18:6 “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, 1 it would be better for him to have a huge millstone 2 hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea. 3 18:7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! It 4 is necessary that stumbling blocks come, but woe to the person through whom they come.
1 tn The Greek term σκανδαλίζω (skandalizw), translated here “causes to sin” can also be translated “offends” or “causes to stumble.”
2 tn Grk “the millstone of a donkey.” This refers to a large flat stone turned by a donkey in the process of grinding grain (BDAG 661 s.v. μύλος 2; L&N 7.68-69). The same term is used in the parallel account in Mark 9:42.
sn The punishment of drowning with a heavy weight attached is extremely gruesome and reflects Jesus’ views concerning those who cause others who believe in him to sin.
3 tn The term translated “open” here (πελάγει, pelagei) refers to the open sea as opposed to a stretch of water near a coastline (BDAG 794 s.v. πέλαγος). A similar English expression would be “the high seas.”
4 tn Grk “For it.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.