This site examines Christ's words in the ancient Greek, giving English speakers insight into the humor, wordplay, and deeper meaning lost in translation. If a reader requests information on a specific verse of Christ's words, we move it to the front of the line.

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Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit;

Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

 This is because without exception a useful tree produces quality goods. However, a rotted tree produces worthless goods. 

This verse continues the sense of Mat 7:16 You shall know them by their fruits, but it is a great example of misleading translation. In it, two different Greek words are translated as the same English word ("good"). This type of translation hides key aspect of what Christ is saying to make religious points that are not in the original text. This verse is also a good example of what the verb usually translated as "to do" really means in Greek. 

The adverb translated as "even so" means "therefore" or "this is why."

The word translated as "every " is one word meaning "all," "the whole," "every," and similar ideas. As an adverb, as here, it means "in every way," "on every side," and "altogether."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." 

The adjective translated as "good" means "useful," "worthwhile," and "of high quality. Though it means "good" in the sense we use the word, the next word translated as "good" here is not the same. 

The word for "tree" most commonly means fruit bearing trees. 

The Greek word translated as "bringeth forth" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  It is usually translated as "to do" in the Gospels but this verse is a clear demonstration why that translation doesn't really work. 

The word translated as "good" referring to the "fruit" means "beautiful," "noble," or "of good quality." It is different than the verb above.   See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." 

The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit," "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The word translated as "corrupt" means "rancid," "rotten," and "worn out." Since it also means "mellow" when applied to wine, it means food that is either old or bad. 

The word for "tree" most commonly means fruit bearing trees. The tree was a symbol for the naturally productive assets of nature as opposed to fields which must be planted each year. 

Again, the Greek word translated as "bringeth forth" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.  

The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail.  It is an adjective, but used here as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless." 

 

The term translated as "fruit" also means "profit" and generally, that which is produced. 

οὕτω "Even so" is from houtos, which means "this," "that," "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such and extent," and "that is why."

πᾶν "Every" is from pas, which means "all," "the whole," "every," "anyone," "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form,  it means "every way," "on every side," "in every way," and "altogether."

δένδρον "Tree" is from dendron (more commonly spelled dendreon), which means "tree," "fruit-tree," "tall plants (such as rattan)" "stick," and "timber." 

ἀγαθὸν "Good" is from agathos which means "good" and, when applied to people, "well-born," "gentle," "brave," and "capable." When applied to things, it means "serviceable," "morally good," and "beneficial." 

καρποὺς   "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit," "the fruits of the earth," "seed," "offspring," "returns for profit," and "reward."

καλοὺς "Good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful," "of fine quality," "noble," "honorable," "fair," "shapely," "good [of currency]," "auspicious [of sacrifices]," "excellent," "fine,"  and "specious [when used ironically]." As an adverb, it means  "of good fortune," "well," "happily," "thoroughly," "altogether," and "finely." -

ποιεῖ, "Bringeth forth" is from poieo, which means "to make," "to produce," "to create," "to bring into existence," "to bring about," "to cause," "to render," "to consider," "to prepare," "to make ready," and "to do." 

τὸ δὲ "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). 

σαπρὸν "Corrupt" is from sapros, which means "rotten," "putrid," "stale," "rancid," "worn-out," and "mellow [of wine]." 

δένδρον "Tree" is from dendron (more commonly spelled dendreon), which means "tree," "fruit-tree," "tall plants (such as rattan)" "stick," and "timber." 

καρποὺς "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit," "the fruits of the earth," "seed," "offspring," "returns for profit," and "reward."

πονηροὺς "Evil" is from poneros, which we discuss extensively in this page. In a moral sense, it means "worthless," "base," and "cowardly."

ποιεῖ: "Bringeth forth" is from poieo, which means "to make," "to produce," "to create," "to bring into existence," "to bring about," "to cause," "to render," "to consider," "to prepare," "to make ready," and "to do." 

 A play of "fruit" meaning "profit." 

Christ's Words Posts in Verse Order

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Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit;

 This is because without exception a useful tree produces quality goods. However, a rotted tree produces worthless goods. 

Mat 7:16 You shall know them by their fruits.

 From their profits, you will discover their true selves through skill. Are people collecting bunches of grapes from thorn bushes or figs from cacti? 

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing...

Be on your guard against lying prognosticators, those who move toward you within the cover of the herd. Underneath, however, they are grappling hooks for robbing. 

Mat 7:14 Because narrow [is] the gate,

Since the passage [is] difficult, not only is having been squeezed the method for paying off a debt in making a living but also there are few discovering it. 

Mat 7:13 Enter in at the narrow gate:

Get in by means of the difficult entry. Because a widespread and open method [is] the one paying off a debt toward a loss and there many getting into them. 

Mat 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever that you want

Really, if everything, as much as you might desire, that people produce for your benefit, to such an extent you also must produce for their benefit. This is because it is the norm and the law. 

Mat 7:11 If you then, being evil,

 If, therefore, you, a worthless being, have seen how to hand over worthwhile gifts to your kids, how much better the worth is your Father, the one among the universe, going to hand over to those begging from him. 

 

Mat 7:10 Or if he ask a fish,

Or also, when he might ask for a fish, he wouldn't want to give him a snake instead.

Or also, when he might demand fish, wouldn't he want to give him a snake instead? 

Mat 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread,

Or what individual from among you, whose child begs for a slice of bread, wants to avoid giving him instead a stone. 
Or, what one from among you, whose kid demands a piece of cake, doesn't want to give him a stone instead. 

Mat 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth;

This is because all those claiming get possession, and those looking discover and it is revealed to the one examining it. 

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given to you;

Claim, and it is going to be handed over to you; Look for [it], and you are going to discover [it]; examine [it], and it is going to be disclosed to you: 

Mat 7:6 Do not give that which is holy to the dogs

 You don't want t hand over the sacred to the shameless and reckless nor toss your pearls [of wisdom] to  sows when you don't want them to step on them with their feet and their turning [on you] might break you. 

Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine

Poser! Initially, take the beam out from your sight; and at that time you can see through to take the trash out from your friend's sight.

Mat 7:4 Or how do you say to you brother, L

Or, I suppose you have told your friend, "Let go [relax]. I am going to get the trash out of [your] sight." Just recognize the bar in your sight. 

Mat 7:3 And why do you see the mote in your brother's eye,

But how do you see the chaff in your friend's sight, but do not understand the bar that is in your own sight?

Christ: In His Own Words

Imagine Christ addressing an audience today describing his life and message.

Let it go for now so I can be seen in this way. It is up to us to completely fulfill all has been written. 

It has been written, "Not only through food are people filled with life but through all that is said by the foremost of God."

It has also been written, "You will not attempt to test the one with real power, your Divinity.

So long, temptation. The word is, "You shall kowtow only to the Master, your God and you shall be enslaved only to Him."