Jesus speaks (Lk 20:45-20:46)

“In the hearing

Of all the people,

Jesus spoke

To his disciples.”

 

Ἀκούοντος δὲ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς

 

Luke said that Jesus spoke to his disciples (εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς), but within the hearing of all the people (Ἀκούοντος δὲ παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ.  Matthew, chapter 23:1, indicated that Jesus was speaking (Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν) to the crowds (τοῖς ὄχλοις) and his disciples (καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) at the same time.  Mark, chapter 12:37, simply had the comment that a large crowd was listening to Jesus with delight (Καὶ ὁ πολὺς ὄχλος ἤκουεν αὐτοῦ ἡδέως).  In other words, Jesus was speaking to his disciples, but openly enough that the crowds around him could hear it.  Have you ever been someplace where you could hear what people were speaking about?

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The naming of the child (Lk 1:59-1: 59)

“They were going

To name him

Zechariah,

After his father.”

 

καὶ ἐκάλουν αὐτὸ ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ζαχαρίαν.

 

Luke said that they were going to name him (καὶ ἐκάλουν αὐτὸ) Zechariah (Ζαχαρίαν), after the name of his father (ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ).  The naming of the child was not associated with the circumcision until later.  Christians often call the baptizing of their infants Christening when they give a Christian name to the child, after infant baptism became popular in the early Middle Ages.  Interesting enough, the Hispanic or Sephardic Jews name their children after their parents, while the Ashkenazic or Eastern European Jews name their children after dead relatives or grandparents.  However, today, naming a Jewish boy and circumcision take place at the same time.  For girls, it had become usual to name the girl at a Torah reading on the Sabbath.

Render to Caesar (Mk 12:17-12:17)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Give to the emperor Caesar

The things

That are the emperor Caesar’s.

Give to God

The things

That are God’s.’”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

There is something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:21, and in Luke, chapter 20:25, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus responded to them (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Τὰ Καίσαρος ἀπόδοτε Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  Jesus appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies, as he also had a milder view of their tax collectors.  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationships between religious church organizations and state civic organizations.

Jesus speaks (Mt 23:1-23:1)

“Then Jesus said

To the crowds

And to his disciples.”

 

Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν τοῖς ὄχλοις καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ

 

This opening statement is typical and unique to Matthew.  He has Jesus speaking (Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν) to the crowds (τοῖς ὄχλοις) and his disciples (καὶ τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) at the same time.

The dialogue about the Roman coin (Mt 22:19-22:21)

“Jesus said.

‘Show me the coin

Used for the tax.’

They brought him

A denarius.

He said to them.

‘Whose image is this?

Whose inscription title is this?’

They answered.

‘Caesar’s.’

Then he said to them.

‘Give therefore

To emperor Caesar

The things that are

The emperor’s.

Give to God

The things that

Are God’s.’”

 

ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου. οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον.

καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή;

λέγουσιν· Καίσαρος. τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:15-17, and in Luke, chapter 20:24-25.  Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the poll tax (ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου).  They brought or presented him with a small silver Roman coin, a denarius (οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον).  He then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin?  They answered (λέγουσιν) that the image and inscription belonged to Caesar (Καίσαρος).  Then Jesus responded to them (τότε λέγει αὐτοῖς) by telling them to give to the Roman emperor Caesar the things that belonged to the emperor (Ἀπόδοτε οὖν τὰ Καίσαρος Καίσαρι).  At the same time, they should give to God the things that belong to God (καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ τῷ Θεῷ).  With this ambiguous answer, Jesus avoided offending Jewish nationalists and the Roman Empire party and its officials.  Thus, the Roman and Jewish parties were both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time.  If everything belonged to God, do not pay this tax.  If everything belonged to the Roman empire, pay the tax.  The choice was theirs.  He was not going to tell them what to do.  This statement of Jesus has become the basic Christian understanding of the relationships of church and state.

Moses and Elijah appear (Mt 17:3-17:3)

“Suddenly,

There appeared to them

Moses

And Elijah.

They were talking

With Jesus.”

 

καὶ ἰδοὺ ὤφθη αὐτοῖς Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἡλείας συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ.

 

This appearance of Moses and Elijah can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:4, Luke, chapter 9:30, and here in Matthew, but there are minor differences in all 3 accounts.  Suddenly (καὶ ἰδοὺ), there appeared to the 3 disciples (ὤφθη αὐτοῖς) Moses (Μωϋσῆς) and Elijah (καὶ Ἡλείας), who were talking with Jesus (συνλαλοῦντες μετ’ αὐτοῦ).  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.

Written Languages

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.