Lectionary Commentaries for July 9, 2023
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

from WorkingPreacher.org


Commentary on Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

Nicholas J. Schaser

In Matthew 11:16-19, Jesus highlights two possible responses to divinely ordained ministry. The first is disapproval and recrimination; the second is an assent to heavenly wisdom that may not always cohere with earthly expectations. The Gospel asks its readers which of these responses they will choose. 

Jesus begins with a parable to describe his contemporaries: “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn’” (Matthew 11:16-17). He continues, “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners’” (11:18-19a).

One understanding of this parable associates the “children” with Jesus and John: the flute-playing children represent Jesus—who comes joyfully “eating and drinking” (11:19)—whereas the wailing children represent the ascetic, fiery John. Those who neither dance nor mourn are the people of “this generation” who respond negatively to the two preachers.1 This view of the parable sees John and Jesus as the disgruntled children who are unhappy with their generation’s unfavorable reactions to their respective messages.

Yet, Jesus does not assert that he and John are the “children” complaining about improper responses to their music and mourning; instead, Jesus likens “this generation” to the “children” who express disappointment after they offer serenades and exhibit sorrows. Thus, a better way to understand the parable is that Jesus’ generation (the children) would have preferred to be piping and jigging with joy, but John came preaching repentance and retribution (see Matthew 3:7-12). Likewise, whereas “this generation” wanted Jesus and his disciples to wail—even John’s own devotees are confused by the lack of fasting among Christ’s followership (see Matthew 9:14)—Jesus refuses to have his disciples “mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them” (Matthew 9:15).2 The parable implies that “this generation” will be dissatisfied with any nonconformity to its desired dispositions—be it John’s rejection of joviality or Jesus’ lack of lament.

But who is “this generation”? 

Since the narrative context of our passage has Jesus speaking to “the crowds” (Matthew 11:7), it may be tempting to interpret his negative assessment of “this generation” as an indictment of the assembled masses or even all first-century Jews. However, a close look at the pronouns that Jesus employs across his monologue disallows this all-encompassing interpretation. 

At the outset of his address, Jesus asks the crowds about John’s desert activities using the second person plural (“you”): “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? […] A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet” (11:7, 9). 

But as Jesus explains his parable about “this generation” he switches from the second person plural (“you”) to the third person plural (“they”), thereby indicting others: “For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say (lēgousin), ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (11:18-19a). 

The “they” to whom Jesus refers cannot be the onlooking Jewish “crowds” (ōchloi), which Matthew almost always presents as favorably disposed to Jesus and vice versa (see also Matthew 4:25; 7:28; 8:1; 9:8, 36; 12:15; 14:13-14; 15:30-32; 19:2; 20:29; 21:8-11, 26, 46; 22:33). Instead, “they” must refer to alternative interlocutors—perhaps on the outskirts of the crowds or absent altogether—who had accused John of being demon-possessed and Jesus of being an over-indulgent associate of sinners. 

In the narrative surrounding our passage, Matthew provides the key to identifying these specific critics. First, according to Matthew 9:10-11, as Jesus was “at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” Since the Pharisees complain about Jesus’ company here, readers should expect that the Pharisees are also the “they” who have called Jesus a “friend of tax collectors and sinners” according to 11:19a. Next, when Jesus heals a demon-possessed man in Matthew 12, “all the crowds (ōchloi) were amazed and said, ‘Is this not the son of David?’ But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the ruler of demons, that this man casts out demons’” (12:23-24).

For Matthew, it is the Pharisees who grumble over dinner guests and make accusations about demon-possession. Conversely, the “crowds” marvel at Jesus and wonder whether he might be the awaited “son of David”—the broader Jewish populace is not critical of Christ’s work. Therefore, it is best to see the target of Jesus’ parabolic critique in Matthew 11:16-19 as the Pharisees—a relatively small group in Israel—as opposed to all the “crowds” or the entire generation of Jews in Jesus’ day. Whereas Matthew’s Jesus has “compassion” for the crowds of his fellow Jews and desires to be their “shepherd” (9:36), the Gospel does not offer the Pharisees the same sympathy.

