Should Christians Judge? — Paradigm Shift


Christians sometimes get confused with the concept of judging. Biblically we are commanded to judge (John 7:24 says, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make it right judgement”). Then at the same time we are biblically told that we are not to … via Should Christians Judge? — Paradigm Shift

Should Christians Judge? — Paradigm Shift

Transfiguration as defined in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary


TRANSFIGURATION.

The name given to events that transpired in one of the passages common to the Synoptic Gospels (Matt 17:1–9 = Mark 9:2–10 = Luke 9:28–36). Within the passage, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a mountain some days after he has given a discourse in response to Peter’s confession at Caesarea Philippi (Matt 16:13–28 = Mark 8:27–9:1 = Luke 9:18–22). Insofar as the preceding passage includes Jesus’ prediction that, as the Son of Man, he must suffer, be rejected, killed, and raised, the Transfiguration is contextually redolent of christology. On the mountain, Jesus is transformed in front of the disciples (hence the name “Transfiguration,” from metamorphoō in Matt 17:2 and Mark 9:2; TDNT 4:755–59), and his clothes shine white. Moses and Elijah appear with Jesus, and Peter offers to build three tents (or booths), one each for Jesus and those who have appeared with him. A cloud then overshadows the proceedings, and a voice from the cloud announces that Jesus is his son, and commands, “Hear him.” Jesus is then left alone with the disciples, who say nothing of the experience at the time.


The account abounds with exegetical difficulties, all the more so when each gospel’s divergencies from the common story (sketched above) are examined. Such questions resolve themselves fairly straightforwardly once we recognize the sort of material with which we are confronted. Because scholars have tended to restrict their attention to genres they believe they know from the NT, the Transfiguration has been described variously as a misplaced story of Jesus’ resurrection (Stein 1976), his second coming (Boobyer 1942), his heavenly enthronement (Riesenfeld 1947), and/or his ascension (McCurley 1974).

The only benefit of such a categorization is that it appears to limit the number of unintelligible events associated with Jesus: for example, the Transfiguration is subsumed within the resurrection and is dealt with only in general (and probably theological) terms. But even that benefit is only apparent. The Transfiguration is quite unlike the other passages with which it has been classed, except that it is a mysterious invocation of theophany. Those other passages which have been mentioned do not constitute literary genres, for the simple reason that they do not appear frequently enough to establish a convention of presentation which amounts to a system of speech.


Stories concerning heavenly voices, however, are well known in rabbinic sources (JEnc 2: 588–92; Lieberman 1962: 194–99). A view frequently encountered is that, with the removal of the Holy Spirit and the end of prophecy, only an echo or resonance (bat qôl, “daughter of a voice”) from the heavenly court voiced God’s perspective. This is explicitly stated in t. Sota 13.3, and an example then follows (Neusner 1985: 114, 115): when the sages were gathered at the house of Guria in Jericho, they heard a bat qôl, “There is here a man who is predestined for the holy spirit, except that his generation is not worthy of it.” The sages then looked at Hillel, whom they took as the object of the praise. The Transfiguration obviously includes more motifs than are involved in most stories which refer to divine voices (such as the story concerning Hillel), and yet it is possible to say that the Transfiguration is conveyed by means of the genre of an account concerning a bat qôl. As in the case of Hillel in the house of Guria, the basic structure of the Transfiguration locates Jesus physically and socially, and makes him the object of the praise of a bat qôl, as his confreres appreciate.


But if the generic structure of the Transfiguration is to be found in stories concerning divine voices, its narrative structure (in the unfolding and details of events) is reminiscent of Moses’ ascent of Mt. Sinai in Exodus 24. At the close of the story, Moses is said to ascend the mountain, when God’s glory, as a cloud, covered it (v 15). The covering lasted six days (v 16), which is the amount of time between the Transfiguration and the previous discourse in both Matthew (17:1) and Mark (9:2). After that time, the LORD calls to Moses from the cloud (24:16b), and Moses enters the glory of the cloud, which is like a devouring fire (vv 17–18). Earlier in the chapter, Moses is commanded to select three worshippers (Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu) V 6, p 641 together with seventy elders, in order to confirm the covenant (vv 1–8). The result is that just these people (v 9) are explicitly said to have seen “the God of Israel” in his court (v 10) and to have celebrated their vision. The motifs of master, three disciples, mountain, cloud, vision, and audition here in Exodus 24 recur in the narrative of Jesus’ Transfiguration (Chilton 1980: 120–22).


As noted above, the reference to “six days” in the Matthean and Markan accounts of the Transfiguration (but not in the Lukan account) coheres with Exodus 24. Other distinctive elements (that is, elements not held entirely in common among the Synoptics) within the gospels’ versions may also be associated with the complex of material to which Exodus 24 belongs. For example, Matt 17:2 uniquely refers to Jesus’ face shining like the sun, which is reminiscent of Moses’ aspect in Exod 34:29–35. In more general terms, the Markan reference to the whiteness of Jesus’ garments, “such as a fuller upon the earth is not able to whiten” (9:3), establishes by its own means the heavenly context which is more elaborately developed in Exodus 24 (particularly vv 15–18). But the material unique to Luke most emphatically commends a Mosaic association. Luke puts a distance of eight (rather than six) days between the previous discourse and the Transfiguration, a fact that has baffled commentators. In the rabbinic interpretation of Exodus 24, however, the numerical variation is meaningful. In the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan (Exod 24:10, 11), it is particularly Nadab and Abihu who see “the glory of the God of Israel.” Because “man will not see God and live” (Exod 33:20), they are punished; but the blow falls on the eighth day.


Luke (9:31) also depicts Moses and Elijah discussing Jesus’ “departure” (exodus); quite evidently, Exodus 24 provides no firm limit to developments within the Transfiguration, since the terms “Exodus” and “Elijah” have associations all their own. Elijah’s immortality is already attested in 2 Kgs 2:9–12, and is well established within early and rabbinic Judaism (Chilton 1987: 268–70). The statement in Deut 34:7, that Moses in fact died, did not prevent Josephus from describing Moses as having “disappeared” (aphanizetai) in the course of conversation with Eleazar and Joshua (Ant 4.8.48 §326). In that Josephus speaks of Elijah and Enoch (another deathless figure) with the cognate adjective (aphaneis, Ant 9.2.2 §28), his understanding that Moses was immortal seems unquestionable. No doubt these associations are at work throughout the Synoptic presentation, as were those of Elijah’s experience on a theopanic mountain (1 Kgs 19:8–18). Similarly, the term skēnē (“tent,” “booth,” or “lean-to”), although not appearing within the LXX in Exodus 24, figures both as the natural place of abode during this period (Exod 18:7) and as a particular place of God’s dwelling—concerning which Moses receives commandments on the mountain (Exod 25:8–9; 25:1).


Although the term “midrash” has recently gained currency in efforts to describe the reference of the NT to the Hebrew Bible, its usage in the present case would be inappropriate. Rather than a commentary (even in the loose sense of that word) on any OT text, there is an explosive series of associations which links Moses and his cycle with Elijah and his. The force of that explosion is such that the elements of Exodus 24 are scrambled in the Transfiguration, and crucial matter (Exod 24:12–14) has no analogue whatever. In fact, Exodus 24 in the Hebrew Bible is but a preamble to the divine instructions which properly commence in chapter 25. What happens on Mt. Sinai designates Moses, in narrative and visionary terms, as the single spokesman of divine revelation (24:18); others in the chapter are presented, only to be excluded at the pivotal moment of divine disclosure. They join in the celebration of the divine vision (vv 9–11), but they do not hear what Moses hears. By contrast, the climax of the Transfiguration, the apogee of tension and the interpretative key, is precisely the moment when the voice addresses not Jesus alone but the three disciples as well. The generic structure concerning the bat qôl is no accoutrement of the narrative but the very focus of interest—and that which lends some order to the explosion of associations.


At other points in the story of Jesus, accounts involving divine voices were recounted. The most obvious example is his baptism, but John 12:27–33—which is often discussed in association with the Transfiguration—is perhaps a more pertinent one. It establishes that an account of a bat qôl could be associated with Jesus’ suffering, without the elaborate, scriptural allusions of the Transfiguration. Conversely, Paul presents an instance (2 Cor 3:12–4:6) in which Mosaic imagery, perhaps rooted in a traditional association of ideas and motifs, can be developed without reference to the bat qôl of Jesus. In the Transfiguration, however, a christological climax is reached just as Jesus’ suffering is predicted: the bat qôl warrants, and a Mosaic vision confirms, that Jesus in his suffering is God’s son, and therefore should be heard (cf. Deut 18:15, also within the Mosaic complex of the Hebrew Bible).

Fundamentally, therefore, the Transfiguration is a visio-literary metamorphosis of the genre of bat qôl: Exodus 24 (and associated material) is the instrument by means of which the significance of the divine voice is conveyed. 2 Peter 1:16–18 is widely regarded as a summary of the Transfiguration, and it is remarkable that, having attested the message of the divine voice (v 18), the text goes on, “and we have more securely the prophetic word” (v 19): in effect, the source of narrative embellishment is recognized. Of course, the power of the scriptural imagery is such that eschatological vindication may be intimated by it (cf. 2 Bar. 51:3–14, and the eschatological reference to “Elijah” in Malachi 3:23, 24; cf. Matt 17:10–11 = Mark 9:11–12), but the focus of the Transfiguration is not the future, or any of those moments after Jesus’ death whose central meaning is eschatological. The point is what the bat qôl says at the moment Jesus consciously commences a journey of suffering: This is my son, hear him as you would Moses and Elijah.

