For those on the one year series who may have used Epiphany 3 readings from the ESV today.
The ESV messed up the translation from 2 Kings 5. Big time. In order to clear up confusion, I thought I would post a teaser from the soon-to-be-published “Teach These Things: Catechesis for the Lutheran Parish.” This is a footnote, included in the discussion of this reading, which is used for Baptism Part III (How can water do such great things?):
* The ESV translation here is very poor. It makes no sense in the context of the story for the servant to say that Naaman was told to do a great thing. Washing in the Jordan is far from a “great thing”. Naaman is making the exact opposite point in his previous rant. The servant is conceding this, but recommending he follow the word of God. Since he would do a great thing if told to do so, certainly he should do this humble thing. Indeed, the entire point of the account is that the great man was healed despite the humble circumstances (Not mighty Assyria, but lowly Israel;. not the king, but the prophet; not even the prophet, but the servant of the prophet; not the great rivers Abana and Pharpar, but the muddy and insignificant Jordan. The difference in all of this is the word of God which is present.) The traditional translation is therefore to be preferred, “My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing…” (KJV)
Hopefully that clears things up.