Friday, January 11, 2013

Sunday Knox: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

From the Gospel for this Sunday's Feast of the Baptism of the Lord:

"And now the people was full of expectation; all had the same surmise in their hearts, whether John might not be the Christ. But John gave them their answer by saying publicly, As for me, I am baptizing you with water; but one is yet to come who is mightier than I, so that I am not worthy to untie the strap of his shoes. He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. It was while all the people were being baptized that Jesus was baptized too, and stood there praying. Suddenly heaven was opened,  and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in bodily form, like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased." -Knox Bible

"The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ (Messiah). John answered them all, saying, 'I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.' After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” -NAB(RE)

* [3:16] He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire: in contrast to John’s baptism with water, Jesus is said to baptize with the holy Spirit and with fire. From the point of view of the early Christian community, the Spirit and fire must have been understood in the light of the fire symbolism of the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:14); but as part of John’s preaching, the Spirit and fire should be related to their purifying and refining characteristics (Ez 36:2527; Mal 3:23). See note on Mt 3:11.

* [3:2122] This episode in Luke focuses on the heavenly message identifying Jesus as Son and, through the allusion to Is 42:1, as Servant of Yahweh. The relationship of Jesus to the Father has already been announced in the infancy narrative (Lk 1:32, 35; 2:49); it occurs here at the beginning of Jesus’ Galilean ministry and will reappear in Lk 9:35 before another major section of Luke’s gospel, the travel narrative (Lk 9:5119:27). Elsewhere in Luke’s writings (Lk 4:18; Acts 10:38), this incident will be interpreted as a type of anointing of Jesus.

* [3:21] Was praying: Luke regularly presents Jesus at prayer at important points in his ministry: here at his baptism; at the choice of the Twelve (Lk 6:12); before Peter’s confession (Lk 9:18); at the transfiguration (Lk 9:28); when he teaches his disciples to pray (Lk 11:1); at the Last Supper (Lk 22:32); on the Mount of Olives (Lk 22:41); on the cross (Lk 23:46).

* [3:22] You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased: this is the best attested reading in the Greek manuscripts. The Western reading, “You are my Son, this day I have begotten you,” is derived from Ps 2:7.


losabio said...

I like the Knox. You really get a sense that Jesus was being baptized by John along with the rest of Israel. John recognized him for what he was, but imagine the rest of the pilgrims' surprise at the scene that occurred. "You mean I've been standing next to the Messiah this whole time?"

Leonardo said...


I liked both because this time I can imagine also the scene described in the Knox Bible.

I agree with the comment above, saying that both texts described the most common things, water, a dove, the thongs of sandals, to talk about the power of God.

Biblical Catholic said...

I am currently reading the Knox Bible from cover to cover with my 150 day reading plan....and I have to say that I am finding the archaic language (thee and thou and so forth) increasingly is not so much that the language is archaic as it is the arbitrary way that he goes back and forth between modern English and Elizabethan English.....if he had used Elizabethan English exclusively it would be one thing, but going back and forth and creating a kind of fake dialect that never actually existed is the worst kind of compromise. I know that he didn't want to use any archaic language at all, but didn't feel free to break away completely. It really would have been better if he would have eliminated archaic language completely.

CJA Mayo said...

I like the Knox better here. The notes in the NAB ("Christian community believed...") likely bias me. Beyond the notes, the NAB is hopelessly pedestrian, here as elsewhere. It's not hard to top; there is no music in its words, there is no vision or vista behind them. They are ink on a page.

Biblical Catholic:

I would have appreciated solely Elizabethan or Jacobean English, but I do agree that the non-existent dialect Knox came up with (modern English with the T-V distinction, or modern English with archaic pronouns) is a close to "worst of all worlds" compromise, for the most part. It's still far better than the "thou has done" and "ye do this" (incorrect conjugation) in the Panayiotis Septuagint.

It's one problem I have with the RSV that I don't have with Knox, though, is that an absolutely "worst of all worlds" method is using archaic pronouns only when referring to Deity, and then refusing to use them in Messianic prophecy or when referring to the Lord incarnate. Better use the fake "modern English with thou" dialect than the RSV one.

Biblical Catholic said...

The standard in the RSV for when they use archaic language is not whether or not it address the deity, but whether or not the judge the passage to be poetry....but even then it used somewhat arbitrarily, and primarily only in really well known passage where they assumed that people would expect a certain wording.

This is why they use archaic language in the Psalms, but not so much in the prophets....

The RSV is inconsistent to be sure, but in 1952 people weren't ready for a complete break,so a half step of sorts was necessary....