Luke 14:26, 27 - How To Translate "Be"

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sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
The word translated "be" in verses 26 and 27 of Luke is the word εἶναι, eínai (Present *Infinitive *Active). I am trying understand if it would be proper to translate this to say in the context of verse 27:

Whoever does not bear his cross and follow me cannot [continue to] be my disciple.

Is this correct? If so, would this not make sense of the fact that disciples like Judas Iscariot were disciples at one time and then apostatized? They did not continue and therefore failed to be true disciples? They did not continue as Paul noted elsewhere in his epistles.

Luke 14:26-27
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Here's something I found

Used as a copula in such senses as:
a. To equal in identity: "To be a Christian was to be a Roman" (James Bryce).
b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.
c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.
d. To have or show a specified quality or characteristic: She is witty. All humans are mortal.
e. To seem to consist or be made of: The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

So I would translate it as a state of "being" which cannot change. So if someone doesn't do what Christ says he must do (all of what we do is done by his hand, of course), then he cannot change his state of being. He cannot become Christ's.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
Here's something I found

Used as a copula in such senses as:
a. To equal in identity: "To be a Christian was to be a Roman" (James Bryce).
b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.
c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.
d. To have or show a specified quality or characteristic: She is witty. All humans are mortal.
e. To seem to consist or be made of: The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

So I would translate it as a state of "being" which cannot change. So if someone doesn't do what Christ says he must do (all of what we do is done by his hand, of course), then he cannot change his state of being. He cannot become Christ's.

What are you trying to say?
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
Here's something I found

Used as a copula in such senses as:
a. To equal in identity: "To be a Christian was to be a Roman" (James Bryce).
b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.
c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.
d. To have or show a specified quality or characteristic: She is witty. All humans are mortal.
e. To seem to consist or be made of: The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

So I would translate it as a state of "being" which cannot change. So if someone doesn't do what Christ says he must do (all of what we do is done by his hand, of course), then he cannot change his state of being. He cannot become Christ's.

What are you trying to say?

I am just trying to get what you meant by quotes "a." to "e."
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
No. Although some present tense verbs can take on a linear aspect with more specific nuances, but that's not an option with ειμι, which is a linking verb and by nature stative. It describes a state of affairs and isn't subject to that kind of temporal aspect.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
No. Although some present tense verbs can take on a linear aspect with more specific nuances, but that's not an option with ειμι, which is a linking verb and by nature stative. It describes a state of affairs and isn't subject to that kind of temporal aspect.

To what may we liken this state of affairs that is not subject to such a temporal aspect. I am a dummy when it comes to Greek.

The reason I am asking ultimately has to do with the use of this verse to deny baptizing infants. The reasoning says that infants cannot be disciples and they should, therefore, not be baptized since they are incapable of being discipled.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Here's something I found

Used as a copula in such senses as:
a. To equal in identity: "To be a Christian was to be a Roman" (James Bryce).
b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.
c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.
d. To have or show a specified quality or characteristic: She is witty. All humans are mortal.
e. To seem to consist or be made of: The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

So I would translate it as a state of "being" which cannot change. So if someone doesn't do what Christ says he must do (all of what we do is done by his hand, of course), then he cannot change his state of being. He cannot become Christ's.

What are you trying to say?

I am just trying to get what you meant by quotes "a." to "e."

copula (ˈkɒpjʊlə)

— n , pl -las , -lae
1. a verb, such as be, seem, or taste, that is used merely to identify or link the subject with the complement of a sentence
"Be" can be used as a copula in other words as a linkage between the subject and the complement of a sentence. Example is this: Sarah is a great photographer :) ....

Sarah = subject
is = linking verb
photographer = the noun as subject complement.

The following verbs are true linking verbs: any form of the verb be [am, is, are, was, were, has been, are being, might have been, etc.], become, and seem.

Does that clear up what i was saying?
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
Here's something I found

Used as a copula in such senses as:
a. To equal in identity: "To be a Christian was to be a Roman" (James Bryce).
b. To have a specified significance: A is excellent, C is passing. Let n be the unknown quantity.
c. To belong to a specified class or group: The human being is a primate.
d. To have or show a specified quality or characteristic: She is witty. All humans are mortal.
e. To seem to consist or be made of: The yard is all snow. He is all bluff and no bite.

So I would translate it as a state of "being" which cannot change. So if someone doesn't do what Christ says he must do (all of what we do is done by his hand, of course), then he cannot change his state of being. He cannot become Christ's.

What are you trying to say?

I am just trying to get what you meant by quotes "a." to "e."

copula (ˈkɒpjʊlə)

— n , pl -las , -lae
1. a verb, such as be, seem, or taste, that is used merely to identify or link the subject with the complement of a sentence
"Be" can be used as a copula in other words as a linkage between the subject and the complement of a sentence. Example is this: Sarah is a great photographer :) ....

Sarah = subject
is = linking verb
photographer = the noun as subject complement.

The following verbs are true linking verbs: any form of the verb be [am, is, are, was, were, has been, are being, might have been, etc.], become, and seem.

Does that clear up what i was saying?

Yes. Thanks.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The real issue or problem is (as a paedobaptist sees it) a defective view of what defines "disciple." A disciple is one who is taught the faith. Children of believers are natural students of the faith. Mt.28:19-20 instructs the church to make disciples by baptizing and teaching [participles of means].

