Luke 18:18-19 - "good" translation
18. A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher,Have you ever stopped to wonder about the exchange in verses 18-19? A ruler addresses Jesus Jesus as "good teacher" and then asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus doesn't answer his question immediately. He first questions the ruler about his calling Jesus good and says that only God is good. Then he goes on to address the ruler's question.
what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19. “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered.
“No one is good—except God alone.
20. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not
commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall
not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor
your father and mother.’”
21. “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he
22. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You
still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and
give to the poor, and you will have treasure in
heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23. When he heard this, he became very sad, because
he was very wealthy. 24. Jesus looked at him
and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the
kingdom of God! 25. Indeed, it is easier for a camel
to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich
to enter the kingdom of God.” (TNIV)
For me, this is another one of those passages like Matt. 18:10, which I addressed in the preceding post, which bumps for me. There is something missing in the translation (and its underlying Greek) which I *think* was there implicitly in the original exchange. For me, from my cultural background, it seems like it would be a good (!) thing for someone to address Jesus as a good teacher. Yet, Jesus questions the ruler about calling him good (which is not exactly the same as calling him a good teacher) and says that only God is good. I definitely consider that Jesus was a good teacher. And as I understand goodness, Jesus was definitely a good person. God is good also.
What do you think is going on in the exchange about "good"? Do you think Jesus was trying to make some point, other than the obvious, that God is good? And what did Jesus mean by saying that *only* God is good?
What is missing for any Bible readers like me who sense that something is missing for us to understand Jesus' point about "good"? Do you think that the ruler understood Jesus' point? How about others who were listening in? What point do you think we are supposed to get from that exchange? How and where can we communicate that point to users of our Bible translations?