Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him;

Spoken to
Apostles

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

KJV

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

NIV

Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.

LISTENERS HEARD

Pay attention to yourselves. When that brother of yours errs tell the cost to him and, when he changes his mind, leave him alone.

LOST IN TRANSLATION

This verse is addressed to a specific person, not the crowd, possibly in the answer to a question from on of his students. This is hidden in English because we cannot see any differences between the singular you pronoun and plural "you".

All the key words here, those translated as "trespass/sin," "rebuke," "repent," and "forgive" have all been add a religious gloss that obscures the common sense meaning in this verse. These words mean "err," "tell the cost," "change his mind, and "leave alone." The point is not to criticize someone for making a mistakes, but to tell them what they are losing. This is why they change their minds and them you can let them be.

 

MY TAKE

If I know how my mistakes embarrass me, I  will avoid them in the future. 

GREEK ORDER

 

προσέχετε     ἑαυτοῖς.          ἐὰν     ἁμάρτῃ     ἀδελφός    σου     ἐπιτίμησον        αὐτῷ
Pay attention to yourselves. When  errs       that brother   of yours errs tell the cost to him 

καὶ   ἐὰν    μετανοήσῃ                 ἄφες           αὐτῷ:
and, when he changes his mind, leave alone. him 

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES
8

Take heed to yourselves: If(CW) thy (MW) brother trespass(WW) [against thee(IP)], rebuke(WW) him; and if(CW) he repent(CW), forgive(CW) him.

  •  CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "brother" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "trespass" should be something more like "err."
  •  IP - Inserted Phrase-- The "against thee" doesn't exist in the source. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "rebuke" should be something more like "show honor."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "repented" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "forgive" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES
13

So(IW) watch yourselves. If(CW) your (MW brother [or sister(IP)] sins(WW [against you (IP)], rebuke(WW) them(WN); and if(CW) they(WN) repent(CW), forgive(CW) them(WN);.

  • IW - Inserted Word-- The "so" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the/this" before "brother" is not shown in the English translation. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "sins" should be something more like "err."
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The "or sister" doesn't exist in the source. 
  •  IP - Inserted Phrase-- The "against thee" doesn't exist in the source. 
  • WW --Wrong Word -- The word translated as "rebuke" should be something more like "show honor."
  • WN  --Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • WN  --Wrong Number- The word "they" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "repented" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • CW --Confusing Word -- The "forgive" does not capture the word's specific meaning.
  • WN  --Wrong Number- The word "them" is translated as plural but the Greek word is singular.
EACH WORD of KJV

Take heed -- The word translated as "take heed" means"hold to", "offer", "turn toward", "attend to", "pay attention," and "be on your guard against". Its root is the Greek word meaning "have" and "hold". It works somewhat like our phrase "hold fast". It is a command to the group of listeners.

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.

yourselves:  -- "Yourselves" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on. " When used in the possessive, it has the sense of "his own."

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."

 thy  -- The word translated as "your" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

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

trespass  -- (WW) "Trespass" is from the verb which means "to miss the mark," "to fail in one's purpose," "to err," "to be mistaken," and "to neglect." See this article about "sin" for more detail. This word doesn't mean "trespass."  

against thee,-- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as this phrase in the Greek source.

 rebuke  -- (WW) The unique word for Jesus is translated as "rebuke". The verb means  "to lay a value upon",  "to show honour to", to "raise in price",  of judges, "to lay a penalty on a person" and  to "censure".  Note that this word primarily means explaining the cost of something or the penalty for doing something. This word is frequently used in the NT to describe Jesus "rebuking" his followers, the weather, or a "demon" or "charging" someone to do or not to do something. We get the sense that it means "criticize" or "condemn" or "command" when it really doesn't. This idea is closer to the version in Matthew, which involves questioning him.  This word doesn't mean "rebuke."  

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

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."

 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." 

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

repent,  -- (CW) The word translated as "repent" has nothing to do with sin or, generally, with religion or asking for forgiveness. The Greek word translated as "repent" has a primary meaning of understanding something after the fact, with the sense of seeing it is too late. Its specific meaning is to "understand afterward," as seeing the truth after a mistake is made. From this idea, it comes to mean to change your mind, shifting your perspective. 

forgive  -- " (CW) The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go," "to leave," "let loose," or "to send away."  It can also mean "remit" a debt or "excuse" a fault. It has the sense of leaving something alone and letting it drop. See this article for more. 

