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Luke 16:5-7

Context
16:5 So 1  he contacted 2  his master’s debtors one by one. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 16:6 The man 3  replied, ‘A hundred measures 4  of olive oil.’ The manager 5  said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ 6  16:7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ The second man 7  replied, ‘A hundred measures 8  of wheat.’ The manager 9  said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 10 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the manager’s decision.

2 tn Grk “summoning.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesameno") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

3 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the first debtor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 sn A measure (sometimes translated “bath”) was just over 8 gallons (about 30 liters). This is a large debt – about 875 gallons (3000 liters) of olive oil, worth 1000 denarii, over three year’s pay for a daily worker.

5 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the manager) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

6 sn The bill was halved (sit down quickly, and write fifty). What was the steward doing? This is debated. 1) Did he simply lower the price? 2) Did he remove interest from the debt? 3) Did he remove his own commission? It is hard to be sure. Either of the latter two options is more likely. The goal was clear: The manager would be seen in a favorable light for bringing a deflationary trend to prices.

7 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the second debtor) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

8 sn The hundred measures here was a hundreds cors. A cor was a Hebrew dry measure for grain, flour, etc., of between 10-12 bushels (about 390 liters). This was a huge amount of wheat, representing the yield of about 100 acres, a debt of between 2500-3000 denarii.

9 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the manager) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 sn The percentage of reduction may not be as great because of the change in material.



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