Monday, August 25, 2008

Matthew 16:21-28

16:21 The word (deiknumi) for show/explain here has a more sensory instead of verbal connotation.

16:22 Peter here literally says "mercy to you, Lord, no not this be to you." As the NET commentary puts it, this is a shorthand for "May God be merciful to you in sparing you from this." (Internse grammar note: ou meh is an emphatic future negative)

- The ordering of the clauses in Greek implies that Jesus turned -- turned away -- from Peter before talking.
-Jesus uses the same words "behind me" (opisoo mou) in Matt 4:19 when he invited Peter to become a disciple.
-The word for stumbling block here is literally "skandalon"
-The word for thinking here "phroneoo" is what Paul uses in Romans 12:16

-Again Jesus uses the word "behind me" in his invitation to discipleship
-deny and take are both aorist verbs (one time events), whereas "follow" is a present tense verb.
-The construction "let him" is normally how 3rd person imperatives are translated in Greek, however, there is nothing passive about the command "deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me..."
-The "if" clause here is more like a condition of fact: Since someone does want to follow me, he must...

-The word for life here is psyche, not simply bios. There is something deeply spiritual (and still physical) about what will be lost.
-The verse here is conditional -- it could go either way.
-Lose is a weak translation used because it mirrors finding. The real word here is apollumi, which means destroy or ruin.

16:27 Jesus here says he will repay people; this echoes Paul's admonishion that God will be the one who repays people.

Romans 12:9-21

12:9 Paul uses the word "agape" for "love" in this verse, but also includes the definite article, which he tends to do for this word; so, it is really "Let THE love be genuine." The word for genuine is "anhypocracy," which means without hypocrisy or even more literally "without play-acting." Also, the verb here for "cling" is in the passive, literally "be clung." Although BDAG suggests this is a passive verb that can be translated in the active, perhaps we once again have a case where Paul threads the needle of agency between us and God.

12:10 The verb (proehgeomai) in the expression "Out do one another in showing honor" has a strong connotation of leadership and thus could also have the sense of "take leadership in showing honor."

12.11 The word (zeoo) Paul uses for "zeal" or "fervor" literally means to boil over. (Same verb as in Job says his heart is like new-wine skins, ready to burst)

12.12 The word (hypomenoo) Paul uses for "endure" or "patience" literally means abide, stay with, if not endure. This seems a bit stronger than simply endure, but it means to really stick with the suffer(s)

12.13 The word (piloxenia) for "hospitality" mirrors the word that Paul uses in vs. 10 (pilodelphia). The one is love of foreigners, the other is love of strangers...perhaps even a bit stronger than hospitality!

12.16 The key word in this verse is "phroneoo" which means "think" or "consider." This is the verb that Jesus will use in Matt 16:23 with Peter; it also the key verb in Phil. 2.

12.18 Because Paul leaves out the verb in the phrase "if it is possible" and instead writes "if possible," how hypothetical this admonishion is remains unclear.

12.19 The word God never appears in this verse, so it should be left simply as "wrath."

12.21 The present tense imperative implies here that the people perhaps had been trying to overcome evil with evil. Also, the verb here is "vikaoo" which is the word for victory, as in, Nike brand shoes...or Jesus victory over death!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Matthew 16:13-20

16:13 The verb tense of "asked" here (erootaoo) is actually not aorist, in fact it is imperfect, suggesting that Jesus continually was asking them.

(More detailed grammar note on 16:14 -- this sentence has the subject "I" in the accusative because it is in an infinitive phrase)

16:15 The verb tense of ask is again not in aorist, but in the present, again suggesting that Jesus is asking more than once, intensifying the dialogue.

16:16 In both Paul's words this week and here we have the verb "zaoo" as a participle...we are to be living sacrifices; Jesus is the son of the living God.

16:17 The word reveal here is "apokalptoo" as in the book of Revelation

16:18 Interestingly, the word church here (ekklesia) literally means "a regularly summoned legistlative body." See for more info on this word and its origin.

