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Matthew 17:17 O faithless and perverse generation,
Context:

After meeting a crowd and having a man brought to him who his students couldn't cure.

Spoken to:
audience
Greek Verse:

Matthew 17:17 γενεὰ ἄπιστος καὶ διεστραμμένη, ἕως πότε μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν ἔσομαι; ἕως πότε ἀνέξομαι ὑμῶν; φέρετέ μοι αὐτὸν ὧδε.

KJV Verse:

Matthew 17:17 .O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

NIV Verse:

Matthew 17:17 You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me

Literal Alternative:

Oh, you type, distrusting and twisted! Until when with you will I be? Until when will I content myself of you? Fetch him to me here!

Hidden Meaning:

Jesus addresses his students here as he usually addresses his opponents, the Phrarisees. This comes across, in Greek, as teasing. It isn't as negative and critical as the English translation.  Jesus isn't saying that he "suffers" his generation but that he must "content himself with them." There are a number of uncommon Greek words here, used only in this verse and its parallels in Luke and Mark. The word translated as "how long" is not a measure of time, but the adverb that means "until."

My Takeaway:

Jesus expects more of us, but in the end, all we can sometimes do is bring a problem to him.

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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...