Matthew 5:11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you...

Spoken to: 

audience

Context: 

Sermon on Mount, Beatitudes, popularity and ostracism, truth and lies

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Fortunate are you when they criticize you and drive [you] and say every worthless thing against you, cheating yourselves on account of me.

KJV : 

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

While this line resembles the verses of the Beatitudes, there are important differences. This verse also a verb with the "blessed." This verb is added in English translation to the Beatitudes, but it doesn't exist in the Greek. However, here the verb also provides the subject, the plural "you." Each Beatitude verse has a setup and payoff. The setup describes a category of people, and the payoff an explanation of why they are fortunate.  Here, the verses is simply the category of people,  "you all," but qualified by negative treatment. Jesus exaggerates these negatives using his common pattern of three plus one. Where the last verb is in the form of an adjective and passive/middle in form. This exaggeration could have been performed in a humorous way.

The word translated as "revile," which has more of a sense of "scold." is only used twice by Jesus.That word means something more like "scold."  The word translated as "persecute" was used in the previous verse, but  has more the sense of "chase" or "drive." The word translated as "evil" means "worthless." See this article for more about word related to "evil'

This is the only verse in which Jesus uses the action word translated as "falsely." This word, pseudo, has been adopted into English as meaning "false." The verb form could mean "to lie" but it could also mean "to cheat." In Greek, the two ideas are closely associated because the most common lies were, and perhaps are, economic, relating to exchanges of value. However, its form is a participle, "lying/cheating", and the voice is either passive, "being cheated/lied to" or middle, "cheating/lying to/for yourselves." 

This final action word here is different in every way from the earlier three verbs. They are all third-person verbs forms, in the "some possible time" tense, and active. This last participle acts as an adjective, it is the present tense, and it is not active, but the passive or middle voice. So the last action word stands out as a punchline.

The present tense of this action word is important. This action is happening now, not at some other possible time like the other verbs. It doesn't make sense to say, "You are being lied to/lying to yourselves on account on of me" at a time when Jesus is the one presently talking to them. This is why all the English translations ignore the real form of this word or put it earlier in the verse so the "for my sake" phrase applies to the other verbs when it most clearly applies to this "lying/cheating." One possible explanation is that the subject referred to by this verb is not the "you" from first verb in the verse, but the "they" that is the subject of all the following verbs. So the sense is that the ones who may persecute are either "being lied to" or "lying to themselves" one account of Jesus.

NIV : 

Matthew 5:11  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

NLT : 

Matthew 5:11 God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.

My Takeaway: 

When you get social attention for any virtue, the lies and criticism will soon follow.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

μακάριοί (adj pl masc nom) "Blessed" is from makarios which means "blessed", "prosperous", "happy", "fortunate," and "blissful."

ἐστε (2nd pl pres ind act) "Are" is from eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," and "is possible." It can also mean "must" with a dative.

ὅταν (conj) "When" is from hotan, which means "whenever (as a condition)," and "since (as a cause)."

ὀνειδίσωσιν [2 verses] (3rd pl aor subj act) "Revile" is oneidizo, which means "to cast in [one's teeth]", "to make a reproach", "to reproach," "to upbraid," and "to chide."

ὑμᾶς (pron 2nd pl acc) "You" is humas which is the plural form of su the pronoun of the second person, "you."

καὶ (conj) "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."

διώξωσιν (3rd pl aor subj act) "Persecute" is dioko, which means "to pursue", "to chase", "to urge on," or "to drive." It means "prosecute" when used as a legal term.

καὶ (conj) "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."

εἴπωσιν (verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "Shall say" is from eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer."

πᾶν (adj sg neut acc) "All manner" is from pas, which means "all", "the whole", "every", "anyone", "all kinds," and "anything."

πονηρὸν (adj sg neut acc) "Evil" is from poneros, which we discuss extensively in this page. In a moral sense, it means "worthless", "base," and "cowardly."

καθ᾽ (prep) "Against" is from kata, which means "downwards", "down from", "down into", "against", "down toward", "opposite", "separately", "individually", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

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

ψευδόμενοι [1 verse](part pl pres mp masc nom) "Falsely" is pseudo, which means "to cheat by lies", "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. In the passive, "to be cheated", "to be deceived" "to be deceived about something," and "to be mistaken about something."

ἕνεκεν (prep) "For...sake" is from heneka, which means "on account of", "as far as regards", "in consequence of," and "because."

ἐμοῦ: (pron 1st sg masc gen) "My" is from emou, which means "me", and "mine".

KJV Analysis: 

Blessed -- (CW) The word "blessed" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings."

are -- The verb "are" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics." 

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

when -- The "when" here is a preposition introducing a dependent clause.

men -- (WW) There is no Greek word "men" here, but the subject "they" can be used because the concept is part of the verb.

shall -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

revile -- The Greek verb translated as "revile" means "to chide" and it is translated elsewhere in the Gospels as "upbraid." We would say "criticize." Christ only uses it here and in the somewhat parallel verse in Luke 6:22. It is in a form that indicates something that might happen at some time.

you, -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.  

