Today's Verse Analysis

Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days,

On Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Jesus when these things will be.

Spoken to:

Mark 13:20 καὶ εἰ μὴ ἐκολόβωσεν Κύριος τὰς ἡμέρας, οὐκ ἂν ἐσώθη πᾶσα σάρξ: ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς ἐξελέξατο ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας.

KJV Verse:

Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

NIV Verse:

Mark 13:20  If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

What His Listeners Heard:

And if a Master doesn't curtail these days, all flesh would not be rescued, at least for those chosen whom he chose for himself, he curtails these days

Lost In Translation:

The colorful wordplay of this verse is lost in translation. A noun translated as "elect" and the verb "chosen" are from the same root "to chose." This is important because this refers to the "chosen people." This is disguised by using "elect" which is an untranslated Greek word. The verb is in a form that means that the Divine chose these people for his own purposes.

The term translated as "shortened"  and "cut short" means "curtail" but it means "to prune a tree or clip a bird's wings."

  A word meaning "all" before the word "flesh" is not translated. in any English version. The word "flesh" itself is lost in the more modern translations.

There is also a bit of fun alliteration connecting "cut short," "elect," and "select." This cannot be captured in English, but it may be the reason that Jesus uses a couple of uncommon words

καὶ    εἰ μὴ  ἐκολόβωσεν     Κύριος τὰς    ἡμέρας, οὐκ ἂν       ἐσώθη          πᾶσα σάρξ:
And if n't    does curtail    a Master these days,      not would  be rescued,  all flesh

ἀλλὰ    διὰ τοὺς   ἐκλεκτοὺς οὓς      ἐξελέξατο                    ἐκολόβωσεν τὰς ἡμέρας.
at least for those  chosen       whom he chose for himself,  he curtails    these days

My Takeaway:

Those who are chosen are chosen by the Divine for his own purposes.

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My analysis standards and methods are constantly improving. New information on each verse is provided as articles are updated. It requires approximately two years to work through each of Jesus's verses.

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This site seeks to avoid the competing dogmas that have shaped Biblical translation. The everyday meanings of the Greek words Jesus used were different than the definitions they have been given over time. The research here goes beyond "Biblical Greek" where words are tautologically defined by how the Bible translates them. Instead, it is based upon contemporary documents such as the Greek Septuagint.

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See what Jesus said in Greek and see how his words are changed in English translation. My goal is to translate Jesus's words as they were heard when he taught, not the way they are interpreted today. The work here resurrects the humor and cleverness of Jesus's words lost in translation.

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