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Concerning Luke 4: 18-19
The Question: What version of the Hebrew Scriptures was Jesus reading from the scroll of Isaiah 61:1-2 in Luke 4: 18-19? Note the phrase: ???sight to the blind??? .


Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; because of this he has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; and he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, and to proclaim release to the captives and sight to the blind; to strengthen with forgiveness those who are bruised
4:19 And to preach the acceptable year of the Lord...

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me and sent me to preach good tidings to the meek; to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and release to prisoners;
61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.....

THE GREAT QUMRAN ISAIAH SCROLL, a first-century BC Aramaic version of the Hebrew Scriptures prepared by the Essenes:

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because YHWH has anointed me to preach good tidings to the weak; {& he has sent me&} to bind up the brokenhearted, to call to the captives liberty, and to the imprisoned the opening of prison.
61:2 To announce the favorable year of YHWH...

THE SEPTUAGINT, a third-century BC Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures translated in Alexandria, Egypt.

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind;
61:2 to declare the acceptable year of the Lord...

CONCLUSION: He was reading an ancient Hebrew version no longer extant.

Shlama alokh akhouni Otto,

Personally, I would not hold to Lamsa's translation as a reliable source (though it is very helpful). The Peshitta OT could very well say the same thing as the Septuagint, but because of "outside pressures" Lamsa has in many places "decided" not to hold to the Peshitta. You have to remember that publishers dictate A LOT of what will be in anyone's work.

Also, we have to be careful not to jump to the conclusion that Jesus was quoting verbatim. For example, some of the early church fathers were known to paraphrase, and even speak on one subject that has two independant source passages. Basically, what I am saying is that there can be a number of explanations.

In either case, I will ask my Priest this week to get me the "official" Peshitta readings of Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19, as well as any explanation of the varients if they exist.

Push b'shayna,

-Nimrod Warda-
Brother Nimrod,

Please. A personal attack on Lamsa is uncalled for and unhelpful.

If you have a better source or translation for the Peshitta text please post it. If you know of any specific errors in my posting, please point them out.

I don't know of any other complete translation of the Peshitta Tenakh than the one by George Lamsa.


Lamsa's rendering is consistent with other scholars' translations of the same.

The JPS 1917 translation of the TaNaKh has the following for Isaiah 61:1 -
Quote:The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to bring good tidings unto the humble; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the eyes to them that are bound;

The corresponding Hebrew phrase is ?????????????????????????? (peqach-qoach) which means 'opening of the prison' or 'freedom.' JPS 1917 shows that possibly there was a reading of 'sight to the blind'.

All of the translations you quoted omit the phrase 'And to assure the contrite by remission', which is in Luke 4:18 and corresponds to Isaiah 61:2 which reads 'to comfort all that mourn.'
Akhouni ograabe,

On the contrary, I am not trying to speak bad of Mr. Lamsa. Please reread my comment. If anything, I was simply talking about "outside pressures". Moreover, I am/was not attacking your post or you personally. Please just reread it with an open heart, not the evil eye.

If you knew me, you would know that I actually refer a lot of people to Lamsa's translation, because in my opinion it is still better than 90% of what we have available to the masses.

Also, thank you Aaron S for helping explain this confusion using the Hebrew. I am assuming this is probably similar to the case with Aramaic.

God Bless,

-Nimrod Warda-
Hello again,

This is a bit off topic, but confusion like this happens a lot! For instance, my name "Nimrod" is referenced as "a mighty hunter" in Genesis 10:9.

Now because of the actions of the Biblical person, many have said that the name derives from the Hebrew words for "rebel" or "let us revolt". Yet in context, the idea of a hunter suggests that the word comes from the ancient Babylonian words "nimr" = "leopard" and "rod" = "subdue."

In fact, neither definition is incorrect, and maybe it is just a clever play on words! <!-- s:bigups: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/bigups.gif" alt=":bigups:" title="Big Ups" /><!-- s:bigups: -->

Push b'shayna (Stay in tranquility),

-Nimrod Warda-

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