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The Upper Room

Upper Room

from Google Images

There is a place in Jerusalem today called The Cenacle or “dining room.” It comes from the Latin cenare, meaning to dine, and it is traditionally believed to be the very site where Jesus and his disciples shared their last meal, before he was crucified. Both Mark and Luke use the Greek anogeon (G508 – Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12), but Luke uses a different Greek word, huperoon (G5253) in Acts, where the 120 met together (Acts 1:13), and where Dorcas, whom Peter raised from the dead, was laid out (Acts 9:37, 39) and where Paul met with the brethren from Asia (Acts 20:8). Yet, the word probably indicates the same type of room where the Last Supper was held. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus’ Visit to Bethany

Mary of Bethany

from Google Images

Martha, the sister of Mary and Lazarus, received Jesus into her home (Luke 10:38), which was located in Bethany (John 11:1). The fact that Jesus and his disciples enjoyed at least a meal and shelter in Martha’s home (Luke 10:38), which was less than two miles from Jerusalem (John 11:18), shows that Jesus had finally arrived at his destination, Jerusalem, to celebrate the Passover (cf. Luke 9:51). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Mary Magdalene

mary-magdalene-4

from Google Images

I am surprised with the dogmatism of commentaries that show their authors had studied the Scriptures referring to Mary Magdalene and the unnamed woman sinner in Luke 7:36-50, and, almost with a single voice, conclude identification of the unnamed woman is impossible. This is especially true, if one tries to show Mary Magdalene is the woman in Luke 7 who is known to be a sinner. In fact, some commentators even conclude it would be impossible to say Mary was a great sinner at all, despite the fact that Luke tells us Jesus had cast out seven demons from her (Luke 8:2). While it is true the demonic possession was viewed as an illness in the 1st century AD, it is also true that, because Jesus forgave sins through the miracle of healing (cf. Luke 5:23-24), sinful behavior was understood to be manifest in an illness or demonic possession. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who is the Unnamed Woman of Luke 7?

mary-magdalene

from Google Images

The Synoptics all record an unnamed woman who anointed Jesus during or just after a meal at which he was a guest of honor. Both Matthew and Mark record the meal near the end of his public ministry in Matthew 26:1-13 and Mark 14:1-9, but Luke mentions the event closer to the beginning of his ministry, just after the beginning of his second year (Luke 7:36-50). The fourth Gospel is the only one of the narratives that names the woman who anointed Jesus. It was Mary, the sister of Martha, who lived in Bethany (cf. John 12:1-8). The similarity between John’s account and that of Matthew and Mark leaves little doubt that their unnamed woman is, indeed, Mary, Martha’s sister. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Who is Simon the Pharisee?

simon-the-pharisee

from Google Images

As I claimed in another study, Luke presents the supper that Simon the Pharisee held in Jesus’ honor in such a way that it is hinted we should know who the main characters are. This is done, first, by naming the Pharisee. The sect of the Pharisees is mentioned just under ninety times in the Gospel records, yet Simon and Nicodemus (John 3:1) are the only Pharisees identified by name. Why would Luke do this, unless Simon can be identified elsewhere? Secondly, Luke implies identification of the main characters can be accomplished through comparing familiar things done at this banquet that are found elsewhere in the Synoptics and John. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus’ Age and Genealogy

Jesus' genealogy - 1

from Google Images

Only Luke reveals Jesus’ age when he began his public ministry. He was about 30 years old (Luke 3:23). That is, he was born in the autumn of 3 BC,[1] and the time of Jesus baptism was in the 16th year of the reign of Tiberius (27 AD) or one year after John began his ministry (cf. Luke 3:1),[2] making Jesus a full 29 years of age, but in his 30th year (29 to 30 years of age was his 30th year from birth). Some interpreters have tried to draw parallels between Jesus age and the age of Levites entering their service of the Tabernacle (Numbers 4:3 etc.), but I don’t believe this can be done, since Luke really doesn’t commit himself to a full thirty years of age for Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and Samuel the Prophet

Jesus at Twelve - 1

from Google Images

I find it interesting that both Mary and Zacharias refer to Hannah’s song of praise in their own songs (1Samuel 2:1-10),[1] and Luke shows a parallel in the early lives of both Jesus and Samuel. Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth (Luke 2:40) where Jesus spent his life before his public ministry. At the age of 12 Jesus returned to Jerusalem at the time of the Passover with his parents (Luke 2:41-42) and caused alarm when he remained in Jerusalem unbeknownst to Joseph and Mary, as they took their journey back to Nazareth (Luke 2:43-.45). It has been said that the women began their journey home before the men, while faster paced men lingered at Jerusalem but were easily able to catch up to the slower traveling women by the day’s end.[2] It appears Mary thought Jesus lingered with the men, while Joseph thought he left earlier with his mother. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Does Luke Contradict Matthew?

