For those who want to know what Jesus really said, how he said it, why crowds came to hear him, and shades of meaning lost or hidden in translation.


Today's Verse Analysis

In the context of a long story about a faithful servant, Jesus still answers Peter's question if this is for the apostles or everyone. So this extends both.

Spoken to
KJV Verse

Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

NIV Verse:

Luke 12:47 The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.

What His Listeners Heard:

There, however, that servant, the one learning  the will of that master of his and not getting ready or performing for that will of his? He will be flogged much. 

Lost In Translation:

This verse sounds harsh, but it is a comical threat and a setup for the next verse, which provides the point of this story. The key word here is clumsily translated as "know," but primarily means "learn." Since Jesus is still telling a story and answering Peter's question, the master in the story is him. So, he is satirically threateing to beat his followers for not learning. The punchline is the "much" that ends the verse. Imagine it delivered after a pause. The punchline is spoiled by the translations excess verbiage.


KJV w/Translation Issues :

And(WW) that(CW) (MW) servant, which(CW) knew(CW,WF) his (MW) lord's (MW) will, and prepared(WF) not himself(IW), neither(OS) did according to his (MW) will, shall be beaten with(IW) many stripes(IW).

KJV List (See full page for word-by-word analysis):
For analysis of each word of original Greek and biblical verses, click here.

Constantly Updated

My analysis standards and methods are constantly improving. New information on each verse is provided as articles are updated. It requires approximately two years for me to work through updating each of Jesus's verses.

What Jesus's Listeners Heard

The everyday meanings of the Greek words Jesus used were different than the definitions they have been given over time in biblical translation. The word translations here are based upon documents of his time such as the Greek Septuagint, not ideas unknown in his time.

About this Site

See what Jesus said in Greek and see how his words are changed in English translation. My goal is to translate Jesus's words as they were heard when he taught, not the way they are interpreted today. The work here resurrects the humor and cleverness of Jesus's words lost in translation.

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Each article provides detailed information on all the Greek words in each verse with links simplifying your own research. It compares the Greek to popular translations to show where words are confused, changed, left out, and added. This site offers research available nowhere else, such as how often Jesus uses a specific Greek word and links to a list of every verse in which he uses a given word.