For with God nothing shall be impossible.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)See Poole on "Luke 1:36" For with God nothing shall be impossible.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 1:37. ἀδυνατήσει: the verb means, in classic Greek, to be weak, of persons. In Sept and N. T. (here and in Matthew 17:20) it means to be impossible, of things. Commentators differ as to whether we should render: no word of God shall be weak, inoperative, or no thing, with, on the part of, God, shall be impossible.—ῥῆμα = דָּבָר may be rendered either word or thing. The reading παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ (  ) seems to demand the former of the two translations. Field, Otium Nor., discusses this passage. Adopting the above reading, and adhering to the sense of ἀδυνατ. in reference to things, he translates: “for from God no word (or no thing) shall be impossible”.
 Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.
 Codex Bezae
 Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.
Some recent critics find in this section two different views of the birth of Jesus, one implying natural paternity, the other supernatural causality, the former being the view in the original document, the other introduced by the evangelist, the former Jewish in its tendency of thought, the latter heathen-Christian. The subject is discussed by Hillmann in Jahrb. für prot. Theol., 1891, and Usener, Religions-geschictliche Untersuchungen, 1888. J. Weiss, in his ed. of Meyer, p. 303, note, seems inclined to favour this view, and to see in Luke 1:31-33 the one version, and in Luke 1:34-35 the other, due to Lk. Against this view vide Feine, Vork. Überlief.37. nothing] Rather, no word. For the thought see Genesis 18:14; Matthew 19:26. “There is nothing too hard for thee,” Jeremiah 32:17.Luke 1:37. Πᾶν ῥῆμα, every word [thing]) As to things contradictory in the very terms, whether such are possible to happen, is not a subject which need be disputed; for they do not constitute a word [in the sense ῥῆμα, verbum, is here used, a true word or thing]: nor does a thing done and undone, i.e. true and false [a word verified and then falsified], constitute a word; for repentance of His deed or promise does not apply to God: Genesis 18:14, μὴ ἀδυνατεῖ παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ ῥῆμα; Is any word impossible with God? (Surely not.)
Ῥῆμα, word, as distinguished from λόγος, word, in classical Greek, signifies a constituent part of a speech or writing, as distinguished from the contents as a whole. Thus it may be either a word or a saying. Sometimes a phrase, as opposed to ὄνομα, a single word. The distinction in the New Testament is not sharp throughout. It is maintained that ῥῆμα in the New Testament, like the Hebrew gabar, stands sometimes for the subject-matter of the word; the thing, as in this passage. But there are only two other passages in the New Testament where this meaning is at all admissible, though the word occurs seventy times. These are Luke 2:15; Acts 5:32. "Kept all these things" (Luke 2:19), should clearly be sayings, as the A. V. itself has rendered it in the almost identical passage, Luke 2:51. In Acts 5:32, Rev. gives sayings in margin. In Luke 2:15, though A. V. and Rev. render thing, the sense is evidently saying, as appears both from the connection with the angelic message and from the following words, which has come to pass: the saying which has become a fact. The Rev. rendering of this passage is, therefore, right, though a little stilted: No word of God shall be void of power; for the A. V. errs in joining οὐκ and πᾶν, not every, and translating nothing. The two do not belong together. The statement is, Every (πᾶν) word of God shall not (οὐκ) be powerless. The A. V. also follows the reading, παρὰ τῷ Θεῷ, with God; but all the later texts read παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, from God, which fixes the meaning beyond question.
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