16:19 The verb tenses in the verse are interesting. First, Jesus says he will give the keys (suggesting the keys are not yet ready for Peter; perhaps he must first be forgiven?) Second, the verb for both bind and loose are aorist subjunctives (as in, "whatever you loose or whatever you bind). This means that they are one time events, but the clause suggests they may or may not happen. The second time Jesus uses word for bind and loose though, they are in the perfect, suggesting the action is complete with a resulting force. Ie, if you bind it, they have been and still are bound; if you loose it, they have been (and are still) loosed.

Romans 12:1-8

12:1 The first word Paul uses here is "parakaleoo." This word means a range of things from exhort to encourage to comfort. The noun of it is the word for the Holy Spirit in John's Gospel, the paraclete.

12:1 The word for mercies here is oiktirmos, however, this is found in the plural. As BDAG points out, is used to suggest the activities/signs/deeds of God's mercy rather than the general characteristic. I.e., we can always praise God in general for his mercy, but this day we praise God for his mercies, namely, the things God has done for us.

12:1 The word for acceptable is "euarestos" which really comes from the word for pleasing, as in the fruit in the garden was pleasing to Adam and Eve. This word can mean both flattering or truly pleasing, but in the God direction it always has a positive connotation. Paul will also use word in Romans 14:18 to say that "the one who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God." [So perhaps works righteousness is still out, but works pleasingness is not.]

12:1 Paul rarely ever uses the word sacrifice (thysia); only here once in Romans, once in Phil 4:18 and then also in Eph 5:2. Also, the word for "alive" here is a present participle, not an adjective; living is more appropriate.

12:1 The word here for spiritual is "logikos" almost literally logical. Enlightment distinctions make this one difficult to translate because if they used "logical" or even "reasonable" it would seem to deny any heart or passion, but that is not Paul's aim here. No easy translation, but not fair to Paul to make this simply a cognitive activity, but it definitely is cognitive!

12:2 The imperative form of the verb here (present indicative) suggests that the people actually have been conforming to the world...The verb itself is "syschematizoo" or in English, "schema."

12:2 The verb for transform is "metamorphoo." This (like conform) is also in the passive, suggesting we are not the agent of change. This is the word that Paul uses in 2 Cor 3:18 to talk about being transformed from one glory into another; it is also the word that Matthew and Mark use to talk about the transfiguration in their Gospel's.

12:2 The word for renewal here is "anakainwsis"; renewal is the literal translation, which fits; interesting note -- the word is not found outside of Xian literature.

(More intense grammer note on 12:2. The word for renreal here is in the dative; by means renewal makes the most sense.)

12:2 The word for "testing" is in an "eis+infinitive" clause suggesting purpose. That is, the testing is the result or purpose of the renewal.

12:2 Paul's word for "perfect" here is teleios, just like in Matthew 5:48, that we are to be perfect as our heavenly father.

12:3 The word for think highly is "hyper-phroneoo," rahter Paul encourages us to think "sus-phroneoo," which means to have a sound or sane manner.
(More intense grammer note: 12:3 A bunch of the participles in the verse are adjectival or substantive, a good verse to review how these work)

12:4/5 In verse one, Paul told the people to present their bodies; now he tells them that one body has many members...which is a helpful reminder that all of the verb tenses in this passage have been you plural. This does not mean Paul did not intend these exhortations for individuals (technically: distributive plural), but this entire passage is aimed at the community.

12:6 Paul uses the same grammatical construction (adjectival participle) to talk about "the grace given..." as he did in verse 3.

12:6 The word here for different is "diaphoros," which can also mean excellent.

12:7 The word here for ministry is "diakonia"

12:8 BDAG suggests that the word here the NRSV translates as "generously" which is "aplotehs" means more "with simplicity" or "without guile."

