Matthew 10:38 And he who takes not his cross,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And whoever doesn't get that stake of his and follow behind me, isn't worth as much as me.

KJV : 

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse was heard by the people of Christ's time differently than we hear it now. The big difference is the word translated as "cross". The word means "post" or "stake" and referred to the posts of tents and those holding up houses. See this article for a discussion of the Greek word translated as "cross".

As in all discussions of the term translated as "worthy" or "deserving," the focus in Greek is one of balance.  As in the previous verse, Jesus is not deny himself to anyone, but putting himself forward as an exemplar: "worth as much as me."

NIV : 

Matthew 10:38  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

NLT : 

Matthew 10:38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

Wordplay: 

 The wordplay here is interesting because it could only be seen after Christ's death. The word translated as "cross" means "stake" as in the stakes holding up a tent or the posts in a foundation. It is also the upright post on which a cross is hung for crucifixion, but no one would have thought of that at the time. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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 ) "That" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

οὐ (partic) "Not" is from 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.

λαμβάνει (3rd sg pres ind act ) "Taketh" is from lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

τὸν (article sg masc acc)  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." --

σταυρὸν (noun sg masc acc) "Cross" is from stauros (stauros), which means "upright post or stake," "pointed stick", "posts or piles for a foundation," and "a stake for impaling." In Christ's time, it was used for describing the upright post that held the crossbar for crucifixion.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen ) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

καὶ (partic) "And" is from 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."

ἀκολουθεῖ (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Followeth" is from akoloutheo, which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple.

ὀπίσω (adv ) "After" is from opiso, which means "backwards (of place)", "back (of movement)", "back again (reversing movement)," and "hearafter (of time)."

μου, (pron 1st sg masc gen) "Me" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from 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.

ἔστιν (3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

μου (pron 1st sg masc gen ) "Of me" is from mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

ἄξιος. (adj sg masc nom) "Worthy" is from axios, which means "counterbalancing", "weighing as much", "of like value", "worth as much as", "worthy", "goodly", "deserved", "due", "worthy", "estimable", "worthy of", "deserving", "fit", "due," and "as deserved."

KJV Analysis: 

And -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

he that -- The word translated as "he that " is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that). This form makes this the subject of the sentence.

taketh  -- The word translated as "taketh" primarily means "take." However, it is usually translated as "receive" in the KJV. It means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing."

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" is sometimes useful in English to clarify this idea.

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

cross, -- (CW) The word translated as "cross" means a "stake" or "post", like those used to hold up a tent. It does not describe the crossbar of a cross, but the stake on which the crossbar is hung. Among people traveling at the time, it meant pulling up the central stake of a tent to use it as a walking stick.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

followeth -- The term "followeth" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of." It describes how a follower "follows" a leader. The form of the word could be third- or second-person, but only the third-person from follows the form of the sentence.

after --  (WW) "After" is an adverb, not a preposition, many of which means "after" in both time and place. This word means "backward", "back again," and "hereafter (in time)." Jesus uses it consistently to mean "behind." Interestingly, the Greeks considers the past "in front" because we can see it while the future was "behind" because it was hidden. This is the term Christ uses in in Matthew 4:19 when he says (KJV) "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

me, -- The "me" here is the Greek possessive 1st person pronoun, so "my" or "mine" or "of me". This is a form that typically follows a preposition not an adverb so Jesus seems to be using the previous word as a preposition.

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. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

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 captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

worthy -- The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing,"  "weighing as much, " "of like value," and "worth as much as." It is the idea of weighing the same as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. 

me:  -- "Of me" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun precedes the noun so "my."

KJV Translation Issues: 

3
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "cross" means "stake" or "post" and would have been heard that way by Jesus's apostles.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "after" means "behind."

NIV Analysis: 

untranslated "and"-- (MW) The untranslated word "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

Whoever -- The word translated as "whoever " is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that). This form makes this the subject of the sentence.

does -- This helping verb forms a negative statement.

