Luke 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them,

Spoken to
audience

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

KJV

Luke 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

NIV

Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

LISTENERS HEARD

I have, however, five brothers. In this manner he might bear witness to them. So that they themselves might not also come into this place here of this truth-testing.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

The English translation doesn't capture the tentative hesitation in the rich man's plea.  He asked if Lazarus might bear witness to his brothers and they might not come to the same place.

The word translated  here as "torment" appears only in two verses of Jesus's words, both in this parable. The word primarily means "trial" not torment, but it can mean trial by torture. Specifically, it means a test for truth. The image is someone being put on trial for their falseness of his life. 

MY TAKE

Looking at the falseness of our lives from a perspective beyond them may indeed by torture. 

GREEK ORDER

 

ἔχω     γὰρ         πέντε ἀδελφούς, ὅπως               διαμαρτύρηται           αὐτοῖς
I have, however, five brothers.       In this manner he might bear witness to them.  

ἵνα        μὴ       καὶ αὐτοὶ                  ἔλθωσιν εἰς   τὸν τόπον      τοῦτον      τῆς  βασάνου.
So that  not     also they themselves might come  into this place here      of this  truth-testing.

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES
5

For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, (MW) lest they (MW) also come into this (MW)  place of (CW) torment.

  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that"  after "them" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • MW -- Missing Word -- This subject pronoun duplicates information in the verb so it needs a "themselves" after "they" for emphasis.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "these/those/the"  before "place " is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "these/those/the"  before "torment" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- "Torment" is more specific than the word's more general meaning.
# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES
9
for I have five brothers.  (MW) Let(IW) him(WF)   (MW) warn(WW) them, so that they (MW) will(WW) not also come to  this (MW)  place of (CW) torment.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that"  after "brothers" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • IW - Inserted Word-- The "let" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF -- Wrong Form  -- This verb "warn" is in the form of possibility, a subjunctive, which requires a "should" or "might" before the verb
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "warn" should be something more like "testify."
  • MW -- Missing Word -- This subject pronoun duplicates information in the verb so it needs a "themselves" after "they" for emphasis.
  • WW  - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be something more like "should."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "these/those/the"  before "place " is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "these/those/the"  before "torment" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- "Torment" is more specific than the word's more general meaning.
EACH WORD of KJV

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." "For" is better because another common word is also used for "because."

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

have -- The word translated as "have" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "to indulge in," "keep close," "hold in," "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses.

five -- This is the Greek word for the number five.

brethren;  -- The word translated as "brothers" means a biological brother, any kinsmen, and more broadly and friend or associate.

that  -- The word translated as "that" is one of those Greek words that introduce a new phrase that offers an explanation. It can be translated as a dependent clause, but if we start a new sentence with it, we get fewer run-on sentences.

he -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

may -- This helping verb "may" indicates that the verb indicates a possibility, the subjunctive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

testify   -- "Testify" is a Greek verb that Jesus only uses here that means to, "bear witness to", "testify",  "beg earnestly of one", "conjure",  and  "testify against."  

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.

 them, -- The word translated as "them" or "to them" is the Greek adjective that acts like our third-person pronoun. The form is the third person, plural as an indirect object of the verb or the object of a preposition.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "that" is a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "when," "in order that" "when," or "because."As an adverb it is translated as "there" is an adverb "in that place," "there," "where," or "when."

lest --  --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, verbs of possibility, and requests.  It applies to will, feeling, and thought. 

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb. - 

missing "themselves" -- (MW)   "Themselves" is the nominative case of the third-person, plural adjective that means "themselves," "ourselves,""yourselves," "the same," "one's true self," and "the soul" as opposed to the body. While other forms of this word are used as pronouns, this form is used for emphasis, since the subject pronoun is part of the verb. Without a verb, the sense is "they are." -- MW -- Missing Word -- This subject pronoun duplicates information in the verb so it needs a "themselves" after "they" for emphasis.

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

come -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "start," "come," or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Technically, it is in the middle voice meaning the subject acts on himself. In English, this is assumed in our words "come" and "go." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

into -- The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in" (a position),  "as much as (of measure or limit)," "in regards to" a subject, "up to" limits in measures, "until" in reference to time, "within" a time limit, and "for" a purpose or object. Used with the Greek "from" it means "from...to." 

this -- (CW) The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer,  "here," or "there."  It often  follows the noun to further identify it as the one "here" or there."  When preceded by a definite article that also functions as a "this," this word more clearly means "here." CW --Confusing Word -- The "this" works better in this situation as "here.".

missing "these/those/the"  -- (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. 

place  -- "Place" is translated from a Greek word that means "place," "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

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. 

torment  - (CW) "Torment" is a Greek noun that means "touchstone" (used to test for truth), generally, "test", "trial of genuineness", a "trial" of strength, "inquiry by torture", "confession upon torture",  and "agony" of battle." It is used only in this story by Jesus. This translation is more specific than the word's meaning. 