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

EACH WORD of NIV

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

watch  -- The word translated as "take heed" means"hold to", "offer", "turn toward", "attend to", "pay attention," and "be on your guard against". Its root is the Greek word meaning "have" and "hold". It works somewhat like our phrase "hold fast". It is a command to the group of listeners.

yourselves:  -- "Yourselves" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," and so on. " When used in the possessive, it has the sense of "his own."

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."

 your -- The word translated as "your" is the genitive form of the singular, second-person pronoun, which is most commonly the possessive form.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

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. 

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

or sister -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as this phrase in the Greek source

sins-- (WW) "Sins" is from the verb which means "to miss the mark," "to fail in one's purpose," "to err," "to be mistaken," and "to neglect." See this article about "sin" for more detail. This word doesn't mean "sins."  

against you,-- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as this phrase in the Greek source.

 rebuke  -- (WW) The unique word for Jesus is translated as "rebuke". The verb means  "to lay a value upon",  "to show honour to", to "raise in price",  of judges, "to lay a penalty on a person" and  to "censure".  Note that this word primarily means explaining the cost of something or the penalty for doing something. This word is frequently used in the NT to describe Jesus "rebuking" his followers, the weather, or a "demon" or "charging" someone to do or not to do something. We get the sense that it means "criticize" or "condemn" or "command" when it really doesn't. This idea is closer to the version in Matthew, which involves questioning him.  This word doesn't mean "rebuke."  

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

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."

 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." 

they -- (WN)This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb. This word is not plural but singular. 

repent,  -- (CW) The word translated as "repent" has nothing to do with sin or, generally, with religion or asking for forgiveness. The Greek word translated as "repent" has a primary meaning of understanding something after the fact, with the sense of seeing it is too late. Its specific meaning is to "understand afterward," as seeing the truth after a mistake is made. From this idea, it comes to mean to change your mind, shifting your perspective. 

forgive  -- " (CW) The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go," "to leave," "let loose," or "to send away."  It can also mean "remit" a debt or "excuse" a fault. It has the sense of leaving something alone and letting it drop. See this article for more. 

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

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV

προσέχετε  [9 verses]( verb 2nd pl pres imperat act ) "Take heed" is the Greek prosecho, which means "hold to", "to offer", "turn to or toward," "to turn your mind toward," "to be on one's guard against", "to take heed", "to pay attention", "to devote oneself to", "to attach oneself", "to continue", "to hold fast to [a thing]," "to have in addition," or "pay court to." 

ἑαυτοῖς. ([75 verses]pro pl masc dat) "To yourselves" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself," "herself," "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is not the common pronoun meaning simply "he," "she," "them," etc. In the genitive form, it has the sense of "his own."

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."

ἁμάρτῃ [7 verses](verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Trespass"is from hamartanô, which means "to miss the mark," "to fail in one's purpose," "to err," "to be mistaken," and "to neglect."

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

ἀδελφὸς [37 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Brother" is adelphos, which means "son of the same mother," "kinsman," "colleague," "associate," and "brother."

σου [144 verses](pron 2nd sg gen) "Thy" is sou is the genitive form of the second-person, singular pronoun that means "of you" and "your." As a genitive object of a preposition, as here, it means a movement away from something or a position away from something else.  

ἐπιτίμησον [1 verse]( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Rebuke" is epitimaō, which means "to lay a value upon",  "to show honour to", to "raise in price",  of judges, "to lay a penalty on a person" and  to "censure". 

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."

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."

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."- (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." CW - Confusing Word -- The "if" does not capture the word's specific meaning.

μετανοήσῃ  [9 verses]( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Repent," is from  metanoeo, which literally means "to perceive afterward," "to perceive too late," "to change one's mind," "to change one's purpose," and "to repent."

ἄφες  [73 verses]( verb 2nd sg aor imperat act ) "Forgive" is aphiemi, which means "to let fall," "to send away," "give up," "hand over," "to let loose," "set free," "to get rid of," "to leave alone," "to pass by," "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." The dative is the person it is left to. The accusative object is what is left, given away, etc. It can also mean to "remit" a debt or "excuse" a fault. With an accusative person as an object and an infinite, it means "to permit one." A genitive object is a thing "let go of."

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."

 

parallel comparison

 The vocabulary here is very different from the Matthew version, though the sentiment is similar.

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