Re: Luke 3:21-22

James H. Vellenga (
Fri, 8 Nov 96 11:14:54 EST

> Egeneto de en tw baptisqhnai hapanta ton laon kai Ihsou baptisqentos
> kai proseuchomenou anewchqhnai ton ouranon kai katabhnai to pnuema
> ton agion swmatikwn eidei ws peristeran ep auton, kai fwnhv ex
> ouranou genesqai, Su ei ho huios mou ho agaphtos, en soi eudokhsa.

I'm not an expert, but let me suggest a semi-hyperliteral translation
such as the following:

"Now it happened during the being baptized [of] all the people,
[on] Jesus also being baptized and praying, [for] the sky to
be opened and the Sacred Spirit to come down on him in a bodily form
like a dove."

Alternatively, I sometimes find it useful to treat a NT Greek
infinitive as an English gerund -- in fact, this is what I
usually do when the infinitive is qualified by a definite
article. Hence, something like

"Now during the being baptized of all the people, [with] Jesus
too being baptized and praying, [there] occurred an opening
[of] the sky and a coming down [of] the Sacred Spirit on him
in a bodily form like a dove."

That is, the EGENETO goes with the latter infinitives, and
what comes in between are qualifying phrases.

On EUDOKEW, I have not been satisfied with the usual interpretation
as "I am well-pleased". Given some other NT contexts, the happiest
I have been is something like "I am setting in motion a kindly purpose."
In this context, if we interpret EN as a preposition of agency,
we could interpret EN SOI EUDOKHSA as "by means of you I (have)
set in motion a kindly purpose."

Cf. the use of EUDOKIA in Matt. 11.26,

that in this way a kindly purpose came into being
(was realized?) in your presence.