I thought, as a bit of project between now and Christmas, it might be fun to offer a translation the Sunday Gospel pericopes. Of course, there are many good translations available, most of which far outdo in accuracy anything I might produce. But I do not get much opportunity nowadays to exercise my Greek, and also a translation is as much an ‘interpretation’ of the text as simple transposition from one language into another.
This week’s Gospel is (of course) from St. Luke’s account of the Good News (18:1-8), and is unique to him as an author. Presumably it comes then from his unique source (called L by Scripture scholars for reasons which should be obvious). Luke likes to mix things up a little and so the parable is fitted in between sections drawn from Matthew and Mark, and close to a number of other famous Lucan passages such as the Ten Lepers (which we read last week) and the Pharisee and the Publican.
He then spoke a parable to them, to explain the necessity of their continuing in prayer and not losing heart. He said, “There was a certain judge, in a certain town; God he did not fear and for men he had no regard. Now, a widow lived in that same town and she would come before him, saying, ‘Grant me retribution against my enemy!’ Yet, for a time he was unwilling, until after all this, he said to himself, ‘If it is that God I do not fear, nor for men do I have any regard, and because she causes me so much trouble, this widow, I will grant retribution to her. Otherwise, in the end, with her visits, she will wear me out!'” Now the Lord said, “Listen to what he says, the unrighteous judge. Will not God by all means bring about retribution for his elect, who cry out to him day and night, and will he be patient? I say to you that he will bring about this retribution for them swiftly. Saving that, shall the Son of Man, having come, find faith in the earth?”