Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32)

This is excerpted from The Testimony of Luke by S. Kent Brown. It includes the New Rendition, Analysis, and Notes on each verse.

New Rendition

11 And he said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give to me that portion of the estate which falls to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 And after a few days, when the young man had gathered everything, he went abroad into a far land, and there he squandered his goods by living dissolutely. 14 When he had exhausted everything, a serious famine arose across that land, and he began to be in short supply. 15 And he went and joined with one of the citizens in that land, and he sent him into his fields to tend swine. 16 And he desired to eat his fill from the carob pods which the pigs were eating. And no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am perishing here from hunger. 18 I will rise up and go to my father and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.’ 20 And he rose up and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and felt compassion and, running, fell upon his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and clothe him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf, slaughter it, and we will rejoice while eating it, 24 because this, my son, was dead and has come alive again, he was lost and was found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “But his older son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And calling one of the servants to him, he inquired what was going on. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf, because he received him in good health.’ 28 Then he became angry and did not want to go inside. And coming outside, his father called to him. 29 Then answering, he said to his father, ‘Look, for so many years I have worked like a slave for you and have never neglected one of your commandments. And you have never given me a kid so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came who has devoured your property with harlots, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 But it was necessary to celebrate and rejoice because this brother of yours was dead, and has come alive; and he was lost and was found.’”

Analysis

In a most beloved parable, the Savior paints a portrait of a family. The painting captures a broad swath of time, portraying tones and textures of family interaction whose first hues are splashed on the canvas by a younger son who not only seeks his fortune but goes off to spend it frivolously. It is as if to show his father and brother that he has grown up and will make his decisions independent of them, thereby splitting himself from hearth and home. Jesus’ words both picture the willful behavior of this son and also draw onto the canvas the thin, dark lines of his older brother’s slowburning resentment for his youthful manipulations of their father. Jesus’ parable thus captures in vivid colors a sibling rivalry that almost defies a father’s best mediating efforts, much as those between Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, and Laman and Nephi. Of the three, only Esau and Jacob reconcile, and that occurs only in their later years, not promising odds.

Some commentators read this parable substantially, and the prior two in this chapter, as Jesus’ defense against his critics of his table fellowship with publicans and sinners.[1] But this reading seems too flat, too insipid. Others see this parable, in large measure, as a portrait of the Pharisees and their allies in the person of the older son, a portrait that takes them down to size.[2] To be sure, the Pharisees and scribes stand front and center when the chapter opens (see 15:2). But this view seems to diminish the energizing sweep of the story and its timeless lessons for all who hear. For it is just as possible that Jesus genuinely intends his words for his followers, who will soon take their places in his nascent church and will face questions that have to do with worthiness and wickedness and, beyond those questions, forgiveness and acceptability.

If, in this light, Jesus seems to be lenient on one who has committed frightful sins and then has staggered back into the arms of his father, his parable simply matches his words both when he asks his disciples to forgive another “seven times in a day” (17:4; also Matt. 18:21–22; D&C 98:40), when he generously forgives the “sinner” woman who washes and anoints his feet (see 7:36–50), when he underscores the generosity of the landowner who hires day laborers (see Matt. 20:1–15), and when he treats the woman taken in adultery with both measured respect and healing stipulations about her future behavior (see John 8:2–11).

Another view holds that the father has failed as a parent by indulging his sons and by refusing to set limits on their behavior as they grow older, instead keeping them dependent on his generosity. On this view, the younger son senses that he can only grow up if he escapes his father’s influence but is ill-equipped to deal with life because his father has not prepared him. Similarly, the older son rests within the comfort of his father’s largesse and toils unappreciated on the estate until he too comes to realize that he possesses no value apart from his father and is left permanently unable to cope.[3] But this approach stands on a soft web of psychological assumptions that makes sense only in the modern world of psychoanalysis rather than in the world of ancient storytelling.

Turning to the refined skill that underlies the cluster of parables in this chapter, we soon leave behind any view that Jesus retells these stories chiefly to defend his behavior or to shine a light on the low actions of his critics. Setting aside questions of how much Luke’s literary skills are at play in these stories, because such queries seem endlessly bogged down in disputes over notable details that Jesus may well introduce rather than Luke, we notice as an example the progressive character of the three parables, building a crescendo of sorts. For Jesus begins with a parable that focuses on one lost from a hundred, then one out of ten, and finally one of two.[4] In effect, the relative value rises the longer Jesus talks. Naturally, the human soul is worth much more than a precious coin, no matter its temporal worth. We are reminded of the market scene that the seer describes in the book of Revelation, which shows a clustering of items of similar types, with the most precious listed at the end (see Rev. 18:12–13; also 1 Ne. 13:7).

