Mark 14:34 ...My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death:

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Beyond sorrow is this self of mine up to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake.

KJV : 

Mark 14:34 ...My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.

NIV : 

Mark 14:34 My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.

3rd Translation: 

Mark 14:34 My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The Greek word describing sorrow here means literally "beyond sorrow." However, it doesn't have the sense of being "overwhelmed" or "crushed" as it has been translated. This is a rare word in ancient Greek, used less than two dozen times anywhere.

Jesus makes  a little play on words. The preposition translated as "unto" and "up to the point" is translated as "until." It is almost always used to describe a time. So Jesus is saying that he will be sad "until" the time of his death. But that word can can also describe a  degree so this also describes the level of his sorrow, "to the point of death."

This verse is identical to Matthew 26:38 except for the last two words of Matthew being left off here.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Περίλυπός [2 verses] (adj sg masc nom) "Exceedingly sorrowful" is perilypos, which means "very sad", and "deeply grieved." The literal meaning is simply, "beyond sorrow."

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible."

(article)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." --

ψυχή (noun sg fem nom) "Soul" is from psyche, which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is often translated as "soul." -

μου” (noun sg masc gen) "My" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

ἕως "Unto" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that."

θανάτου: (noun sg masc gen) "Death" from thanatos, which means "death" "kinds of death," specifically, "violent death", "corpse," and "a death sentence."

μείνατε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Tarry ye" is from meno, which, as a verb, it means "stand fast" (in battle), "stay at home", "stay", "tarry", "remain as one was", "abide", and (transitive) "await."

ὧδε (adv)  "Here" is hode, the demonstrative adverb that means in manner, "in this wise," "thus," "so very", "so exceedingly," of Place, "hither," and "here."

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

γρηγορεῖτε (2nd pl pres imperat act) "Watch" is from gregoreo, which means "to become fully awake," and "to watch."

KJV Analysis: 

My --  "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

soul -- The word translated as "soul" here means one's self-awareness of who they are in this life (see this article on "Life," "Soul," " Mind," "Heart", and "Spirit" ). It is the opposite of the purely physical body, our minds, our emotions, and our "pure" self-awareness of existence that is separate from our lives in this world. The word "ego" captures this word in many ways.

is -- The "is" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is important to note that it isn't the word for "becomes," that is, the sense that something has changed. Jesus is not saying that some emotion has come upon him at this time; However, Jesus also uses the verb "to be" to describe the future he knows will happen.

exceeding sorrowful -- "Exceedingly sorrowful" is a word that means literally, "beyond sorrow," so "very sad", and "deeply grieved." It is an uncommon word in ancient Greek and used only here and in the parallel in Matthew by Jesus.

unto -- The word translated as "unto" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

death: -- "Death" is the Greek word meaning "death" generally and the death penalty specifically. So Christ is saying that his life is very sad or pathetic from this point until he is killed.

tarry -- The word translated as "tarry ye" has more of a sense of to "stay" or "remain," not necessarily dwelling in a place, though the KJV often treats it that way.

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

here, -- The word translated as "in hither" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

watch -- "Watch" is a Greek verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command. This is the word that Christ uses three times about keeping ready for his return.

KJV Translation Issues: 

1
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NIV Analysis: 

My --  "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

soul -- The word translated as "soul" here means one's self-awareness of who they are in this life (see this article on "Life," "Soul," " Mind," "Heart", and "Spirit" ). It is the opposite of the purely physical body, our minds, our emotions, and our "pure" self-awareness of existence that is separate from our lives in this world. The word "ego" captures this word in many ways.

is -- The "is" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is important to note that it isn't the word for "becomes," that is, the sense that something has changed. Jesus is not saying that some emotion has come upon him at this time; However, Jesus also uses the verb "to be" to describe the future he knows will happen.

overwhelmed with sorrow -- (CW) "Overwhelmed with sorrow" is a word that means literally, "beyond sorrow," so "very sad", and "deeply grieved." It is an uncommon word in ancient Greek and used only here and in the parallel in Matthew by Jesus. There is no sense of "overwhelmed" in the word.

to the point -- The word translated as "to" means "until" but it also means "in order that." Referring to a place, it means "up to the point." 

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, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

death: -- "Death" is the Greek word meaning "death" generally and the death penalty specifically. So Christ is saying that his life is very sad or pathetic from this point until he is killed.

Stay -- The word translated as "stay" has more of a sense of to "stay" or "remain," not necessarily dwelling in a place, though the KJV often treats it that way.

here, = The word translated as "in hither" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

keep watch -- "Watch" is a Greek verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command. This is the word that Christ uses three times about keeping ready for his return.

NIV Translation Issues: 

2
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "overwhelmed with sorrow" does not have any sense of "overwhelmed."

3rd Analysis: 

My --  "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

soul -- The word translated as "soul" here means one's self-awareness of who they are in this life (see this article on "Life," "Soul," " Mind," "Heart", and "Spirit" ). It is the opposite of the purely physical body, our minds, our emotions, and our "pure" self-awareness of existence that is separate from our lives in this world. The word "ego" captures this word in many ways.

is -- The "is" verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is important to note that it isn't the word for "becomes," that is, the sense that something has changed. Jesus is not saying that some emotion has come upon him at this time; However, Jesus also uses the verb "to be" to describe the future he knows will happen.

crushed with grief -- (CW) "Crushed with grief" is a word that means literally, "beyond sorrow," so "very sad", and "deeply grieved." It is an uncommon word in ancient Greek and used only here and in the parallel in Matthew by Jesus. There is no sense of "crushed" in the word.

to -- The word translated as "unto" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

to the point -- The word translated as "to" means "until" but it also means "in order that." Referring to a place, it means "up to the point." 

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, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

death: -- "Death" is the Greek word meaning "death" generally and the death penalty specifically. So Christ is saying that his life is very sad or pathetic from this point until he is killed.

Stay -- The word translated as "stay" has more of a sense of to "stay" or "remain," not necessarily dwelling in a place, though the KJV often treats it that way.

here, = The word translated as "in hither" means in manner, "in this way," referring to manner, or "here," referring to place.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

keep watch -- "Watch" is a Greek verb that means "to be or to become fully awake." It is in the form of a command. This is the word that Christ uses three times about keeping ready for his return.

with me. -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "with me" in the Greek source. This does exist in the version of this verse in Matthew 26:38.

3rd Issue Count: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "crushed with grief" does not have any sense of "crushed."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "with me" doesn't exist in the source.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 28 2020