[B-Greek] Luke 1:17a AUTOU and its referent

Leonard Jayawardena leonardj at live.com
Tue Aug 17 01:59:02 EDT 2010



> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 23:09:52 -0400
> From: Oun Kwon
> To: b-greek at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: [B-Greek] Luke 1:17a AUTOU and its referent
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> Lk 1:16-17a
>
> 1:16 KAI POLLOUS TWN UIWN ISRAHL EPISTREYEI
> EPI KURION TON QEON AUTWN
>
> 1:17a KAI AUTOS PROELEUSETAI ENWPION AUTOU
> EN PNEUMATI KAI DUNAMEI HLIOU
>
> I'm trying to pinpoint the referent of the pronoun AUTOU in v. 17a.
>
> My take is AUTOU = (KURIOS hO QEOS) as the closest one in the preceding verse.
>
> While most keep it ambiguously as 'before the Lord', some read the
> text "John as a forerunner before the Lord", as if taking AUTOU
> refering to the Messiah. Some even explicitly so. Of course, John is a
> forerunner of the Messiah and to read it that way makes a good sense.
>
> However, is it is the way the text should be read?


> Another point is about ENWPION - can it be just 'in the presence of'
> rather than 'ahead of'? (An example is in v. 19 'Gabriel in the
> presence of God'.)
>
> Is there any way I can see it less confusingly?
>
> Oun Kwon.
>


LJ: AUTOU in v. 17 certainly refers to KURIOS hO QEOS. John is pictured as being in the presence of God and then going out in his presence to perform the commission entrusted to him, i.e., "to turn the hearts of the fathers, etc." I would translate v. 17 thus:

"He will go ahead (of God)--PROELEUSETAI--before him--ENWPION AUTOU--in the spirit and power of Elijah...." "[B]efore him" here means "in his presence."

In this verse, John is to go ahead of Jesus, in whom God dwelt and through whom he worked. Therefore to go ahead of Jesus is to go ahead of God. The OT basis for Luke 1:17 is Malachi 3:1 and 4:5-6.

It is instructive to compare v. 17 with 2 Samuel 24:4 (LXX): KAI EXHLQEN IWAB KAI hOI ARCONTES THS ISCUOS ENWPION TOU BASILEWS EPIKEYASQAI TON LAON ISRAHL.

NETS translation: "And Ioab and the commanders of the force went out before the king to inspect the people of Israel."

Joab and others were in the presence of the king and then, having received their orders, they go out in his presence.


Leonard Jayawardena 		 	   		  


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