Mark 8:5 How many loaves have ye?

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

How much do you posses: loaves.

KJV : 

Mark 8:5 How many loaves have ye?

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The word translated as "loaves" here is the same Greek word usually translated as "bread." It actually does mean "loaves," however. There are multiple meanings of the Greek word used for "how many." Unlike English, in the ancient Greek, the same word is used for questions both of quantity and value. So this could be a question about quality as well as quantity.  Jesus asks this question prior to physically multiplying the bread, but he is also demonstrating that he can change the purpose and meaning of the bread beyond simply multiply it. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πόσους (adj sg masc dat) "How many" is from posos (posos), which means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much", "how great", "how many," and "how much."

ἔχετε ( verb 2nd pl pres ind act ) "Have ye" 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."

ἄρτους; ( noun pl masc acc ) "Loaves" is artos, which means specifically a "cake of whole wheat bread," and generally "loaf," and "bread."

KJV Analysis: 

How many -- The adjective translated as "how many"  also means "of what quantity," [in distance] "how far." [of number] how far," [of time] "how long," [of value] "how much", "how great", "how many," and "how much."

loaves -- The word translated as "loaves" means "small loaf or cake of bread". It is more like a slice of bread today.

have ye? -- The word translated as "have ye" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. The "ye" is from the second person form of the word, which could be either a command or a statement.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

Jesus offers the bread not only a physical nourishment, which has a temporary value, but as a proof of his teaching, which has a timeless value.   Bread, wine, and house are the central to Christ's symbolism representing our temporal world: bread for the physical, wine for the mental, and the house for the emotional aspects of our lives. Unlike our mental or emotional life, aspect of our physical life can be counted and measured. Our physical possessions can be held, protected, and kept safe at least temporarily until it spoils, a topic Jesus deals with elsewhere.

Front Page Date: 

Aug 17 2019