EACH WORD of NIV

for --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why." "For" is better because another common word is also used for "because."

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

have -- The word translated as "have" means to "have," "possess," "bear," "to indulge in," "keep close," "hold in," "to have due to one," or "keep" and many specific uses.

five -- This is the Greek word for the number five.

brothers;  -- The word translated as "brothers" means a biological brother, any kinsmen, and more broadly and friend or associate.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" is one of those Greek words that introduce a new phrase that offers an explanation. It can be translated as a dependent clause, but if we start a new sentence with it, we get fewer run-on sentences.

 Let -- (IW) This word is not in the Greek source

him -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. It is not an object but a subject. 

missing "should" or "might"-- (WF) A helping verb is necessary because the following verb is a verb of possibility, a subjunctive, something that "should" or "might" occur. 

warn -- (WW) "Warn" is a Greek verb that Jesus only uses here that means to, "bear witness to", "testify",  "beg earnestly of one", "conjure",  and  "testify against."  This word doesn't mean "warn."  

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.

 them, -- The word translated as "them" or "to them" is the Greek adjective that acts like our third-person pronoun. The form is the third person, plural as an indirect object of the verb or the object of a preposition.

so that --  The word  "so that" is a conjunction that starts a subordinate clause  "that," "when," "in order that" "when," or "because."

they -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb. - 

missing "themselves" -- (MW)   "Themselves" is the nominative case of the third-person, plural adjective that means "themselves," "ourselves,""yourselves," "the same," "one's true self," and "the soul" as opposed to the body. While other forms of this word are used as pronouns, this form is used for emphasis, since the subject pronoun is part of the verb. Without a verb, the sense is "they are." 

will -- (WW) This helping verb indicates that the verb is the future tense, but it isn't. It is in the form of possibility so it needs a "should" or "might." 

not --  --  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, verbs of possibility, and requests.  It applies to will, feeling, and thought. 

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

come -- The word translated as "come" primarily means "to start out" but Jesus usually uses it to mean "come" but not always. It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "start," "come," or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Technically, it is in the middle voice meaning the subject acts on himself. In English, this is assumed in our words "come" and "go." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas. See this article for more.

to into -- The word translated as "to" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in" (a position),  "as much as (of measure or limit)," "in regards to" a subject, "up to" limits in measures, "until" in reference to time, "within" a time limit, and "for" a purpose or object. Used with the Greek "from" it means "from...to." 

this -- (CW) The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer,  "here," or "there."  It often  follows the noun to further identify it as the one "here" or there."  When preceded by a definite article that also functions as a "this," this word more clearly means "here." CW --Confusing Word -- The "this" works better in this situation as "here.".

missing "these/those/the"  -- (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. 

place  -- "Place" is translated from a Greek word that means "place," "position," and "topic." This is a fairly uncommon word for Christ to use.

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. 

 

torment  - (CW) "Torment" is a Greek noun that means "touchstone" (used to test for truth), generally, "test", "trial of genuineness", a "trial" of strength, "inquiry by torture", "confession upon torture",  and "agony" of battle." It is used only in this story by Jesus. This translation is more specific than the word's meaning. 

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV

ἔχω (verb 1st sg pres ind act) "I have" [181 verses](verb 1st sg pres ind act) "I have" is echo, which means "to have," "to hold," "to possess," "to keep," "to have charge of," "to have due to one," "to maintain," "to indulge in,"  "to hold fast," "to hold in," "to bear," "to carry," "to keep close," "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." In aorist, it can mean "acquire," or "get." The main sense when it has an object is "to have" or "to hold." In reference to habits or states, it means "indulge in." With a gen. object,  "to keep back" or "withhold" a thing. When its object is an infinitive verb, it means "to have the means or power," or "to be able" not "it must" as in English.  This verb isn't used to form past tenses as the helper verb does in English.Nor does it have the sense of "must" when used with infinitives. 

γὰρ [205 verses](partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for," "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what." 

πέντε [12 verses](numeral) "Five" is from pente, the number five."Five" is pente, the number five. 

ἀδελφούς, (noun pl masc acc) "Brothers" [37 verses](noun pl masc acc) "Brethren" is adelphos, which means "son of the same mother," "kinsman," "colleague," "associate," and "brother."

