almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 3:12.  Thus, this might be a Q source saying, since it is not found in Mark or JohnLuke has God, the Lord, as a farmer at harvest time.  Luke had John say that this famer has his winnowing fork ready in his hand (οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ).  He was going to clear the threshing floors (διακαθᾶραι τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ).  He was going to gather his wheat into his barn or granary (καὶ συναγαγεῖν τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην αὐτοῦ).  He would then burn up the leftover chaff (τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει) with an everlasting or unquenchable fire (πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ).  This last phrase was a little different than that of Matthew.  Nevertheless, this was a clear warning against the useless ones, who like chaff, would burn in an unstoppable fire.

The purification (Lk 2:22-2:22)

“When the time came

For their purification,

According to the law

Of Moses,

They brought him up

To Jerusalem

To present him

To the Lord.”

 

Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ,

 

Luke said that when the time or the days were completed (Καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι) for their purification (τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν), according to the law of Moses (κατὰ τὸν νόμον Μωϋσέως, Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to Jerusalem (ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα) to present him to the Lord (παραστῆσαι τῷ Κυρίῳ).  What is this purification and is it different than circumcision.  The story of John did not have this purification ritual.  Strictly speaking, this was a purification of the mother to take place 40 days after the birth of a child that had made her unclean as described in Leviticus, chapter 12:1-8.  The presentation of the child and the father were not part of this purification ritual.  There was no law or custom about the presentation of a child, other than the presentation of the first born as in Exodus, chapter 13:2 and 13:16.  Women were considered unclean after childbirth because of the blood discharge that took place with birthing.  If a male was born, the woman was unclean for 7 days, like menstruation, so that on the 8th day the male child could be circumcised.  There were 33 more days of blood purification for the male child.  During her unclean period, this new mother could not touch any holy thing, or go into the sanctuary.  Thus, the purification ritual took place on the 40th day, a symbolic number based on the 40 years of the Israelites in the desert wilderness.

The cry of Jesus at three o’clock (Mk 15:34-15:34)

“At three o’clock,

The ninth hour,

Jesus cried out

With a loud voice.

‘Eloi!

Eloi!

Lema sabachthani?’

This translated means.

‘Oh my God!

Oh my God!

Why have you

Forsaken me?’”

 

καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί; ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου, εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με;

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:46.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, did not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Mark said that at three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (καὶ τῇ ἐνάτῃ ὥρᾳ), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἐβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ), “Eloi!  Eloi!  Lema sabachthani (Ἐλωῒ Ἐλωῒ λαμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?”  This cry is slightly different than Matthew.  Then Mark explained what this meant with a translation (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον), since this was a mixture of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for God in the first verse from Psalm 22:1. “Oh my God!  Oh my God (Ὁ Θεός μου ὁ Θεός μου)!  Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (εἰς τί ἐγκατέλιπές με)?”  This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53.  Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant, the son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross.  Why was there no help coming from God?

The man could see (Mk 8:24-8:24)

“The blind man

Looked up.

He said.

‘I see people.

However,

They look

Like walking trees.’”

 

καὶ ἀναβλέψας ἔλεγεν Βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας.

 

This story of the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida was unique to Mark.  This was a little different healing that did not take place immediately.  Instead there seemed to be a two-step process.  At first, the blind man looked up or recovered his sight (καὶ ἀναβλέψας).  He then said (ἔλεγεν) that he could see people (Βλέπω τοὺς ἀνθρώπους).  However, they looked like trees that were walking or walking trees (ὅτι ὡς δένδρα ὁρῶ περιπατοῦντας), not humans.