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This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
- Luke 2:32, 34. The words of Simeon here are very similar to that found in the apocryphal Testament of Levi (Dead Sea Scrolls, 4Q541), describing an individual that was to appear and "make atonement". This would suggest that Simeon may here be citing an old tradition related to the Messiah.
- Luke 2:34-35. When Simeon speaks of the fall and rise of many in Israel, he may have Isa 8:14 in mind. Note also that the only other times that Luke uses the Greek word that is here translated “rise,” he is referring to resurrection, so that is probably also what he means here.
- Luke 2:36. Phanuel means “face of God” and Asar (Asher) means “good luck.”
- Luke 2:36. Four women in the Old Testament are called “prophetess”: Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Deborah (Judges 4:4), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), and Isaiah’s wife (Isaiah 8:3). The rabbis also recognized Sarah, Hannah (1 Samuel 2:1), Abigail (1 Samuel 25:32), and Esther as prophetesses.
- Luke 2:41-51. Notice how important the Temple is to Luke’s story. It begins in the Temple, with Gabriel’s appearance to Zacharias. As an infant Jesus’s divinity and calling is confirmed by witnesses in the temple. And the only incident we know from his childhood is one in the Temple. When we get to the end of Luke gospel (Luke 24:53), we will see that his story ends with the disciples in the Temple.
- Luke 2:49. In verse 49, the phrase translated “about my Father’s business” is probably better translated “in my Father’s house.”
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Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the "edit" link to edit or add content to this section. →
- Luke 2:21-29. Why is it important to know that Jesus was raised according to the Mosaic Law?
- Luke 2:22-24, 25-27. In the first set of verses, Luke refers to the law three times. In the second set, he refers to the Spirit three times. What do you make of that parallel?
- Luke 2:22-28. Oddly, Luke seems to be confused about the rituals required by the Law of Moses. According to Leviticus 12:2-8, forty days after the birth of a male child, a woman was to be purified by offering a lamb at the temple, or a pair of doves if she was poor. Exodus 13:2 and 13:12-13 says that the first-born male belongs to God and could be redeemed by an offering by the father. Luke has conflated the two offerings.
- Luke 2:23. In verse 23, "male that openeth the womb" is the literal translation of a Greek idiom that refers to the firstborn male.
- Luke 2:25. Some have speculated that Simeon is a member of the priestly class who, having seen the corruption of the temple priesthood, is waiting for its restoration. This speculation based on the fact that he calls himself a servant in verse 29 and that word is generally reserved for those with the priesthood.
- Luke 2:25. In verse 25, the word translated “consolation” is paraklēsis. It is closely related to the word translated “comforter” in places like John 14:16 and 26, and 15:26. Literally the Greek word means “one who calls out” or “one who calls to,” so it means “an exhorter” or “one who beseeches.” Luke uses the word in Luke 3:18 to describe John the Baptist’s preaching.
- Luke 2:25. Simeon has been “waiting for the consolation of Israel.” What does that mean? A rabbinic tradition has it that the phrase refers to the last words spoken between Elijah and Elisha, words that will be revealed when Elijah returns. Could that rabbinic tradition have significance for Latter-day Saints?
- Luke 2:35. With what does Simeon bless Mary? When Simeon says that Jesus will minister so “that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed,” what does he mean?
- Luke 2:36-38. By calling Anna a prophetess, Luke explicitly compares her to Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and Isaiah's wife. (See the exegesis.) In what ways is she comparable to them?
- Luke 2:36-38. If we think of Simeon and Anna as types, who might they represent?
- Luke 2:36. Do the meanings of the names in Anna's genealogy perhaps explain why Luke has mentioned those names?
- Luke 2:42-52. Luke shows us a young boy who knows the scriptures, who is at home in the Temple, who understands that God is his father, and who obeys his parents. The person we see here is anything but a rebel. Why might Luke have thought it important to show his audience that?
- Luke 2:49. This verse could summarize Jesus’ life. Did Luke write it with that in mind?
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Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.