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Leading Christian Publisher Publishes Christ's Words Play

Eldridge, the leading published of Christian plays and musicals, has just published We Saw His Sermon on the Mount, a play based on my research into Jesus's words. This play can be accessed on their site via this link. 

In this play, six witnesses to the Sermon on the Mount recreate the experience for an early assemblies of Christians. In their recreation, witnesses take turns acting as Jesus, audience members, and narrators of the story. Though much more entertaining and humorous than most translations of the Sermon, Jesus’s words in this version follow the original Greek word-for-word as much as possible so we can hear Jesus’s words in the order that He spoke them. 

For those interested in seeing the articles of research that went into this play, read this article about Greek translation. For information on specific verses, see the list of articles that begins here. The Greek for the chorus is Matthew 4:17. while the actual sermon begins at Matthew 5:3.

Christ's Words Articles

About this Work

I started this project over a decade ago. The initial goal was to satisfy my own curiosity about how the original Greek of Jesus's words was translated into English comparing it to my work in translating ancient Chinese. 

This site does not promote any religious point of view about Christianity. I purposely use nonreligious sources for Greek translation.  My goal is simply to identify how Jesus used words. His use of Greek words somewhat unique since his words were spoken, not written.

The range of quality of the articles on this site reflects that it is a personal site, not a commercial one. No one proofreads my work. Some articles are over a decade old when I knew much less ancient Greek. Matthew articles are best since I have updated them all at least once. The ones in Mark are the oldest and poorest. Luke is not yet complete. 

Latest Article

Mark 2:21 No man also sews a piece of new cloth
KJV Verse:

Mark 2:21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

Greek Verse:

ΜΑΡΚΟΝ Mark 2:21  οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν: εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ, καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται.

Literal Alternative:

No one a patch of rags unmilled sews onto a cloak, old: if however not, it takes that which fills up from of it, the new kind of the old and worse division becomes.

Hidden Meaning:

Lots of double meanings in the Greek and references to related concepts. There is a clear sense in the Greek words used that Christ is referring to his role regarding the law. One key word here is translated "new,," but it is a word that applies to cloth meaning "not filled out." The word translated as "piece that filled it up" is the a noun form of the verb that Jesus uses in describing his "filling out" the law. The word trans lated as "rent" means a split between groups. It is the source of our word "schism." While this verse seems unrelated to the previous two (Mark 2:19, Mark 2:20) about the groom being taken away, there are clear connections in Jewish tradition about the clothing worn at weddings and the wine of the following verse.

Vocabulary:

οὐδεὶς (adj sg masc nom ) "No man " is from oudeis which means "no one", "not one", "nothing", " naught ", "good for naught," and "no matter."

ἐπίβλημα [uncommon](noun sg neut nom/acc) "A piece" is from epiblemawhich means "that which is thrown over", "covering", " tapestry ", "hangings", "that which is put on", "piece of embroidery," and "outer bandage."

ῥάκους [uncommon](noun sg neut gen) "Cloth" is rhakos, which means ragged, tattered garment", "rags", "tatters", "strip of cloth", "strip of flesh", "rents in the face", "wrinkles," and is a metaphor for "rag," and "remnant."

ἀγνάφου [uncommon](adj sg neut gen) "New" is from agnaphos, which means "uncarded", "unmilled", "unfulled", "undressed," and "unprocessed."

ἐπιράπτει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Seweth" is from  epirapto, which means to "stitch" and "sew." 

ἐπὶ (prep) "On" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

ἱμάτιον (noun sg neut acc diminutive) "Garment" is from himation, which was an oblong piece of cloth worn as an outer garment. The term generally means "clothes" and "cloth."

παλαιόν: [uncommon](adj sg neut dat ) "Old" is from palaios, which means "old in years," "ancient," (in a good sense) "venerable", "held in esteem," (in a bad way) "antiquated", "obsolete," and "in an old way."

εἰ (prep) "Else" is ei, (with de me below), which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also expresses the interjection, "come now!" It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

δὲ (partic) "Else" is de (with ei...me ) 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").

μή, "Else" is me (with ei de above) which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. -

αἴρει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Taketh away" is from airo, which means "to lift up", "to raise", "to raise up", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

τὸ πλήρωμα (noun sg neut nom /acc) "Piece that filled it up" is from pleroma, which means "that which fills", "fullness", "reserves", "mass", "complex", "filling up", "completing," and "fulfillment."

ἀπ᾽ (prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg neut gen) "From" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

τὸ καινὸν (adj sg neut nom/acc) "New" is kainos, which means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel." 

τοῦ παλαιοῦ, (adj sg masc/neut gen ) "Old" is from palaios, which means "old in years," "ancient," (in a good sense) "venerable", "held in esteem," (in a bad way) "antiquated", "obsolete," and "in an old way."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

χεῖρον (adj sg neut nom/acc comp) "Worse" is from cheiron, which means (of persons) "meaner", "inferior," (in moral sense) "worse than others", "worse (in quality)", "inferior," and, as a noun, "inferiority."

σχίσμα (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Rent" is from schisma, which means "cleft", "division", "division of opinion," "dissension," "the vulva," and "furrow (ploughing)."

γίνεται. (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is made" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

The Spoken Version:

"How can you call yourself a wedding party? Dressed as you are?" the Pharisee challenged. "Some of your cloaks need patching."

"No one a patch of rags unmilled sews onto a cloak, old," Jesus responded. "if however not, it takes that which fills up from of it, the new kind of the old and worse division becomes.

Related Verses:

Luke 5:36 No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old

Matthew 9:16 No man puts a patch of new cloth