Peter’s Confession in Luke 9:20: Does This Have an Overlooked Use of the Filiation Formula?

Peter’s confession is presented with a varying text in each of the Synoptics. Absent in Mark 8:29, sonship language is expressly used in Matthew 16:16. English versions provide a literal but awkward translation of Luke 9:20: “Christ of God” or “Messiah of God.” This paper questions whether this is an overlooked example of Luke’s use of the filiation formula. How the filiation formula works grammatically in Greek is first explained. Then examples found in Greek inscriptions and literary texts are presented. Next, examples in the Septuagint are discussed. The paper then examines the use of the filiation formula in the New Testament, particularly in Luke’s genealogy in chapter 2. Bringing together these epigraphic and textual discussions related to the filiation formula, the paper then asks whether use of the formula has been overlooked in translations of Luke 9:20. Other possible uses of the filiation formula in Luke’s Gospel are also explored. By recognizing how the filiation formula is used in Greek texts, the paper can offer a fresh translation of Luke 9:20.

2 thoughts on “Peter’s Confession in Luke 9:20: Does This Have an Overlooked Use of the Filiation Formula?”

  1. A Filiation Formula
    A new translation of Luke 9:20 will be offered through a method I’m not familiar with. I am still wondering what is being overlooked, but I am willing to give the paper an ear.

  2. What is a Filiation Formula?
    The procedure is laid out well in the proposal, and the comparative analysis with primary sources will determine how compelling the argument is, but I am not clear on what this paper will argue. I am still interested to know where the paper goes.


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