The accusation that Jesus is a “glutton and a drunkard” (11:19a) reuses language from Deuteronomy. Moses declares that if parents cannot reform their son’s behavior, then “his father and mother shall … say to the elders of his town, ‘This child of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard’” (Deuteronomy 21:19-20). The Deuteronomistic background of the slander against Jesus highlights Matthean irony: the Pharisees assume a parental posture when they call Jesus a “glutton and a drunkard,” but Jesus’ previous parable had just cast them as children at play in the marketplaces.

Jesus concludes, “Yet, wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19b). By referring to wisdom’s works after a parable about Pharisaic “children” who criticize eating habits, Matthew pushes readers back to verses from Proverbs that encourage hungry children let divine wisdom dictate their deeds: “Will [God] not repay all according to their deeds? My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste. Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, you will find a future, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 24:12-14). The Matthean allusion to Israel’s Scriptures encourages Gospel readers to avoid acting like children trading complaints, which breed ad hoc accusations, and aspire to behavior born of God’s wisdom.


 1. See, for example, Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew (SP 1; Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1991), 161.
2. See W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew (3 vols.; ICC; London: T&T Clark, 1988-1997), 2.262.

First Reading

Commentary on Zechariah 9:9-12

Kristin J. Wendland

A specific historical moment for Zechariah 9-14 is challenging to ascertain, though it is surely post-exilic. The superscription in Zechariah 1:1 offers a date of 520-518 BCE, and there is little reason to question it for chapters 1-8, with its references to kings and historical events. Such clear dating markers disappear in chapters 9-14. The visions of restoration are bigger in this second half of the book as it slips beyond the confines of historical clarity. While knowing something of the historical world into which a prophet was speaking often helps with interpreting the prophet’s words in our own time and place, the lack of a firm setting can be freeing as one considers the many moments with which a biblical passage might interact as well as the cyclical way in which the Church often keeps time. 

Daughter Zion rejoices

Often the prophets of the Hebrew Bible do prophesy about specific events in the near future, as when Isaiah approaches King Ahaz about the appropriate role for Judah to play in the Syro-Ephraimatic war (Isaiah 7) or when Jeremiah prophesies about Babylon’s imminent rule over Jerusalem (Jeremiah 20). Zechariah 9:9-12, rather, envisions a future time when a powerful king will bring victory to Israel and Judah. This is something that cannot be placed on a historical timeline. Instead, Zechariah offers a prophetic vision that might be better thought of as a vision statement—a general statement of God’s desired future—than an indication of a particular event.

Verse 9 opens with a call for Daughter Zion to rejoice! Zion, also named Jerusalem in the next line, is personified here as a daughter. In other prophetic books and in the book of Lamentations, Jerusalem is often personified as a way of building empathy for the city in the face of destruction or to announce future possibility and growth. In Jeremiah, for instance, Daughter Zion gasps for breath like a laboring woman as she faces an impending army (Jeremiah 4:31). In Isaiah 51, the city is again personified, but this time the metaphor of woman emphasizes future fertility and the growth of a nation. Surely she ought to rejoice! In Zechariah 9, too, Daughter Zion rejoices that her children will live in the peace ushered in by a victorious king.

What kind of ruler?

Another aspect of personifying the city of Jerusalem as daughter is that social roles between parent, in this case likely a father, and daughter come into play. While these roles are not static, a basic expectation would be for a father to provide sustenance, shelter, and protection. In these verses, though, God is described not primarily as father but as king, a type of symbolic father whose role also includes provision of sustenance, shelter, and protection for a people. The role of protector is particularly emphasized here as the king enters triumphant and victorious, an apt description following the military campaign described in verses 1-8. 

