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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 24

 

 

Verses 1-12

Luke 24:1-12. The Empty Tomb (Mark 16:1-8*, Matthew 28:1-10*).—Lk. tells of "two men" in place of Mk.'s "young man." They remind the women that Jesus had foretold His resurrection. Instead of the injunction to meet Him in Galilee, the prediction is said to have been spoken in Galilee. Lk. (like Jn. apart from Luke 24:21) does not mention any resurrection appearances outside Jerusalem and its neighbourhood. The women tell the eleven and the other disciples (cf. Mt., contrast Mk.). The disciples are incredulous. According to Luke 24:12, Peter goes to see the tomb for himself, but the verso is not found in the Old Latin or Old Syriac versions, and is probably a late interpolation, a summary of John 20:3-10. Another statement is given in Luke 24:24.


Verses 13-35

Luke 24:13-35. The Appearance on the Way to Emmaus.—This exquisite story is told by Lk. only. The village is perhaps the Ammaus of Josephus, the modern Kolonije, five miles W. from Jerusalem. Luke 24:19 f. describes Jesus as a prophet who His friends hoped (till the hope was shattered by His death) might prove to be the Messiah. They are shown that Scripture foretold Messiah's death; it was necessary to His glory. That glory was apparently attained in the moment of the death (cf. Luke 23:42 f.). On arriving at Emmaus, Jesus, invited to be a guest, becomes the host, and then mysteriously disappears.—The reading of Codex Bezæ in Luke 24:34, where the construction of the Gr. is awkward, makes the two disciples the speakers, and suggests that the unnamed one was Peter. It is remarkable that an appearance to Peter comes first in Paul's list in 1 Corinthians 15:5 ff. The story thus becomes Lk.'s equivalent for John 21, other parts of which he has used in Luke 5. But if this line of argument is sound, we should have expected "hath appeared to us two" in Luke 24:34. Loisy thinks the story reflects the early connexion between the resurrection faith and the Eucharistic breaking of bread.

Luke 24:18. "Art thou a lone stranger in Jerusalem not to know?" etc. (Moffatt); "Art thou the only pilgrim in Jerusalem who does not know?" etc. (Montefiore).

Luke 24:27. Moses and the prophets: a summary phrase (fuller in Luke 24:44) for OT.


Verses 36-43

Luke 24:36-43. The Appearance at Jerusalem.—Lk. only, but cf. John 20:19-23, which is perhaps responsible for the insertion of Luke 24:36 b and Luke 24:40, which are omitted by early and good authorities. The supposition of a spirit (Luke 24:37) accords with the popular notion—perhaps fostered by opponents of the resurrection—that a dead man's flimsy shade might occasionally flit out of Hades and show itself on earth. The succeeding verses therefore emphasise the corporeality of Jesus; He has flesh and even eats. So in John 20:25-27, and perhaps Luke 21:13. Some inferior MSS. add honey to the fish. The whole conception is at variance with Paul's idea of the resurrection-body (1 Corinthians 15:37; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 1 Corinthians 15:50, 2 Corinthians 5:1).


Verses 44-53

Luke 24:44-53. The Last Words and the Ascension.—Jesus reminds His disciples how He had told them that Scripture predictions about Him must be fulfilled. He goes over the ground again (with Luke 24:45 cf. Luke 24:27), and adds that the gospel of repentance and forgiveness in His name should be preached everywhere. It is not clear whether the instruction to preach is regarded as contained in the OT Scriptures. Syr. Sin. has "in my name," and perhaps we should take the Gr. infinitive ("should be preached") as an imperative.

Luke 24:44. the psalms: the third division of the Hebrew scriptures, including other writings than the Psalter, though this was particularly rich in Messianic prophecy.

Luke 24:48. these things: the death and resurrection foretold in Scripture.

Luke 24:49. Lk. here points forward to Acts 1. He has a different tradition from the Galilean one of Mk. (and Mt.); the disciples are to remain in Jerusalem, to receive the power from heaven (Joel 2:28).

Luke 24:50 f. Jesus takes the disciples to Bethany, and while giving them a benediction is parted from them. The words "and was carried up into heaven" are omitted in some of the best MSS., and have probably crept in from Acts 1:9 f. Note that in Lk. everything, including this final departure, seems to have happened on the same day as the Resurrection—contrast the forty days of Acts 1:3. The harmonists insert the Galilean appearances recorded in Matthew 28 and John 21 between Luke 24:43 and Luke 24:44.

Luke 24:53. The disciples on their return spend practically all their time in the Temple.

[Since the above commentary and that on Acts were printed, the criticism of the Lucan writings has passed into a new stage with the publication (in 1916) of Prof. C. C Torrey's important work, The Composition and Date of Acts. The author had already in an article, "The Translations made from the Original Aramaic Gospels" (Studies in the History of Religion Presented to Crawford Howell Toy, 1912), argued that the compiler of the Third Gospel and Acts was an accomplished translator of both Hebrew and Aramaic. The most notable feature of the later essay is the theory, supported by weighty arguments, that Acts 1:1 to Acts 15:35 is a very close rendering of an Aramaic document, so scrupulously faithful that even what the translator knew to be inaccuracies were preserved. This Aramaic document was written either late in A.D. 49 or early in 50. Luke, the companion of Paul, collected material for the Third Gospel during Paul's imprisonment at Cæsarea (A.D. 59-61), and wrote the Gospel before 61, probably in 60. At that time he had no thought of writing the Acts of the Apostles. The idea of writing this sequel to his Gospel was probably first suggested to him when the Aramaic document came into his hands, possibly in Palestine, but more probably after his arrival in Rome in 62. This he translated into Greek, and added Acts 15:36 to Acts 28:31. The complete book was probably issued in A.D. 64. Unlike the Third Gospel, it "was not a work of research, nor even of any considerable labour. It was merely the translation of a single document—a lucky find—supplemented by a very brief outline of Paul's missionary labours, enlivened by miscellaneous personal reminiscences." The whole work is uniform in style, allowing for the fact that Acts 1:1 to Acts 15:35 was written in translation Greek. The author is not to be distinguished from the writer of the We-sections, and little value attaches to the attempt to find "sources" behind either half of Acts—A. S. P.]

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 24:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-24.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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