Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you...

Spoken to: 

audience

Teaching about forgiving mistakes, after a parable about forgiving debts.

KJV: 

Matthew 18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

NIV : 

Matthew 18:35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

LISTENERS HEARD: 

So also, that Father of mine, the heavenly one, will do to you all. When you all don't want to let go, each person for that brother of his, out of those hearts of yours.

MY TAKE: 

Wanting to forgive is an individual choice.

GREEK (Each Word Explained Bottom of Page): 

LOST IN TRANSLATION: 

The threat here is humorous, like the scare line at the end of a ghost story. The first line of this verse is an impossibility: we cannot give back to the Divine all that we owe, no matter how much we are tortured. This is why the second half is important because it limits the "torture" to the time when we do not let go of others. Note that neither "debts" nor "mistakes" are mentioned. Instead, holding something in our hearts against someone is equated to slavery.

Notice also that this mistake is personal, even though Jesus is addressing a crowd. This verse is an odd combination of second-person plural forms and third-person singular forms. It is a second-person plural statement with a third-person singular aside, "each person to that brother of his" in the third-person singular. The end is a relatively rare example of Jesus using the plural form of the Greek word for "hearts," probably because it follows this "each person" phrase. Most of the plural hearts we see in English are actually a singular Greek form. See this article.

The negative here is indicates a desire or opinion, "wanting to forgive," not something that doesn't happen. 

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

6
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "likewise" is not the word usually translated as "likewise."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heavenly" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "hearts" is not shown in the English translation.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "their trespasses" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.

# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES: 

11
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "also"  is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "heavenly" is not shown in the English translation.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "the" before "father" is not shown in the English translation.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "treat" is the common word usually translated as "do."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "each" doesn't appear here but before the verb "forgive."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "of" should be something more like "to."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "you" is not possessive, but an indirect object.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "unless" is the common word usually translated as "unless" but the word meaning "when."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "not want" before "forgive" is not shown in the English translation.
  • IP - Inserted Phrase-- The phrase "or sister" doesn't exist in the source.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "heart" is translated as singular but the Greek word is plural, "hearts."

EACH WORD of KJV : 

So  - The word translated as "so" means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

likewise  - (CW) "Likewise" is from is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." It is also used to give emphasis, "even," "also," and "just."

shall -- This helping verb "shall" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

heavenly  - The word translated as "heavenly" is an adjective from the word that 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. However, Christ uses it to refer to that beyond this planet. See more in this article Heaven.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

do  - The Greek word translated as "do" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It is in the future tense. However, it is usually translated as "do" in the Gospels because these other words require an object, something to make whereas this word takes its object from the context.

also -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "also" in the Greek source.

unto -- This word "unto" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

you, - The word "you" hear is in the plural form of an indirect object, "to you" or "for you."

if  - The Greek word translated as "if" is not the common "if" but a contraction that means "if might" indicating more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. We use "when" to capture this idea.

ye - This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done and "away from."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

hearts  - "Hearts" is from the noun which means "heart (the physical organ)," and "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)." Here the sense is of the home of the anger toward those who have made mistakes. See this article.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

forgive - The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave," "forgive," "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. In English, we can forgive both actions and people. In Greek, you let go of mistakes but you to it "for" or "to" people.

not  - The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done.

every one  - -- The Greek word translated as "every one"  means "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

his -- The word translated as "his" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his."

brother  - The word translated as "brother" means "son of the same mother," but it also means "colleague," "associate."

their trespasses. -- (OS) There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "their trespasses" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

EACH WORD of NIV : 

This is how - The word translated as "this is how" means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

missing "also"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "also" is from is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." It is also used to give emphasis, "even," "also," and "just."

my -- "My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. This pronoun follows the noun so "of mine."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

heavenly  - The word translated as "heavenly" is an adjective from the word that 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. However, Christ uses it to refer to that beyond this planet. See more in this article Heaven.