So far as Lk.14:26-27 goes, I'm not concerned with what particular form cross-bearing takes depending on the disciple in question. Persecutors don't always differentiate on the basis of age, and there have been many infants of believers forced to take up their cross in the history of the church.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
The real issue or problem is (as a paedobaptist sees it) a defective view of what defines "disciple." A disciple is one who is taught the faith. Children of believers are natural students of the faith. Mt.28:19-20 instructs the church to make disciples by baptizing and teaching [participles of means].

So far as Lk.14:26-27 goes, I'm not concerned with what particular form cross-bearing takes depending on the disciple in question. Persecutors don't always differentiate on the basis of age, and there have been many infants of believers forced to take up their cross in the history of the church.

I have been mulling over this issue for awhile now and last night it occurred to me that I may be working with a faulty view of baptism. I don't quite know how to get around Luke 14:26-27. You clearly see the form of discipleship mentioned in Luke 14:26-27 as applying to infants. The problem is that infants would, according to these verses, be required to not only "forced to take up their cross," but to do other cognitive functions that an infant cannot perform.

This same cognitive mandate was placed upon infants of the Old Covenant:

Deuteronomy 10:16, Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

This cognitive mandate was given to ALL of God's covenant people which would necessarily include infants who would need to rise to the call for obedience in later years when they would finally develope the mental capacity for it. Therefore, if it does not bother God to require of infants to cognitively conform to the terms of the covenant under the old ministrations (i.e. circumcision and the obedience required), then I suppose it should not bother me. Who am I to answer back to God? Going one step further, why should it bother me that the same apparent predicament occurs under the new ministrations (baptism and the obedience required)?

Perhaps someone would not mind critiquing my thoughts.
 

Poimen

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Jon:

I believe you are on the right track. God can command something of all His people without it being particularly carried out in some cases (due to infirmities, age, or even sex - such as circumcision). The same is true with respect to Jesus' words which are directed to those who clamoured around Him, without understanding that their main duty was to become His ("my") disciple. The sacrifice that is required for these who follow Him is mentioned, not to make it impossible for those who cannot yet actively fulfil these 'conditions' to be turned away, but to admonish and even correct those who misunderstand who the King is and what His kingdom entails.

Jesus later, however, informs us that children are not to be turned away, though of themselves they can do little, even nothing, for Jesus bids them come to Him and be blessed by Him (Luke 18:15-17). The condition(s) here are different here since they are not yet hardened to the truth about Jesus, and have not sat under the misleading and ultimately blinding effect of the Pharisaical teaching. In fact they best offer to adult disciples the antidote to their self-righteous and self-sufficient attitudes since, unlike the Pharisee, they cannot offer to God one scrap of righteousness, and demonstrate our need (as adults) to enter into God's gracious offer of salvation without any baggage except sin. Thus the kingdom of God itself is best represented by these little ones (vs. 17). This cannot be true if they are barred from membership or the sacraments simply because they do not meet the standards that we impose upon adults.
 
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Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I have come to a conclusion that for someone to "bear his cross" is a figurative way of saying being faithful to what God has called you to do, until death. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.
 

sevenzedek

Puritan Board Junior
I have come to a conclusion that for someone to "bear his cross" is a figurative way of saying being faithful to what God has called you to do, until death. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this.

If I am pickin' up what you're puttin' down, I agree.
 

Elimelek

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello John

I would not agree with such a translation as εἶναί (einai) completes the action of δύναται (dunatai). The word δύναται can be classified as Praesens Indicative Medium 3rd person singular from δύναμαι (dunamai) with the basic meaning "to be able to." To complete the action of the word δύναμαι (dunamai) an action an infinitive in the same time must be given thus εἶναί (einai) (Praesens Infinitive Active) is part of the act of δύναμαι (dunamai). Eἶναί (einai) is called a prolative infinitive (at least in South Africa, Afrikaans: prolatiewe infinitief), an inifinitive that completes the action of the previous word. Δύναμαι (dunamai) is called a deponent verb (Afrikaans: deponente werkwoord).

26: "εἴ τις ἔρχεται πρός με καὶ οὐ μισεῖ τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὰ τέκνα καὶ τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς καὶ τὰς ἀδελφὰς ἔτι τε καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν ἑαυτοῦ, οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής."
My direct translation (and up for scrutiny):
If someone comes to me and he doesn't hate* his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sister, even also his own soul, he is not able to be my disciple/ student.
(*hates not (more literal))

27 ὅστις οὐ βαστάζει τὸν σταυρὸν ἑαυτοῦ καὶ ἔρχεται ὀπίσω μου, οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής.
My direct translation:
Whoever does not carry* his own cross and come after me, he is not able to be my disciple/ student.
(* carries not)

The two verses forms a parallelism and should be read together. All the verbs are in the Present tense. I presume that to hate your the ones dear to you and carrying your cross is equated. In the context of Luke not even the disciples who abandons Jesus in his last hour are able to be his "students." Verse 28 implies that those were following Jesus at the time might not have considered the cost of what it means to be his disciple. I suspect Jesus is using irony in the text to heighten the unexpected cost of discipleship. While you can count the cost for building a tower, the problem is that following Jesus means "renouncing" everything as you don't know what the value of discipleship will entail. In verse 28 you also find the words, "οὐ δύναται εἶναί μου μαθητής."

Personally I don't see what this has to do with baptism. It is radical and difficult words for any disciple/ follower/ student of Christ.

Kind regards
 
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