Luke 2:49 ...How is it that ye sought me?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Why did you seek me? Haven't you seen that among these ones of that father of mine it is necessary me to be.

KJV : 

Luke 2:49 ...How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is no Greek word that can be translated as "house" or "business" in this verse. Those words are inserted into the English translation.  The object of the preposition translated as "about" or "in" is the Greek plural, masculine, definite article, "the," "these" "these ones," or, since it is masculine, "these men."  The preposition is better translated as "among." The phrase seems to be "among these  men of that Father of mine."

NIV : 

Luke 2:49 Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?

3rd Translation: 

Luke 2:49 But why did you need to search? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?

Greek Vocabulary: 

Τί ( irreg sg neut nom ) "How" 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."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" 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." --

ἐζητεῖτέ ( verb 2nd pl imperf ind act ) "Ye sought" is zeteo, which means "inquire for", "search for", "seek after", "desire", and "feel the want of." 

με; (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

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.

ᾔδειτε ( verb 2nd pl plup ind act ) "Wist ye" is eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" 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." -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

ἐν (prep) "About" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for."  --

τοῖς ( article pl masc dat ) "Business" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."

πατρός ( noun sg masc gen ) "Father" is pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

μου (pro sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

δεῖ ( verb 3rd sg imperf ind act ) "Must" is from, dei, which means "needful," and "there is need."

εἶναί ( verb pres inf act ) "Be" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible."

με; (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

KJV Analysis: 

How  -- (WW) The word translated as "how" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". This is not one of the many words usually translated as "how."

is it -- -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "is it" in the Greek source.

that  -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

sought -- The Greek verb translated as "sought" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring". It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim.

me? -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

wist -- (WT)  The verb translated as "wist" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

not -- 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. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

that -- The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

I -- (WF) "I" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the form of an object, "me," not a subject, "I.

must -- The Greek verb translated as "must" is a special verb that means  "it is needful," and "there is a need." It is always singular referring to a specific moment in the past, present, or future. It works something like our word "must" but its form is fixed. So there is no "I" in this verb, just necessity itself. 

be -- (WF) The verb "be" 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 form here is an infinitive, "to be," which acts like a noun in Greek.

about -- (WW) The word translated as "about" also means "within", "with," or "among."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Father's --  "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. It is in the possessive form.

business? -- (WW, WN) The word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." This is the object of the preposition "in" above. It is plural. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. The sense of "among these."

KJV Translation Issues: 

8
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "how" means "why."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "is it" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The verb "wist" is the pluperfect tense, so "haven't you seen."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "I" is a subject but an object, "me."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "about" means "among."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "business" means "the ones."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "business" is translated as singular but it is plural.

NIV Analysis: 

Why -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". This is not one of the many words usually translated as "how."

were  -- This helping verb indicates the past tense of the following verb.

untranslated "that"-- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

searching  -- The Greek verb translated as "searching" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring". It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim.

for -- This preposition is required by the verb chosen, "searching" instead of "seek."

me? -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

Did -- (WT) This helping verb indicates the past tense, but the verb isn't just the past but the past pluperfect.

n’t -- 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. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

you-- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

know -- The verb translated as "know" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

untranslated "that"-- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

I -- (WF) "I" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the form of an object, "me," not a subject, "I.

had -- The Greek verb translated as "had" is a special verb that means  "it is needful," and "there is a need." It is always singular referring to a specific moment in the past, present, or future. It works something like our word "must" but its form is fixed. So there is no "I" in this verb, just necessity itself. 

to be -- The verb "be" 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 form here is an infinitive, "to be," which acts like a noun in Greek.

in-- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Father's --  "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. It is in the possessive form.

house? -- (WW, WN) The word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." This is the object of the preposition "in" above. It is plural. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. The sense of "among these."

NIV Translation Issues: 

7
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The helping verb "did" should be the pluperfect tense, so "haven't you seen."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "I" is a subject but an object, "me."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "house" means "the ones" or "these."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "house" is translated as singular but it is plural.

3rd Analysis: 

But -- (IW) There is no Greek word that can be translated as "but" in the Greek source.

Why -- The word translated as "why" means primarily "anything" or "anyone," but Jesus often uses it to start a question so it means "who", "what", or even "why". This is not one of the many words usually translated as "how."

did -- This helping verb indicates the past tense of the following verb.

untranslated "that"-- (MW) The untranslated word "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

need to --  (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source.

search  -- The Greek verb translated as "search" has a variety of meanings around the idea of "searching" and "desiring". It has a sense of seeking with a specific aim.

for -- This preposition is required by the verb chosen, "searching" instead of "seek."

me? -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

Did -- (WT) This helping verb indicates the past tense, but the verb isn't just the past but the past pluperfect.

n’t -- 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. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

you-- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

know -- The verb translated as "know" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

that -- The Greek word for "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

I -- (WF) "I" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the form of an object, "me," not a subject, "I."

must -- The Greek verb translated as "had" is a special verb that means  "it is needful," and "there is a need." It is always singular referring to a specific moment in the past, present, or future. It works something like our word "must" but its form is fixed. So there is no "I" in this verb, just necessity itself. 

be -- (WF) The verb "be" 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 form here is an infinitive, "to be," which acts like a noun in Greek.

in-- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among." With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Father's --  "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers". It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father. It is in the possessive form.

house? -- (WW, WN) The word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." This is the object of the preposition "in" above. It is plural. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. The sense of "among these."

3rd Issue Count: 

8
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "but" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "need to" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WT - Wrong Tense - The helping verb "did" should be the pluperfect tense, so "haven't you seen."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "I" is a subject but an object, "me."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "house" means "the ones" or "these."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "house" is translated as singular but it is plural.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

For those who say that Jesus never made a mistake, this verse is a obstacle. In saying this, he is clearly not honoring his father and mother. However, if Jesus never made a mistakes, he was never fully human so this is also proof of his humanity as a pre-teen.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 30 2020