On another literary level, the parable is really two stories, both of which concern a father and a son.[5] In the first, the younger son moves on the stage with his father and without his older brother. The personal flaws emerge into the light of day as he demands his share of the inheritance and then distances himself from any family connections. His part in the story comes to an end when, after coming to himself, he returns home and finds a warm welcome, complete with a dinner party and dancing. In the second, the older son stands at center stage, with the younger son unseen but present in the wings. The older son draws the reader’s sympathy because, unlike his brother in the prior scene, he has been true and faithful to his father and to his attendant responsibilities. But, like his younger brother, he also is beset with flaws. Indeed, his flaws are not as debilitating as those that trouble the younger brother. But they are real nonetheless. And his challenge is also to come to himself and to see what lies at his feet both in terms of his inheritance but, more to the point, in terms of his opportunity to graciously welcome his lost and now repentant brother.

In another literary vein that illustrates Jesus’ consummate skill in telling this story, the parable does not bring the story to an end. Hence, Jesus allows his hearers to complete the narration in their own minds. Questions abound, and this feature underscores the lofty, accomplished character of the parable.[6] For example, what is the final end of the jangling conversation between the father and older son? Does the older son finally join the party? And if so, does he continue to nurse his spite or does he genuinely embrace his younger brother and begin to enjoy the festivities? Over time, does the gap between the brothers remain, even expanding, or does it shrink, leading to mutual respect? Further, does the younger son really change his behavior and turn his energies to building what he loses when he squanders his inheritance? The parable does not address such questions, adding appeal to the story.

The tight, interwoven character of the parable, complete with its obvious links to the stories of the lost sheep and the lost coin, point clearly to a single mind that masters the intricacies of storytelling and presents the three accounts as fresh and compelling declarations about recovering the lost. Moreover, the three narratives fit comfortably within the parameters of discipleship that Jesus sets out in the prior chapter. But rather than raising questions about how to become a disciple, as in chapter 14, these stories approach the topic of discipleship by illustrating how one holds onto what one has received as a trust, how one holds onto the relationship of master and disciple. A disciple grasps and continues to possess such a relationship by effort and by establishing and reestablishing a submissive demeanor and attitude. In all cases, just as the father in the parable, the master welcomes back the wayward disciple with joyous celebration.

In this connection, does not the parable also represent conversion? In important ways, the younger son mirrors those who hold in their hands the precious truths of the gospel and, for some reason, let them drop and walk away, choosing a different path in life. But then, stirred perhaps by influences outside themselves, they return to their former lives, welcomed and embraced by those who love and have stewardship for them. Similarly, the older son represents the faithful who pass through inner trials, in this case asking the question whether it is possible to accept those who are hard to accept because of temperament or past actions. The crucial question for the faithful person is whether truly to forgive as the Lord requires and, thus refreshed, come inside (see the Notes on 17:3–4; Mosiah 26:31; D&C 64:9–10).

In the parable of the prodigal son, does the father represent God? The answer is no and yes. No, in the sense that the father is willing to divide his inheritance with the younger son before that son has proven himself as a responsible person worthy of receiving and managing a substantial estate. No, in the sense that the father does not and cannot reconfer a portion of his estate on the younger son, unable to add reward to what he has already given. Of course, opportunity stands in front of this son to rebuild his life, but he is no longer eligible to inherit anything from his father. Yes, in the sense that the father takes the risk that the son, as well as his portion of the estate, will be lost.[7] But he takes the risk anyway. Yes, in the sense that, when the son returns repentant and humble, the father welcomes him back with genuine forgiveness and affection, remembering his transgressions “no more” (D&C 58:42). And yes, in the sense that Jesus speaks the words, conferring on them a timeless and exalted tenor, including the role of the father, even if a piece or two seems out of place.[8] For within Jesus’ words rises the divine will.