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

persecute -- The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, but, in that verse, Matthew 5:10, it was in a form describing people who did this to themselves. Here it is an active verb, emphasizing its meaning, that of being "chased" or "hounded."

you, -- This pronoun doesn't exist in the source, but, in Greek, the object of one verb is assumed to be the object of the next without the pronoun.

and -- When the Greek word translated as "and" is used in a series like this, the English translation that often comes closer to the Greek is "not only...but also."

shall -- (CW) This helping verb "shall" does not indicate the future tense, but that the verb describes a possibility, the subjunctive voice. A "might" or "should" in English is more appropriate, but is assumed in an "if" or "when" clause. Helping verbs are not needed in Greek since the main verb carries this information in its form.

say -- The "shall say" is the common verb meaning "to speak" or "to say." It is not in the future tense but in the form of something that might happen.

all -- The word translated as "all manner" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything."

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

evil -- (CW) The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless." The form is neutral so "thing" can be added to it.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

you -- The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

falsely, -- (WF) The word translated as "falsely" is the participle of the Greek verb meaning "to cheat by lying," "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. In the passive,  which could be the form here, "to be cheated", "to be deceived" "to be deceived about something," and "to be mistaken about something." In the middle form, it means  "lying to yourselves" or "cheating yourselves." This is not an adverb describing how something is said, but an adjective describing Jesus's listeners.

for -- The word translated "for..sake"  is a preposition that means "on account of."

my "My" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the preposition so "of me" in "on account of me."

sake -- This word completes the idea of the preposition. It does not exist as a separate word in the Greek source.

KJV Translation Issues: 

7
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blessed" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "men" should be "they."
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "shall" does not mean the future tense and is assumed in a "when" clause.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The second "shall" does not mean the future tense and is assumed in a "when" clause.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "manner of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "evil" means ""second-rate" and "worthless.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "falsely" is not an adverb but a participle acting as an adjective, "lying."

NIV Analysis: 

Blessed -- (CW) The word "blessed" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings."

are -- The verb "are" here is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It also equates terms or assigns characteristics." 

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

when -- The "when" here is a preposition introducing a dependent clause.

people -- (WW) There is no Greek word "men" here, but the subject "they" can be used because the concept is part of the verb.

insult -- The Greek verb translated as "insult" means "to chide" and it is translated elsewhere in the Gospels as "upbraid." We would say "criticize." Christ only uses it here and in the somewhat parallel verse in Luke 6:22. It is in a form that indicates something that might happen at some time.

you, -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.  

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

persecute -- The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, but, in that verse, Matthew 5:10, it was in a form describing people who did this to themselves. Here it is an active verb, emphasizing its meaning, that of being "chased" or "hounded."

you, -- This pronoun doesn't exist in the source, but, in Greek, the object of one verb is assumed to be the object of the next without the pronoun.

and -- When the Greek word translated as "and" is used in a series like this, the English translation that often comes closer to the Greek is "not only...but also."

falsely, -- (WF) The word translated as "falsely" is the participle of the Greek verb meaning "to cheat by lying," "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. In the passive,  which could be the form here, "to be cheated", "to be deceived" "to be deceived about something," and "to be mistaken about something." In the middle form, it means  "lying to yourselves" or "cheating yourselves." This is not an adverb describing how something is said, but an adjective describing Jesus's listeners.

say -- The "shall say" is the common verb meaning "to speak" or "to say." It is not in the future tense but in the form of something that might happen.

all -- The word translated as "all manner" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything."

kinds of  - (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "manner of" in the Greek source.

evil -- (CW) The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless." The form is neutral so "thing" can be added to it.

against -- The word translated as "against" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

you -- The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

because -- The word translated "because of"  is a preposition that means "on account of."

of -- This word "of"  comes from the genitive case of the following word that required the addition of a preposition in English.  The most common is the "of" of possession, but it can also mean "belonging to," "part of", "which is", "than" (in comparisons), or  "for", "concerning" or "about" with transitive verbs. 

me -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the preposition so "of me."

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blessed" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "people" should be "they."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "falsely" is not an adverb but a participle acting as an adjective, "lying."
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "kinds of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "evil" means ""second-rate" and "worthless.

NLT Analysis: 

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

blesses -- (CW, WF) The word "blesses" in Greek is an adjective from a root word meaning "happy" or "fortunate." In Jesus's era, all luck was attributed to divine favor but this is not otherwise a religious word. It has no relationship to the Greek verb "bless" or the noun "blessings." This is not a verb. This word can also mean "wealthy". This sets up an interesting play on words that only works in Greek, saying "wealthy the poor,"

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

when -- The "when" here is a preposition introducing a dependent clause.

people -- (WW) There is no Greek word "men" here, but the subject "they" can be used because the concept is part of the verb.

mock -- The Greek verb translated as "mock" means "to chide" and it is translated elsewhere in the Gospels as "upbraid." We would say "criticize." Christ only uses it here and in the somewhat parallel verse in Luke 6:22. It is in a form that indicates something that might happen at some time.

you, -- The "you" here is the second-person, plural pronoun in the form of an object.  

