Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear;

KJV Verse: 

Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The ones, however, beside the way are the ones hearing. Soon he starts out, the slanderer, and lifts up the concept from that heart of in order that they, not wanting to believe, do [not think] they are kept alive. 

Hidden Meaning: 

Comparing this verse with the parallel verses in Matthew (Matthew 13:19 ) and Mark (Mark 4:15 ) shows an interesting variety of phrasing. Especially interesting is that all three use different Greek words for what is offered here as "the devil". However, Luke still finds a way to insert a very uncommon word for Jesus to use for a simple idea. 

The word translated as "Those" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). Here the form is plural so "those". See this article for more. 

The Greek word usually translated as "but" appears here, but it is not translated. It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. When used in writing, it creates complex sentences, but when spoken, it makes a good pausing point so that an important or humorous word can follow.

 The Greek preposition translated "by," primarily means "besides". "from," and "beyond." It also has a number of specialized meanings.

"The way side" is from a word meaning "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." In Acts, followers of Jesus are described as those "belonging to the way". 

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

 "They that hear " is a Greek verb that means "to hear" and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding. However, it is in the form of an adjective, "hearing." It is in the form of an adjective, "hearing", used as a noun, so " the ones hearing".

The "then" is a very uncommon adverb that means "then" and "soon". It is not the adverb that appears frequently in Jesus's saying. 

The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Christ usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being under way."

The term translated as "the devil" is another adjective, that means "to slander." Introduced by an article ("the") it becomes a noun and means "the slanderer" and "the backbiter" in Greek. Christ uses it to describe someone who degrades other people primarily by lying about them.

"Taketh away" is one of Christ's favorite "multiple meaning" words. It is a verb that means "to raise up", "elevate", "to bear", "to carry off", "to take and apply to any use," and "to cause to cease."Christ uses this verb to refer to what will happen to "the son of man," which can apply either to his being raised from the dead or lifted up on the cross.

"The word" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning." It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article.

"Heart" is the Greek word that means "heart" both the physical organ and as the seat of emotions, which we discuss in a larger Greek context in this article here. However, this phrase can be read as defining the "heart" and both the "soul" and "the mind".

Two Greek words are conflated into "lest". The first is The is a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that." - The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. If it wasn't done or wasn't true, the objective negative of fact would be used. This negative applies to both verbs that follow, which is difficult in English because those verbs are in different forms. 

The Greek word translated as "believe" does not apply to religious belief as much as it does trusting in other people, especially their word. Christ usually uses it in contexts, as the one here, that apply to trusting words. The negation of "belief" with the objective, instead of subjective, negative, equates trust with a fact.

"Be saved" is the Greek word that means "to keep alive" when applied to people or "to keep safe" when applied to things. Jesus uses it to mean "rescue" in most cases. It is passive, so "be kept alive". 

Vocabulary: 

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "Those" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction.

δὲ (conj/adv) Untranslated 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"). --

παρὰ (prep) "By" is from para, which means "beside", "from the side of", "from beside,", "from", "issuing from", "near", "by", "with", "along", "past", "beyond", "parallel (geometry)", "like (metaphor)", "a parody of (metaphor)", "precisely at the moment of (time)," and "throughout (time)."

τὴν ὁδὸν (noun sg fem acc) "The way" is from hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." It is interesting that a term joining a path with philosophy exists in many languages from the west to the east.

εἰσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

οἱ ἀκούσαντες, (part pl aor act masc nom) "They that hear" is from akouo, which means "hear of", "hear tell of", "what one actually hears", "know by hearsay", "listen to", "give ear to", "hear and understand," and "understand." --

εἶτα [uncommon](adv)"Then," is from eita, which means "then", "next", "presently," and "soon."

ἔρχεται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Cometh" is from erchomai, which means "to start, ""to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place. --

διάβολος (adj sg masc nom) "The devil" is diabolos, which means "slanderous", "backbiting," and "slanderer." -- The term translated as "the devil" is another adjective, that means "to slander." Introduced by an article ("the") it becomes a noun and means "the slanderer" and "the backbiter" in Greek. Christ uses it to describe someone who degrade other people primarily by lying about them.

καὶ (conj) "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." 

αἴρει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Taketh away" is from airo, which primarily means "to lift," and also means "to raise up", "to take up", "to raise a child", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

τὸν λόγον (noun sg masc acc) "The word" is from logos, which means "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition, ""word, ""discussion, ""reckoning," and "value."

ἀπὸ (prep) "From" 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. -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.

τῆς καρδίας (noun sg fem acc) "Heart" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)", "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)", "inclination", "desire, ""purpose", "mind", "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

αὐτῶν, (adj pl masc gen) "Their" 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 ones own accord."

ἵνα (adv/conj) "Lest" is hina, (with me below) which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because." --

μὴ (partic) "Lest" is me (with hina above) , 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.

πιστεύσαντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "They should believe" 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." -

σωθῶσιν. (verb 3rd pl aor subj pass ) "And be saved" is sozo (soizo), which means "save from death", "keep alive", "keep safe", "preserve", "maintain", "keep in mind", "carry off safely," and "rescue." this is the 3rd person, singular, aortic, passive form.

Related Verses: 

Nov 25 2017