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

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Jesus accused of casting out demons by demonic power

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

That one, however, when he might slander in regard to the breath of life, the one dedicated to the Divine,  he doesn't have a release in this lifetime. Instead, he is liable for lifelong failure.

KJV : 

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 spirit, the holy one." This may easily be less a "being" than a state of mind. See an article about these words here.

The word translated as "forgiveness" means something closer to "let go." 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.

NIV : 

Mark 3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

My Takeaway: 

Slandering the spirit within us is

Related Verses: 

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 (conj) Untranslated is ean, which is a conditional particle(derived from ei (if) and an (might), which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event.

βλασφημήσῃ  ( verb 3rd sg aor subj act ) "Shall blashpheme" is 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  - (article sg neut acc)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

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

τὸ (article sg neut acc )"The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

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  [4 verses](noun sg fem dat) "Forgiveness" 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 -- (MW) Untranslated is the Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

shall  - (CW) 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  - (UW) "Blaspheme" 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." It is basically the untranslated Greek word in an English form. This word would have been heard completely differently in the time of Jesus that it is heard now after 2,000 years of redefining it.

against  - (WW) 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  -  (WP) 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." It is not simply an adjective modifying the nun.

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

Ghost  - (CW) The word translated as "ghost" primarily means "breath", "wind," a "non-material being", and "blast." Jesus uses it to mean the animating force of life. See this article on its place among the words Jesus uses to describe the different parts of a human.  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 -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "never" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions.  However, it is not the more extreme double negative nor does it reference time as our "never" does. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. This is translated as "never" to capture the sense of a phrase below that is untranslated in the verse.

untranslated  - (MW) 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  - (MW) 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,  - (CW) "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." This word is only used three times by Jesus, but the first is when he is quoting the OT where the word clearly means "release" because it refers to prisoners.

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  - (CW) "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:  -(CW)  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.

KJV Translation Issues: 

13
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "blaspheme" means "slander." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English with a different meaning.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "against" should be "concerning."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "holy" doesn't appear with "ghost" as an adjective but after its own article as a noun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "ghost" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "ghost" is more commonly translated as "spirit" but also "life" and "soul."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "never" should be "not."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "lifetime" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "forgiveness" is better translated as "release."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "eternal" is better translated as "lifelong," or "perpetual."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "damnation" is better translated as "mistakes," or "failure."

NIV 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. 

whoever -  The word translated as "whoever" 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 -- (MW) Untranslated is the Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".

missing "might"-- (MW) The subjunctive form of the verb requires a "should" or "might" in English unless used with the "when" that was not translated.

blaspheme  - (UW) "Blaspheme" 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." It is basically the untranslated Greek word in an English form. This word would have been heard completely differently in the time of Jesus that it is heard now after 2,000 years of redefining it.

against  - (WW) 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  -  (WP) 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." It is not simply an adjective modifying the nun.

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

Spirit - The word translated as "spirit" primarily means "breath", "wind," a "non-material being", and "blast." Jesus uses it to mean the animating force of life. See this article on its place among the words Jesus uses to describe the different parts of a human.  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.

will - (WW) The word translated as "will" 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 -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "never" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions.  However, it is not the more extreme double negative nor does it reference time as our "never" does. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea. This is translated as "never" to capture the sense of a phrase below that is untranslated in the verse.

untranslated  - (MW) 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  - (MW) 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."

be -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "be" in the Greek source. There is no passive verb here.

forgiven; (WF, CW) "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." This word is only used three times by Jesus, but the first is when he is quoting the OT where the word clearly means "release" because it refers to prisoners.

untranslated "but"  -- (MW) The untranslated "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".

they -- (WN) This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

are -- (WN) 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. It is sigular,. not plural.

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

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.

eternal  - (CW) "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."

sin:  - (CW)  The word translated as "sing" 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.

NIV Translation Issues: 

16
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "when" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "might" is not shown in the English translation.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "blaspheme" means "slander." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English with a different meaning.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "against" should be "concerning."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "holy" doesn't appear with "ghost" as an adjective but after its own article as a noun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "spirit" is not shown in the
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "never" should be "not." English translation.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "will" should be "have."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "in" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "lifetime" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "forgiven" is not an passive verb but a noun.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "forgiven" is better translated as "release."
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "they" is translated as plural but the verb is singular.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "are" is translated as plural but it is singular.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "eternal" is better translated as "lifelong," or "perpetual."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "damnation" is better translated as "mistakes," or "failure."

Front Page Date: 

Jun 7 2019