Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they,

KJV Verse: 

Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The one, however, in the beautiful earth, these are any of those whosoever in a heart beautiful and worthy, having heard the idea, hold fast and produces fruit in endurance. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse is entertaining because it demonstrates the confusion in translating two different words as "good". The differences are lost in translation, especially since one of those words is translated as something else later in the verse. As usually, Luke puts in uncommon words for 

The Greek word translated as "but" 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." In this section, it has been translated several times as "and". 

"That" is from the Greek article, "the," (masculine) which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

The word translated as "on" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The word translated as "good" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." Interestingly, this word is translated later in the verse as "honest". It is not the adjective translated as "good" describing earth in  Luk 8:14, though that word is used translated as "good" later in this verse. this is the same adjective used in Matthew and Mark. 

The word translated as "ground" means the physical planet, the "earth". It also means "dirt", "arable land", and the "ground" generally.

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" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." In the plural, it is "these" or "those". 

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

The word translated as "honest" means "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality." It is the same word translated as "good" with "ground".   See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil." 

The adjective translated as "good" means "useful", "worthwhile," and "of high quality. It is a different word than the 
"good" earlier in verse. See article above for more information. 

"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".

"Having heard" 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."

 "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. In English, we would say "idea" to describe it. 

"Keep" is from a verb that means to "hold fast", "hold back", "withhold", "inhibit",  "gain possession of", "be master of",  and"possess, occupy". It is not the common word translated as "keep" used in Matthew 13:23, which is usually translated as "to have". this is a more complex form of that word meaning "keep under" but it has a number of specific uses. 

"Brings forth fruit" is a verb that means specifically "to bear fruit." It is also a metaphor in Greek, as in English, for virtue.

"Patience" is another uncommon word, a noun meaning, "remaining beautiful", " endurance",  in bad sense, "obstinacy", of plants, "power to endure", and "enduring to do". "Endurance" is a better translation than "patience". This word is used to describe the ability of plants to endure, which we would call "hardiness". 

Vocabulary: 

τὸ (article sg neut nom) "That" is from the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

δὲ "But" is from 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"). --

ἐν (prep) "0n" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῇ καλῇ (adj sg fem dat)  "The good" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

γῇ, (noun sg fem dat) "Ground" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

οὗτοί (adj pl masc nom) "They" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such and extent," and "that is why." --

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

οἵτινες (pron pl masc nom ) "Which" is hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

ἐν (prep) "0n" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". 

καρδίᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "Of heart" is 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)." --

καλῇ (adj sg fem dat)  "Honest" is from kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

ἀγαθῇ  (adj sg fem dat) "Good" is 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." --

ἀκούσαντες (part pl aor act masc nom) "Having heard" 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." -

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."

κατέχουσιν [uncommon](verb 3rd pl pres ind act ) "Keep" is from katecho, which means to "hold fast", "hold back", "withhold", "inhibit",  "gain possession of", "be master of", "possess, occupy", "follow close upon", "press hard", "control oneself", "keep back for oneself", and "embezzle". 

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

καρποφοροῦσιν [uncommon](erb 3rd pl pres ind act)  "Brings forth fruit" is from karpophoreô, which means specifically "to bear fruit." It is also a metaphor in Greek, as in English, for virtue.

ἐν (prep) "0n" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

ὑπομονῇ. [uncommon](noun sg fem dat ) "Patience" is hypomone, which means "remaining beautiful", " endurance",  in bad sense, "obstinacy", of plants, "power to endure", and "enduring to do".

Related Verses: 

Nov 28 2017