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Luke 9:46-48

Context
Concerning the Greatest

9:46 Now an argument started among the disciples 1  as to which of them might be 2  the greatest. 9:47 But when Jesus discerned their innermost thoughts, 3  he took a child, had him stand by 4  his side, 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever welcomes 5  this child 6  in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, for the one who is least among you all is the one who is great.” 7 

1 tn Grk “among them”; the referent (the disciples) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn The use of the optative mood means the answer is not clear (BDF §§267.2.3; 385.2.2).

3 tn Grk “knowing the thoughts of their hearts” (an idiom).

4 tn On this use of παρά (para), see BDF §239.1.1.

5 tn This verb, δέχομαι (decomai), is a term of hospitality (L&N 34.53).

6 sn Children were very insignificant in ancient culture, so this child would be the perfect object lesson to counter the disciples’ selfish ambitions.

7 tn Grk “among you all, this one is great.” The absence of a comparative term here makes the point that comparison should not be done.



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