Mark 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh:...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And they are going to be, these two, in body one, in as much as no longer are they two but one flesh.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

In the KJV (an all others except the NLT that I examined)  the change between the beginning clause and the ending one is the tense, "shall be" to 'are." However, these translation leave out a key preposition in the first clause. Jesus starts by says two people marrying are going to be "in" one flesh. The term used for "flesh" is not the Greek term for "body," but the term that is usually translated as  "meat." This is literally true: a man and woman produce children, combining their DNA into one flesh.

The second clause is also interesting because it uses a plural verb to equate a plural subject, "two," with a single subject, "one flesh." In Greek, the words on both sides of the "is" or "are" usually have the same number. When it is otherwise. the singular noun represents a group. This changes the meaning of "flesh" to represent the "flesh" of a family group, as we describe families are our "flesh and blood."

Also, I notice many Bibles translated the initial "be" into "become." This is simply wrong. In Greek as in English, "become" is a very different verb and, in many ways, the opposive of "to be."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- The Greek word translated as "and" 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".

they -- The word translated as "they" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." Here, it precedes a number, not a noun. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

twain -- The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

shall -- This comes from the future tense of the verb.

be -- 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.

untranslated -- The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

one -- The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

flesh: -- The Greek word translated as "the flesh" means "flesh", "meat," and "the physical order of things" as opposed to the spiritual. In contrasting it with "spirit," he is making it clear that he has been using it in the later sense.

so then -- "So then" is an adverb that marks the power or virtue by which one does a thing. At the beginning of a sentence, it marks a strong conclusion.

they -- This is from the plural form of the verb.

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.

no more -- "Henceforth" is an adverb that means "no more", "no longer", "no further" and generally, "not now."

twain, -- The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

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".

one  -- The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

flesh. -- The Greek word translated as "the flesh" means "flesh", "meat," and "the physical order of things" as opposed to the spiritual. In contrasting it with "spirit," he is making it clear that he has been using it in the later sense.

 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "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."

ἔσονται ( verb 3rd pl fut ind mid ) "Is" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

οἱ (article pl masc nom) "They" 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." 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."

δύο ( numeral ) "Two" is duo, which means the number "two", "a couple," and "a pair."

εἰς (prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."

σάρκα ( noun sg fem acc ) "The flesh" is sarx (sarx), which means "flesh", "the body", "fleshy", "the pulp of fruit", "meat," and "the physical and natural order of things" (opposite of the spiritual or supernatural).

μίαν:” ( adj sg fem acc ) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen. 

ὥστε (adv/conj) "So then" is hoste, which marks the power or virtue by which one does a thing, "as being", "inasmuch as," expresses the the actual or intended result of the action in the principal clause: "as", "for," implying " on condition that," at the beginning of a sentence, to mark a strong conclusion, "and so", "therefore," and with subj. " in order that."

οὐκέτι (adv) "No more" is ouketi, which means "no more", "no longer", "no further" and generally, "not now." 

εἰσὶν (verb 3rd pl 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." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

δύο ( numeral ) "Two" is duo, which means the number "two", "a couple," and "a pair." -- The Greek word for "two" means "two" or a "couple."

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

μία ( adj sg fem nom) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." This adjective is irregular, having a number of forms depending on sex, number, and case: heis, henos, heni, hen, hena, mia, mias, miai, mian; hen, henos, hen.  -- The Greek word translated as "one thing" means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same."As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

σάρξ: ( noun sg fem nom) "The flesh" is sarx (sarx), which means "flesh", "the body", "fleshy", "the pulp of fruit", "meat," and "the physical and natural order of things" (opposite of the spiritual or supernatural). -- The Greek word translated as "the flesh" means "flesh", "meat," and "the physical order of things" as opposed to the spiritual. In contrasting it with "spirit," he is making it clear that he has been using it in the later sense.

Wordplay: 

Play on two meaning of the word "flesh," genetic material within a cell and the shared genetics of a family.

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

The version of this verse in Mat. 19:5 is examined here. The play on words here is in the word for meat, which means not only meat in the sense of the body, but in Greek meat in the sense of the physical nature of reality. It was used to denote what was really tangible, what we can get a hold on. We have a similar idea in modern English when we talk about "the meat of an argument" but in Greek the idea was less about the "core" of things and more about what is physical, what we can hold on to. In English, we might say that someone embodies a certain characteristic by saying, for example, "He is Greed in the flesh." This is very close to the way this word is used in Greed.

Our temporal world exists for the purpose of transformation but that transformation is hard to pin down on a theoretical levels, but in the sexes we see transformation in the flesh. Though our two forms of humanity have separate characteristics and souls, we are designed as pieces that fit together in one complete unit.  Our different parts fit together in the physical nature of things and become productive: creating new life, new flesh.

For Christ, marriage wasn't just about love or the sex act. Like so much of his work, it is about what is productive, what is beautiful as opposed to worthless (the two words in Greek that we mistranslate as good and evil).  Love and sex only become physically productive when the two sexes are united and with that union comes the responsibilities of acting as one unit, a single team, where our partners survival is necessary for that of our own and the family and life that we have produced together.

To say that one sex or the other is more important or better is just as silly as saying that the jacket or pants are more important in creating a suit or that the handle or bowl are more important in a spoon. It is their two parts together that make them complete, that make it a marriage, a suit, or a spoon. Take away either and it doesn't work as it should. The separate parts may have uses in themselves, but they are not what they were physically meant to be.

Front Page Date: 

Oct 2 2019