Bibliography


Blinzler, J. 1937. Die neutestamentlichen Berichte über die Verklärung Jesu. NTAbh 17/4. Münster.
Boobyer, G. H. 1942. St Mark and the Transfiguration Story. Edinburgh.
Chilton, B. D. 1980. The Transfiguration: Dominical Assurance and Apostolic Vision. NTS 27: 115–24.
———. 1987. God in Strength. Jesus’ Announcement of the Kingdom. Sheffield.
Lieberman, S. L. 1962. Hellenism in Jewish Palestine. Texts S 18. New York.
V 6, p 642 Liefeld, W. 1974. Theological Motifs in the Transfiguration Narrative. Pp. 162–70 in New Dimensions in New Testament Study. Grand Rapids.
McCurley, F. R. 1974. “And after six days” (Mark 9.2), a Semitic literary device. JBL 93: 67–81.
Neusner, J. 1985. The Peripatetic Saying. The Problem of the Thrice-Told Tale in the Canon of Talmudic Literature. BJS 89. Atlanta.
Ramsey, A. M. 1949. The Glory of God and the Transfiguration of Christ. London.
Riesenfeld, H. 1947. Jésus Transfiguré. Copenhagen.
Stein, R. H. 1976. Is the Transfiguration (Mark 9:2–8) a Misplaced Resurrection Account? JBL 95: 79–96.


BRUCE CHILTON

Chilton, B. (1992). Transfiguration. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 6, pp. 640–642). Doubleday.

Luke 9:33-36 (LDGNT) w/translation & Commentary


     33      
     Today  Luke 9:33–36
καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ εἶπεν  Πέτρος 
andit happened thatas[-]were going awaytheyfromhimsaid[-]Peter
πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν 
to[-]Jesus
  Ἐπιστάτα καλόν ἐστιν ἡμᾶς ὧδε εἶναι 
mastergoodit is[for] ushereto be
καὶ ποιήσωμεν σκηνὰς τρεῖς μίαν σοὶ καὶ μίαν Μωϋσεῖ καὶ μίαν Ἠλίᾳ 
andlet us makesheltersthreeonefor youandonefor Mosesandonefor Elijah
μὴ εἰδὼς  λέγει 
notknowingwhathe was saying
     34      ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λέγοντος ἐγένετο νεφέλη 
these [things]and[while] hewas sayingcamea cloud
καὶ ἐπεσκίαζεν αὐτούς 
andovershadowedthem
ἐφοβήθησαν δὲ ἐν τῷ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν νεφέλην 
they were afraidandas[-]enteredtheyintothecloud
     35      καὶ φωνὴ ἐγένετο ἐκ τῆς νεφέλης λέγουσα 
anda voicecamefromthecloudsaying
     Οὗτός ἐστιν  υἱός μου  ἐκλελεγμένος 
thisis[-]Sonmy[my]chosen one
αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε 
himlisten to
     36      καὶ ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν εὑρέθη Ἰησοῦς μόνος 
andafter[-]had occurredthevoicewas foundJesusalone
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐσίγησαν 
andtheykept silent
καὶ οὐδενὶ ἀπήγγειλαν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις οὐδὲν ὧν ἑώρακαν 
andno onetoldinthose[-]daysanythingof whatthey had seen

Runge, S. E. (2008–2014). The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (Lk 9:33–36). Lexham Press.

MT. 17:1–8; MK. 9:2–8; LK. 9:28–36

After the return to the Sea of Galilee, the Gospels relate the visit of Jesus, together with the Apostles Peter, James and John, to “a high mountain”—where the Transfiguration is said to have taken place. This mountain is not named in the sources. Likely because of the mention of Caesarea Philippi in the adjoining event (Matthew 16:13–20; Mark 8:27–30), the church historian Eusebius earlier identified the slopes of Mount Hermon with the location of the Transfiguration. However, he later followed what became Christian tradition that connects the event with Mount Tabor, a prominent landmark that had served in biblical times as a boundary point between the territories of three tribes; it had been a Hellenistic fortress and later it was a Jewish one.


Subsequent to the Transfiguration Matthew tells of a significant incident at Capernaum: Jesus had Peter pay the half-shekel tax to the Temple for both of them, so as “not to give offense” (Matthew 17:24–27).

Aharoni, Y., Avi-Yonah, M., Rainey, A. F., Notley, R. S., & Safrai, Z., eds. (2011). The Carta Bible Atlas (Fifth Edition, p. 179). Carta Jerusalem.

Commentary (NIGTC)

(33) In Mk. there is no mention of the departure of the heavenly companions of Jesus at this point; only after the cloud has enveloped them all do we find that Jesus alone remains. Luke’s mention of their departure at this point is perhaps meant to suggest a motive for Peter’s proposal to establish resting places for them. The present infinitive of διαχωρίζομαι** gives the sense ‘while they were beginning to go away’. Peter addresses Jesus as ἐπιστάτα, diff. Mk., ῥαββί (cf. Mt. κύριε); cf. 5:5 note for this respectful title used by the disciples when addressing Jesus as a person of authority. (Dietrich, 114f., however, suggests that Luke lets Peter use a title which is inadequate for a glorious figure (cf. 5:5, 8) and thus fits in with the inappropriate character of his suggestion to Jesus.)