12:8 The word here for "diligence" is "spoudaeh," which can mean haste or speed. However, BDAG points out that this means, "oft. in Gr-Rom. lit. and inscriptions of extraordinary commitment to civic and religious responsibilities, which were freq. intertwined, and also of concern for personal moral excellence or optimum devotion to the interests of others."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Matthew 15:(10-20);21-28

15:10 The verb tenses here for the commands are in the present -- keep hearing and keep understanding...perhaps a light suggestion that getting it takes more than a moment.

15:11 The word here for "common" is "koine" as in "koine" Greek, the "common" Greek. What was common also implied unclean, ritually.

15:12 The word for "offended" here is literally "skandalized."

15:15 Peter here uses the word "phrazoo" for "explain." Almost as if he is saying "rephrase please..."

15:16 The word here for still is in acme...which means point (high point) "At this point you are still without understanding!"

These next verses have lots of substantive participles "The things that go in..." They are translated "things" because the "the" and the participles' endings are all neuter.

15:18 The verb here "koinow" has a really odd form in the 3rd person singular present: koinoi!

15:22 The woman's prayer is literally "kyrie elesion"

15:23 The word "send away" has appearted in the last three lectionary readings -- the disciples want the crowd away (two weeks ago) and last week Jesus sends them away (after feeding them). She is literally "krazoo" i.e., crazed as she cries out.

15:24 A nice and easy adjectival participle here: "the sheep who have lost themselves." Lost is a weak translation of this verb, which in the middle voice means perish or destroyed.

15:25 The verb knelt here literally means "before kiss", as in to kiss the ground before the person to signify they are royal or divine.

15:26 Jesus does not use the word "fitting," but rather the adjective "kalon" which means good or beautiful.

15:27 Another great adjectival participle: "The bread which has fallen..."

Romans 11:1-2, 29-31

11.1 The mey question of Paul indicates he expects a "No" answer. (Mey expects no; ou expects is in alphabetical order M-N-O-Y). Also, the very here, "apootheoo," translated "reject" has an active connotation, meaning "push away." Paul also uses the construction "of the seed" in chapter 1 to refer to Jesus -- who is of the seed of David.

11.29 The word translated "irrevocable" here is "ametameleyta" which more means "without regret." Paul uses the non "a-" form of this word in 2 Cor 7:8, when he says that he "regretted" sending a letter. In short, God never regrets giving gifts, which is a more emotional and even intimate way of saying that God's gifts are irrevocable.

11.31 The word "now" is not in P46, the earliest manuscript of this text...the D manuscript goes back and forth on this one.

11.32 Galatians 3:22 uses the same verb here -- imprisoned or literally encircled. (sunkleioo)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Romans 10:5-15

10:5 The tense of the verb "graphei" is in the present, so Moses "is writing" the righteousness. Perhaps a slight hint by Paul that the reality of works-righteousness continues...and is a present reality.

10:6 and 10:7 The Greek is fairly straight forward here. The problem is figuring out what Paul is doing with these OT quotes, which he is cutting and editing...

One thing perhaps worth remembering is that the negative, aorist subjunctive prohibition "meh eipehs" means "Don't even thinking about starting to say..." (Ie, the action had not yet begun)

10:9 The word "confess" in Greek is: "homologeoo," which means same+word. Our confession is never our own, but is made with others. This is also in the subjunctive mode after ean, which means it is a conditional. It is not a guarantee whether we make this confession or not.

10:9 Paul discusses the heart here -- heart in the Greek world does not simply mean the center of emotions but also includes the the entirity of the "inner" person. (Luke 16:15 -- "God knows your hearts." does not simply mean God knows if you are in love or feeling sad...or both!)

10:11 Here we have the word (in the future passive) of the word for "ashamed." It is worth looking at where else Paul uses this word in his ministry...God will make the wise ashamed (1 Cor 1:27)

10:12 The word for "distinction", "diastoleh" is the same from Romans 3:22. The word for generous here literally means to make wealthy.

10:13 In both verse 9 and 13, the verb save is in the future tense (passive).