Mark 11:17 Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Was it not written, "This house of mine a house of prayer will be called? You yourselves, however, make it a pirate's cave.

KJV : 

Mark 11:17 Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse is identical in form to the version in Matthew covered here. Christ is quoting here from Isa 56:7. a verse that highlights a problem with the most common translation of the word that is translated here as "nation." This Greek word, ethnos, is usually translated as "Gentiles" in most translations, making it seem as though Christ uses it to refer to non-Jews. The translation in this verse is better because it really means "nation" and "people" generally and is only occasionally used to refer to foreign tribes. The Hebrew word in the Isaiah, `am, makes this clearer because it has not "barbarian" implications at all.

It is also interesting that the word chosen here for "house" is oikos rather than the more common oikia. The reason is that the former refers specifically to a building while the later refers as much to the family or clan that dwells in a house.  Christ is saying specifically that the building is not just for the use of the clan but for everyone.

NIV : 

Mark 11:17  Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.

NLT : 

Mark 11:17 Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐ (partic) "Not" is 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.

γέγραπται ( verb 3rd sg perf ind mp ) "It is written" is grapho which means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", "to proscribe", "to ordain", "to write for oneself", "to enroll oneself", "to draw signs", "to describe a figure" "to brand," and "to indict."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore." --

(article sg masc nom) 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."--

οἶκός (noun sg masc nom) "House" is oikos, which means "house", "dwelling place", "room", "home", "meeting hall", "household goods", "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

μου (pro sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which mean "my," or "mine." -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. 

οἶκος (noun sg masc nom) "House" is oikos, which means "house", "dwelling place", "room", "home", "meeting hall", "household goods", "substance," and "ruling family." It is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

προσευχῆς (noun sg fem gen) "Prayer" is from proseuche, which means "prayer" and also "place of prayer," "sanctuary," and "chapel." Christ more commonly uses the verb form of the word, proseuchomai.

κληθήσεται (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) "Shall be called" is from kaleo, which means "call", "summon", "invite", "invoke", "call by name," and "demand."

πᾶσιν ( adj pl masc/neut dat ) "Of all" is pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

τοῖς (article pl neut dat ) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἔθνεσιν;” ( noun pl neut dat ) "The gentiles" is ethnos, which means "a number of people living together", "company", "body of men," "tribe", "a people", "nation," and (later) "foreign, barbarous nations."

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom) "Ye" is hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative pronoun of the second person, "you."

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

πεποιήκατε ( verb 2nd pl perf ind act ) "Made" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to perform", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do."

αὐτὸν   (adj sg masc acc) "Him" is 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." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

σπήλαιον [uncommon]( noun sg neut acc ) "Den" is from spelaion, which means "grotto", "cavern," and "cave." It is the source for our term for exploring caves, "spelunking." It also means "behind the scenes" in a theater.

λῃστῶν.” [uncommon](noun pl masc gen) Thieves" is from lêistês (lestes), which means "robber" or "pirate."

KJV Analysis: 

Is -- (WT) Since the verb is in the past perfect form, this should be "has been" indicating an action completed in the past.

it -- This is from the singular, third-person form of the verb.

not -- 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 captures the same idea.

written, -- "Written" is the Greek verb that  means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on. 

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word should be translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

untranslated -- (MW)  The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

shall -- This is from the future tense of the following verb.

be -- This is from the passive voice of the following verb.

called -- The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following adjective and noun.

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

nations -- The word translated as "nations" is usually translated as "gentiles" but means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them."

the -- (IW) There is no definite article here. This should be "a" instead of "the,"

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following noun.

prayer? -- "Prayer" is is a noun that means "prayer" and also "place of prayer," "sanctuary," and "chapel." Christ more commonly uses the verb form of the word, proseuchomai.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

ye -- The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

have --  This is from the past perfect tense of the following verb.

made  -- The Greek word translated as "made" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

it -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

den -- "Den" is an uncommon Greek word for Jesus that means "grotto", "cavern," and "cave." It is the source for our term for exploring caves, "spelunking." It also means "behind the scenes" in a theater.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following verb.

thieves. -- Thieves" is another uncommon word for Jesus that means "robber" or "pirate."