First, he makes a statement, ‘It is good that we are here’, which can be taken in two ways: 1. ‘It is a good thing for us to be able to enjoy this experience (and so let us continue it)’ (Schürmann, I, 560); 2. ‘It is a good thing that we are here to be of service to you (by making booths)’ (Easton, 144; W. Michaelis, TDNT VII, 379 n. 64). The first interpretation is much more likely, since there is no reason why the heavenly beings should want booths if it were not for the benefit of the disciples who wish to prolong the experience. The thought of serving the heavenly beings is not clearly expressed (although the rest of the story may contain a warning against worshipping them).


The idea of making the three booths is perhaps the most obscure in the whole story. σκηνή is originally a ‘tent’; it is used in the LXX to translate ʾōhel, probably a pointed tent; suḵḵâ, a structure made of matting; and mis̆ḵan, a dwelling (W. Michaelis, TDNT VII, 368–381). The term was particularly applied to the tabernacle, the movable place of worship erected in the wilderness, and also to the booths, made out of leafy branches, which the Israelites erected for use as shelters during the Feast of Tabernacles (Lv. 23:42f.; Ne. 8:14–17). 1. The idea that three tabernacles on the pattern of the wilderness tabernacle are meant is most improbable; the thought of giving to heavenly beings the kind of place of worship or dwelling reserved for Yahweh is hardly likely in the NT. 2. More weight might be attached to the theory that motifs from the Feast of Tabernacles play a part here (cf. H. Riesenfeld; H. Baltensweiler, 37–46; for a description of the feast see SB II, 774–812; C. N. Hillyer, ‘First Peter and the Feast of Tabernacles’, Tyn.B 21, 1970, 39–70).

The feast celebrated the harvest; it looked back to Israel’s journey through the wilderness; it celebrated the sovereignty of God; and it looked forward to the consummation when all the nations of the world would join with Israel in celebration of the festival (Zc. 14:16–21). Adopting this motif, Schürmann, I, 560, suggests that Peter regards the consummation as having come, and wishes that he and his companions may share the booth to be made for Jesus. This is most unlikely, and the arguments assembled by W. Michaelis (TDNT VI, 380) against this view are convincing. The booths ought to be for the disciples rather than for the heavenly visitors (unless the provision of booths for the disciples is taken for granted, Schweizer, Markus, 103). 3. The theory that the Jews thought of an eschatological tent for the Messiah does not seem to have any foundation. 4. In Lk. 16:9 there is a reference to eternal dwellings in the world to come (cf. Jn. 14:2). This may be linked with the thought that God has a dwelling in heaven (cf. Rev. 21:3).

Hence the possibility arises that Peter wished to erect earthly counterparts to the heavenly dwelling places of the three visitors, so that they would have somewhere to stay on earth, and thus the glorious experience might be prolonged. For this idea cf. 1 En. 39:4–8; 41:2; 71:16; 2 En. 61:2; Tanch. ʾmwr 9 (cited by A. Schlatter, Der Evangelist Johannes, Stuttgart, 1930, 292; cf. F. Hauck, TDNT IV, 579–581). This is the most probable explanation of the motif. If so, the fact that Peter did not know what he was saying means that he did not realise that the glorious scene had not come to stay; first of all there must occur the fulfilment of the ‘exodus’ of Jesus, and for the disciples continuing obedience to the Son of God (cf. Acts 1:6–8). Luke has omitted the element of fear which accounts for Peter’s confusion in Mk

.
(34) Both Luke and Matthew couple the next event closely with Peter’s comment, Luke by adding ταῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος, diff. Mk. (cf. 22:60; 24:36; Mt. 9:18; 12:46). The cloud (νεφέλη) which appears is a sign of the divine presence, as in Ex. 16:10; 19:9; 24:15–18; 33:9–11; et al. (cf. A. Oepke, TDNT IV, 902–910, especially 908f.). It serves to indicate that God is there, while at the same time hiding him from the sight of men. Clouds may also be a means of, or associated with, taking men up into heaven (Acts 1:9; Rev. 11:12; cf. the coming of the Son of man, Dn. 7:13; Mk. 13:26; 14:62; Rev. 1:7; 14:14–16; and the rapture of believers, 1 Thes. 4:17). Here the cloud is said to ‘cover’ them; ἐπισκιάζω (1:35), is used as in Ex. 40:29 (35) where the cloud of the divine presence rests upon the tabernacle and is associated with the divine glory which fills the tabernacle. But the closer parallel is with Ex. 24:15–18 where the cloud that covers the mountain appears to be the same as the glory of Yahweh. Here too Moses goes into the cloud and communes with God.

Thus the tabernacles proposed by Peter become unnecessary: God’s own dwelling place comes to earth and accommodates his people. But whom does the cloud cover? αὐτούς (par. Mt., diff. Mk. αὐτοῖς) can refer to Jesus and his companions and/or the three disciples. It is obvious that the former group is meant; the doubts concern the inclusion of the latter. In favour of the view that the cloud separated them from Jesus and his companions is the fact that the voice came from (ἐκ) the cloud; this seems in any case to be the view of Mark (A. Oepke, ibid.). On the other hand, Luke’s statement that they were afraid as they entered the cloud can mean that the disciples were afraid as they themselves entered it, in which case he has reinterpreted Mk. (Schürmann, I, 561).

