Gospel of Luke Chapter Three

3:1 During the fifteenth years of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea and Herod was the governor of Galilee, and his brother Philip was the governor of the regions of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was the governor of Abilene –
3:2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the wisdom of God came in the wilderness onto John, the son of Zachariah.
3:3 He traveled around the region of the Jordan river preaching the baptism1 for a change of heart and the release from sin.
3:4 As it is written in the scroll of the teachings of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness prepares one for the path of the LORD – make the path straight.
3:5 Every ravine will be filled and every mountain and hill will be leveled – the crooked will become straight and the rough roads smooth –
3:6 and everybody will see the deliverance of God.”2
3:7 Thus he taught the multitudes who traveled out to be baptized: “You, born of vipers, who warned you to flee from the hostilities to come?
3:8 Thus make offerings that reflect your change of heart and do not start saying to yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father,’ because I tell you, God can raise children of Abraham from stones.
3:9 Indeed, the ax is already lying at the root of the trees, so every tree that does not offer good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
3:10 The people asked him, “What should we do then?”
3:11 And he would answer them by saying, “One who has two tunics should share with those who have none, and one who has food should do the same.”
3:12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. They asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
3:13 So he told them, “Collect only what you have been instructed to.”
3:14 Soldiers came to inquire from him. They asked, “What about us? What should we do?”And he told them, “Don’t take money from anyone forcefully or accuse someone falsely – and be satisfied with your wages.”
3:15 At that time, people were all expecting and wondering from within their hearts whether he was the Anointed of God [Messiah, Christ].
3:16 John answered them, saying, “As for me, I baptize you in water but there will appear One more powerful than I – whose sandals I am not fit to untie. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
3:17 The winnowing fork in His hand will completely clear out His threshing floor and gather the wheat into His barn. But He will burn up the chaff with an unquenchable fire.”
3:18 Thus with many other exhortations he preached the gospel to the multitudes.
3:19 But when Herod the governor was criticized by him because of Herodias – his brother’s wife – and due to all the wicked things Herod had done.
3:20 Given all of this, he locked John up in prison.
3:21 As with all the people who were baptized, Jesus was also baptized. While he was praying, the spiritual realm opened.
3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form – like a dove. Then a voice came forth from the spiritual realm: “You are My beloved servant - in you I am very pleased.”
3:23 When he started his ministry, Jesus was about thirty years old, and was assumed to be the son of Joseph, in the order of3 Eli -
3:24 of4 Matthat, of Levi, of Melki, of Jannai, of Joseph,
3:25 of Mattathias, of Amos, of Nahum, of Esli, of Naggai,
3:26 of Maath, of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
3:27 of Joanan, of Rhesa, of Zerubbabel, of Shealtiel, of Neri,
3:28 of Melki, of Addi, of Cosam, of Elmadam, of Er,
3:29 of Joshua, of Eliezer, of Jorim, of Matthat, of Levi,
3:30 of Simeon, of Judah, of Joseph, of Jonam, of Eliakim,
3:31 of Melea, of Menna, of Mattatha, of Nathan, of David,
3:32 of Jesse, of Obed, of Boaz, of Salmon, of Nahshon,
3:33 of Amminadab, of Ram, of Hezron, of Perez, of Judah,
3:34 of Jacob, of Isaac, of Abraham, of Terah, of Nahor,
3:35 of Serug, of Reu, of Peleg, of Eber, of Shelah,
3:36 of Cainan, of Arphaxad, of Shem, of Noah, of Lamech,
3:37 of Methuselah, of Enoch, of Jared, of Mahalalel, of Kenan,
3:38 of Enosh, of Seth, of Adam, of God.5


1. Verse 3:3. The Greek word βάπτισμα (baptisma) is assumed by many as a ritual dunking into water. However, the word means, “immersion, submersion – of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed” according to the lexicon. In reference to John’s teachings, it can also mean, “purification rite by which men on confessing their sins were bound to spiritual reformation, obtained the pardon of their past sins.”

2. Verse 3:6. This paraphrases a portion of Isaiah 40:3-5. Here are the verses with the surrounding text:
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?" "All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever." (Isaiah 40:1-8 NIV)

3. Verses 3:23-38. The Greek word ὁ (ho) has been translated in some versions to “son of.” However, the word ὁ (ho) is a demonstrative pronoun that distributes into parts or orders – “the one” or “the other;” “indicates, kinship, affinity, or some kind of connection or fellowship.”

4. Verses 3:24-38. The Greek word used here is τοῦ. The Greek texts display τοῦ Μαθθὰτ – τοῦ Λευὶ and so on. The word τοῦ means “of.”

5. Verses 3:23-38. The assumption this is detailing biological or genetic father/son relationships is made by some translations of Luke 3. However, the basis for this assumption is questionable. There is no mention of a biological father in these verses. The assumption that Joseph was Jesus’ biological father is contradicted in Luke 1 and other verses of the four Canon Gospels. Luke’s listing also differs from the listing in Matthew. Such a premise would also indicate that Adam was the biological son of God. The listing would more logically relate to a teaching lineage – a spiritual order – which Joseph and Jesus were part of. Thus, the more accurate translation would refer to the order of Eli – also considered to a part of the priestly order of Melchizedek.