Luke 5:4-6

“Net” or “Nets”? Why Greek Texts and English Translations Differ

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1545. Jacopo Bassano

Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. (KJV, Luke 5:4–6. Emphasis added.)

Hello Mr. Kutilek,

Years ago, I heard a preacher make an entire sermon out of the difference between “nets” plural and “net” singular in Luke 5:4-5 [KJV]. The message was that Peter trifled at the word by not obeying and letting down the nets and instead just threw out one net because of his lack of faith. This past Sunday, I heard another person mention this very thing so I’m prompted to check into it.

It seems that the Greek word diktuon is exactly the same in both places. NIV and NASB use plural in both places. I can see where people would pick up on it and make a point out of Peter not fully following the Lord’s instruction, but I’m not sure that it really is written that way. I don’t know Greek well enough to know how to see the difference between the singular and plural forms. Would you be willing to comment?

Thanks for your help.

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