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Lukas 2:8-10

The Shepherds’ Visit

2:8 Now 1  there were shepherds 2  nearby 3  living out in the field, keeping guard 4  over their flock at night. 2:9 An 5  angel of the Lord 6  appeared to 7  them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. 8  2:10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, 9  for I proclaim to you good news 10  that brings great joy to all the people:

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[2:8]  1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

[2:8]  2 sn Some argue that shepherds were among the culturally despised, but the evidence for this view of shepherds is late, coming from 5th century Jewish materials. December 25 as the celebrated date of Jesus’ birth arose around the time of Constantine (ca. a.d. 306-337), though it is mentioned in material from Hippolytus (a.d. 165-235). Some think that the reason for celebration on this date was that it coincided with the pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia, and Christians could celebrate their own festival at this time without fear of persecution. On the basis of the statement that the shepherds were living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night it is often suggested that Jesus’ birth took place in early spring, since it was only at lambing time that shepherds stood guard over their flocks in the field. This is not absolutely certain, however.

[2:8]  3 tn Grk “in that region.”

[2:8]  4 tn Grk “living in the field (see BDAG 15 s.v. ἀγραυλέω) and guarding their flock.”

[2:9]  5 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

[2:9]  6 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” See the note on the word “Lord” in 1:11.

[2:9]  7 tn Or “stood in front of.”

[2:9]  8 tn Grk “they feared a great fear” (a Semitic idiom which intensifies the main idea, in this case their fear).

[2:9]  sn Terrified. See similar responses in Luke 1:12, 29.

[2:10]  9 tn Grk “behold.”

[2:10]  10 tn Grk “I evangelize to you great joy.”

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