This image of the king entering the city on a donkey rather than a warhorse emphasizes the end of war, at least momentarily. There is no need for the warhorse, the foal of a donkey will serve the king fine for the peaceful reign that this royal entrance inaugurates. In verse 10 territorial boundaries expand, first to Ephraim (Israel) and then world-wide. 

While not the gospel reading for this Sunday in the season after Pentecost, Zechariah 9:9-12 is most recognizably picked up in the triumphant entrance of Jesus in the gospels (Mattew 21:5; John 12:15, see also Mark 11:3; Luke 19:30). There, meanings of victory, peace, and worldly power are reimagined and a moment of hopeful peace is surrounded by battle scenes (Zechariah 9:1-8, 13-15), suggesting that this vision is not yet reality and yet exists in the world of sure and certain hope. 

Prisoners of hope

Several images in verses 11-12 speak to the identity of Daughter Zion. First, the “blood of my covenant with you” (feminine singular) hearkens back to Exodus 24:1-8, where as part of the covenant sealing ceremony at Sinai, Moses dashed blood from the offerings of well-being over the people as a symbol of their connectedness and ongoing relationship. Daughter Zion receives these words from Zechariah as an heir of covenantal relationship. The second half of that line proclaims freedom to Daughter Zion’s prisoners, likely a reference to the peoples’ exilic past. 

More importantly, the prophet bids, “Return to your strongholds,” to a safe place, presumably Mount Zion, the city of Jerusalem (verse 10). The image of prisoners is turned on its head as the prophet declares that the people would return as prisoners not of an enemy conqueror but as ones who cannot help but hope in a coming, God-given restoration. This is the one time in the passage that the prophet uses a plural address and speaks to the people as a whole rather than personified as Zion. On the one hand, this makes logical sense because Zion herself is the stronghold. More than that, this change in perspective, hard to recognize in English, also offers an opportunity for readers and hearers to find themselves within the text and to claim their own role as a prisoner of hope.

While the images of donkey and warhorse might need some modernization, the call to hope in a God-given vision of peace and security speaks clearly to a world beset by violence of all sorts. What type of ruler—what type of God—is it who calls us to rejoice with Zion? What type of ruler—what type of God—is it who calls us in such a way that we cannot help but hope?

Alternate First Reading

Commentary on Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67

Valerie Bridgeman

Genesis 24 in the Protestant bible is 67 verses long. For obvious reasons, the whole chapter could not be chosen for the lectionary reading, so the committee chose 22 of them, consisting of three intermittent pericopes to tell the story. A wise preacher, in preparation, would read the entire chapter, especially noting repetition and purpose. Why is the servant acting and how will he know he has succeeded? These questions are important for the sermon in a Christian setting, from my estimation.

The story, a betrothal one—one some have called a “love story”—is ultimately one about how one knows that God is leading, in other words, that “the angel of the Lord” has gone before you to order your steps to the will of God. In this text, it is demonstrated as Abraham’s senior servant embarks on a quest to find a wife for Isaac. The prayers of the servant join the recounting of the reason he is even in Aram-naharim (verse 10), the land where Abraham’s family resides. It is also a story of answering how God will ensure the promise God has made to Abraham that his descendants will be plentiful. It also points to the Deuteronomic concern that the Abrahamic line does not intermingle with the Canaanites, even though living among them (for example, much later in the deliverance and salvation story, the angel of the Lord goes before the Hebrews to drive out the Canaanites [Exodus 33:2; Deuteronomy 7:1]). In other words, the biblical story is not linear, but is rather anachronistic, written much later than the time it recounts and including the sentiments of a writer of later times.

We know the end of the story. But a preacher might make good use of the tension the slave feels. How will he know the God of his master is leading him. Abraham had assured him that God was with him. But what would be the sign? And what if he failed at his assignment? These kinds of questions are ancient and current. While we likely will never agree with the premise of this story—arranged marriage, with a bride price and plenty of gifts and funds to go to the family for the loss of a daughter—we can feel the need to discern how one petitions God in prayer and gets an answer; to pay attention to what points to God at work in everyday life—though we have to confess that the servant’s prayer is more consequential than our prayers for a parking lot.

