Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come

Spoken to
Apostles

To his students after the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.

KJV

Luke 17:1 It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!

NIV

Luke 17:1 Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.

LISTENERS HEARD

It is impossible for something: these stumbling blocks not to show up. Save so sad through whom they show up. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION

The word translated as "impossible" and "bound means impossible, following it, the word meaning "something" in a form that means "for something" is not translated.  The word translated as "offences" and "things that cause people to stumble" means "traps" or "stumbling blocks." Jesus uses the verb form to mean "trip up." 

The worst translation sin, leaving out a negative, occurs in the following clause which says, "not to show up" or "not to come." Leaving out the negative doesn't quite reverse its meaning, but it does skew it. 

MY TAKE

We all will meet stumbling block, but we need not cause them. 

GREEK ORDER

 

Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ                   τὰ      σκάνδαλα            μὴ       ἐλθεῖν,   
impossible  is        for something : these stumbling blocks  not     to show up. 

πλὴν οὐαὶ    δι᾽         οὗ      ἔρχεται:
Save so sad through whom they show up. 

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES
8

It is impossible but(WW) that(CW) offences(WW) will(WT) come(WF): but(CW) woe [unto him(IW)], through whom they come!

  •  WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "but" should be something more like "not."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This is not the common word usually translated as "that."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "offences" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "offences" should be something more like "traps."
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "will" indicates the future tense, but that is not the tense here.
  • WF -- Wrong Form -  This is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to come."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This is not the common word usually translated as "but." 
  • IW - Inserted Word-- The "unto him" doesn't exist in the source.
# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES
5

Things that [cause people to stumble(PP)] (MW) are bound(WW) to come, but(CW) woe to anyone [unto him(IW)],through whom they come.

  • PP -- Paraphrase - The word "traps"  exists in the source but "cause people to stumble" doesn't. 
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not"  after "stumble" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "bound" should be something more like "impossible."
  • CW --Confusing Word -- This is not the common word usually translated as "but." 
  • IW - Inserted Word-- The "unto anyone" doesn't exist in the source.
EACH WORD of KJV

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

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 subject "traps" is plural but plural neuter Greek subjects take a singular verb. 

impossible  --  The "impossible" here is a very rare word in written Greek, occurring only here and one other place.  It is made of a negative prefix with a root word that means "allowed" or "possible". 

but  -- (WW) The word  translated as "but" is the negative of a subjective opinion, commands, verbs of possibility, and requests.  It applies to will, feeling, and thought.  This word doesn't mean "but." 

 that -- (CW) The word translated as  "that" 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." This is not the word usually translated as "that." 

 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. 

offences  - (WW) - The word translated as "offense" means a "trap" or "snare" for an enemy. It is not Greek but based on the Hebrew and Aramaic word. This is one of the words that first occurs in the Greek version of the Old Testament from the Hebrew word for "noose" or "snare." Maybe a more precise translation is "stumbling" block because the verb has the sense of "trip up." See the article on this word here. This word doesn't mean "and."  

will  -- (WT) This helping verb "will" indicates the future tense, but the verb is not the future. 

come -- (WF) 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. This is not an active verb but an infinitive.  

but  -- (CW) The word translated as "nevertheless" is a less common preposition used like a conjunction that means "except," "save," with an object in the possessive form, or "besides," and "in addition to." Often used with the negative as a conjunction, "except not." Used to change the subject, "except," "however," "only," and "but." This is not the word usually translated as "but." 

woe -- "Woe" is an exclamation of grief, meaning "woe" or "alas." Jesus uses it humorously. Today, we would say "so sad [for you]" or "boo-hoo to you." The word is very similar to the Jewish, "oy vey" which can be used to express sorrow but is more commonly used humorously. More about this phrase in this article on Christ's humor using exaggeration.

unto him, -- (IW) This word is not in the Greek source.

through  --  The preposition translated as "through" means with the accusative used here, means "thanks to," "because of,"  "by reasons of," and "for the sake of."

whom-- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, "he," "she," "it," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "when," "for which reason," and many similar meanings. In the neuter, plural, its sense is "these things."

they -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. This word is not plural but singular. However, it refers to a plural, neuter verb, which is Greek is often treated as a singular noun as a group.

