"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay



WILLIAM BARCLAY
(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."

 



The Words of Jesus Christ
published by
THE WORDS GROUP
700 Sleater-Kinney Rd SE
No. 303-B
Lacey, WA 98503

 

 


BARCLAY'S GOSPEL of LUKE

Chapter Two

After three days they found him in the Temple precincts, sitting in the middle of the rabbis, listening to them and asking them questions. All who were listening were astonished at his understanding and at his answers.

JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM
In these days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that a census should be taken of all the world. The census first took place when Quirinius was governor of Syria; and everyone went to enroll himself, each man to his own town. So Joseph went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judaea, to David's town, which is called Bethlehem, because he belonged to the house and the line of David, to enroll himself with Mary who was betrothed to him and she was with child. When they arrived there her time to bear the child was completed; and she bore her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the place where they had meant to lodge.

SHEPHERDS AND ANGELS
In this country there were shepherds who were in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them and they were much afraid. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for - look you - I am bringing you good news of great joy, which will be to every people, for today a Savior has been born for you, in David's town, who is Christ the Lord. You will recognize him by this sign. You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger." And suddenly with the angel there was a crowd of heaven's host, praising God and saying, "In the highest heights glory to God; and on earth peace to the men whose welfare he ever seeks."

When the angels had left them and gone away to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Come! Let us go across to Bethlehem and let us see this thing which has happened which the Lord has made known to us." So they hurried on and they discovered Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. When they had seen him they told everyone about the word which had been spoken to them about this child; and all who heard were amazed at what was told them by the shepherds. But Mary stored up these things in her memory and in her heart kept wondering what they meant. So the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all that they had seen, just as it had been told to them.

THE ANCIENT CEREMONIES ARE OBSERVED
When the eight days necessarily prior to circumcision had elapsed, he was called by the name of Jesus, the name by which he had been called by the angel before he had been conceived in the womb. When the time which, according to the law of Moses, must precede the ceremony of purification had elapsed, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (in accordance with the regulation in the Lord's law, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord") and to make the sacrifice which the regulation in the Lord's law lays down, that is, a pair of doves or two young pigeons.

A DREAM REALIZED
Now - look you - there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon. This man was good and pious. He was waiting for the comforting of Israel and the Holy Spirit was upon him. He had received a message from the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Anointed One. So he came in the Spirit to the Temple precincts. When his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do regarding him the customary ceremonies laid down by the law, he took him into his arms and blessed God and said, "Now O Lord, as you said, let your servant depart in peace, because my eyes have seen your instrument of salvation, which you have prepared before all the people, a light to bring your revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." His father and mother were amazed at what was said about him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Look you, this child is appointed to be the cause whereby many in Israel will fall and many rise and for a sign which will meet with much opposition. As for you - a sword will pierce your soul - and all this will happen that the inner thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

A LOVELY OLD AGE
There was a prophetess called Anna. She was the daughter of Phanuel and she belonged to the tribe of Asher. She was far advanced in years. She had lived with her husband ever since seven years after she came to womanhood; and now she was a widow of eighty-four years of age. She never left the Temple and day and night she worshipped with fastings and with prayers. At that very time she came up and she began to give thanks to God and she kept speaking about him to all those who were waiting expectantly for the deliverance of Jerusalem. When they had completed everything which the Lord's law lays down they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew bigger and stronger and he was filled with wisdom, and God's grace was on him.

THE DAWNING REALIZATION
Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years of age, they went up according to the custom of the feast, and when they had completed the days of the feast and returned home, the child Jesus stayed on in Jerusalem. His parents were not aware of this. They thought he was in the caravan and when they had gone a day's journey they looked for him amongst their kinsfolk and acquaintances. When they did not find him they turned back to Jerusalem, looking for him all the time. After three days they found him in the Temple precincts, sitting in the middle of the rabbis, listening to them and asking them questions. All who were listening were astonished at his understanding and at his answers. Then they saw him they were amazed. His mother said to him, "Child, why did you do this to us? Look you, your father and I have been looking for you and we have been very worried."

He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I was bound to be in my Father's house?" They did not understand the meaning of what he said to them. So he came home with them and went to Nazareth and he was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew wise and grew bigger and increased in favor with God and man.



turn to chapters three and four


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