Son or Child? Luke 15:31

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

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    One of my favorite parables Jesus told is commonly called the story of 'The Prodigal Son' (starting at Luke 15:11, KJV) --
    And he said, A certain man had two sons:
    The word "sons" in Greek is a plural form of huios (Strong's #5207). The KJV and all English Bibles (to my knowledge) properly translate huios in this chapter as "son": verses 11, 13, 19, 21 (twice), 24, 25, and 30. However, in verse 31 there is a different Greek word: it is teknon (Strong's #5043) --
    And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
    The KJV renders it "son" (21 times), but predominantly rendering it "child" (77 of 99 total occurrences). Nearly all English Bibles have "Son" here, although some very literal versions (like Young and Darby) do have "Child". It seems to me that the Holy Spirit inspired Luke to write a different word after the uninterrupted succession of huios 8 times for some reason. But this cannot be seen in most English versions.

    Of course, the preceding context tells us that person addressed is this man's male child (therefore "son" is certainly an acceptable term for the relationship). And generally the substitution of "son" for teknon seems fair and accurate. However, there are some other verses that the masculine suggestion seems completely unnecessary and unwarranted: like perhaps in Matthew 21:28, Luke 2:48, John 1:12, I Corinthians 4:14, Philippians 2:15, and I John 3:1&2.

    Could there be a better translation for teknon than "son" at Luke 15:31? Would "child" be an acceptable translation here? Wouldn't "child", or "children" as the case may be, be more literal (and less risky) in most of these verses?
     
  2. EdSutton

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    This is not a parable, but is an account of a man and his two sons who were personally known to the Lord Jesus Christ. He uses this, without identifying them, as an example, I will grant, but this is not said to be a parable.

    There is a break from the preceding, two part parable (sheep and coin) found with the words "And He said," at the beginning of Lk. 15:11. BTW, the "unjust steward" and "rich man and Lazarus" immediately following in Chapter 16 are likewise not 'parables', but also are 'accounts'.

    That said, 'child' is a very good rendering here, I would think, especially as a 'term of endearment'. I can recall my own late mother addressing both my late younger brother and me as 'child' when I was well into my 40s and maybe even into my 50s. I know I'd sure love to again hear both of us addressed that way a few more times.

    Ed
     
  3. tinytim

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    "child" would emphasis that he has some growing up to do... He still has somethings to learn...
     
  4. tinytim

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    "child" would emphasis that he has some growing up to do... He still has somethings to learn...
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    Yes, Ed and Tim, those are just two possible interpretations (a term of endearment, or pointing out his immaturity in the matter) resulting from a reading of "Child" rather than "Son". Thanks
     
  6. Salamander

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    eVER HEAR OF THE TERMITE IN THE YO-YO SYNDROME? BETTER GET THIS CHECKED VERY SOON.:sleep:
     
  7. EdSutton

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    First, I want to congratulate Salamander on his intelligence, since it seems obvious he is a real wise guy, here.

    Now how about 'answering' the two legitimate question franklinmonroe asked, and commenting on the observation, he made? (Both of which I shall now quote.)
    I happen to believe that the Holy Spirit didn't just use 'throw-away' words, when he inspired Luke, or any other Biblical writer. In this particular case, Luke is giving us a direct quote from the Lord Jesus Christ, here, in the manner in which he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to so do. (II Tim. 3:16) franklinmonroe has already shown that about 80% of the time, the manner of translation for teknon is that of "child", as opposed to the almost invariable rendering of huios as "son". And he is likewise correct in that this is not a "wrong" rendering, per se, but asks if there could be a 'better' one that pehaps might be more consistent, and show there is a difference in the meanning the Lord was intending to give to us, as the next quote will show.
    So the question might be put in this manner, considering you decided to take a shot at franklinmonroe- How about you suggesting some legitimate reason for two different words to be translated the same way, into the English language, thus bluring the distinction Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Luke all made, other than that is how it is translated in the KJV, hence everyone should take it at that face value, simply because it is found in the King James. Or are you now become one of the disciples of Dr. Ruckman, in claiming "advanced revelation" for the King James? [FTR, there is not even a question, as to how the Greek language reads here, in any of the readings of the five Greek NTs I checked here for this verse, for all said exactly the same thing, without so much as the variation of a single letter (for those who love to take all their "pot-shots" at the so-called "MVs") in the TR1550, TR1894, W/H, USB-2, MT -2nd Ed.] One does not necessarily even have to especially avoid the use of the word "son" to show this differentiation, as the MCB (which incorporated Tyndale's own revisions) did it by rendering it as "My Son", as opposed to a 'generic vocative' of merely "Son" to show that 'sense of endearment' I previously spoke of. Luther did similarly as the MCB, in the Luther Bibel, I'll add, as well. Finally, I'll add that the YLT, which rendered this as 'child', is translated from the same text that lie behind the KJV, and not that of the so-called "MV" text of W/H, for the W/H text would not even be in existence for almost another two decades, so it could not have possibly been any "corrupting" influence on Dr. Young.

