Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 16:11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

If, in fact, surrounded by the injustice of Mr. Moneybags, trustworthy you do not become? This truthful? Which of you will you trust?

Hidden Meaning: 

As we have seen with this whole parable, the Greek here doesn't make the same point that the KJV translators want to make.  Many other Biblical translations double down on the KJV interpretation, adding more words to make it work.  The last word is completely made up. This verse has nothing to do with trusting anyone with "riches". No such word exists in the Greek. This verse refers to how open  the steward was in after being unjustly fired by his master, the mammon, 

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."

The Greek word translated as "therefore" either emphasizes the truth of something ("certainly", "really") or it simply continues an existing narrative.

The word translated as "ye have...been" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.  The point is that being in the presence of the worldly injustice  (a phrase that comes before this verb) changes you, not that it tests you.

The Greek word translated as "not" 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.

 The word translated as "faithful" means "trusting" and "trustworthy." 

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." It also means "surrounded by" which works particularly well here. 

The Greek word translated as "unrighteous" is from an adjective that means  "unrighteous," unjust", "obstinate", "unmanageable", "unjust", "unrighteous [of things]," and "one who play unfairly."  In modern terms, we would say "unfair". The noun form means "injustice".  However, here, it is used as a noun, being introduced by an article, "the injustice".  The following word modifies it, "the injustice of". 

"Mammon" is not from any Greek term, and there is some debate about both its source and its meaning. In interpreting it, we are going to assume Jesus uses words we can understand and uses specific words, like this, not to confuse but to clarify his meaning, and, when possible, to entertain. The Aramaic source words mean "wealth" and "money", but Jesus readily uses the Greek words for wealth and for money, both generally and specifically. If that was his meaning, he would have used those words? There are several suggestions that the term is a personification of the idea of wealth and property like our Mr. Monopoly or, Mr. Moneybags. This seems to work in the context in which this word appears. It is possessive, so "the injustice of Mr. Moneybags". 

The word translated as "who" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". Here, because it is followed by the "of you", "which of you" works best. 

There is no Greek here that means "will commit".  It is added to change the meaning of the verb that does appear. 

There is no "to" here and the form of the following word is not that of an indirect object. 

The word translated as "your" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners. However, it it does not modify the noun "trust" because there is no such noun. It modifies "who", which it follows: "who of you" is the simple phrase. 

The Greek word translated as "trust " is not the noun, but the verb. It means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing."   It is in the future tense, "will you trust" or "will you rely upon".  This final phrase is very simple, "Who of you will you trust?" The rest is added to confuse the clear meaning. 

The final phrase "the true riches" doesn't exist. No part of it is in the final phrase. 

"The true" appears before the final phrase as a comment before the final phrase. It is used as a noun, not an adjective, introduced with an article. This is the first and only time it is used in first three Gospels, though it is common in John. As an adjective, it means "agreeable to the truth," [in persons] "truthful", "trusty," [of things] "true", "genuine," [as an adverb] "really", "truly", "honestly," and "straightforwardly."  So, "the truthful" or, since Greek article are like demonstrative pronouns, this truthful? 

There is no "riches" in the phrase. The verb "trust" refers to trusting people or their words. It doesn't take objects in this way, but since the word doesn't exist, that doesn't matter. 

Vocabulary: 

εἰ (conj) "If" is 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 (adv) "Therefore" is oun, which means "certainly", "in fact", "really", "in fact," "so" and "then" (continuing a narrative), and "then" and "therefore." 

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". 

τῷ ἀδίκῳ (adj sg masc dat) "The unjust' is adikos, which means "wrongdoing", "unrighteous," unjust", "obstinate", "unmanageable", "unjust", "unrighteous [of things]," and "one who play unfairly." 

μαμωνᾷ  [uncommon] (noun sg masc gen) "Mammon" is from mamonas, which is not from any Greek term. There is some debate about both its source and its meaning. The most accepted view is that it is from Aramaic mamona, "riches" or "wealth," probably from Hebrew mamon, "security", "that which is trusted," or "deposit" or Hebrew matmon, "treasure." The term comes possibly from Akkardian "mimmu" meaning "property." It has also been suggested that mammon was the name of a Syriac god of wealth. -- 

πιστοὶ (adj pl masc nom) "Faithful" is pistos means "believing", "trustful", "obedient," "genuine", "deserving belief", "credible", "unmistakable", "believing", "relying on", "obedient", and "loyal." 

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. 

ἐγένεσθε, (verb 2nd pl aor ind mid) "Ye have...been" is 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. 

τὸ ἀληθινὸν (adj sg neut nom/acc) "The true" is from alethinoswhich means "agreeable to the truth," [in persons] "truthful", "trusty," [of things] "true", "genuine," [as an adverb] "really", "truly", "honestly," and "straightforwardly."

τίς (pron sg masc/fem nom ) "Who" 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." 

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl gen) "To your" is humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

πιστεύσει; (verb 2nd sg fut ind mid) "Will commit to...trust" is pisteuo, which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing." --

Aug 16 2018