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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 3

 

 

Verses 1-20

Luke 3:1-20. John the Baptist.—Mark 1:1-8*, Matthew 3:1-12*. also Mark 6:17-29*, Matthew 14:3-12*. Lk. now (to Luke 9:50) follows the Marcan account of the Galilean ministry of Jesus and its antecedents; he adds material from Q and other sources.

Luke 3:1. On the chronology, see pp. 652f.; Pontius Pilate, p. 609; Herod (Antipas) and Philip, p. 609. Abilene was the district round Abila between Mt. Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, north-west of Damascus. Caiaphas was really high-priest (since A.D. 18); Annas, his father-in-law, had held the office A.D. 6-15, and was still a man of great influence.

Luke 3:6. Lk.'s universalism appears in this extension of the quotation from Isaiah 40; Isaiah vv7 may also reflect hie wider interests against Mt.'s "Pharisees and Sadducees."

Luke 3:10-14. Lk. only. An interesting addition to Mt., giving us a view of John's teaching which reminds us of Micah 6:8. Kindness and fair dealing between man and man are the Divine requirements; they show that repentance is bearing fruit and therefore genuine.—publicans: Matthew 5:46*.—soldiers: probably in the service of Antipas (cf. Luke 23:11); perhaps for the war against Aretas (p. 654), or perhaps a kind of gendarmerie supporting the tax-collectors.—wages: lit. rations.

Luke 3:15 is also peculiar to Lk., and may be his own way of leading up to Luke 3:16 f. Another way is shown in John 1:19 ff.

Luke 3:18 f. Lk. here sums up, and inserts what Mk. and Mt. give more fully at a later point. He does not tell us of John's death, but like the others he makes the Baptist's imprisonment the signal for Jesus to begin His work.


Verse 21

Luke 3:21 f. The Baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11*, Matthew 3:13-17*).—Lk. notes that Jesus was praying (cf. Luke 9:29, Luke 11:1, etc.). In the early Church it was customary immediately after baptism to pray for the gift of the Spirit. Lk. explicitly gives a bodily form to the Spirit, and does not definitely limit the vision to Jesus. Many scholars uphold the reading of Codex Bezæ in Luke 3:22, "Thou art my Son: I have begotten thee this day" (cf. Psalms 2:7.) If this be the true reading it indicates a belief that Jesus received, as it were, a new soul at the Baptism, or that He then became the Messiah.


Verses 23-28

Luke 3:23-38. The Genealogy of Jesus (cf. Matthew 1:1-17*).—The words "as was supposed" are perhaps from a later hand than that which first compiled the pedigree. Jesus here descends from David, not through Solomon (Matthew 16 f.) but through Nathan. There are other differences; the most noteworthy is that Lk. with characteristic universality goes back beyond Abraham to "Adam, the son of God." Jesus is the second Adam (Romans 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Corinthians 15:45).

Luke 3:23. when he began: the words "to teach" are not in the Gr. AV is wrong in connecting the verb with the age of Jesus. We must follow RV's interpretation, or suppose that something like "to be the Son of God" (cf. Luke 3:22*) has been omitted on doctrinal grounds.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 3:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-3.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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