Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:

KJV Verse: 

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Since that one when he desires that self-awareness of his to save, he is going to destroy it. That one, however, when he might lose that self-awareness of his on account of me is going to keep it alive. 

Hidden Meaning: 

Here, the key opposites are "save" and "lose", which, in English, are very general words,  but in Greek, the words used have a meaning more directly related to life in the sense of awareness and death. 

The word translated as "whoever" is from the Greek article, "the," (masculine, singular) which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

In the KJV translating the Geek verb as "will" makes it sound as if the verb following verb is in the future tense. It isn't. There are two verbs here. The first means "to desire" and is in the present tense.

The "save" verb means "to be preserved from death" or "to keep alive." It is in the form of an infinitive, "to keep alive". 

The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

In the original Greek, the word translated as "life", psyche,  means not only life and breath, but the spirit, the soul, and the consciousness of a person. In the alternative, the phrase could be "his soul" or "his spirit" but to emphasize the concept of "self", that is conscious awareness. More about words translated as "life" and "soul" in this article. 

"Shall lose" is a very strong form of "to destroy", "to kill", "to slay," and "to lose." It means "to destroy utterly." It is in the future tense.

The Greek word translated as "and" is usually translated as "but" or "however" because it joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

The pattern of words, using the same vocabulary changes in the next phrase. It is not quite the same opposite as shown in the KJV translation. This is a common pattern in Jesus's words. 

The "will lose" verb here again means "to destroy", but it is neither the future tense nor is the verb meaning "wish" or "desire" used as in the first part of this verse. It is a tense that is usually translated as the past tense, but actually means something happening at a specific point in time in the past, present, or even future. 

The "my" is the possessive pronoun, so "my", "of me," or "mine."

The word translated as "sake" iis a preposition that means "on account of", "as far as regards", "in consequence of," and "because." It appears before the "me" not after it. 

The "shall save" verb means "to be preserved from death" or "to keep alive." The form here is the future tense. 

The "it" here is the Greek word used as the adjective used as a pronoun. It is in the form referring to "life" or, more precisely, "self-consciously". 

Wordplay: 

Vocabulary: 

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) "Whoever" is from hos, which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar (gar) which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question it means "why" and "what."

ἂν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. this is often how we use the word "when".

θέλῃ (3rd sg pres subj act) "Will" is from thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" and "to desire." As an adjective, it means "wished for" and "desired."

τὴν ψυχὴν (noun sg fem acc) "Life" is from psyche, which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is often translated as "soul."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos (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."

σῶσαι (aor inf act) "Save" is soizo, which means "save from death", "keep alive", "keep safe", "preserve", "maintain", "keep in mind", "carry off safely," and "rescue."

ἀπολέσει (3rd sg fut ind act) "lose" is from apollumi, which is a very strong form of "to destroy", "to kill", "to slay," and "to lose." It means "to destroy utterly." It also means "to ruin" a woman.

αὐτήν: (adj sg fem acc) "It" is from autos (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."

ὃς (pron sg masc nom) Whoever" is from hos, which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

δ᾽ (partic) "And" is from de (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").

ἂν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. this is often how we use the word "when".

ἀπολέσῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Will lose" is from apollumi, which is a very strong form of "to destroy", "to kill", "to slay," and "to lose." It means "to destroy utterly." It also means "to ruin" a woman.

τὴν ψυχὴν (noun sg fem acc)"Life" is from psuchê (psyche), which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is often translated as "soul."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "His" is from autos (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."

ἕνεκεν (prep)  "Sake" is from heneka, which means "on account of", "as far as regards", "in consequence of," and "because."

ἐμοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "My" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

οὗτος (adj sg masc nom ) "The same" 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."

 σώσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall save" 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. -- "Made whole" is the Greek word that means "to keep alive" when applied to people or "to keep safe" when applied to things. Christ uses it to mean "rescue" in most cases.

αὐτήν (adj sg fem acc) "It" is from autos (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."

Related Verses: 

Dec 21 2017