Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father

KJV Verse: 

Mat 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

this is really not the decision before my Father, the one in heaven, that one of these little ones should destroy himself.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This verse says something important that is very different than the KJV and most other Biblical translations. The first part doesn't say "the will of your/my Father," something Christ says commonly but something else. And the verb translated as "lost" here is not the same as the verb translated as "astray" in the previous two verses, but something very different.

"Even so" is translated from a Greek word that means "this", "that", "the nearer." Interestingly, the verse ends on the same word in a different form.

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. In fact, it really makes a negative statement of fact something like adding "really" and "in fact" in English.

"Will" is from noun that is a prolonged form (only found in NT) of a verb which means "to be resolved to a purpose" so, in a sense, to decide," and "to desire" and has most of the uses of our English "will" including meaning future action.

"Of" is from an adverb which means "in front of", "before", "facing", "opposite," and "in front." This is not the way Christ says "my Father's will," which is something he says frequently. The sense here is that this is not something that the Father decides at all.

"Your" is a word that should be "my." It is from the regular first-person pronoun in Greek. The Greek source used by the KJV translators had "your" in this place, but today's sources are more authorative.

The word translated as "that" is not the simple demonstrative pronoun, but a word that means "there", "where," and "in order that."

The "one" here is in a form that could make it either the subject or the object of the verb. Because of the form of the verb (see below), it actually plays both roles.

"Little ones" is from an adjective which means "small", "little," and "young." Christ uses it to refer to children, but also to his followers. The sheep in the previous two verses were also symbolic of his followers.

"Perish" is from a verb that is a very strong form of "to destroy", "to kill," and "to lose." It means "to destroy utterly." Most imporantantly, this verb is not in the passive, as the KJV and most others

Greek Vocabulary: 

οὕτως "Even so" is from houtos, which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "in this way", "therefore", "so much", "to such an extent," and "that is why."

οὐκ "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 (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.") -- When the verb "to be" appears early in the sentence before the subject, the sense is more like "it is" or, in the plural, "there are." -- The verb here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition.

θέλημα (noun sg neut nom) "Will" is from the noun, thelema, which means "will" and "pleasure." -- The word translated as "will" means what someone wants or desires as well as the "will" of character. It mostly means what one wishes or has determined shall be done. It also means a desire or a choice.

ἔμπροσθεν "Of" is from emprosthen, which as an adverb means [of place]"in front of", "before", "forwards," [of time] "before", "of old," and as a preposition, "facing", "opposite", "in front," [of time] beforehand," and [of degree] "preferred before." It also denotes a ranking. -

τοῦ πατρός (noun sg masc gen) "The Father" is from pater, which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

μου ( noun sg masc gen) "Your" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) "Which" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one."

ἐν "In" is from en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

οὐρανοῖς (noun pl masc dat"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."

ἵνα "That" is from hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

ἀπόληται (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Should perish" is from apollymi, which means "to demolish", "to lay waste", "to lose", "to perish", "to die", "to cease to exist," and "to be undone."

ἓν (noun sg neut nom/acc) "One" is from heis, which means "one" (as opposed to other numbers), "single," and "one and the same." As in English, it can be used as a pronoun, meaning a single person.

τῶν μικρῶν (adj pl masc/fem/neut gen) "Little ones" is from mikros, which means "small", "little," and "young." It is one of several words Christ uses to refer to children.

τούτων. (adj pl masc gen) "This" is from toutou, which is a demonstrative pronoun that means "this", "here", "the nearer," and "the familiar."

Wordplay: 

The "little ones" here simultaneously refers to the sheep in the previous parable, children, and Christ's followers generally. 

Related Verses: