Translating Luke 16: 8 & 9: The Parable of the Unrighteous Steward

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By: William Finck  ©  2007

Luke 16:1-13, or the parable of the unrighteous steward, is perhaps one of the most misunderstood pericopes in the Bible. The reason for its being so misunderstood is, I believe, due to the poor translations of the text found at verses 8 and 9 of the pericope, and the entire parable must be presented and discussed here, yet these two verses shall be examined most thoroughly. I have translated Luke 16:1-13 thusly:

1 Then He also said to the students: “There was a certain wealthy man who had a steward, and he had suspected him of squandering his possessions. 2 And calling him he said to him ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship, for you are no longer able to be steward.’ 3 And the steward said to himself ‘What shall I do, that my master has taken the stewardship from me? I am not able to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do, in order that when I have been removed from the stewardship they shall receive me into their houses!’ 5 And calling on each one of those indebted to his master, he said to the first ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said ‘A hundred baths of olive oil.’ So he said to him ‘Take your records, and quickly sitting down write fifty.’ 7 Next he said to another ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said ‘A hundred kors of grain.’ He said to him ‘Take your records and write eighty.’ 8 And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he did wisely, because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race. 9 And I say to you, shall you make for yourselves friends from the riches of unrighteousness, that when you should fail they may receive you into eternal dwellings?

10 “He who is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and he who is unrighteous with little is also unrighteous with much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous riches, who shall entrust to you the true? 12 And if with that of another you have not been faithful, who will give to you that which is your own? 13 No one servant is able to serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will endure the one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Yahweh and riches!”

A “steward” here is an οἰκονόμος (3623), “one who manages a household” (An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon Founded Upon The Seventh Edition Of Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, hereinafter L&S), and was typically the chief servant on an estate, who oversaw all of its operations. This particular steward had been squandering his master’s possessions (verse 1), and upon being found out, and relieved of his position, he worried about how he may further make his living (verse 3). Therefore, the steward concocted a plan whereby he would win the favor of those who were indebted to his master, and hopefully be received by them, ostensibly for further employment. So he called upon each of them and reduced their debts in the household records, instructing them to do likewise (verses 4-7). This is no different than if he had stolen his master’s property in order to bribe the debtors. Not being told specifically the reactions of the debtors, we might assume that each of them went along with the scheme of the steward. Yet somehow the master had discovered the acts of the unrighteous steward (verse 8). Perhaps one of his debtors was honest and informed him of the steward’s actions, yet we are not told as much. Surprisingly, this master praised the steward for what he had done, yet not for the reason which many may think. The following is from a footnote for the word “race” here at verse 9, a word which most versions errantly translate as “generation”, from my edition of The Records of Luke:

γενεά (1074), “race, stock, family” (L&S), is “race” here and not, as it may be in some contexts, “I...2. a race, generation” or “II...2. age, time of life” or as we say: “generation”. This is evident without resorting to any other Biblical references, but from the full statement here alone, which I shall endeavor to elucidate. The full clause, ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν, or “Because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race”, shall be examined here.

  1. ὅτι (“because”) οἱ υἱοὶ (“the sons”, in the Nominative case and therefore the subject of the clause).
  2. τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (“of this age”, the pronoun referring to what precedes). αἰῶνος is the Genitive singular of αἰών (165), “age” here. The word is “a period of age, generation...a long space of time, an age...a definite space of time, an era, epoch, age, period...” (L&S). It is the source of our English word “eon”, and usually in the N.T. infers a long period of time, and so may be presumed to be equivalent to the span of many “generations”, as we use that term today. If αἰών indeed infers such a long space of time here, then γενεά must be rendered “race”, since many generations would be required to fill “this age”. Yet if αἰών infers a shorter duration, a single “generation” or era, γενεά still must be rendered “race”, lest the use of the word is redundant and it becomes meaningless. The A.V. translators must have realized this predicament, and here (as they did elsewhere) they rendered αἰών “world”, a meaning that the word certainly does not have! αἰών can only refer to a period of time, not of space.
  3. φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ (“are wiser beyond”). The word “are” comes from the last word of the clause, the third person plural form of εἰμί (1510), εἰσιν or “they are”. This is common in Greek, which orders its words quite differently than English. ὑπὲρ is a preposition which is properly “over” or “beyond” (what follows) but here is not rendered as such, the comparative form of φρόνιμος (5429), “wiser”, and the conjunction “than”, and so “are wiser than”, being sufficient to express the meaning in English.
  4. τοὺς υἱοὺς (“the sons”) here in the Accusative case, which distinguishes the noun as the object of a verb or of certain prepositions, here the preposition ὑπὲρ or “beyond”, “than” in the text.
  5. τοῦ φωτὸς (“of light”), the Genitive singular of φῶς (5457), the Genitive is a case that expresses possession, source, or measurement, and here “the sons”, the preceding noun, belongs to it, so “the sons of light”.
  6. εἰς (1519) is a preposition used only with the Accusative case (as τὴν γενεὰν is which follows), and is properly “into, and then to” and also among other things “ or regard to...for” (L&S), and in certain contexts it may sometimes be rendered “in”, but is not commonly “in”. L&S give one example, where in English we would say “to look in the face”, rather than the literal “at” or “towards” the face. The “in their generation” that the A.V. has here would be properly expressed with ἐν (1722) and the Dative case, and not with εἰς and the Accusative, as it is found here.
  7. τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν (“their own race”), or literally “the race that is of themselves”, the Articles (τὴν) and γενεὰν are all in the Accusative case, and so are the object of the preposition εἰς. While the Article τὴν is the Accusative singular, the pronoun ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”, or “their own” here) is Genitive plural (ἑαυτοῦ, 1438) and “reflects back to the subject” (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 104), and so here τὴν γενεὰν belongs to one party only, the “sons of this age”, who are the subject of the clause, and so the word γενεὰν must again be rendered “race”, and not “generation”, since the sons of both “this age” and “light” are obviously contemporaneous and so share the same period of time. While such number and case mismatches are rare, the Article τὴν is Accusative singular while its noun ἑαυτῶν Genitive plural. Yet this is done expressly in order to avoid confusion, to show the relationship between ἑαυτῶν and τὴν γενεὰν here. The result is that there is no question that τὴν γενεὰν (“the race”) belongs to ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”), referring to the subject of the clause: “the sons of this age”.
  8. εἰσιν the final word here, is the 3rd person plural of the verb “to be”, εἰμί (1510), and so is “they are”, or “are” here. It may be protested that “are” appears twice in the English version here, and that is true. “As in classical Greek, so also in the N.T.  εἰμί is very often omitted” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, εἰμί, VI., p. 180 col. B), and so it must be supplied in English as often as it is found wanting, yet admittedly this process can be quite subjective.

Here it should now be manifest, that the “sons of this age” and the “sons of light” are surely two separate races, which have vied with each other throughout the age, just as Gen. 3:15 forebode that they would. For the phrases “sons of light” and “sons of this age”, representing two different races, can only be metaphors for the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and these two races are contrasted throughout the N.T. See, for instance, Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43; Luke 11:47-51 (where “generation” is also properly rendered “race”, designating sons and fathers both near and remote in the context there); John 8:31-47; Rom. 9:1-13, 20-23; Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, et al. In first century Judaea the seed of the serpent was represented by the Edomite jews who descended from Esau, and other Canaanite, or “arab” (mixed) races of the larger region. These were brought into the kingdom of Judaea by the Maccabees from about 130 B.C., and converted to Judaism, for which see Strabo, Geography, 16.2.34, and Josephus, Antiquities, 13.9.1 (13:254-258); 13.15.4 (13:395-397); 15.7.9-10 (15:253-266); and Wars 2.20.4 (2:566-568). The seed of the woman were those Judaeans who were the remnant of pure Israelites who returned from the captivity, along with the many Greeks and Romans who were actually “lost” Israelites, having descended from tribes which had emigrated from ancient Israel 6 to 15 centuries before Christ. These two seeds are represented in the world today, for the most part, by the people of White Northern European descent who had descended from the ancient Israelites and other Adamic families and who are the seed of the woman, as opposed to the jews, arabs, and the mixed “Mediterranean” Europeans who descended from jews and arabs, who in turn descended from the Canaanites and other non-Adamic races, who are the seed of the serpent.

