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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

He said, however, to them: If Moses and the luminaries they do not understand, neither when someone out of death might awaken , are they likely going to be persuaded.

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.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Here is the punchline, but it is a curious one because it would only be understood once Jesus had been raised from the dead. However, he did foretell that his resurrection several times. Some of the humor is lost because the KJV translation hides the fact that the verse is two connected if/then statements. Also hidden here is the fact that the "raised up", though the same word as he used to describe his raising, is a different form. The form he used to describe his resurrection was passed, "being raised" or "being awaken" while this is active, "wake up." In this verse, the word order is substantially different than the KJV translation partly to emphasize the more important elements and partly to put the most important word at the end, as is normal in humor.

The Greek word translated as "and" 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.  This word has been translated as "and" several times in this story to make the conversation sound less like a disagreement than it is in the Greek.

"He said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

The word translated as "unto him" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English. 

The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

"They hear" is translated from a Greek word that has the same sense as the English not only of listening but of understanding. Here, we are not dealing with physical hearing so "understand" is closer to the sense of the word.

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

Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

"Moses" is Moyses, which means "Moses".

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

The Greek word translated as "prophets" means "one who speaks for God", "interpreter" and was the highest level of priesthood in Egypt. Christ uses it to refer not only to divine spokespeople, but their books in the OT. It is the verb that means "to shine before." Our words "luminaries" or "enlightened" captures the idea very well. 

The Greek word for "neither" is an adverb that means "not at all" or "no even". As a conjunction, it works as both parts of the "neither/nor" constructions. Here, it connects two if/then statements.

"Will they be persuaded" is an uncommon Greek verb (for Jesus) that means "persuade", "obey",  "believed", "trusted", and "relied upon".  The form is a future passive. However, this word is the last word in the verb because it is the keyword of the punchline.

The Greek word translated as "though" means "if might". It indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".  The use of this form with the future tense indicates something that is likely to happen in the future.

The word translated as "one" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but can be used to mean someone of note as we would say "a someone". In this case, the phrase "from the dead" modifies this word rather than being the object of the verb.

"Rose" is a Greek verb that means "to make to stand up", "to raise from the dead", "to awaken", "to rouse to action," and "to make people rise up."  The form is something that might happen at some time. It is active, so "might raise" or "might awaken".

The Greek preposition translated as "from" means "out of" or "from." This is a different preposition than the previous verse. 

The word translated as "the dead" means "corpse", "a dying man," and "inanimate, non-organic matter." There is no "the" before it so the sense is "death".

Greek Vocabulary: 

εἶπεν ( verb 3rd sg aor ind act ) "He 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) "And" 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"). --

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc dat) "Unto 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."

Εἰ (conj) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions.

Μωυσέως (Hebrew Name) "Moses" is Moyses, which means "Moses".

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." 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."

τῶν προφητῶν () "The 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 verb that means "to shine forth" It is a form of the verb, prophao. which means "to shine forth," or "to shine before."

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.

ἀκούουσιν, ( 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."

οὐδ᾽ (partic) "Neither" is oude, which, as a conjunction, means "but not", "neither", and "nor." As an adverb, it means "not at all" and "not even."

ἐάν (conj) "Though" 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.

τις (pro sg masc nom) "One" 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."

ἐκ (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;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from."

νεκρῶν (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 ( 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. [uncommon]( 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: 

Sep 4 2018