I am glad to see that the majority of the answers here are on the right track, considering the fact that this forum is called the "Hermeneutics Stack Exchange." I have a long and a short answer to this question. First, the short answer. No, Jesus did not sweat blood in Luke 22:44. It is simile language by comparing the two unlike things (sweat and blood) using the word "like." My long answer, which I presented to a person who holds a doctorate in theology, goes like this:
Thank you for your response. I really appreciate the time, effort, and scholarship you put into the issue of the sweat of Jesus. I understand that you may have time constraints and that explains why it took so long for you to respond, but I appreciate a well presented response.
I have considered what you have written and appreciate the references. Before going into details about the specifics of your attached response, I would like to make some general, hermeneutical and Biblically rational observations.
I'm sure you are well aware of the fact that the true Author of Scripture is God the Holy Spirit. I'm sure you also know that He has been, and can be, very specific when it comes to clarity and emphasizing certain things.
For example, we know that snow is white, so why would the Spirit emphasize the color of snow in Isaiah 1:18? Obviously, in that immediate context He wanted to emphasize the color of snow in contrast to sins which are represented by the color "scarlet" or "red." While snow has many characteristics besides its color, the Holy Spirit made it clear that the emphasis was on the whiteness of snow.
By way of another example, when Jesus was on the cross and a soldier thrust a spear in His side, the Holy Spirit moved on the writer to clearly tell us that "blood and water" began to flow out of the wound. So we have a clear declaration that both water and blood flowed, not either or.
Since there are countless examples of this kind of thing in the Bible, I find it very strange that when we get to Luke 22:44, all of a sudden it seems the Spirit has lost His ability to be specific and clear. For example, there would be little to no ambiguity to the text if He had written, "....Then His sweat became great drops of blood falling down to the ground." By simply removing the adverb "like" from the text, we have a more clear statement that Jesus' sweat actually became "great drops of blood" or became bloody. Either way, the ambiguity is pretty much gone.
Or, He could have had it written this way: "Then His sweat became red like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." By simply adding the perfectly good Greek word for red (as used in Matthew 16:2 or Rev. 6:4), He could have helped us understand that something strange was going on with this sweat that is now abnormally red like blood, which could more clearly point to an interpretation that perhaps Hematidrosis had taken place.
But what we actually have in the text is this: "Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Now considering what I have pointed out about how Scripture is written, and how the Spirit can be quite specific when He wants to be, I find it very hard to believe that He decided to be ambiguous at Luke 22:44. So I don't believe the Spirit made any mistakes or was ambiguous here. He said what He meant, and meant what He said.
He clearly added the word "like" when He could have left it out, and He clearly omitted the Greek word for "red" when He could have added it to emphasize color if that were His purpose. I hope you can see what I'm getting at, and why I have a big problem with any interpretation that attempts to find literal blood in Jesus' sweat when the text simply doesn't say "His sweat became blood."
Now I fully understand and get the point that the Greek adverb "hosei" CAN refer to a "condition," but simply because it can have that meaning does not prove that that meaning must apply at Luke 22:44. The immediate context and other factors must be used to determine the correct application of meaning, not assumption or a perhaps blind repetition of past scholars and/or commentators without exegetical thought or hermeneutical considerations.
Below I now respond to your specific points in your pdf in the order they appeared:
Point 1: Flexibility in usage is a given in Greek, but this in and of itself does not prove that the "condition" sense is what is meant in Luke 22:44. The immediate context, along with other hermeneutical and common sense considerations, must determine proper interpretation. The examples of AT Robertson and Goodwin were not true examples of comparative language, since there was nothing contextually in any of the examples to show a true comparison reflecting simile language, i.e., a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind. We must always keep in mind what the definition of a simile is.
Point 2: I do not think I ever made the argument that the presence of "like" or "as" "always and necessarily" signal simile or figurative use. This, I believe, must be determined by the immediate context and other factors in each case. In fact, even when specific simile language is not used in Scripture, we must still use Biblical common sense and contextual clues to determine what's being said. For example, when David said in Psalm 18:2 that the Lord was his "rock" and "shield," we instinctively should know that he was not saying that God was actually or literally made of "rock" and metal, despite the fact that in Hebrew there is a perfectly good way to say "like" a rock and "like" a shield in comparative form.
I must admit that while I respect the work of Bullinger, I believe he is in error by stating that the simile usage of "like" in Luke 22:44 is more than comparative but also indicates "the actual thing itself." I may have to read his attempted justification for this interpretation in order to understand the point he was trying to make, but on its face it simply doesn't work in terms of how a simile is defined.
The examples of similar usage given by Bullinger, such as Matthew 14:5 and Romans 9:32, do not work because they are not true examples of simile usage of the word "like." So they are false comparisons to Luke 22:44. Those examples do not contain the word "like" comparing one thing to another of a different kind, which is how a simile is defined and recognized. So I must take serious and justified issue with Bullinger here.
