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

KJV Verse: 

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

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Truly I tell you that never might it pass by this generation same so far as this, All these might happen.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The historical reading of "passed away" makes it sound like we use the term "pass" in English, referring to dying and death. The term for pass used in Greek does not commonly have that meaning. It means passing as in one thing  going by another.

Again, it seems that the reference here is to the gathering of the chosen. Jesus seems to be saying that his gathering of chosen, that his apostles, will not be surpassed until this final gathering.

In historical terms, Christ could also be saying that the turning point in human history that was represented by his generation would not be surpassed until the "coming of summer" that he describes.

The whole human race is hidden hidden behind the word translated as "generation." The translation of this verse as a prophecy about the future is very misleading. It is more of a tease than a prophecy. What is hidden in the Greek is the explicit idea that this is possible, but not certain. Also, from reading the translation, one might think the phrases "pass away" and "come to pass" had something in common in the Greek. They don't.

KJV Analysis: 

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 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" phrase. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

not -- 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 " is from a verb that means "go by", "pass by", "outstrip" (in speed), "pass away", "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard," and "pass without heading." The form is not the future tense, as translated, but in a form that means something is possible. This idea is emphasized by a word that appears in some good Greek sources, but which is not translated in the KJV.

till -- The word translated as "until" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

untranslated -- (MW) Untranslated here is a Greek word means "this" appears here.

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 translated 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.

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 spelt 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), "pass away," "outwit", "past events" (in time), "disregard," and "pass without heeding."

(article sg fem nom/acc ) "The" 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." -- The word translated as "the" 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. 

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

αὕτη (adj sg fem nom) "This" is from houtos (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 from 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 be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being.

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: 

KJV Translation Issues Count: 

4

KJV Translation Issues List: 

CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense.

MW - Missing Word -- The particle meaning "perhaps" is not indicated in the English translation.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "be" should be "might." This is a passive verb.

WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "done" means "happen." This is not the adverbial form.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 4 2020