The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 20 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 11-09-2012
1 And it came to pass on one of the days of His teaching the people in the temple and announcing the good message, there appeared the high priests and the scribes with the elders 2 and they spoke, saying to Him “Tell us, by what sort of authority do You do these things? Or who is it who has given to You that authority?”
The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text have merely priests, rather than high priests. The text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (>א), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Bezae (D).
3 But replying He said to them “I also shall ask you a question, and you must tell Me:
The word λόγος (3056) is rendered as question here, but it most literally means a word.
4 The immersion of Iohannes, was it from of heaven or from of men?”
The Pharisees had not gone to John because they thought of being baptized by him. They really went to see what he was doing, and why he thought he had such license to baptize. In Luke chapter 7, after Christ explains to the people that John was indeed a prophet, we see these words: “29 And all the people heard, and the tax-collectors deemed Yahweh just, being immersed in the immersion of Iohannes. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of Yahweh in regard to themselves, not being immersed by him.” Here Christ challenges them concerning this, which is also recorded in Matthew chapter 21and Mark chapter 11. From here we can also see that it is not improper to answer a question with a question in return, a rhetorical device eschewed by many today.