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

Father -- "Father" is the Greek noun that means "father" or any male ancestor so "forefathers." It is the word that Christ uses to address his own Father.

will -- This helping verb "will" indicates that the verb is the future tense. Helping or auxiliary verbs are needed to translate the Greek verb forms into English.

treat - (CW) The Greek word translated as "treat" has the primary meaning of "making" or producing" something or "causing" or "rendering" as service. It is in the future tense. However, it is usually translated as "do" in the Gospels because these other words require an object, something to make whereas this word takes its object from the context.

each- -- (WP) The Greek word translated as "each"  means "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

of -- (WW) This word "of" comes from the dative case of the following word that requires the addition of a preposition in English. The most common is a "to" for the English indirect object.

you - (WF) The word "you" hear is in the plural form of an indirect object, "to you" or "for you."

unless - (CW) The Greek word translated as "unless" is a contraction that means "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. We use "when" to capture this idea.

missing "not want"  -- (MW) The untranslated word The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done.

you - This is from the second-person, plural form of the verb.

forgive - The word translated as "forgive" primarily means "to let go" or "to send away." This same word is usually translated as "leave," "forgive," "suffer," and "let" in the New Testament. In English, we can forgive both actions and people. In Greek, you let go of mistakes but you to it "for" or "to" people.

your -- (WW) The word translated as "your" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  This pronoun follows the noun so "of his." This is not the second-person pronoun.

brother - The word translated as "brother" means "son of the same mother," but it also means "colleague," "associate."

or sister -- (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "or sister  in the Greek source.

from -- The word translated as "from" means "from" in both locations and when referring to a source or a cause. It also means the instrument "by" which a thing is done and "away from."

your -- The word translated as "your" is a plural, second-person pronoun in the genitive case. This pronoun follows the noun so "of yours."

missing "the"  -- (MW) The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this," "that," "these," "those"). See this article for more. 

heart  - (WN) "Heart" is from the noun which means "heart (the physical organ)," and "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)." Here the sense is of the home of the anger toward those who have made mistakes. The form is plural, not singular.  Translating it as singular makes all the "you" pronouns seem singular here when they are all plural, which if kind of funny because Jesus often uses the singular "heart" with the plural "of yours." See this article on the word.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV : 

Οὕτως [137 verses](adv) "So" is houtos, which means "in this way," "therefore," "so much," "to such an extent," and "that is why."

καὶ (adv) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "also." 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."

(article sg masc nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

πατήρ [191 verses](noun sg masc nom) "Father" is from pater, which means "father," "grandfather," "author," "parent," and "forefathers." -

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

(article sg masc nom)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

οὐράνιος [7 verses](adj sg masc nom) "Heavenly" is ouranios, which is the adjective form of heaven meaning means "heavenly," dwelling in heaven " and as a metaphor, "colossal."

ποιήσει [168 verses](verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Shall do" is from poieo, which means "to make," "to produce," "to create," "to bring into existence," "to bring about," "to cause," "to render," "to consider," "to prepare," "to make ready," and "to do."

ὑμῖν (pron 2nd pl dat) "To you" is from hymin (humin), which is the 2nd person plural dative pronoun. Dative is the case which indicates to whom something is given.

ἐὰν (conj) Untranslated is 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.

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me , which 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.

ἀφῆτε [73 verses](verb 2nd pl aor subj act) "To forgive" is from aphiemi, which means "to let fall," "to send away," "give up," "hand over," "to let loose," "to get rid of," "to leave alone," "to pass by," "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself."

ἕκαστος [9 verses] (adj sg masc nom) "Every man" is hekastos, which means "each," "all and each severally," and "each by himself."

τῷ (article sg masc dat)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ἀδελφῷ [37 verses]((noun sg masc dat) "Brother" is from adelphos, which means "son of the same mother," "kinsman," "colleague," "associate," and "brother."

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."

ἀπὸ (apo) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

τῶν (article pl fem gen)  Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

καρδιῶν (noun pl fem gen) "Hearts" is from kardia, which means "heart (the physical organ)," "the seat of emotions (especially passion, rage, and anger)," "inclination," "desire," "purpose," "mind," "the pith (in wood), and "the deep (of the sea)."

ὑμῶν (pron 2nd pl gen) "Your" is from humon, which is a plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

Related Verses: 

Unimportant Opinions and Imaginings: 

Your unworldly Father also is going to treat you like this when you don't want to let your companions go from the core of your anger.

Front Page Date: 

Apr 16 2021