Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body

KJV Verse: 

Luk 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I say, however, to you, the friends of mine, you don't want to be terrified by those destroying the body. And with that, they must not want a greater thing to cause. 

Hidden Meaning: 

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 word translated as "I say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

The Greek pronoun "to you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

The term translated as "friends" is one of three or four words in Greek for "love". This is usually described as "brotherly love". It is in the form of an adjective used as a noun, so "loved" and "one loved". However, the form is not one of address, which is what the KJV sounds like. It is a description, to those who are hearing him who are not his friends. He is clarifying the "you" here. 

"Fear" is translated from a Greek word that means "to terrify" and "to put to flight," but in the passive (as here), it means to be put to flight and be frightened. When applied to people, as here, it means to "be in awe of" or "dread." It is not a command, as you would think from the KJV.

The negative "not" used here is again the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done.

Untranslated here is the word that means "from" or "out of" in both location and when referring to a source. It appears before the word for "them which kill." It is the same preposition that is used in the prefix of the word translated as "kill."

"Them which kill" is translated from a Greek word that means "destroy" more than just "kill." The base word means "to slay" but it has a prefix that means "out of". This has the sense of "kill off," that is, destroy in a more thorough way. When we talk about "destroying" someone, we use it to mean destroying their reputation, the strength of their spirit and ideas as well as physically killing them. this is more the sense here. It is in the form of an adjective, "destroying" acting as a noun ("the ones destroying").

The word translated as "body" means the body, living or dead, or an animal or person. It is the opposite of "spirit" or "mind." It is the physical substance of things, the body of men and animals or of heavenly bodies or groups of people. It also has many of the same additional meanings, such as a "body of evidence" as "body" does in English. Please read this article.

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." 

"After" is the Greek word that is almost always translated as "with" or a related concept such as "among" or "by the means of". It is not the term usually translated as "after."

The "that" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. 

The word translated as "have" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is. The form this verb is odd, being a third person command, which has the sense of something that "must" happen. This form is usually translated as "let them have". 

The Greek word translated as "no" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

"More" is a Greek adjective  that means "more than" when applied to quantities, but has a variety of meanings, both positive and negative, when applied to people, from "extraordinary" and "remarkable" to "excessive." Its form connects it to the first prophet in this sentence.

A word that is untranslated appears here that means primarily means "anything" or "anyone."

The Greek word translated as "that they can do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. The form is not as translated but a simple infinitive, "to crease", "to make", "to cause" or "to do". 

The Greek source also includes the first part of what the KJV (and other versions) translate as the next verse. We show it below but will discuss in the next article. 

Vocabulary: 

Λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "Say" is lego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

δὲ (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").

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τοῖς φίλοις (adj pl neut dat) "Friends" is from philos, which as an adjective means "loved", "beloved", "dear", "kith and kin", "nearest and dearest", "friends," and (of things) "welcome" and "pleasant."

μου, (noun sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

μὴ (particle) "Not" is from me , 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.

φοβηθῆτε ( 2nd pl aor ind pass) "Fear" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight." "terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

ἀπὸ (prep) Untranslated here is 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.

τῶν ἀποκτεινόντων (part pl pres act masc gen) "Them which kill" is from apokteino, which means "to kill," and "to slay." It combines the word for "to slay" (kteino) with the proposition, apo, indicating separation, meaning "from" or "away from."but it is a stronger form than the normal verb kteino. It is more like our "destroy."

τὸ σῶμα (noun sg neut acc) "Body" is soma, which means "body", "dead body", "the living body", "animal body", "person", "human being", "any corporeal substance", "metallic substance", "figure of three dimensions [math]", "solid", "whole [of a thing]", "frame [of a thing]", "the body of the proof", "a body of writings." and "text of a document."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

μετὰ (prep) "After" is meta, which means "with", "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward." 

ταῦτα (adj pl neut acc) "That" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. 

μὴ (partic) "No" is from me , 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.

ἐχόντων (verb 3rd pl pres imperat act) "Have" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

περισσότερόν (adv comp or adj sg masc acc comp) "More" is perissoteros, which is a form of the word perissos, which means "beyond the regular number of size", "out of the common", "extraordinary" "more than sufficient", "superfluous", "useless", "excessive", "extravagant", "over-wise", "over-curious", "abundantly," and "remarkable."  As an adverb, it means "extraordinarily", "exceedingly", "remarkably", "abundantly", "superfluously", and "uselessly".

τι (pron sg neut acc) Untranslated is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." 

ποιῆσαι. (verb aor inf act) "That they can do" is 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."

The following words appear in the Greek source of this verse, but are translated in the next verse of KJV. I will place both here and in the next article where they will be discussed. 

ὑποδείξω [unique](verb 1st sg fut ind act) "I will forewarn" is hypodeiknymi, which means "show", "indicate", "indicate one's will", "intimate", "show by tracing out", "mark out", and generally, "teach". 

δὲ (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"). 

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

τίνα (irreg sg masc acc) "Whom" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." -

φοβηθῆτε:  (verb 2nd pl aor ind/subj pass) "Fear" is phobeo, which means to "put to flight." "terrify", "alarm", "frighten," and in the passive, "be put to flight", "be seized with fear," be frightened", "stand in awe of" (of persons)", "dread (of persons)," and "fear or fear about something."

Related Verses: 

Mar 23 2018