Home

Latest Article

Mark 12:3 And they caught [him], and beat him...
KJV Verse:

Mark 12:3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

Greek Verse:

Mark 12:3 καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν ἔδειραν καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν.

Literal Alternative:

And, catching him him, they beat him, and sent him off empty-handed.

Hidden Meaning:

The word translated as  in the three different versions "caught" and "seized" and "grabbed" means something simpler. It means "to get" and, in the previous verse, this same verb was translated as "might receive" ("might get') referring to the fruit. It is an adjective, "catching"  or "getting." So, the play on words here is that the slave came to get fruit and was gotten himself.

For some reason, the NIV and NLT versions change the initial "and" to a "but." In this parable, Jesus is using the "and" as a story telling device and the flow of the phrases is interrupted without it. The NLT version replaces all the pronouns, existing and assumed, with nouns, which is not how Jesus told the story.

In the Matthew version,  Matthew 21:35, three different servants meet different fates.

Wordplay:

The slave who came to get fruit is "gotten" himself.

Vocabulary:

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

λαβόντες  (part pl aor act masc nom) "They caught" is lambano which means "to take", "to receive", "to apprehend with the senses," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean seized with emotion.

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."

ἔδειραν (verb 3rd pl aor ind act) "Beat" is from derô, which means "to flay" or "to skin" someone, though in later use it came to mean "to cudgel" or "to thrash."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is 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."

ἀπέστειλαν ( verb 3rd pl aor ind act ) "Sent away" is apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch." It is our source of the word "apostle."

κενόν  [uncommon]( adj sg masc acc ) "Empty" is from kenos (kenos), which means "empty", "fruitless", "void", "ineffectual", "to no purpose", "destitute", "empty-handed", "devoid of wit", "vain," and "pretentious."

Related Verses:

Matthew 21:35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one...

Luke 20:10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen

Christ's Words Articles

  • Gospel of Mark: Offers the best, detailed information on all except last verses.
  • Gospel of Luke: Offers detailed information on the Greek of each verse.
  • Gospel of Matthew: Offers good, detailed information on each verse of Greek.
  • Gospel of John: Offers various levels of information on Greek of each verse. 

About this Site

I started this project over a decade ago. The initial goal was to satisfy my own curiosity about how the original Greek of Jesus's words was translated into English comparing it to my work in translating ancient Chinese. 

This site does not promote any religious point of view about Christianity. I purposely use nonreligious sources for Greek translation.  My goal is simply to identify how Jesus used words. His use of Greek words somewhat unique since his words were spoken, not written.

The range of quality of the articles on this site reflects that it is a personal site, not a commercial one. No one proofreads my work. Some articles are over a decade old when I knew much less ancient Greek. Matthew articles are best since I have updated them all at least once. The ones in Mark are the oldest and poorest. Luke is not yet complete.