The hearer may be disturbed by thinking about Rebekah as property. And we ought to be. But the preacher might, if she wants to go in this direction, lift up how our culture treats women as objects or monetizes the role of a woman in sex and in childbearing. It is easy for us to say, “that was then,” and it was, but the text always invites us into a conversation about how we might share some very human qualities with ancient peoples and cultures.

But this story is about how God leads and the role of humans in God’s work. It is a story about the servant’s prayer and his attentiveness to notice whether and how God is answering. Genesis 24 begins with Abraham’s assurance that God would send an angel ahead of the servant. Methodists would recognize that statement as prevenient grace—a grace that precedes our acts and that is completely the work and way of God. 

The preacher should also note that Rebekah must agree to the servant’s assertion that she’s the one for Isaac (verses 14, 45-46). He prayed that the one that offered him water and who watered his 10 camels, she would be Isaac’s wife. What kinds of “signs”do we expect when we pray? How do we know that God has “gone before us”? Who else has to agree that we have an answer from God? In this case, Rebekah, her father, and her brother agree. The text has Laban and Bethuel speak in chorus that the story the servant tells “come from God” (verse 50), and they will not disagree. Across the testaments, the preacher might remember the phrase, “out of the mouth of two or three witnesses”as a way to confirm God’s acts (Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16 & 2 Corinthians 13:1). A single witness is not sufficient for significant life choices. Or another way of saying “two or three witnesses” is that we need a community of people to discern how God is at work, even if we believe we have answered prayer.

This story is also about how God keeps promises to Abraham. In order for Abraham’s seed to be expanded through Isaac, Isaac needs a wife. He is currently 40 years old, according to Genesis 25:20, which might as well be the same as saying Abraham was 99 when he was born. How will the promise progress? 

Finally, this suggestion is a minor one, but important, from my point of view. The end of the cycle points to Isaac’s grief over his mother’s death. Sarah’s death is reported in Genesis 23. In Genesis 24:67, we read that Isaac, once he accepts Rebekah as his wife, marries her, takes her into his (dead) mother’s tent, where he loves Rebekah (one might assume sexually), and is comforted “after his mother’s death.” The preacher might consider the role that the servant’s action to find Rebekah as Isaac’s wife plays in his ability to be comforted and to move on beyond his grief at the loss of his mother. While this aside is not the most significant possibility for this text, it might serve the preacher if there has been significant loss in her and his community of faith.


Commentary on Psalm 145:8-14

Paul K.-K. Cho

Psalm 145 commands all its readers, indeed, all flesh (145:21) from every generation (145:13), to praise God the King who reigns over a universal kingdom (145:11-13) and, in so doing, provides us with a characterization of the kingdom and its king (145:8-20) in acrostic form.1

The psalm, then, which effectively concludes the body of the Psalter and serves as an introduction to the final Hallelujah psalms (Psalms 146-150), may be read as a denouement of the Psalter and the final testament of the paradigmatic psalmist, David, who appears for the final time to lead the chorus in the praise of the one true king, his God.

“My God is the King”

From the beginning of the psalm (145:1), but especially in the middle core (145:11-13), the emphasis falls on God’s kingship. As I stated before, this is the final time in the Psalter that David appears in the superscription (“A praise of David”), and this immediately after his appearance in the previous psalm in which he refuses to take on the title of king, referring to himself by the (still exalted) title, “servant” (144:10). And if David demurs the title of king in Psalm 144, he emphatically identifies God as king at the beginning of Psalm 145: “I will exalt you, O my God, the King” (145:1, my translation).

He closes the psalm with a promise and call to praise this king: “My mouth shall proclaim the praise of the LORD, / and all flesh shall bless his holy name for ever and ever” (145:21, NRSV). With this act of self-abdication and commitment to praise, David changes — within the psalmic tradition — from being the paradigmatic king to being the model psalmist. David no longer leads the army into battle but the faithful throng in praise of God who alone is king.

