Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost...

Greek Verse: 

Literal Translation: 

The one who, however, might cast blame about the breath [of life], the pure one,  doesn't have freedom in this lifetime. Instead, he are liable for lifelong failure.

KJV Verse: 

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is so much that is misleading in this verse.

There are a number of references to "a lifetime" here that are translated out. Jesus is saying something much less philosophical, less theological, and more practical than Biblical translations indicate.

There is no phrase "holy spirit" here. The Greek phrase is closer to form and meaning to "the breath [of life], the pure one." See an article about these words here. (At the end of that article are some notes relating to this verse).

The word translated as "forgiveness" means something closer to "freedom."

The word translated as "damnation" means something closer to "mistake" or "failure." This word is usually translated as "sin."

There is a legal connection here between the terms used for "blaspheme" and "in danger of." The first term, means "slander," that is false blame. The later  is the Greek term for liability in the legal sense.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὃς ( pron sg masc nom ) "He that" is hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings. --

δ᾽ (conj/adv) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

ἂν  (particle) Untranslated is an, which is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could." -- 

βλασφημήσῃ  ( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Shall blashpheme" is from blasphêmeô (blasphemeo), which means "to speak profanely of sacred things", "to offer rash prayers", "to speak ill of", "to slander," and, since the NT, "to speak irreverently of God."

εἰς (prep) "Against" 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)." --

τὸ πνεῦμα ( noun sg neut acc) "The...Ghost" is pneuma(pneuma), which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life," and "divine inspiration."

τὸ (article sg neut acc ) "Unto them that" is the Greek definite article, 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.

ἅγιον,  ( noun sg neut acc ) "Holy" is from hagios ( hagios ), which means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed."

οὐκ (partic) "Never" is 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. --

ἔχει ( verb 3rd sg pres ind act ) "Hath" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." --

ἄφεσιν  [uncommon](noun sg fem dat) "Liberty" is the noun aphesis, which means "letting go", "release", "relaxation", "exhaustion," exemption from attendance", "leave of absence", "divorce, and "the beginning [of anything]".

εἰς (prep) Untranslated 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)."

τὸν αἰῶνα, ( noun sg fem acc ) Untranslated is aion, which means "life", "lifetime", "age," or "generation." -- 

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

ἔνοχός ( adj sg masc nom ) "In danger" is enochos, which means "held in by", "bound by", "liable to", "subject to", "guilty," and "liable to a penalty for."

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg 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.") --

αἰωνίου ( adj sg neut gen ) "Eternal" is aionios, which means "lasting for an age", "perpetual," and "eternal." From "aion" which is used in the bible to mean an "age." --

ἁμαρτήματος. ( noun sg neut gen ) "Sin" is hamartia, which means "to miss the mark", "failure", "fault," and "error." Only in religious uses does it become "guilt" and "sin." -- The word translated as "sin" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context.

KJV Analysis: 

But The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

he that The word translated as "he that" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that), especially a connective pronoun ("the one that") introducing a dependent clause.

untranslated Untranslated is a particle used with verbs to indicate that the action is limited by circumstances or defined by conditions. There is no exact equivalent in English, but it is translated as "possibly," "would have", "might", "should," and "could."

shall This is misleading, a loose translation of the form of the following verb. That verb is not the future tense. It is something that might happen in the past, present, of future.

blaspheme "Blashpheme" is a verb that  means "to speak profanely of sacred things", "to offer rash prayers", "to speak ill of", "to slander," and, since the NT, "to speak irreverently of God."

against The word translated as "against" means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "concerning,"  "during", "by" or "on."  The sense here is "concerning" or "about."

the The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, before an adjective makes it into a noun. Here this same word comes before both "spirit" and "holy."

Holy The Greek word translated as "holy" means "dedicated to the divine", which itself means both "pure" since things dedicated to God were first purified and "accursed" since using such things for your own purposes carried a punishment.  That idea is relevant here. This word has its own article and follows the word "spirit," so "the pure one" or the "the one dedicated to the divine."

Ghost The word translated as "ghost" primarily means "breath", "wind," a "non-material being", and "blast." Like "spirit" in English, it can also mean "attitude" or "motivation.' It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." Its meaning as "the breath of life" is brought out by the idea of creating life. Its meaning as "spiritual" is brought out by the contrast with "physical". Read more about this word in this article on the holy spirit. 

hath The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

never The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea. This is translated as "never" to capture the sense of a phrase below that is untranslated in the verse.

untranslated The word untranslated here means "on", "over", "upon", "against", "before", "after", "concerning,"  "during", "by" or "on."  It is translated as "against" above in this verse.

untranslated The word untranslated here means "lifetime", "life", "a space of time", "an age," an epoch," and "the present world."  This is the root word for the adjective below translated as "eternal."  It has an article so "the lifetime" or "the age."

forgiveness, "Forgiveness" is the noun aphesis, which means "letting go", "release", "relaxation", "exhaustion," "liberty," "exemption from attendance", "leave of absence", "divorce," and "the beginning [of anything]". It is the noun form of the word usually translated as "forgive" in the NT that has a meaning closer to "let go."

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".

is 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.

in danger of "In danger" is from an adjective that means "held in by", "bound by", "liable to", "subject to", "guilty," and "liable to a penalty for."

eternal "Eternal" is an adjective based on the word that means "age" or "eon"  so it means "lifelong" but it has the sense of "perpetual" or "ageless."

damnation: The word translated as "damnation" is a form of a word that means "to fail in one's purpose", "to neglect," and "to be deprived of." It  is almost always translated as "sin" in the Bible, but in Greek it has no sense of doing malicious evil in Greek. The best English translation is "mistakes" or "failures" rather than what we commonly think of as the evils of "sin." See this article for more information and context.

Related Verses: 

Front Page Date: 

Jun 7 2019