5:18 Just then 1 some men showed up, carrying a paralyzed man 2 on a stretcher. 3 They 4 were trying to bring him in and place him before Jesus. 5 5:19 But 6 since they found 7 no way to carry him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof 8 and let him down on the stretcher 9 through the roof tiles 10 right 11 in front of Jesus. 12 5:20 When 13 Jesus 14 saw their 15 faith he said, “Friend, 16 your sins are forgiven.” 17
1 tn Grk “And behold.” Here καὶ ἰδού (kai idou) has been translated as “just then” to indicate the somewhat sudden appearance of the men carrying the paralytic. The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1), especially in conjunction with the suddenness of the stretcher-bearers’ appearance.
2 tn Grk “a man who was paralyzed”; the relative clause in Greek has adjectival force and has been simplified to a simple adjective in the translation.
3 tn Traditionally, “on a bed,” but this could be confusing to the modern reader who might envision a large piece of furniture. In various contexts, κλίνη (klinh) may be translated “bed, couch, cot, stretcher, or bier” (in the case of a corpse). See L&N 6.106.
4 tn Grk “stretcher, and.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Instead, because of the tendency of contemporary English to use shorter sentences, a new sentence was begun here in the translation.
5 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast implied in the context: They wanted to bring the man to Jesus, but found no way.
7 tn Grk “But finding.” The participle εὑρόντες (Jeuronte") has been translated as a causal adverbial participle.
8 sn A house in 1st century Palestine would have had a flat roof with stairs or a ladder going up. This access was often from the outside of the house.
9 tn This word, κλινίδιον (klinidion), is a different Greek word than the one used in the previous verse (κλίνη, klinh). In this context both may be translated “stretcher” (see L&N 6.106 and 6.107).
10 tn There is a translational problem at this point in the text. The term Luke uses is κέραμος (keramo"). It can in certain contexts mean “clay,” but usually this is in reference to pottery (see BDAG 540 s.v. 1). The most natural definition in this instance is “roof tile” (used in the translation above). However, tiles were generally not found in Galilee. Recent archaeological research has suggested that this house, which would have probably been typical for the area, could not have supported “a second story, nor could the original roof have been masonry; no doubt it was made from beams and branches of trees covered with a mixture of earth and straw” (J. F. Strange and H. Shanks, “Has the House Where Jesus Stayed in Capernaum Been Found?” BAR 8, no. 6 [Nov/Dec 1982]: 34). Luke may simply have spoken of building materials that would be familiar to his readers.
11 tn Grk “in the midst.”
12 sn The phrase right in front of Jesus trailing as it does at the end of the verse is slightly emphatic, adding a little note of drama: What would Jesus do?
13 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
14 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
15 sn The plural pronoun their makes it clear that Jesus was responding to the faith of the entire group, not just the paralyzed man.
16 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).
17 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.