Luke 4:17

καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου Ἠσαΐου καὶ ἀναπτύξας τὸ βιβλίον εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον,
I'm not sure whether this implies that Jesus did what was expected, reading the passage of the day, or whether it implies that he scrolled to a different part of Isaiah and read a passage of his own choosing.

As I understand it, the normal custom was to read sequentially through the scroll, and the scroll would be left in its current position between readings when it was put back in its case. I would also expect the scroll to have been laid out ahead of time. But I am not at all sure that I am visualizing this correctly.

So does ἀναπτύσσω mean "unroll" here? If so, does it imply that Jesus unrolled the scroll beyond its current position to the one he chose to read? In this reading, εὗρεν τὸν τόπον would imply that he had to actually look for a particular passage, he didn't just read the passage already laid out for him to read.

Am I overinterpreting this? Have others suggested this? ἀναπτύσσω can also mean "open" as in "open the gates". If you were invited to read in a synagogue at the time, would you open the scroll, or would it already be opened for you?

Statistics: Posted by Jonathan Robie — October 16th, 2022, 6:46 am

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