Jesus Reads the Words of Isaiah
Answers to your Scripture questions
In Luke 4.16, 17, Jesus reads the words of Isaiah in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” What were the rules governing readings in those days?
—Will K., Clinton Township, Mich.
The reading of the Parascha, or section from the Law, by another person would have preceded the reading of Isaiah by Jesus. There is no way of knowing if the reading from Isaiah was the appointed lesson for the day. It is inconclusive whether there was, at that time, a cycle of prophetic lessons; and if there were, whether it would have been strictly followed. The cycle of lessons now in use dates much later. It is unclear whether Jesus read a passage selected by someone else or one he chose himself. Some scholars believe that Luke's description of Jesus finding the place in Isaiah means that Luke understood that the passage was a choice Jesus made himself.
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