But Luke’s statement can equally well mean that the disciples were frightened as they saw the others (especially Jesus) disappear in the cloud, and there is no indication in the story that the disciples were to be taken into the presence of God.


(35) The disappearance of Jesus and the two men is followed by a voice out of the cloud; the voice is that of God, as at the baptism of Jesus, and the statement made is clearly intended to be an echo of what was said then. But whereas at the baptism the voice was addressed to Jesus and the message concerned him (so 3:22 par. Mk. 1:11; but diff. Mt. 3:17), here the statement is made in the third person, οὗτός ἐστιν …, and is addressed to the disciples. It is to them that the significance of the scene is to be revealed. Again Jesus is presented as the Son of God, in language reminiscent of Ps. 2:7. Mark repeats the phrase ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος. This at least is the reading of 𝔓45 𝔓75 א B L Ξ 892 1241; the variant ὁ ἐκλεκτός is also found (Θ f1 1365); and one or other of these readings is reflected in a aur ff2 l sys hmg sa bo arm; the rest of the MSS have ὁ ἀγαπητός (as in Mk.), to which some add ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα, (as in Mt.). There can be little doubt that ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος is the harder text (Metzger, 148), so that Jesus is here described as the ‘chosen One’.

The participle is unusual, and hence the change to ὁ ἐκλεκτός is understandable. The verb ἐκλέγω, corresponding for the most part to Heb. bāḥar, is used frequently in the OT of God’s choice of the people of Israel, but also of particular individuals to fulfil particular tasks, such as Aaron (Ps. 104:26) and the Servant (Is. 44:1f; 49:7); the adjective ἐκλεκτός is used in the same way, of Moses (Ps. 106:23), David (Ps. 89:19), and the Servant (Is. 42:1). In 1 Enoch the term is applied to the Son of man, a figure who is portrayed with messianic traits (1 En. 39:6; 40:5; 45:3f.; 49:2, 4; 51:3, 5; 52:6, 9; 55:4; 61:5, 8, 10; 62:1). In the present case, the usage may reflect Is. 42:1, the passage which is usually thought to have influenced the saying at the baptism of Jesus; if so, it is possibly a translation variant for ἀγαπητός, both reflecting Heb. baḥı̂r. Luke has then assimilated his rendering to the LXX.

But, although this explanation contains an element of truth, it does not account for the fact that Luke has carried through the change only here, and not in the story of the baptism. Since Luke has the term ἐκλεκτός at 23:35, the suspicion arises that he saw in it a word that applied particularly to God’s choice of his Son to tread the path of suffering that leads to glory: ‘He is the elect, not merely in or in spite of his passion, but in his appointment thereto’ (G. Schrenk, TDNT IV, 189; cf. 144–192). When we find that Luke uses the concept of God’s Servant (παῖς) in Acts (3:13, 26; 4:27, 30) with reference to the glorification of Jesus after his suffering, the suspicion is increased that he saw in the Servant terminology a clear indication of suffering; by his assimilation of the present text to the LXX form he has made the point clearer than it was in Mk. Like Mark, he does not include the phrase ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα from the baptismal story (diff. Mt.).

Instead he gives the command αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε, i.e. ‘obey him’, which reflects Dt. 18:15, and which may be meant implicitly to identify Jesus with the prophet like Moses; but the accent lies rather on the call to obedience than on the christological statement. What the disciples have heard from Jesus—including especially his command to follow him in the way of the cross—is confirmed by God and demands their obedience. The placing of αὐτοῦ emphatically at the beginning of the phrase (diff. Mk.) may draw a contrast between Jesus and other possible authorities (such as Moses or Elijah, although it is doubtful whether Elijah (in himself or as a representative of the prophets) was really a live option for the obedience of the disciples).


(36) Once again Luke closely binds the different stages in the narrative together, this time by his καὶ ἐν τῷ … phrase, which means ‘after the voice had spoken’ (aorist infinitive, BD 4042). Now only Jesus is to be ‘found’; for the passive use of εὑρίσκω cf. 17:18; Acts 5:39; 8:40; et al. Luke’s briefer phrasing, culminating in μόνος, brings out more forcefully the fact that Jesus alone remained with them. In Mk. the episode is followed by a command not to relate the incident to others until after the resurrection of the Son of man. Luke abbreviates by stating that the disciples were silent (σιγάω is Lucan; 18:39; 20:26; Acts 12:17; 15:12f.; Rom. 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:28, 30, 34**) and said nothing to anybody ‘in those days’, i.e. during the earthly lifetime of Jesus, concerning the things which they had seen; for the relative attraction (οὐδὲν ὧν for οὐδὲν τούτων ἅ) cf. BD 2944.

