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Luke 2

The Census and the Birth of Jesus

1 Now it came to pass in those days [that a] decree1 went out from Caesar Augustus for all the inhabited-world2 to be registered3. 2 This first registration4 came [about] when Quirinius5 [was] governing Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own city. 4 So Joseph also went up from Galilee from the city Nazareth to Judea to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and clan of David, 5 to be registered with Mary the [one] betrothed to him, the [one] being pregnant. 6 Now it came to pass while they were there, the days of her bearing were fulfilled. 7 And she bore her first born son, and wrapped him in [swaddling-]cloths, and laid him in [a] manger, for there was not place for them in the inn.

The Shepherds' Visit

8 And shepherds in this same region were dwelling outdoors and watching during [the] watches of the night over their sheep. 9 And [an] angel of the Lord stood before them, and glory of the Lord shone round [about] them, and they feared [with] great fear. 10 And the angel said to them: Be not fearing, for behold I proclaim to you great joy, which is to all people, 11 that there has been born to you this day [a] savior that is Christ [the] Lord, in the city of David. 12 And this [is a] sign to you, you will find the child wrapped in [swaddling-]cloths and lying in [a] manger. 13 And suddenly there came to pass with the angel [a] multitude of the armies of heaven praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest
and on earth6 peace among men of good will7.
15 And it came to pass when the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds were saying to each other: Let us indeed go to Bethlehem and see this word that has come to pass that the Lord has made known to us. 16 And they came, having hastened, and found Mariam and Joseph and the child lying in the manger. 17 And when they saw, they made known concerning the word having been spoken to them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard marveled concerning what was spoken by the shepherds to them. 19 But Maria treasured up all these words, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all concerning which they heard and saw, just as it had been spoken to them.

21 And then the eight days were fulfilled8 to circumcise him, and his name was called Jesus, what [he] was named by the angel before his being conceived in the belly.

Jesus's Presentation at the Temple

22 And when were filled the days of their cleansing9 according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present [him] to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of [the] Lord that10
Every male opening [a woman's] motherhood11 will be called12 holy for the Lord.

24 and to give sacrifice according to what was said in the law of [the] Lord13,

[A] pair of doves or two young pigeons.

The Prophecy of Simeon

25 And behold there was in Jerusalem [a] man by name Simeon, and this man [was] just and devout, expecting14 the comfort15 of Israel, and [the] Holy Spirit was upon him; 26 and it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit [that he would] not see death before he instead see the Christ of [the] Lord. 27 And he came in the spirit into the temple grounds16, and when the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to do to him according to the custom of the law concerning him, 28 he himself also received him in his arms and praised17 God and said:
29 Now do you release18 your slave, Lord19 (),
According to your word, in peace
30 Because mine eyes have seen my salvation
31 Which you prepared before the face of all peoples,
32 [A] light for revelation to the nations
And [the] glory of your people Israel.

33 And his father and mother were marveling upon what was spoken concerning him. 34 And Simeon blessed17 them and said to Mariam his mother: Behold: this [one] is appointed to the fall and rise of many in Israel, and [to be a] sign [by] being opposed20, 35 —and [of you], [a] sword will pierce your psyche-life21 —in order that [the] thoughts22 of many hearts be revealed.

The Testimony of Anna

36 And there was [a] prophetess, Anna, daughter [of] Phanouel, of the tribe of Aser, She was advanced in many days, having zoe-lived23 with [her] husband seven years from her virginity24, 37 And she [is a] widow until eighty-four years, who was not [ever] leaving the temple, serving25 day and night with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very hour, having stood by [them] she was praising God and was speaking concerning him to all awaiting26 [the] redemption of Jerusalem27.

39 And when they completed everything according to the law of [the] Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own city Nazareth.

40 So the child was growing and becoming strong 28, being filled with wisdom, and [the] grace of God was upon him.

Jesus in the Temple

41 And his parents29 were proceeding every year to Jerusalem to the festival of the Passover. 42 And when twelve years came to pass, they having gone up [there] according to the custom of the festival, 43 and having completed the days30, as they were returning, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem, and his parents knew it not. 44 But having thought him to be in their group of travelers they came [a] day's journey, and [then] sought him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 And not having found him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking him. 46 And it came to pass after three days they found him in the temple sitting in the midst of the teachers and hearing them and questioning them; 47 and all hearing him were amazed at his understanding31 and his answers. 48 And seeing him they were dumfounded32, and his mother said to him: Child, why have you done to us thusly? Behold your father and I being tormented were seeking you. 49 And he said to them: Why were you seeking me? Do you not know that in the [things] of my father I must be?33 50 And they did not understand the word that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was being subordinate34 to them. And his mother was keeping all these words in her heart. 52 And Jesus was progressing in wisdom and stature and favor with God and men.

1Greek word DOGMA

2that is, the Roman Empire

3`to be registered' was also the first step in being taxed.

4or `census'. Noun form of `to be registered' in vs. 1.


6GE "GAY" (γη) "earth", "land" (remember that they didn't understand about the Earth being a planet floating in space yet), sometimes "ground" or "dirt".

7"among men of good will" ℵBD few; "goodwill among men" K most. The problem here is that the text sources differ in a single letter at the word EUDOKIA (ευδoκια, nominative) or EUDOKIAS (ευδoκιας , genitive). Bruce Metzger concludes, in his The Text of the New Testament, p. 230,

"Luke 2:14, therefore, involves a twofold strophe ('glory ... peace') and not a threefold strophe ('glory...peace...good will', all in the nominative). The sense is that the birth of the Messiah, the Lord (vs. 11) is the occasion for the ascription of glory to God in the highest heaven and the enjoyment of peace on earth among men of God's good will, i.e. those persons on whom his favour rests, chosen to be the recipients of the gift of his Messiah."

Also, compare Matt.10:34, where Jesus says He did not come to bring peace on earth to [all] mankind.

8that is, eight days had passed

9or `purification'

10Lev. 5:11, 12:8. A lamb sacrifice was the first choice-unless the family couldn't afford it.

11that is, the womb

12or `set apart'


14or "receiving"

15PARAKLASIS (παρακλασις )

16hIERON (ιερoν) Luke distinguishes between two terms in referring to the temple, NAOS (ναoς ) refers to the "Holy Place" where only the priests are allowed to go (1:9, 21, 22) while hIERON refers to the entire temple area. In this context, Simeon is located either in the Court of the Gentiles or the Court of Women since Mary could be present only at these two locales.

17EULOGEO (ευλoγεω) 1) to say something commendatory, speak well of, praise, extol; 2) to ask for bestowal of special favor, esp. of calling down God's gracious power. As opposed to MAKARIOS `blessed'-the state of the gods-as in Matt.5:3ff. Perhaps EULOGEO is more like the act of invoking a blessing, where MAKARIOS is the state of being that exists when that blessing comes to pass.

18or modal: `you may release'

19DESPOTES "DES-poh-tays" (δεσπoτης ) `Lord': owner and absolute master of slaves. Whereas DESPOTES emphasizes ownership and complete right of disposal, KURIOS (also translated `Lord') emphasizes power—having it, having the right to wield it. Only slaves have a DESPOTES; even free persons may have a KURIOS. DESPOTES occurs in Luke.2:29, Acts.4:24, 1Tim.6:1, 1Tim.6:2, 2Time.2:21, Tit.2:9, 1Pet.2:18, 2Pet.2:1, Jude.1:4, Rev.6:10. "Lord" in every other case is KURIOS (κυριoς )

20or `rejected', `spoken against'

21from PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. Animals have PSYCHEs as well as humans. Contrast ZOE (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected.

22or "reasonings"

23from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.

24that is, seven years since her virginity-they were married seven years.

25λατρεω (LATREUW): refers to priestly duties

26or "receiving"

27`in Jerusalem' ADK; `of Israel' few; `of Jerusalem' ℵBW;

28insert "in spirit" K most; txt: ℵBD few

29Jewish custom only required the men to go-women going as well indicates great piety.

30Some pilgrims only celebrated Passover and then returned after two days. This suggests that Jesus' parents stayed for the entire seven-day period of celebration.

31or 'insight'

32or 'overwhelmed'

33This verse involves an idiom, and elipsis, meaning something like `I must be in my Father's [house]' or `I must be about my Father's [business]'. It probably refers to the necessity of Jesus being involved in instruction about God. A widely held view takes this as a reference to the temple as the Father's house, thus his parents should have known where to find him.

34or `obedient'