    Now since I had to go out at midnight to stay with my great niece, for 3 1/2 hours, while her parents took her sister to the hospital, while I was about ten minutes from initially finishing this post, since they returned with "child" treated, I've finally returned, and finished the post so now I also finally get to :sleep:

    Ed

    Disclaimer - Language Cop will definjitley not be around to proof-read this one for typos. etc.!
     
  8. Salamander

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    A son can be of any age and behave childish, that there is a distinction made for observance to be able to come to a God inspired conclusion.

    Yeah, ok, "language cop" mind telling us how the following is an interogative:
    Maybe the termites made it to your literary excellence award and ate away the gold meadl you've awarded yourself!:tongue3:

    Can you prove this?

    The thought derived from the use of "son" denotes that of all son-like charateristics, including childish behavior but not necessarlly that of a child.

    In one instance the Prodigal is a "son", in the evidences of his worldly lusts, he behaves as a child. Yet we also see his acting in the way a son would do in he has had enough of the world and the husks and returns to his father in the way a child would approach his father in a faithful manner knowing the parental love associated in the relationship of father and son.

    One will have to allow the Holy Ghost to guide them as to how the "Prodigal" is viewed, each alternative view as that of a son or that of a child is applicable, although one should also consider the son to be older than that of a mere child in his letting him leave with all that was coming to him.

    A "child' of three might behave as the son did, but certainly a caring father would not permit a three yearold to leave to go out into the world to make his own way!

    Ok, now you can go back to playing with your yo-yo.:smilewinkgrin:
     
  9. Keith M

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    Sal, why is it you can't answer a simple question without personal attacks and childish behavior? Maybe we should call you "son" because of your childishness.
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Which distinction Jesus made (and the Holy Spirit inspired the distinction to be recorded by Luke), in the words of the Greek language of the NT, that you are here desiring to "un-make".
    My post did not claim this to be the "interogative" :rolleyes: , but rather, this was the "observation", mentioned above, in the post. The two interrogatives where mentioned followed afterward, in the next few words.

    I believe so, to someone who believes Scripture. One who does not believe this, will not be persuaded, regardless, however. I trust both you and I fall into the first category, here.

    Jesus is the 'speaker' for virtually all of Lk. 15, from verse 4-31, with the exception of three words (in English - two in the Greek language) at the beginning of v. 11, which give the break between the hypothetical and subjunctive two-part parable found in v.4-10, and the declarative and indicative account of the father and his two sons. (Remember, I have already said that this is not a parable. The three reasons I say this are that the language appears different for the usual language of a parable spoken by Jesus; the Bible identifies other parables as parables (Jesus didn't leave it to us to 'blondly' guess which is which.); and the Bible does not say this account is a parable. One has to "add to" what is said in Scripture to pronounce this to be a parable, here.)

    Virtually every Bible of the 20th Century and following, that I have seen shows direct quotes by means of quotation marks, in addition to the punctuation marks, which served to delineate them for the days prior, and even though Dr. Young did employ 'quotation marks' in the YLT even in the 1760s, he seems to be a lone voice, here, for they are not found in the RV, DBY, or ASV. Every "red-letter" edition of the KJV, and other versions shows these words to be Jesus' words. This does not appear for indirect citings of the other NT writer's for Jesus' words, as shown by the style of the wording used by Paul, in I Cor. 7:9-13, compared and contrasted to the style of the wording he uses in I Cor. 11:23-26 for a good example.
    It's not the so-called "Prodigal" (Whoever titled this account as "The Prodigal Son" anyway? And who decided to bring this word, of which I really suspect not one of every four English speakers has the first clue as to the actual definition, over into the English language from the French language, basically untranslated from Latin?), but the one who was "anti-prodigal" - the obnoxious, judgmental, self-righteous, self-centered, greedy, older brother who was so 'cheap', he would not even fix his friends a meal unless he thought someone else (namely 'Dad') would pick up the tab, who was in his snit, throwing a 'temper tantrum', to whom the father called "teknon" or little child, which is appropriate, because it completely fit. He was the one acting like the three-year old. It was not the 'younger brother', for he was showing enough maturity and humility, to even intend become a servant, even though his father wouldn't hear of it.

