Matthew 18:3 ...Except you be converted,

KJV Verse: 

Mat 18:3 Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

I teach the real truth: unless you have been turn around and you chnage yourself to become like a child, you are never going to enter the universal state.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Christ is saying that we have to turn ourselves around and turn back time, not only to become a child again, but to become a little child again in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is one of the many places where Christ indicated that the kingdom of heaven is a state of awareness more than it is a place.

This verse starts with a"phrase that Christ uses so frequently, "Verily I say unto you." You can read more about this phrase in this article here.

"Except" is from the Greek words for "if not." The "if" Greek word is from the form meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. The negative "not" used is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article.

"Ye be converted" is translated from a Greek word that has nothing to do with religious conversion. It means "to twist" or "to turn." In the passive, it has the sense of being "turned around."

The word translated as "be" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Jesus, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state. It is in a form where the subject acts on himself.

"Children" is translated from a Greek word that means "a young child" or "little child." It is one of serveral words that Christ uses that are translated as "child" or "children." One unique aspect of this word is that it is neither masculine or feminine, but neutral. What is the difference between a young child and an older child? Young children live much more "in the moment" than older ones do. They do not see the world through a layer of assumptions. They accept that that they don't know anything about the world, but they are excited to discover what the world holds.

"Ye shall enter" is from a word that means "go or come into" and has the double meaning of "coming into one's mind."

The "kingdom of heaven" phrase is another common phrase used by Jesus. More about its use and meaning in this article.

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.

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.

Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἀμὴν "(adv) 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 llego means "pick up", "choose for oneself", "pick out," and "count," "recount", "tell over", "say", "speak", "teach", "mean", "boast of", "tell of", "recite," "nominate," and "command."

ὑμῖν, (pron sg 2nd dat) "You" is from humas and humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you".

ἐὰν μὴ "Except" is from ean me, which means "if not." "If" is from 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. "Not" is from (me) is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no."

στραφῆτε (verb 2nd pl aor ind pass) "Ye be converted" is from strepho, which means "turn aside", "turn about," "turn over", "rotate", "sprain", "dislocate", "twist", "torture", "return", "plait", "to twist about", "turn and change", "to always be engaged in", "to turn about with oneself", "to wheel about", "give back," and "convert." It is a metaphor for pain. In the passive, it means "twist or turn oneself", "having turned face upward", "turn round or about", "turn to and fro," and "turn about."

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."

γένησθε (verb 2nd pl aor subj mid) "Become" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.

ὡς "As" is from hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that." -- The word translated as "as" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

τὰ παιδία, (noun pl neut nom/acc/voc) "Children" is from paidon. which means "little child" or "young child," (up to seven years) "infant" or "young slave."

οὐ μὴ "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.

εἰσέλθητε (verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "Ye shall enter" is from eiserchomai which means both "to go into", "to come in", "to enter", "to enter an office", "to enter a charge," (as in court) and "to come into one's mind."

εἰς "Into" is from eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)." -- The word translated as "unto" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "up to" limits in time and measure.

τὴν βασιλείαν (noun sg fem acc/gen) "The kingdom" is from basileia, which means "kingdom", "dominion", "hereditary monarchy", "kingly office," (passive) "being ruled by a king," and "reign."

τῶν οὐρανῶν. (noun pl masc gen) "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."

 

 

noun pl masc gen

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