Notes

15:11 two sons: The numerical ratio becomes greater, two to one, that is, two sons and one who becomes lost. In the earlier stories, the ratios are one hundred to one and ten to one (see 15:4, 8). The loss in this story, both because of the ratio and because it involves a family member, becomes harder to accept.

15:12 the younger: The age of the young man remains unknown. Evidently, he is unmarried, a clue to his age. One later view holds that a man “at eighteen [is ready] for the bride-chamber.”[9] This son may be slightly younger than eighteen or a bit older. A young man is actually eligible to marry as early as age thirteen.[10]

the portion of goods: The Greek term ousia, “goods,” properly has to do with property.[11] In whatever form it comes to the younger son, he is able to sell it, or it is in a form that he can spend, so that he can live abroad as he chooses (see 15:13).

he divided unto them his living: In the division of the inheritance, the older or firstborn son receives a double portion, the younger son a single portion, leaving him with one-third of the estate (see Deut. 21:17; the Note on 20:29). But the father seems not to transfer the double portion yet to the older son because he remains in control of the farm (see 15:22–23) and speaks of “all that I [still] have” (15:31).[12] In transferring the inheritance to his children, a father can create a will that becomes effective upon his death, or he can make a gift of property to his children during his lifetime. In the latter instance, he retains the interest or usufruct that may come from the property until his death. If a child sells the property, as seems to be the case in this story (see the Note on 15:13), the new owner does not take full possession until the death of the father.[13]

15:13 gathered all together: The meaning of the verb (Greek synagō) has to do with the younger son liquidating his part of the estate so that he can depart.[14]

took his journey: By this action, the younger son severs himself from the duty to honor and care for his parents in their older years (see the Notes on 4:38; 18:20). His older brother, on the other hand, will do just that (see the Note on 15:29).[15]

wasted his substance: The noun for property is the same as in 15:12 (Greek ousia), even though the younger son has effectively turned his part of the estate into cash. The repetition of the noun carries the dual senses that the property still somehow links back to the father and that this son is shamelessly squandering his father’s money, not just his own—“devoured [the father’s] living” (15:30).

with riotous living: The expression does not specify whether the son is disorderly and wild, or wastefully squandering his inheritance on luxuries— either meaning fits.[16] But news eventually trickles back home that he has “devoured [his father’s] living with harlots” (15:30).

15:14 when he had spent all: The term for “all” (Greek panta) repeats the same term in the prior verse—“gathered all”—and underscores that, by spending his inheritance to the last coin, he has become totally penniless with nothing to show for it. The verb translated “to spend” appears elsewhere in the New Testament (see Mark 5:26; Acts 21:24; 2 Cor. 12:15; James 4:3).

15:15 joined himself to a citizen: The younger son no longer controls his destiny, but submits to his need to survive by working for a Gentile who owns pigs, illustrating vividly how far he has fallen. Pigs, of course, are unclean for Jews (see Lev. 11:7; Deut. 14:8).

15:16 with the husks: The noun (Greek keration) literally means “little horn” and refers to carob pods that are a food staple for animals in the Mediterranean region, and even for poor people.[17]

no man gave unto him: Two meanings attach to Jesus’ statement. First, the “mighty famine” (15:14) affects everyone in the society to such a pitch that no one is able to render even a little help.[18] Second, whatever friendships the young man forms in his new setting do not persist. No former associates come forward to assist him. Clearly, his recent and current relationships are not built on enduring grounds.

15:17 when he came to himself: This is the literal meaning of the Greek expression and points to the young man’s dawning realization of how he dishonors his father and the gnawing regret for his actions. In a word, though the humbling process is imposed by external factors (see Alma 32:12–16), his repentance begins in earnest with his newly stirred consciousness of his irresponsible actions.[19]

hired servants: The word (Greek misthios) refers to a day laborer who receives a daily wage from the master (see 15:19) and is to be distinguished from the servants of 15:22 (Greek doulos) and 15:26 (Greek pais) who are a part of the household (see the Notes on 15:22 and 15:26).[20]

servants of my father’s have bread: This innocent-looking note indicates that poverty is widespread in Jesus’ world.

15:18 I will arise: Although the participle is in the aorist tense, and thus indicates a one-time action, illustrating the young man’s fresh determination, and although the verb (Greek anistēmi) frequently means “to arise” (see 1:39; 4:16, 38, 39; 6:8; etc.), in this passage the word carries a strong hint of rising from the dead, both physical and spiritual, as does the same verb in 15:20 (see also 8:55; 9:8, 19; 16:31; 18:33; 24:7, 46).[21]This theme carries into the father’s words in 15:24—“my son was dead, and is alive again” (see 15:32).