Out of Egypt...

from Google Images

Luke claims Joseph and Mary returned to Nazareth in Galilee, when all things according to the Law were fulfilled (Luke 2:39). What does this mean and is there a contradiction between his account and that of Matthew who claims Joseph and Mary went down into Egypt from Bethlehem before returning to Nazareth? Weren’t “all things according to the Law” (Luke 2:39) performed with Mary’s purification and Jesus’ presentation in the Temple? Actually, there were a few more things yet to be done to satisfy the Law after Mary’s purification was completed. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus and Anna, the Prophetess

Anna the prophetess

from Google Images

While Simeon was still testifying about Jesus, Luke says a prophetess named Anna (Hannah) of the tribe of Asher, who lived in Jerusalem entered the Temple compound (Luke 2:36-38). Why would he write what amounts to three verses, describing a widow of about eighty-four years of age, who had been married for only seven years when she was very young? He uses two verses to describe her, only to say that she gave thanks (presumably over what Simeon had said) and spoke of Jesus to anyone who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah (Luke 2:38). Why was this important enough for Luke to mention it to Theophilus (Luke 1:3), as an apologetic to support the fact that Jesus was the Messiah? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Simeon and Jesus

Simeon

from Google Images

Luke tells us of a man named Simeon, who came into the Temple by the leading of God’s Spirit (Luke 2:25, 27). The Scripture implies he was already there when Joseph and Mary came in with Jesus (Luke 2:27). What is significant about Simeon, according to Luke, is that he was just a (righteous) man and devout (cautious and religious, pious). The Holy Spirit was upon him, and he waited for the consolation of Israel—i.e. he anticipated the fulfillment of the 70 Weeks Prophecy, which predicted the coming of the Messiah near the time of Jesus’ birth. What the Holy Spirit revealed to him was that he wouldn’t die until he met the Messiah (Luke 2:26). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Jesus’ Right to the Priesthood

Presentation in the Temple

from Google Images

In my previous study I looked at the ceremony of circumcision, which Jesus underwent when he was eight days old. The second ceremony which involved Jesus immediately after his birth was his presentation in the Temple, which was to occur when he was a month old (Numbers 18:16). The ceremony was important because Jesus was Mary’s firstborn, and every firstborn male that opened the womb was holy to the Lord and had to be redeemed for five shekels, because the Levites were chosen instead of them to be the priests of the Temple (Luke 2:22-23; cf. Exodus 13:2; Numbers 8:13-18; 3:48-51). However, it seems that when Jesus was presented before the Lord, he was not redeemed! That is, no sacrifice was offered according to the Law; therefore, he remained the Lord’s priest! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Our Guide to the Way of Peace

Way of Peace - 1

from Google Images

A company of angels appeared to the shepherds and they praised God saying: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace and goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). I am not certain how many translators make the angels’ testimony more exclusive—for example: “peace among men with whom He is well pleased,” or “peace on earth among men who are pleasing to God,” or “peace to men of good will,” but the many translations I have (60 to 70) are about evenly divided. About 50% offer a blessing upon all men and about 50% make it more exclusive, implying that God couldn’t offer peace and good will to evil men. What’s the real story and can we know? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Why Did Joseph Go to Bethlehem?

Joseph and Mary - 1

from Google Images

Throughout the world the oath of loyalty to Caesar was taken in the Temples of Augustus at the altars, but, as Josephus often shows, exceptions were always made for the Jews who worshiped only one God. Throughout Herod’s kingdom the people would have enrolled themselves at their local synagogues in the cities in which they lived (Luke 2:3), but Joseph and all those who were “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4) were an exception to this rule. Joseph and others who might be thought of as laying claim to David’s crown had to register in Bethlehem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Magnificat

Magnificat -1

from Google Images

Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-55 has been called The Magnificat for centuries. The title comes from the opening word of the Vulgate’s[1] hymn of praise at this point in Luke’s Gospel. Did Mary compose these words immediately and extemporaneously after Elizabeth’s greeting (Luke 1:41-45)? It is possible, I suppose, but Mary was a reflective person (Luke 2:19, 51). She may have composed part of it immediately and the rest later (or the whole), in the three months she stayed with and served Elizabeth. We simply don’t know for certain, but it is a beautiful hymn, which testifies of Mary’s reflective nature and her own knowledge of the scriptures. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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When Mary Greeted Elizabeth

Mary and Elizabeth

from Google Images

Why would Luke highlight the meeting between Mary and pregnant Elizabeth? He could have simply stated that Mary hurriedly visited and stayed with Elizabeth for about three months. Yet, he does not. He considers their meeting important enough to use up precious space in his narrative (a scroll[1]) to record their meeting and greeting one another. What does all this mean for believers both in the first century AD and today? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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