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The priest at our parish preached a twist on this parable this sunday.

The verse Luke 10:30 being (KJV)

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Using an interpretation of "fell among" to be "fell out with co-conspirators"

I'm not sure this English interpretation is correct - and I can see other versions are totally different.

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

As a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, robbers attacked him and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.

Is this a correct hypothesis or far-fetched?

His additional logic was that this could be why the Priest and the Levites did not want to rescue the man as he lay wounded.

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Priests are also men, they make mistakes. –  Mawia Jul 15 '13 at 11:17
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Are you Catholic in the America's? If so, it's pretty odd that your priest would be using that translation at all instead of this one. Especially for reading out of the Book of Gospels. –  Peter Turner Jul 15 '13 at 11:31
    
@PeterTurner Don't Anglican Use/Ordinariate parishes use KJV? Or RSV (which also has fell among)? In any case, the Revised Common Lectionary (which is based on the 1969 Lectionary for Mass) is used by many denominations, including the Church of England and probably Churches in India. –  Andrew Leach Jul 15 '13 at 12:32
    
@AndrewLeach oh, I should have looked at his profile. I didn't know there were Jose's in India! That's pretty interesting. I think a good answer to this question would be not if the translation or interpretation was right, but if Catholic priests are truly at liberty to base homilies off of novel interpretations. –  Peter Turner Jul 15 '13 at 12:58
    
The phrase "Jerusalem to Jericho" was idiom for a fall in spirituality. Conversely "Jericho to Jerusalem," meant a rise in holiness. The phrase "a certain man" is used throughout the parables and is often a way of saying "put yourself in his place." –  Waeshael Jul 16 '13 at 14:09
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

By your own comparison of versions, you've shown it's not a good translation.

You are right at least that the victim has been viewed as a very bad man. Many commentators have viewed the parable as having two meanings. One, a law message that you are to care for the needs of those who are your enemies. Two, it is a Gospel message where Jesus is the Good Samaritan and comes to rescue the man ruined by his sins. Here is a quote from Martin Luther's Sermon for the Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity; Luke 10:23-37

  1. The man who here lies half dead, wounded and stripped of his clothing' is Adam and all mankind. The murderers are the devils who robbed and wounded us, and left us lying prostrate half dead. We still struggle a little for life; but there lies horse and man, we cannot help ourselves to our feet, and if we were left thus lying we would have to die by reason of our great anguish and lack of nourishment; maggots would grow in our wounds, followed by great misery and distress.

  2. The parable stands in bold relief, and pictures us perfectly, what we are and can do with our boasted reason and free will. If the poor wounded man had desired to help himself, it would only have been worse for him, he would only have done harm to himself and irritated his wounds, and only prepared more misery and distress for himself.

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This is similar to the underlying message of the homily. Thanks for pointing out this reference –  JoseK Jul 15 '13 at 17:48
    
Luther almost had the answer. But it was the exercise of the man's free will in choosing the right person to help him, that saved him. For the Samaritan could not become a neighbor unless his help was accepted by the man (from this story stem the good samaritan laws in the most States.) –  Waeshael Jul 16 '13 at 13:57
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In the story the Jesus wants you to recognize that YOU are the injured man. You must choose who is to save you - the law, the prophets or the Messiah.

Once you recognize that YOU are the injured man you will begin to understand that the Good Sam parable was Jesus's way of answering the Lawyer's (and all of our) questions: Who is my neighbour, AND how do I inherit eternal life? When you understand who Jesus meant by "neighbour," you will receive the answer to the two questions.

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