I have sinned: Framing the life that the fellow is living (see 15:21), the verb fills out the meaning of the noun “sinner” that appears earlier (see 15:1–2), thus rolling out Jesus’ views on what it means to sin—willfully turning against one’s family, selfishly spending one’s resources on oneself, impudently engaging in immoral behavior, and knowingly pursuing shallow friendships that evaporate at the onset of troubles.

against heaven, and before thee: These prepositional phrases set out Jesus’ viewpoint on those affected by a person’s sinful behavior and therefore those from whom that person must seek forgiveness (see 15:21; 1 Ne. 7:20–21).

15:19 nomoreworthytobecalledthyson: This line hints that the younger son has not yet stepped completely beyond his past because it breathes the air of manipulation, for he knows that his father will not accept such a statement (see 15:21). He will need time to step away from his devious thinking as well as his actions.

make me as one of thy hired servants: This line also carries a manipulative dimension. We wonder whether this tendency is a part of this son’s character. If so, this trait may underlie the older son’s pique (see 15:28). On the other hand, it also breathes the air of contrition. The younger son knows that, eventually, he will be working for his older brother. Given the unhappiness that evidently characterizes their relationship, this prospect points to the genuineness of the younger son’s repentance.

15:20 he arose: To his credit, the younger son follows through on his resolution, taking action instead of postponing or changing his mind. On this verb, see the Note on 15:18.

a great way off: The adverb that stands in this expression (Greek makran) also appears in 15:13, where it has to do with the substantial distance that the fellow travels to escape his father—“a far country.”[22] The repetition of the term here indicates that the young man’s return is complete—he is shortening the distance—and that he is reversing the path of his life.

had compassion: The father’s compassion plays out in the vivid action verbs that follow: “ran, and fell on . . . and kissed.” Jesus’ more-than-subtle point, made through the father, is that true compassion involves acting, not mere thinking or feeling or talking.

fell on his neck: This act conjures up images of Joseph’s warm greeting for his younger brother Benjamin (see Gen. 45:14) and, even more vividly for Jesus’ audience, the greeting between Joseph and his father Jacob (see Gen. 46:29; also Acts 20:37).

kissed him: The King James translators, working in a world wherein the scripture text is read aloud, bring the reader’s lips together in the position of a kiss when repeating the pronoun “him.”

15:22 the father said to his servants: It is more than curious that the father does not address his son directly, but lets his words to the servants tell the son about his joy and his forgiveness. Evidently, the father is not yet ready to speak to his son. Too much hurt lies between them because of the son’s actions. The father seems to be thinking of a period of probation before the son regains his full place in the family circle. Incidentally, these servants (Greek doulos) belong to the father—“his servants”[23]—and are not among the “hired servants” who receive wages (see the Note on 15:17).

Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him: Thus begins the clothing of the now repentant son, recalling the robing of priests at the sanctuary and the donning of clothing for other special occasions (see Ex. 29:5–6, 29; 40:13–14; Lev. 16:23–24, 32).[24] Pointedly, the young man does not clothe himself. The scene that Jesus describes for the younger son also echoes the loss of sin during the Day of Atonement (see Lev. 16:2–34).

15:23 the fatted calf: Drawing out a young animal from the herd for slaughter points to an owner of considerable means, for the loss of a young animal means a loss of future productive power that sustains the herd (see 15:27).

let us eat, and be merry: In an obvious reference to a celebratory meal one finds a hint about the banquet that the Messiah will host in the future (see the Notes on 13:28; 22:16–18, 30; the Analysis on 4:1–13 and 9:10–17).[25] Importantly, as in so many other eating scenes, this one takes place inside a home, an important theme in this story. And it seems evident that the robing of the son is a step in preparing him for the special meal (see 15:22; Matt. 22:11–12).

