Talk:Luke 9-16 (Translated)

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I am a bit concerned by how often I am seeing the term "God" arbitrarily replaced with "the Lord." (For example, "Kingdom of God" changed to "Truth of the Lord.") The two terms are not synonymous, and I feel the difference between θεος and κυριος should be retained. Also, in the Gospel of Luke, and elsewhere on the site, "Truth" used as a translation of several different words: Kingdom, Word, gospel. This is a big problem. You can't simply replace every complex term with "truth."

The distinction between 'Lord' and 'God', the substitution of 'Truth' for 'Word' is a matter for Bible Translation Issues. Specific problems with Luke 9-16 can be discussed here. JohnFraiser 10:22, 21 October 2009 (EDT)

Translation of ευαγγελιον

Luke 9:6- I don't know if "spreading the Truth" is a very good translation here. Wouldn't a better translation of the Greek ευαγγελιζομενοι (euangelizomenoi) be "proclaiming the good news"? Or the more traditional "preaching the gospel"? I think it may be a bad idea to downplay the term "gospel" too much. After all, most conservatives should be pretty familiar with the term "gospel." --Cory Howell 15:48, 21 October 2009 (EDT)Cory Howell

Over at the Gospel of Mark, the decision was made to translate ευαγγελιον as "good news." It seems to me that the same convention should be followed here in Luke. Therefore, "spreading the Truth" in Luke 9:6 should be rendered either "proclaiming the good news" or "spreading the good news." "Proclaiming" would be more literal, and "spreading" would be a little more figurative, but would more clearly present the idea of the gospel spreading across the countryside.--Cory Howell 11:46, 22 October 2009 (EDT)
Thanks for the update, I think 'spreading' will be better. Is it a new Project Guideline to translate ευαγγελιον as 'good news'? JohnFraiser 11:56, 22 October 2009 (EDT)
Over at Mark, it looks like they are consistently using "good news," and TerryH told me in an e-mail that it was supposed to be "good news." That's all the info I have currently.--Cory Howell 12:01, 22 October 2009 (EDT)
However, I glanced through Matthew, and it looks like the word gospel is currently still there. Perhaps we need some clarification on this issue.--Cory Howell 12:01, 22 October 2009 (EDT)

Editing and creating quotations

Is it a good idea to edit existing quotes, or to create quotes where the existing work had none? The accuracy and authenticity of existing quotes may be questionable, but altered or fabricated quotes are guaranteed to be inaccurate.--Jason Samantha 20:54, 02 November 2009 (EDT)

The Lord's Prayer

I'm looking to restrict my changes to cleanup of spelling and grammar, but I have to raise a concern that troubles me. Can the text of the Lord's Prayer in 11:1-4 be left intact instead of trying to revise it into a more contemporary form? I'm a Catholic, and was taught the Lord's Prayer as a child using the form shown here in the KJV. Even though the text of the KJV is a translation itself, it has been accepted by English-speaking Christians for hundreds of years. I just don't see a need to "fix" what isn't broken in the Bible, especially when it's supposed to be a direct instruction from Jesus. --ChrisY 20:51, 8 January 2010 (EST)

Chris, you express a reasonable view, but honestly I can't say I agree. The English language changes over time. Not everyone can understand Shakespeare today, and this disconnect gets worse every new day. Precision is lost also. Who talks about others being "indebted" to us now? It's imprecise in 2009 English. On the positive side, powerful new words and concepts are constantly being discovered that were not available in 1611. Why ride in horse-and-buggy when Corvettes are available?--Andy Schlafly 22:58, 8 January 2010 (EST)
I can certainly understand your viewpoint, and agree with it in general. As I mentioned above, I learned the Lord's prayer as a child, and it took some time before I understood what "hallowed" meant. The translated text is not worse, although "holy is your name" seems to sound better than "your name is holy". My feeling is taht judgment can be used selectively to determine which parts of a Bible translation should be brought up to date (most, so it's understandable), and which should be left intact out of respect for tradition and the beauty of KJV-style prose that is lost in modern English (a small but important amount).
I appreciate you letting me express my thoughts. --ChrisY 10:08, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Chris, I understand your viewpoint and agree that the KJV rendition is majestic. There is certainly a time and a place for that, and perhaps for some people it is for every time and every place. But the market is speaking loudly and clearly: the KJV loses market share every day. Maybe that's unfortunate, but that trend is not likely to change. It's all well and good for older folks to cling to the translation of their youth, but that's not helping younger folks or people who are hearing it for the first time.--Andy Schlafly 20:42, 9 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks for the responses. I consider the question addressed, and will return to copy editing. --ChrisY 21:24, 10 January 2010 (EST)

