Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

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menrov
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Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#1 Post by menrov » 6 years ago

Just picked this one up, which was posted by someone else on another site. It was actually most interesting. Most of us are aware of the verses in Matthew 24:45-51, regarding the Faithful and wise slave. In Luke we can read a parallel story, in Luke 12:35-48. 35 - 40 is a parable or illustration about the going away and return of the master (notice the master returns AFTER the wedding celebrations) and the slaves (plural), 41 shows a confirmation it is a parable or illustration and 42-48 Jesus explains the meaning of the parable or illustration and the lesson it has for EVERYONE.
Key points for are that Jesus does not contradict it is a parable and not a prophecy or promise. As Jesus explains the meaning, it is another confirmation it is a parable to teach a lesson, where as a prophecy or promise does not contain a lesson but often either a warning or encouragement.

Do you agree?

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Nightingale
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#2 Post by Nightingale » 6 years ago

Yes it's a parable, they both are. It's important to distinguish those parts of the Olivet discourse that are prophetic (that reveal specific events about the future, Matthew 24:4-31) and then parables that are added as warnings about how important it is to always stay awake (Matthew 24:32 - Matthew 25:30). Interestingly, they used the word parable (not prophecy) at the annual meeting when discussing Matthew 25 but they still think that Matthew 24:45-47 is a prophecy somehow... :crazy:
"Shortly, within our twentieth century, the "battle in the day of Jehovah" will begin against the modern antitype of Jerusalem, Christendom."

twolat
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#3 Post by twolat » 6 years ago

Hey Nightingale good post I think
I just read Matt 24 and 25 straight through.
Reading the whole chapters instead of just 1 or two selected verses changes your whole perspective.
Its like a penny drops and its seems to be so simple and straightforward - we just have to keep awake until Jesus comes!

jo-el
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#4 Post by jo-el » 6 years ago

twolat wrote:
52 years ago
Hey Nightingale good post I think
I just read Matt 24 and 25 straight through.
Reading the whole chapters instead of just 1 or two selected verses changes your whole perspective.
Its like a penny drops and its seems to be so simple and straightforward - we just have to keep awake until Jesus comes!
Yes, I came to this conclusion also and I agree, BUT I would not rule out an element of prophecy. Jesus foretold corruption of the church. In the parable of the faithful slave, Jesus asks what I believe may be a rhetorical question - "but what if that evil slave should say to himself....?"
To me it is the same as when Jesus asked in Luke 18:8 - will he really find the faith in the Earth? Yes, on the surface it is a question, below that it is a subtle reminder that we need to keep our faith, but it is also a prophecy.

Look around at how endangered faith is in the world today. Atheism is the fastest growing "religion". People are rapidly converting to a state where they will only believe physical evidence. It is hard to imagine what state the world will be in when my children are older, let alone what it will be like by the time they have children. In my parents lifetime, Evolution was introduced as established fact in schools and in my lifetime religious education, prayer and expressions of faith have been removed from schools and work - by law.

Perhaps this is even partially related to what Jesus said about having to cut the great tribulation short. I'm sure there is a definite physical element to that prophecy, but what If there is a spiritual one as well? Maybe faith will be so weakened by the time Jesus returns, that literally no one would be able to hold out unless the "days were cut short". The reason I consider that, is because I have always puzzled a little over why Jesus says "on account of the elect those days will be cut short". If "the elect" are killed, then surely they can expect a resurrection? But, if it went on so long that their faith doesn't hold out, then I can understand why they are in real trouble!

Almost everything Jesus says has many layers, it really is amazing.

peely
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#5 Post by peely » 6 years ago

I agree with you, Jo-el, you cannot rule out the element of prophesy in Jesus’ parables.

Luke 8:8-11 –
But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold. ”When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that
‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’ 11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

It seems to me that he is telling his disciples that through Holy Spirit they will realize the prophetic value of the parable – they are granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom, whereas those without spiritual understanding will only see it as a story. Knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom is brought out in Matt 13:11 as well. With each parable it seems to be a matter of digging up the meaning behind it and applying it to the signs of the times.
Scriptures say it's the Father's choice as to who will understand the meaning of these parables. Luke 10:21 So, we beg the Father that we are included in that group of "little children" in order to remain awake and discern their meaning. I believe it also takes persistent work, begging and faith – Luke 16:3;11:13; Matt 7:7; 21:22.

Matt 13:11,16,17 - He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Jo-el, you said, “Almost everything Jesus said has many layers, it really is amazing”. I wholeheartedly agree! Matt 24:33 says, “So when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time has almost come.” To understand “all these things” he speaks of takes effort on our part and a begging of Holy Spirit which allows us to peel away the layers.

A prophesy is a warning; yet in both prophesies and parables it is common to find reference to listening with our ears and seeing with our eyes, not in the physical sense, but in the symbolic and spiritual sense. Matt 13:16; John 8:47; Rev 2:29; Matt 13:15; Isa 35:5; Jer 5:21; Ezek 12:2; Luke 10:23. The illustrations Christ taught hold prophetic meaning in the time period we are presently living in. If we beg the Father for it's understanding, He will hear. John 16:13

Just my two cents worth.

love,
peely

Daytona
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#6 Post by Daytona » 6 years ago

Does anyone have a thought or comment as to why it is that Luke used the word "steward",( Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?) and not "slave" as Matthew did, (Mat 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?")?

Why did the holy spirit cause Luke to use the word "steward" and Matthew "slave"? Is a steward the same as a slave?
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN

Daytona
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#7 Post by Daytona » 6 years ago

Another question, why does Luke use a Greek word the NASB translates as "rations" whereas Matthew uses a word the NASB translates as "food"? Do they have the same meaning?


