Mar 12:24 Do you not therefore err, because you know not...

Mar 12:24 Do you not therefore err, because you know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?

Alternative: Through this you go astray seeing neither the design nor the capacity of God.

Wordplay: The wordplay here juxtaposes going astray with not seeing. People go astray, wander, and get off track because they cannot see.

Hidden meaning: In this verse, the word always translated as "scriptures" doesn't seem to fit the context. As you can see from the definition below, it actually doesn't refer to scriptures directly at all, but to writing generally and, even more generally, to drawing, capturing concepts with lines, or, what we would describe more simply, especially in this context, as design.

Also, the word used here for "know" is not the word meaning learning through study (gignôskô) but knowing by simply looking at something. Christ uses these two ideas very differently, indicating that some things are meant to be hard while others are meant to be obvious. They are both translated simply as "know" in English, which can be very misleading.

Thematically and Linguistically Related Verse(s): Mat 22:29 is the parallel verse in Matthew.


"Therefore" is from dia (dia) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by", "among," and "between."

Untranslated is toutô (touto), which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

"Err" is from planaô (planao) which means "to cause to wander", "to lead astray", "to mislead", "to wander", "to stray," and "to be misled."

"Knowing" is from eido, (eidon) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

"Scripture" is from graphê (grapho), which means "representing by means of lines", "a drawing", "writing", "the art of writing," and "that which is written." It came to mean "scripture" from its use in the Gospels.

"Power" is from dunamis, (dynamis) which means "power", "might", "influence", "authority", "capacity", "elementary force", "force of a word," and "value of money."

"God" is from theos (theos), which means "God," the Deity."