Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts

KJV Verse: 

Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If, when you yourselves beginning as worthless have seen worthwhile gifts to give the kids of yours, how much better the Father of yours, the one out of a sky, is going give a breath of life holy to those begging him.

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse is nearly the same as Matthew 7:11. As we see often see from Luke, a common word is changed to a less common one. The idea of the "holy spirit" is added to it. 

The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It

The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say, "your yourselves". The "you" here is plural, indicating all Christ's listeners.

The Greek word translated as "then" is usually translated as "therefore." It can also mean "surely. Here, it simply continues the existing narrative started in Mat 7:9.

The word translated as "being" means to "begin". "take the initiative",  "to be already in existence", and many other meanings. 

The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. This verse is interesting because the term translated as evil primarily means burdened and full of hardship. It also means physically bad, like we would use the term handicapped.

The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is in a form indicating an action completed in the past: "have seen" or "have known."

The verb translated as "give" means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe." It is almost always translated as some form of "give."

The word translated as "good" means "good" in the sense of beneficial. However, it is contrasted with the word translated as "evil" which really means "worthless" so the contrast would be a word such as "first-rate." If we translated the earlier word as "worthless", the translation of "worthwhile" would work best.

The word for "gifts" also means "gift" and "payments."

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."

There is no Greek word "how" in this verse. 

The verb "to give" is the future tense, indicating what will be given in the future.

The word translated as "which" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause. Here, it acts like a pronoun, "the one." There is no verb "is" here saying "which is."

The Greek translated as "heaven" is never used by Christ to simply mean "the afterlife." It means the greater universe, God's creation outside of our planet. See this article for more on these words. The version in Matthew as "in the universe", while the preposition used here is "out of the universe". 

The word translated as "holy"  means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed."

The word translated as "spirit" primarily means "breath", "wind," a "non-material being", and "blast." Like "spirit" in English, it can also mean "attitude" or "motivation.' It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." Its meaning as "the breath of life" is brought out by the idea of creating life. Its meaning as "spiritual" is brought out by the contrast with "physical". Read more about this word in this article on the holy spirit. 

 

The Greek word translated as "to them that ask" is the verb translated as "ask", which has shades of meaning from "demand" to "beg" to "claim." It is in the form of an adjective, "asking", used as a noun, "the ones asking".

Wordplay: 

 A play on the ideas of worthless [beings], worthwhile [gifts] and the more worth that comes from the divine. 

Vocabulary: 

εἰ (conj) "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

οὖν (partic) "Then" is from oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore."

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom ) "You" is from humeis, which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

πονηροὶ (adj pl masc nom ) "Evil" is from poneros, which we discuss extensively in this page. In a moral sense, it means "worthless", "base," and "cowardly."

ὑπάρχοντες  [uncommon](part pl pres act masc nom) "Being" is from hyparcho, which means to "begin", "take the initiative", "to be the beginning", "to be already in existence", "to be laid down", "to be taken for granted", "belong to", "fall to one", "accrue",  of persons, "to be devoted to one",  "existing circumstances", "present advantages", and "the fact is that".  

οἴδατε (2nd pl perf ind act) "Know" is from oida which is a form of eidon which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

δόματα (noun pl neut acc ) "Gifts" is from doma, which means "gift" and "payment."

ἀγαθὰ (adj pl neut acc) "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." Agathos is not the usual term translated as "good," in the Gospels, which is kalos, meaning "beautiful."

διδόναι (pres inf act) "To give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

τοῖς τέκνοις (noun pl neut dat ) "Children" is from teknon, which means "that which is born", "child," and "the young."

ὑμῶν, (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

πόσῳ (adj sg neut dat) "How much" is from posos, which means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much", "how great", "how many," and "how much."

μᾶλλον (adv) "More" is from mallon, which is the comparative form of mala which means "very", "exceedingly", "more certainly", "especially," "more", "to a greater degree," and "rather."

 πατὴρ (noun sg masc nom) "Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which are the plural forms of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

 [ὁ]  (article sg masc nom) "Which" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings. --

ἐξ (prep) Untranslated is ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." 

οὐρανοῦ  (noun sg masc gen ) "Heavenly" is from ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate."

δώσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "Give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

πνεῦμα (noun sg neut acc) "Spirit" is pneuma, which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life", "divine inspiration", "a spiritual or immaterial being," and "the spirit" of a man. --

ἅγιον (adj sg neut acc) "Holy" is hagios, which means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed."

τοῖς αἰτοῦσιν (part pl pres act masc dat) "To them that ask" is from aiteo, which means "to ask", "to demand", "to beg", "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use."

αὐτόν. (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is from 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 15 2018