Luke 13:18 Unto what is the kingdom of God like?

Spoken to: 

audience

After humiliating his opponents regarding curing a woman on the Sabbath, Jesus starts the parable of the mustard seed.

KJV: 

Luke 13:18 Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?

NIV : 

Luke 13:18 What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?

LISTENERS HEARD: 

Is the realm of the Divine alike anything? And I should compare it to what? 

MY TAKE: 

Comparing the higher things to the more earthly is hard.

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

GREEK ORDER: 

Τίνι         ὁμοία ἐστὶν    βασιλεία      τοῦ θεοῦ,      καὶ τίνι        ὁμοιώσω              αὐτήν;
anything alike   Is      the realm      of the Divine ? And to what I should compare it? 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

The last sentence is rhetorical question. The verb is either something that might or should happen or something that will happen. It starts with a "what" or an "anything.

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

3

Unto what is the kingdom of (MWthe) God(CW) like? and whereunto shall I resemble(CW) it?

  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "divinity" doesn't precisely mean "God" in this context.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This word doesn't mean "resemble" in this situation.

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

3

What is the kingdom of (MWthe) God(CW) like? (MWand)What shall I compare it to?

  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "God" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "divinity" doesn't precisely mean "God" in this context.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "and "  after "like" is not shown in the English translation. 

EACH WORD of KJV : 

Unto -- This word "to" comes from the indirect object form of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

what -- The Greek word translated as "any" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine and feminine, so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," "which," or even "why."

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The word also means "to exist" and where it doesn't connect to characteristics or conditions.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the possessive form (genitive case) of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," which usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," and "those"). See this article for more.

God -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. When a definite article does not introduce it, it refers more generally to "divinity," the nature of God.

like? -- The word translated as "like" is an adjective that means "like," "resembling," and "matching."

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis.

whereunto -- The Greek word translated as "whereunto" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine and feminine, so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," "which," or even "why."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. A "might" or "should" could work here or nothing at all in an "if/when/whoever" clause which implies a possibility.  Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

resemble -- (CW) The verb translated as "resemble" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, "to become like." This word doesn't mean "resemble" in this situation.

it? -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English in the form of a singular object of a verb or preposition. It refers to feminine nouns not just female people, so it is translated as both "she" or "it" depending on the context. It also means "by oneself" or "alone."

EACH WORD of NIV : 

What -- The Greek word translated as "any" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine and feminine, so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," "which," or even "why."

is -- The verb "is" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics.  The word also means "to exist" and where it doesn't connect to characteristics or conditions.

the -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, "the," which usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those") than the English "the." See this article for more. 

kingdom -- The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the possessive form (genitive case) of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession.

missing "the/this"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article," the," which usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," and "those"). See this article for more.

God -- The word translated as "God" means "God" and "deity." It is introduced with an article, so "the God," "the Divine" or "the divine one." Jesus often uses it this way perhaps to indicate the one God as opposed to the pagan gods. When a definite article does not introduce it, it refers more generally to "divinity," the nature of God.

like? -- The word translated as "like" is an adjective that means "like," "resembling," and "matching."

missing "and-- (MW) The untranslated word  "and" is used as the conjunction "and," but it also is used to add emphasis.

What -- The Greek word translated as "whereunto" in the singular means "anyone," "someone,"  "something," and "anything." The same forms are used both for the masculine and feminine, so "anyone" works best for a person. In the plural, it means "everyone," "some," "they," and "those." Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who," "what," "which," or even "why."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense or a form that indicates possibility at some time. A "might" or "should" could work here or nothing at all in an "if/when/whoever" clause which implies a possibility.  Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the verb.

compare-- The verb translated as "compare" is a verb that means "to make like" and, in the passive, "to become like."

it? -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English in the form of a singular object of a verb or preposition. It refers to feminine nouns not just female people, so it is translated as both "she" or "it" depending on the context. It also means "by oneself" or "alone."

to -- This word "to" comes from the indirect object form of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object. However, the translator can choose other prepositions: "with,"  "in,"   "of,"  "as," "by," "for," "at," or "on" depending on the context.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV : 

Τίνι [252 verses](irreg sg dat) "Unto what" is tis, which can mean "someone," "something," "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." Plural, "who are" is τίνες ἐόντες.  It has specific meanings with certain prepositions, διὰ τί; for what reason? ἐκ τίνος; from what cause? ἐς τί; "to what point?"  to "what end? τί ὅτι "why it is that,"

ὁμοίως [29 verses](adv, adj pl neut acc) "Like" is homoios, which means "like," "resembling," "the same," "equal in force, "a match for one," "suiting," "of the same rank," "alike," "in like manner," and "equally."

ἐστίν [614 verses] (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be," "to exist," "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen,"  and "is possible." With the possessive (genitive) object, it means "is descended from," "is the type of," "belongs to," "is made of," "is a duty of," "is at the mercy of," or " is dependent on." With an indirect (dative) object, it means "have" where the subject and object are reversed.  "It is to him" becomes "it is his" or "he has it."  With the preposition,"into" (εἰς), the sense is "consist of." When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are."

[821 verses](article sg fem nom)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").   It usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. When not preceding a a word that can become a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." 

βασιλεία [98 verses](adj sg fem nom) "Kingdom" is basileia, which means "kingdom," "dominion," "hereditary monarchy," "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

τοῦ [821 verses](article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). It usually precedes a noun or changes the word it precedes (adjective, infinitive, participle, etc.) to act like a noun. When not preceding a a word that can become a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." 

θεοῦ [144 verses](noun sg masc gen) "God" is theos, which means "God," "divine," and "Deity."

καὶ [1089 verses](conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

τίνι  [252 verses](irreg sg dat) "Whereunto" is tis, which can mean "someone," "something," "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." Plural, "who are" is τίνες ἐόντες.  It has specific meanings with certain prepositions, διὰ τί; for what reason? ἐκ τίνος; from what cause? ἐς τί; "to what point?"  to "what end? τί ὅτι "why it is that,"

ὁμοιώσω  [12 verses](verb 1st sg aor subj act or verb 1st sg fut ind act) "Shall I resemble"is homoioo, which means "to make like," "to become like," "to liken," and "to compare.

αὐτὴν [39 verses](adj sg fem acc) "It"  is auten, in the form of the singular, object, feminine pronoun "her/it." It refers to feminine nouns not just female people, so it is translated as both "she" or "it" depending on the context.  It means "by oneself" or "alone." When used as a noun, it is preceded by a definite article, and it means "the same." As the object of a preposition, an accusative object indicates movement towards something or a position reached as a result of that movement.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Aug 16 2024