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Luke 17:6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

So[a] the Lord replied,[b] “If[c] you had faith the size of[d] a mustard seed, you could say to this black mulberry[e] tree, ‘Be pulled out by the roots and planted in the sea,’[f] and it would obey[g] you.


  1. Luke 17:6 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.
  2. Luke 17:6 tn Grk “said.”
  3. Luke 17:6 tn This is a mixed condition, with ἄν (an) in the apodosis.
  4. Luke 17:6 tn Grk “faith as,” “faith like.”
  5. Luke 17:6 sn A black mulberry tree is a deciduous fruit tree that grows about 20 ft (6 m) tall and has black juicy berries. This tree has an extensive root system, so to pull it up would be a major operation.
  6. Luke 17:6 tn The passives here (ἐκριζώθητι and φυτεύθητι, ekrizōthēti and phuteuthēti) are probably a circumlocution for God performing the action (the so-called divine passive, see ExSyn 437-38). The issue is not the amount of faith (which in the example is only very tiny), but its presence, which can accomplish impossible things. To cause a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea is impossible. The expression is a rhetorical idiom. It is like saying a camel can go through the eye of a needle (Luke 18:25).
  7. Luke 17:6 tn The verb is aorist, though it looks at a future event, another rhetorical touch to communicate certainty of the effect of faith.
New English Translation (NET)

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