KJV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" seems to indicate the present tense, but this is an action completed in the past.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "the" doesn't exist in the source and isn't otherwise justified.

NIV Analysis: 

Is -- (WT) Since the verb is in the past perfect form, this should be "has been" indicating an action completed in the past.

it -- This is from the singular, third-person form of the verb.

not -- 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 captures the same idea.

written, -- "Written" is the Greek verb that  means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on. 

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word should be translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

untranslated -- (MW)  The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

will -- This is from the future tense of the following verb.

be -- This is from the passive voice of the following verb.

called -- The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following noun.

prayer? -- "Prayer" is is a noun that means "prayer" and also "place of prayer," "sanctuary," and "chapel." Christ more commonly uses the verb form of the word, proseuchomai.

for -- -- This word "for"  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. 

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

nations -- The word translated as "nations" is usually translated as "gentiles" but means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them."

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

ye -- The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

have --  This is from the past perfect tense of the following verb.

made  -- The Greek word translated as "made" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

it -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

den -- "Den" is an uncommon Greek word for Jesus that means "grotto", "cavern," and "cave." It is the source for our term for exploring caves, "spelunking." It also means "behind the scenes" in a theater.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following verb.

robbers. -- "Robbers" is another uncommon word for Jesus that means "robber" or "pirate."

NIV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" seems to indicate the present tense, but this is an action completed in the past.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

NLT Analysis: 

Is -- (WT) Since the verb is in the past perfect form, this should be "has been" indicating an action completed in the past.

it -- This is from the singular, third-person form of the verb.

not -- 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 captures the same idea.

written, -- "Written" is the Greek verb that  means "to mark", "to express by written characters", "to write a letter", "to write down [a law]", and so on. 

untranslated -- (MW) The untranslated word should be translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

untranslated -- (MW)  The untranslated word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

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

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

shall -- This is from the future tense of the following verb.

be -- This is from the passive voice of the following verb.

called -- The term translated as "called" is like our word "call" because it means both "to summon" and also "to name," but it does not as clearly mean "to address."

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

house -- The Greek word translated as "house," is any dwelling place but not exclusively a separate house. It means the household or clan that lives in the building as well.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following noun.

prayer? -- "Prayer" is is a noun that means "prayer" and also "place of prayer," "sanctuary," and "chapel." Christ more commonly uses the verb form of the word, proseuchomai.

for -- -- This word "for"  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. 

all -- The word translated as "all" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything." As an adverb, it means "in every way", "on every side," and "altogether."

the-- The word is the Greek definite article.The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

nations -- The word translated as "nations" is usually translated as "gentiles" but means "a group of people living together," a nation, a tribe, or a cast of people. Later it came to mean "barbarous nations" similar to our idea of ethnic people. It is in the same form as the "them" above, so "to them" or "for them."

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

ye -- The pronoun "ye" is used explicitly as the subject of the sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use here creates emphasis on the "you" as we might say "you yourselves." It is plural.

have --  This is from the past perfect tense of the following verb.

made  -- The Greek word translated as "made" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "performing" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

it -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  The word means "the same" when used as an adjective.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

den -- "Den" is an uncommon Greek word for Jesus that means "grotto", "cavern," and "cave." It is the source for our term for exploring caves, "spelunking." It also means "behind the scenes" in a theater.

of -- This is from the genitive form of the following verb.

robbers. -- "Robbers" is another uncommon word for Jesus that means "robber" or "pirate."

NLT Translation Issues: 

3
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "is" seems to indicate the present tense, but this is an action completed in the past.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The pronoun "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The article "the" is not shown in the English translation.

Front Page Date: 

Nov 2 2019