Question about 15:13

Could the wording of this translation be changed from "where he wasted his life with women and booze." to "where he wasted his life through sinful behavior."? That seems closer to describing the meaning of "riotous living" in this passage. --ChrisY 11:15, 13 January 2010 (EST)

Luke 11:33-34

By stating The mind is the window to the body. in Luke 11:34a, the connection to Luke 11:33 is lost, as neither window nor mind is mentioned in the previous verse. FrankC aka ComedyFan 17:26, 13 January 2010 (EST)

This is an interesting pair of verses to discuss, but I have a different reason than FrankC for thinking that the CBP translation needs to be revised. Matthew 6:22-24 relates the same lesson from Jesus, and in both the Luke and Matthew gospels the original intent seems to be an emphasis on having a single-minded devotion to God and living one's life by God's rules. When you lose that single-minded focus on a God-centered life, you are in effect allowing temptation to work on you. Both gospels discuss this in black-and-white terms; you are either focused on God, or you are darkened by evil. This may seem extreme, but Jesus had a tendency to use simple, clear examples in his lessons that didn't much leave room for watering his messages down.
Some references to this interpretation can be found here, here and here.
If others here agree with this interpretation, then the current translation of Luke 11:34 is actually taking the message away from the original intent. It's good to be open-minded about many things, but not where God is concerned ("Keep your eyes on the prize"). The conservative value of open-mindedness should be emphasized in more appropriate place, but not here. My suggested CBP translation for this passage would be this:
The window to God's light is the eye. When your eye is focused on God, your body is filled with his light; but when your eye is distracted or turned away then your body is left in darkness.
I'll leave the final decision to the senior editors here - this is only a recommendation. --ChrisY 10:25, 14 January 2010 (EST)

Luke 11:43

Pretty minor point. I respectfully disagree with the choice of "reckoning to you" for οὐαὶ ὑμῖν. Ouai is an extremely common interjection in Greek usually translated as "woe" or "alas" along with its object. In this case the object is the plural dative pronoun of su, which means "you all." The combination of ouai su is so commonly used in the Bible that it's idiomatic. The idiom corresponds to those we're famliar with in English: "woe to you," "woe unto you," or "alas for you." So this is an example of where I think the KJV correctly translates the idiom and is perhaps the reason it is familiar to us as English speakers so many hundreds of years later. My only point here is that since I've never heard someone say "reckoning to you" and to the extent a familiar English idiom directly corresponds to the meaning of a Greek idiom I don't think it should not be discarded. Idioms like this have the ability to powerfully and effectively convey their meaning. I also think "reckoning is textually incorrect because the Gospel writers had word for "reckoning" or "judgment," depending on the context you intended. Cambrian 13:53, 16 January 2010 (EST)

You make good points. Thank you. I have an open mind about this, and think "reckoning" might be improved. But "woe to you" or "alas to you"? Those strike me as very archaic and ambiguous. Is it a curse? No, I don't think that is the original intent. People just don't talk that way anymore, and a listener to those phrases does not understand the original intent. Also, as to "you all," that's too colloquial for a Bible translation, don't you think?--Andy Schlafly 14:33, 16 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks for your thoughts, Mr. Schlafly. I also don't think it's a curse, but "reckoning" does refer to a judgment or curse. Ouai is an interjection, literally "woe!" as in "woe is me" or "woe unto you" or "alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well." I guess we just see the power of the idiom differently. I can't think of anything powerful that retains the meaning of ouai that I'm familiar with but I am trying and my mind is open to capturing a more contemporary meaning of "woe." One suggestion I would make is that the sense of ouai doesn't seem judgmental, as "reckoning" would imply that there will be a reckoning upon you (and there's no indication that the interjection is present progressive or gerundial), but purely interjectory along the lines of "poor you." As for the "you all," say no more. That was a carry-over from my internal dialog about plural pronouns like ὑμῖν when I read them because English has no plural form of "you" like Greek or Romance languages do. Don't worry, I wasn't suggesting "woe to you all" is appropriate. :-) Sorry about being unclear. By the way, the only reason I think this matters is that ouai or something similar might appear 50 or more times in the New Testament and its use is consistently translated as "woe" or "alas" from the Greek in the KJV. Catholics might find the similar Douay rendering of vae vobis' as "woe unto you" familiar. Cambrian 15:12, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I don't see any merit to "alas" in this context. "Alas to you who take the highest seats at the synagogue"??? A new listener of that is left dumbfounded and confused. What's the point of it? I'm not even sure myself with that rendering.
"Woe" seems better, but still archaic.
The broader point is this: we're not trying to translate the Bible so it sounds familiar to people who have already memorized, or frequently recite, an old translation. We're trying to translate the Bible so it renders the original intent as precisely as possible to any modern listener, and particularly a new one.--Andy Schlafly 15:29, 16 January 2010 (EST)
How about a slight modification to Andy's version: replace "Reckoning to you, Pharisees!" with "Your reckoning is coming, Pharisees!". This would also work well in the preceding passage (42). --ChrisY 17:15, 16 January 2010 (EST)
Great suggestion! Please make that improvement in verse 43. I'm not sure using the exact same translation in 42 is helpful, but am open-minded about it.--Andy Schlafly 18:01, 16 January 2010 (EST)
I'll put it into both now, and you can decide if you want to revise 42 after you see it. --ChrisY 18:16, 16 January 2010 (EST)


Since there's a comment about whether this verse needs further work I'll add my 2 cents. The way I read the original, the simplest interpretation is that the lawyers are being chastised for adding burdens to others while doing nothing to help with them. Assuming that these burdens are equatable to regulations "and transactions costs" may be reading too much into it as a translation. I'd suggest keeping the essence of Andy's translation, but streamlining it like this:

He replied, "You lawyers will be accountable too! For you impose burdensome regulations on others, but will not lift a finger to help those who struggle with them.

This also restores Jesus' reference to lifting a finger from the original text. --ChrisY 15:01, 19 January 2010 (EST)

Your suggestion is superb, Chris. You're excellent at this. Thanks for your insights.--Andy Schlafly 15:30, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks. I've applied the change. --ChrisY 16:05, 19 January 2010 (EST)


Regarding 11:47, why change the translation of "Woe unto you!" to say "Pity you!!", when the same phrase is translated to "Your reckoning is coming!" a few verses prior?
Regarding 11:48, the translation is leaving out a key point of Jesus' message, that those He is addressing allowed the deeds of their fathers, not just witnessed them. That's too important a distinction to be left out in the revised version. I'd suggest the following:

By that you testify to sanctioning the deeds of your fathers, because they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs."

--ChrisY 15:09, 19 January 2010 (EST)

To your first point, I don't think the same Greek word or phrase should necessarily be translated repetitively and identically in English. Modern English disfavors repetition, and the Greek was not as powerful in some ways as terms now available. The meaning changes from context to context, and the original intent of the Greek was probably not identical in the different contexts.
Your second point is terrific, but I wonder if we can improve it further. How about:
With that you endorse the deeds of your fathers, as they killed the prophets and you build their tombs."
Perhaps even more refinement can improve this. Suggestions welcome.--Andy Schlafly 15:33, 19 January 2010 (EST)
I've left the first item intact, and replaced the second with your revision, which I agree is a further improvement. --ChrisY 16:06, 19 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks again for your superb contributions, from which I (and others) have learned.--Andy Schlafly 16:08, 19 January 2010 (EST)

"Politically Incorrect" in 11:54

Since the question is being asked, I'd suggest replacing "politically incorrect" with "controversial", or even better, "heretical". Since it was a group of Pharisees looking to trap and accuse Jesus, the original meaning is most likely that they were tying to catch him in heresy, which was their domain. Quoting Jesus as saying something politically incorrect for that period would only allow Him to be embarrassed at most - these men want to have Jesus eliminated since they saw him as a threat to their authority. --ChrisY 09:11, 27 January 2010 (EST)

I don't think the Pharisees had an atheistic separation between church and state. Heresey would have been considered politically incorrect. The Pharisees hated Christ. They would have jumped on anything, not just heresey. JeffT 09:23, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Right, and the Pharisees did try to catch Jesus in criticism of Caesar, not only heresy. Recall the question about whether one should pay taxes to Caesar. It would have been "politically incorrect" -- and deadly -- for Jesus to answer as the Pharisees hoped.
But I have an open mind about this and agree that further discussion is warranted. Note that because "politically incorrect" is one of the Best New Conservative Words, it won't appear in any Greek-to-English lexicon.--Andy Schlafly 09:39, 27 January 2010 (EST)
The reason I suggested "heresy" is that it fits the intent of these Pharisees better. In Mark 14:61-64 that is the accusation that is used to condemn Jesus to death, and it improves the consistency of this translation to support that intent by the Pharisees. The point about the attempt to trick Jesus over paying taxes to Caeser is a good one, but even that was essentially a trap based on a religious question, not one about government policy. The final point is that while we criticize people today for saying and doing politically incorrect things, at worst these are social blunders with few legal consequences. The Pharisees were trying to eliminate a threat, and mere embarrassment was not going to be enough to stop a man performing actual miracles before the masses. It would take a serious criminal or heretical act to discredit Jesus, not a social gaffe. --ChrisY 10:10, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Nothing can discredit conservative principles, but that doesn't stop liberals from trying over every perceived gaffe a conservative makes. I don't see the Pharisees as being any different, but I have an open mind and you have made good points. JeffT 10:21, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Thanks. What you say about people maliciously using gaffes to discredit people is true. Where the Bible is concerned, I'm just trying to stay "on message" with this project's focus on supporting the original intent of these passages. --ChrisY 10:36, 27 January 2010 (EST)
We all welcome the best translation of the original intent, using the most powerful modern terms available. I agree that "politically incorrect" has a connotation of superficiality, but it can be very serious in consequences also. People can lose their careers and sometimes even their lives around the world with a single politically incorrect remark, and you can see liberals today try to provoke such a remark. Solzhenitsyn spent years in hard labor in Siberia, and people languish in Cuban jails to this day for politically incorrect statements or writings. Pharisees were playing a liberal game to trap Jesus.--Andy Schlafly 11:02, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Those are excellent examples of people suffering the consequences of saying the wrong things while living in modern-era oppressive states where freedom of speech is not permitted. I suspect the that typical reader is not going to think of those cases when they see the phrase "politically incorrect" used in a Biblical context, though. The essential question is, given who the questioners were and the setting they lived in at the time, could they have entrapped Jesus in a way that would eliminate him as a threat by getting him to say politically incorrect things? That seems unlikely.
Remember that Jesus was healing people, raising the dead and performing miracles, and that this as much as his lessons were the reason for his popularity at that time (the lessons would be his enduring legacy, but the miracles were essential back then to show doubters that he spoke through the authority of God). If a man walked among us today could cure blindness and disease with a touch and raise children from the dead, who wouldn't tolerate political incorrectness on his part as a price to pay?
Since the miracles were witnessed by many, then the best way to discredit the miracle-worker, Jesus, would be to imply that the source of his power came not from God, but from the devil to lead men away from God. Catching him in something that could be spun as heresy would be a means to that end. This interpretation is straightforward, consistent with both the original scripture and the translated versions to date, and supports conservative efforts to stand up to people who try to trap men of faith into saying things that can be spun into an attack on that faith. Sorry to be so wordy, but I've taken this project to heart and care about doing my best by it. --ChrisY 11:36, 27 January 2010 (EST)
It's my belief that the Pharisees, like liberals, are nit picking. If a man walked among us who could cure blindness by touch, intellectual elitists who cling so desperately to their theories would be dying for a reason to ostracize him. That's exactly what the elitist Pharisees were doing to Jesus. At least I think so. JeffT 11:46, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Nitpicking would not have led to the fullfillment of scripture through Jesus' death. When you read one of these Gospels as a whole,a nd not just in part, you get the benefit of seeing the bigger picture and the patterns that start to emerge, just as you do with any great novel. In this section, Jesus was nothing but honest in calling the Pharisees out on their hypocrisy and style-over-substance, and now through his honesty he's made enemies of them. They are now motivated to not just embarrass or pick at his teachings - they see him as a danger to their (misguided) way of life, and see him as a threat to be eliminated. They choose to entrap him and get him to make a heretical statement, which would explain his ability to perform miracles while turning the people against him. With this the pattern is set that leads to His trial and crucifixion. Scripture isn't just a story, it's a tapestry, and trying to justify something that fits the context and intention like heresy being replaced by "political incorrectness" is like replacing silk with polyester - it still holds the tapestry together, but it doesn't really belong there. --ChrisY 11:59, 27 January 2010 (EST)
Chris, you're using a lot of words but haven't addressed my simple point: how would modern day intellectual elitists treat someone who could perform miracles? And your analogy about replacing silk with polyester doesn't hold up. We're using powerful modern terms not available to the original authors which are an improvement, not replacing the original with cheap alternatives. JeffT 12:15, 27 January 2010 (EST)
No need to ask that hypothetically. Look at James Randi and other skeptics' treatment of faith healers. Sincere Christians imbued with the gifts promised by Christ help countless people around them, and they're called frauds and charlatans. When called upon to "prove" their abilities, the goalposts are continually moved and excuses concocted so they can always be discredited in spite of their success. DouglasA 12:27, 27 January 2010 (EST)

"If a man walked among us today could cure blindness and disease with a touch and raise children from the dead, who wouldn't tolerate political incorrectness on his part as a price to pay?" The answer, of course, is that atheists and other liberals would viciously attack him. Evil still exists, and he would threaten their power and control. And of course liberals would try to trap him in some politically incorrect statement in order to use against him. The point is not that the Pharisees wanted to learn the truth themselves, but that they were looking for something to use against Jesus.

I don't see "heresy" as encompassing all of the tricks and traps used by the Pharisees in questioning Jesus. "Controversy" doesn't seem to capture the meaning at all.--Andy Schlafly 14:21, 27 January 2010 (EST)

I seem to be in the minority on this one so I'll let it go and move on. Being able to discuss these issues here is what makes this project productive versus a series of edits and counter-edits to the translation itself. Some last answers to the points above:
  • Andy, you're absolutely correct in the Pharisees wanting to find something to use against Jesus, and I'm certain that there was no shortage of verbal games and tricks they tried to use against Him. However, I wasn't stating that heresy was part of the tricks and traps they were using - I was suggesting that a charge of heresy was much more likely to be one of the results they were looking for than to merely catch Him saying something politically incorrect, which you yourself agree carries has a "connotation of superficiality".
  • Douglas, your point is interesting but the passage in question is not about anyone trying to debunk the miracles Jesus performed. If anything, they were so utterly convincing that no one could dispute the power behind them. The best the Pharisees could probably do is to be deceitful, and imply that Jesus was an agent of the devil rather than God, and this concurs with another Gospel passage where Jesus is accused of invoking demons to cast out other demons. Getting Jesus to say something heretical would be a means to that end, while saying something politically incorrect would not.
  • Jeff, I apologize if my response to you seemed wordy, but you asked good questions that deserved a well-reasoned response. Where the Bible is concerned, if I can't back up a suggestion than I don't make one. To be brief, it's a tangent to ask what modern-day liberals and skeptics would do if Jesus walked on earth today. Our assignment is to take the words of scripture describing what happened between those people, at that time and place, and use our best language to make it understandable. To change the meaning so the actions of ancients are recast as the actions of our contemporaries is not what we are supposed to be doing, I think. --ChrisY 15:13, 27 January 2010 (EST)


Chapter 12: "The lord of that custodian" - seems awkward and archaic. Any thoughts?--Andy Schlafly 12:42, 30 January 2010 (EST)

Perhaps change custodian to "supervisor", (seems to get across that he's in charge of the work, but not the owner) and lord to "employer" or "businessman" or "owner" as each context requires, since lord used to refer to simply any landowner hiring people. DouglasA 13:30, 30 January 2010 (EST)
This is a tricky passage, and finding the right words is not as easy as I would hope. The key thread seems to be that there's a servant appointed by a lord/master to oversee his household, which seems to be better replaced by "affairs" than "business", although the latter works as well. This servant is the supervisor of all the lord's affairs in his absence, which is why all the other servants and maidens report to him, and why it is his role to hand out wages to them. The cautionary tale is that when this overseer doesn't think the master is watching (coming back late) he gets lazy, abusive, and arrogant, and then faces his day of reckoning hen the master catches him by surprise.
In strict business terms, the lord would be an executive or owner, the custodian would be a manager, and the others the staff. I was undecided about whether to replace "lord" so folks don't confuse this with God despite the metaphor. Jesus is telling this as a parable so He is not directly referring to God in this case. How about these options, then:
  • "Lord" becomes "estate owner".
  • "The main servant becomes the "estate manager", or simply "the manager". I like Douglas' suggestion of "supervisor", too.
  • The others become the "estate staff" or "estate workers"
That would work better than "custodian", which I agree is awkward. --ChrisY 13:32, 30 January 2010 (EST)
I think the parable is talking about a business, which on a feudal estate would be been indistinguishable from "affairs" or "estate". But wouldn't the modern lingo be "business" and "manageer" or "supervisor"?--Andy Schlafly 14:29, 30 January 2010 (EST)
A present-day business would be an appropriate metaphor, along with manager/supervisor. The only reason I tended to favor "estate" over "business" is verse 45, which seems to better fit someone overseeing a household/estate versus a business (unless the business is a restaurant). I think of these settings being like the plantations of the old American south - the land & estate was the business, and vice-versa. I think "business" and business-related terms can be used in translating this parable, though. The message is about being a faithful and obedient servant to those in authority over you, and there are many ways to convey that. --ChrisY 14:44, 30 January 2010 (EST)

Luke 12:15

I believe Luke 12:15 is about the unimportance of wealth and should read: "a man's life is not measured by the number of things he comes to possess." Emba 11:13, 2 August 2010 (EDT)

Luke 9:1

The translation: Then Jesus called his twelve best students together, and gave them the power and authority to expel demons and to cure diseases. took some liberties:

  • The Greek original refers only to the δώδεκα - a usual reference to the Twelve apostles. The term best students does not appear in the original. We are aware of many followers, but only the twelve are his students.
  • the Apostles got the power and authority (δύναμις καὶ ἐξουσία) over all demons. The Greek original doesn't imply that this is only the power to expel them.

I changed the translation accordingly. AugustO 19:40, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

Luke 9:3

He said to them, “Take nothing but the barest of essentials on your travels, not a stick, bag, food, money or a spare coat. The original states that they shouldn't take anything on their travels - so not even the barest essentials. I changed the translation accordingly. AugustO 20:08, 11 July 2012 (EDT)

Holy Spirit

The mixture of translations is very confusing. Especially God's will and 'God's spirit are baffling - it is not clear any more that we are talking about the same entity. See Talk:Gospel_of_Mark_(Translated)/Archive_1#Holy_Spirit. --AugustO 11:12, 5 March 2013 (EST)