Matthew 15:6 And he need not honor his father nor his mother.

Spoken to: 

The Pharisees

Context: 

A confrontation with Pharisees about traditions versus law.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Never will he honor that father of his, and you set aside this idea of the Divine by that handing-down of yours.

KJV : 

Matthew 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is much shorter in the Greek. A lot was added to the KJV translation, both in the Greek to English translation and in the Greek source, which was translated from the Latin rather than the original Greek source that we use today. In looking at this and related verses, it seems as though the translators may not have liked Christ's message here and were working a bot to obscure it.

The last part of this verse ("of God") copies the ending in Matthew 15:3 exactly, but Jesus changes the word translated as "commandment" here. This is an example of Jesus repeating phrases, usually for humorous effect.

NIV : 

Matthew 15:6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "have ye made...of none effect" means "cancel" or "set aside". It is a play on the word in Matthew 15:3, translated in the KJV as "transgress," which means "to go aside from." This verse is an explanation of the earlier one. 

My Takeaway: 

Current fashion never overrides timeless responsibilities.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὐ μὴ  (partic) "Never" is 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.

τιμήσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Honour" is from the Greek timaô , (timao) which means "to revere", "to honor," and "to value."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

πατέρα (noun sg masc acc) "The Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers." -- "Father" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own father, though it can mean any male ancestor.

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

καὶ (conj/adv) "Thus" is from 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."

ἠκυρώσατε [1 verse](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Have ye made...of none effect" is from akuroô, which means "to cancel", "to set aside," and "to treat as if it has no effect." It is a metaphor for "to render powerless."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

λόγον (noun sg masc acc) "The commandment" is from logos, which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion, ""reckoning," and "value."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen"The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

θεοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "God" is from theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

διὰ (prep) "By" is from dia which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

τὴν (article sg fem acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

παράδοσιν (noun sg fem acc) "Tradition" is from paradosis, which means literally "to give over" and it used to mean "handing over" and "passing down." It is used to mean the "transmission" of legends, "bequeathing" of an inheritance," or that which is handed down such as "tradition", "doctrine," or "teaching.

ὑμῶν. "Your" is from humon, the plural possessive form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "also" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

honour  - "Honour" is from a Greek verb which means "to revere", "to honor," and "to value." It even has a sense of value in an economic sense meaning "to estimate," which has the same root as our word "to esteem."

not -- (CW) 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, "never" or literally, "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

or his mother, -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "or his mother," in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

he shall be free. -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "he shall be free" in the Greek source. It doesn't exist in any other major translation.

Thus  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "thus " is usually used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." It is not any Greek word usually translated as "thus."

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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

made  - "Made (of none effect)" is from a Greek verb that means "to cancel", "to set aside," and "to treat as if it has no effect." It is a metaphor for "to render powerless." This is the only time Jesus uses this word.

the  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

commandment -- (OS) The Greek word here does not mean "commandment" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used. The Greek word used today means "calculation," or "reasoning," but it has many, many specific meanings from "deliberation" to "narrative."  It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article. In English, we would say "idea" to describe it but it also means communication of various types so "message" often works better.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

of none effect -- This phrase is used to complete the concept of the verb.

by --  The preposition translated as "through" means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method. This is the same preposition that begins the verse and wasn't translated.

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

tradition?  - "Tradition" is from a noun which means literally "handing over" and it used to mean "handing over" and "passing down." It is used to mean the "transmission" of legends, "bequeathing" of an inheritance," or that which is handed down such as "tradition", "doctrine," or "teaching."

KJV Translation Issues: 

9
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "and" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is the double negative which has the sense of "never."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "or his mother" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "he shall be free" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "thus" should be "and."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "commandment" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the one we used today. Today the Greek word meaning "idea" or "teaching" appears.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "tradition" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

they -- (WN) This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

are -- (WT) This helping verb "are" indicates that the verb is the present tense, but the tense is the future.

not -- (CW) 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, "never" or literally, "you cannot really think." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

to -- (WF) This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English, but there is no infinitive here in the Greek. It is an active verb. "He will honor."

‘honor - "Honor" is from a Greek verb which means "to revere", "to honor," and "to value." It even has a sense of value in an economic sense meaning "to estimate," which has the same root as our word "to esteem."

their - (WN)  The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. It is singular, not plural. This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. 

or mother, -- (IP) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "or mother," in the source we use today.

with it. -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "with it." in the Greek source. It doesn't exist in any other major translation.

Thus  - (WW) The Greek word translated as "thus " is usually used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." It is not any Greek word usually translated as "thus."

have -- (WT) This helping verb "have" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past. This is not the tense of the verb here.

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

nullify - "Nullify" is from a Greek verb that means "to cancel", "to set aside," and "to treat as if it has no effect." It is a metaphor for "to render powerless." This is the only time Jesus uses this word.

the  -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

word --- "Word" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning," but it has many, many specific meanings from "deliberation" to "narrative."  It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article. In English, we would say "idea" to describe it but it also means communication of various types so "message" often works better.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

for the sake  --  (WW) The preposition translated as "for the sake " means "through," "in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." It indicates movement through a place or time, but it also means "by" the sense of "by means of" a given method.  This is not the Greek word translated as "for the sake."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, "the." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

tradition?  - "Tradition" is from a noun which means literally "handing over" and it used to mean "handing over" and "passing down." It is used to mean the "transmission" of legends, "bequeathing" of an inheritance," or that which is handed down such as "tradition", "doctrine," or "teaching."

NIV Translation Issues: 

12
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "they" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "are" indicates the present tense, but the tense is the future.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is the double negative which has the sense of "never."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "to honor" is not an infinitive but an active verb, "he will honor."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "their" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "or mother" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "with it" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "thus" should be "and."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "have" indicates the past perfect tense, but the tense is something that happens at a specific point in time (past, present, or future).
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "for the sake" should be "by."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "tradition" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 17 2021