15:4 “Which one 1 of you, if he has a hundred 2 sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture 3 and go look for 4 the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 15:5 Then 6 when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6 Returning 7 home, he calls together 8 his 9 friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 15:7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner 10 who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people 11 who have no need to repent. 12
15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels 13 over one sinner who repents.”
15:22 But the father said to his slaves, 14 ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, 15 and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger 16 and sandals 17 on his feet! 15:23 Bring 18 the fattened calf 19 and kill it! Let us eat 20 and celebrate, 15:24 because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again – he was lost and is found!’ 21 So 22 they began to celebrate.
15:32 It was appropriate 23 to celebrate and be glad, for your brother 24 was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.’” 25
1 tn Grk “What man.” The Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a somewhat generic sense.
2 sn This individual with a hundred sheep is a shepherd of modest means, as flocks often had up to two hundred head of sheep.
3 tn Or “desert,” but here such a translation might suggest neglect of the 99 sheep left behind.
4 tn Grk “go after,” but in contemporary English the idiom “to look for” is used to express this.
6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
7 tn Grk “And coming into his…” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
9 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215). It occurs before “neighbors” as well (“his friends and his neighbors”) but has not been translated the second time because of English style.
10 sn There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. The pursuit of the sinner is a priority in spite of the presence of others who are doing well (see also Luke 5:32; 19:10). The theme of repentance, a major Lukan theme, is again emphasized.
11 tn Here δικαίοις (dikaioi") is an adjective functioning substantivally and has been translated “righteous people.”
12 tn Or “who do not need to repent”; Grk “who do not have need of repentance.”
13 sn The whole of heaven is said to rejoice. Joy in the presence of God’s angels is a way of referring to God’s joy as well without having to name him explicitly. Contemporary Judaism tended to refer to God indirectly where possible out of reverence or respect for the divine name.
15 sn With the instructions Hurry! Bring the best robe, there is a total acceptance of the younger son back into the home.
16 tn Grk “hand”; but χείρ (ceir) can refer to either the whole hand or any relevant part of it (L&N 8.30).
17 sn The need for sandals underlines the younger son’s previous destitution, because he was barefoot.
18 tn Grk “And bring.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
19 tn Or “the prize calf” (L&N 65.8). See also L&N 44.2, “grain-fattened.” Such a calf was usually reserved for religious celebrations.
20 tn The participle φαγόντες (fagontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
22 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the father’s remarks in the preceding verses.
23 tn Or “necessary.”
24 sn By referring to him as your brother, the father reminded the older brother that the younger brother was part of the family.
25 sn The theme he was lost and is found is repeated from v. 24. The conclusion is open-ended. The reader is left to ponder with the older son (who pictures the scribes and Pharisees) what the response will be. The parable does not reveal the ultimate response of the older brother. Jesus argued that sinners should be pursued and received back warmly when they returned.