Depart in peace (Lk 2:29-2:29)

“Simeon said.

‘Lord!

Now you may

Dismiss

Your slave

In peace,

According to your word.’”

 

καὶ εἶπεν

Νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, Δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ·

 

Luke had Simeon present the so-called “Nunc dimittis” canticle, named after the Latin translation of the first few words.  Simeon said (καὶ εἶπεν) that the Lord or Master could now dismiss his servant or slave (Νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου) in peace (ἐν εἰρήνῃ), according to the word of God (κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου).  Simeon indicated that he was ready to die.  He could be dismissed because his wish had been granted.  Basically, this canticle talks continuously about the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah.

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The prayer of Zechariah (Lk 1:68-1:68)

“Blessed be the Lord!

The God of Israel!

He has looked favorably

On his people.

He has redeemed them.”

 

Εὐλογητὸς Κύριος ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,

 

Luke then had this so-called Benedictus prayer, based on the Latin translation of Εὐλογητὸς.  At the same time, this prayer is a prophesy also.  First, Zechariah was thankful for all the people of Israel, not just himself.  He used the familiar blessing that David said to Abigail in 1 Samuel, chapter 25:32, and to Solomon in 1 Kings, chapter 1:48.  Solomon used this same blessing in 1 Kings, chapter 8:35.  He said that the Lord was blessed (Εὐλογητὸς Κύριος).  He was the God of Israel (ὁ Θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ) who had visited, intervened, or looked favorably (ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο) on his people (τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,), since he has saved or brought them redemption (καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν).  Zechariah had a sense of what the scope of John’s birth would be on all Israel, not just his family.  He implied that salvation or redemption had already taken place with the birth of his son John, not waiting for Jesus.

The Hail Mary greeting (Lk 1:28-1:28)

“The angel Gabriel

Came to her.

He said.

‘Hail!

Full of grace!

The Lord is

With you!’”

 

καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπεν Χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ.

 

Luke said that this angel Gabriel came to Mary (καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν).  He greeted her with the traditional Greek salutation “Hail” or “I am happy to see you” (Χαῖρε).  She was the favored one or the one full of grace (κεχαριτωμένη).  The “Lord is with you” (ὁ Κύριος μετὰ σοῦ) is an ancient Hebrew greeting found in Ruth, chapter 2:4, 2 Chronicles, chapter 15:2, Numbers, chapter 14:42, and 1 Samuel, chapter 17:37.  The impact of this angelic greeting has had a profound effect on Christian prayer life.  The famous simple popular prayer to Mary is often called the “Hail Mary” based on this passage.  “Hail Mary!  Full of grace!  the Lord is with you!”  This medieval 11th century Marian Latin prayer “Ave Maria” is the Latin translation of these Greek verses as found in the Latin Vulgate.  The second line was “full of grace” or “gratia plena” and the third line was “Dominus vobiscum,” or the “Lord be with you.”  This later phrase “Dominus vobiscum,” was and is also part of the ancient and contemporary Roman Catholic Eucharistic Mass service, as a priestly greeting to the congregation.  These verses serve as the foundational biblical statements for the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, not Jesus.

Golgotha (Mk 15:22-15:22)

“Then they brought Jesus

To the place

Called Golgotha.

This means

The place of the skull.”

 

καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος Κρανίου τόπος.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:33.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called “The Skull,” with no mention of Golgotha, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called “The Place of the Skull,” as the translation of the Hebrew word Golgotha.  Mark said that they brought Jesus to this Golgotha place (καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν Γολγοθᾶν τόπον).  He said that this could be translated (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενος) as “The Place of the skull (Κρανίου τόπος).”   Golgotha apparently was a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  The exact location of this place near Jerusalem is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.

Golgotha (Mt 27:33-27:34)

“They came to a place

Called Golgotha.

This means

Place of a skull.

They offered him

Wine to drink.

This wine was

Mixed with gall.

But when Jesus

Tasted it,

He would not drink it.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ, ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος,

ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον· καὶ γευσάμενος οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:22-23, but Mark has myrrh not gall.  In Luke, chapter 23:33, the place was simple called the skull, while in John, chapter 19:17, it was also called Golgotha with the explanation.  Matthew said that they came to a place called Golgotha (Καὶ ἐλθόντες εἰς τόπον λεγόμενον Γολγοθᾶ) that means “Place of a skull (ὅ ἐστιν κρανίου τόπος λεγόμενος).”  There they offered him some wine to drink (ἔδωκαν αὐτῷ πιεῖν οἶνον) in order to dull the pain.  This wine was mixed with gall or bitter herbs (μετὰ χολῆς μεμιγμένον).  But when Jesus experienced this taste (καὶ γευσάμενος), he did not want to drink it (οὐκ ἠθέλησεν πιεῖν).  This Golgotha apparently is a transliteration of the Aramaic word for skull.  This place was near Jerusalem.  The exact location is not known, but the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the traditional place for Calvary, based on the Latin translation of Golgotha, probably a little east of Jerusalem.

The Christian Old Testament

Interesting enough, there is a dispute about the books of the Hebrew Bible among various Christians.  The English Christian Protestant Reform Bible used the Hebrew Bible texts for its translation of the King James English translation of the Bible.  Later 20th century translations, especially the New Revised Standard Version also used these texts.  However, the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Bible relied on the inspired Greek Septuagint, the 2nd century BCE version of the Hebrew inspired Bible.  This was best represented by the 4th century CE Latin translation of the Vulgate by Jerome.  Various translations during the 20th century, especially the Bible of Jerusalem, have used the structure of the Vulgate.