Matthew 14:31 O you of little faith,

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

Walking on water, Peter tries and starts sinking

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Tiny Truster, in what do you doubt?

KJV : 

Matthew 14:31 O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is the only verse in which Jesus uses this verb for "doubt," which is interesting considering that his topic is often trust and belief. The statement seem much lighter in Greek. There is also a hidden reference to distance here.

NIV : 

Matthew 14:31 You of little faith, why did you doubt?

Wordplay: 

The phrase is  reference to how far Peter walked before he doubted. In English, we might say this as "you trust as far as this" but it is said 

My Takeaway: 

Self-doubt kills success.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ὀλιγόπιστε, [6 verses](adj sg masc voc) "Oh thou of little faith" is oligopistos, which means literally, "small trust." It is a word built of two words. From oligos, which means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little", "slightly," and "little. "Faith" is from pistis, which means "confidence", "assurance", "trustworthiness", "credit", "a trust, ""that which give confidence," and, as a character trait, "faithfulness."

εἰς (prep) "Whereof" is from eis, (with tis below) which means "into (of place), ""up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

τί (pron sg neut acc) "Whereof" is from tis (with eis 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."

ἐδίστασας; [1 verses](verb 2nd sg aor ind act) "Did you doubt" is from distazô , which means "to doubt" and "to hesitate." In the passive it means "to be in doubt." It means literally, "to drop twice."

KJV Analysis: 

O thou of little faith,  - "O thou of little faith" is a single word in Greek that means literally, "little faith", "small confidence," or "minimal trust." "Tiny trusters" captures the humorous feel of the word. It an adjective, but it is in a form that make is a masculine form of address. This is like we add "Mr." to the beginning of an adjective to make it a name. It is a phrase Jesus uses six times when challenging how people feel (see Matthew 8:26).

wherefore  - (WW) The "whereof" is actually from two Greek words. The first means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "as far as" limits in time and measure. Here, the sense seems to be of measure that Peter's trust on reached as far as his walk on water.The second word means as "what", "why," or "how," but it has a lot of uses including in singular meaning "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those."  The phrase generally means "for what."

didst -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

thou -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

doubt? -- "Doubt" is a verb means "to doubt" and "to hesitate." It means literally, "act twice" like we would say "think twice." This is the only time Jesus uses this word.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "whereof" should be "for what."

NIV Analysis: 

You of little faith,  - "You of little faith" is a single word in Greek that means literally, "little faith", "small confidence," or "minimal trust." "Tiny trusters" captures the humorous feel of the word. It an adjective, but it is in a form that make is a masculine form of address. This is like we add "Mr." to the beginning of an adjective to make it a name. It is a phrase Jesus uses six times when challenging how people feel (see Matthew 8:26).

untranslated "for"  -- (MW) The untranslated word means"into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

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". Because of the previous preposition, the sense is more "what" than "why." The phrase "for what" can mean "why."

did -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

you -- This is from the second-person, singular form of the verb.

doubt? -- "Doubt" is a verb means "to doubt" and "to hesitate." It means literally, "act twice" like we would say "think twice." This is the only time Jesus uses this word.

NIV Translation Issues: 

1

MW - Missing Word -- The word "for" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 13 2021