15:24 my son was dead: The father’s language is metaphorical, of course, because the son is not really dead (see 15:32). But the father’s words still carry the sense that he has thought of his son as utterly gone from the family and that only a miraculous resuscitation will restore him.

is alive again: The verb (Greek anazaō) forms an obvious reference to the resurrection, a theme in this parable (see 15:32; Rom. 14:9; Rev. 20:5; the Note on 15:18).[26] It contrasts to the reference to the son’s death in this verse and to the death of “the fatted calf ” (15:23).

was lost: The verb ties to forms of the same verb in 15:4, 6, 8–9, and 32 (Greek apollumi),[27] brightening one of the threaded connections among the three parables of this chapter.

is found: The other luminous connection lies in this verb (Greek heuriskō) which denotes here not a chance discovery, which is one of its meanings, but a recovery following a diligent search.[28]

15:25 his elder son: On one level, this son represents those in Jesus’ society who are diligent about their responsibilities, for he is taking care of tasks “in the field.” But it is an unreasonable stretch to see him as somehow representing “the Pharisees and people like them.”[29]

musick and dancing: This line offers a glimpse into scenes of family celebrations in Jesus’ world—festive occasions do not always consist simply of a good meal and warm, renewed associations, as at the Last Supper (see 22:14–38). In this case, the term translated “musick,” in this context, likely means orchestra or band (Greek symphōnia).[30]

15:26 one of the servants: This person is one of the servant boys, not an adult, as the Greek term indicates (pais).[31] The same term appears in 7:7 with the same meaning. Although Jesus elsewhere indicates his compassion for children by healing them and by speaking of his high regard for the family (see 7:7; 8:54; 9:42; 3 Ne. 17:11–25; 26:14, 16; introduction to chapter 14),[32] for the sake of telling the story he repeats this common term for a youthful servant without comment.[33]

15:27 safe and sound: The verb that underlies this expression (Greek hygiainō) points first of all to the good health of the younger son—he has returned with his health intact.[34]

15:28 he was angry, and would not go in: The petulance or peevishness of the older son ranks as a very minor transgression.[35] However, if the older son does not repent, his pique will extend the separation from his younger brother, which will perpetuate itself at least into the next generation. The father plainly senses this risk (see 15:32). From the way Jesus tells the story, it seems apparent that he is stressing the role of the father as peacemaker within the family.

intreated him: The tense of the verb—imperfect—points to the father’s repeated, persistent action.[36] Jesus thus indicates the quality of the father’s effort: even though time and persuasion are required, he does not give up and speaks kindly to him throughout their conversation.[37] Moreover, obvious to Jesus’ hearers is the fact that the father will succeed in coaxing him inside their home to join the guests because the older son owes him complete obedience. The challenge will be for the father to help the older son to heal his jangled heart.

15:29 do I serve: The verb carries the sense of working as a servant or slave, thus highlighting this son’s loyal and uncomplaining service to his father (Greek douleuō).[38] This circumstance now changes as he complains and, in his fit of anger, dares to criticize his father. Nevertheless, his faithful actions speak louder than his words, showing his commitment to obey and honor his father (see the Notes on 4:38; 15:13; 18:20; 20:13).[39]

a kid: This reference likely points to a young goat, though it can mean an adult (Greek eriphos),[40] clearly inferior to a calf (see Matt. 25:32–33). In effect, the older son says that his father has not given him even a kid for celebrating, let alone a calf.

15:30 this thy son: The expression is emphatic both in English and in Greek, and bears a sense of contempt (see 18:11).[41] By repeating these words, the older son distances himself from his younger brother by omitting any acknowledgment of their sibling relationship.

devoured thy living: The son’s choice of the verb is striking (Greek kataphagō), for it means “to consume” completely and, in a metaphorical sense, “to destroy” (see 8:5; John 2:17; Rev. 10:9–10; 12:4; 20:9).[42] Because the younger son took a portion of the estate that might grow and make the family holdings even stronger, the older son shows his anger at its utter loss.[43] with harlots: The winds of news and rumor carry this disturbing part of the younger son’s wasteful life back to the family. The older son has taken offence and adds this to his smoldering resentment at the younger son’s

earlier manipulative acts (see the Note on 15:19).

15:31 Son: The word (Greek teknon) commonly conveys “an affectionate address to a son” (see 2:48; 16:25; Matt. 21:28).[44]

thou art ever with me: The son’s initial protest to his father that he works hard and faithfully must be addressed (see 15:29). And here the father reassures him of his status, perhaps reminding him that he does not fully appreciate his place in the home.[45] We sense the hint of an apology from the father for not offering his thanks more frequently to his older son. all that I have is thine: This statement answers the second of the older son’s complaints that he has never received even a young goat for a party with friends (see 15:29). Clearly, the father is taking time and effort to answer his son’s complaints.[46] Beyond this, the principle is true that, to the faithful,

“all that [the Savior’s] Father hath shall be given unto [them]” (D&C 84:38).

