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Luke 5:17

That (kai). Use of kai = oti (that) like the Hebrew wav, though found in Greek also. He (auto). Luke sometimes has auto in the nominative as unemphatic "he" as here, not "he himself." Was teaching (hn didaskwn). Periphrastic imperfect again like our English idiom. Were sitting by (hsan kaqhmenoi). Periphrastic imperfect again. There is no "by" in the Greek. Doctors of the law (nomodidaskaloi). A compound word formed after analogy of ierodidaskalo, but not found outside of the N.T. and ecclesiastical writers, one of the very few words apparently N.T. in usage. It appears here and Acts 5:34 ; 1 Timothy 1:7 . It is not likely that Luke and Paul made the word, but they simply used the term already in current use to describe teachers and interpreters of the law. Our word "doctor" is Latin for "teacher." These "teachers of the law" are called elsewhere in the Gospels "scribes" (grammatei) as in Matthew and Mark (see on "Mt 5:20"; 1 Timothy 1:1 1Ti 23:34">1 Timothy 23:34 1 Timothy 23:34 ) and Luke 5:21 ; Luke 19:47 ; Luke 21:1 ; Luke 22:2 . Luke also employs nomiko (one skilled in the law, nomo) as in Luke 10:25 . One thinks of our LL.D. (Doctors of Civil and Canon Law), for both were combined in Jewish law. They were usually Pharisees (mentioned here for the first time in Luke) for which see on "Mt 3:7",20. Luke will often speak of the Pharisees hereafter. Not all the "Pharisees" were "teachers of the law" so that both terms often occur together as in verse Luke 21 where Luke has separate articles (oi grammatei kai oi Parisaioi), distinguishing between them, though one article may occur as in Matthew 5:20 or no article as here in verse Luke 5:17 . Luke alone mentions the presence here of these Pharisees and doctors of the law "which were come" (oi hsan elhluqote, periphrastic past perfect active, had come). Out of every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem (ek pash kwmh th Galilaia kai Ioudaia kai Ierousalhm). Edersheim (Jewish Social Life) observes that the Jews distinguished Jerusalem as a separate district in Judea. Plummer considers it hyperbole in Luke to use "every village." But one must recall that Jesus had already made one tour of Galilee which stirred the Pharisees and rabbis to active opposition. Judea had already been aroused and Jerusalem was the headquarters of the definite campaign now organized against Jesus. One must bear in mind that John 4:1-4 shows that Jesus had already left Jerusalem and Judea because of the jealousy of the Pharisees. They are here on purpose to find fault and to make charges against Jesus. One must not forget that there were many kinds of Pharisees and that not all of them were as bad as these legalistic and punctilious hypocrites who deserved the indictment and exposure of Christ in Matthew 23:1 ff. Paul himself is a specimen of the finer type of Pharisee which, however, developed into the persecuting fanatic till Jesus changed his whole life. The power of the Lord was with him to heal (dunami Kuriou hn ei to iasqai auton). So the best texts. It is neat Greek, but awkward English: "Then was the power of the Lord for the healing as to him (Jesus)." Here Kuriou refers to Jehovah. Dunamis (dynamite) is one of the common words for "miracles" (dunamei). What Luke means is that Jesus had the power of the Lord God to heal with. He does not mean that this power was intermittent. He simply calls attention to its presence with Jesus on this occasion.

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