Luke 11:36
If your whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle does give you light.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) If thy whole body therefore be full of light.—The statement reads at first like an identical proposition. “If thy whole body be full of light, it shall be full of light all over.” The apparent truism is, however, the most expressive utterance of a truth. If the “whole body”—life in all its various manifestations—is illumined by the divine light; if the character is in its measure perfect, as that of the Father is perfect, who is Light, and in whom is no darkness at all (1John 1:5); if passion, prejudice, ignorance are no longer there—then that character is . . .” We expect to hear something else as a climax of praise, but there is no higher word possible; the whole character is “full of light,” illumined, flooded by the eternal Light.

11:29-36 Christ promised that there should be one sign more given, even the sign of Jonah the prophet; which in Matthew is explained, as meaning the resurrection of Christ; and he warned them to improve this sign. But though Christ himself were the constant preacher in any congregation, and worked miracles daily among them, yet unless his grace humbled their hearts, they would not profit by his word. Let us not desire more evidence and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us. We should pray without ceasing that our hearts and understandings may be opened, that we may profit by the light we enjoy. And especially take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness; for if our leading principles be wrong, our judgment and practice must become more so.These verses are found in Matthew, but in a different connection. See the notes at Matthew 5:15; Matthew 6:22-23. 33-36. (See on [1640]Mt 5:14-16; [1641]Mt 6:22, 23.) But Lu 11:36 here is peculiarly vivid, expressing what pure, beautiful, broad perceptions the clarity of the inward eye imparts. See Poole on "Luke 11:34" If thy whole body therefore be full of light,.... That is, if the whole soul, as the Ethiopic version reads, be full of Gospel light, through the illuminating influences of the blessed Spirit accompanying the word:

having no part dark; every power and faculty of the soul being affected with it, and influenced by it, though, as yet, the light and knowledge of evangelical things is not perfect in any:

the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light; the whole soul shall be as full of light and joy, which the Gospel always brings with it, as a room is full of light, when a candle is lighted, and shines brightly, and burns clearly in it.

If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:36. Οὖν] taking up again the thought of Luke 11:34 : καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμά σου φωτεινόν ἐστιν.

In the protasis the emphasis lies on ὅλον, which therefore is more precisely explained by μὴ ἔχον τὶ μέρ. σκοτ.; but in the apodosis φωτεινόν has the emphasis, and the kind and degree of this light are illustrated (comp. Luke 11:34) by ὡς ὅταν κ.τ.λ.: “If therefore thy body is absolutely and entirely bright, without having any part dark, then bright shall it be absolutely and entirely, as when the light with its beam enlightens thee.” For then is the eye rightly constituted, fulfilling its purpose (see on Matthew 6:22); but the eye stands to the body in the relation of the light, Luke 11:34. It is complete enlightenment, therefore, not merely partial, of which this normal condition of light (ὡς ὅταν κ.τ.λ.) is affirmed. Ἀπὸ τοῦ κατὰ τὸ σῶμα παραδείγματος περὶ τῆς ψυχῆς δίδωσι νοεῖνἘὰν αὕτη ὅλη φωτεινὴ εἴη, μὴ ἔχουσα μηδὲν μέρος ἐσκοτισμένον πάθει, μήτε τὸ λογιστικὸν, μήτε τὸ θυμικὸν, μήτε τὸ ἐπιθυμικὸν, ἔσται φωτεινὴ ὅλη οὕτως, ὡς ὅταν ὁ λύχνος τῇ ἀστραπῇ αὐτοῦ φωτίζῃ σε, Euthymius Zigabenus. The observation of the above diversity of emphasis in the protasis and apodosis, which is clearly indicated by the varied position of ὅλον with respect to φωτεινόν, removes the appearance of tautology in the two members, renders needless the awkward change of the punctuation advocated by Vogel (de conjecturae usu in crisi N. T. p. 37 f.) and Rinck: εἰ οὖν τὸ σῶμά σου ὅλον, φωτεινὸν μὴ ἔχον τι μέρος, σκοτεινὸν, ἔσται φωτεινὸν ὅλον κ.τ.λ., and sets aside the conjectures that have been broached, such as those of Michaelis (Einl. I. p. 739): ἔσται φωτ. τὸ ὅλον (body and soul), or ὁλοόν; of Bornemann: that the first ὅλον is a gloss; of Eichthal: that instead of “thy body” must be meant “thine eye” (comp. already Maldonatus).