15:32 it was meet: This impersonal verb is strong, denoting necessity: “it was necessary” (Greek dei).[47] Hence, the father sets out the proper—and needed—response to the return of a wandering soul.

this thy brother: The father’s words balance those of the older son, “this thy son” (15:30), thus reestablishing the sibling connection. Though the younger son returns as “one of [the] hired servants” (15:19), he will not remain so. Here the father exalts him to his former rank, although not to his position as an heir, so that the older son does not lose his perspective about his brother.

 

[1] Jeremias, Parables, 128, 132; Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1085–86, holds more softly to this view.

[2] Plummer, Luke, 378–79; Marshall, Luke, 611–12; Johnson, Luke, 242.

[3] Richard Q. Ford, The Parables of Jesus: Recovering the Art of Listening (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1997), 90–114.

[4] Green, Luke, 573, 578.

[5] The dual stories is the view of Ford, Parables of Jesus, 90–114; and Brad H. Young, The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1998), 25, 140–57; also Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1083–85.

[6] Plummer, Luke, 379; Young, Parables, 154–55.

[7] Johnson, Luke, 241.

[8] Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry (New York: Basic Books, 1985), 146–47.

[9] Mishnah Pirke Aboth 5:21, cited by William Rosenau, Jewish Ceremonial Institutions and Customs, 3d ed. (rpt., Detroit: Singing Tree Press, 1925), 151.

[10] Roland De Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book, 1961), 1:29.

[11] Liddell and Scott, Lexicon, 1274; BAGD, 600.

[12] Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1087; “The father has precedence over all his offspring” in matters of inheritance (Mishnah Baba Bathra 8:2).

[13] Jeremias, Parables, 128–29; Marshall, Luke, 607; Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1087.

[14] BAGD, 789–90; Marshall, Luke, 607; Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1087.

[15] Balla, Child-Parent Relationship, 128–29.

[16] TDNT, 1:506–7.

[17] BAGD, 430; Marshall, Luke, 609; Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1088.

[18] Green, Luke, 581.

[19] Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1088.

[20] BAGD, 204–5, 525, 609; Jeremias, Jerusalem, 111.

[21] BAGD, 69.

[22] BAGD, 488–89.

[23] BAGD, 204–5.

[24] Jeremias, Parables, 130; Milgrom, Leviticus 1–16, 1016–17.

[25] Smith, “Table Fellowship as a Literary Motif,” 613–38; Madsen, “Marriage Supper of the Lamb,” 2:860; Smith, “Messianic Banquet,” 4:788–91.

[26] BAGD, 53; TDNT, 2:872–73; Jeremias, Parables, 130.

[27] BAGD, 94–95; TDNT, 1:394–95.

[28] BAGD, 325–26; TDNT, 2:769.

[29] Morris, Luke, 266; also Marshall, Luke, 612.

[30] Liddell and Scott, Lexicon, 1689; BAGD, 788.

[31] BAGD, 609–10; TDNT, 5:637–38; Fitzmyer, Luke, 2:1090.

[32] M. Gawain Wells, “The Savior and the Children in 3 Nephi,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 14, no. 1 (2005): 62–73.

[33] TDNT, 5:648–50.

[34] BAGD, 839–40.

[35] Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969), 309; Edward L. Kimball, comp., Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), 109.

[36] Smyth, Greek Grammar, §§1790, 1890–94, 2341; Blass and Debrunner, Greek Grammar, §§325, 327.

[37] Jeremias, Parables, 130.

[38] BAGD, 204.

[39] Balla, Child-Parent Relationship, 128–29.

[40] BAGD, 309.

[41] Plummer, Luke, 378; Jeremias, Parables, 131.

[42] Liddell and Scott, Lexicon, 918; BAGD, 423.

[43] Marshall, Luke, 612.

[44] BAGD, 816.

[45] Plummer, Luke, 379.

[46] Plummer, Luke, 379.

[47] Smyth, Greek Grammar, §§933a, 1985; BAGD, 171.

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