The use of the perfect ἑώρακαν is odd. MH I, 144, argues that the form ἃ ἑωράκαμεν is found in this way in reported speech, which is virtually what we have here. Can it be an aoristic perfect (MH III, 70; BD 3433)? Or does it refer to the lasting effects of the vision (cf. Acts 22:15; 1 Cor. 9:1; BD 3422)? This last view seems best. Luke’s change (diff. Mk. εἶδον) is probably deliberate and brings out the continued importance of an event which for the time being had to remain secret. Only later was its significance to become fully apparent.

Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 385–389). Paternoster Press.

Acts 9:4 (NET) w/notes – Faithlife Bible


9:4 He9 fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul,10 why are you persecuting me?”11

Notes for 9:4

9 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun.
10 tn The double vocative suggests emotion.
11 sn Persecuting me. To persecute the church is to persecute Jesus.

Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Ac 9:4). Biblical Studies Press.

Biblical Studies Press. (2005). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Ac 9:4). Biblical Studies Press.

Luke 9:28-32 (LDGNT) w/translation & Commentary


     28      
     Today  Luke 9:28–32
 Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ 
it happened thatnowafter[-]wordstheseaboutdayseight
καὶ παραλαβὼν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰωάννην καὶ Ἰάκωβον 
[-][he] took alongPeterandJohnandJames
ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι 
[and] went uponthemountainto pray
     29      καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ προσεύχεσθαι αὐτὸν 
andbecameas[-]was prayinghe
τὸ εἶδος τοῦ προσώπου αὐτοῦ ἕτερον 
theappearanceoffacehisdifferent
καὶ  ἱματισμὸς αὐτοῦ λευκὸς ἐξαστράπτων 
and[-]clothinghis[became] whitegleaming like lightning
     30      καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο συνελάλουν αὐτῷ 
andbeholdmentwowere talking withhim
οἵτινες ἦσαν Μωϋσῆς καὶ Ἠλίας 
whowereMosesandElijah
     31      οἳ ὀφθέντες ἐν δόξῃ ἔλεγον τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ 
whoappearedinglory[and] were speaking[-]departure[about] his
ἣν ἤμελλεν πληροῦν ἐν Ἰερουσαλήμ 
whichhe was aboutto fulfillinJerusalem
     32       δὲ Πέτρος καὶ οἱ σὺν αὐτῷ ἦσαν βεβαρημένοι ὕπνῳ 
[-]nowPeterandthosewithhimwereburdenedwith sleep
διαγρηγορήσαντες δὲ εἶδον τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τοὺς δύο ἄνδρας 
[when they] became fully awakebutthey saw[-]gloryhisandthetwomen
τοὺς συνεστῶτας αὐτῷ 
[-]who were standing withhim

Runge, S. E. (2008–2014). The Lexham Discourse Greek New Testament (Lk 9:28–32). Lexham Press.

MT. 17:1–8; MK. 9:2–8; LK. 9:28–36

After the return to the Sea of Galilee, the Gospels relate the visit of Jesus, together with the Apostles Peter, James and John, to “a high mountain”—where the Transfiguration is said to have taken place. This mountain is not named in the sources. Likely because of the mention of Caesarea Philippi in the adjoining event (Matthew 16:13–20; Mark 8:27–30), the church historian Eusebius earlier identified the slopes of Mount Hermon with the location of the Transfiguration. However, he later followed what became Christian tradition that connects the event with Mount Tabor, a prominent landmark that had served in biblical times as a boundary point between the territories of three tribes; it had been a Hellenistic fortress and later it was a Jewish one.


Subsequent to the Transfiguration Matthew tells of a significant incident at Capernaum: Jesus had Peter pay the half-shekel tax to the Temple for both of them, so as “not to give offense” (Matthew 17:24–27).

Aharoni, Y., Avi-Yonah, M., Rainey, A. F., Notley, R. S., & Safrai, Z., eds. (2011). The Carta Bible Atlas (Fifth Edition, p. 179). Carta Jerusalem.

Commentary (NIGTC)

(28) The beginning of a fresh narrative is indicated by Luke’s Ἐγένετο δέ … [ καί ] … construction (1:8 note; 5:1 note). καί is omitted by 𝔓45 א* B H pc it sy p sa bo; (UBS); Diglot, but is Lucan and may be original. The phrase μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους should be translated ‘after these sayings’, and serves to tie the incident closely to the conversation which has just preceded; the prophecy of the sufferings and of the glory of the Son of man is to be heard in close conjunction with the vision of the glory of Jesus after his ‘exodus’. Wellhausen’s translation (43), ‘after these events’ (Gn. 22:1; 1 Mac. 7:33), should be dropped from discussion, since no ‘events’ have been described in the immediately preceding context. Luke has substituted ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτώ for Mark’s ‘six days’, and thereby created a puzzle for commentators. For the grammatical anomaly see BD 144.

