Mark 11:3 And if any man say unto you, Why do you this?...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And when someone says to you: What are you doing there?  Say, "The Master has need of him and immediately he sends [him] back here.

KJV : 

Mark 11:3 And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is a very short, simple verse that the KJV translates fairly accurately, but we see more recent translations, the NIV and NLT, get further and further from what Jesus actually said in an attempt to simplify what needs no simplification.

NIV : 

Mark 11:3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’

NLT : 

Mark 11:3 If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

ἐάν (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.

τις (pron sg masc nom) "Any man" is 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." -

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you." 

εἴπῃ ( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Say" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer." -- "Said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

Τί ( irreg sg neut acc ) "Why" is tis (with dia above) 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."

ποιεῖτε ( verb 2nd pl pres ind act ) "Do ye" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to perform", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

τοῦτο; ( adj sg neut acc ) "This" is toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

εἴπατε ( verb 2nd pl aor imperat act ) "Shall ye say" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

(article) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is kyrios, which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "Of him" is 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 one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

χρείαν ( noun sg fem acc ) "Need of" is chreia (chreia ), which means "need", "want", "poverty", "a request of a necessity", "business", "military service", "a business affair", "employment", "familiarity", "intimacy," and "maxim."

ἔχει: ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Hath" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

εὐθὺς (adv) "Straightway is eutheos, which is the adverb of euthus, which means "straight", "direct", "straightforward," and "frank." As an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is 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 one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἀποστέλλει ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "He will send" is the Greek, apostello, which is our source of the word "apostle." It means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch."

πάλιν (adv) Untranslated is palin, which means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

ὧδε. (pron) "Thither" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person, it means "here" as in "here I am" in the sense of "I am present." --

KJV Analysis: 

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

if -- The Greek word meaning "if " indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

any man -- The Greek word translated as "any man" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." 

say -- "Say" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

unto -- This is form the indirect object form of the following pronoun.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

Why -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why".  This is the same word translated as "any man" above.

do -- The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

ye-- This comes from the second-person, plural form of the previous verb.

this? -- "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

say "Say" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

ye - This comes from the second-person, plural form of the previous verb.

that -- (IW) There is no "that" in this Gospel's version of this verb.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes 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"). See this article for more. 

Lord -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

hath -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses.

need -- The word translated as "need" means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following pronoun.

him; -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

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

straightway -- "straightway" is  an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

he --  This is from the third-person, singular form of the following verb.

will -- (WT) This seems to indicate that the tense of the following verb is the future, but it isn't. Its tense is the present.

send The "send " here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle." Since it is present, singular, "sends."

him -- There is no pronoun for "him" here, but it is implied by the earlier "him" in the verse.

untranslated -- (MW) There is an  untranslated adverb here  that means  means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

hither. -- "Hither" is from a pronoun that means "what is present" or "here it is".

KJV Translation Issues: 

2
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "that" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" seems to indicate the future tense but that tense of the following verb is the present.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The adverb meaning "back" is not shown in the KJV translation.

NIV Analysis: 

Untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated Greek word is "and" and used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

If -- The Greek word meaning "if " indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

anyone -- The Greek word translated as "anyone" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." 

asks--  (WW) "Asks" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

Why -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why".  This is the same word translated as "any man" above.

are -- This helping verb indicates the the upcoming verb, "do" is in the present tense.

you -- This comes from the second-person, plural form of the previous verb.

doing -- The Greek word translated as "doing" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

this? -- "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

say "Say" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes 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"). See this article for more. 

Lord -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

untranslated-- (MW)  The untranslated word  means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

needs -- The word translated as "needs" is not a verb but a noun that means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."

it; -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

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

will -- (WT) This seems to indicate that the tense of the following verb is the future, but it isn't. Its tense is the present.

send The "send " here is a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle." Since it is present, singular, "sends."

it -- There is no pronoun for "it" here, but it is implied by the earlier "it" in the verse.

back-- The  adverb here  that means  means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

here  -- "Here" is from a pronoun that means "what is present" or "here it is".

shortly -- "Shortly" is  an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The conjunction "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "asks" means "says."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The verb "has" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" seems to indicate the future tense but that tense of the following verb is the present.

NLT Analysis: 

Untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated Greek word is "and" and used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

If -- The Greek word meaning "if " indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

anyone -- The Greek word translated as "anyone" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." 

asks--  (WW) "Asks" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

you, -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

What -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why".  This is the same word translated as "any man" above.

are -- This helping verb indicates the the upcoming verb, "do" is in the present tense.

you -- This comes from the second-person, plural form of the previous verb.

doing -- The Greek word translated as "doing" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not.

untranslated -- (MW) "This" is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

just --  (IW) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "just" in the Greek source.

say --  "Say" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

The -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes 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"). See this article for more. 

Lord -- The word translated as "master" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

untranslated-- (MW) The untranslated word  means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

needs -- The word translated as "needs" is not a verb but a noun that means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "familiarity" and "intimacy."

it; -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

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

will -- (WT) This seems to indicate that the tense of the following verb is the future, but it isn't. Its tense is the present.

return -- The "return" here is a combination of two Greek word, a verb and an adverb, that mean "send back." The first word means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle." Since it is present, singular, "sends." The  adverb here  that means  means "back", "backward", "contradiction", "again", "once more," and "in turn."

it -- There is no pronoun for "it" here, but it is implied by the earlier "it" in the verse.

untranslated -- (MW)"Here" is from a pronoun that means "what is present" or "here it is".

soon -- "Soon" is  an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

NLT Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The conjunction "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "asks" means "says."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "this" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "just" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The verb "has" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" seems to indicate the future tense but that tense of the following verb is the present.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "here" is not shown in the English translation.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

When we are serving God, others will respect and help us in our mission.  Though the vocabulary in Greek is very straight forward, as in the previous verse, there is a subtle lesson in the verbs pattern used and this time that pattern in extended to the "mood" of the verbs.("Mood" is a characteristic of verbs telling us if they are a simple statement, a command, a question, and so on. The verbal moods in Greek are part of their physical formation.)

Notice again that there are four verbs, the pattern of three plus one, (say=mental, do=physical, have=emotional/relationship, send=spiritual) but "say" is repeated creating five separate actions, two of them mental. The mood pattern of these five actions (say, do, say, have, send) is possibility (subjunctive mood), simple action (indicative mood), command (imperative mood), action (indicative mood), future action ((indicative mood, future tense).

This undercurrent of mood connect these mental states with the pattern of three plus one. Our mind worries about the future (the subjunctive mood) and the physical challenge.  The Word commands us to act on the basis of a certain emotional connection between people. If we do, something spiritual will happen.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 31 2019