“And Their Eyes Were Opened, And They Knew”: An Inter-Canonical Note On Luke 24:31 -- By: Dane C. Ortlund

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 53:4 (Dec 2010)
Article: “And Their Eyes Were Opened, And They Knew”: An Inter-Canonical Note On Luke 24:31
Author: Dane C. Ortlund


“And Their Eyes Were Opened, And They Knew”: An Inter-Canonical Note On Luke 24:31

Dane C. Ortlund

Dane Ortlund is senior editor in the Bible division at Crossway Books, 1300 Crescent St., Wheaton, IL 60187.

The purpose of this article is to suggest that Luke 24:31 alludes to Genesis 3:7 in the shared statement “and their eyes were opened, and they knew.”1 When Adam and Eve were offered food by the serpent and ate, their eyes were opened and they knew good and evil. When the two disciples on the Emmaus road were offered food by the risen Jesus and ate, their eyes, too, were opened and they knew who their traveling companion was, that he had been raised, and that he was the focal point of all the Scriptures.

This essay proceeds in three basic steps. We first note the scarcity in the relevant literature of those who raise the possibility of this inter-canonical connection. Second, we identify three scholars who do link Luke 24:31 back to Genesis 3, though each only briefly. Third, we provide four factors that cumulatively suggest an allusion to Gen 3:7 in Luke 24:31.

I. Neglect Of The Allusion

It is striking to note the paucity of scholars who entertain the possibility of an allusion to Eden in Luke 24:31.2 While many detect a kind of miniature Eucharist celebration in the breaking of bread in Luke 24 (cf. 22:19), and some connect Luke 24 with the bread distribution to five thousand in Luke 9, scholars almost universally fail to link Luke 24:30-31 with Genesis. Let us consider a representative sampling from four main areas of Lukan scholarship: commentaries, books and monographs on Luke, broader NT theology projects, and studies of Luke’s use of the OT.

First, just about every noteworthy commentary on Luke bypasses any mention of a possible connection between Luke 24:31 and Gen 3:7. This goes for commentaries by Calvin,3 Henry,4 Bruce,5 Klostermann,You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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