Matthew 8:3 I will; be clean.

Spoken to: 

an individual

Context: 

After Sermon on Mount, asked by a leper to cure him.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

I consent. Let yourself be purified!

KJV : 

Matthew 8:3 I will; be thou clean.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Meaning requires context. Before this quote, someone with a skin disease recognizes that Christ has the power to "cleanse" him (Mat 8:3). The word translated as "leper" simply means "the rough" and refers to anyone with any skin disease. The recognition of Christ's power is hidden in the word translated as "canst" in the KJV, which is Greek means "having the power". This Greek word is the source of our word "dynamic" and "dynamo."

The Greek word translated as "will" means "to consent" and "to be resolved to a purpose". The English phrase "I will" is easy to confuse with an indication of doing something in the future because that is how "will" is commonly used in English. But in Greek, Christ is not saying that he is going to be doing something in the future. The Greek word does not work the same as the helper verb "will" in English. Its primary purpose is to express consent and even a delight in doing something. It doesn't even mean "desiring" or "wanting" to do something. It means "I consent" or "I resolve to do so."

The Greek word translated as "be clean," means to remove dirt. It is a passive command. It is used for a lot of specific types of "cleaning" including cleansing a person of leprosy but it also has a general meaning of "purifying" anything. It is in the form of a command. Both the leper and readers today are told to become pure of contaminants.

NIV : 

Matthew 8:3 I am willing. Be clean!

Wordplay: 

 A general meaning of becoming pure and a specific meaning of being freed of leprosy. 

My Takeaway: 

Jesus had a tendency to echo what people said to him.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Θέλω, (1st sg pres ind act) "I will" is from thelo, which as a verb means "to be willing (of consent rather than desire)", "to wish", "to ordain", "to decree", "to be resolved to a purpose" "to maintain", "to hold", "to delight in, and "will (too express a future event with inanimate objects)." As a participle, it means "being willing" or, adverbially, "willingly," and "gladly".

καθαρίσθητι (2nd sg aor imperat pass) "Be clean" is from katharizo, which means "to clean", "to clear the ground of weeds," "prune away", "to remove dirt", "to purify,"and "to remove impurities." It is also used to describe the removal of the inedible parts from grain (winnowing), clearing weeds from a field, pruning a plant and so on.

KJV Analysis: 

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

will; -- (CW) The word translated as "will" means what someone wants or desires as well as the "will" of character. It mostly means what one wishes or has determined shall be done. It also means a desire or a choice. When applied to people, "desires" works, but when applied to God, the concept "purpose" seems closer to Christ's usage.

be -- (CW) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. This is not the verb "to be," which is what it appears.

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

clean. -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "be clean," means to remove dirt. It is used for a lot of specific types of "cleaning" including cleansing a person of leprosy but it also has a general meaning of "purifying" anything. This is not an adjective, but a verb so "made clean" or "cleansed" in the passive.

KJV Translation Issues: 

3

CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "will" is more like "desire" so it isn't like the English "will," which is the helper verb for the future tense. Jesus is not saying he will do this in the future.

CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "be" is not the active verb here. It is justified by the passive form of the verb, but there is no other verb in the verse so it seems active.

WF - Wrong Form -  The "clean" is a verb in the form of a passive command not an adjective.

NIV Analysis: 

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

am -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb, which is expressed here as an adjective.

willing. -- The word translated as "will" means what someone wants or desires as well as the "will" of character. It mostly means what one wishes or has determined shall be done. It also means a desire or a choice. When applied to people, "desires" works. "Willing" works better than "will" because it isn't confused with the future tense.

Be -- (CW) This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. This is not the verb "to be," which is what it appears.

clean! -- (WF) The Greek word translated as "be clean," means to remove dirt. It is used for a lot of specific types of "cleaning" including cleansing a person of leprosy but it also has a general meaning of "purifying" anything. This is not an adjective, but a verb so "made clean" or "cleansed" in the passive.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2

CW - Confusing Word -- The word translated as "be" is not the active verb here. It is justified by the passive form of the verb, but there is no other verb in the verse so it seems active.

WF - Wrong Form -  The "clean" is a verb in the form of a passive command not an adjective.

The Spoken Version: 

The boy, Micos, reacted instantly. He ran ahead to where the Master was standing. His mother tried to call him back, but before she could, the boy stood before the Master.
“Master, if you want,” asked Micos, “do you have the power to you clean me of these sores?”
The Master smiled and put his hand on the boy’s head.
“I do want!” the Teacher assured him enthusiastically. “Be made clean!”
At that moment, Pisca recalled, there was another crack of distant thunder.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 23 2020