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A Literal Translation of the New Testament

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By Hal Dekker

Luke 15:1-32



Luke 15:21 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) son (huios) enunciated (eipen) to him (autō), "Father (pater), I have sinned (hēmarton) into (eis) the (ton) heaven (ouranon) and (kai) in sight (enōpion) of you (sou). I am (eimi) absolutely no longer yet (ouketi) one worthy (axios) to be called aloud (klēthēnai) a son (huios) of you (sou)!"


Luke 15:22 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) father (patēr) enunciated (eipen) to (pros) the (tous) slaves (doulous) of him (autou), ‘Quickly (tachu), bring out (exenenkate) the (tēn) first (protēn) stole (stolēn) and (kai) enrobe him in (endusate auton) [it].


And (kai) give (dote) a finger ring (daktulion) into (eis) the (tēn) hand (cheira) of him (autou), and (kai) under-bindings (hupodēmata) into (eis) the (tous) feet (podas).

"bring out the first stole and drop him into ]it]" – Jesus makes a reference to what at that time was still a future event, the receiving of the new birth above as he taught to Nicodemus (John 3), the baptism in the gift of holy sprit, power from on high, as he taught to his disciples (Luke 24:49). This is that which was prophesied by part of the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21) prophecy, specifically verses 28-29.

"Both sandals and ring are marks of the freeman, as slaves were barefooted" (14Robertson). The young son had no shoes on his feet, which indicates he was coming out of a condition of poverty and/or slavery.

Luke 15:23 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) bring (pherete) the (ton) young offspring (moschon), the (ton) grain-fed (siteuton) [one], sacrifice (thusate) [it]! 

And (kai) having eaten (phagontes) may we be well-pleased (euphranthōmen),

"sacrifice it" – Christ Jesus makes a reference to himself in his parable, the one who was the final sacrifice for all mortalkind (Eph. 5:2; Heb. 9:26, 10:12).

"Calf" doesn’t appear in the original language source texts, and is added by the imagination of translators, in verses 23, 27 and 30. Verse 29 clearly states that the animal sacrificed was a goat (eriphon).  A calf is not a goat, but an entirely different genus!

"having eaten" – Having repented, believed and confessed with his mouth the Lord Jesus Christ.

"may be well-minded" – Another cultural idiom.  Through the sacrifice (Jesus Christ) the unrest between the father and his young son is resolved, and there is now peace between the young son and the father.  The mental rift between them is now well, it is healed.

Luke 15:24 (LIT/UBS4) because (hoti) this one (houtos), the (ho) son (huios) of me (mou), was being (ēn) a dead one (nekros) and (kai) he was made up alive (anezēsen);

he was being (ēn) one having been lost (apolōlōs), and (kai) he was found (eurethē).’

And (kai) they caused themselves to start (ērxanto) to be well-pleased (euphrainesthai).

"was being a dead one and he was made up alive" – In the parable, the young son never died, but was as good as dead. This is a reference to the default state of mortalkind who are without God and without hope (Eph. 2:1-7).

Luke 15:25 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) son (huios) of him (autou), the (ho) elder one (presbuteros), was being (ēn) in (en) [a] field (agrō)

And (kai) as (hōs) he was causing himself to come (erchomenos) he came near (ēggisen) to the (tē) house (oikia).

He heard (ēkousen) [sounds] of a symphony (sumphōnias), and (kai) of round dancing (chorōn).

Luke 15:26 (LIT/UBS4) And (kai) having caused himself to call to (proskalesamenos) one (hena) of the (tōn) children (paidōn), he was causing himself to demand (epunthaneto), 'What (ti) perhaps (an) may possibly be (eiē) these things (tauta)?'

Luke 15:27 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) [child] enunciated (eipen) to him (autō) that (hoti), "The (ho) brother (adelphos) of you (sou) arrives (hēkei), and (kai) the (ho) father (patēr) of you (sou) sacrificed (ethusen) the (ton) young offspring (moschon), the (ton) grain-fed (siteuton) [one], because (hoti) he received (apelaben) him (auton) [back], he being wholesome (hugianonta)!"

Luke 15:28 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) he was made angry (ōrgisthē), and (kai) he was absolutely not desiring (ouk ēthelen) to enter in (eiselthein)!

But (de) the (ho) father (patēr) of him (autou) having come out (exelthōn), he was accosting (parekalei) him (auton).

The older son demonstrated his own jealousy toward the younger son who has returned. According to worldly values people are not equally valuable. In God’s eyes all his children are of equal value to him. There’s no place for jealousy in the body of Christ from more mature believers over new, young believers. After all, they’re newborn babes in Christ, and need much attention now to help bring them up, to help them start walking spiritually. A baby born physically isn’t born walking, and so is not a spiritually newborn babe in Christ born walking spiritually. It has to be learned.

