Luke 24

On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to  the tomb bringing the spices they had prepared. Finding that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, they went inside; but the body was not to be found.

While they stood utterly at a loss, all of a sudden two men in dazzling garments were at their side.

They were terrified, and stood with eyes cast down, but the men said, “Why search among the dead for one who lives? Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee, about the Son of Adam: how he must be given up into the power of sinful men and be crucified, and must rise again on the third day?”

Then they recalled his words, and returning from the tomb, they reported all this to the Eleven and all the others. The women were Mary of Magdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; and they, with the other women, told the apostles.

But the story made no sense to them, and they would not believe it.

That same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which lay about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all these happenings.

As they talked and discussed it with one another, Jesus himself came up  and walked along with them; but something held their eyes from seeing who it was. He asked them, “What are you debating about?”

They halted, their faces full of gloom, and one, called Cleopas, answered, “Are you the only person staying in Jerusalem not to know what has happened there the last few days?”

“What do you mean?” he said.

“All this about Jesus of Nazareth, ” they replied, “a prophet mighty in word and deed before God and the whole people; how the Chief Priest and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and crucified. But we had been hoping that he was the man to liberate Israel. What is more, this is the third day since it happened, and now some women of our company have astounded us! They went early to the tomb, but failed to find his body, and returned saying they’d seen a vision of angels who told them he was alive. So some of our people went to the tomb and found things as the women had said; but him they did not see.”

“How dull you are!” he said. “How slow to believe all the prophets said! Was not the Messiah bound to suffer thus before entering into his glory?” Then he began with Moses and all the prophets, and explained to them the passages which referred to him in the scriptures.

By this time they had reached the village; and he made as if to continue his journey; but they pressed him: “Stay with us, for evening draws on; and the day is almost over.”

So he went in to stay with them. And when he had sat down with them, he took bread and said the blessing; he broke the bread and offered it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.

They said to one another, “Did we not feel our hearts on fire as he talked with us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?” Without a moment’s delay they set out and returned to Jerusalem. There they found that The Eleven and the rest of the company had assembled, and were saying, “It is true: the Lord has risen; he has appeared to Simon.” Then they gave their account of the events of their journey and told how he had been recognized by them at the breaking of the bread.

As they were talking thus, there he was, standing among them.

Startled and terrified, they thought they were seeing a ghost.

But he said, “Why are you so perturbed? Why do questionings arise in your minds? Look at my hands and feet. It is I myself. Touch me; no ghost has flesh and bones as you can see I have.”

They were still unconvinced, still wondering, for it seemed too good to be true.

So he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”

They offered him a piece of fish they had cooked, which he took and ate before their eyes.

And he said to them, “This is what I meant by saying, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Torah and in the prophets and psalms was bound to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their eyes to understand the scriptures. “This,” he said, “is what is written: that the Messiah is to suffer death and to rise from the dead on the third day; and that in his name repentance bringing the forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to all nations.

“Begin from Jerusalem; it is you who are the witnesses to all this. And mark this, I am sending you my Father’s promised gift — So stay here in this city until you are armed with the power from above.”

Then he led them as far as Bethany, and blessed them with uplifted hands; and in the act of blessing he departed from them.

And they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and spent all their time in the Temple praising God.


7 responses

  1. Odd translation! What version are you using?

    Particularly find the following strange: 1) That “the body was not to be found” instead of what was actually written “they did not find the body”, 2) “the son of Adam” where it should be “the son of man”, 3) the use of “Torah” instead of “Law of Moses”.

    Also it seems to be missing verse 12 where Peter runs to the tomb to see for himself.

    Not thoughts about the actual content, I admit–I am still pondering that–just curious.

    1. Some of this, some of that, some of ‘what feels right.’ I could simply cut & past from some online translation, but manually copying helps focus me.

      Sometimes I do end up with my own paraphrases. Occasional “And”s and “Buts” will often disappear under my stylistic preferences. Is it legit to use my own grubby interpretations occasionally? All the translations we’ve got are the interpretations of people or groups doing their best to turn ancient Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic into a language and culture that works differently; and I don’t think I abuse the practice. (But do let me know if I blow it!)

      “The body was not to be found” — New English Bible. Much of the rest, Revised Standard.

      “son of Adam” is == “son of man”. Whether to read this as “this son of Adam” == “me” or “The Son of Adam” ala the symbolic figure in Daniel that was “like one of us” rather than like the fierce beasts representing previous kingdoms… I don’t know either.

      “Torah” and “Law of Moses” are likewise equivalent, referring to the same books; and I like to emphasize the difference nuances of “Torah” as “Way of life” rather than merely what we call “Law”.

      1. I have no problem at all with someone using their own paraphrase/translation/interpretation. I find that I often learn most, and notice things I would otherwise miss, when working with the Greek text directly.

        I agree that all of the “substitutions” are in keeping with the text, though “Torah” is, I think, a later word and not used at the time Luke was written. However it would be true that for a first-century Judean, the “Law” or “Moses” would mean more than just the legal/ritual codes, being synonyms for the whole of the first five books.

        As for “Son of man/Adam” I definitely tend away from the Daniel usage and see it mostly as a circumlocution for “human being” (not “me” here directly as it is not Jesus speaking). I think, the “shining men” are opening the women’s eyes, helping them make (perhaps for the first time) the connection that when Jesus spoke of “the son of man” he was, actually, speaking of himself.


          Study of Torah as a devotional practice probably went back to the Exile, even though the Rabbinical opinion that it was “equal to sacrificing in the Temple” was later.

          Yeah, I was talking about Jesus’ use of the term, which is often “me, this guy here.” Often, and in this case, I think it was referring to Daniel (a highly respected book at the time) and the hint that power over the Earth would eventually be taken away from the empires of brute force, given over to one who would rule as a simple human, without the facade of bestial, superhuman strength, humanely — by consent and by alignment with God’s intention.

  2. “Why search among the dead for one who lives?”
    This is the key to doing effective Bible Study in my opinion. When we engage the scriptures–it is only us and a text–the words of the long dead. When we read together, we respond differently–it becomes an opportunity (in the old Quaker sense) to meet the living spirit (Living Spirit) in one another’s lives.

    1. What happens when a lone individual engages the Spirit, using the text as the agenda for the encounter — is far more than “the words of the long dead.”

      Reading together does facilitate this engagement. God can give us food, but generally does this in our kitchens and grocery stores. God can teach us directly — but generally does so through books and other people. God can heal us, but often does so through medical interventions. Etc.

      I’m not sure how it works, studying in groups… I find other people telling me things I’ve missed; I find myself saying things that hadn’t occurred to me. The fact that it isn’t only for me links me into a spiritual flow.

      Someday, “No one will say to his neighbor, ‘Know the Lord,’ for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of God.” Meanwhile, you can tell me some things for Hmr, and I can tell you other things. This is why Eve fell into a deep sleep — and perhaps lost something of herself, but gained a person to talk to… Yes?

      Seriously — There are things in this story we haven’t yet touched on, and probably should!

      After that, is there a book you’d want to take up next?

  3. I’m open to suggestions on where we might grow form here. I’m the newbie here now! I’m not sure what my level of commitment is–I work full-time M-F and am a part-time studies studnet in an MDiv program–and as you’ve noticed I’m attempting a return to the blogosphere.

    In our face-to-face bible study group–when we ran out of ideas we leaned on the Revised Common Lectionary readings until a creative spark happened. Don’t know how our “Quaker” f/Frineds would feel baout lectionary readings–but I’m open to suggestions.

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