Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

As, consequently,  the Son of the man showed up not to be served but to serve and to give that breath of his in compensation for the sake of many.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The most interesting word choice is the word translated as "life." The word means the "breath of life," and specifically means the spirit that animates the body. For this reason, it is often translated as "soul" in the Gospels.  Read more about this word and related words in this article. Jesus uses the nearly sided-by-side comparison of two forms, passive and active, of the same verb meaning "to be served" and "to serve" to make his point. However, the key word here, "ransom," is used only twice by Jesus, here and in the parallel verse in Matthew 20:28.

KJV Analysis: 

For --The word translated as "for" introduces a reason or explanation so "because" and, in questions, "why."  To prevent a run-on sentence, it can be translated as "this is why" or "this is because..." to start a new sentence. However, since this word always appears in the second position, it is more like an aside remark like, "consequently" or "as a cause". 

even -- The Greek word translated as "even" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as". Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." This words begins the sentence. Perhaps "as" is the best translation since Jesus in comparing himself to the "chiefest" of the previous verse, Mark 10:44

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

Son -- The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "children". It can refer to all offspring in later generations, just like "father" refers to all previous generations. Jesus also used it metaphorically to describe those who follow a way of thought or set of beliefs that descend from an individual. More about it in this article. The phrase "son of man" is discussed in this article

of -- This word comes from the genitive case of the following article and noun. That form of a word is usually translated with an "of" in English.

man -- The Greek word for "man" means "man", "person" and "humanity" in the singular. In the plural, it means "men", "people", and "peoples". 

came -- The word translated as "came" primarily means "to start out." It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." However, to "show up" captures the spirit in which Jesus seems to use it.

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, in fact, which is captured in English with adverbs like "really."

to --  This word if required by the infinitive form of the following verb.

be -- This word is required by the passive form of the following verb.

ministered -- The word translated as "ministered" simply means, in the passive, "to be served." The noun form of this word, meaning "servant" appeared in Mark 10:43.

unto, -- This word doesn't exist in the Greek,but it is added to conform to the choice of "minister, rather than "serve" in translating the previous verb/.

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" denotes an exception or simple opposition. It is used to emphasize the contrast between things like we use "rather". It is the Greek word "other" like we use "otherwise".

to --  This word if required by the infinitive form of the following verb.

minister, -- The word translated as "to minister" means "to serve." It is the active form of the verb used above in the passive.

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

to --  This word if required by the infinitive form of the following verb.

give -- The word translated as "give" is the common word for "give" in Greek, but it has a number of special uses that our word does not have, including "to forgive", "to offer," and so on.

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

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. This word follows the noun so "of his."

life -- The word translated here as "life" is a common word in Greek meaning "life", "soul", "consciousness," and "a sense of self." For more about this word, read this article.

a -- There is no indefinite article in Greek, but when a word doesn't have a definite article, the indefinite article can be added in English translation.

ransom --  The word translated as "ransom" is only used by Jesus twice, here and in the parallel in Matthew. It  means the money paid for a ransom, but it also means the money paid to free a slave, or, more generally, "recompense."

for -- "For" is a less common preposition that means "opposite", "over against", "instead", "in place of", "at the price of", "in return for", "for the sake of", "against", "in return", "equal to", "corresponding to," and "mutually." Jesus always uses it in the sense of an exchange.

many. -- The word translated as "many" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ  (conj/adv) "Even" 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."

γὰρ (partic) "For" comes from gar which is the introduction of a clause explaining a reason or explanation: "for", "since," and "as." In an abrupt question, it means "why" and "what."

(article sg masc nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

υἱὸς (noun sg masc nom) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

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."-

ἀνθρώπου (noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

οὐκ "Not" is from 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.

ἦλθεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Came" is from 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.

διακονηθῆναι (verb aor inf pass)"To be ministered unto" is from diakoneô, which "to act as a servant", "to minister," and "to perform services." In the passive, it means "to be served."

ἀλλὰ "But" is from alla, which means "otherwise", "but", "still", "at least", "except", "yet," nevertheless", "rather", "moreover," and "nay."

διακονῆσαι (verb aor inf act) "To ministered" is from diakoneô, which "to act as a servant", "to minister," and "to perform services."

καὶ "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."

δοῦναι (verb aor inf act) "To give" is from didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "give freely", "to be ready to give," "offer," "appoint", "establish," "grant" another to one's entreaties, "pardon" at one's request, "forgive" one a thing, "condone." "concede" in argument, "give oneself up," "devote oneself," of the laws, "grant permission," and "to describe."

τὴν (article sg fem acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ψυχὴν (noun sg fem acc) "Life" is from psyche, which means "breath", "life", "self", "spirit," and "soul." It has the clear sense of the conscious self and is often translated as "life" in the Gospels. It is also used to describe "the spirit" of things. It is often translated as "soul."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen)"His" is from 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."

λύτρον [uncommon] (noun sg neut nom/acc) "Ransom" is from lutron, which "ransom," "the price paid for ransom", "the price paid for the freedom of a slave", "sum paid for redemption of a pledge", "atonement," and generally, "recompense."

ἀντὶ (prep) "For" is from anti which means "opposite", "over against", "instead", "in place of", "at the price of", "in return for", "for the sake of", "against", "in return", "equal to", "corresponding to," and "mutually."

πολλῶν. (adj pl masc/fem/neut gen) "Many" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)."

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

This is the fourth and final verse emphasizing the idea of serving to lead, the theme of the chapter, in the pattern of three plus one. In this use of the pattern, the first iteration gives a counter principle, the second iteration, the general principle, the third the extreme principle, and the fourth an real example of the extreme, in this case, Jesus. This can be mapped into the normal spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical form, but it requires the understanding the spiritual reverses the physical. In this case, since the subject is the spiritual reversal itself. The example of worldly leaders is a reversal of that reversal.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 27 2019