Luke 15:29 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) the (ho) [elder one] having been caused to make a decision (apokritheis), he enunciated (eipen) to the (tō) father (patri) of him (autou), “Behold (idou), so many (tosauta) years (etē) I slave (douleuō) for you (soi), and (kai) but absolutely not at any time (oudepote) did I pass aside (parēlthon) an injunction (entolēn) of you (sou)


And (kai) to me (emoi), but absolutely not at any time (oudepote) did you give (edōkas) a goat (eriphon), in order that (hina) I may be well-pleased (euphranthō) together with (meta) the (tōn) loved ones (philōn) of me (mou)!


Luke 15:30 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) when (hote) the (ho) son (huis) of you (sou) came (ēlthen), this (houtos), the one (ho) having devoured (kataphagōn) the (ton) living (bion) of you (sou) with (meta) fornicators (pornōn), you sacrificed (ethusas) to him (autō) the (ton) grain-fed (siteuton) young offspring (moschon)!"

Luke 15:31 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) he (ho) enunciated (eipen) to him (autō), "One born (teknon) [of me], you (su) are (ei) always (pantote) with (met) me (emou), and (kai) all (panta) the (ta) [property] mine (ema) is (estin) your’s (sa).

"and all the [property] mine is yours" – Those who have been born of God’s seed, who have received the new birth from above, baptism in the gift of holy Spirit from Jesus Christ, have become heirs of God the heavenly Father, and heirs together with Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:15-17; Gal. 3:26-29). Apostle Paul in his letter to the believing disciples in Ephesus, declares the gift of holy Spirit of promise given to them from God the heavenly Father, is a pledge, a down payment of the full inheritance they/we are to receive (Eph. 1:7-14)!

Luke 15:32 (LIT/UBS4) But (de) to be well-pleased (euphranthēnai) and (kai) to rejoice (charēnai) is being required (edei), because (hoti) the (ho) brother (adelphos) of you (sou), this one (houtos), was being (ēn) a dead one (nekros) and (kai) lived (ezēsen);

[he was being] one having been lost (apolōlōs), and (kai) he was found (eurethē)!"

In the first two parts of Jesus’ parable, parables in and of themselves, he concluded the parables with an explanation of the things lost as being in each case, a lost sinner in need of repentance. We can see, hear and put it together here, that this wonderful parable is about repentance as well. The Pharisees and writers, which had very little knowledge of God’s Word, and no understanding of it because they had no spiritual ability from God, and couldn’t understand this parable at all. As commonly misbelieved, this parable wasn’t given for the sake of the Pharisees and writers who had no "ears to hear", but was given for the sake of Jesus’ disciples, to whom the Father was beginning to give "eyes to see" and "ears to hear". This was a teaching lesson for them, and anyone else who perhaps had "ears to hear".

I believe Jesus had to be very careful when speaking these parables, that he didn’t disclose too much revelation about the coming fulfillment of the outpouring of the Father’s Spirit, which was prophesied by Joel in his great mystery prophecy (2:28-32). Jesus Christ had to complete his mission to shed his precious blood and die for all mortalkind, in order to pay the penalty for our sin. If he would have disclosed too much information in parables about the outpouring of the Father’s gift of holy Spirit, the adversary, Satan never would have played into God’s hand, and allowed God’s son Jesus to be put to death (1 Cor. 2:7-8).

Jesus said, "The one having ears, hear (imperative mood)!" (Mat. 11:15, 13:9, 43) If we have "ears to hear", Jesus commands us to hear his Word!







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Ethelbert W. Bullinger

Copyright 1978, Samuel Bagster & Sons Limited

London, England


Copyright 1978, Zondervan Publishing House

Grand Rapids, MI

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William MacDonald

Copyright 1995, Thomas Nelson Publishing

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Copyright 1976, Guardian Press

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Copyright 1975, Baker Book House

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Copyright 1990, Kregel Publications

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Copyright 1987, Abingdon Press

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J. D. Douglas

Copyright 1962, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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R. V. G. Tasker, M.A., D.D., Emeritus Professor of New Testament Exegesis, University of London

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G. Campbell Morgan

Copyright MCMXLIII by Fleming H. Revell Company

Old Tappan, New Jersey

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Archibald Thomas Robertson A.M., D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.

Volumes Copyrighted 1930, 1932, 1933, Baker Book House

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Renewal Copyright 1960, Broadman Press