Luke 16:3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

He said, however, within himself, that house manager, "What am I going to prepare? Because that master of mine takes away the management of the household from me? To dig, I am not powerful.  To ask for more, I  make myself ugly. 

KJV : 

Luke 16:3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The KJV makes the steward seem lazy and proud at the end of this verse. However, if we accept that the accusations against him were false (Luke 16:1), we can translate the words here, two of which are unique to this verse, much more positively. Many uncommon words here as well. 

The Greek word translated as "then" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

"The steward" is an uncommon word for Jesus, appearing only in this story. It is a term that means a household manager. 

"Said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak". 

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

"Himself" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on.

The word translated as "what" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". 

The Greek word translated as "shall I do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It describes a productive action.  It is not as broad a word as the English "do", which covers all actions, productive or not. 

The Greek source of "for" is a word that means "that" or "because." 

 "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me".

The word translated as "lord" is the same word that is often translated as "Lord" or "the Lord" in the NT. It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." It is the specific terms for the master of slaves or servants, but it was a common term of respect both for those in authority and who were honored. It was the term people used to address Christ, even though he had no formal authority. Today, we would say "boss" or "chief".

"Taketh away" is another uncommon Greek word, which means to "take away from", "set aside", "exclude", and "to be robbed or deprived of a thing. 

The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.

"Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me".

"The stewardship" is a Greek noun that means "management of a household","husbandry", "thrift", "regulation", "transaction", "contract", and  "operation". This is the female form of the noun "steward", referring to the discipline rather than the person. 

The word translated as "I can" is a verb that means "to be strong", "to be worth" or "to be powerful." It is not the common word translated as "can", but neither of these words works quite like our word "can" as a helper verb. 

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. 

An uncommon Greek word for Jesus, translated as "dig",  means "dig", "delve", " dig about", and "cultivate by digging".  Jesus only uses it one other place to refer to digging in the ground, but here it may refer to delving into the charges again him.  The Greek "dig" has the same metaphorical sense of getting information that the English does.  This word comes before the verb "I can". It is in the form of an infinitive, "to dig" or "to delve". 

"To beg" is a word that Jesus uses only here. It means "ask besides", "ask for more",  "beg as a mendicant" and "to demand".

"I am ashamed" is another verb Jesus only uses here. It means  "make ugly, "disfigure", "dishonor", "tarnish,  "to be ashamed", and "feel shame".

Wordplay: 

The word "dig" may refer to digging in the ground or digging up information.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἶπεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Said" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer." 

δὲ (conj/adv) "Then" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". --

ἑαυτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Himself" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos.

οἰκονόμος [uncommon](noun sg masc nom) 'Steward" is oikonomoswhich means "one who manages a household", "manager", "administrator", in feminine, "housewife" or "housekeeper".

Τί (pro sg neut nom/acc) "What" 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."

ποιήσω (verb 1st sg fut ind act) "Shall I do" is poieo, which means "to make", "to produce", "to create", "to bring into existence", "to bring about", "to cause", "to render", "to consider", "to prepare", "to make ready," and "to do." 

ὅτι (adv/conj) "For" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

κύριός () "Lord" is kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family." 

μου (noun sg masc gen) "My" is emou, which means "me", and "mine". 

ἀφαιρεῖται  [uncommon](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Taketh away" is from aphaireo which means to "take away from", "set aside", "exclude", "separate",   "prevent", "hinder from" doing, and, in the passive,  "to be robbed or deprived of a thing

τὴν οἰκονομίαν  [uncommon](noun sg fem acc) "The stewardship" is oikonomia,which means "management of a household","husbandry", "thrift", "regulation", "transaction", "contract", and  "operation". 

ἀπ᾽ (prep) "From" is apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause. 

ἐμοῦ; (noun sg masc gen) "Me" is emou, which means "me", and "mine". --  

σκάπτειν [uncommon](verb pres inf act) "Dig" is from skapto, which means "dig", "delve", " dig about", and "cultivate by digging". 

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. 

ἰσχύω, (1st sg pres ind act ) "I can" is ischyo, which means "to be strong", "to be powerful", "to prevail", "to be worth," and "to be equivalent to." -

ἐπαιτεῖν [unique](verb pres inf act) "To beg" is epaiteowhich means "ask besides", "ask for more",  "beg as a mendicant" and "to demand".

 αἰσχύνομαι: [unqiue](verb 1st sg pres ind mp) "I am ashamed" is aischyno,  which means  "make ugly, "disfigure", "dishonor", "tarnish,  "to be ashamed", and "feel shame".

Front Page Date: 

Aug 8 2018