Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

This Distinguished being upright these things for himself prayed, "You the Divine, I am obliged to You seeing that I'm in fact not the same as the rest of these people: thieving wolves, the unfair, lechers, or also like this here tax-collector. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse starts with a play on words that is lost in translation with a hidden contrast to the verse about the tax-collector in Luke 18:13.  Then, the negative used by the Pharisee does not express an opinion but a fact. The end is an example of a complete written sentence being created from a spoken fragment.

"The Pharisees" is an example of where we use the Greek word as the name of the religious sect, instead of translating it. In Greek, the word means the "separatists" or "the judgmental," but it is a Hebrew word meaning "distinguished" or "elite."  It starts with an article so "the Distinguished" or "this Distinguished".

The verb translated as "stood"  is the play of words. It means "to make stand", "to set up", "to establish" and similar words. However, it is in the form of a passive adjective, "being stood up" or "being upright". It is not in a past tense as the "prayed" verb is, but in a form that indicates something that happens at a specific point in time, past, present, or future. It could also be "stood up front". This is in contrast the different form of the word used in the verse describing the publican. Luke 18:13. 

There is no "and" in the Greek.

The Greek word translated as "prayed" means "to offer prayers of vows" either "to worship" or "to ask for a thing".  It is in the past tense. The form is someone acting on, by, or form themselves.

The "thus" is not the Greek word normally translated as "thus". It is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It is in the form of a plural, neutral so the sense is "these things".

The word translated as "with" means "towards", 'in the direction of", "by reason of (for)," and "against."

Himself" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine". Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

The Greek word translated as "I thank" means both to offer a favor and to be grateful for receiving favors. The two ideas were tied together. The idea is that bestowing a favor automatically creates thankfulness.

The word for "thee" is the indirect object form of the pronoun. 

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The verb "I am" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.

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" or "in fact" to the sentence to captures the same idea. This means that he feels he is expressing a fact not an opinion.

The Greek word translated as "as" indicates a match with a person or thing.

"Other" is not the common adjective, but an uncommon noun that means "remaining over," "the rest," and, of Time, "the future", "henceforward." 

The Greek word for "men" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples".  It is plural and possessive, so "of these men" or "of these people".

 There is no "are" here. This is an example of a complete written sentence being created from a spoken fragment. However, when words in the form of a subject appear without a verb, we can assume a "to be" verb."

"Extortioners" also means "robbing", "robber", and it is "a type of wolf". Jesus uses it previously when specifically describing false prophets as "thieves".  

The Greek word translated as "unjust" 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". It has an article so "the unfair".

"Adulterers" is from a noun that Jesus only uses here. It is a noun form of the verb that is translated as "commit adultery" and it means "adulterer", "paramour", "paramour of a sodomite", and "idolatrous person".

"Or" is translated from a Greek word that means primary "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

The Greek word translated as "even" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also", "even", and "just").

The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words. This is a different "as" than the one above.

"This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer."

The Greek term translated as "publican" means "farmer" and "tax collector." By Christ's time, tax collectors were not tax-farmers, that is, private individuals who bought the right to collect taxes. Tax collectors worked directly for Rome, but the term "farmer" stuck from an earlier era when they were tax-farmers. Historically, these tax-collectors or rent collectors were notoriously corrupt, especially as tax farmers. They were made into government employees to reform them.


The word translated as "stood" means both "being upright" and "being stood upright".


Φαρισαῖος () "The Pharisees" is Pharisaios, which means "the separated", "the separate ones", " separatist" and refers to the religious sect. The word comes from the Hebrew, pharash, which means "to distinguish." So the sense is also "the distinguished" or "the elite."

σταθεὶς ( part sg aor pass masc nom ) "Stood" is histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place."

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

πρὸς (prep) "With" is pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

ἑαυτὸν ( adj sg masc acc ) "Himself" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

προσηύχετο ( verb 3rd sg imperf ind mp ) "Pray" is proseuchomai (proseuchomai), which means "to offer prayers or vows", "to worship," and "to pray for a thing. It is the combination of two Greek word, pros, meaning "towards" or "by reason of," and euchomai, meaning "to pray to God."

θεός, (noun sg masc nom) "God" is theos, which means "God," the Deity."

εὐχαριστῶ  [uncommon](1st sg pres ind act) "I thank" is from eucharisteo, which means "to bestow a favor on", "to oblige", "to be thankful", "to return thanks," and "to be received with thanks." --

σοι (pron 2nd sg dat) "Thee" is soi which is the singular, second person pronoun, "you".

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

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.

εἰμὶ (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

ὥσπερ (adv/prep) "As" is hosper, which means "the very man who", "the very thing, which", "the same as", "wherefore," and "although."

οἱ λοιποὶ (adj pl masc nom) "Other" is from loipos, which means "remaining over," "the remaining," "the rest,: "descendants," of Time, "the future", "henceforward", "hereafter," and "the remaining." 

τῶν ἀνθρώπων, (adj pl masc gen) () "Of man" is anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate. 

ἅρπαγες, (noun pl masc nom ) "Extortioners" is from harpax, which means "robbing", "rapacious," "rapine", "robber", "peculator", "a type of wolf", "grappling-iron," and "meat hook."

ἄδικοι, ( adj pl masc nom ) "The unjust' is adikos, which means "wrongdoing", "unrighteous," unjust", "obstinate", "unmanageable", "unjust", "unrighteous [of things]," and "one who play unfairly."  

μοιχοί, [unique]( noun pl masc nom ) "Adulterers" is moichos, which means "adulterer", "paramour", "paramour of a sodomite", and "idolatrous person".

(conj/adv) "Or" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than."

καὶ (conj/adv) "Even" 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."

ὡς (adv/conj) "How" is hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

οὗτος ( adj sg masc nom ) "This" is houtos, which as an adjective means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

τελώνης: ( noun sg masc nom) (noun sg masc nom) "Publicans" is from telones, which means "farmer," and "collector of toll, custom, and taxes."

Related Verses: 

Oct 14 2018