Luke 4:21 (NIV)
I've just been reading a term-paper on the Baptism of Jesus in the Synoptics
and note what seems like a questionable translation of Luke 3:21 in the NIV,
which my student has used. The Greek reads: "Egeneto de en twi baptisthEnai
hapanta ton laon kai IEsou baptisthentos kai proseuxomenou anewxthEhnai ton
ouranon ..." NIV here gives: "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus
was baptized too. And as he was praying,heaven was opened ..."
I can't really say this is wrong, but I am somewhat bothered by the division
of Luke's construction into separate sentences, with the result that a
relationship between the baptism of Jesus and others and the descent of the
Holy Spirit upon Jesus seems to be obscured or at least muddied.
I would assume that Luke intends the two genitive participles, baptisthentos
and proseuxomenou, belong to IEsou as a genitive absolute construction and
are intended to indicate that the descent of the spirit upon Jesus was an
event distinct from and AFTER Jesus' emergence from the baptismal water--and
that Luke here, for his own reasons, intended to depart from the somewhat
different account given by Mark and retained by Matthew, that the Spirit
descended upon Jesus as he was emerging or immediately after he emerged
(Mark coordinates with a present participle, anabainwn, Luke gives the
emergence in a separate indicative aorist) from the water.
Is the NIV translation justifiable? I don't say that it isn't, but I don't
understand it. Any takers?
CARL W. CONRAD, C25001CC@WUVMD.BITNET OR C25001CC@WUVMD.WUSTL.EDU
Classics, Washington University, One Brookings Dr., St. Louis, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 935-4018