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Luke 5:20-21

Context
5:20 When 1  Jesus 2  saw their 3  faith he said, “Friend, 4  your sins are forgiven.” 5  5:21 Then 6  the experts in the law 7  and the Pharisees began to think 8  to themselves, 9  “Who is this man 10  who is uttering blasphemies? 11  Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

1 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 sn The plural pronoun their makes it clear that Jesus was responding to the faith of the entire group, not just the paralyzed man.

4 tn Grk “Man,” but the term used in this way was not derogatory in Jewish culture. Used in address (as here) it means “friend” (see BDAG 82 s.v. ἄνθρωπος 8).

5 tn Grk “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” Luke stresses the forgiveness of sins (cf. 1:77; 3:3; 24:47). In 5:20 he uses both the perfect ἀφέωνται and the personal pronoun σοι which together combine to heighten the subjective aspect of the experience of forgiveness. The σοι has been omitted in translation in light of normal English style.

sn The passive voice here is a divine passive (ExSyn 437). It is clear that God does the forgiving.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

7 tn Or “Then the scribes.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς (grammateu") as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.

8 tn Or “to reason” (in a hostile sense). See G. Schrenk, TDNT 2:97.

9 tn The participle λέγοντες (legontes, “saying”) has not been translated because it is redundant in contemporary English.

10 tn Grk “this one” (οὗτος, Joutos).

11 sn Uttering blasphemies meant to say something that dishonored God. To claim divine prerogatives or claim to speak for God when one really does not would be such an act of offense. The remark raised directly the issue of the nature of Jesus’ ministry.



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