The English examples you gave of how "like" or "as" can indicate condition are flawed in that contextually and linguistically, they were not true simile comparatives. When you say, "a child who came forth from the womb as a son," you are not comparing one thing to another of a different kind, as in the sentence, "His head and His hair were white like wool." Head and hair are one thing, but wool (the simile comparative noun) is another thing of a different kind.
The same applies when you said, "The rain came down as sleet or snow." The fact of the matter is, there is no essential difference between rain, sleet, or snow, so there is no valid simile comparative going on here. Snow and sleet are simply rain in slightly different forms due to variations of temperature, so you can't have a proper simile usage between rain, sleet and snow. So these examples can't help us determine anything regarding the verse at hand in Luke 22:44, and it is therefore a false conclusion to then attempt to say that Jesus' sweat came down "in the form of, great drops of blood."
Point 3: When you began to go into examples of what you called the "condition" usages of "like" or "as," I immediately found a problem with the examples. I have no clue how anyone can come up with the idea that the Holy Spirit literally came down on Jesus in the literal form of a dove, when both texts specifically say He came down "like" a dove. This is clearly simile language, which by definition cannot be taken literally, otherwise you create nonsensical misinterpretation.
In the text, the Holy Spirit (one "thing"), is being compared to another thing of a different kind (a dove) using "like" or "as." Now unless you can demonstrate Biblically that the Holy Spirit and a dove are not different kinds of things, you cannot argue that this is an example of "condition" usage because by definition it is simile usage. This is not an example of "condition" usage.
When it comes to your second example in Luke 24:11, I would have to agree with you that in that context and in that sentence, we do not have simile usage by way of comparing unlike things using "like" or "as." This is because "words" can indeed be "idle tales" and are not dissimilar things being compared, and so no true simile language is present in the text. So in this text, we may have a "condition" usage. But this text is quite different from the one in question, where we do have simile language.
The third case you provided, from Acts 2:3, I would have to disagree with you on. This is because within the immediate context of the passage, we have true simile language. We have "divided tongues" (one kind of thing) being compared with "fire"(another kind of thing), and the tongues came to rest on each one. By definition, we have simile language usage here, not "condition" usage. They did not have literal fire resting on their heads. That makes absolutely no literal sense. The Spirit gave them languages to speak, like fire, and His power fell on each one. This is the meaning of the text, as confirmed by verse 4.
The fourth case for "condition" usage I would agree with because we simply do not have simile usage of "like" in the context. I can see no comparison of unlike things or kinds in the text. So this passage is not an example of simile usage. However, this passage cannot be compared with Luke 22:44, since we should know by now that the passage in question does indicate that the usage of "like" there is simile language, since it is comparing sweat (one kind of thing) with "clots of blood" (another kind of thing), which by definition is simile language.
Now just like the other example above regarding the Holy Spirit and a dove, what you have to demonstrate is that sweat and blood are not different kinds of things being compared by the usage of the Greek word for "like." But I do not believe that can be done rationally or linguistically. I hope you can agree with me on the obvious point that sweat and blood are not the same, either visually or chemically. If they are not the same and are different kinds of things, and we have them being compared with the usage of the word "like," then that by definition is simile usage.
And what is a simile? According to lexico.com, a simile is "A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid." (emphasis added).
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines it this way: "a figure of speech comparing two unlike things that is often introduced by like or as (as in cheeks like roses)." (emphasis added).
And again, another online source (literarydevices.net), gives this definition of a simile: "A simile is a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two different things." (emphasis added).
So again my question to you, sir, is this; are sweat and blood two different things, or are they the same? Are they two different kinds of things, or are they two things so similar (I guess you could say they're both liquids?) that we can ignore their clear differences?
To me this is a critical point of interpretation. If we can't determine in this immediate context whether or not the usage of the main words in question (i.e., "sweat," "like," "great clots of blood") are in simile or "condition" usage in relationship to each other, then we cannot properly interpret the passage.
Let's go to another example. In Revelation 1:14, Jesus' head and hair were said to be "white like wool." This text is not saying that Jesus' head and hair were literally made of wool. That's nonsense on so many levels. The emphasis is on the color and glory of His head and hair being "white," and the kind of "white" is qualified by the words "like wool." The same Greek word used for "like" here is the exact same one used in Luke 22:44.
So in Rev. 1:14 we must have, by definition, simile language. Why? Because we have one kind of thing (a person's head and hair) being compared with another kind of thing (wool) using the word "like." This is therefore simile language, and we must interpret it as such, and thus come to the correct interpretation by properly identifying the correct grammatical usage of the words in question.
