Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 5 Study # 7
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
1901 ASV Translation:
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
There is only one variation between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. The Textus Receptus has a misspelled form of the aorist tense of "prophesied", which the Nestle/Aland 26 has in a correct form. The difference is the presence/absence of a single letter; the "e" that, in Greek, is a prefix that differentiates between the "present tense" and the "historical tenses" (aorist, perfect, pluperfect). Jesus' "jot and tittle" doctrine pretty much excludes the Textus Receptus as accurate.
August 29, 2004
- I. Luke records "Zacharias, his father" [the translators almost invariably reverse the word order to "his father, Zacharias" but the Greek text is unambiguous] as if the readers would be confused if both appellations were not supplied [do we not all know by the record "who" his father is; and, do we not all know by the record that Zacharias was "his father"?].
- II. This man was "filled with the Holy Spirit" -- something that happened earlier in the chapter when Mary uttered her praise to Yahweh and something prophesied of John "from his mother's womb".
- I. Luke apparently wants his reader(s) to understand that the content of Zacharias' utterance is absolutely trustworthy because he attributes it to the "filling" of the Holy Spirit.
- A. This kind of "filling", as we pointed out in the study identified as Luke 1:39-56 (2), is not the kind of "filling" that Paul commanded in Ephesians 5:18. Paul's concept of the believer being "filled with the Spirit" has less "authoritarian overtones" than Luke's word in this text.
- 1. Paul's word for "filling" is the term that is typically used by Paul, Luke, Matthew, et. al. when they were writing about certain Scriptures "being fulfilled".
- 2. This "idea" of "filling" is that the details required by the situation have all been put into place so that there is nothing left to be done. This is the word used by Paul when he says that the "Law is fulfilled" when believers walk by the Spirit and love one another.
- 3. Thus, this word for "filling" sees things mostly in terms of "conditions being met that were required by a preset issue".
- 4. When Paul calls for the Ephesians to be "filled with the Spirit", in contrast to being drunk with wine, he is calling for a deliberate submission of oneself to the requirements for the Spirit's freedom to produce the life and character of Jesus, a production that is never "absolute", nor "perfectly like the original", but an in-process production that grows more and more realistic as one matures in the faith.
- B. The kind of "filling" that Luke is addressing here is the kind in which the Spirit of God actually "takes over" the physical body of the individual so that He does what is done through the body of another. Thus, we can take strong confidence in the fact that Zacharias was not the "author" of the words to come.
- 1. This kind of "filling" is never commanded in Scripture; rather, it "happens" without human instigation. It is presented as a reality brought about by the Spirit of God at His discretion and in His time for His own purposes.
- 2. This kind of "filling" brings a powerful sense of divine operation that is authoritative and is almost invariably tied to speech that is without error in its content.
- II. The utterance is to be taken as a "prophecy" with an important "content".
- A. For Luke, "prophecy" is not fundamentally "foretelling the future" (though there is some of that in almost all inspired speech since there is nothing that can be said that is true that doesn't have implications for all of time and eternity), but is fundamentally "speaking what cannot be known by human methods of perception".
- 1. We know this because Luke used the same word in the text in which the soldiers blindfold Jesus and then hit Him and then taunt Him to "prophesy" and tell them "who hit Him". Obviously, they thought that by blindfolding Him they could keep Him from being able to do that since the typical human method of "knowing" is visually based. Little did they know, or believe, that not only did He know, all of Heaven knew and it was actually recorded in the "books" which will be used in the great judgment from the Throne of God (Revelation 20:12). The day is coming when all who hit Him will face Him unblindfolded and their own blindness will be done away. Imagine the shock.
- 2. We also know that all "prophecy" has implications for the future because it is impossible for Truth to be dissected into parts that lose their relationship to each other...and the future is simply the Truth unfolding.
- B. The words, "...he prophesied, saying..." appear to be redundant, but, as with all "apparent redundancies" of Scripture, the word "saying" is added because it focuses our attention on the content of what was "prophesied".
- 1. Without the word "saying", the content is "prophecy" but could be easily overlooked, or, worse, dismissed, by the reader.
- 2. The word translated "saying" is the use of a verb that has a fundamental focus upon the importance of the content of that which is "said". By this means, Luke slows his reader down so that he will actually give thought to what is coming.