(NASB) "And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?

(NASB) "Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?"
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Bobcat
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#8 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

Concerning differences in the two versions of the faithful slave parable, the BECNT-Luke commentary (Darrell L. Bock, Vol II, p. 1179) has this to say:
The wording is similar to Matt. 24:45 and yet there are some differences. Matthew refers to a slave (δοῦλος, doulos), not to a steward. Matthew used the aorist κατέστησεν (katestesen, has set), instead of Luke's future tense [shall set], a rendering that draws out more clearly the future-looking perspective of the parable. Matthew calls the house an οἰκετείας (oiketeias) and speaks of giving τροφὴν (trophen, food) to the servants. Luke uses this term for food eight times in Luke-Acts, so the difference [Luke's "rations" or "measure of food"] is hard to explain. Also, the infinitive in Matthew is the aorist δοῦναι (dounai, to give). The differences have little influence on the sense and are hard to explain as redactional. Some, however, suggest that Luke's focus on church leaders is responsible for the difference, or that they are caused by the different tense perspective that Luke used to describe the scene. (17)
Footnote 17 says:
So Schweitzer 1984: 213 explains the reference to a steward and the use of the future tense in Luke. But a steward was a slave, as Luke 12:43 makes clear, and the tense difference is not necessary to the point. If a stylistic preference exists, which is possible for the verb's tense, it has come in along with other differences that are more difficult to explain. For example, of the uses of καθίστημι (to appoint, put in charge) in Matt. 24:45; 25:21, 23, only the first is aorist, and all are in an eschatological setting.

Another possibility in connection with the "slave" / "steward" difference is if Matthew was originally Aramaic and then translated into Greek. This might be why the Greek version of Matthew has the more general term "slave." Or Matthew might have been written for a more general audience. (Contrast Luke's original audience in the next paragraph.)

On the other hand, Luke's account was originally written for κράτιστε Θεόφιλε ("most excellent Theophilus"). κράτιστε ("most excellent") suggests a "person of high social standing." (Compare Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25) Perhaps this might explain the more refined term "steward" or "house manager" to someone familiar with such within his own household. The AMG Greek English Word Study Dictionary defines "steward" (οἰκονόμος; Strong's 3623) as "An administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer, steward."


Bobcat

Daytona
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#9 Post by Daytona » 6 years ago

Bobcat wrote:
52 years ago
Concerning differences in the two versions of the faithful slave parable, the BECNT-Luke commentary (Darrell L. Bock, Vol II, p. 1179) has this to say:

The wording is similar to Matt. 24:45 and yet there are some differences. Matthew refers to a slave (δοῦλος, doulos), not to a steward. Matthew used the aorist κατέστησεν (katestesen, has set), instead of Luke's future tense [shall set], a rendering that draws out more clearly the future-looking perspective of the parable. Matthew calls the house an οἰκετείας (oiketeias) and speaks of giving τροφὴν (trophen, food) to the servants. Luke uses this term for food eight times in Luke-Acts, so the difference [Luke's "rations" or "measure of food"] is hard to explain. Also, the infinitive in Matthew is the aorist δοῦναι (dounai, to give). The differences have little influence on the sense and are hard to explain as redactional. Some, however, suggest that Luke's focus on church leaders is responsible for the difference, or that they are caused by the different tense perspective that Luke used to describe the scene. (17)

Footnote 17 says:

So Schweitzer 1984: 213 explains the reference to a steward and the use of the future tense in Luke. But a steward was a slave, as Luke 12:43 makes clear, and the tense difference is not necessary to the point. If a stylistic preference exists, which is possible for the verb's tense, it has come in along with other differences that are more difficult to explain. For example, of the uses of καθίστημι (to appoint, put in charge) in Matt. 24:45; 25:21, 23, only the first is aorist, and all are in an eschatological setting.

[End of quotes]

Another possibility in connection with the "slave" / "steward" difference is if Matthew was originally Aramaic and then translated into Greek This might be why the Greek version of Matthew has the more general term "slave." Or Matthew might have been written for a more general audience. (Contrast Luke's original audience in the next paragraph.)

On the other hand, Luke's account was originally written for κράτιστε Θεόφιλε (most excellent Theophilus). κράτιστε ("most excellent") suggests a "person of high social standing." (Compare Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25) Perhaps this might explain the more refined term "steward" or "house manager" to someone familiar with such within his own household. The AMG Greek English Word Study Dictionary defines "steward" (οἰκονόμος; Strong's 3623) as "An administrator, a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, business, or minor, a treasurer, a chamberlain of a city, a house manager, overseer, steward."

Bobcat
So there is no possibility the differences were inspired?
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Bobcat
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Re: Faithful and discrete slave - Luke

#10 Post by Bobcat » 6 years ago

It is entirely possible that Jesus used the same word (either "slave" or "steward") for both Luke 12 and Matthew 24, even though the two parables were spoken by him 2-6 months apart in time. (The account in Luke happens earlier than the Olivet Discourse.) It could just be the mechanics of time/distance and language/culture that caused the two different words to be used in Matthew and Luke.

In a way, I see inspiration just in that. I would think that a purely human authored writing would tend to synchronize words within similar accounts. (This is why the commentary mentioned that the difference in wording would seem to rule out "redaction" or 'editing' of the accounts.)

On the other hand, as the commentary mentioned, it is hard to explain what the difference could infer. It might be like one sports news story referring to a "baseball player" (the more general term), and another account of the same story referring to a "center fielder" (the more specific term). Within the context of the two parable accounts, there does not seem to be any significant difference in the roles filled by the faithful steward/slave.

Perhaps someone else will see a difference.

Bobcat

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