Moving on to Luke 16:9, I shall first cite a note from my edition of Luke for the word “riches”: μαμωνᾶς (3126), here and at vv. 11 and 13, is “riches” but in the A.V. “mammon”. L&S state that Μαμμωνᾶς, or Μαμωνᾶς, was “a Syrian deity, god of riches; hence riches, wealth, N.T.” Yet translating this verse, my differences with the A.V. are much greater than this, and at the end of the verse I have provided another footnote, which follows:

This verse is very naturally read as a question, which neither the A.V. nor the NA27 nor any other of the versions which I’ve seen do. Rather, many commentators use this verse as a statement, to justify the wicked methods of the dishonest steward, which amount to stealing! So much drivel has been written concerning this verse, because its being a rhetorical question has been overlooked by so many. The construction of the verbs here very naturally makes a rhetorical question, where a verb of the Indicative mood is followed by a verb of the Subjunctive mood. ποιήσατε, the Future Indicative of ποιέω (4160), is “shall you make...?” here. Later the verb ἐκλίπῃ, Aorist Subjunctive of ἐκλείπω (1587) is “when you should fail” preceded by ὅταν (“when”) and may be written “when you might fail” and the verb δέξωνται is the Aorist Subjunctive of δέχομαι (1209), here followed by ὑμᾶς (“you”) and being in the 3rd person plural, “they may receive you”, or “they might receive you”. A similar pattern is found at Gal. 6:5, which I also read as a rhetorical question, and comment upon in my edition of Paul’s epistles. The Indicative Mood, as ποιήσατε is here, is often used in interrogation (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 43), and even without an interrogatory particle, and such is often done by Luke (and recognized by both the A.V. and the NA27), at 4:34; 7:19 and 20; 9:54; 12:51; 13:2, 4, and 15; 14:3; 20:4; 22:48; and 23:3; and at Acts 5:28; 16:37; 21:37; 23:3 and 4; 25:9; and 26:27.

Biblical evidence that in context this interpretation is the correct one is quite plain. First, the commandment states that “Thou shalt not steal”, and Christ is certainly not endorsing embezzlement here. Second, certainly the friends of the unrighteous steward cannot receive him into any “eternal dwelling”, for only Yahweh can do that. Third, v. 13 plainly states that one cannot serve both Yahweh and riches simultaneously. So the obvious answer to the question is a resounding “No!” The real lesson here is that the unrighteous steward, evidently one of the “sons of this age” (v. 8), acted as those of his race are expected to act: craftily, because they have no reward hereafter. The sons of light, the true Adamic Israelites, should not do as the others (note Matt. 7:16-20). The Israelite’s eternal dwelling is with Yahweh, and there is none other. He should store his treasure there (Matt. 6:19-21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:16-21 and 31-34), since worldly riches, mammon, mean nothing (i.e. Heb. 11:26).

One thing further, which I did not discuss in my notes here, is that the “sons of this age”, those who descended from the serpent, who are of the mixed or non-Adamic races, do indeed have a fate in their own eternal dwelling, which is the “lake of fire” (Rev. 19:20-21; 20:10). For this, as we are told by Yahshua Christ Himself, is the fate of the “goat” nations (or ethnicities, Matt. 25:31-46), the “tares” (Matt. 13:18-23, 37-42), the children of fornication (race-mixing, i.e. Jude 7) whom He has promised to slay (Rev. 2:20-23).

