How did Jesus answer His parents?

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Paidion
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How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Paidion » Sun Jul 12, 2020 3:05 pm

Consider the passage recorded in Luke 2, according to the ESV (English Standard Version)
41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom.
43 And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it,
44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day’s journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress."
49 And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?"

The ESV states that Jesus asked, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?"
8 other translations on my Bible program say the same — the ASV, BBE, CEVAus, NASB, NIV, NRSV, RSV, and Williams
So it must be correct. Right?
But if so, then why do 9 other translations on my Bible program state that He asked, "Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Those translations are the AV, Darby, Douay, EMTV, HCSB, JB2013, NKJV, Wey, and Webster.
So which did Jesus say? "House" or "business"?
THE FACT IS THAT NEITHER OF THESE WORDS OCCUR in the Greek of Luke 2:49.

The Diaglot is a literal, word-for-word rendering of the Greek of verse 49:
"And he said to them: Why for did you seek me? not know you, that in the of the father of me must to be me?"


Notice that in the phrase "that in the of the father", there is no noun or pronoun immediately after the article "the". This construction never occurs in English, but it is common in Greek.
Interestingly enough, that article "the" is a PLURAL. In Greek when an adjective or article is plural, then it modifies a plural noun.
In this case, an English translator must add an English noun for it to make sense in English. The usual addition after a plural article is "things".

Young's Literal Translation has it as follows:
And he said unto them, ‘Why is it that ye were seeking me? did ye not know that in the things of my Father it behoveth me to be?’
Or in modern English: ‘Why is it that you were seeking me? Did you not know that in the things of my Father it is necessary for me to be?’
Or better yet: ‘Why is it that you were seeking me? Did you not know that it is necessary for me to be in the things of my Father?’
Paidion

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darinhouston
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by darinhouston » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:09 pm

Though I haven't consulted a translation comparison, the ESV seems like a bit of an outlier from the translations I've been familiar with over the years. All of them, as I recall, have something along the lines of "about my Father's business" or "things" or something like that. I wonder why the ESV suggests otherwise.

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Homer
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Homer » Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:15 pm

Regarding whether "in my Father's house" or "about my Father's business" , which as Paidion pointed out:
NEITHER OF THESE WORDS OCCUR in the Greek of Luke 2:49.
They are simply translator's ideas about how to translate the Greek article "tois".

I would say the variance in translations is an example of metonomy:

Using the word ‘crown’ to refer to power or authority is an example of metonymy, as is the statement "the pot is boiling". Obviously pots don't boil. "Nice set of wheels" referring to a car; many examples could be thought of.

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backwoodsman
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by backwoodsman » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:23 pm

Homer wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 3:15 pm
They are simply translator's ideas about how to translate the Greek article "tois".
These sorts of things can often be easily resolved by checking with the guys who know. In this case, Robertson says it's a common Greek idiom, and "in my Father's house" is the better rendition. Vincent also says "house" is better, and points out that Mary's question had to do with where he was, not what he was doing, so an answer having to do with location makes more sense. Clarke points out that the Syriac has "house", so apparently that's how those who translated it from Greek understood it.

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Homer
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Homer » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:14 pm

Hi Backwoodsman,

IMO "house" is the weaker understanding.

Henry Alford noted that, although "house" is not incorrect, "...but we must not exclude the wider sense which embraces all places and employments of my Father's. The employment in which he was found, learning the word of God, would naturally be one of these. (italics Alford's)

In James Edward's "The Gospel According to Luke" Edwards states "The expression en tois patros tou mou, which occurs only here in the Bible, literally means 'about the things [e.g. business, affairs] of my Father'. If Jesus had meant (only) 'house', however, there was a clearer way to say it (so Luke 16:27)".
The Greek word for house, oikon was used by Jesus in that place, but is absent fron 2:49.

Lange's commentary: "He stays in the temple as such only, inasmuch as it is there that ta tou patros (the of the Father) are for the present concentrated"

So we can understand in a narrow sense or a broader sense. I think each sense is found below:
46. After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.
47. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers
.

I think the second is more to the point.

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Paidion
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Paidion » Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:15 pm

Homer, you wrote:In James Edward's "The Gospel According to Luke" Edwards states "The expression en tois patros tou mou, which occurs only here in the Bible, literally means 'about the things [e.g. business, affairs] of my Father'.
Well if Edwards wrote this, he misplaced "patros", whether intentionally or by mistake, I wouldn't know.

The order of the Anglicized Greek words is "en tois tou patros mou" (in the —— father of me) The word "tois" is a plural word for "the". Therefore it CANNOT modify "house" and thus the missing noun that it does modify cannot be "house". Yes, "affairs" is a possibility. However, in my opinion the best English word for the missing noun that it does modify is "concerns".

I think a good, fairly literal translation could be the following, with the addition of "involved" for greater clarity in English:

Do you not know that it is necessary for me to be (involved) in the concerns of my father?
Paidion

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Homer
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Homer » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:28 pm

Hi Paidion,

You wrote:
I think a good, fairly literal translation could be the following, with the addition of "involved" for greater clarity in English:

Do you not know that it is necessary for me to be (involved) in the concerns of my father?
Sounds good to me; looks like we agree "house" isn't the best translation.
Well if Edwards wrote this, he misplaced "patros", whether intentionally or by mistake, I wouldn't know.
Well, I know. It wasn't Edwards mistake but mine and my 80 year old brain. Hmm. I wonder what I did yesterday. Looks like I posted here.

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Paidion
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Re: How did Jesus answer His parents?

Post by Paidion » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:18 pm

I have no concerns about that, Homer. It's the usual thing at our age.
With my 82-year-old brain, I forget the names of people I know really well.
I remembered the name of the man who shot my father with a rifle in 1955, mistaking him for a deer. This resulted in my father's death a few days later. The poor man was devastated, and never picked up a rifle since. Then I was trying to remember the name of the man's wife. After much thought, it occurred to me that his wife was my sister Lorraine!
Paidion

Man judges a person by his past deeds, and administers penalties for his wrongdoing. God judges a person by his present character, and disciplines him that he may become righteous.

Avatar shows me at 75 years old. I am now 82.

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