ὁ λύχνος] the lamp of the room, Luke 11:33.Luke 11:36. This verse is very puzzling both critically and exegetically. As it stands in T.R. (and in W.H[105]) it appears tautological (De Wette), a fault which some have tried to surmount by punctuation, and some by properly placed emphasis—on ὅλον in the protasis and on φωτεινόν in the apodosis, giving this sense: if thy body be wholly lighted, having no part dark, then will it be lighted indeed, as when the lamp with its lightning illumines thee (so Meyer). Even thus the saying seems unsatisfactory, and hardly such as Lk., not to say our Lord, could have been responsible for. The critical question thus forces itself upon us: is this really what Lk. wrote? Westcott and Hort think the passage contains “a primitive corruption,” an opinion which J. Weiss (in Meyer, p. 476, note) endorses, making at the same time an attempt to restore the true text. Such attempts are purely conjectural. The verse is omitted in [106], some Latin codd., and in Syr. Cur[107] The new Syr. Sin[108] has it in a form which Mrs. Lewis thus renders: “Therefore also thy body, when there is in it no lamp that hath shone, is dark, thus while thy lamp is shining, it gives light to thee”—a sentence as dark as a lampless body.

[105] Westcott and Hort.

[106] Codex Bezae

[107]yr. Cur. Curetonian Syriac. (For Greek equivalent vide Baethgen’s Evangelienfragmente.)

[108]yr. Sin. Sinaitic Syriac (recently discovered).36. doth give thee light] The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.

“God will light my candle,” Psalm 18:28. “Thy word is a lantern unto my feet.” In these words we catch an echo of those thoughts on the diffusiveness and divineness of light which are so fully developed in St John’s Gospel (Luke 8:12).

“War nicht das Auge sonnenhaft,

Wie konnten wir das Licht erblicken?”

Goethe.Luke 11:36. Ὅλον φωτεινὸνφωτεινὸν ὅλον, all full of light—full of light all over or wholly) An instance of Ploce [when the same word is twice employed, so as that in one instance the notion of the word itself simply, in the other an attribute of it, is understood]. The perfection of the parts [ὅλον in the first instance] tends to the perfection of degrees [ὅλον in the second instance: light wholly and perfectly in degree]. [Often two words are put in inverted order, in two successive clauses, in such a way, as that in each clause the word that stands first is to have the emphasis. Matthew 24:33 (where see the note on the present passage), 34; John 8:21; John 8:24; John 14:1, et seqq.; 1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 4:25; Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Php 2:7-8; Jam 2:18; Jam 2:22. The analogy of examples shows that this is no vain subtlety of hyper-criticism.—Not. Crit.]—ὁ λύχνος [a candle] the lamp) that lamp [candle] of which in Luke 11:33 He had spoken.—τῇ ἀστραπῇ) with its utmost degree of bright shining (brilliancy).Verse 36. - If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. The Lord here completes his allegory, still preserving the same images, with a sketch of the condition of a holy and humble man of heart, who with a "single eye," that is, honestly, trustfully, lovingly, has looked upon the sign and believed. Godet's comment on this hard and mystic saying of the Blessed is very beautiful: "When, through the fact of the clearness of thine eye, thy whole body shall be penetrated with light, without there being in thee the least trace of darkness, then the phenomenon which will be wrought in thee will resemble what takes place on thy body when it is placed in the rays of a luminous focus. Jesus means that from the inward part of a perfectly sanctified man there rays forth a splendor which glorifies the external man, as when he is shone upon from without. It is glory as the result of holiness. The phenomenon described here by Jesus is no other than that which was realized in himself on the occasion of his transfiguration, and which he now applies to all believers." There is little doubt that this teaching had been spoken by the Master on one, if not on more than one, previous occasion. In St. Matthew's report, in almost identical language (Matthew 5:15 and Matthew 6:22), the immediate application was different, and the reference of the lamp put in a prominent place was not to the Resurrection. The bright shining of a candle (ὁ λύχνος τῇ ἀστραπῇ)

More correctly, as Rev., the lamp with its bright shining. Ἀστραπή means lightning: see Luke 10:18; and that is the usual meaning in classical Greek, though it occurs, rarely, of the light of a lamp. It is used here to emphasize the idea of moral illumination.

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