Matthew 16:28 There be some standing here who shall not taste of death

KJV Verse: 

Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

The truth is that there are those who have made a stand here who never experienced death until they know the child of humanity making his way in the power of his reign.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The KJV translation makes a point that we cannot find in the Greek. In the Greek, this verse does not appear to be a prophecy about the future at all, but a statement about the present. This makes more sense if the context of the previous verse, which is also less of a prophecy than it appears.

The "verily" phrase is used frequently by Christ. Its meaning is discussed in detail in this article.

The word translated as "that" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The "there are" is the verb "to be" which, when it appears early in the sentence before the subject, has the sense more like "it is" or, in the plural as it is the case here, "there are."

The Greek word translated as "some" is the plural version "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those."

"Standing" is the noun form of the verb which means "to make a stand", "to set up", "to place," or "to stand." It is plural and the tense indicates an action completed in the past. Having stood. 

The "not" here is both of the Greek negatives used together. Greek has two negatives, one objective, one subjective. The use of both together is more extreme, like saying "you cannot really think." It is often translated as "never". 

"Shall taste" is a verb which means "to taste", "to feel," and "to experience." It is not in the future tense, but a form that is usually translated as the past tense but which means something happening at some specific point in time.

"Death" is from the Greek word meaning "death" generally and the death penalty specifically.

The word translated as "till" means "until" but it also means "in order that."

There is an untranslated word here that means "might", "should," or "could" and goes with the form of the "see" verb.

The verb translated as "they see" means "to see" but it is used like we use the word "see" to mean "to know" or "to perceive."

The word translated as "son" more generally means "child." The "son of" phrase is discussed in more detail in this article.

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

"Coming" is a verb which means "to set out" and "to arrive at." It is a little like we use the phrase "he is on his way," which can mean either that he is coming or going with no direct reference to the position of the speaker. Here it could mean that Christ goes into or comes into his kingdom or that he is starting his kingdom.

The word translated as "in" also means "in one's power," and "with".

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. More about this term in this article.

Greek Vocabulary: 

ἀμὴν (exclam) 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 pl 2n dat) "You" is from humas the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

ὅτι (adv) "That" is from hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

εἰσίν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) "There be" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." )

τινες (pron pl masc nom) "Some" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

τῶν (article pl masc gen) This is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." It connects to the "standing" after "here."

ὧδε (adv) "Here" is hode, the demonstrative pronoun which means "this" in the sense of "what is present" and "what can be seen." With verbs of action and with a person (its use here), it means "here" as in "here standing".

ἑστώτων (part pl perf act masc gen) "Standing" is from histemi, which means "to make to stand", "to stand", "to set up", "to bring to a standstill", "to check", "to appoint", "to establish", "to fix by agreement", "to be placed", "to be set", "to stand still", "to stand firm", "to set upright", "to erected", "to arise," and "to place." Like the English words "put" and "set," it has a number of specific meanings from "to put down [in writing]", "to bury", "to establish", "to make", "to cause," and "to assign."

οἵτινες (pron pl masc nom) "Which" is from hostis, which means "that", "anyone who", "anything which", "whosoever," "whichsoever" and "anybody whatsoever."

οὐ μὴ (partic) "Not" is from ou me, the two forms of Greek negative used together. Ou is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. Mê (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

γεύσωνται (verb 3rd pl aor subj mid) "Shall taste" is from geuomai, which means "to taste," "to take food," "to make proof of," "to feel," and "to experience."

θανάτου (noun sg masc gen) "Death" is from thanatos, which means "death" "kinds of death," specifically, "violent death", "corpse," and "a death sentence."

ἕως (prep) "Till" is from heos which means "until", "till," and "in order that" and "up to the point that." -

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."

ἴδωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "They see" is from eido which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know."

τὸν υἱὸν  (noun sg masc acc) "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.

ἐρχόμενον (part sg pres mp neut acc) "Coming" is from erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place.

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 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."

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."

Related Verses: