“Jesus said to them.
‘Those who belong
To this age
And are given
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου γαμοῦσιν καὶ γαμίσκονται,
Luke uniquely indicated that Jesus said to the Sadducees (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) that those who belong to this age, the sons of this age (Οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου), marry (γαμοῦσιν) and are given in marriage (καὶ γαμίσκονται). Both Matthew, chapter 22:29, and Mark, chapter 12:24, are almost word for word, with Jesus flat out telling the Sadducees that they were wrong, without mentioning the present age. However, this reprimand by Jesus is not here in Luke. Matthew indicated that Jesus answered the Sadducees (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or lead astray (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πλανᾶσθε). They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς). They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Mark said that Jesus responded to the Sadducees (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or led astray (Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε). They did not know the scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς). They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Simply put, they were ill-informed or stupid. Luke did not use this kind of language. Do you think that some people are stupid?
“Jesus said to them.
‘Is this not the reason
That you are wrong?
You know neither
Nor the power of God.’”
ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ
This comment or reprimand by Jesus is similar to Matthew, chapter 22:29, but not in Luke. Mark said that Jesus responded to the Sadducees (ἔφη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) by telling them that they were wrong, deceived, or led astray (Οὐ διὰ τοῦτο πλανᾶσθε). They did not know scriptures or the writings (μὴ εἰδότες τὰς γραφὰς). They also did not know the power or purpose of God (μηδὲ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεοῦ). Simply put, they were ill-informed or stupid.
“Do not think
That I have come
Or the prophets!
I have come
Not to abolish them,
But to fulfil them.”
Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι·
There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 16:17, but without the same force. Once again, Matthew has Jesus address his disciples. He told them not to think that he had come to abolish the law and the prophets (Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας). This reference to the law (τὸν νόμον) was to the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. The allusion to the prophets (τοὺς προφήτας) meant all the writings about the prophets, plus the works contained in the so-called historical works, basically the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. Quite the opposite, Jesus said that he had come to fulfill them (ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι), not to abolish the law and the prophets. (οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι).
Over seventy different versions of gospels, acts, and epistles by various Christians appeared in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but they did not make it into the official canonical Bible. They are often referred to as the apocryphal, hidden, or lost books of the Bible. Scholars have been interested in these books to help them understand what some Christian people were thinking about at that time. These writings tell us more about the author’s attitude about Jesus.
Most Christians agree on all the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament. Obviously various Christian groups emphasize one or another of these books as more important. All these books of the New Testament were written in Greek, the literary language of the Roman Empire. They are a mixture of gospels, letters, and other writings.
The Roman Catholic Bible editions usually include seven other books that are from the Septuagint, but not in the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, many of the English Protestant Bibles, particularly the King James Bible used only the Hebrew texts. These later Greek works became known as deuterocanonical or apocryphal works of the Bible. These post-exilic books tell the stories of various Israelite figures. These seven extra books have the story of Tobit, the story of Judith, as well as the stories of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. However, they also include writings the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus or Sirach, and Baruch.
The former prophets are the same as the so-called Christian Old Testament historical works. These works tell us of the establishment of the Israelites and the troubles that they faced. However, they introduced a number of prophets that received oracles from God, including Elias, Elijah, Samuel, and Nathan. The former prophets include the works of Joshua, from the 8th-7th century BCE and Judges, from the 7th-6th century BCE. They also include the works of Samuel or 1 Samuel and. 2 Samuel, as well as Kings, or 1 Kings and 2 Kings. all coming from the 7th-6th century BCE. These writings indicate what happened to the Israelites as they struggled in the new promised land. They gradually went from a few judges to a full-blown kingdom, with many prophets with their divine oracles along the way.
The Old Testament takes up two-thirds of the Christian Bible. The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, is divided into three major parts, the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim. The Torah was known as the Law or instruction. The works of the prophets was called Nevi’im. Finally, the Writings were called Ketuvim. New Testament writers used these three terms of the law, the prophets, and the writings when they referred to the Hebrew Scriptures, the only Bible that they knew. Most of the final codification of the Hebrew Bible had taken place centuries before the time of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Christians often referred to the law and the prophets when they were talking about the books of the Hebrew Bible. These early Christians never referred to their own writings as the Bible.
In fact, we are under the illusion that there is only one inspired Bible, when there were many versions of the inspired Bible with various interpretations. First of all, there is the Hebrew inspired canonical Bible, the Tanakh, with the 10th century CE Hebrew Masoretic text that has its origins millenniums earlier. The earliest known collection of these Hebrew writings was in the 2nd century BCE. This Hebrew text had 24 books, the 5 books of the Torah, 4 books of the early prophets with 15 books of the later prophets. The other writings were in dispute as to their canonicity.
“How different is
The one who devotes himself
To the study
Of the law of the Most High.
He seeks out the wisdom
Of all the ancients.
He is concerned with prophecies.
He preserves the sayings
Of the famous.
He penetrates the subtleties
Of the parables.
He seeks out the hidden meanings
He is at home
With the obscurities of parables.
He serves among the great men.
He appears before rulers.
He travels in foreign lands.
He learns what is good and evil
In the human lot.
He sets his heart to rise early.
He seeks the Lord who made him.
He petitions the Most High.
He opens his mouth in prayer.
He asks pardon for his sins.”
Sirach is more interested in the scholarly scribes. This seems like a defense of his own life, and what he is doing. He devotes himself to the study of the law of the Most High God. He seeks the wisdom of the ancients and the current prophecies. He preserves the ancient sayings or writings. He penetrates and finds the hidden meanings of the parables and the proverbs. He serves among and appears before the rulers. He even travels in foreign lands so that he can learn about good and evil among all humans. He rises early to seek the Lord. He prays with petitions and penitence to the Most High God. In other words, he is a great righteous man, fully dedicated to the law of God and living it out in his daily life. He is Sirach!