I understand authority (Lk 7:8-7:8)

“I am a man

Set under authority,

With soldiers

Under me.

I say to one.

‘Go!

And he goes.

I say to another.

‘Come!’

And he comes.

I say to my slave.

‘Do this!’

And he does it.’”

 

καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος, ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας, καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται, καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ.

 

Interesting enough, Luke has the friends of the centurion speak in the first person singular to indicate that these are the exact words of the centurion.  The centurion said that he was a man who was appointed by authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος) with soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας).  He would say to one go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι) and he went (καὶ πορεύεται).  He would say to another come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου) and he came (καὶ ἔρχεται).  He would tell his slave to do something (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο) and he would do it (καὶ ποιεῖ).  This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:9, perhaps indicating a Q source.  In Matthew, the Roman centurion spoke for himself directly to Jesus, but the message was the same.  This centurion understood authority, since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him.  Thus, if he said to any of them to go or come, they would do precisely that.  The same would be true of his slaves who would do whatever he told them to do.  Are you willing to obey the commands of Jesus?

Soldiers (Lk 3:14-3:14)

“Soldiers

Also asked him.

‘What shall we do?’

John said to them.

‘Do not intimidate

People!

Do not falsely

Accuse people!

Be content

With your wages!’”

 

ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε, καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν.

 

This final unique saying of Luke about John and his preaching was a dialogue with some soldiers, that is not found elsewhere in the biblical writings.  Luke said that some soldiers also asked John (ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες) what they should do (Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς).  John told them (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) not to intimidate people or use false accusations (Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε).  They should be content with their wages (καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν).  Once again Luke has John respond with a call for justice, fairness, and honesty.  These Jewish soldiers of Herod Antipas were perhaps a little cruel or crude in their everyday life activities.

Chief priests mock Jesus (Mk 15:31-15:31)

“In the same way,

The chief priests,

Along with the Scribes,

Were also mocking him

Among themselves.

Saying.

‘He saved others!

He cannot save himself!’”

 

ὁμοίως καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων ἔλεγον Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:41-42.  However, Mark did not mention the elders nor anything about the Son of God.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-36, there is only a mention of leaders and soldiers, without any specific indication of which leaders.  On the other hand, there is nothing similar in John.  Mark said that the chief priests (καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) were mocking Jesus among one another or among themselves (ἐμπαίζοντες πρὸς ἀλλήλους) with the Scribes (μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων), in the same way as those passing by (ὁμοίως).  These religious leaders said that Jesus had saved others (ἔλεγον Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν).  Why could he not save himself (ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι)?  They seemed to take a sense of self satisfaction that they had Jesus right where they wanted him.

The mocking passerby people (Mk 15:29-15:30)

“Those who passed by

Derided Jesus.

They were shaking

Their heads.

Saying.

‘Aha!

You who would destroy

The Temple

And build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

Come down

From the cross!’”

 

Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις,

σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:39-40.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, the religious leaders and the soldiers were doing the mocking, not the passersby people.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Mark said that some people passing by abused and derided Jesus (Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They said “Aha! (Οὐὰ),” as they reminded Jesus that he had said (καὶ λέγοντες) if the Temple was destroyed (ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτὸν).  Why didn’t he come down from the cross (καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ)?  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.  It would be surprising if many people came by the cross.

Jesus goes to the Roman palace courtyard (Mk 15:16-15:16)

“Then the soldiers

Led Jesus away

Into the courtyard

Of the palace.

That is

The governor’s headquarters,

The praetorium.

They called together

The whole cohort,

The battalion.”

 

Οἱ δὲ στρατιῶται ἀπήγαγον αὐτὸν ἔσω τῆς αὐλῆς, ὅ ἐστιν Πραιτώριον, καὶ συνκαλοῦσιν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:27, while Luke does not have this episode at the Roman headquarters.  Mark said that the Roman soldiers (Οἱ δὲ στρατιῶται) led Jesus (ἀπήγαγον αὐτὸν) into the courtyard of the Roman governor (ἔσω τῆς αὐλῆς).  Mark explained that it was called the praetorium (ὅ ἐστιν Πραιτώριον).  This governor’s headquarters or home of Pilate was the ancient palace of Herod the Great, who tried to have Jesus killed in the prologue of Matthew.  There they gathered a whole cohort or a battalion of about 500-600 Roman soldiers (συνκαλοῦσιν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν).  The Jews were no longer in this scene around Jesus here, since the Romans had taken over.

The stolen body story spread (Mt 28:15-28:15)

“Thus,

They took the money.

They did

As they were directed.

This story

Is still told

Among the Jews

To this day.”

 

οἱ δὲ λαβόντες ἀργύρια ἐποίησαν ὡς ἐδιδάχθησαν. Καὶ διεφημίσθη ὁ λόγος οὗτος παρὰ Ἰουδαίοις μέχρι τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  He said that these custodian guards or soldiers took the money (οἱ δὲ λαβόντες ἀργύρια).  They did as the Jewish leaders had directed or instructed them to do (ἐποίησαν ὡς ἐδιδάχθησαν).  These guards explained that the disciples of Jesus had stolen the body of Jesus while they were asleep.  Matthew then remarked that this story was spread all over and being told among Jewish people (Καὶ διεφημίσθη ὁ λόγος οὗτος παρὰ Ἰουδαίοις) right up to the day that he was writing this gospel in the 2nd half of the first century, some 30-40 years later or the present day (μέχρι τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας).  Obviously, this was a slap at the Jews who had not become Jewish Christians.

Jesus goes to the governor’s head quarters (Mt 27:27-27:27)

“Then the soldiers

Of the governor

Took Jesus

Into the praetorium,

The governor’s headquarters.

They gathered

The whole cohort

Around him.”

 

Τότε οἱ στρατιῶται τοῦ ἡγεμόνος παραλαβόντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον συνήγαγον ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:16, while Luke does not have this episode.  Matthew said that the Roman soldiers of the governor (Τότε οἱ στρατιῶται τοῦ ἡγεμόνος) took Jesus (παραλαβόντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν) into the praetorium (εἰς τὸ πραιτώριον) or courtyard.  This governor’s headquarters or home of Pilate was the ancient palace of Herod the Great, who tried to have Jesus killed in the prologue of this gospel.  There they gathered a whole cohort or battalion of about 500-600 Roman soldiers around Jesus (συνήγαγον ἐπ’ αὐτὸν ὅλην τὴν σπεῖραν).  The Jews were no longer in this scene around Jesus here.