For many centuries from the acceptance of Christianity by “lost” Israel, who are the White nations of Europe, the jews were the outcasts of society, as the Bible says that they should be (i.e. 2 John 9-11), and they were at various times either excluded from the nations of Europe or confined to ghettoes. Yet from the founding of the Bank of England and the other central banks of Europe to the founding of the so-called Federal Reserve here in 1913, all of these being non-government business entities granted monopoly rights to create “money” by the various governments where they operate, and all controlled by the same group of jewish banking families, we have witnessed the jews move into every high position of power and influence in all of the White Christian (as they were known before the jewish takeover) nations. Additionally, through their “holocaust” and zionist “Israeli” propaganda, and with the help of their own strong-arm groups – such as the ACLU and ADL – the jews have set themselves up as a special class which can hardly be criticized publicly.

By granting these jewish banking families the control of our national economies through the central banking system which they have organized, we have made the “sons of this age”, the unrighteous stewards, to be the managers of our Christian households! And the jews cannot help but deal unrighteously in the management of our national economies, for their evil practices are a part of their nature, and it is congenital (for they are born that way)! Therefore over the last century, all of our historic enemies, the Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Turks, Arabs, etc., have either swarmed into our lands and have been enriched in them, or they have been enriched at our expense in their own lands overseas, through the jewish-inspired policies of foreign aid, globalism, “free” trade and many other evils. In the meantime, the White middle classes are being impoverished or destroyed in their own lands through burdensome, runaway taxes, a steady loss of production capacity, the importation of cheap labor which brings rampant disease and crime along with it, and many other self-destructive domestic policies. And all of this while tens of thousands of White Christians die overseas, fighting imperialistic wars to benefit the jews and the international merchants. A thorough investigation into nearly all of our wars and revolutions – including the Civil War, both World Wars, and the communist revolutions in Europe and Asia – reveals that these same jewish banking families are the parties most responsible for their instigation, and profited greatly from all of them. One may doubt the veracity of my quite literal translation of Luke 16:8, and my interpretation of this parable, yet one had better first take a long and hard look at what has gone on in the world these past several centuries, and continues to transpire today!

The ancient Israelites, who for the most part are the ancestors of all of today’s White Europeans, were commanded in the days of Joshua to slay all of the Canaanites, or drive them out of their lands, having nothing at all to do with any of them. When the Israelites failed to do so, they were warned that the Canaanites would vex them greatly (i.e. Num. 33:55; Josh. 23:1-16; Jdgs. 2:2-3). And so it is with the descendants of the Canaanites: jews, arabs, and their kin, unto this very day.

Yet there are still other things to be learned from this parable, concerning one’s desire for wealth as opposed to one’s need to serve Yahweh, but this important racial message must be considered first. If White men were truly concerned with their brethren, we could never be in the trouble which we are in today! One cannot love his brother, yet hire a Mexican to do labor, saving a few dollars an hour while putting his brother out of work. One cannot love his brother, yet shop at a Korean-owned grocery store rather than a White-owned store, to save ten or twenty cents on grocery items. One cannot love his brother, and buy an appliance made in China, rather than one made in Minnesota, because it is a few dollars cheaper. One’s desire to save a few dollars would put all of his brethren out of work! Our care for riches has, therefore, precluded our ability to serve Yahweh by loving our brethren (John 13:34-35; 1 John 2:7-11; 3:11-17). And this is precisely what has been happening in the White nations for the past hundred years! Our care for riches and the desire to save a few dollars – or to buy more material goods for the money we have – has enriched the Mexicans, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Arabs, the Turks, all of those who truly hate us, and especially the jews! The jews, of course, have orchestrated and have taken full advantage of this situation, and thus is our predicament. Notice that the global trade system is described as “Mystery Babylon” in the Revelation, fully evident as it is described at Revelation chapter 18. This system is doomed to fail, as it is written. Shall White men recognize it, and those behind it, when it does fail? Pray that they shall! Shall the jews seek and gain refuge with our enemies, as the unrighteous steward hoped to find a place to dwell with his master’s debtors? They may try, but I think not (Rev. 20:9-15)! 1 John 2:9 says: “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.” To support the alien is equivalent to hating one’s brother!

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