Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets,

Spoken to
audience

The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

KJV

Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

NIV

Luke 16:31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’

LISTENERS HEARD

But he said to him: Since they do not hear Moses and the luminaries, neither will they be persuaded when someone awakens out of death.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

This is the punchline, but it is a curious one because it would only be understood once Jesus had been raised from the dead. The point in lost in English because the "when someone rises" is translated as "though/if someone rose." Jesus statement make this rising just a matter of time. 

The "if they didn't listen/hear" is also more certain than translated. The word translated as "if" means "since"  when it is used with an active verb and not a verb of possibility. The fact his brothers didn't listen to Moses means that they won't listen to whoever this is who rises from the dead. 

MY TAKE

Not listening is a  hard habit to break. 

GREEK ORDER

 

εἶπεν      δὲ  αὐτῷ    Εἰ      Μωυσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν   οὐκ      ἀκούουσιν
 he said But to him: Since Moses       and the  enlightened,  do not they hear   

οὐδ᾽     ἐάν    τις           ἐκ νεκρῶν     ἀναστῇ     πεισθήσονται.
neither  when someone out of death, awakens   will they be persuaded

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES
5

And(WW) he said unto him, If(CW) they hear not Moses and the prophets(UW), neither will they be persuaded, though(CW) one(CW) rose from the dead.

  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "and" should be something more like "but."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This word doesn't mean "if" with this form of verb.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "luminaries." It is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "through" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  •  CW --Confusing Word -- This is not the common word usually translated as "one."
# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES
6
(MW) He said to him, ‘If(CW) they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets(UW), they will not(CW) be convinced even(IW) if(CW) someone rises from the dead.’
 
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "word"  at the beginning of the sentence is not shown in the English translation. 
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This word doesn't mean "if" with this form of verb.
  • UW --Untranslated Word -- The word "prophets" means "luminaries." It is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This is not one of the common words usually translated as "not."
  • IW - Inserted Word-- The "even" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
EACH WORD of KJV

And  --  (WW) The Greek word translated as "but" means "but," "yet," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word doesn't mean "and."  

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

said  - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

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.

him, --  The word translated as "him" is the Greek adjective that acts like our third-person,  indirect object pronoun.

If  --  (CW)The "if" here is used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect and direct questions, "whether."It also means "if ever" and "whenever." When used in an "if" clause, the verb is the subjunctive form of possibility. When citing a fact  the sense is more  "whether," "since" or "as sure as." The verb is not subjunctive, which means it is citing a fact. This word doesn't mean "if" with this form of verb. 

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

hear  -- "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear," "to hear of," and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.   It also means "to listen" and "to understand," but amusingly, it also means "to be silent."

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

Moses -- "Moses" is from the Greek spelling of the name for the author of the first five books of the OT. Unlike most Hebrew names, Jesus sometimes adds Greek ending to it in the form of a first-declension Greek noun.

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

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. 

prophets, -- (UW) The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt, but its root words mean "shine light before" and so "luminaries," "shining lights" or "enlightened" seems to capture the idea better. Jesus uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople but their books in the OT.   It is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English. It means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. It does not mean "one who sees the future" as it does in English. The sense is more a "luminary" because the Greek word comes from "light shining." Read this article for more information. 

neither -- The Greek word for "neither" is is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even" and, literally, "not, however." As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates the verb is in the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. 

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

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

persuaded, -- The  uncommon verb translated as "persuaded" means "persuade", "obey", "prevail upon", "talk over", "mislead," and "tempt (with food), "believed", "trusted", and "relied upon".  The subject is clearly the conquered man. 

though - (CW) "Through" is from a word meaning "when" because it indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.  It can be used after a demonstrative pronoun to mean "that possibly," "whosoever," or "whatsoever." This is not the simple "through." 

one -- (CW) The Greek word translated as "one" 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." - Jesus often uses the root word as an adjective describing a high-status people as "somebodies." This is not the word usually translated as "one."

rose  -  -- "Rose" is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up." Its root is usually translated as "stand," and its prefix as "up" or "over." So it literally means “to make stand up.”  It is used elsewhere in ancient Greek to refer to “raising the dead.” However, its secondary meaning was “to raise from sleep,” “wake up,” “to rouse to action,” and “to stir up.” It was used to refer to erecting a building. It also means “to rise to go,” “to set out,” and “to go away.”

