In Luke's gospel, Jesus tells a story that is also found in Matthew 25:14-30. Luke gives a variant of the story, but with two apparent errors in it.
This is the start of the story, Luke 19:13:
In Luke 19:15-16, 18, and 20 we find out how well the servants have been doing:
And that's it. Where there were ten servants to start with, now we are only told about three. I should note that the NRSV, which in general makes no attempt to cover up contradictions, renders Luke 19:20 like so:
This translation (the other instead of another) gives a far more direct problem. "The other" seems to be the translation favoured by academics, rather than apologists, and is based on the best manuscripts. Alfred Plummer, in A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Luke, writes:
But in any case, since this is a just a parable, not historical fact, there is no reason for Jesus to start with ten servants if only three of them mattered to the story. Nor does the equivalent parable in Matthew do so. It seems that Luke started to alter the story, but in the end gave up and told it in something like its original form. Alternatively, he may have conflated two different parables that Jesus told.
Also worthy of note is that, in Matthew, the money that the final servant hid was taken from him and given to the servant who had made the most. This also occurs in Luke, yet Luke has already said that the most successful servant was given ten cities as his reward, so it now makes little sense to give him another mina (three month's wages, according to the ESV's notes). This is Luke 19:17, where the first servant is rewarded for his success:
And this is Luke 19:24-26, where the third servant's mina is given to the first:
Verse 26 saves the day by putting the final mina to some theological use, which lessens the severity of this problem. It's still odd though.
Anyway, these issues together convince me that Luke has muddled up the story. Luke's version is very sloppy, and very human in its origins. Mark Goodacre rightly notes that Matthew's version is far more popular.
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