Luke 9:20 But whom say ye that I am? 

KJV Verse: 

Luke 9:20 But whom say ye that I am? 

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

You yourselves, however, what do you all explain me to be? 

Hidden Meaning: 

From the story, we might think that Jesus asked this question of Peter, but he addresses it to all the apostles. Also interesting, for Luke, this verse is identical, word-for-word with Matthew 16:15 and Mark 8:29.  

The pronoun is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves". The "you" here is plural, indicating all Christ's listeners.

The word translated as "whom" means "someone, "everyone," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." Here, the form is usually not masculine, but neutral, so this can be read "what" or "how" more readily than "who."

The word translated as "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. Here, because the verb has an object (both "me" and "whom"), explain works better.

There is an untranslated "me" in the Greek source that is the object of "say."

There is no Greek word that can be translated as "that" or "I".

The verb "am" here that is the infinitive form of "to be" in Greek, a form that has no information about the subject or tense as do most Greek verbs. It is not the first person "I am" but the neutral "to be". 

Vocabulary: 

Ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "You" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you." 

δὲ (partic) "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").

τίνα (irreg sg neutral/masc acc) "Whom" is from 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."

με (pron 1st sg masc acc) Untranslated is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

λέγετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind) "Say" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out, ""choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount."

εἶναι; (verb pres inf act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") 

Related Verses: 

Dec 17 2017