Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Steve, at Draughting Theology wonders, What exactly did the one leper do at Jesus' feet?

My old friend Steve, at Draughting Theology wonders, What exactly did the one leper do at Jesus' feet?This is well worth a read, and something I am reflecting on as I continue to ponder this week's gospel...
Luke tells us that the man, seeing that he was healed, “turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.” (Lk 17.15b-16a)
As I read this story, I assumed that the underlying Greek word, translated as “prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet” was the word that is elsewhere translated as “worship.”  As in Luke 4.7-8, when the devil tempts Jesus to worship – literally “to fall on one’s knees and touch the forehead to the ground” – him.  That is one word, “proskuno” 
I was surprised to see that the Samaritan former leper doesn’t “proskuno” Jesus, but instead he “fell upon his face at Jesus’ feet.”  Rather than use one word, “proskuno,” Luke uses a whole phrase, “pipto epi prosopon para autos pous.”

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