“The LORD is good to all”

The declaration that God is king is logically followed by an emphasis on God’s kingdom in verses 11-13, in which the word “kingdom” appears four times and reference made to God’s reign three other times. And this kingdom, in contrast to the parochial kingdom David once ruled over, is a universal and everlasting kingdom.

The psalm declares that “the LORD is good to all, / and his compassion is over all that he made” (145:9) and indicates that all are God’s subjects. Furthermore, the psalm says that God’s “kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, / and [his] dominion endures throughout all generations” (145:13). This is a bold response to a core theological question of the Psalter. For, after the events of 587 BCE, lamented in Psalm 89, whether God remains king and, if so, over what became pressing theological questions. Psalm 145, along with the rest of Books IV and V of the Psalter, provides the answer: God was, is, and will be king over all creation.

“The LORD is gracious and merciful”

The claim that God is the King over a universal and eternal kingdom raises the question: What kind of king is God? And the psalm provides answers.

The psalmist first reaches back to Exodus in order to describe God the King:

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The LORD is good to all,
And his compassion is over all that he has made. (145:8-9)

The simple and attractive description of God is a citation and re-interpretation of the much-venerated Mosaic formulation from Exodus 34:6-7. Citing traditional material establishes the antiquity of this understanding of God’s character: God has been and remains gracious and merciful. But the formulation has been updated in at least two significant ways. First, all reference to sin has been elided — though the problem of sin remains and receives effective response (see 145:20b). Second, the extent of God’s compassion, that is, God’s rule, is extended beyond Israel to include “all that he has made,” as noted above.

The psalm takes up the task of describing God the King again in verse 14 and continues until verse 20. More specifically, these verses list God’s subjects who receive God’s graciousness and mercy and God’s slow anger and steadfast love. The list appropriately begins with the favored among God’s people and concludes with the disfavored, indeed, with those who are destroyed.

As stated earlier in the psalm, God embraces “all that he has made”: “all [who] look to you” (145:15), “all who call on him” (145:18), “all who fear him” (145:19), and “all who love him” (145:20). But there is a group God prioritizes over all others in the kingdom so appears as first among equals in the list:

The LORD upholds all who are falling,
And raises up all who are bowed down. (145:14)

There is, in the kingdom of God, a preferential option for the lowly. God attends to the vulnerable and the downtrodden with special care and concern.

Furthest removed from the exalted lowly are the wicked, the object of God’s slow anger: “but all the wicked he will destroy” (145:20b). God’s kingdom is for all. But, in order for it to be for all, ironically, the wicked must be excluded. That they appear last in the list, farthest from the “falling” and “all who are bowed down” may be God’s gracious decision to move God’s favored as far as is possible from those who previously had abused and oppressed them. The act of receiving the lowly includes the rejection of their oppressors. The destruction of the wicked too is a necessary expression of God’s grace and mercy.

Therefore, hallelujah!

The conclusion of the alphabetic acrostic that details from A to Z the praiseworthy character of God the King appropriately concludes with a commitment and a call to praise by its head cantor, David:

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
And all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever. (145:21)

The final verse is a fitting testament of David the psalmist. And, in response, the heavens and the earth, the sea, all flesh, indeed, all that has breath raise their voices in Psalms 146-150 with the festal shout:



1. Commentary first published on this site on July 9, 2017.

Second Reading

Commentary on Romans 7:15-25a

Mary Hinkle Shore

In Romans 7, Paul has at least two points to make: (1) the law is good, and (2) the law cannot direct the new life in Christ. 

God’s law is good.

Torah (the law) was a gift from God for God’s people. One might conclude that Paul does not need to argue for its goodness. Yet in the early chapters of Romans, Paul has said numerous times that the law had a role to play in the hold sin has on humanity. 

