Monday, June 8, 2009

The beloved physician...

ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς Λουκᾶς ὁ ἰατρὸς ὁ ἀγαπητὸς καὶ Δημᾶς.

This verse (Col. 4:14) is translated, "Luke the beloved physician greets you and also Demas." Luke wrote a bulk of the NT, writing the longest book in the NT (Luke), and as a sequel to that, he also wrote Acts. While some scholars have insisted that Luke-Acts is really just one book divided for practical purposes, I think Carson & Moo is right when they said:

"We should probably consider Luke and Acts to be two separate books that stand in close relationship to each other. Luke almost certainly had both books in mind when he began to write, and certain common themes and purposes bind them together."1

I just started reading Acts in Greek (following a one chapter a day plan), and I have to say, this is a much more difficult read than where I just came from, John. He keeps using these words that only occur in Luke-Acts, and it is quite frustrating, after thinking I had gotten a good hang of Greek while reading John.

Some examples:
ἀτενίζω (to gaze, stare) [Found in Lk. 4:20, 22:56, Acts 1:10, 3:3-5, 6:15, 7:55, 10:4, 11:6, 13:9... only two other times outside of Luke, 2 Cor. 3:7, 13!]
ἐσθής (clothing) [Lk. 23:11, 24:4, Ac. 1:10, 10:30, 12:21... once in James 2:2!]
συγκαταψηφίζομαι (to be numbered with) [Ac. 1:26]

I don't know if he really was a doctor or not, but he certainly writes like one.

1D.A. Carson & Douglas J. Moo, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 203.


Ben said...

better relearn greek!

Mike S. said...

Haha. Time for some people to learn to differentiate between Greek verbs and nouns.

bugman said...

This over a month after you wrote this post, but I just started reading your blog recently. I wanted you to know that I feel your pain on reading the Greek in Acts. Definitely a challenge over John. Sounds like I'm on the same schedule as you or up to Acts 24 today with the Lee Irons plan that I found posted at SBL. It's hard to keep with it, but so far I've managed. I've been highlighting in yellow each new word I come across. So far, most of my Reader's Edition is yellow! Even so, I've never read this much Greek, so I'm hoping something is sinking in. I'd really like to take the time to parse every verb and define reinforce each definition, but I just don't have enough time to spend. Of course, I'm probably preaching to the choir. Anyway, hang in there and thanks for the blog posts. Craig Baugh

Mike S. said...

Craig: Hi Craig, thanks for stopping by. I am on that same plan you mentioned and it is very fast paced (at least in Luke because his chapters are so long)! I don't use a Reader's Edition, but maybe I should...