New English Translation
The Parable of the Lost Sheep and Coin
15 Now all the tax collectors[a] and sinners were coming[b] to hear him. 2 But[c] the Pharisees[d] and the experts in the law[e] were complaining,[f] “This man welcomes[g] sinners and eats with them.”
3 So[h] Jesus[i] told them[j] this parable:[k] 4 “Which one[l] of you, if he has a hundred[m] sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture[n] and go look for[o] the one that is lost until he finds it?[p] 5 Then[q] when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 Returning[r] home, he calls together[s] his[t] friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner[u] who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people[v] who have no need to repent.[w]
8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins[x] and loses[y] one of them,[z] does not light a lamp, sweep[aa] the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it? 9 Then[ab] when she has found it, she calls together her[ac] friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice[ad] with me, for I have found the coin[ae] that I had lost.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels[af] over one sinner who repents.”Read full chapter
- Luke 15:1 sn See the note on tax collectors in 3:12.
- Luke 15:1 tn Grk “were drawing near.”
- Luke 15:2 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
- Luke 15:2 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.
- Luke 15:2 tn Or “and the scribes.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 5:21.
- Luke 15:2 tn Or “grumbling”; Grk “were complaining, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Luke 15:2 tn Or “accepts,” “receives.” This is not the first time this issue has been raised: Luke 5:27-32; 7:37-50.
- Luke 15:3 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ telling of the parable is in response to the complaints of the Pharisees and experts in the law.
- Luke 15:3 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- Luke 15:3 sn Them means at the minimum the parable is for the leadership, but probably also for those people Jesus accepted, but the leaders regarded as outcasts.
- Luke 15:3 tn Grk “parable, saying.” The participle λέγων (legōn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
- Luke 15:4 tn Grk “What man.” The Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used here in a somewhat generic sense.
- Luke 15:4 sn This individual with a hundred sheep is a shepherd of modest means, as flocks often had up to two hundred head of sheep.
- Luke 15:4 tn Or “desert,” but here such a translation might suggest neglect of the 99 sheep left behind.
- Luke 15:4 tn Grk “go after,” but in contemporary English the idiom “to look for” is used to express this.
- Luke 15:4 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.
- Luke 15:5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Luke 15:6 tn Grk “And coming into his…” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
- Luke 15:6 sn A touch of drama may be present, as the term calls together can mean a formal celebration (1 Kgs 1:9-10).
- Luke 15:6 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.
- Luke 15:7 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.
- Luke 15:7 tn Here δικαίοις (dikaiois) is an adjective functioning substantivally and has been translated “righteous people.”
- Luke 15:7 tn Or “who do not need to repent”; Grk “who do not have need of repentance.”
- Luke 15:8 sn This silver coin is a drachma, equal to a denarius, that is, a day’s pay for the average laborer.
- Luke 15:8 tn Grk “What woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses.” The initial participle ἔχουσα (echousa) has been translated as a finite verb parallel to ἀπολέσῃ (apolesē) in the conditional clause to improve the English style.
- Luke 15:8 tn Grk “one coin.”
- Luke 15:8 tn Grk “and sweep,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
- Luke 15:9 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
- Luke 15:9 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).
- Luke 15:9 sn Rejoice. Besides the theme of pursuing the lost, the other theme of the parable is the joy of finding them.
- Luke 15:9 tn Grk “drachma.”
- Luke 15:10 sn The whole of heaven is said to rejoice. Joy in the presence of God’s angels is a way of referring to God’s joy as well without having to name him explicitly. Contemporary Judaism tended to refer to God indirectly where possible out of reverence or respect for the divine name.