Matthew 11:11 ...Among those that are born of women

Spoken to: 

audience

About John the Baptist, description

KJV: 

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

NIV : 

Matthew 11:11Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

LISTENERS HEARD: 

Ameni, I tell you, none has been awakened among the offspring of women better than John the Dunker. However, the younger among the realm of the skies? Mote mature than he is!

MY TAKE: 

We on earth are all in a lower state than those "in the sky."

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

This verse is a play on words. The topic is one that Jesus addresses more directly in an upcoming verse, Matthew 11:14, the idea that John was a reincarnation of Elijah.

The final phrase "is greater than he" reads as a joke since Jesus is saying that someone is the sky is "higher" than someone on earth.

Jesus doesn't actually say that John is less than the least of those in heaven, but he says that the small in heaven are greater or higher than he. This first very much with what we see as Jesus explanation of the evolution of spirit that Christ describes in the Beatitudes. "The meek" inherit the earth, but those who are greater go onto make a spiritual climb that starts at the hunger for perfection

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

9
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "them that are" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "risen" doesn't appear here but at the beginning of the clause.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "risen" is not an active verb but either passive or middle voice.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptist" means "dunker." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "notwithstanding" is almost always translated as "but."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "he" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

7
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "risen" doesn't appear here but at the beginning of the clause.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "risen" is not an active verb but either passive or middle voice.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "anyone" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptist" means "dunker." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "whoever" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heaven" is translated as singular but it is plural, "skies."

EACH WORD of KJV : 

Verily -- The word translated as "verily" is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

say -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English, but the translator must decide which preposition to use: a "to" as an indirect object.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

Among  - The word translated as "among" also means "within," "with," or "among." In the Greek, this phrase appears later in the verse, after the subject and verb. It is translated later in the sentence as "in."

them that are  -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "them that are" in the Greek source.

born  - "Born" is an adjective that means "begotten," or "born," and, as a noun, "offspring" or "progeny." It is, however, plural, so "children" is the only English word that works. 

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

women  -"Of women" is the word for "woman" in the form of a possessive.

there -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

hath -- This helping verb "hath" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

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.

risen  - (WP, WF) "Risen" is a Greek word that verb "to arouse from sleep," "to raise up," and "to produce." It is the same word as Christ uses to discuss "raising" or "awakening" the dead. Here it appears as in a form which is either passive, the suject is acted upon or middle voice, the subject is has been acted by himself. The sense is that he has been awakened or awakened himself. This communicates that idea that he was among those who had awakened from sleep. Prophets and apostles are those who are in touch with God and arisen from sleep, away to the nature of reality. This verb appears right after the opening "amen" phrase.

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

greater  - "Greater " is a word that means "greater" in any number of ways, including "higher" and "older," which fit with the "raise" verb here. In also means "higher in authority."

than -- This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean  "than" (in comparisons),

John - "John" is the Greek form of the name "John," Joanon. 

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

Baptist:  - (UW) "The Baptist" is a noun that means "one who dips." In English, we would say "the Dipper." 

notwithstanding  - (CW) The Greek word translated as "notwithstanding " joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word is translated as notwithstanding in one other KJV verse.

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

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

is -- There is no verb "is" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

least    - "Least" is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," "smaller," and "younger."  Itis form an adjective that means "small" and "little" applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence but it is not the superlative form but the comparative, "smaller," "littler," and "less unimportant." 

in   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

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

kingdom  - The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

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

missing "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. 

heaven  - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. It is plural, "skies." 

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." 

greater  - "Greater" is an adjective which is the comparative form of the word meaning "big" or "great." It means "bigger," "higher," "longer," "greater" and simply, "superior." 

than -- This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. It means  "than" in comparisons.

he.  - The "he" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same." It is in the form that is used for comparisons. So another sense here could be "higher as the same." 

EACH WORD of NIV : 

Truly -- The word translated as "truly " is from the Hebrew word that means "truly" or "certainly," but it sounds like the Greek word with the same meaning. In Greek, the word also means "to reap." See this article discussing this "amen phrase."

I -- This is from the first-person, singular form of the following verb.

tell -- The word translated as "say" is the most common word that means "to say," and "to speak," but it also means "to teach," which seems to be the way Christ uses it more frequently. It also has many ancillary meanings such as "to count" ("to number" or like we might say, "to recount" a story) or "to choose for yourself." Christ usually uses this word to refer to his own speaking or teaching.

you,  -- The Greek pronoun "you" here is plural and in the form of an indirect object, "to you," "for you," etc.

among  - The word translated as "among" also means "within," "with," or "among." In the Greek, this phrase appears later in the verse, after the subject and verb. It is translated later in the sentence as "in."

those  -- There is no Greek article "those" here in the source, but the noun is plural and in English an article is used before plural nouns in phrases like this.

born  - "Born" is an adjective that means "begotten," or "born," and, as a noun, "offspring" or "progeny." It is, however, plural, so "children" is the only English word that works. 

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

women  -"Of women" is the word for "woman" in the form of a possessive.

there -- This is from the third-person, singular form of the verb.

has -- This helping verb "has" indicates that the verb is the tense indicating an action completed in the past.

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.

risen  - (WP, WF) "Risen" is a Greek word that verb "to arouse from sleep," "to raise up," and "to produce." It is the same word as Christ uses to discuss "raising" or "awakening" the dead. Here it appears as in a form which is either passive, the subject is acted upon or middle voice, the subject is has been acted by himself. The sense is that he has been awakened or awakened himself. This communicates that idea that he was among those who had awakened from sleep. Prophets and apostles are those who are in touch with God and arisen from sleep, away to the nature of reality. This verb appears right after the opening "amen" phrase.