ὅπως [14 verses](conj) "That" is hopos, which is a conjunction that means "in such a manner as," "in order that," "in the manner in which," "how," [with negative] "there is no way that," and [in questions] "in what way."

διαμαρτύρηται [1 verse](verb 3rd sg pres subj mp) "He may testify" is diamartyromai, which is to "call gods and men to witness", "protest solemnly", "protest", "asseverate", "bear witness to", "testify",  "beg earnestly of one", "conjure",  and  "testify against." 

αὐτοῖς, [55 verses](pron/adj pl masc dat) "Them" is the dative case of the third-person, plural adjective that is used as a pronoun. The word also means "the same,""one's true self," and "the soul" as opposed to the body. It also means "of one's own accord." A dative object of a preposition implies no movement but in a fixed position. 

ἵνα [134 verses](adv/conj) "Lest" is hina, which means "in that place," "there," "where," "when,"  but when beginning a phrase "so that," "in order that," "when," and "because." It is used as an introduction to a command, where it isn't translated. Often is is better to translate it as "so that" instead of "because" to avoid confusion with another conjunction. -- 

μὴ [447 verses]"Lest" is me  (with hina above),  which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." The negative, μή, rejects, is relative,  and subjective. It is used with verbs of subjective action:  thinking, feeling, seeing, etc. It is used in imperative and subjunctive clauses because both express opinions. With pres. or aor. subjunctive, it is used in a warning or statement of fear, "take care." The combination of ἵνα μή means "lest." The combination of ὅτι μή, means "except." Used before tis with an imperative to express a will or wish for something in independent sentences and, with subjunctives, to express prohibitions. It is used with infinitives that express a purpose. When used with verbs of physical action, its sense is that "not wanting" or "thinking" something, not that it isn't done or thought.  With these verbs, the sense is rejecting the action, rather than simply not doing it. With the verb "to be," the sense is "doesn't seem." When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. Used with an imperative to express a will or wish. Used in negative conditional "when/if/whoever" clauses. With "have," the sense is "lacks" or "wants."

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." In a series, it can be translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as." 

αὐτοὶ [32 verses](pron/adj pl masc nom) "They" is autoi. the nominative case of the third-person, plural adjective that means "themselves," "ourselves," "yourselves," "the same," "one's true self," and "the soul" as opposed to the body. It also means "of one's own accord."  While other forms of this word are used as pronouns, this form is used for emphasis, since the subject pronoun is part of the verb. -- 

ἔλθωσιν [198 verses](verb 3rd pl aor subj act ) "Come"  is  erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out," "to come," "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place. 

εἰς [325 verses](prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)," "until (of time)," "in" (a position),  "as much as (of measure or limit)," "as far as (of measure or limit)," "towards (to express relation)," "in regard to (to express relation)," "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."With verbs of speaking, it is the person spoken "to." With time, a limit "until," or a duration "for," "throughout," or a date, "on," "at." Used with ek, it means "from...to." 

τὸν [821 verses](article sg masc acc )  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."  - 

τόπον [16 verses](adj sg masc acc ) "Place" is from topos, which means "place," "region," "position," "part [of the body]," "district," "room," and "topic." It is also a metaphor for "opening," "occasion," and "opportunity."

τοῦτον [83 verses](adj sg masc acc ) "This" is houtos, which as an adjective means "this," "that," "the nearer." When οὗτος and ἐκεῖνος refer to two things ἐκεῖνος, which normally means "the nearer" as well belongs to the more remote, "the latter" in time, place, or thought, οὗτος to "the nearer" 

τῆς [821 verses](article sg fem 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."  

βασάνου [2 verses](noun sg fem gen) "Of torment"  is basanos, which means "touchstone" (used to test for truth), generally, "test", "trial of genuineness", a "trial" of strength, "inquiry by torture", "confession upon torture",  and "agony" of battle. 

Unimportant Opinions and Imaginings

The question that this verse raises and answers is: what does the rich man want Lazarus to testify to his brothers about? Another way of asking this question is: why was the rich man condemned? What crime does he commit in this story? He wore purple, linen, and ate well every day. Was his crime not fasting? Lazarus laid himself at the rich man's gate. That wasn't the rich man's crime. Technically, it was Lazarus's violation under Jewish law since those who are unclean are supposed to stay away from people. Lazarus desired the leavings of the rich man's table, but the rich man was not obligated to feed him, as Lazarus's relatives, especially his children, would have been obligated. So what was the rich man's crime? The answer is in this verse. What does the rich man want his brothers to know? That indifference of the needs of others is a crime. That there was a "place" of existence after death, that the scales of pleasure and suffering are balanced in it.  The rich man's crime was thinking earthly life was the end of the story. 

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