So my basic point here is that while I appreciate your detailed and thoughtful response, I do not find it convincing enough to prove that Jesus' sweat was actually blood or contained blood. The text simply doesn't say that. It says His sweat became "like" great drops or clots of blood. Considering the fact that the Spirit could have left out the adverb "like," and considering the fact that He also could have clarified by adding a few clarifying words like "red" and so forth, I do not see any interpretational justification for arguing that Jesus' sweat contained literal blood.
Even though we know that there is an actual, but rare, condition that people can experience where literal blood can come out of their sweat glands known as Hematidrosis, this by itself does not prove that this is what was happening to Jesus at that time in Luke 22:44. Logically speaking, that simply does not follow.
So I guess I am still left with this question for you: Did Jesus Sweat Blood? Does the text say He sweat blood, or does it say that His sweat became "like" blood, showing simile language usage?
Of course I would agree with you that this is not a "salvation issue." I would argue, however, that it is an important interpretational and hermeneutical issue. I'm sure you will agree with me that it is vitally important that we properly read and interpret the Bible. If we have problems doing that, then we have some very serious problems that can lead into the kingdom of the cults, and we don't want to go there.
So I hope you will seriously reconsider the view that Jesus sweat actual blood, even though it's not a salvation issue. The mention of blood in that passage probably has prophetic meaning, as the suffering in the Garden was pointing to the suffering to be fulfilled on the cross. But I don't like going beyond what is warranted by the proper interpretation of the text.
What I think you need to do to prove that Jesus sweat literal blood in Luke 22:44 is demonstrate that somewhere in the New Testament (especially Luke's writings), a clear, unambiguous, linguistic simile was also used in a literal sense (which is almost, if not actually, oxymoronic).
But even if you were to find such an instance, this would not ipso facto prove that the same thing applies at Luke 22:44, logically speaking. Of course there are almost always exceptions to rules, but those have to be proved, not merely assumed. So if you can find such an example in the New Testament (or the Old), I would be glad to take a look at it.
Now as far as the Greek scholars and others who tend to argue that Jesus sweat actual blood, I cannot explain why that is. I think I may consult some of my former Greek professors on this to see what they say.
What I can say, however, that I've noticed at times that scholars tend to copy each other, sometimes blindly, and make mistakes by doing so. Dr. John A.T. Robinson noted such things in his book Redating the New Testament, where he pointed out how scholars had made mistakes in dating because they followed the "status quo" of other scholars and ignored evidence of early dating. So maybe that explains some of it.
But from my research thus far, there are many people in church history that did not believe Jesus had sweat literal blood in Luke 22:44. Below is just a sample of some sources explaining various views:
David Guzik Commentary: (taken from blueletterbible.org)
"Being in agony, He prayed more earnestly: In His agony, Jesus prayed more earnestly, to the point where His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke did not say that Jesus’ sweat was blood, but that it was like blood; either in the way that it poured off His brow, or because it was tinged with blood from the burst capillaries and dilated pores on His brow."
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: (https://biblehub.com/)
"as it were great drops of blood] Such a thing as a ‘bloody sweat’ seems not to be wholly unknown (Arist. Hist. Anim. iii. 19) under abnormal pathological circumstances. The blood of Abel ‘cried from the ground;’ but this blood ‘spake better things than the blood of Abel’ (Genesis 4:10; Hebrews 12:24). St Luke does not however use the term ‘bloody sweat,’ but says that the dense sweat of agony fell from him “like blood gouts”—which may mean as drops of blood do from a wound."
ICC NT Commentary: (https://biblehub.com/)
"44. ὡσεὶ θρόμβοι αἵματος καταβαίνμοντες. Even if καταβαίνοντος (א V X, Vulg. Boh.) be right, the words do not necessarily mean more than that the drops of sweat in some way resembled drops of blood, e.g. by their size and frequency..."
Lange Commentary: (https://biblehub.com/)
"To understand actual drops of blood is, it is true, forbidden by ὡσεί, but, at all events, we must conceive them as heavy thick drops, which, mingled and colored for the most part with portions of blood, looked altogether like drops of blood."
Dr. Tom Constable Commentary: (https://planobiblechapel.org/constable-notes/)
"In what sense was Jesus' "sweat" similar to "drops of blood"? Perhaps it was so profuse that it resembled blood flowing from a wound. Perhaps there is an allusion to this suffering being the fulfillment of God's judgment on Adam, when He said that Adam would live by the sweat of his brow (Gen. 3:19). Luke may have been creating a rhetorical expression, namely, "tears of blood". Perhaps Jesus' sweat was red because blood exuded through the pores of His skin. Probably Luke made a symbolic connection with "blood," because Jesus' sweat was the result of His great sufferings, just as bleeding is often the result of intense suffering. The point then is that Jesus was sweating profusely, and His sweat was the result of His suffering in anticipation of the Cross."