Matthew 18:5 And whoever shall receive one such little child

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

The Apostles ask who is greatest in realm of the skies.

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Also, that one who, when he might welcome for himself one small child such as this upon that name of mine, me he welcomes for himself.

My Takeaway: 

Jesus saw himself as a child teaching people to be more childlike.

KJV : 

Matthew 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This statement works on several different levels because of the multiple meanings in the word translated as "receive." On the surface, that means that those who welcome children also welcomes Jesus. It is interesting that one dominant image of Jesus today, 2,000 years after his birth, is as a child in a manger. What other great men in history are portrayed, not in their adulthood, but as babies? No other religion recognizes a birth as a thing miraculous, which it certainly is.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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."

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

ἐὰν (conj)"If" is from ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

δέξηται [18 verses](verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Shall receive" is from dechomai, which means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take," "accept," and "receive" when applied to things. -- "Receive" is from a word, which, when applied to people as it does here, means "to welcome," "to grant access," or "to receive with hospitality.

ἓν [94 verses](noun sg neut acc) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case.

παιδίον [13 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Child" is from paidon. which means "little child" or "young child," (up to seven years) "infant" or "young slave."

τοιοῦτο [8 verses](adj sg neut nom) "Of such" is toioutos, which means "such as this, in this wise, just so, even so."

ἐπὶ (prep) (prep) "On" is from epi which means with a noun indirect object, dative, it means of place: "upon," "on," or "over," of people: "against (in a hostile sense)," regarding a situation: "towards" or "in reference to," of an accumulation: "upon," "after," "addition to," and "besides," of position: "after," "behind," "in dependence upon," and "in the power of," of time: "by," and "after," and. in a causal sense: "of the occasion or cause," "of an end or purpose," "of the condition upon which a thing is done," "on condition that," and "of price."

τῷ (article sg neut dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ὀνόματί [47 verses](noun sg neut dat) "Name" is onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

μου, (noun sg masc gen) "My" is from emou, which means "me," and "mine."

ἐμὲ (pron 1st sg masc acc) "Me" is from eme, which means "I," "me," and "my."

δέχεται: [13 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Receiveth" is from dechomai, which means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take," "accept," and "receive" when applied to things.

KJV Analysis: 

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

whoso - "Whoso" is from a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "he," or "who."

missing "when"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when."

shall -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but it is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause, which is the case here. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

receive  -  - (CW) "Shall receive" is from a verb that means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people. Christ usually uses it in the sense of "welcoming" someone. It is in a form that indicates something that "should" or "might" happen, which is assumed in a "when" clause as we see here. This is not the common word translated as "receive."

missing "by/for himself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to act on "himself," "for himself" or "by himself.

one -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

such -- "Such" is an adjective that means "such as this," "so great a thing," "such a condition," "such a reason," "and suchlike." Jesus used this word eight times. Five of those times, he is describing children.

little child -  The term used for "little child," specifically means a young child or an infant. In this context, it could mean that every newborn comes into the world as a representative of Jesus, but Jesus also used it generally as a name for his followers.

in " -- (CW) The word translated as "in" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" or "on." "In" doesn't work with the form of the object.

my - "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

name - The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It can mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

receiveth - CW) "Receiveth" is from a verb that means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people. Christ usually uses it in the sense of "welcoming" someone. It is in a form that indicates something that "should" or "might" happen, which is assumed in a "when" clause as we see here. This is not the common word translated as "receive."

missing "by/for himself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to act on "himself," "for himself" or "by himself.

me. -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "receive" is not the common word usually translated as "receive."
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "himself" as its object.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "receive" is not the common word usually translated as "receive."
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The second "receive" is also in the middle voice requiring the concept of "himself" as its object.

NIV Analysis: 

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

whoever - "Whosoever" is from a demonstrative pronoun that means "this," "he," or "who."

missing "when"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when."

welcomes -  - "Welcomes " is from a verb that means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people. Christ usually uses it in the sense of "welcoming" someone. It is in a form that indicates something that "should" or "might" happen, which is assumed in a "when" clause as we see here.

missing "by/for himself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to act on "himself," "for himself" or "by himself.

one -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

such -- "Such" is an adjective that means "such as this," "so great a thing," "such a condition," "such a reason," "and suchlike." Jesus used this word eight times. Five of those times, he is describing children.

child -  (CW) The term used for "child," specifically means a young child or an infant. In this context, it could mean that every newborn comes into the world as a representative of Jesus, but Jesus also used it generally as a name for his followers.

in " -- (CW) The word translated as "in" means "on," "over," "upon," "against," "before," "after," "during," "by" or "on." "In" doesn't work with the form of the object.

my - "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

name - The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It can mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

welcomes - "Welcomes " is from a verb that means "welcome," "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people. Jesus usually uses it in the sense of "welcoming" someone. It is the present tense.

missing "by/for himself"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to act on "himself," "for himself" or "by himself.

me. -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek as the object of the verb or preposition.

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The verb is in the middle voice requiring the concept of "himself" as its object.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "child" is not the common word usually translated simply as "chid."
  • WV  - Wrong Voice - The second "welcome" is also in the middle voice requiring the concept of "himself" as its object.

Front Page Date: 

Mar 7 2021