Matthew 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man,

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 12:32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And who, when he might speak an idea against the son of the man, it is going to be let go for him. Who, however, possibly speak against the breath of life, the pure, it is not going to be let go for him neither in this lifetime nor in the one being destined.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is a big surprise in this verse is the Greek that is translated as "the Holy Spirit" (in caps). However, the word translated as "world" is also a surprise. There is also a couple of expressions of uncertainty in the verse in the Greek that are edited out. 

The word translated as "whosoever" can mean "who" or simply "this", "that", "he" or "she." It is in the form that makes it the subject of the phrase.

There is an untranslated meaning "if might" that indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. We use "when" to express a similar idea. This isn't certain to happen, but when it does, the next phrase is going to happen. 

The word translated as "speaketh" means "to say" and "to speak" also. However, it has more a sense of addressing and proclaiming. It is in a form meaning that this might happen at some point in time.

"A word" is translated from a Greek word that means "calculation," or "reasoning." It is the source of our word "logic" and is the root word for all the English words that end in "-ology." Most biblical translations translated it as "word" for somewhat poetic reasons. More about this word in this article.

The phrase "the son of man" is the common way Christ refers to himself. It is discussed in detail in this article. Its sense is "the child of the man." The word translated as "son" more generally means "child" or "descendant". The Greek word for "of man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in the plural.

The word translated as "it shall be forgiven" primarily means "to let go", "to send away", "give up" and related meanings. It is in the future tense, so "it shall let go". It is also in the passive, so "it is going to be let go". 

The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it is in the form of an indirect object ("to him", "by it ", "for it"). The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

The Greek word translated as "but" joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

Here, there is another untranslated word that we usually translate as "might." This expresses that idea that this will not necessarily happen. 

There is no "the Holy Spirit" in this verse, especially not in a form that could be described as a proper name.  Proper names do not use articles ("the") in Greek. Instead, there are two separate nouns, "the spirit, the holy". 

"Holy" is an adjective which means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed." However, this adjective is used as a noun, introduced by its own article, so "the holy" or "the pure". This word is also introduced by an article, so "the holy". If it was used as an adjective, the article would be left off this word or the previous one. 

The word translated as "spirit" primarily means "breath", "wind," and "blast." It also means the "breath of life," from which we get to "spirit" and "spiritual." It is also used to describe the divine spark of life and divine inspiration. When Christ uses this word to refer to "evil spirits" or the "spirit" of people, it is in a feminine form, but here and the previous verse, Matthew 12:31, he uses a neutral form. Its meaning as "the breath of life" is brought out by the idea of creating life. It is introduced by an article, "the spirit of life". 

The Greek verb translated as "shall not be forgiven him" are the same form as those in the previous phrase, with the addition of the Greek negatives for facts.

"This world" is from the Greek aiôn, which means "lifetime", "life", "age", "generation," and "a long space of time." It is the basis for our English word, eon. It doesn't refer to "this world" at all, nor is it the Greek word almost always translated as "world" in the NT.  It can be translated as "this lifetime."

"The [world] to come" is the Greek verb that means "to think of doing", "to intend to do", "to be about to do," and "to be destined." It is used to express certainty, probability, or intention of doing something in the future. It is in the form of an adjective, so "being destined." However, it is used as a noun,  introduced by an article so "the one destined."

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) "Whoesoever" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐὰν (conj/partic) 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.

εἴπῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Speaketh" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

λόγον (noun sg masc acc) "A word" is from logos, which means "word", "computation", "relation", "explanation", "law", "rule of conduct", "continuous statement", "tradition", "discussion, ""reckoning," and "value." -

κατὰ (prep) "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

τοῦ υἱοῦ (noun sg masc gen) "The Son" is from huios, which means a "son," and more generally, a "child."

τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, (noun sg masc gen) "Of man" is from anthropos, which is "man," and, in plural, "mankind." It also means "humanity" and that which is human and opposed to that which is animal or inanimate.

ἀφεθήσεται (3rd sg fut ind pass) "It shall be forgiven" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

αὐτῷ: (adj sg masc dat) "Him" 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."

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

δ᾽ (partic) "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 a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ἂν (partic) 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."

εἴπῃ (3rd sg aor subj act) "Speaketh" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

κατὰ (prep) "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

τοῦ πνεύματος (noun sg neut gen) "Spirit" is pneuma, which means "blast", "wind", "breath", "the breath of life", "divine inspiration", "a spiritual or immaterial being," and "the spirit" of a man.

τοῦ ἁγίου, (adj sg neut gen) "Holy" is from hagios, which means "devoted to the gods", "pure", "holy," and on the negative side "accursed."

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.

ἀφεθήσεται (verb 3rd sg fut ind pass) (3rd sg fut ind pass) "It shall...be forgiven" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

αὐτῷ (adj sg masc/neut dat) "Him" 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."

οὔτε (partic) "Neither" is from oute, which means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series.

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".

τούτῳ (adj sg masc/neut dat)  "This" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

τῷ αἰῶνι (noun sg masc dat) "World" is from aion, which means "life", "lifetime", "age," or "generation."

οὔτε (or) "Neither" is from oute, which means "and not," and "neither/nor" when used in a series.

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".

τῷ μέλλοντι. (part sg pres act masc dat)  "The [world] to come" is from the Greek, mellô, which is a verb that means "to think of doing", "to intend to do", "to be about to do," and "to be destined." It is used to express certainty, probability, or intention of doing something in the future. It is in the form of a noun, so "the one intending".  

Related Verses: 

Jul 30 2017