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

greater  - "Greater " is a word that means "greater" in any number of ways, including "higher" and "more mature," which fits with the "raise" verb here. In also means "higher in authority."

than -- This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession. However, it can also mean  "than" (in comparisons),

John - "John" is the Greek form of the name "John," Joanon. 

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

Baptist:  - ((UW) "The Baptist" is a noun that means "one who dips." In English, we would say "the Dipper."

yet - The Greek word translated as "yet" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. This word is translated as notwithstanding in one other KJV verse.

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

is -- There is no verb "is" in the Greek source. It is implied by the equating of "workman" with "worthy" both in the Greek form of subjects.

least  - "Least" is a word that means"lesser," "smaller," and "younger." It is applied to anything, size, power, age, quantity, rank, or influence. Christ usually uses it to refer to children. It is in a comparative form, meaning "lesser," not the superlative form.  

in   -- The word translated as "in" means "in," "within," "with," or "among"  with a dative object as the one here.  With the accusative, it means "into," "on," and "for." When referring to time, it means "during." It can mean "on," "at," or "by" in the sense of "near."

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

kingdom  - The word translated as "kingdom" can be the region, the reign, the castle or the authority of a ruler. Christ does not seem to use it to mean a physical region, so its translation as "reign" or "realm" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

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

missing "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. 

heaven  - (WN) The word translated as "heaven" means sky, the climate, and the universe. It also meant the home of the gods in a physical sense: the sun, moon, and planets were named for the gods. It is plural, "skies." 

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." 

greater  - "Greater" is an adjective which is the comparative form of the word meaning "big" or "great." It means "bigger," "higher," "longer," "more mature,"  "greater" and simply, "superior." 

than -- This word "than"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. It means  "than" in comparisons.

he.  - The "he" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same." It is in the form that is used for comparisons. So another sense here could be "higher as the same."

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV : 

ἀμὴν (exclaim) "Verily" is from amen, which is from the Hebrew, meaning "truly," "of a truth," and "so be it." It has no history in Greek before the NT.

λέγω, (1st sg pres ind act) "I tell" is from lego, which means "to recount," "to tell over," "to say," "to speak," "to teach," "to mean," "boast of," "tell of," "recite," nominate," and "command." It has a secondary meaning "pick out," "choose for oneself," "pick up," "gather," "count," and "recount." A less common word that is spelt the same means "to lay," "to lay asleep" and "to lull asleep." --

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "You" is from humas the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

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.

ἐγήγερται (3rd sg perf ind mp) "There hath...risen" is egeiro, which means "to awaken," "to stir up," and "to rouse."

ἐν (prep) "Among" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

γεννητοῖς [2 verses](adj pl masc dat) "Them that are born" is from gennetos, which is an adjective that means "begotten," "engendered," "propagated," or "born." When used as a noun, we might translate it as "child," "progeny," or "offspring."

γυναικῶν (noun pl fem gen) "Of women" is from gyne, which means "woman (as opposed to man)," "wife," "spouse," "mortal woman (as opposed to a goddess)," and "female mate (among animals)."

μείζων (adj sg masc nom comp ) "Greater than" is from meizon which means "bigger," "higher," "older," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" "vast," "high,"" long," "mature," "mighty," "great" and similar ideas.

Ἰωάνου (noun sg masc gen) "John" is from Ioannes, which is the Greek form of the name "John."

τοῦ  - (article sg neut dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

βαπτιστοῦ: [3 verses](noun sg masc gen) "The baptist" is from baptistes, which means "one who dips," and "baptizer."

 (article sg masc nom ) "The" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." It's noun is after the word below."

δὲ (conj) "But" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be an explanation of cause ("so").

μικρότερος [3 verses](adj sg masc nom comp ) "Least" is from mikroteros, which means is the comparative form of the adjectives that means "small", "little", "younger," "unimportant," etc. so "smaller," "more little," and "less unimportant."

ἐν (prep) "In" is from en, which means "in," "on," "at," "by," "among," "within," "surrounded by," "in one's hands," "in one's power," and "with."

τῇ  - - (article sg fem dat)  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

βασιλείᾳ (noun sg fem dat) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom," "dominion," "hereditary monarchy," "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

τῶν - (article pl masc gen))  "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"). 

οὐρανῶν (noun pl masc gen) "Of Heaven" is from the Greek ouranos, which means "heaven as in the vault of the sky," "heaven as the seat of the gods," "the sky," "the universe," and "the climate." -.

μείζων (adj sg masc nom comp ) "Greater than" is from meizon which means "bigger," "higher," and "greater" and is the comparative form of megas, which means "big" "vast," "high,"" long," "mighty," "older," "great" and similar ideas.

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc gen ) "He" 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."

ἐστίν.(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.

Wordplay: 

 The term "risen" means both rising in status and being awaken from the dead. The final statement is humorous because on one level he is saying that someone in the sky is higher than someone on earth. 

Related Verses: 

Unimportant Opinions and Imaginings: 

“So the Dunker is a heavenly messenger?” the man asked.
“Honestly, I am telling you all,” responded the Master.
He paused as the crowd laughed at the familiar line from his teaching.
“No one has been awakened among the offspring of women higher than John the Dunker.”said the Master holding his hand over his head to show how high.
“Has he been raised high enough to touch the realm of the skies?” the man asked.
The Master shook his head, “no.”
“So the one lowest one among the realm of the skies?” the Master said, standing on his tiptoes to raise his hand. “Is higher than he is.”

Front Page Date: 

Oct 3 2020