In Ex. 24:16 the glory of Yahweh rests on Sinai for six days, and on the seventh day he calls to Moses out of the cloud. This reference is usually thought to lie behind Mark’s statement, so that an OT ‘type’ is present in the story as a whole. But the function of the six days is different, and ‘after six days’ cannot mean ‘on the seventh day’, although it is just possible that Mark is thinking of an event on the seventh day (especially if it takes place by night at the close of the six days; cf. H. Baltensweiler, 46–51). Since the OT typology is expressed clumsily, it may be that Luke has deliberately abandoned it (Danker, 115), and substituted a different phrase which also means ‘on the seventh day’ by inclusive reckoning (cf. Jn. 20:26; Creed, 134). Luke may be using a hellenistic form of reckoning based on an eight-day week by contrast with the Jewish seven-day week (Grundmann, 192).

It is also possible that Luke’s figure comes from a separate tradition (B. Weiss, 616). The addition of ὡσεί may indicate that he is conscious of giving an approximation to Mark’s figure. The view that the eighth day as the day of the new creation is meant (Grundmann, 192; Ellis, 142, 275f.) should be rejected: Luke never uses this phrase, except here. As Moses was accompanied by three companions (Ex. 24:1, 9), so Jesus is accompanied by his three closest disciples (cf. 8:51 for the alteration in the order of the names from Mk.). ἀναβαίνω is substituted for Mark’s less suitable ἀναφέρω. The mountain (Luke omits ὑψηλόν, diff. Mk.) is the place of revelation; 6:12. Luke is not concerned about which mountain it was, and since he has no reference to Caesarea Philippi in the preceding incident, it is doubtful whether he was thinking of Hermon (the most likely identification in view of Mark’s geography). W. Liefeld, 167 n. 27, supports Mt. Meron, NW of Galilee.

The typology of Ex. 24:16 is probably present. Only Luke has the addition προσεύξασθαι (cf. 9:29; 3:21 note). Prayer is the appropriate posture for a divine revelation, although here the revelation is not to the One praying but to the accompanying disciples. The thought is rather that in prayer Jesus is caught up into the presence of God, and hence the disciples are able to see him transfigured in the divine realm. The motif is probably due to Luke himself, and its insertion is probably due to this suggested line of reasoning: if Jesus was transfigured, then it must have been through his reflecting the glory of God in whose presence he was while at prayer. The fact that Jesus was at prayer may suggest that the incident took place by night—although Luke knows that revelations of divine glory can take place at midday (Acts 22:6; 26:13).


(29) It is, then, during communion with God that Jesus is transfigured. Luke has dropped Mark’s verb μεταμορφόω (on which see J. Behm, TDNT IV, 755–759), probably because it could be misunderstood in a Hellenistic sense (although this was not intended by Mark). The background is rather to be sought in the experience of Moses (Ex. 34:29f.), whose face shone because he had been speaking to Yahweh on Mount Sinai. The same motif is used by Paul in 2 Cor. 3:7, 13. See further Dn. 12:3; 4 Ez. 7:97; 1 En. 38:4; 104:2; 2 Bar. 51. Both Luke and Matthew speak of the change in Jesus’ face; Matthew says that it shone like the sun (4 Ez. 7:97), Luke that the outward appearance (εἶδος, 3:22) of it became different—a colourless description, which is filled out in v. 32.


A second line of thought is associated with this Moses typology in the description of the change in Jesus’ clothing (ἱματισμός, 7:25) to become white, flashing like lightning. White (λευκός) is the colour of heavenly and angelic garments (Acts 1:10; Mk. 16:5; Rev. 3:4f.; et al.). The description may simply mean that Jesus appeared in the garments appropriate to a heavenly being, or possibly that his glorified body shone through his clothes so that they appeared to share in the transformation (cf. W. Michaelis, TDNT IV, 241–250, especially 247f.). Mark’s closer description of their whiteness as gleaming (στίλβω) is replaced by a stronger word; ἐξαστράπτω is ‘to flash like lightning’ (cf. 24:4; Mt. 28:3; Dn. 10:6; of angels)—a simile not uncommon in Lk. (10:18; 11:36; 17:24; Acts 9:3; 22:6). The rather banal Marcan simile of the fuller is dropped by Luke and Matthew. Whether this description is that of the hidden glory of Jesus while on earth (cf. 2 Ki. 6:17 for the idea) or of a proleptic vision of his future glory is perhaps an unreal question; for Luke the answer probably lies in the second alternative (W. Michaelis, ibid.). The picture may be that of the righteous one who has come through tribulation (Dn. 12:3; Rev. 3:5; Danker, 116).


(30) The ‘action’ begins with καὶ ἰδού, par. Mt. Luke alone describes Jesus’ companions as ἄνδρες δύο (cf. v. 32), a phrase which may perhaps look forward to the resurrection and ascension scenes (24:4; Acts 1:10) where two heavenly visitors again give a commentary on the proceedings, although these two sets of visitors are probably angels. If this allusion is correct, then the phrase here may be due to Luke rather than a source. But in both these cases, Luke may be dependent on special source material, and so Lucan redaction cannot be certainly affirmed here, especially since it is doubtful whether Luke would have introduced the phrase ἄνδρες δύο at the cost of the rather clumsy οἵτινες ἦσαν … clause in which the names of the two visitors are added from Mk. They are Moses and Elijah (cf. 1:17), the names appearing in the usual chronological order, diff. Mk. In Mk. Elijah is the principal figure, and the ensuing discussion (Mk. 9:11–13) is concerned with him exclusively. Hence the question arises whether in an earlier stage of the story only Elijah was named.