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." The word also means "beyond," "on," "in," "since," or "by" based upon its context, but it indicates separation "from" something rather than being a part "of "it like "of" does. It is also used to describe the author or means "by" which something is done, especially with passive verbs.  

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but the noun is plural and in English, a definite article "the/this/that/theses/those" is used before plural nouns in phrases like this.

dead,-- The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse," "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." Christ uses it in all three senses, referring to the actual dead, the spiritually dead, and inanimate matter.

EACH WORD of NIV
missing "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "but" means "but," "yet," "however," and "on the other hand." It joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word doesn't mean "and."  

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

said  - The word translated as "said" means "to say" and "to speak." It is one of the two most common words translated "speak," "say" and "tell," but it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming.

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.

him, --  The word translated as "him" is the Greek adjective that acts like our third-person,  indirect object pronoun.

If  --  (CW)The "if" here is used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect and direct questions, "whether."It also means "if ever" and "whenever." When used in an "if" clause, the verb is the subjunctive form of possibility. When citing a fact  the sense is more  "whether," "since" or "as sure as." The verb is not subjunctive, which means it is citing a fact. This word doesn't mean "if" with this form of verb. 

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

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English.

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It means "no," "not," or"no truly." It makes a negative statement of fact. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words. 

listen -- "Hear" is from a Greek verb that means "to hear," "to hear of," and "to listen." It has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding.   It also means "to listen" and "to understand," but amusingly, it also means "to be silent."

to -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English.-- This word "to"  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. However, it can also mean "belonging to," "part of," "which is," "than" (in comparisons), or  "for," "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. In reference to time, it could instead be translated as "during," "at," or "within." When this form or word is the object of the verb "to be" the sense is "belongs to," so the sense of this word in these situations is "to."

Moses -- "Moses" is from the Greek spelling of the name for the author of the first five books of the OT. Unlike most Hebrew names, Jesus sometimes adds Greek ending to it in the form of a first-declension Greek noun.

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

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. 

Prophets, -- (UW) The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God," "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt, but its root words mean "shine light before" and so "luminaries," "shining lights" or "enlightened" seems to capture the idea better. Jesus uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople but their books in the OT.   It is an untranslated Greek word adopted into English. It means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. It does not mean "one who sees the future" as it does in English. The sense is more a "luminary" because the Greek word comes from "light shining." Read this article for more information. 

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates the verb is in the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English. 

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

be -- This helping verb "be" indicates that the verb is passive. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

not  -- (CW) The untranslated word   "not" is is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even" and, literally, "not, however." As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions. This is not one of the common words usually translated as "not." 

convinced, -- The  uncommon verb translated as "convinced" means "persuade", "obey", "prevail upon", "talk over", "mislead," and "tempt (with food), "believed", "trusted", and "relied upon".  The subject is clearly the conquered man. 

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

if someone rises from the dead.’

if - (CW) "If" is from a word meaning "when" because it indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone.  It can be used after a demonstrative pronoun to mean "that possibly," "whosoever," or "whatsoever." This is not the simple "if." 

someone -- The Greek word translated a "someone" 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." - Jesus often uses the root word as an adjective describing a high-status people as "somebodies."

rose  -  -- "Rose" is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up." Its root is usually translated as "stand," and its prefix as "up" or "over." So it literally means “to make stand up.”  It is used elsewhere in ancient Greek to refer to “raising the dead.” However, its secondary meaning was “to raise from sleep,” “wake up,” “to rouse to action,” and “to stir up.” It was used to refer to erecting a building. It also means “to rise to go,” “to set out,” and “to go away.”

from -- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." The word also means "beyond," "on," "in," "since," or "by" based upon its context, but it indicates separation "from" something rather than being a part "of "it like "of" does. It is also used to describe the author or means "by" which something is done, especially with passive verbs.  

the -- There is no Greek article "the" here in the source, but the noun is plural and in English, a definite article "the/this/that/theses/those" is used before plural nouns in phrases like this.

dead,-- The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse," "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." Christ uses it in all three senses, referring to the actual dead, the spiritually dead, and inanimate matter.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV

εἶπεν [162 verses]  (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."  This is the second most common word Jesus uses for this idea. The other word is used more for discussion. Perhaps translating it consistently as "tell" would work.

δὲ [446 verses](conj) "But" is de which means "but," "yet," "however," and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be an explanation of an indirect cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). In an  "if" (εἰ) clause or temporal "when" (ὅταν) clause the sense is "if/when... then." In a series begun by men, it means "on the other hand." In a listing, the sense is "then" or "yet." After an interruption, "so then." It can also be an explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").  In a listing, the sense is "then" or "yet." After an interruption, "so then."

