Mark 13:30 ...that this generation shall not pass,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Truly I tell you that never might it pass, this race, this one, up until this: all these might happen.

KJV : 

Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

We should not interpret "pass" as we use the term "pass away" in English, referring to dying and death. The term for "pass" used in Greek does not commonly have that meaning. It means "passing" in the sense of one thing going by another, one thing surpassing by another,  or "passing" the time. However, given the active form of the word, the only meaning that seems to work is the sense of passing to a place" as we use "arrive." It could also have the sense of "pass" like we use it to mean "passing" a test. In the Latin Vulgate, this verb was translated as "transient" which is the future, plural, active form of the word that means "to cross".

The whole human race is hidden behind the word translated as "generation," which Jesus does not seem to use to refer to his generation at all (see this detain analysis of his use of the term).  The translation of this verse as a prophecy about the future of Jesus's generation is very misleading. It is more of a tease than a prophecy because none of the verbs are in the future tense. What is hidden in the Greek is the explicit idea that this is possible, but not certain.

NIV : 

Mark 13:30  Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

NLT : 

Mark 13:30 I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene before all these things take place.

Wordplay: 

This is the third verse in a row that has referenced the concept of "coming into begin" (gignomai  ginomai). The first goes back to referring to the coming of summer or harvest time. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (exclam) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly", "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek of this meaning before the NT. However, this is also the infinitive form of the Greek verb amao, which means "to reap" or "to cut."

λέγω (1st sg pres ind act) "I say" is from lego, which means "to recount", "to tell over", "to say", "to speak", "to teach", "to mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself", "pick up", "gather", "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelled the same means "to lay", "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from humin the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι (adv/conj) "That" is from 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."

οὐ μὴ (partic) "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

παρέλθῃ (verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Shall...pass" is from parerchomai, which means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "outwit", "pass time," "pass to a place", "arrive," "past events" (in time), "disregard," and "pass without heeding."

(article sg fem nom/acc ) 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." --

γενεὰ (noun sg fem nom/acc) "Generation" is genea, which means "race", "family", "generation", "class," and "kind." It is a form of the word that we get the scientific "genus" from.

αὕτη (adj sg fem nom) "This" is houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "therefore," and "that is why."

μέχρις [3 verses](prep/conj/adv) "Till" is mechri, which means "as far as", "even to", "so far as", "up to", "until", "about," and "nearly."

οὗ (pron sg masc gen) Untranslated is hos, which is the demonstrative pronoun in its various forms (hê, ho, gen. hou, hês, hou, etc. ; dat. pl. hois, hais, hois, etc. gen. hoou). It means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who," "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings. Special case is used with mechri above.

πάντα  (adj pl neut nom) "All" is from pas (pas), which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

ταῦτα (adj pl neut nom) "These things" is from tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why."

γένηται. (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Be done" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to happen", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being.

KJV Analysis: 

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc.

This -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." This word appears after the noun referring to it.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, 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. 

generation The word translated as "generation" means "race", "family", and "generation". Christ uses this term frequently in criticism, but that criticism seems more aim at a certain type of person, or, more narrowly, a certain group among his own people, than it is his generation as we used the term. It is the word from which we get the scientific "genus".

shall -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the following verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

not -- (CW) The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think" or, more simple, "never".

pass, -- The word "pass " means one thing going by another, one thing surpassing by another,  or the "passing" the time. It also has the sense of arriving to a place and to "pass" a test. The form is not the future tense, as translated, but in a form that means something is possible and "should" or "might" happen. It does not mean "pass away" as in dying.

till -- The word translated as "until" is not the common Greek word for "until," but an uncommon word for Jesus that means "up until" but it also means "as far as." It can be a preposition that takes an object, which is what it does here.

untranslated -- (MW) Untranslated here is a Greek word means "this" appears here. It is singular and in the form of being the object of "up until."

all -- The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

these -- The "these" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage.

things  -- This "things"  is from the plural, neutral form of the previous adjective. Though the subject  here is plural, the verb is singular because neutral plural verbs are treated as a collective.

be -- (WW) This helping verb "be" seems to indicate that the following verb is passive but it isn't. It is a verb from that indicates the subject is acting on itself.  However, since the verb only indicates a possibility, there should be a "might" here.  Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

done. -- (WW) The word translated as "done" means "to become" and "to happen", that is, to enter into a new state. Another Greek word us usually translated as "fulfill" in Greek. It is also not in the future tense, but the form that indicates something that might happen. Since it refers to events, the sense is "happen". The form is that of things acting on themselves, which is captures by our word "happen", which doesn't suggests and outside force.