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

persecute -- The word translated as "persecute" means "to chase" or "to drive." It is the same verb used in the previous verse, but, in that verse, Matthew 5:10, it was in a form describing people who did this to themselves. Here it is an active verb, emphasizing its meaning, that of being "chased" or "hounded."

you, -- This pronoun doesn't exist in the source, but, in Greek, the object of one verb is assumed to be the object of the next without the pronoun.

and -- When the Greek word translated as "and" is used in a series like this, the English translation that often comes closer to the Greek is "not only...but also."

lie --  (WF, WP) The word translated as "lie" is the participle of the Greek verb meaning "to cheat by lying," "to beguile," and "to cheat" or "disappoint" someone about something. In the passive,  which could be the form here, "to be cheated", "to be deceived" "to be deceived about something," and "to be mistaken about something." In the middle form, it means  "lying to yourselves" or "cheating yourselves." This is not an adverb describing how something is said, but an adjective describing Jesus's listeners.

about you -- (IP) This is a repeat of the "against you" phrase that appears after "say." There is no such phrase after "lie."  Though objects from one verb can be assumed for the next, the problem is that this participle is and adjective describing "you" either passive or the middle voice so either "being lied to" (or "being cheated") or "lying to yourselves."

and - (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "and" in the Greek source. It was added because the previous

say -- The "shall say" is the common verb meaning "to speak" or "to say." It is not in the future tense but in the form of something that might happen.

all -- The word translated as "all manner" is the Greek adjective meaning "all", "the whole", "every," and similar ideas. When it is used as a noun, we would say "everything."

sorts of  - (IP) There is nothing that can be translated as "sort of" in the Greek source.

evil -- (CW) The word translated as "evil" means "second-rate" or "worthless." This article explores it meaning in more detail. It is an adjective, but when used as a noun, therefore, "what is worthless."  This word follows th

things -- (WN) The form  of the previous adjective is neutral so "thing" can be added to it, but the word is singular, not plural.

against -- The word translated as "about" means "down from", "down into", "against", "opposite", "separately", "at a time", "towards", "in accordance with", "concerning", "corresponding with", "during the course of a period," and "severally."

you -- The word translated as "you" is plural addressing a group of Jesus's listeners.

because -- The word translated "because of"  is a preposition that means "on account of."

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

my -- "Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek in the possessive form, so "my" or "of me". This pronoun follows the preposition so "of me."

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

NLT Translation Issues: 

12
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "God" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "blesses" means "blessed" primarily in the sense of "lucky" or "fortunate" without a sense of a "blessing."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "blesses" is not an active verb but an adjective.
  • WW - Wrong Word -- The word translated as "people" should be "they."
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "lie" is not a verb but a participle acting as an adjective, "lying." It is also either the passive or the middle voice, either "being lied to" (or "being cheated") or "lying to yourselves."
  • WP -- Wrongly Placed -- The word "lie" appears after "you" as an adjective, modifying it.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "about you" doesn't exist in the source and is not the sense of the word, which is either the passive or middle voice.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "and" doesn't exist in the source.
  • IP - Inserted phrase-- The phrase "sorts of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • CW - Confusing Word -- The "evil" means ""second-rate" and "worthless.
  • WN  - Wrong Number- The word "things" is translated as plural but its source is singular.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "you are" doesn't exist here in the source.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "followers" doesn't exist in the source.

The Spoken Version: 

He indicated the whole crowd with a sweep of his arm.
“Fortunate are you all!” the Nazarene announced happily.
We applauded. That was what we really wanted to hear. Some not only applauded but cheered.
But then the frog-faced man complained, “Are we lucky when we are called fools for coming out here to listen to you?”
Surprisingly, the Nazarene agreed, with a big smile and a nod.
“When they scold you and drive you,” he added even more cheerfully, “and say every worthless thing against you!”
We laughed, but there was a lot of whispering in the crowd. Most of the Judeans there knew that the Distinguished were critics of the Nazarene. They had disparaged his followers as “gullible fishermen,” “idealistic children,” “crazy men,” and worse.
“Are they lying to us about you?” the frog-faced man asked.
The Nazarene laughed. He shook his head in a big, happy “no.”
Some were surprised, and many expressed their confusion.
“Your critics aren’t lying to us about you?” a tall woman asked.
“Lying to themselves!” the Teacher explained happily and then added in a kind of mock arrogance, “On account of me.”

evidence: 

9.00

Front Page Date: 

Apr 18 2020