Luke 5:34 Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

No, you all do not have the power. The sons of the marriage ceremony in that the bridegroom with them is, to make to fast. 

KJV : 

Luke 5:34 Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?

What is Lost in Translation: 

This verse sounds like Matthew 9:15  and Mark 2:19,Mark 2:20) but it begins with a verb in the second person. The other two start with a third-person verb. The verse also begins with a negative of wanting or thinking that is ignores in translation, but the other two parallels also have this verb ignored.  What is lost in translation is the placement of the key words at the end of the phrase rather than the beginning, which is the standard form in Greek. This usually indicates humor, that is, a punchline or surprise at the end. All we have to do is assume that the young men in the wedding party behaved then as they do today and "abstaining" is another way of saying "will be cut off" from their drinking. Christ generally uses the metaphor of the wedding as a metaphor for the kingdom of heaven, but here the message here is about a party that ends.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Μὴ (partic) Untranslated is me, which 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.

δύνασθε  (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "Can ye" is from the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities", "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

τοὺς υἱοὺς  (noun pl masc acc ) "The children" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child." --

τοῦ νυμφῶνος (noun sg masc gen) "Of the bridechamber" is from numphon,which can either be the room of the marriage bed or marriage ceremony. Numphios is "bridegroom."

ἐν  ( verb 3rd pl imperf ind ) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

 (pron sg masc dat) Untranslated is hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

 νυμφίος (noun sg masc nom) "Bridegroom" is from nymphios, which means "bridal", "bridegroom" and "son-in-law."

μετ᾽  (prep) "With" is from meta, which means "in the midst of", "among", "between", "in common", "along with", "by the aid of", "in one's dealings with", "into the middle of", "coming into", "in pursuit of", "after", "behind", "according to," and "next afterward"

αὐτῶν  (adj pl masc gen) "Them" 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."

ἐστὶν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

ποιῆσαι (verb aor inf act) "Make" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." -- The Greek word translated as "to do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service.

νηστεῦσαι; (verb aor inf act) "Fast" is from nesteuo, which means "fast" and "to abstain from."

KJV Analysis: 

This verse starts with an untranslated negative, the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is of "not wanting" to do something, not that it isn't done.

The Greek word translated as "can" means having the power, ability, or a desire to accomplish something. In English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. The Greek verb doesn't have that use.

The word translated as "children" more specifically means "sons" but it refers to a male descendant of any age. not just children. However, the use of this word here seems to indicate that the men in a wedding party do not necessarily act as adults.

The term translated "of the bridal chamber" means simply "wedding room" and can refer either to the place of the wedding or to the bridal chamber.

The term translated as "fast" specifically means a religious fast. In the Matthew version, the Greek is different, a word that means "to wail" or "to mourn".

"While" is from a phrase meaning "in that".  It doesn't mean "while" referring to time. The Matthew version used a phrase meaning "as long as" to capture this idea. 

The word translated as "the bridegroom" is a male form of the adjective meaning "bridal," hence, "groom" or "son-in-law."

The word translated as "is" is to common verb "to be," 3rd person, singular, present.

The word translated as "with" also means "among" and "along with."

Front Page Date: 

Sep 3 2017