Mark 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

That one who might welcome one of these such as children such upon my name, welcomes me: and if that one welcomes me, he doesn't really welcome me but the one sending me. 

KJV : 

Mark 9:37  Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Of the three versions of this verse (the others are  Matthew 18:5 and  Luke 9:48) this one sounds more like Jesus's humor because of the contradiction within it.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

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

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."

[ἓν] (noun sg neut nom) "One" is heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

τῶν (article pl neut gen) 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."

τοιούτων (adj pl neut gen) "Of such" is from toioutos, which means "such as this", "so great a thing", "such a condition", "such a reason", "and suchlike."

παιδίων (noun pl neut gen diminutive) "Children" is from paidon. which means "little child" or "young child," (up to seven years) "infant" or "young slave."

δέξηται (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Shall receive" is dechomai, which means "welcome", "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take", "accept," and "receive" when applied to things. 

ἐπὶ (prep) "In" is epi, which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," "during", and "against."

τῷ (article sg neut dat) 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."

ὀνόματί (noun sg neut dat) "Name" is onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative. 

μου (noun sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which means "me", and "mine". --  

ἐμὲ (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". -

δέχεται, (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Receiveth" is dechomai, which means "welcome", "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take", "accept," and "receive" when applied to things.

καὶ (conj) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

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

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."

ἐμὲ (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". --

δέξηται (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Shall receive" is dechomai, which means "welcome", "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take", "accept," and "receive" when applied to things. 

οὐκ (partic) "Not" 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. 

ἐμὲ  (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

δέχεται (verb 3rd sg pres ind mp) "Receiveth" is dechomai, which means "welcome", "accept," and "entertain" when applied to people and "take", "accept," and "receive" when applied to things.

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

τὸν s(article sg masc acc) "Him" 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."

ἀποστείλαντά (part sg aor act masc acc) "Him that sent" is apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch." 

με: (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my". -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

KJV Analysis: 

Whosoever -- 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.

shall -- This word  could indicate the future tense here, but more likely it is used to express possibility. "Might" is closer to the idea in English, 

receive -- "Receive" is a Greek word that is used four times in this verse, which, when applied to people as it does here, means "to welcome", "to grant access," or "to receive with hospitality." The sense is more "welcome" than the more general "receive".  The form could be the future tense, "shall receive" but because of the particle used below the form is more likely that of possibility, "might". 

untranslated -- Untranslated is a Greek particle that indicates something might possibly happen. 

one -- The Greek word translated as "one " means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

of -- This comes from the genitive  form of the following words.

such -- "Of such" is an adjective that means "such as this", "so great a thing", "such a condition", "such a reason", "and suchlike." Jesus used this word eight times. Five of those times, he is describing children.

untranslated -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

children -- The word used for "children" means specifically a "little child." It is a play on another word later on the verse that Jesus also uses to mean child. More about all these words Jesus uses for children in this article. 

in The word translated as "in" means "upon," "against", "before", "during", "by" or "on." This is not the word usually translated as "in" but it is frequently, but not always, used in this phrase. The sense is "upon" my name. 

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. 

untranslated -- The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

name, The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply mean a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It doesn't mean the thing itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss." Christ uses the phrase "in my name" to represent his spiritual presence as opposed to his person. We have seen it three times so far in the Gospels. In Mat 24:5, it is used to describe those who represent themselves as the reincarnation or second coming of Christ. In Mat 18:20, it is used to describe Christ's presence among those who gather in his name. Mat 18:5 is Matthews' version of this verse.

receiveth "Receiveth" is a word, which, when applied to people as it does here, means "to welcome", "to grant access," or "to receive with hospitality. The form he is the present tense, but a form that indicates someone acting on or for themselves. 

me: "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek. In the Greek, the "my" and the "me" are next to each other. 

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

whosoever -- 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.

shall -- This word  could indicate the future tense here, but more likely it is used to express possibility. "Might" is closer to the idea in English, 

receive -- "Receive" is a Greek word that is used four times in this verse, which, when applied to people as it does here, means "to welcome", "to grant access," or "to receive with hospitality." The sense is more "welcome" than the more general "receive".  The form could be the future tense, "shall receive" but because of the particle used below the form is more likely that of possibility, "might". 

me, untranslated -- Untranslated is a Greek particle that indicates something might possibly happen. 

receiveth -- "Receive" is a Greek word that is used four times in this verse, which, when applied to people as it does here, means "to welcome", "to grant access," or "to receive with hospitality." The sense is more "welcome" than the more general "receive".  "Receives" is again the same word as above, repeating the present form used before. 

not 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.  Since it appears before the verb, it acts like our phrase "doesn't really". 

me, -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

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".

him that -- The word translated as "him that" 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. 

sent -- The "him that sent me" here is a verb that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is in the form of an adjective, "sending" used as a noun, "the one sending".  The Greek word is the source of our word "apostle."

me. -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

The meaning of this verse becomes clearer in light of the theme of this chapter, the difference between the temporal world and the spiritual. A name is not the physical person. It is the idea of that person, the concept of that person. The divine concept--as opposed to our human conceptions--is what Christ's calls the "spirit" from pneuma (pneuma), which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life," and "divine inspiration."We should welcome young child as an embodiment of spirit of Christ because they are, as Christ was, full of God's spirit not the world's. This is not about welcoming the person of Christ, but his sending from God.

Front Page Date: 

Sep 15 2019