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Luke 15:4-7

Context
15:4 “Which one 1  of you, if he has a hundred 2  sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture 3  and go look for 4  the one that is lost until he finds it? 5  15:5 Then 6  when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 15:6 Returning 7  home, he calls together 8  his 9  friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 15:7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner 10  who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people 11  who have no need to repent. 12 

1 tn Grk “What man.” The Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") is used here in a somewhat generic sense.

2 sn This individual with a hundred sheep is a shepherd of modest means, as flocks often had up to two hundred head of sheep.

3 tn Or “desert,” but here such a translation might suggest neglect of the 99 sheep left behind.

4 tn Grk “go after,” but in contemporary English the idiom “to look for” is used to express this.

5 sn Until he finds it. The parable pictures God’s pursuit of the sinner. On the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, see John 10:1-18.

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

7 tn Grk “And coming into his…” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

8 sn A touch of drama may be present, as the term calls together can mean a formal celebration (1 Kgs 1:9-10).

9 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215). It occurs before “neighbors” as well (“his friends and his neighbors”) but has not been translated the second time because of English style.

10 sn There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. The pursuit of the sinner is a priority in spite of the presence of others who are doing well (see also Luke 5:32; 19:10). The theme of repentance, a major Lukan theme, is again emphasized.

11 tn Here δικαίοις (dikaioi") is an adjective functioning substantivally and has been translated “righteous people.”

12 tn Or “who do not need to repent”; Grk “who do not have need of repentance.”



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