They appear in the story to talk with Jesus, though Mark does not reveal the subject of their conversation. The reason for their presence in the story is not clear, and many different answers have been given. See M. Thrall, who suggests that Mark’s purpose was to refute any idea that Jesus was merely on a level with them. Jesus is superior to them, and perhaps, therefore, they were meant to appear as witnesses to him; perhaps too at some stage the point was that Jesus is not to be identified with Moses or Elijah. This motif of witness may well be present in Luke, so that they appear as the representatives of the law and the prophets. At the same time, it is appropriate that the two men who had mysterious departures from this world and who were expected (either personally or in their counterparts) to appear again at the end of the world should be present in this scene of eschatological anticipation.

(31) Luke’s description of the appearance of the two men goes beyond that of Mark. The participle ὀφθέντες, is probably based on Mk. (ὤφθη; cf. 1:11 for the use of the verb in regard to visionary appearances). The new feature is that the visitors appear ἐν δόξῃ, like Jesus himself (cf. 2:9 note). Thereby they are shown to be visitors from heaven. Luke then indicates the subject of their conversation with Jesus; for the use of the accusative in this way cf. 5:36. (See Black, 75f., but his theory of mistranslation is unnecessary.) It is Jesus’ ἔξοδος, literally, ‘departure’.

The word is used of the ‘departure par excellence’, the Exodus from Egypt (Heb. 11:22), and euphemistically of death (Wis. 3:2; 7:6; cf. 2 Pet. 1:15, significantly in the context of an allusion to the transfiguration). But the precise force here is uncertain; it may refer to: 1. simply the death of Jesus (W. Michaelis, TDNT V, 107; Schürmann, I, 558); 2. the whole event of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension as his departure to heaven (cf. 9:51; Zahn, 383); 3. the death of Jesus as an act of salvation, repeating the Exodus conducted by Moses (J. Mánek, ‘The New Exodus in the Books of Luke’, Nov.T 2, 1955, 8–23); 4. the whole life of Jesus as a ‘way’ which leads from his εἴσοδος (Acts 13:24) to its conclusion in Jerusalem. Although the accent is firmly on the death of Jesus, we should probably not exclude the thoughts of the resurrection of Jesus (since for Luke cross and resurrection belong firmly together) and of the saving significance of the event (Ellis, 142).

This event was to be fulfilled by Jesus in Jerusalem. πληρόω (1:20 note) may refer either to Jesus fulfilling the OT predictions of his destiny (24:25–27) or to his completing the task which he had to do (Acts 12:25; 13:25; 14:26; G. Delling, TDNT VI, 297); the language favours the second view, since the object is not ‘the Scriptures’ but the actual event prophesied. Jerusalem is the place of both the passion and the resurrection. From now onwards this goal of Jesus’ journeyings is constantly in view (9:51, 53; 13:33f.; 17:11; 18:31). The phrase ἣν ἤμελλεν … is thus a Lucan explanation of the meaning of ἔξοδος for the readers. The whole verse may be regarded as Luke’s substitute for the conversation in Mk. 9:11–13 which he omits.

(32) If the disciples were meant to hear the conversation and hence to receive heavenly confirmation of the destiny of Jesus in Jerusalem, they failed to do so. Up to this point they play no part in the scene (Dietrich, 110–112). Elsewhere, their incomprehension is attributed to a divinely caused lack of understanding, but here the cause is that Peter—singled out because of the leading role he is to play in the next verse—and his companions were weighed down with sleep. βαρέω ‘to weigh down, burden’, is used of sleep (Mt. 26:43) or of drunkenness (Lk. 21:34); Luke’s language may reflect καταβαρέω, used in Mk. 14:40 of the sleepy disciples at Gethsemane, and the motif may be Luke’s equivalent for Peter’s failure to understand the prediction of the cross in Mk. 8:32f. (Schürmann, I, 559); sleep is less culpable than direct refusal to accept the word of Jesus, but leads to failure to understand (24:25).

It follows that there were no witnesses to the conversation described by Luke, so that its content must have been later disclosed by Jesus or has been sympathetically supplied by the narrator. Nevertheless, the disciples did awake (διαγρηγορέω). The verb can also mean ‘to remain awake’, and this possibility deserves consideration, in which case the sense would be that although the disciples were extremely sleepy they nevertheless managed to stay awake. But the sense is unaffected; in either case, the disciples failed to take in the message about the ‘exodus’ and only saw the glory of Jesus and the fact that he was accompanied by the two men standing with him (συνίστημι); the prophecy of glory in 9:26 is substantiated.

Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 382–385). Paternoster Press.