John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

When of anyone you might let free those mistakes, they might be let free for them. If maybe of anyone you command, they are commanded.

KJV : 

John 20:23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

These are two if/then statements. The last part looks more like a warning that the apostles can command mistakes in others. The first part of this verse has a lot of uncertainty in it because if uses a lot of verbs of possibility. The second part is much more certain, but it real meaning is hard to apply to "sin."

The Greek word translated as "whose" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." It is the plural and in a form the means "of anyone." This word doesn't start the sentence.

The Greek word "soever" means "if might" and indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when". This word begins the phrase and indicate one of the common forms of if/then conditional statements.

The word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context.

The word translated as "ye remit" primarily means "to let go," "let loose," or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament.  It is also the word used for divorce. The form is one of possibility, which is normal in an "if" condition.

The word translated as "they are remitted" is the same word as above  but in the passive form, and it primarily means "to let go," "let loose," or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament.  It is also the word used for divorce. The form is one of possibility, which is less common in an "then" statement.

The word translated as "unto them; " is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  It is in the form of an indirect object, which in this case indicate "for them" in the sense of for their benefit. This pronoun cannot refer to the "sins" because that noun is feminine.

There is no "and" in the verse. The verse is two if/then type statements.

The Greek word translated as "whose" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." It is the plural and in a form the means "of anyone." This word doesn't start the sentence.

The Greek word "soever" means "if might" and indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when". This word begins the phrase and indicate one of the common forms of if/then conditional statements.

"Sins" does not appear in the second part of the verse, but it is common to assume the previous object if no specific object is stated in Greek. 

The Greek verb translated as " ye retain" means "to rule", "to conquer", "to seize", "to control," and "to command." It is difficult to apply any of these terms to "sin." The term that seems to apply is "command" and, if we assume "mistakes" as the object, this may be saying that those mistakes arise from the apostles own command, they cannot be let go. The form is not one of possibility, which is unusual in a conditional statement.

This is the same verb as above, but in the passive form. Again, we can assume the the subject is either those making the mistakes or the mistakes themselves.

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἄν (conj) "Soever" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. --

τινων ( pron pl gen) "Whose" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

ἀφῆτε ( verb 2nd pl aor subj act ) "Ye remit" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." --

τὰς ἁμαρτίας ( noun pl fem acc) Sin" is hamartia, which means "to miss the mark", "failure", "fault," and "error." Only in religious contexts does it become "guilt" and "sin." 

ἀφέωνται ( verb 3rd pl pres subj mp ) "They are remitted" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." --

αὐτοῖς:   (adj pl masc dat) "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." -- 

ἄν (conj) "-soever" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

τινων ( pron pl gen) "Whose" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what." --

κρατῆτε [uncommon](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "Ye retain" is from krateô (krateo), which means "to rule", "to hold sway", "to be the lord and master", "to conquer", "to prevail over", "to get the upper hand", "to seize", "to control," and "to command." --

κεκράτηνται. [uncommon](verb 2nd pl aor ind act) "They are retained" is from krateô (krateo), which means "to rule", "to hold sway", "to be the lord and master", "to conquer", "to prevail over", "to get the upper hand", "to seize", "to control," and "to command."

Front Page Date: 

May 8 2019