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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Luke

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3.1–4.13 :Jesus' preparation for ministry

(Mt 3.1–4.11; Mk 1.2–13 ).

3.1–6 :The appearance of John the Baptist

(Mt 3.1–6; Mk 1.2–6 ).

1 :

TiberiusCaesar succeeded Augustus in 14 CE and ruled until 37. Thus, depending on the manner of reckoning years, sometime between 26 and 29 CE is indicated. Pontius Pilate, a Roman governor, held authority in Judea, Samaria, and Idumea 26–36 CE; see 23.1 , etc. The remainder of the kingdom of Herod the Great had been divided between his sons Herod Antipas who ruled Galilee and Perea ( 23.6–7 ) and Philip (see Map on p. 68 NT). Initially another son, Herod Archelaus, had ruled Judea as ethnarch from 4 BCE, but he was deposed and banished for incompetence and replaced by a Roman official in 6 CE (see Mt 2.22 ).

2 :

Annas was high priest 6–15 CE when the Romans deposed him. He was followed by relatives; initially by his son, Eleazar; then by his son‐in‐law Caiaphas ( 18–36 CE), and thereafter by four more sons. Because Jewish custom was for the high priest to serve for life, even when out of office, Annas's influence and authority continued to be recognized by the population.

3 :

A summary statement of the shape and substance of John's ministry. Proclamation led to baptism, a baptism of repentance, a symbolic act of cleansing to indicate realignment with the will of God in forgiveness of the one baptized.

4–6:

Isa 40.3–5.

6 :

All flesh refers to all humanity and emphasizes that God's salvation was universal in character; see 2.30–32; Acts 2.21 .

3.7–9: John's call to repentance

(Mt 3.7–10 ).

8 :

The assertion to have Abraham as … ancestor was a claim to privileged standing with God through natural birth (see Jn 8.33,39; Rom 2.28–29 ).

9 :

Fire, a symbol of judgment, often eschatological judgment (see 3.16; 16.24 ).

3.10–14 :John's directions to the crowd.

11 :

Two coats, lit. “two tunics,” usually worn as undergarments.

3.15–18: John's heralding of the messiah

(Mt 3.11–12; Mk 1.7–8 ).

16 :

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire, a promise or prophecy fulfilled at Pentecost (Acts 2.1–4 ).

17 :

Winnowing fork, a tool used in threshing grain.

3.19–20: John's imprisonment by Herod.

Herod Antipas had divorced the daughter of the Nabatean king in order to marry his niece, Herodias, who had been married to Antipas's brother, Herod Philip. In 's, John's imprisonment is placed before the baptism of Jesus; cf. Mt 14.3–4; Mk 6.17–18 .

3.21–22 : The baptism of Jesus

(Mt 3.13–17; Mk 1.9–11 ).

21 :

Prayer is a regular activity of Jesus and a prominent theme in Luke's portrait ( 5.16; 6.12; 9.18,28; 11.1; 22.32,41–46 ).

22 :

See Ps 2.7; Isa 42.1 . The voice from heaven speaks again at the Transfiguration ( 9.35 ).

3.23–38 : The genealogy of Jesus

(Mt 1.1–17 ). Luke traces the lineage of Jesus back to Adam, the first human (Gen 5.1 ); linking Jesus' line with God's original creation shows Jesus' common humanity and establishes his credentials as the universal savior.

23–27 :

The persons named from Heli to Zerubbabel are otherwise unknown. For the rest of the genealogy cf. Gen 5.3–32; 11.10–26; Ruth 4.18–22; 1 Chr 1.1–4,24–28; 2.1–15 .

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