Mark 9:1 There be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death...

KJV Verse: 

Mar 9:1 Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Truly, I am telling you, there are some here, the ones having stood that never shall taste death until they might see the realm of the divine having shown up in authority. 

Hidden Meaning: 

 

The KJV translation makes a point that we cannot find in the Greek. In the Greek, this verse does not appear to be a prophecy about the future at all, but a statement about the present. It could be argued that Jesus's miracles were all examples of the "realm of the divine showing up in authority". 

The "verily" phrase is used frequently by Christ. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article.

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The "there are" is the verb "to be" which, when it appears early in the sentence before the subject, has the sense more like "it is" or, in the plural as it is the case here, "there are."

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

"Standing" is the noun form of the verb which means "to make a stand", "to set up", "to place," or "to stand." It is plural and the tense indicates an action completed in the past.

 The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think." It is often translated as "never". 

"Shall taste" is a verb which means "to taste", "to feel," and "to experience." It is not in the future tense, but a form that is usually translated as the past tense but which means something happening at some specific point in time.

"Death" is from the Greek word meaning "death" generally and the death penalty specifically.

The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

There is an untranslated word here that means "might", "should," or "could" and goes with the form of the "see" verb.

The verb translated as "they see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

The word translated as "the kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. this is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will. More about this term in this article.

The word translated as "God" means "God" and "diety." It is introduced with an article, so "the God" or "the Divine".  Christ often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods.

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

"Power" is a word that describes abilities and capacities, what actions a person can do or has done so "power", "might", "influence", "authority," and "force." It does not carry the sense of authority over others, either people or laws. The verb form of this word is translated as "can" in the NT.

This verse is mistakenly seen as a prediction of the end of the world in the lifetime of some of the apostles, but it is often explained as a prediction of the transfiguration, which follows almost immediately in Mark. However, as the alternative translation above indicates, the phrase "kingdom of heaven" and "kingdom of God} is never used to mean our idea of an afterlife in Christ's words and is unlikely to refer to transfiguration (see here for more).

The phrase "come with power" can also mean "start in influence."  The primary meaning of the word translated as "come" is "to start{ though it can be used to mean a motion in any direction. Part of this phrase is used in the Lord's prayer (Mat 6:10) for "your kingdom come," which I usually think of as meaning "your kingdom is beginning" or "your kingdom is under way." Neither here nor in the Lord's Prayer is the "come" in the future tense. Here the tense indicates that it is in the past (it has finished starting) while the tense in the Lord's prayer is indicates that it continues without reference to time (it is starting).

The word translated as "see" means to perceive and experience as well as to physically see. It is often translated in the Gospels as "know."  Here, the meaning is that they will know what they have begun.

It is also interesting here that Christ doesn't say that his followers will die, but merely that they will "taste", "feel," or  "experience" death. The word used means all of these things.  This inference is that this is a bodily experience not an spiritual one, because we experience it.

Vocabulary: 

Ἀμὴν  (exclam) Verily is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" 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." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν (pron pl 2n dat) "You" is from humas the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι (adv) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

εἰσίν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "There be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." )

τινες (pron pl masc nom) "Some" 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."

ὧδε (adv) "Here" 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 (its use here), it means "here" as in "here standing".

τῶν ἑστηκότων (part pl perf act masc gen )  "Standing" is from histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

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

οὐ μὴ (partic) "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) 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.

γεύσωνται (verb 3rd pl aor subj mid) "Shall taste" is from geuomai, which means "to taste," "to take food," "to make proof of," "to feel," and "to experience."

θανάτου (noun sg masc gen) "Death" is from thanatos, which means "death" "kinds of death," specifically, "violent death", "corpse," and "a death sentence."

ἕως (prep) "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." -

ἂν (partic) Untranslated is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

ἴδωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "They have seen" is from eidon which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τῇ βασιλείᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

 τοῦ θεοῦ.(noun sg masc gen) "Of God" is theos, which means "God," the Deity." 

 ἐληλυθυῖαν (part sg perf act fem acc )"Come" is from erchomai (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.

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

δυνάμει. (noun sg fem dat) "Power" is from dynamis, which means "power", "might", "outward power", "influence", "authority", "elementary force", "faculty", "capacity", "craft", "art", "capable of existing", "capable of acting", "worth," and "value."

 

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