Matthew 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

​And you repeat: If we had sat [in judgment] in the times of our forefathers, we might have sat [in judgment], partners with them, in the murder of the prophets.

Hidden Meaning: 

Another interesting verse because a repeated key word is mistranslated. In the KJV, this mistake came from their Geek source, but in more recent translations using better sources, the error is continued rather that corrected. Here, the play on words here revolves around "blood," which means both "murder" and "kinship." The word translated as "partakers" is not quite as ghoulish, but best understood as humor.

The word translated as "Say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself."

The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

The Greek word translated as "we had been" means to "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc. As a noun, which is how it is used here, it means "the judge," or "the court." Christ uses this word specifically to refer to sitting in judgment.

The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

"Of ...fathers" is the common word that Christ uses to address his own father, though it can mean any male ancestor. Here, the sense is forefathers.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea. There is a different negative used the negative is one of opinion.

A particle is translated as "would" that indicates that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "would have", "might", "should," and "could." This word of uncertainty is contrast to the "certainty" of the negative used.

The Greek word translated as "we...have been" means to "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc. As a noun, which is how it is used here, it means "the judge," or "the court." Same word as the one used earlier.

The Greek word translated as "partakers" means "a partner", "a comrade", "a companion," and "a sharer of anything." It is from the Greek word meaning "common." It is an uncommon word for Christ. In this verse, it is in the same form as the subject of the sentence, so it is equated with the subject "we."

"Blood" is from the Greek word that means "blood", "bloodshed," and "kinship." Clearly, it is used here because of the double meaning of bloodshed and kinship.

The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople, but their books in the OT. It is from the verb that means "to shine before."

Wordplay: 

The use of the word "blood" means both "murder" and "bloodshed." 

The use of a word implying uncertainty is used in contrast with a 

The Spoken Version: 

"And you repeat," he continued, switching to the voice in which he mimicked his accusers. "If we had sat in judgment in the days of our forefathers..."

He paused, striking a dignified poss and putting up his hand as if taking an oath.

"Certainly we wouldn't have," he said strongly, then adding weakly after thinking about it. "Maybe."

The crowd laughed and he raised an eyebrow in recognition.

"Sat in judgment with them," he continued. "Sharers..."

He pantomimed someone passing a cup and then someone receiving it.

"In the blood of the prophets," he finished, toasting the audience with the imaginary cup, and taking a drink.

The crowd laughed.

Vocabulary: 

καὶ "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."

λέγετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act) "Say" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

Εἰ "If" is from ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

ἤμεθα ( verb 1st pl pres/imperf ind mid) "We had been" is from kathemai, which means to "be seated", "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc., (as a noun) "the judges", "the court,", "sit still", "sit quiet", "lead a sedentary", "obscure life," and, of things, "to be set or placed."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -

ταῖς ἡμέραις (noun pl fem dat) "Day" is from hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life", "a time (poetic)", "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet", "tame (animals)", "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

τῶν πατέρων (noun pl masc gen) "Fathers" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

ἡμῶν, (pron 1st pl masc gen) "Our" is from hemon, which is the plural possessive (genitive) form of the first personal pronoun.

οὐκ "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

ἂν "Would" is from an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

ἤμεθα (verb 1st pl pres/imperf ind mid) "We had been" is from kathemai, which means to "be seated", "sit," especially of courts, councils, assemblies, etc., (as a noun) "the judges", "the court," "sit still", "sit quiet", "lead a sedentary", "obscure life," and, of things, "to be set or placed."

αὐτῶν (adj sg masc acc) "With 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."

κοινωνοὶ [uncommon] (noun pl masc/fem nom) "Partakers" is from koinonos, which means "companion", "partner (of thing)," "fellow," "joint-owner," and "familiar spirit."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῷ αἵματι (noun sg neut dat) "The blood" is haima (haima), which means "blood," "streams of blood", "anything like blood," "spirit", "courage", "bloodshed", "murder", "blood relationship,"kin," and "kindship."

τῶν προφητῶν: (noun pl masc gen) "The prophets" is from prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will", "interpreter", "keepers of the oracle", "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt", "interpreter," and "herald." It is a verb that means "to shine forth" It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine forth," or "to shine before."