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" is sometimes useful in English to clarify this idea.

take  -- The word translated as "take" primarily means "take." However, it is usually translated as "receive" in the KJV. It means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing."

up -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "up" in the Greek source.

their --  (WN) The word translated as "their" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun is singular and follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

cross, -- (CW) The word translated as "cross" means a "stake" or "post", like those used to hold up a tent. It does not describe the crossbar of a cross, but the stake on which the crossbar is hung. Among people traveling at the time, it meant pulling up the central stake of a tent to use it as a walking stick.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

follow -- The term "follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of." It describes how a follower "follows" a leader. The form of the word could be third- or second-person, but only the third-person from follows the form of the sentence.

untranslated "behind"-- (MW) The untranslated word is an adverb that means "backward", "back again," and "hereafter (in time)." Jesus uses it consistently to mean "behind." Interestingly, the Greeks considers the past "in front" because we can see it while the future was "behind" because it was hidden. This is the term Christ uses in in Matthew 4:19 when he says (KJV) "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

me, -- The "me" here is the Greek possessive 1st person pronoun, so "my" or "mine" or "of me". This is a form that typically follows a preposition not an adverb so Jesus seems to be using the previous word as a preposition.

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. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

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 captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

worthy -- The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing,"  "weighing as much, " "of like value," and "worth as much as." It is the idea of weighing the same as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. 

me:  -- "Of me" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun precedes the noun so "my."

NIV Translation Issues: 

6
  1. MW - Missing Word -- The word "and" is not shown in the English translation.
  2. IW - Inserted Word -- The word "up" doesn't exist in the source.
  3. WN  - Wrong Number- The word "their" is translated as plural but it is singular, "of his."
  4. MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  5. CW - Confusing Word -- The "cross" means "stake" or "post" and would have been heard that way by Jesus's apostles.
  6. WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "after" means "behind."

NLT Analysis: 

If -- (WW) The word translated as "if" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

you -- (WW) The word translated as "you" is a demonstrative pronoun ("this" "that"), but it often acts as a pronoun ("the one that). This form makes this the subject of the sentence.

refuse -- (WW) The Greek word translated as "refuse" is the Greek negative "not" used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" is sometimes useful in English to clarify this idea.

to -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "to" in the Greek source.

take  -- The word translated as "take" primarily means "take." However, it is usually translated as "receive" in the KJV. It means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing."

up -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "up" in the Greek source.

your --  (WW) The word translated as "your" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun is singular and follows the noun so "of his."

untranslated "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word 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. 

cross, -- (CW) The word translated as "cross" means a "stake" or "post", like those used to hold up a tent. It does not describe the crossbar of a cross, but the stake on which the crossbar is hung. Among people traveling at the time, it meant pulling up the central stake of a tent to use it as a walking stick.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, as it appears here, is usually best translated as "not only...but also."

follow -- The term "follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of." It describes how a follower "follows" a leader. The form of the word could be third- or second-person, but only the third-person from follows the form of the sentence.

untranslated "behind"-- (MW) The untranslated word is an adverb that means "backward", "back again," and "hereafter (in time)." Jesus uses it consistently to mean "behind." Interestingly, the Greeks considers the past "in front" because we can see it while the future was "behind" because it was hidden. This is the term Christ uses in in Matthew 4:19 when he says (KJV) "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

me, -- The "me" here is the Greek possessive 1st person pronoun, so "my" or "mine" or "of me". This is a form that typically follows a preposition not an adverb so Jesus seems to be using the previous word as a preposition.

you -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "it" in the Greek source.

are -- 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. -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the clause before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." 

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 captures the same idea. When a negative precedes the verb, it affects the whole clause. When it precedes other words, its force is limited to those words.

worthy -- The word translated here as "worthy" means "counterbalancing,"  "weighing as much, " "of like value," and "worth as much as." It is the idea of weighing the same as something of equal value. From this comes the idea of "being worthy" or "due," not from inherent worth but because you give value for equal value.

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. 

being -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "being" in the Greek source.

mine:  -- (WF) "Mine" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun precedes the noun so "my." "Mine" would require the adjective form, not the possessive.

NLT Translation Issues: 

11
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "if" means "and."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "you" means "he that."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "refuse" means "not."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "to" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "up" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "your" means "of his."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "cross" means "stake" or "post" and would have been heard that way by Jesus's apostles.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "behind" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "being" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "mne" requires an adjective form not a possessive.
  •  

The Spoken Version: 

Then he changed to his regular light-hearted voice and added, “And whoever doesn’t really pull up those stakes of his and follow after me, isn’t worthy of me.”

This made most of the followers laugh, but some of their relatives were not won over.

evidence: 

143.00

Front Page Date: 

Mar 30 2020