Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,

KJV Verse: 

Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

They are made smaller, however, as a need, than one. Because Mary the good portion has picked out for herself that shall not be excluded of her. 

Hidden Meaning: 

The Greek source is very different than the way the first part verse is translated. The last part has a number of unusual words. The first part of this verse is part of the previous verse in the Greek source for a good reason, which needs explanation. However, it is analyzed here to follow the KJV translation.

And untranslated word begins this verse. It is a verb that means to "diminish" or "a lessening". The form is plural, where the subject is a reference to the "many things" in the previous verse. The sense is "they are made smaller." 

The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." However, it is not the subject of the verb. It is in the possessive form "of one" or "belonging to one". It appears at the end of the sentence another untranslated word that means "than". The sense is "than one". 

The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

The word translated as "needful" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy." The word is a noun, "a need".  

The actual Greek phrase means "it is a need", but the context is the comparison of the many to the one, so the sense is "as a need", that is, "a need" is the basis for comparison.

This is the end of the first section which actually appears with the previous verse in the Greek.  

The word translated as "and" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  

"Mary" is the Hebrew "Miriam". 

"Hath chosen" is another uncommon word that means "to pick out" "to single out," and "to choose for oneself." 

The adjective translated as "good" means "useful", "worthwhile," and "of high quality. See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

A unique word, used by Jesus only here,  translated as "part" means "part", "portion", "share", "contribution", "quota", "region", "district", "class", and "division". 

"Which" from a pronoun that means "that", "anyone who", or "anything which". 

"Shall...be taken away" is another uncommon Greek word, which means to "take away from", "set aside", "exclude", and "to be robbed or deprived of a thing. 

There is no "from" here. 

The word translated as "her" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same,". It is in the possessive so the sense is "of her". 

 

 

Wordplay: 

The last part of this verse is a play on words. It could either means that the "good part" shall not be taken from Mary or that the good part is not excluded from Martha.

Vocabulary: 

The last part of this verse is a play on words. It could either means that the "good part" shall not be taken from Mary or that the good part is not excluded from Martha. The first part of this verse in the Greek source is part of the previous verse. It is copied from the last article (Luke 10:41) to here for reference. The actual Greek for this verse starts where indicated. 

ὀλίγων [uncommon](verb 3rd pl imperf ind act) Untranslated is oligos, which means "to less" and "to diminish". OR (adj pl gen)  Oligos, which means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." 

δέ (conj/adv) "But" is 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").

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

χρεία (noun sg fem nom) "Needed" is chreia, which means "need", "want", "poverty", "a request of a necessity", "business", "military service", "a business affair", "employment", "familiarity", "intimacy," and "maxim."

 (conj/adv) Untranslated is which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." -- "Than" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

ἑνός: (noun sg neut gen) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

The Greek for this verse begins here. 

Μαριὰμ (noun sg fem nom) "Mary" is from Maria, which is the proper name. 

 γὰρ (partic) "And" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

τὴν ἀγαθὴν (adj sg fem acc) "Good" is 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." 

μερίδα [unique](noun sg fem acc) "Part" is from meris, which means "part", "portion", "share", "contribution", "quota", "region", "district", "class", and "division". 

ἐξελέξατο [uncommon](verb 3rd sg aor ind mid) "Hath chosen" is from eklegomai, which means "to pick out" "to single out," and "to choose for oneself." 

ἥτις (pron sg fem nom) "Which" is hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. 

ἀφαιρεθήσεται [uncommon](verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall...be taken away" is from aphaireo which means to "take away from", "set aside", "exclude", "separate",   "prevent", "hinder from" doing, and, in the passive,  "to be robbed or deprived of a thing

αὐτῆς.(adj sg fem gen) "From her" 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." --

Related Verses: 

Feb 4 2018