Matthew 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 18:27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Having a gut-feeling of compassion, however, the master of the slave there [on the floor] set him free. He also let go of his loan.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There is a reference here to a "gut feelng" which is lost in translation. This feeling is the motivation for the lord's action.

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

"Was moved with compassion" is from a verb that means to "to feel compassion." It is not an active verb but a verb in the form of an adjective, "feeling." It is a New Testament word. It is from a word which means ones insides, intestines. So its sense is feeling something in your guts.

The word translated as "lord" means "lord" and "master." The standard English word for one who controls slaves is the master. It is, however, the word translated as "lord" to refer to God.

The word translated as "servant" is the word for slave, but it also means a person held in bond for a debt, which is clearly its meaning here. However, using "bondsman" loses the "master" and "slave" contrast.

The word translated as "that" is an adjective that highlights its noun as in a specific place from a word that means "there." Here, it refers to the slave laying on the floor.

There is not "and" in the Greek. It is added because the "moved with compassion" verb is translated as an active verb in the KJV, which it isn't.

"Loosed" is from a verb that means "to loose from", "to set free," and ""to discharge." Interestingly, in another context the word means "to destroy utterly", "to lose," and "to perish."

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is often translated as "leave", "forgive", "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. It is translated as "forgiven" when translated with the word translated as "sin." It means literally "to go from." It is Christ's first word in the gospels (Mat 3:15) when he tells John to "suffer" baptizing him.

Greek Vocabulary: 

σπλαγχνισθεὶς (part sg aor mp masc nom) "Was moved with compassion" is from splagchnizomai, which means to "feel pity, compassion, or mercy." It is a New Testament word. It is from splanchnon which means ones insides, intestines.

δὲ "Then" 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").

κύριος (noun sg masc nom) "Lord" is from kyrios (kurios), which means "having power", "being in authority" and "being in possession of." It also means "lord", "master of the house," and "head of the family."

τοῦ δούλου (noun sg masc gen) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

[ἐκείνου] (adj sg masc gen) "Of that" is from ekeinos (kakeinos), which means "the person there", "that person", "that thing", "in that case", "in that way", "at that place," and "in that manner."

ἀπέλυσεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "And loosed" might be from apolyo which means "to loose from" "to set free", "to release", "to acquit", "to divorce [a wife]", "to do away with," and "to begin to count." In the passive, it means "to be released", "to be separated [combatants]," "to be brought forth [a child]," and "to be delivered [of a mother]," and "to be undone."

αὐτόν, (adj sg masc acc) "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."

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."

τὸ δάνιον (noun sg neut nom/acc) "The debt" is from daneion, which means "loan."

ἀφῆκεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Forgave" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall", "to send away", "give up", "hand over", "to let loose," "let go", "loose", "set free", "send away," "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."

The Spoken Version: 

Having a gut-feeling of compassion, however, the one controlling the indentured servant there [on the floor] release him. He also dropped his debt.

Related Verses: