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Luke 14:28-30

14:28 For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down 1  first and compute the cost 2  to see if he has enough money to complete it? 14:29 Otherwise, 3  when he has laid 4  a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, 5  all who see it 6  will begin to make fun of 7  him. 14:30 They will say, 8  ‘This man 9  began to build and was not able to finish!’ 10 

1 tn The participle καθίσας (kaqisas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

2 tn The first illustration involves checking to see if enough funds exist to build a watchtower. Both ψηφίζω (yhfizw, “compute”) and δαπάνη (dapanh, “cost”) are economic terms.

3 tn Grk “to complete it, lest.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation and ἵνα μήποτε ({ina mhpote, “lest”) has been translated as “Otherwise.”

4 tn The participle θέντος (qentos) has been taken temporally.

5 tn The words “the tower” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

6 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

7 tn Or “mock,” “ridicule.” The person who did not plan ahead becomes an object of joking and ridicule.

8 tn Grk “make fun of him, saying.”

9 sn The phrase this man is often used in Luke in a derogatory sense; see “this one” and expressions like it in Luke 5:21; 7:39; 13:32; 23:4, 14, 22, 35.

10 sn The failure to finish the building project leads to embarrassment (in a culture where avoiding public shame was extremely important). The half completed tower testified to poor preparation and planning.

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