KJV Translation Issues: 

6
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is missing in the translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" is a more extreme negative more like "never."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word meaning "this" is not indicated in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be  "should" or "might."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "done" means "happen." This is not the adverbial form.

NIV Analysis: 

Truly -- The word translated as "truly" is the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

This -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." This word appears after the noun referring to it.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, 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. 

generation The word translated as "generation" means "race", "family", and "generation". Christ uses this term frequently in criticism, but that criticism seems more aim at a certain type of person, or, more narrowly, a certain group among his own people, than it is his generation as we used the term. It is the word from which we get the scientific "genus".

will -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the following verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

certainly not --   The "certainly not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think" or, more simple, "never".

pass away, -- (CW) The word "pass away" is from a verb that means  means one thing going by another, one thing surpassing by another,  or the "passing" the time. It also has the sense of arriving to a place and to "pass" a test. The form is not the future tense, as translated, but in a form that means something is possible and "should" or "might" happen. It does not mean "pass away" as in dying.

until -- The word translated as "until" is not the common Greek word for "until," but an uncommon word for Jesus that means "up until" but it also means "as far as." It can be a preposition that takes an object, which is what it does here.

untranslated -- (MW) Untranslated here is a Greek word means "this" appears here. It is singular and in the form of being the object of "up until."

all -- The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

these -- The "these" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage.

things  -- This "things"  is from the plural, neutral form of the previous adjective. Though the subject  here is plural, the verb is singular because neutral plural verbs are treated as a collective.

have -- (WW) This helping verb "have" seems to indicate that the following verb is the past perfect tense, but it isn't. It is a verb from that indicates the subject is acting on itself.  However, since the verb only indicates a possibility, there should be a "might" here.  Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

happened. -- The word translated as "happened" means "to become" and "to happen", that is, to enter into a new state. Another Greek word us usually translated as "fulfill" in Greek. It is also not in the future tense, but the form that indicates something that might happen. Since it refers to events, the sense is "happen". The form is that of things acting on themselves, which is captures by our word "happen", which doesn't suggests and outside force.

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is missing in the translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "will" does not mean the future tense.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The word "pass" does not mean "pass away" as in "die."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word meaning "this" is not indicated in the English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "have" should be  "should" or "might."

NLT Analysis: 

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "I tell" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you", "for you", etc. 

the truth --   (WF) The word translated as "the truth" is the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap."

this -- "This" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." This word appears after the noun referring to it.

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, 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. 

generation -- The word translated as "generation" means "race", "family", and "generation". Christ uses this term frequently in criticism, but that criticism seems more aim at a certain type of person, or, more narrowly, a certain group among his own people, than it is his generation as we used the term. It is the word from which we get the scientific "genus".

will -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the following verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

not --  (CW) The "certainly not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think" or, more simple, "never".

pass, --  The word "pass " is from a verb that means  means one thing going by another, one thing surpassing by another,  or the "passing" the time. It also has the sense of arriving to a place and to "pass" a test. The form is not the future tense, as translated, but in a form that means something is possible and "should" or "might" happen. It does not mean "pass away" as in dying.

from the scene -- (IP) There are no Greek words that can be translated as "from the scene in the Greek source.

before -- The word translated as "before" is not the common Greek word for "before," but an uncommon word for Jesus that means "up until" but it also means "as far as." It can be a preposition that takes an object, which is what it does here.

untranslated -- (MW) Untranslated here is a Greek word means "this" appears here. It is singular and in the form of being the object of "up until."

all -- The word translated as "all" is from the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

these -- The "these" is from a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage.

things  -- This "things"  is from the plural, neutral form of the previous adjective. Though the subject  here is plural, the verb is singular because neutral plural verbs are treated as a collective.

take place. --  (WF) The word translated as "take place" means "to become" and "to happen", that is, to enter into a new state. Another Greek word us usually translated as "fulfill" in Greek. It is also not in the future tense, but the form that indicates something that might happen. Since it refers to events, the sense is "happen". The form is that of things acting on themselves, which is captures by our word "happen", which doesn't suggests and outside force. However, the form is something that "might" or "should" happen, not something that is certain.

NLT Translation Issues: 

7
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "the truth" is not a noun but an adverb, "truly."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is missing in the translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "will" does not mean the future tense.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "not" hear is a more extreme negative like "never."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "from the scene" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word meaning "this" is not indicated in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The  verb is in a form that indicates a possibility so it should have a "should" or "might" indicating that.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 4 2020