Sharing (Lk 3:11-3:11)

“In reply,

John said to them.

‘Whoever has two coats,

Must share

With anyone

Who has none.

Whoever has food,

Must do likewise.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς Ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα ὁμοίως ποιείτω.

 

Luke continued with his unique sayings about John and his preaching that are not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that John responded to them (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς) that whoever had two coats or tunics (Ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας) must share with someone who has none (μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι).  Whoever has food (καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα), must likewise share their food (ὁμοίως ποιείτω).  John was preaching the idea of sharing clothing and food as a primary action for those who followed John and his teachings about repentance.

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The Bible Project itself

Although the original Greek texts had no chapters or verses, I will use the common chapter and verse format found in the Jerusalem Bible, along with the various titles and subtitles of the chapters of this edition.  By reading in a language that is not my mother tongue, I hope to gain a greater comprehension of the texts beyond the common understanding.  I will then write a short summary and commentary about each verse, paragraph, or section that I am reading, using the Greek, the French, and the English versions, along with the various footnotes that these editions of the Bible have provided.  I have subdivided these passages into smaller verses.  For the New Testament, I will also insert the Greek text between the translation and the commentary.  I am going to go through the New Testament Bible, book by book, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, verse by verse, paraphrasing and commenting on each book of the New Testament.  This is not a task that will be accomplished in a year or two, or maybe ever at all.  However, I set out on this adventure with a basic understanding of the New Testament, as an old man who has spent a lifetime reading and thinking about these writings.  Now, I want to do it in a more comprehensive but sharing way.  I will post 5 blogs a day that will include the translated verse or verses that I am commenting on.  Let the adventure begin!

The demand for wisdom (Wis 8:17-8:21)

“When I considered these things inwardly,

I pondered in my heart.

In kinship with wisdom

There is immortality.

In friendship with her,

There is pure delight.

In the labors of her hands,

There is unfailing wealth.

In the experience of her company,

There is understanding.

There is renown in sharing her words.

I went about seeking

How to get her for myself.

As a child

I was naturally gifted.

A good soul fell to my lot.

Rather being good,

I entered an undefiled body.

But I perceived

That I would not possess wisdom

Unless God gave her to me.

It was a mark of insight

To know whose gift she was.

So I appealed to the Lord.

I implored him.

With my whole heart,

I said.”

This author considered these things in his heart. When you are related to wisdom you have immortality (ἀθανασία ἐν συγγενείᾳ σοφίας). There is delight in her friendship and her laboring hands. There is wealth and understanding in her company. You will become famous by sharing her words. He wanted wisdom for himself. He had been a gifted child. Interesting enough there is the Platonic thought of the pre-existent soul (ψυχῆς) that was united to a wonderful body (εἰς σῶμα ἀμίαντον). He realized that he could not possess wisdom unless God gave (ὁ Θεὸς δῷ) him this gift (χάρις) to him. Thus he appealed and implored the Lord (τῷ Κυρίῳ) with his whole heart (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας μου). This is reminiscent of the story in 1 Kings, chapter 3, when King Solomon asked Yahweh for the gift of wisdom.

The water fountain (Prov 5:15-5:18)

“Drink water from your own cistern.

This is flowing water from your own well.

Should your springs be scattered abroad?

Should there be streams of water in the streets?

Let them be for yourself alone.

These are not for sharing with strangers.

Let your fountain be blessed!”

Next we have a little interlude about drinking water. However, this might be a metaphor for sexual semen. You were not to let the water from your well be drunk by others. In other words, your sexual semen, like your drinking water, should stay at home. This is the flowing water from your own well that should not be scattered abroad or in the streets. They are for you alone, and not for sharing with strangers. However, your fountain should be blessed.