    BTW, for all of you who may read this, God is "Prodigal".

    That statement will likely serve to raise the ire of a few on the BB, I suspect.

    Ed
     
    #10 EdSutton, Jan 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2009
  11. franklinmonroe

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    Although Ed directed this challenge toward Salamander, I would happily consider anyone's insight (especially a Greek grammar explanation) into this question.

    Meanwhile, in addition to Young and Darby rendering teknon as "Child" here (as A.T. Robertson's note in his Word Pictures of the New Testament confirms for this verse), I have also found "Child" in text of the ALT, CLV, and The Peoples' NT.

    Why are so many translators reluctant to render teknon in its more common & literal sense?
     
    #11 franklinmonroe, Jan 19, 2009
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  12. franklinmonroe

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    Most other versions translate forms of teknon in these verses as "child" or "children" where the KJV has "son" or "sons" (KJV) --
    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)

    I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn [you]. (I Corinthians 4:14)

    That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15)

    Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.(I John 3:1&2)
    Although Darby and Young have "child" or "children" in these verse, most versions render forms of teknon as "son" or "sons" (as does the KJV) --
    But what think ye? A [certain] man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. (Matthew 21:28)

    And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. (Luke 2:48)
    Were daughters so strictly forbidden from working in the vineyards at this time that this would allow a translation of "sons" and "Son" with absolute certainty? Does First Century Galilean culture somehow preclude a mother from a calling twelve year-old boy "Child"? Does the fact that Jesus addressed Mary as "Woman" indicate that family relationship terms were not always employed?
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Notice Matthew 27:56 (KJV) --
    Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
    Interestingly, a plural form of the Greek word huios ("sons") has been translated as "children" here. Most English Bible versions do render the word as "sons" here. It seems that the KJV translates the word huios as "child(ren)" some 49 times (of 382 occurrences).

    Probably, this woman was known among Christ's followers as the mother of James & John. Therefore, this phrase is likely a specific reference to the two disciples (as in Matthew's prior chapter at 26:37; also Mark 10:35 and Luke 5:10), rather than just a comprehensive reference to all her children by Zebedee. Other children of this couple are irrelevant to the context (the Scriptures do not mention others, but if males only then the rendering of "sons" would still stand).
     
    #13 franklinmonroe, Jan 19, 2009
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  14. Faith alone

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    TEKNON does mean in general "child," though it can refer to a male child, or "son." Since we know it is his brother, why not simply use "son"? We need to think about how we use it in English today as well as the Greek and its nuances.

    "Child" would work, but this TEKNON in Luke 15 is clearly an adult at this point, so "son" makes more sense.

    FA
     
  15. franklinmonroe

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    To be complete, teknon can also be used in a metaphoric sense. But in its' ordinary sense it simply means "child(ren)". By definition, children are human male or female offspring; therefore, teknon can properly be applied to sons and daughters. This is a logical extension or substitution of its' usage, not so much a nuance of the actual meaning of the word. The KJV translates it as "daughters" in 1 Peter 3:6 (a passage addressed to wives). However, teknon doesn't really mean either "son" or "daughter".

    Again, I'll raise the example of Jesus addressing his mother on the occasions He calls her "Woman". Indeed, she is a woman (for every mother is a woman). But the English versions typically translate the underlying Greek accurately and literally in these verses as "Woman". Should the translators have rendered these places as "Mother" instead? It is not common in our culture to address one's natural mother as "Woman" (which has caused some misinterpretation among uninformed critics).

    I guess it depends on what you desire from your Bible version. Most serious students of Scripture want as literal a translation as is practical.
     
    #15 franklinmonroe, Jan 20, 2009
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  16. Salamander

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    What would BB be like without keith making use of his abstract magnifying glass.

    I know! I Know! BB would be more peaceful!:tongue3:
     
  17. Salamander

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    In the spiritual sense we are all, those saved, God's children/ sons.

    Somebody's yo-yo is getting dusty.:laugh:
     
  18. Keith M

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    As I said before...

    [snipped] I forgive you for your personal attacks, but my forgiveness isn't what really counts.

    :tonofbricks:
     
    #18 Keith M, Jan 21, 2009
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