Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely

KJV Verse: 

Luke 16:8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And he applauded, that lord, the house manager for the injustice. Because sensibly, it was performed. Because the sons of this era, of this one, more sensible beyond the sons of light in regards to a type [of person], this one itself, they are. 

Hidden Meaning: 

The first part of this verse is a punch line. It unfolds as a surprise to the listeners. The second two phrases seem to be answers to questions about the punch line.  The verse contains a couple of unique words, and one is used twice. A lot of the verse is scrambled in translation. 

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

The word translated as "lorn" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." This word appears after the verb translated as "commended" as a surprise. Note that this lord knows immediately of the house manager's misdeed, which means that is was not kept secret. This has many implications in this story. 

"Commended" is a unique word, approved only here. It means to "approve", "applaud", "commend", "praise", "recommend", and "advise".  This word would be a surprise to listeners, who might not even know who the "he" was who "applauded" or "approved". 

"The unjust" is a Greek noun, not an adjective. It means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offense." Perhaps today we would say a "injustice". In the form it is in, it does not describe the house manager but his wrong-doing, which is being applauded. The entire description of this parable as that of the "unjust steward" seems based on a mistranslation as well as a misinterpretation of the story.  This word follows "steward". Its form seems to be "the objective genitive" that is, what the manager was praised for. 

"Steward" is an uncommon word for Jesus that appears here for the first time. It is a term that means a household manager. 

The word translated as "because " introduces a statement of fact or cause. This word is often used by Jesus when answering a question, which may be the case here. 

The Greek word translated as "he had done" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. The sense here is "performed" the misdeed.

"Wisely" is a Greek adjective used uniquely in this verse.   It is the adverbial form of the adjective that means "in one's right mind", "in one's senses", "sensible", "prudent", "practical wisdom", and "prudence".

The word translated as "for " introduces a statement of fact or cause. It is the same word translated as "because" above. 

The word translated as "children" more means "son" or "descendants". It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

"Of these" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

"World" is from aiôn, which means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world." See this article on words translated as "world" in Jesus's words

The verb "are" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. It appears at the very end of the phrase. 

The phrase "in their generation" doesn't appear near the "children of this world" phase but after the "children of light" phrase. It may mean something very different, referring to the nature of practicality. 

The word translated as "in" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

"Their" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on. It isn't plural, referring to the "sons" of either type. It is singular and appears after "generation" referring to the "generation" itself. It is introduced by an article, so "this on itself."

The word translated as "generation" means "race", "family", and "generation". The sense is a "type" or a "specimen" of a particular type.  Jesus uses this term frequently in criticism, but that criticism seems more aimed at a particular type of people than his generation. It is the word from which we get the scientific "genus".

"Wiser" is the same Greek adjective used above in its comparative form.   It  means "in one's right mind", "in one's senses", "sensible", "prudent", "practical wisdom", and "prudence".

The Greek preposition translated as "than" means "over" (of place), "above' (in a state of rest), "off' (ships at sea), "over" and "across (in a state of motion), "over", "beyond" and many such words. The sense is more "beyond" than a simple "than". 

The word translated as "children" more means "son" or "descendants". It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article.

The Greek word translated as "of light" means "light", "daylight [primarily], "opening", and "public visibility." Jesus uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge,"

Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." 

ἐπῄνεσεν [unique] (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Commended" is epaneo, which means to "approve", "applaud", "commend", "praise", "recommend", and "advise". 

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τὸν οἰκονόμον  [uncommon](noun sg masc acc) 'Steward" is oikonomoswhich means "one who manages a household", "manager", "administrator", in feminine, "housewife" or "housekeeper".

τῆς ἀδικίας  (noun sg fem gen) "The unjust" is from adikia, which means "wrongdoing", "injustice", "a wrongful act," and "offence."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "Because" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." 

φρονίμως [unique](adv) "Wisely" is phronimōs, which is the adverbial form of the adjective that means "in one's right mind", "in one's senses", "sensible", "prudent", "practical wisdom", and "prudence".

ἐποίησεν: (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He had done" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." --

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

οἱ υἱοὶ (noun pl masc nom) "The children" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant. --

τοῦ αἰῶνος (noun sg masc gen) "World" is aion, which means "life", "lifetime", "age," or "generation." -- "World" is from aiôn, which means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world." See this article on words translated as "world" in Jesus's words

τούτου (adj sg masc gen) "Of this" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

φρονιμώτεροι [unique](adj pl masc nom comp) "Wiser" is  phronimōs, which is the adverbial form of the adjective that means "in one's right mind", "in one's senses", "sensible", "prudent", "practical wisdom", and "prudence".

ὑπὲρ (prep) "On our part" is hyper (huper), which means "over" (of place), "above' (in a state of rest), "off' (ships at sea), "over" and "across (in a state of motion), "over", "beyond", "on behalf of one (metaphor), "for", "instead of", "in the name of", "as a representative of" (in an entreaty), "for" and "because of" (of the cause of motive), "concerning", "exceeding" "above" and "beyond" (of measure), "above" and "upwards" (of numbers), "before" and "earlier than" (of time), "over much" and "beyond measure" (as an adverb), "for" and "in deference of" (doing a thing), and "above measure."

τοὺς υἱοὺς (noun pl masc acc) "The Son" is huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." It is used generally to refer to any male descendant.

τοῦ φωτὸς (noun sg neut gen) "Of light" is phos, which means "light", "daylight [primarily], "illumination [of things and of the mind]", "light [of the eyes], "window", "opening", " public visibility," and "publicity." Christ uses it as a metaphor for "knowledge," but in Greek it is also a metaphor for "deliverance", "happiness", "victory," and "glory." 

εἰς (prep) "In" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)." 

τὴν γενεὰν (noun sg fem acc) "Generation" is genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word from which we get the scientific word,"genus." 

τὴν (article sg fem acc) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction. -- The word translated as "goods" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

ἑαυτῶν (noun sg fem acc) "Their" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

εἰσίν. (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "Are" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") --

Aug 13 2018