αὐτῷ [106 verses](pron/adj sg masc/neut dat) "Him" is  is auto, the dative case of the third-person, singular 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." The form is the third person, plural as an indirect object of the verb or the object of a preposition.  When used as a noun, it is preceded by a definite article, and it means "the same."A dative object of a preposition implies no movement but in a fixed position. With the "to be," it acts as a possessive, "his."

εἰ [90 verses](conj) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (with the indicative, implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect and direct questions, "whether." It also means "if ever," "in case," and "whenever." In citing a fact, it can mean "as sure as" or "since."  It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. When appearing as εἰ δὲ (literally, "if however") the sense is "if this...then that." The construction εἰ δὲ μή . . means "otherwise." The construction  εἰ οὖν has the sense of "if so." However, it is also used to express a wish. After verbs of wonder, delight, indignation, disappointment, contentment, and similar emotions, it is use instead of ὅτι, to express the object of the feeling in a hypothetical form, "that" with the indicative (not subjunctive). After ὅτι, it introduces a quotation where we use quotation marks. With the future tense, it is used for emphasis, a warning, or an intention.  When this word is paired with the conjunction translated as "but" or "however," the structure works like an "if then" statement in English.  With verbs of desire and emotion and the indicative in the second clause, the sense is "that." With an imperative, it is used to express a wish. The sense is "I wish that." With the future tense indicative, it is used for emphasis, a warning, or an intention. The emphasis clause is after the main statement.

Μωυσέως [18 verses](Hebrew Name sg masc gen) "Moses" is Moyses, which means "Moses." 

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." 

τῶν [821 verses](article pl masc gen)  "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."  

προφητῶν [37 verses](noun pl masc gen) "Prophets" is prophetes, which means "one who speaks for a god and interprets his will," "interpreter," "keepers of the oracle," "the highest level of priesthood in Egypt," "interpreter," and "herald." It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine light forth," or "to shine light before." Its roots are  pros ("before"), phos ("light) and  phaino ("shine.) 

οὐκ [269 verses](adv) "Not" is ou , the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences.  The negative, οὐ, denies, is absolute, and objective. 

ἀκούουσιν, [95 verses]( verb 3rd pl pres ind act ) "They hear" is akouo,  which means "hear of," "hear tell of," "what one actually hears," "know by hearsay," "listen to," "give ear to," "hear and understand," and "understand." The accusative object is the person/thing heard about, while the genitive is the person/thing heard from.  However, two genitives can be used with the sense of "hear of a thing from a person." -

οὐδὲ [51 verses](partic) "Neither" is oude, which, as a conjunction, means "but not," "neither," and "nor." As an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even" and, literally, "not, however."

ὰν [163 verses](conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if) and an (possibly), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. This is how we use the word "when." It can be used after a demonstrative pronoun hos or hostis meaning "that possibly,"  "whosoever" or "whatsoever."

τις  [252 verses](pro sg masc nom) "One" 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,"

ἐκ  [121 verses] (prep) "From" is ek , which means 1) [of motion] "out of," "from," "by," "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond," "outside of," "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after," "from;" 4) [of rest] "on," "in," 5) [of time] "since," "from," "at," "in;" 7) [of materials] "out of," "made from;" 7) cause, instrument, or means "by." It is also used to describe the author or means "by" which something is done, especially with passive verbs.-- The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." The word has a number of different meanings based upon its context, but it indicates separation "from" something rather than being a part "of "it like "of" does. It is also used to describe the author or means "by" which something is done, especially with passive verbs.

νεκρῶν  [21 verses](noun sg masc gen) "The dead" is nekros, which specifically means "a corpse" as well as a "dying person," "the dead as dwellers in the nether world," "the inanimate," and "the inorganic"

ἀναστῇ [28 verses]( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Rose"  is from anistemi, which means "to make stand up," "to raise up," "to raise from sleep," "to wake up," "to raise from the dead," "to rouse to action," "to put up for sale," "to make people rise," "to emigrate," "to transplant," and "to rise and leave the sanctuary."

πεισθήσονται. [2 verses]( verb 3rd pl fut ind pass) "Will they be persuaded"  is from  peitho, which means "persuade", "obey", "prevail upon", "talk over", "mislead," and "tempt (with food), "believed", "trusted", and "relied upon".  

 

Front Page Date