Re: Lk 11:8 Whose ANAIDEIA?

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Oct 09 1995 - 21:23:40 EDT

At 5:32 PM 10/9/95, wrote:
>The young seminarian has followed Jeremias, The Parables of Jesus, on this
>Jeremias points out that <<tis ex Jumwn>> begins questions that expect a NO!
> Can you imagine such a thing!!! He concludes, "The parable is not concerned
>with the importunity of the petitioner, but with the certainty that the
>petition will be granted.
>Bernard Brandon Scott, Hear Then the Parable: A Commentary on the Parables
>of Jesus [Fortress, 1989], 88-89, concurs, writing, "Anaideia means
>'shamelessness,' and this is it meaning in Greek from the classical period
>through the patristic x There is no evidence of anaideia meaning anything
>other than 'shamelessness.'
>I think this work.

I'll look at Jeremias tomorrow morning in my office on the passage. I never
doubted that ANAIDEIA means "shamelessness," but why will his own
shamelessness make the householder get out of bed and go take the guy
knocking at the door a loaf of bread? I don't doubt either that, at least
in its context in Luke, the parable must point to the certainty that prayer
will be answered. But I am still puzzled over how the sleepy householder's
ANAIDEIA is supposed to make him get up and take three loaves of bread down
to the front door. Is it that he is so shameless that he will go to the
front door in his nightclothes? The logic of it escapes my thick head.

A secondary question I'd raise is whether Luke has applied this parable to
the same context in which Jesus may have originally delivered it. We know,
for instance, that the parable of the Lost Sheep is used by Luke to justify
evangelism but by Matthew to urge retention of church members. So the
question is, was this parable actually originally told with regard to the
certainty that God answers prayer? I admit that I don't have an
alternative--I'm just throwing out the question because the parable bothers
me now as it never has before!

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018 OR

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