  • “For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin” (3:20)
  • “For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation” (4:13)
  • “Sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law” (5:13)
  • “But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied” (5:20a) 
  • “While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death” (7:5)

After saying over and over again that the law has made things worse, Paul realizes that some readers may conclude the law is the problem, and he must correct that mistaken inference. “What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means!” (7:7). 

The problem is not the law, which is itself “holy and just and good” (7:12). The problem is sin, that power we first met in Romans 3:9 when Paul announced that all—both Jews and Greeks—were enslaved by it. Sin is an opportunistic tyrant, using anything at hand to maintain and extend its hold over human beings. The law is not sin, but it has been commandeered by sin to increase sin’s stranglehold even on those who “delight in the law of God” (7:22). 

The law is inadequate to direct life in Christ.

But wait, there’s more bad news. 

No matter how good the law is, and no matter how much the “I” of 7:15 recognizes its goodness and seeks to follow it,1 still: “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”2

In Romans 7:15-24, is Paul describing life before or apart from Christ’s victory? Or is Paul describing current affairs, that is the “mopping up” operations (also known as daily life) in the war with Sin that Christ has already won on behalf of the baptized? From 6:1 (“Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound?”) Paul has been exploring life in Christ. What is more, his correspondence overall surely bears witness to the continuing power of Sin to upend faithfulness in the lives of the baptized. Yet whether the time Paul has in mind is before or after readers are joined to Christ’s death and resurrection, the center of gravity in Romans 7 is elsewhere: the law is good, and even for those who delight in it, “evil lies close at hand” (7:21). 

Toward preaching

The goodness of the law and its limitations exist in tension with one another. It is a tension that preachers often try to resolve.

When we preach as if the sermon just needs to offer affirmation to a shamed people in order to reassure them, “you are enough,” Romans 7 helpfully complicates our conclusions. Human nature, before and after baptism, has more in common with what Paul calls “the flesh” (meaning the part of the self that is enthralled by Sin’s power and empty promises) than much popular anthropology recognizes. For instance, it is true that “God doesn’t make junk,” but that truth cannot be the sum total of what Christian pastors offer in the way of a theological anthropology. From Romans 7 we learn that “I am not junk” (see also 7:15), and neither is the law, and yet, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (7:19). A sermon’s hearers (and speaker) are standing not simply in the need of affirmation but also in the need of prayer. 

Or maybe the preacher’s temptation is not to jettison the law as so many shame-producing rules, but to rely on the law as the path of faithful living, as if telling people what to do was sufficient to empower their faithfulness. Our sermons can be summarized with, “Do good. Eliminate evil.” We offer hearers to-do items each week, peppering our sermons with the words, “We should …” we must …” and “let us …” 

Whether the rules we prefer to preach focus on personal holiness or on social justice, Romans 7 reminds us that knowledge even of the holy, just, good law of God is not power to follow it. Christians seeking to live out our faith are up against something even more powerful than ignorance. It is not true that, “You will know the rules, and the rules will set you free.” 

In Romans 7, Paul limits the confidence readers may have both in the self and in the law for directing their lives in Christ. Where else can we turn? Near the end of the chapter, Paul declares rescue with the words, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Conspicuously absent from Romans 7 is the role of the Spirit in the Christian life. Paul will turn there next. As chapter 8 will make clear, the Spirit of our Lord and of his resurrection bears witness that we are children of God (8:15-17) and intercedes for us when we do not know how to pray (8:26f.), so that finally we are assured that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (8:39).


1. Krister Stendahl, “The Apostle Paul and the Introspective Conscience of the West,” Paul among Jews and Gentiles (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1976), 92f. argues persuasively that Paul acquits both the law and the self (cf. 7:17) in this passage. Sin is the villain.

2. There is no consensus concerning who is the “I” of Romans 7. Is Paul speaking for himself? Is the “I” any Christian? Anyone before faith? For an overview of the options and textual support for them, see Walter F. Taylor, Jr.’s Working Preacher essay on this text.