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.

EACH WORD of NIV

Things - There is no word, "things," in the Greek source, but this word comes from the neuter, plural form of the previous adjective.

that   -- The word is the Greek definite article,"that," 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. 

cause people to stumble - (PP) The word translated as "cause people to stumble" means a "trap" or "snare" for an enemy. It is not Greek but based on the Hebrew and Aramaic word. This is one of the words that first occurs in the Greek version of the Old Testament from the Hebrew word for "noose" or "snare." Maybe a more precise translation is "stumbling" block because the verb has the sense of "trip up."  See the article on this word here. The Greek  words meaning "cause people to stumble" here  are not translated but instead their assumed meaning is paraphrased into different words. 

missing "not"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "not" is the negative of a subjective opinion, commands, verbs of possibility, and requests.  It applies to will, feeling, and thought.  This word doesn't mean "but." 

are -- The verb "are" 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 subject "traps" is plural but plural neuter Greek subjects take a singular verb but it is plural in English.

bound -- (WW) The "bound" here is a very rare word in written Greek, occurring only here and one other place.  It is made of a negative prefix with a root word that means "allowed" or "possible". This word doesn't mean "bound."  

to -- This "to" is added to create the infinitive form of the following verb.

 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

but  -- (CW) The word translated as "nevertheless" is a less common preposition used like a conjunction that means "except," "save," with an object in the possessive form, or "besides," and "in addition to." Often used with the negative as a conjunction, "except not." Used to change the subject, "except," "however," "only," and "but." This is not the word usually translated as "but." 

woe -- "Woe" is an exclamation of grief, meaning "woe" or "alas." Jesus uses it humorously. Today, we would say "so sad [for you]" or "boo-hoo to you." The word is very similar to the Jewish, "oy vey" which can be used to express sorrow but is more commonly used humorously. More about this phrase in this article on Christ's humor using exaggeration.

to anyone -- (IW) This word is not in the Greek source.

through  --  The preposition translated as "through" means with the accusative used here, means "thanks to," "because of,"  "by reasons of," and "for the sake of."

whom-- The word translated as "who" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun, "he," "she," "it," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "when," "for which reason," and many similar meanings. In the neuter, plural, its sense is "these things."

they -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. This word is not plural but singular. However, it refers to a plural, neuter verb, which is Greek is often treated as a singular noun as a group.

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.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV

Ἀνένδεκτόν [1 verse]( adj sg neut nom )"Impossible" is anendektos, which means "inadmissible", "impossible."

ἐστιν [614 verses] (verb 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."

τοῦ [252 verses](pron sg gen) "that" 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,"

τὰ [821 verses](noun pl neut nom/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."  --

σκάνδαλα [4 verses](noun pl neut nom/acc) "Offences" is skandalon, which means a "trap" or "snare" for an enemy. It is not Greek but based on the Hebrew and Aramaic word. This is one of the words that first occurs in the Greek version of the Old Testament from the Hebrew word for "noose" or "snare." 

μὴ [447 verses](conj) "Not" is me , 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." 

ἐλθεῖν, [198 verses]( verb aor inf act) "Will 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. -- 

πλὴν [20 verses](prep/adv)  "But" is from plen, which is a preposition meaning "except," or "save," with the genitive object, as a conjunction, "besides," and "in addition to." Often used with the negative as a conjunction, "except not." Used to change the subject, "except," "however," "only," and "but."

οὐαὶ [27 verses](exclam)"Woe" is ouai, which is an exclamation of pain or anger meaning "woe" or "alas" but it can be used sarcastically. 

δι᾽  [88 verses](prep) "Through" is dia, which means with the genitive "through," "over," " "in the midst of," "in a line (movement)," "throughout (time)," "by (causal)," "for (causal)," "among," and "between." With the accusative, it can also be "thanks to," "because of,"  "by reasons of," and "for the sake of." 

οὗ [294 verses] (pron sg masc gen) "Whom"  is hos, which means "this," "that," "he," "she," "it," "which," "what," "who," "whosoever," "where," "when," " "for which reason," and many similar meanings. In the neuter, plural, its sense is "these things."

ἔρχεται: [198 verses](verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "They 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. 

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