Mark 4:40 Why are you so fearful?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why cringing are you? This is why you have confidence. 

KJV : 

Mark 4:40  Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is an example of a case where Jesus's words are reversed in meaning by the addition of a "negative." In the Greek, this verse is not two questions, a positive one followed by a negative one. There is no Greek negative is the statement about "faith" at all. This seems much more like a question followed by a statement. The Greek word chose for "fearful" is associated with low-born and poor. The word translated as "how" is not the normal Greek words usually translated as "how." It has the sense of "this is why." In contrast, being confident (translated here as "faith") is associated with being trustworthy and gaining other people's trust.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί (irreg sg neut nom) "Why" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

δειλοί [uncommon](adj pl masc nom) "Fearful" is deilos, which means "cowardly", "miserable", "wretched", "low-born," and "poor." There are other Greek words that mean fearful,  for example deidêmôn. without the sense of being low-born. Like the Hebrew word for fearful, yare', deidêmôn just means having fear.

ἐστε; (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Are ye" is 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.") --

οὔπω (adv) "How" is houtos, which as an an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why." -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." --

ἔχετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "That ye have" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." --

πίστιν  (noun sg fem acc) "Faith" is from pistis, which means "confidence", "assurance", "trustworthiness", "credit", "a trust," and "that which give confidence."

KJV Analysis: 

The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but it means "why", "what" and "who in questions. 

Why The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone" but can mean "why" or "what" in show questions. 

are The verb "are" 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 second person, present, plural.

ye This pronoun comes from the form of the verb.

so There is no Greek word here for this adverb.

fearful There are many Greek words that mean "fearful" but this word has sense of low-born, This word is only used by Jesus twice, here and in the parallel in Matthew. The sense seems more like "cringing" giving the word a feeling of being inferior.

how is it that The word translated in KJV as "how" is in its adverbial form, so it means "in this manner," "this is why," or "in this way." It is not the word that usually asks "how." There is no Greek word for "is," "it," or "that."

ye This comes from the second-person plural form of the verb.

have The word translated as "have" means "to possess" or "to keep" but it isn't used in the same way as a "helper" verb that the English "have" is.

no There is no Greek negative here. The statement is a positive one, not a negative one.

faith? The term translated as "faith" is closer to our idea of having confidence or trust in people, especially their word, rather than having religious belief.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 11 2019