Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts

KJV Verse: 

Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Also, let go for our benefit of what we owe just as also we ourselves let go of those who owe us.

Hidden Meaning: 

​The context here is clearly "debt", not "sin" or "trespasses" as some translations offer it. The concept of debt, especially as "life debt", however, was understood differently in Christ's time that it is in our own.

The conjunction translated as "and" begins the sentence. It can also mean "also."

The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go", "to let drop", "to leave alone", or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is in the second person imperative, which can be a command or a request in Greek. More about this word in this article.

The word translated as "us" is the first person plural pronoun. It is in a form that is not a direct object. It is the "debt" that is dropped, not "us". Its form is used as an indirect object, but in Greek this can indicate the one receiving a benefit from an action. In English, we would say that something is done "for us" to give the pronoun this sense.

The Greek word for "debts" is sometimes translated in this verse as "sins" or "trespasses," but in the Greek, it has only one meaning, "that which is owed." In this respect, the KJV is more accurate than more recent translations that render it differently because the word translated as "forgive" is usually associated with "sin" (see this article) even though that concept has little to do with its Greek meaning.This word is plural. In Christ's era, a person under a bond was almost a slave until the debt was paid. A large percentage of the population was under bond to those to whom they owed debts, so this concept comes up a lot in the Gospels. If debts were not repaid, people could also be put into jail. Here, that concept is applied to the "debt" that we owe God for our lives. In Christ's time, children were understood to owe their parents a debt for the same reason. Parents must be honored as a way of honoring this debt.

The Greek word translated as "as" means "just as," can also mean "when", "in order that," "as far as", or, simply, "that". It is commonly used to introduce an explanatory clause. Translating this word as "when" or "as far as" changes the meaning

The Greek word usually translated as "and" appears here but it untranslated in the KJV. Though it can also mean "also", Christ often uses it to mean "also" when it is not used as a conjunction.

The pronoun "we" is used explicitly as the subject of the second part of this verse. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "we." It is plural.

The word translated as "forgive" means "to let go" or "to let drop", or "to leave alone". It is the same word used at the beginning of the verse.

The word for "debtor" is a form of the word for "debt" used above. It means someone who owes something, that is, someone who was under a bond.

Wordplay: 

There is near alliteration in the Greek between the "let go" (aphiemi) and the "what we owe" (opheilema) and the "those who owe us" (opheiletes)

The Spoken Version: 

“Also, let go of what is owed by us,
“As much as we ourselves also let go of those who owe to us.”

Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj) "And" 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."

ἄφες (2nd sg aor imperat act) "Forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to discharge", "to give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

ἡμῖν (pron 1st pl masc/fem dat) "Us" is from hemin, which is the first person plural dative pronoun, "to us."

τὰ ὀφειλήματα (noun pl neut acc) "Debts" is from opheilema, which means "that which is owed," and "debt."

ἡμῶν, (pron 1st pl gen) "Our" is from hemon, which is the plural possessive (genitive) form of the first personal pronoun.

ὡς (adv/conj)"As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that."

καὶ (conj) Untranslated 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."

ἡμεῖς (pron 1st pl masc nom) "We" is from hemeis, the first person plural pronoun, "we", "us".

ἀφήκαμεν (1st pl aor ind act) "Forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to discharge", "to give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

τοῖς ὀφειλέταις (noun pl masc dat) "Debtors" is from opheiletes, which means "a debtor", "a person who owes a debt" or "one who is under a bond."

ἡμῶν (pron 1st pl gen) "Our" is from hemon, which is the plural possessive (genitive) form of the first personal pronoun.

Mar 1 2017

evidence: 

59.00