Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

In this way, I tell you it comes into being, delight, in front of the messengers of the Divine over on mistake-maker seeing in hindsight. 

KJV : 

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

What is Lost in Translation: 

In repeating the theme of joy, this verse connects the idea of "angels" with the idea of "heaven" in Luke 15:7. Does this change if we translate "angels" as "messengers" and "heaven" as "sky" in the sense of "the higher universe"?

The word translated in KJV as "likewise" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner" or "in this way."

The word translated as "I say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

The Greek pronoun "unto you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

The verb translated as "there is" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

"Joy" is from a worth that means "joy" and "delight." More about Christ's use of emotions in this article.

The Greek preposition translated as "in the presence" is not used outside of Luke except once in John. It appears here for the first time in Jesus's words here. It means "in front of". 

"The angels" is a noun meaning "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use from its use in the NT.

The word translated as "of God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

The word translated as "over" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "during", "by" or "on."

The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

"Sinner" is a word that means "erroneous" or "erring." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil. Only in biblical translations is this term given the sense of wickedness. More about the translation issues regarding "sin" here.  The sense is "mistake-maker". 

The word translated as "repent" has nothing to do with sin or, generally, with religion or asking for forgiveness. The Greek word translated as "repent" has a primary meaning of to understand something after the fact, with the sense of seeing it is too late. Is specific meaning is to "understand afterward," as seeing the truth after a mistake is made. From this idea, it comes to mean to change your mind, shifting your perspective. This is in the form of a command.



Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὕτως, (adv) "Likewise" is houtos, which as an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

λέγω () "I tell" is lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν, (pron 2nd pl dat) "Unto you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

γίνεται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp ) "There is" is ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to happen", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state. 

χαρὰ (noun sg fem nom) "Joy" is from chara (chara), which means "joy" and "delight." -- 

ἐνώπιον [uncommon](prep) "In the presence" is from enopionwhich means " facing" and "to the front".  -- 

τῶν ἀγγέλων (noun pl masc/fem gen) "Of the Angels" is aggelos, which means "messenger" and "envoys" though it became to mean "semi-divine beings" in later use. 

τοῦ θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity." 

ἐπὶ (prep) "Over" is epi, which means "on", "over",  "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "after" in position, "during", and "against." 

ἑνὶ (noun sg masc dat) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen.

ἁμαρτωλῷ (adj sg masc/fem dat) "Sinner" is hamartolos, which means "erroneous" or "erring." It also means "of bad character" but with the sense of being a slave or low-born not evil. --

μετανοοῦντι. (part sg pres act masc dat) "That repenteth" is from  metanoeo, which literally means "to perceive afterward", "to perceive too late", "to change one's mind", "to change one's purpose," and "to repent." 

Front Page Date: 

Jul 15 2018