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Luke 7:1-2

Context
Healing the Centurion’s Slave

7:1 After Jesus 1  had finished teaching all this to the people, 2  he entered Capernaum. 3  7:2 A centurion 4  there 5  had a slave 6  who was highly regarded, 7  but who was sick and at the point of death.

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

2 tn Grk “After he had completed all his sayings in the hearing of the people.”

3 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

4 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like Paul.

5 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

6 tn Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times… in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v. 1). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος) in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force. In addition, the parallel passage in Matt 8:6 uses the Greek term παῖς (pais), to refer to the centurion’s slave. This was a term often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant.

7 tn The term ἔντιμος (entimos) could mean “highly valued,” but this sounds too much like the slave was seen as an asset, while the text suggests a genuine care for the person. More archaically, it could be said the centurion was fond of this slave.



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