Friday, May 6, 2016

Anaideia and the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:8) by Klyne Snodgrass

 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence [anaideia] he will rise and give him whatever he needs.- Luke 11:8 ESV

The following are links to an excellent article on the meaning of "anaideia" in Luke 11:8 that has persuaded me of its conclusions. For those who don't know, there has been disagreement among scholars as to what the term means and how to translate it. Various translations and meanings include:

shamelessness (Darby)
no shame
persistence (NKJV, NASB 77, NASB 95, NET, WEB, HCSB, ISV)
persistency (Weymouth)
shameless persistence (NLT)
impudence (ESV)
importunity (KJV, ASV, WBST, YLT, Douay-Rheims)
without embarrassment
unembarassed boldness
boldness (NIV 1984)
shameless audacity (NIV 2011)
chutzpah/hutzpah (CJB)

I don't want to commit an anachronism by inserting a post 1st century term and its meaning into the New Testament, but some Messianic Jews think "chutzpah" accurately conveys the intended meaning of "anaideia" in Luke 11:8 (e.g. David H. Stern). Chutzpah itself has the meaning or connotation of insolence, cheek, audacity. Leo Rosten in The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as "gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible 'guts', presumption plus arrogance such as no other word and no other language can do justice to".

According to THIS WEBPAGE from the THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY website the word "anaideia" was also the name of a Greek "goddess or spirit (daimon) of ruthlessness, shamelessness, and unforgivingness. She was a companion of Hybris (Violence). Her opposite number was Eleos (Mercy)." This fact can help interpret how the Hellenistic world interpreted the word and its connotations in ordinary usage.

The article Anaideia and the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:8) by Klyne Snodgrass can be accessed by the url below.

By clicking on the "pop out" feature at the top right corner of the article it opens the article in a new tab. From there I was able to sign into Google and then download the pdf file. The url was:,%20Anaideia%20and%20the%20Friend%20at%20Midnight.pdf

I was kind of disappointed by his conclusion, yet convinced of its truth. You will have to read the article to discover his conclusion. Sorry, no spoilers here.