Matthew 13:52 Therefore every scribe [who is] instructed...

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Throughout this [teaching], each academic becoming a student of the universal reign is like a person, an householder, who tosses out from his treasure chest both the novel and the venerable.

KJV : 

Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse starts with a joke, saying the teachers must become students. It ends with a phrase "new and old" which has both a positive meaning and a negative one.

The word translated as "therefore" is from two words. The first means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." The other means "this" or "that." So, "through this."

The word translated as "every" is one word meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas.

"Scribe" is translated from a Greek word that means a "secretary", "recorder," and "scholar," but specifically means someone who workes with "letters" or symbols.

There are no Greek words that can be translated as "which is"

The word translated as "instructed" means "to be a pupil," but it is passive, so "to be made a pupil,"" and it is in the form an adjective modifying "scribes," so "being made a pupil." It is a rare word that Christ only uses twice, here and in Mat 28:19.

The phrase translated as "the kingdom of heaven" is discussed in detail in this article. The word translated as "heaven" is plural. The idea is more like "the universal reign."

The word translated as "like" means "like", "resembling," and "matching."

The Greek word for "a man" in the singular means "person" and "humanity" and "people" and "peoples" in plural.

The word translated as "which" also means "who" and "anyone who."

"Bringeth forth" is from a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.

The Greek preposition translated as "out of" means "out of" of "from." In Greek, they use the genitive case instead of a preposition for the types of phrases with usually use with "of."

The word translated as "treasure" is the noun meaning the "store" of something, so, a "treasure chest," and its secondary meaning is valuables themselves.

The word translated as "new" is different than the common Greek word for "new." Many of their meanings overlap, but this word also means "of a new kind."

The word translated as "old" means old in years both in a good sense and a bad one. In a good sense, it means "venerable" and in a bad sense, "obsolete."

In the previous verse, Christ may be suggesting that understanding his analogies about the universal reign requires mastering his symbols. Here, he may be extending that idea by saying that a person who understand these concepts about the universal reign can both understand what has been written about it in the past and generate new ways to express the power of spirit.


The joke here is describing a "scribe" who was, as an academic, and a type of teacher, becoming a student. 

The words chosen for "new" and "old" have both positive meanings, "novel and venerated," and negative meanings, "unproven" and "worn out." He has used these words in the negative sense referring to new wine and old wine skins in  Mat 9:17. 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Διὰ "Therefore" is from dia (with touto below) which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between." --

τοῦτο (adj sg neut acc) "That" is from touto, which means "from here", "from there", "this [thing]," or "that [thing]."

πᾶς (adj sg masc nom) "Every" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything." In the adverbial form, it means "every way", "on every side", "in every way," and "altogether."

γραμματεὺς (noun sg masc nom) "Scribe" is from grammateus, which is generally a "secretary", "recorder," and "scholar," but specifically means someone who uses gramma which is Greek for "drawings", "a letter," (as in an alphabet)"diagrams," and "letters" (as in correspondence).

μαθητευθεὶς (part sg aor pass masc nom) "Instructed" is from mathêteuô, which means "to be a pupil" or "to make a disciple of."

τῇ 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." -- 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" seems more appropriate. This is especially true because the "reign" of a king means the execution of his will.

τῶν οὐρανῶν "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." -- 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. Though heaven is used in Christianity as the place of the afterlife, Christ never uses it that way.

ὅμοιός (adj sg masc nom) Like is from homoios, which means "like", "resembling", "the same", "equal in force, "a match for one", "suiting", "of the same rank", "alike", "in like manner," and "equally."

ἐστιν (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Is" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.")

ἀνθρώπῳ (noun sg masc dat) "A 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.

οἰκοδεσπότῃ (noun sg masc dat)

ὅστις "Which" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever, ""whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

ἐκβάλλει (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Bringeth forth" is from ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter." --

ἐκ "ut of" is from ek, which means 1) [of motion] "out of", "from", "by", "away from;" 2) [of place] "beyond", "outside of", "beyond;" 3) [of succession] "after", "from;" 4) [of rest] "on", "in," 5) [of time] "since", "from", "at", "in;" 5) [of materials] "out of", "made from." --

τοῦ θησαυροῦ (noun sg masc dat) "Treasure" is from thesauros, which means a "store", "treasure", "strong-room", "magazine, "granary", "receptacle for valuables", "safe", "casket", "offertory-box", "cavern," and "subterranean dungeon." --

αὐτοῦ "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."

καινὰ ( adj pl neut acc) "New" is from kainos, which means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel."

καὶ "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."

παλαιά. (adj pl neut acc) "Old" is from palaios, which means "old in years, ""ancient," (in a good sense) "venerable", "held in esteem," (in a bad way) "antiquated", "obsolete," and "in an old way."