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Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying,
Context:

The parable continues the topic, staying vigilant, in the context of comparing the realm of the skies to dumb kids and sensible kids going to a party.

Spoken to:
Apostles
Greek Verse:

Matthew 25:9 δὲ αἱ φρόνιμοι λέγουσαι Μήποτε οὐ μὴ ἀρκέσῃ ἡμῖν καὶ ὑμῖν: πορεύεσθε μᾶλλον πρὸς τοὺς πωλοῦντας καὶ ἀγοράσατε ἑαυταῖς.

KJV Verse:

Matthew 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, [Not so]; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.

NIV Verse:

Matthew 25:9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

Literal Alternative:

They answered, however, the sensible ones, saying, "Not when it is never enough for us and you.   Better leave to those selling [it] and shop for herselves!

Hidden Meaning:

This verse ends on a joke, a play in teenage slang.

Throughout this story about the teens, Jesus has uses the reflexive third-person pronoun ("themselves," and "their own") instead of the normal pronoun ("them," "their") to describe the teens and their lamps. In this verse, the reason comes clear: the foolish expect others to take care of them. The wise expect people to take care of themselves. In rejecting the idea, the sensible ones use the regular pronouns, "for us" and "for you."

However, the verse ends with a play on this reflexive pronoun. The sensible girls tell the dumb ones to not to "shop for yourselves" as translated but to  "shop for herselves" the feminine, third-person, plural form.  I can easily imagine Jesus saying this mimicking a teenager.

The Spoken Version:

"They responded, however," he continued, moving over to the followers playing the smart girls and indicated them with a wave of his hand. "The smart ones!"

The smart "girls" took a bow and struke their smart poses.

"Saying," he continued, switching to his teenage girl voice." Now way! You can't really think that there will be enough for us and you! Instead, head over to the ones selling and shop for yourself!"

Everyone laughed.

My Takeaway:

Every girl for herself!

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About this Site

I started this site fifteen years ago.  My original award-winning work as a "techno-linguist" was in ancient Chinese. I wanted to bring the same computer search and analysis techniques to explore something more important: the original Greek of Jesus's words. To understand why this was important to me, you may want to read this article on how Jesus's meaning is lost.

This site does not promote any religious point of view. On the contrary, it seeks to avoid the competing and evolving religious dogmas that have shaped Biblical translation for centuries.  I purposely use "nonreligious" sources for Greek word meaning, rejoining the study of Biblical Greek with the broader study of ancient Greek. My goal is simply to identify how listeners of Jesus's time would have heard him.

Jesus' words are unique for three reasons.

  1. His words were spoken, not written. Spoken language is inherently different than written language.
  2. His words changed the meaning of words, determining even how later NT authors' used the Greek.
  3. His words were the basis of a unique historical revolution in the way people think.

Most of the on-line material on "Biblical Greek" is largely tautological. It explains the Greek only in terms of how it has been translated into English in the Bible. It flows from the ways that the  Gospel was taught from the Latin Vulgate. I respect this work and use it daily. However,  most of my work takes place outside of this tradition, researching the use of the Greek closer to the time of Jesus, especially the Greek OT, the Septuagint.

The Bible has been such a powerful force in history that it has changed the meaning of many words in English, Latin, and Greek. However, the Greek of Jesus's words has been faithfully preserved for centuries despite the changing religious fashions. These fashions, unfortunately, affect each successive English translation of the Bible, moving it further and further from the Greek.  I stopped analyzing the NLT version because so much of it fails to connect to anything in Jesus's Greek. It is not a translation but how a group of people today feel about the ideas in other English translations. The Message Bible version is even worse.

This site is offered for those who care about fidelity to Scripture as passed down for two thousand years.

Most Recent Question

Question:
Does John 6:37 mean that once I’m saved, no matter what sin I do, if I come to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and repent from that sin, I will not be cast out?
Answer:

I don't see anything about asking forgiveness and repenting nor anything about "being saved." All of these are Christian concepts invented after Jesus. He doesn't use these ideas at all. What is translated as "forgive" means "let go" as in dropping something. What is translated as "repent" means "change your mind" as in thinking differently. What gets translated as "being saved" is the idea of being "rescued" not from "evil" but from "worthlessness."

None of this is in the verses. Or in its context. His ideas in John 6:37 are simpler.  You are either returning to Jesus or moving away from him. Those who the Father has given him...