Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed:

KJV Verse: 

Luke 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

He went out, the one seeding for that seeding of his. And in the seeding itself, it certainly fell down along the path and not only was it trampled but also the winged ones of the sky ate it up. 

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse combines what are two verses in both Matthew and Mark. It is much more humorous in the Greek, but there are several untranslated words. Many word forms are changed and certain words are left untranslated, which disrupts the humor.

KJV Analysis: 

The word translated as "sower" is actually the verb, "to sow" or, more precisely, "to seed" since it is from the same root word as "seed". but it is in the form of an adjective ("sowing") used as a noun, "the one seeding". 

The word translated as "Went out" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true."

Untranslated here is a possessive article preceding the verb below. The use of an article changes the infinitive form in a noun describing the action. 

The verb translated as "to sow" is the same verb translated as "sower" above. Here, it is used as a noun because it is preceded by an article, describing the activity of "seeding". 

The noun translated as  "seed" means "sowing", "seed-time", "seed", "harvest", "crop", and "offspring".  It is the noun form of the verb used twice already. It is singular, which explains why all the pronouns/adjective referring to it later in the verse are singular. 

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." 

The Greek phrase translated as "as he showed" is actual "in the seeding". The verb "to seed" is again in a form used as a noun preceded by an article ("the"). 

The "some" here is singular, "it". 

There is an untranslated particle here, which. when used alone. expresses certainty, "truly" and "certainly".

"Cast down" is translated from a Greek word that means "to fall" and "to fall down." It is the root word for dozens of Greek terms involving moving from a higher state to a lower one. Like our word "to fall" it has a number of special meanings including "to fall into a given class", "to prostrate", "to fall from power", "to perish," and so on. Here, it is in the form which indicates someone acting on themselves, so "lower themselves down." It is not a passive so the sense is "fell'. 

"The way side" is translated from a Greek word that means "way" or "road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life." It is interesting that a term joining a path with philosophy exists in many languages from the west to the east.

The Greek word translated as "the fowls" is normally an adjective means "able to fly" and "winged," but it is used as a noun here, so "those that can fly" or, more simply, "birds." There was clearly a conscious choice here not to use the Greek word for "bird," which is ornis. All the English words referring to birds coming from Greek begin with this "ornith" prefix, including ornithology, the study of birds. Christ uses "winged one" as a metaphor for ideas, thoughts, or "spirits" that are not limited to the earth.

"Devoured" is from a verb that means "to eat up" and "to devour." It is a term applied to animals of prey. It also means "to corrode" or "to be gnawed."

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἐξῆλθεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Went out " is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

  σπείρων (part sg pres act masc nom) "A sower" is from speiro, which means "to sow a seed", "to beget offspring", "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun but here proceeds an infinitive verb.

σπεῖραι (verb pres inf act) "To sow" is from speiro, which means "to seed [a field]", "to sow a seed", "to beget offspring", "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field." It is a form of the word "seed."

τὸν σπόρον (noun sg masc acc) "Seed" is sporos, which means "sowing", "seed-time", "seed", "harvest", "crop", and "offspring". 

αὐτοῦ. (adj sg masc gen) "His" 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."

καὶ (conj)"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." 

ἐν (prep) "As" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". 

τῷ (article sg masc dat) untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction. -- The word translated as "goods" is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

σπείρειν (verb pres inf act) "He sowed" is from speiro, which means "to seed [a field]", "to sow a seed", "to beget offspring", "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field." It is a form of the word "seed."

αὐτὸν (adj sg masc acc) Untranslated 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." 

 (article sg masc nom) "Some" is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction. -- The word translated as "goods" is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

μὲν () Untranslated is men, which is generally used to express certainty and means "indeed", "certainly", "surely," and "truly." Used with the conjunction de, as it is here, it points out the specific word being contrast after the conjunction. In English, we usually say, one one hand...on the others... See the article here for specific uses with other particles. 

ἔπεσεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Fell" is from the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," "fall upon", "intersect (geometry)", "meet", "pass through", "fall violently upon", "attack", "fall in battle", "sink (in water)", "fall short i.e. fail", " fall out of", "lose a thing", "escape from", "fall asleep", "to be accessible to perception", "to fall (between her feet, i.e. to be born)", "to let fall[dice)", "turn out," and "fall under (belong to a class)."

παρὰ (prep) "By" is from para, which means "beside", "from the side of", "from beside,", "from", "issuing from", "near", "by", "with", "along", "past", "beyond", "parallel (geometry)", "like (metaphor)", "a parody of (metaphor)", "precisely at the moment of (time)," and "throughout (time)."

τὴν ὁδόν, (noun sg fem acc) "The way side" is from hodos, which means literally "the way" or "the road" but which is used symbolically to mean "a way of doing things" or "a philosophy of life."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

κατεπατήθη (verb 3rd sg aor ind pass) "To be trodden underfoot" is from katapateo, which means "to trod underfoot", "trample," and "trample down." It's literal meaning is "to walk down." It is also a metaphor for treating someone rudely or spurning them, treating them with neglect.

καὶ  (conj) "And" is from 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."

τὰ πετεινὰ  (adj pl neut nom) "The fowls" is from peteinon, which as an adjective means "able to fly", "full-fledged," and "winged," and, as a noun, "winged fowl," and "a bird."

τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (noun sg masc gen)  "Heaven" is the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky", "heaven as the seat of the gods", "the sky", "the universe," and "the climate." -- The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. More about the word in this article.

κατέφαγεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Devoured" is from katesthiô, which means "to eat up" and "to devour." It is a term applied to animals of prey. It also means "to corrode" or "to be gnawed."

αὐτό.  (adj sg neut acc) "It" 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." -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

Wordplay: 

The word "seed which is Jesus's symbol for the beginning or kernel of knowledge, is repeated in various forms of the verb and noun. 

The word "cast down" means to fall from a higher state to a lower, which described knowledge going to those who are unknowing. 

The word "way" also means "philosophy" and in a "way of thought" or a "way of life." 

"Winged one" is used instead of the Greek word for "bird." Christ always uses "winged one" instead of "bird." 

Related Verses: 

Nov 19 2017